Permeability and compression of fibrous porous media generated from dilute suspensions of fiberglass debris during a loss of coolant accident
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Abstract Permeability of fibrous porous media has been studied for decades in various engineering applications, including liquid purifications, air filters, and textiles. In nuclear engineering, fiberglass has been found to be a hazard during a Loss-of-Coolant Accident. The high energy steam jet from a break impinges on surrounding fiberglass insulation materials, producing a large amount of fibrous debris. The fibrous debris is then transported through the reactor containment and reaches the sump strainers. Accumulation of such debris on the surface of the strainers produces a fibrous bed, which is a fibrous porous medium that can undermine reactor core cooling. The present study investigated the buildup of fibrous porous media on two types of perforated plate and the pressure drop through the fibrous porous media without chemical effect. The development of the fibrous bed was visually recorded in order to correlate the pressure drop, the approach velocity, and the thickness of the fibrous porous media. The experimental results were compared to semi-theoretical models and theoretical models proposed by other researchers. Additionally, a compression model was developed to predict the thickness and the local porosity of a fibrous bed as a function of pressure.