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Nuclear Engineering and Design 240 (2010) 28362841

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Nuclear Engineering and Design


journal homepage: www.elsevier.com/locate/nucengdes

Predicting the wall thinning engendered by erosioncorrosion using CFD methodology


Yuh Ming Ferng , Bin Hong Lin
Department of Engineering and System Science, Institute of Nuclear Engineering and Science, National Tsing Hua University, 101, Sec. 2. Kuang-Fu Rd., Hsingchu 30013, 325 Taiwan, ROC

a r t i c l e

i n f o

a b s t r a c t
Erosioncorrosion (EC) is a serious degradation mechanism of piping, especially for nuclear power plants since it may result in the piping damage, plant shutdown, or personnel injury. The majority of this paper investigates the dependence of wall thinning on the hydrodynamic characteristics using the computational uid dynamics (CFD) methodology. Four piping systems in a pressurized water reactor (PWR) power plant are selected in this investigation. Based on the plots showing the measured wall thinning with the calculated hydrodynamic parameters, the relationship between them is clearly revealed. Utilizing the characteristics of near-wall turbulence kinetic energy, an envelopment model is proposed herein to conservatively predict the amount of wall thinning distributed on the pipe wall. This estimation model can simply predict the possible distributions of severe EC wear sites and subsequently assist the plant staff to schedule the pipe wall monitoring program in the measured range of pipe wall for the ttings. 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Article history: Received 10 March 2010 Received in revised form 2 July 2010 Accepted 14 July 2010

1. Introduction Wall thinning is always occurred on the wall surface of carbonsteel piping as the ow passes by. This degradation is essentially resulted from erosioncorrosion (EC) mechanism that includes chemical corrosion and mechanical erosion. The chemical corrosion consists of two main processes: chemical oxidation on the pipe wall surface and dissolution of this oxide layer. The mechanical erosion includes disruption of the corrosion layer (for single-phase ow) or droplet impingement on the oxidized surface of pipe wall (for two-phase ow). The EC is a serious piping degradation problem especially for a nuclear power plant (NPP) since it may result in pipe repair, plant shutdown, or even personnel injury, etc. The EC phenomenon had been investigated by previous simulation works or models which include CHEC code (Chexal et al., 1989), MIT model (Wu, 1989), CEACE code (FPI, 1991), EdF model (Remy and Bouchacourt, 1992), one-dimensional (1-D) ow models (Postlethwaite et al., 1986; Postlethwaite and Lotz, 1988; Blatt et al., 1989; Zeisel and Durst, 1990; Neisc and Postlethwaite, 1991a,b), and three-dimensional (3-D) two-phase computational uid dynamics (CFD) model coupled with appropriate EC indica-

Corresponding author. E-mail address: ymferng@ess.nthu.edu.tw (Y.M. Ferng). 0029-5493/$ see front matter 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved. doi:10.1016/j.nucengdes.2010.07.031

tors (Ferng et al., 1999a,b, 2000, 2008; Ferng, 2008), etc. Recently, a sophisticated model (Naitoh et al., 2009; Uehara et al., 2009; Uchida et al., 2009) was proposed to predict the EC occurrence and wall thinning rate, which combines a 1-D system code, a 3-D CFD code, a static electrochemical analysis and a dynamic double oxide layer analysis. The majority of this paper is to investigate the relationship of wall thinning with the calculated hydrodynamic parameters for the piping in the NPP using the CFD methodology, which is an extended study of previous works (Ferng et al., 1999a,b, 2000). Four kinds of piping are selected in the present study and are belong to the feedwater piping system (AE-019), the main turbine piping system (AC-069) and two piping systems connecting the feedwater reheater to the reheater drain tank (AF-166 and 167), the MSR drain tank to the feedwater drain tank (AF-168 and 169), respectively. These four piping systems are located in the balance of plant (BOP) of a pressurized water reactor (PWR) that is at the southern tip of Taiwan. The local measured wall thinning on the wall surface of ttings in these piping systems are plotted versus the hydrodynamic parameters calculated by the CFD model in order to nd their dependent trends. In addition, based on the curve describing these relationships, an envelopment model can be also derived to conservatively predict the amount of local wall thinning using the calculated hydrodynamic characteristics. This quick estimation model is useful to assist the plant staff in scheduling the pipe wall monitoring program.

