A Theoretical Model for Fluid-Elastic Instability in Heat Exchanger Tube Bundles

[+] Author and Article Information
J. H. Lever, D. S. Weaver

Department of Mechanical Engineering, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada

J. Pressure Vessel Technol 104(3), 147-158 (Aug 01, 1982) (12 pages) doi:10.1115/1.3264196 History: Received March 08, 1982; Online November 05, 2009


A simple theoretical model has been developed from first principles for the fluid-elastic instability in heat exchanger tube bundles. A series of experiments were conducted to verify the basic assumption that only a single tube need be modeled in a flow channel which preserves the basic geometry of the array. The mechanism of instability is found to be one of flow redistribution due to tube motion and a phase lag resulting from fluid inertia. Quite good agreement is found with available experimental data for a parallel triangular array without the need for empirical fluid force coefficients. The model includes the effects of tube array pattern and pitch.

Copyright © 1982 by ASME
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