April 1, 2023
Computational Modeling of Multi-Pass Rolling Parameters Effect on Resulting Fuel Foil Shape
AbstractA focus of the U.S. Department of Energy is to improve production yield and reduce the cost of Low Enriched Uranium (LEU)-molybdenum alloy (U-10Mo) monolithic fuel plates that will be replacing High Enriched Uranium (HEU) oxide dispersion fuels used currently in the United States High Performance Research Reactors (USHPRR). One area of improvement is lowering the high transverse waviness and longitudinal waviness currently present within rolled foils prior to cladding to produce fuel plates. Traditional rolling manufacturing techniques for other metal foils use winders to pull and straighten the foil as it is rolled back and forth to the final thickness. This approach cannot be used to roll thin U-10Mo foils (0.008-0.025” thick) because only small castings can be rolled due to nuclear criticality safety concerns. As a result, the fuel foils are too short (1 m in length) to use traditional winders. Therefore, it is crucial to identify other rolling parameters (i.e., roller friction, axial tension load, roller diameter, and roll pass reduction percent) that might reduce transverse waviness and longitudinal waviness in the rolled fuel foil and develop a high-yield, low-cost multi-pass rolling manufacturing process. This report documents a systematic finite element modeling study to investigate the effects of numerous rolling parameters to reduce resulting transverse waviness and longitudinal waviness in the fuel foil during multi-pass rolling of U-10Mo foils. The rolling of a U-10Mo plate with initial dimensions of 1”x1”x 0.048” is modeled using Abaqus CAE. This rolling is modeled to undergo eight 20% reduction roll passes to a final fuel foil thickness of 0.01”. The elastic-plastic constitutive model of the U-10Mo alloy was input to the fuel foil rolling model. The rollers were modeled as rigid bodies. A comparison of rolling friction coefficients of 0.3 and 0.7 over a wide range of applied axial tension loads were investigated in order to evaluate the effect of using a lubricant during rolling. The effect of roller diameter on the resulting transverse waviness and longitudinal waviness of the fuel foil over a wide range of axial tension loads were also investigated by modeling rollers 7/8” and 3.75” in diameter. The results of this systematic finite element method study will aid manufacturers in producing low transverse waviness and reduced longitudinal waviness in U-10Mo fuel foils.
Published: April 1, 2023