Excessive flow-induced vibration causing fretting-wear damage can seriously affect the performance of process equipment such as heat exchangers, condensers, nuclear steam generators, nuclear fuels, reactor internals, and piping systems. Fretting-wear damage generally takes place between a vibrating structure and its supports. It can be predicted with a fretting-wear coefficient obtained experimentally and a parameter called work-rate that formulates the dynamic interaction between structure and support. The work-rate is essentially the rate of mechanical energy dissipated at the support. On the other hand, the total available mechanical vibration energy in a structure is related to its mass, vibration frequency, mode shape, damping, and vibration amplitude. This leads to the development of a simplified formulation based on energy considerations to relate the vibration response of a structure to fretting-wear damage at its supports. The basic energy equations and the formulation of a simplified energy relationship to predict fretting-wear damage are outlined in this paper. The relationship is verified against experimental data for a multi-span heat exchanger tube. The energy approach is also compared to time domain calculations performed with a non-linear finite element code. The results indicate that the simple energy approach may be very useful to estimate fretting-wear damage in practical situations. Finally, the application of the method is illustrated for a typical heat exchanger tube and for nuclear fuels.

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