As computational power increases, so does the desire to use fluid-structure interaction (FSI) software to design complex systems and components such as fuel plates. Presently, an effort is underway to support the design and qualification of a new nuclear fuel material which is intended for applications in select, plate-type, research and test reactors. Because of the high flow velocities which are experienced within these reactors, a safety parameter of interest is the onset of plate deformation and potential of plate-to-plate collapse. Using FSI software for the entire design process is tempting; however, utilizing FSI software for large, complex systems requires large quantities of computational resources. Currently, computing FSI solutions using off-the-shelf software of components as small as individual fuel plates can take weeks on a desktop computer, thus requiring the use of multiple servers or a cluster to enable a pragmatic solving time. Since computational resources are valuable, the pertinent question to ask is whether or not the resources being used are a necessity. Fluid structure interaction simulations provide a wealth of information regarding flow patterns, but many practical engineering problems do not require such a detailed solution form. If acceptable solutions could be obtained without solving the entire flow field, the required computational resources may be reduced by orders of magnitude. The study detailed herein presents an alternative approach to solving FSI problems using a one dimensional, semi-analytic model derived from first principles. The resulting approach is much less computationally expensive than the alternative of leveraging off-the-shelf FSI software. The FSI model developed herein is specific to solving plate deformations (single plates and arrays of plates). A qualitative benchmark of this study's model is made against an analytic solution ABAQUS. Results are then compared against experimental data collected for a single plate acquired by the University of Missouri, as well as experimental data collected for an array of six plates acquired by at Oregon State University. The outcome of this work has resulted in a new modeling approach for FSI problems applied toward flat plate geometry. Results from this new model approach (while limited) compare reasonably well to commercially available software (ABAQUS) and experimental data over a wide range of flow conditions.
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