ESI delivers new capabilites for analysis and regulation of nuclear power

New capabilities for nuclear engineering and the regulatory analysis of nuclear power plants are being introduced through a new software package from ESI, a provider of Virtual Prototyping software and services for manufacturing industries.

ESI SYSTUS 2017 brings significant new capabilities to the software, including an innovative Differential Method (RCCM-MD). The version also brings enhancements to investigate fracture mechanics using the innovative X-FEM method, and addresses topology optimisation for many applications, including in the automotive and aeronautic sectors.

SYSTUS benefits from 40 years of R&D in Finite Elements Analysis (FEA). The software was originally developed by Framatome (now AREVA NP) to support the design of their nuclear power plants and to perform regulatory analyses — all virtually. Today, SYSTUS has become an industry-proven solution for an extensive range of regulatory analyses mandated by international standards for nuclear engineering. It specifically addresses the requirements of the ASME code, standard issued by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, and the French standard, published by AFCEN and known as RCC-M (Règles de Conception et de Construction des Matériels Mécaniques des Ilots Nucléaires2 REP3).

SYSTUS 2017 brings new enhancements for conducting regulatory analyses, including new analytic options, and a better legibility of results. It introduces a Differential Method (RCCM-MD) for second category analyses that can help industrial manufacturers and their suppliers overcome major issues related to load changes over time and variations in the directions of principal stresses, as these interfere with the computation of the amplitude of the equivalent stresses Sn and the usage factor U.

In the field of fracture mechanics, SYSTUS allows industrial manufacturers and their suppliers to perform brittle and ductile fracture analysis. Working with AREVA for over 6 years, the ESI SYSTUS team has developed an innovative eXtended Finite Elements method (X-FEM) that enables the analysis of defects without the need to model the cracks explicitly — hence reducing complexity and saving time. With ESI’s X-FEM method, the representation of defects is carried out using the Level-Set Method and specific enrichment functions.

SYSTUS 2017 includes enhancements for fracture mechanics with the X-FEM method, including new and simplified commands to improve software ergonomics. The version delivers strong efficiency improvements and offers results very close to those obtained with Finite Element Method (FEM) analysis with meshed cracks. Furthermore, with SYSTUS 2017, the X-FEM method now takes into account plasticity, includes meshing with quadratic elements, and enables the computation of the Energy rate using the Theta method.

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