Fretting-wear is a known problem in steam generator U-tubes. These tubes are supported by flat bars called anti-vibration bars (AVB) in the plane of the U-bend. Clearances between the tubes and the bars are designed to be minimal, but cumulative tolerances and manufacturing variations may lead to clearances larger than expected. Large clearances may result in ineffective support leading to in-plane and out-of-plane motion causing fretting-wear and impact abrasion. In the present work, the problem is investigated with a single two span tube, an anti-vibration bar at mid-span and a local excitation force. The dynamic behavior of a tube with simple supports at both ends and an anti-vibration bar at mid-span is characterized. The influence of clearance, preload and tilt of the support on the dynamics of the tube are investigated experimentally. The results indicate that the fretting-wear work-rate is very low with preloads, reaches a maximum around a zero clearance and diminish again for larger clearances. The tilt of the anti-vibration bar in our experiments seems to change the dynamic behavior of the tube.

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