Printed circuit heat exchangers (PCHEs) are used in a number of novel nuclear reactor designs. In order to use a PCHE as a primary coolant confinement unit in the United States, the stress and strain must be modeled under realistic service loads, and shown to remain within limits imposed by ASME standards. Due to the complex geometry and multi-length scale features, direct simulation of the stress and strain in a utility scale PCHE is not practical because of the large number of degrees of freedom. This work presents an algorithm to model damage to the core region of a PCHE using planar 2D formulation and realistic service loads. We compare how closely the results from three different planar formulations match the results of a corresponding 3D model. We also explore other ways of reducing the size of the numerical model required to accurately simulate the stress and strain in the core region of a PCHE. Finally, we perform strain-limits evaluation on a core region of a PCHE using fully temperature coupled, elastic perfectly plastic material properties, and realistic service loads, obtained from plant dynamics code of sodium cooled fast reactor coupled with a supercritical CO2 Brayton cycle. For our analyses, we used CSIMSOFT Trelis: a commercial meshing software, Multi Object Oriented Solver Environment (MOOSE): an open source finite elements solver, and Paraview: an open source post processing tool. Our methodology is presented and discussed in sufficient detail so that the work can be reproduced by others.

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