This paper presents a new method for monitoring systems with direct coupling of measurement data and a finite element model of a mechanical component. In the presented first case study the measurement data received from a monitoring system is coupled with a finite element model developed in Code_Aster, showing the possibility of minimizing the efforts of data-model coupling on complex components.

A thermo-mechanical calculation of a generic regenerative heat exchanger of a nuclear power plant will be used as an example to describe the opportunities and the limitations of the use of numerical simulation in modern monitoring systems. The experimental measurements and the thermo-mechanical numerical simulation process will be presented. The projection hypothesis that allows the transition from locally measured temperature to the numerical model will be described. The relation between computing time, sampling rate of the data acquisition system and refinement of the numerical mesh will be analyzed and discussed in terms of computation perspective.

The paper explains how the measurement data can be projected on the mesh of a mechanical component with Code_Aster and how the numerical simulation can be fed on the measurement data. In an outlook, the use of this method in future monitoring systems will be discussed under consideration of real world problems and applications in nuclear power stations.

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