Y.M. Ferng, B.H. Lin / Nuclear Engineering and Design 240 (2010) 28362841 Table 1 Flow conditions and mesh number for the selected piping systems. Piping system Pressure (psig) Flowrate (lb/h) Inlet Velocity (m/s) Reynolds Number Mesh Number AF-166 and AF-167 196 1,100,000 1.4 497,698 147,984 AF-168 and AF-169 196 350,000 0.87 221,056 542,663 AE-019 510 4,500,000 4.37 1,776,374 54,145

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Nomenclature C concentration on the wall surface (mol/mol) Ceq equilibrium concentration (mol/mol) C concentration away from the wall surface (mol/mol) hm mass transfer coefcient (1/s) k turbulence kinetic energy (m2 /s2 ) p pressure (N/m2 ) R total metal loss rate (1/s) mass transfer rate (1/s) Rc Rp dissolution rate (1/s) TKE near-wall turbulence kinetic energy (m2 /s2 ) u velocity vector (m/s) Wwall thinning amount of wall thinning (in.) Greek symbol turbulence energy dissipation rate (m2 /s3 ) molecular viscosity (kg/m s) turbulence induced viscosity (kg/m s) t * effective viscosity (kg/m s) reaction rate coefcient (1/s) density (kg/m3 ) stress tensor (N/m2 )

AC-069 205 75,000 0.13 32,893 47,744

Based on the plant operating owrate, the uniform velocity distribution is set as the inlet boundary condition. The pressure is employed at the outlet boundary condition and is preset as the operating pressure of piping system. The wall function model (Sha and Launder, 1979) is applied at all piping wall to ensure the proper turbulence behavior in this study. 2.2. EC model Based on the EdF model (Remy and Bouchacourt, 1992), the EC wear rate can be determined by dissolution rate (Rp ) of magnetite on the metal surface and its mass transfer rate (Rc ). Both the reaction rates can be formulated as follows: Rp = (Ceq C ) (10) (11)

2. Model descriptions 2.1. Hydrodynamic model The ow condition within the selected piping systems belongs to the single-phase ow. Then, the single-phase hydrodynamic CFD model is adopted and presented as follows: Continuity equation

Rc = hm (C C )

Under an equilibrium condition, Rp should be equal to Rc . Then, the total metal loss rate can be expressed as R= hm [Ceq C ] + hm (12)

At the higher turbulence mixing condition for the single-phase ow, is much less than hm (Remy and Bouchacourt, 1992). Eq. (12) can be approximated to be R [Ceq C ] (13)

( u) = 0
Momentum equation ( uu) = p + where = ( u + uT )

(1)

(2)

The reaction rate coefcient ( ) essentially depends on the ow temperature and the reaction activation energy, which is little related to the hydrodynamic characteristics. On the contrary, is much larger than hm as the ow turbulent mixing is lower. Then, Eq. (12) can be reduced to be R hm [Ceq C ] 3. Solution domain and mesh model Figs. 1 and 2 show the schematic of solution domain (a) and mesh distribution (b) for the simulated ttings in the feedwater piping system (AE-019) and the main turbine piping system (AC069), respectively. An elbow of 90 (E6) is modeled for the AE-019 system; a reducer (R1) and an elbow of 90 (E1) are selected for the AC-069 system. The corresponding mesh model for these two piping systems is illustrated in plots (b). A multi-block mesh system is employed to generate the meshes in the selected piping systems. A structured block is generated near the wall surface in order to reduce the deviation of velocity distribution and an unstructured mesh is used in the core of the pipe. According to the measured number on the pipe wall surface, the corresponding mesh number around the periphery of the pipe is selected to compare the measured and the predicted results one by one. Mesh height near the pipe wall is controlled at y+ > 30. The total mesh numbers for the simulation piping systems are indicated in Table 1. In addition, a sensitivity study of different mesh numbers is also performed, indicating that the deviation of ow characteristics in the calculation domain is minor, even using double or half of the mesh numbers. (14)

(3)

Turbulence model Standard k turbulent model (Launder and Spalding, 1972) is employed in this study and can be expressed as follows: Turbulence kinetic energy equation:

( uk) =

t k

k + Gk

(4)

Turbulence energy dissipation rate equation:

( u) =
where
t

+ (C1 Gk C2 )

(5)

= C

k2

(6)

Gk = turbulence generation term =

u[ u + ( u)T ]

(7) (8)

All of the empirical constants in above equations are (Launder and Spalding, 1973) C = 0.09;
k

= 1.0;

= 1.3;

C1 = 1.44;

C2 = 1.92 (9)

Boundary conditions

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Y.M. Ferng, B.H. Lin / Nuclear Engineering and Design 240 (2010) 28362841

Fig. 1. Schematic of solution domain (a) and mesh distribution (b) for the selected AE-019 piping system.

