Leakage Flow-Induced Vibrations of Heat Exchanger Fins

[+] Author and Article Information
D. S. Weaver

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

X. Y. Huang

School of Mechanical and Production Engineering, Nan yang Technological University, Singapore

J. Pressure Vessel Technol 114(4), 453-458 (Nov 01, 1992) (6 pages) doi:10.1115/1.2929254 History: Received November 12, 1991; Revised May 18, 1992; Online June 17, 2008


The failure of a number of fins of a large two-stage reciprocating compressor intercooler was studied. It appeared that leakage flow across the ends of the fins excited the vibrations and eventually led to fatigue failure. A series of simple laboratory tests were conducted to confirm this excitation mechanism. It is seen that the fins may be excited to resonance by coupling with the shear layer oscillations in several ways. The heat exchanger problem was cured by using sealing strips to prevent the leakage flow.

Copyright © 1992 by The American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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