The anti-seismic performance of fuel assembly is mainly determined by the critical crush load and the stiffness of spacer grids. To comprehensive know about the influence of fuel rods on the spacer grid, a 5×5 spacer grid FEM model which including fuel rods is established. Basing the fact that the grid spring has remarkable influence on the grid crush strength which is found in experiment, some cases are carried out, which are used to analyze effects of grid with/without fuel rod, friction between the grid spring/dimple and the fuel rod, the deflection of grid spring on the static buckling strength. Results show that grids with fuel rods will have higher crush strength than those without fuel rods; at certain range, increasing grid spring deflection at working point will do help to increase the grid crush strength; higher friction coefficient of grid spring and fuel rod can enhance the crush strength. Comparing with experimental results in literatures, results from simulations show the same tendency with the experimental results. The conclusion and the simulation method involved in this paper can provide some guidelines to optimize the performance of spacer grid assembly.

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