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JWJ > Volume 24(5); 2006 > Article
Journal of KWJS 2006 October;24(5) :22-28.
Published online January 4, 2007.
Improvement of LBW quality of Zircaloy-4 Spacer Grids for PWR Fuel Assembly
Soo-Sung Kim, Kee-Nam Song, Hyoung-Jun Han

Correspondence:   Published online January 4, 2007
  A spacer grid assembly, which is an interconnected array of slotted grid straps and is welded at the intersections to form an egg crate structure, is one of the main structural components of the nuclear fuel assembly for Pressurized Water Reactors (PWRs). The weld quality of spacer grids in PWRs fuel is extremely important for the fuel assembly performance in the nuclear reator. The spacer grid welds are currently evaluated mainly by the metallographic examination although it reveals only cross-points which are welded by the laser beam. This experiment is also to compare the weldability of Zircaloy-4 spacer grids using by the GTA and LB. The effect of node geometries of spacer grids for the GTAW and LBW has been studied and optimum conditions of spacer grid welding have been found. Microstructures and micro-hardness of the GTA and LB welded zones have been also compared.
Keywords: Spacer grid;Nd:YAG Laser welding;Zircaloy-4;Nuclear fuel;Penetration depth
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