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Design, Simulation and Testing of Overpack Encapsulation Vessels

[+] Author Affiliations
A. Towse, J. Dodds

Assystem UK, Sunderland, UK

Paper No. PVP2012-78036, pp. 181-190; 10 pages
  • ASME 2012 Pressure Vessels and Piping Conference
  • Volume 3: Design and Analysis
  • Toronto, Ontario, Canada, July 15–19, 2012
  • Conference Sponsors: Pressure Vessels and Piping Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-5502-7
  • Copyright © 2012 by ASME


The paper presents an overpack designed to contain nuclear product cans which may become pressurised or contaminated. The overpack provides a protective barrier to an inner product can, and due to the possibility of leakage of gas from the contents, the overpack must also function as a pressure vessel. Furthermore, the overpack is required to provide physical protection to the inner can and proof of containment was therefore necessary under a number of different impact scenarios, both pre-pressurised and also with the simulation of pressurisation at the moment of impact. Additionally, the inner product can was to be maintained in a central position during the deceleration at impact.

This paper focuses on the analytical design and substantiation of the impact of the system which was performed using an explicit dynamic solver for a number of impact orientations. The design of the overpack to satisfy the relevant pressure vessel Code are not discussed in detail. The potential failure modes of the overpack during impact were assessed and design improvements made over a number of iterations. Following completion of the design and simulation phase, prototypes were built and tested to verify the engineering design and analysis. The testing showed that simulation driven design in conjunction with a pressure vessel design by rule approach was successful in creating a solution for the product can encapsulation. A comparison between the analytical simulation and high-speed video footage of the testing was also made.

Copyright © 2012 by ASME



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