4. Results and discussion Recently, Naitoh et al. (Naitoh et al., 2009; Uehara et al., 2009; Uchida et al., 2009) proposed a sophisticated model, coupling a system code, a CFD code, and a corrosion model, to evaluate the wall thinning rate. However, as the aforementioned description, this paper is interested in investigating which hydrodynamic parameter is an appropriate indictor for quickly predicting the wall thinning characteristics due to severe EC wear, which could assist the plant staff in scheduling the scope of measured range on the pipe wall surface for the pipe wall monitoring program. The ow conditions in the simulated piping systems are indicated in Table 1. All of the calculations are performed on the PC with an Intel CoreTM 2 Duo Processor 2.2 GHz. The convergent criteria for the simulations are set as that summation of the relative residual in the control volumes for each governing equation is smaller than 105 . The FLUENT code is (Fluent 6.2, 2005) used in the present simulations. Fig. 3 shows the relationship between the measured wall thinning and the calculated turbulence kinetic energy (TKE) for all the simulation piping systems. The ordinate is the amount of local wall thinning measured by the plant staff and the abscissa is the corresponding ow TKE predicted by the present CFD model. The amount of measured wall thinning is taken as the difference of wall thickness between EOC-15 (End of Cycle) and EOC-16; and the corresponding calculated TKE is chosen in the rst mesh near the pipe wall at which the wall thickness is measured. Two groups are distinctly shown in this gure: one is located at the higher TKE portion and another is at the lower one. The demarcation for these two

groups is set at the TKE of about 0.125 m2 /s2 , as clearly revealed in Fig. 3. At the higher TKE portion, the amount of wall thinning decreases as the TKE increases. However, at the consideration of measurement error, the wall thinning may be little related to the ow turbulence mixing as the local near-wall TKE is lower. Under the ow condition of higher ow velocity or turbulent mixing, the total metal loss rate (R) due to the EC wear can be determined by the reaction rate constant ( ) and the magnetite concentration difference, as indicated in Eq. (13). This reaction rate constant depends on the ow temperature and reaction activation energy, which is little related to the hydrodynamic characteristics. However, the concentration difference of Fe2+ is strongly associated with the turbulence mixing of uid inside the piping. Based on the previous studies of author (Ferng et al., 1999a, 1999b, 2000), lower near-wall uid velocity would cause larger concentration difference, enhance the local metal loss rate, and consequently promote wall thinning on the pipe wall. This can reasonably explain the decreasing characteristic of wall thinning as the ow turbulent mixing increases at the higher TKE portion, as shown in the right side of Fig. 3. In addition, as indicated in Eq. (14), the total metal loss rate depends on the mass transfer coefcient (hm ) and the concentration difference if the local ow turbulence mixing is lower. The mass transfer coefcient is increased as the increasing TKE (Naitoh et al., 2009; Uehara et al., 2009; Uchida et al., 2009) and the concentration difference is decreased as increase in the TKE. Both the contrary

Fig. 2. Schematic of solution domain (a) and mesh distribution (b) for the selected AC-069 piping system.

Fig. 3. Dependence of measured wall thinning on calculated near-wall turbulence kinetic energy.

