Patent Number: 6,310,932

Title: Fretting resistant spring design

Abstract: A new spring design for a strap employed in a grid of a nuclear reactor fuel assembly includes a pair of ligaments that each connect with the free portion of the retention plate. The ligaments each are equally spaced a certain distant from the termination of the slots within the strap body. The spring additionally includes a spring contact plate that is wider than the connections of the spring ligaments with the free portion to increase the surface area with which the spring contact plate is in contact with and retains the fuel rod, and thus reduces the contact stresses therebetween. The spring contact plate additionally includes an embossed spring contact member protruding outwardly therefrom reduces the frictional stresses on the fuel rod when it is inserted into and removed from the cell and during vibration of the fuel rod and/or the strap.

Inventors: Evans; Paul M. (Lexington, SC), Nguyen; Quang M. (Immo, SC), Rue, Jr.; John C. (Columbia, SC), Livermore; Gregory D. (Columbia, SC), Vasquez; Virgil Jamie (Lexington, SC)

Assignee: Westinghouse Electric Company LLC

International Classification: G21C 3/356 (20060101); G21C 3/34 (20060101); G21C 003/18 ()

Expiration Date: 10/30/2018