Experimental Study on the Effect of Localized Blockages on the Friction Factor of a 61-Pin Wire-Wrapped Bundle Academic Article uri icon


  • Abstract The thermal-hydraulic behavior of the flow in rod bundles has motivated numerous experimental and computational investigations. Previous studies have identified potential for accumulation of debris within the small subchannels of typical wire-wrapped assemblies with subsequent total or partial blockage of subchannel coolant flow. A test campaign was conducted to study the effects of localized blockages on the bundle averaged friction factor of a tightly packed wire-wrapped rod bundle. Blockages were installed within the bundle, and fluid pressure drop was measured across one wire pitch for a Reynolds number range of 500–17,200. The Darcy–Weisbach friction factor of the perturbed rod bundle geometry was compared with that of the unblocked bundle, as well as with the predictions of a well-established friction factor correlation. Differing effects based on blockage size and location for various flow regimes were studied. A number of conclusions can be made about the effects of the blockages on the friction factor, such as an increasing effect of the blockage on friction factor with an increase in Reynolds number, a change in flow behavior in the turbulent transition flow regime near Reynolds number 3000, differences in effect on friction factor for different types of subchannel blockage, and a nonlinear trend in friction factor variation with flow area impeded for edge subchannels. To this end, all data and quantified uncertainty produced in this study are made available for comparison and validation of advanced computational tools.

published proceedings


author list (cited authors)

  • Childs, M., Muyshondt, R., Vaghetto, R., Duy, T. N., & Hassan, Y.

citation count

  • 7

complete list of authors

  • Childs, Mason||Muyshondt, Robert||Vaghetto, Rodolfo||Duy, Thien Nguyen||Hassan, Yassin

publication date

  • September 2020