Y.M. Ferng, B.H. Lin / Nuclear Engineering and Design 240 (2010) 28362841

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Fig. 4. Dependence of measured wall thinning on calculated near-wall velocity.

effects cause that the dependence of wall thinning on the local TKE does not show the obviously increasing or decreasing trend, as clearly revealed in the portion of lower TKE in Fig. 3. The plant measured wall thinning is also plotted along the corresponding near-wall velocity gradient, as illustrated in Fig. 4. Two distinct groups are more clearly revealed in this gure. In the higher velocity gradient portion, the severity of wall thinning is enhanced as this near-wall gradient is decreased, which is similar to the conclusion of previous works (Ferng et al., 1999a, 1999b, 2000). However, the wall thinning is also shown to be independent to the near-wall velocity characteristics at the lower velocity gradient region. The explanation of these trends is the same as that described in the previous paragraph. Based on the distribution of wall thinning with the calculated TKE in the higher TKE region (left portion of Fig. 3), a tting curve can be derived using the regression algorithm and is expressed as Wwall thinning = 0.066 4.16 103 ln(TKE) TKE
2

Fig. 6. Comparison of wall thinning between measurements and predictions.

thinning with the corresponding predicted one at the condition of higher ow TKE (left portion of Fig. 3). The abscissa in this gure is the plant measured data and the ordinate is the predicted results using Eq. (15). It is clearly shown that the relative error between the measurements and the predictions is less than 22%, except the lower wall thinning region. As described above, the majority of this paper is to assist in scheduling the measured range for the piping system by conservatively predicting the wall thinning distribution. Therefore, based on the above best-tting equation, an envelopment model can be derived to meet this requirement using the near-wall ow TKE parameter. This equation can be expressed as Wwall thinning = 0.1123 7.36 103 ln(TKE) TKE2 (16)

(15)

Comparison of wall thinning along the TKE between the measurements and the predictions is demonstrated in Fig. 5. In this gure, the dot represents the measured wall thinning at different near-wall TKE and the line is the predicted one using Eq. (15). The standard deviation of wall thinning between both is about 0.07 in. Using another presentation, Fig. 6 also compares the measured wall

Similar to the presentation of Fig. 5, Fig. 7 shows the comparison of the measured wall thinning with the predicted one by Eq. (16) under the different TKE. The predicted solid line can envelop the measured data, as clearly shown in this gure. Therefore, before measuring the wall thickness of a selected piping system, the plant staff can rst simulate the hydrodynamic characteristics inside this

Fig. 5. Comparison of wall thinning along different TKE between measurements and best-model predictions.

Fig. 7. Comparison of wall thinning along different TKE between measurements and envelopment model predictions.

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Fig. 8. Comparison of wall thinning distribution for elbow (AE-019-E6): (a) plant measurement and (b) model prediction.

Fig. 9. Comparison of wall thinning distribution for elbow (AC-019-E1): (a) plant measurement and (b) model prediction.

piping and then couple the calculated TKE and Eq. (16) to obtain the amount of wall thinning distributed on the wall surface. The main NDT measured range can be focused on these predicted regions of severe wall thinning. In addition, it must be noticed that the values of constants in Eqs. (15) and (16) are selected only in the present selected piping systems, which cannot be used in all the piping systems. However, the CFD methodology proposed in this paper can be generally applied in the pipe wall monitoring program. This concept can be explained using Figs. 8 and 9 that show the distribution characteristics of wall thinning on the wall surface of piping located in the feedwater (AE-019) and main steam (AC-069) systems, respectively. Plots (a) in these two gures are the plant measured results and plots (b) are the predicted ones using Eq. (16). The color index in the center of gures represents the amount of wall thinning. It can be clearly demonstrated in both gures that the predicted ranges of severe wall thinning have covered the measured ones since Eq. (16) is a conservative envelopment model. For the elbows located in these two categories of piping, the measured ranges of severe wall thinning (>0.2 in.) are distributed around on the extrados of elbows, which is also captured by the present envelopment model. 5. Conclusions A CFD methodology is proposed in this paper to investigate the dependence of wall thinning on the local hydrodynamic characteristics. Four piping systems located in the BOP of a PWR are selected as the simulation domains. It is clearly shown in the gure of measured wall thinning versus calculated near-wall TKE that two distinct groups are located at the higher and lower energy portions, respectively. Similar trend is also revealed in the relationship of measured wall thinning versus calculated near-wall velocity gradient. In the higher TKE or velocity gradient portion, the amount of wall thinning decreases as this hydrodynamic parameter increases. However, in the lower portion, the present simulation results reveal that the wall thinning may be independent of the hydrodynamic parameters. In addition, an envelopment model is also derived

herein to conservatively predict the amount of wall thinning for the selected piping systems. Based on the comparison of wall thinning distribution on the wall surface, the predicted range can cover the measured one, indicating that the present CFD methodology can assist the plant staff in scheduling the measured range on the surface of tting. References
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