Hydrodynamic modeling of mineral wool fiber suspensions in a two-dimensional channel flow

Gregory M. Cartland Glover, E. Krepper, F.-P. Weiss, F. Zacharias, A. Kratzsch, S. Alt, W. Kästner

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Published conference outputConference publication


    A consequence of a loss of coolant accident is the damage of adjacent insulation materials (IM). IM may then be transported to the containment sump strainers where water is drawn into the ECCS (emergency core cooling system). Blockage of the strainers by IM lead to an increased pressure drop acting on the operating ECCS pumps. IM can also penetrate the strainers, enter the reactor coolant system and then accumulate in the reactor pressure vessel.
    An experimental and theoretical study that concentrates on mineral wool fiber transport in the containment sump and the ECCS is being performed. The study entails fiber generation and the assessment of fiber transport in single and multi-effect experiments. The experiments include measurement of the terminal settling velocity, the strainer pressure drop, fiber sedimentation and resuspension in a channel flow and jet flow in a rectangular tank. An integrated test facility is also operated to assess the compounded effects. Each experimental facility is used to provide data for the validation of equivalent computational fluid dynamic models.
    The channel flow facility allows the determination of the steady state distribution of the fibers at different flow velocities. The fibers are modeled in the Eulerian-Eulerian reference frame as spherical wetted agglomerates. The fiber agglomerate size, density, the relative viscosity of the fluid-fiber mixture and the turbulent dispersion of the fibers all affect the steady state accumulation of fibers at the channel base. In the current simulations, two fiber phases are separately considered. The particle size is kept constant while the density is modified, which affects both the terminal velocity and volume fraction. The relative viscosity is only significant at higher concentrations. The numerical model finds that the fibers accumulate at the channel base even at high velocities; therefore, modifications to the drag and turbulent dispersion forces can be made to reduce fiber accumulation.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationProceedings of 13th International Meeting on Nuclear Reactor Thermal Hydraulics (NURETH-13)
    Publication statusPublished - 27 Sept 2009
    Event13th International Meeting on Nuclear Reactor Thermal Hydraulics (NURETH-13) - Kanazawa, Japan
    Duration: 27 Sept 20092 Oct 2009


    Other13th International Meeting on Nuclear Reactor Thermal Hydraulics (NURETH-13)


    • mineral wool agglomerates
    • multiphase flow
    • computational fluid dynamics
    • containment sump


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