Modeling and analysis of three-dimensional thermo-mechanical and multi-body contact problems in a CANDU ®3 uclear fuel element are presented in this paper. Each axisymmetric component in a fuel element is first modeled using the three-dimensional nine-node harmonic finite elements. All interior degrees of freedom (DOF's) in the component equations of equilibrium are subsequently eliminated through sub-structuring to formulate system equations in terms of small set of contact variables. The large scale multi-b…
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