The effect of gaps present in the seismic supports of nuclear piping systems has been studied with the use of such large general-purpose analysis codes as ANSYS. Exact analytical solutions to two simple beam-impact problems are obtained to serve as benchmarks for the evaluation of the ability of such codes to model impact between beam elements and their supports. Bernoulli-Euler beam theory and modal analysis are used to obtain analytical solutions for the motion of simply supported and fixed-end beams after impact with a spring support at midspan. The solutions are valid up to the time the beam loses contact with the spring support. Numerical results are obtained which show that convergence for both contact force and bending moment at the point of impact is slower as spring stiffness is increased. Finite element solutions obtained with ANSYS are compared to analytical results and good agreement is obtained.

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