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Incorporating bubble growth volume feedback to improve simulation of the response of a structure containing liquid and gas to...

by Drew E Winder, Lianshan Lin, Justin C Mach
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Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research Section A: Accelerators, Spectrometers, Detectors and Associated Equipment
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The SNS target module is a stainless-steel structure that contains and directs mercury. The mercury is struck with short, intense proton pulses to create neutrons. The pulses deposit energy and cause loads on the target structure and mercury cavitation. Helium bubbles are introduced into the mercury to reduce loads and cavitation. This gas complicates the prediction of the target module’s physical response. The current method used to simulate the structural response to the proton pulse incorporates a simple but effective approach to approximate mercury cavitation effects. This method cannot account for the changes from injected non-condensable gas. The ability to model the target vessel response is a prerequisite for estimating its life. Known approaches for simulating a bubbly fluid mixture’s response are computationally expensive and impractical for detailed engineering models. A constitutive model is proposed for target mercury with injected gas bubbles, with the intent of providing more accurate mercury–vessel response behavior without the computing costs required to track individual bubbles. The model’s assumptions and a computational model embodiment are described. The bubbly mercury computational model is subjected to test problems to assess its potential utility. The model was able to better predict the effect of gas on wave propagation.