Research Papers: Fluid-Structure Interaction

A Probabilistic Assessment Technique Applied to a Cracked Heat Exchanger Tube Subjected to Flow-Induced Vibration

[+] Author and Article Information
Brady T. Vincent

 Babcock & Wilcox Canada, Cambridge, ON, Canada N1R 3E9bvincent@babcock.com

Marwan A. Hassan

Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of New Brunswick, Fredericton, NB, Canada E3B 5A3hassanm@unb.ca

Robert J. Rogers

Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of New Brunswick, Fredericton, NB, Canada E3B 5A3rjr@unb.ca

J. Pressure Vessel Technol 131(3), 031305 (Apr 13, 2009) (6 pages) doi:10.1115/1.3109989 History: Received October 19, 2007; Revised October 01, 2008; Published April 13, 2009

Flow-induced vibration is a common phenomenon in shell-and-tube heat exchangers. The resulting vibration can lead to component failure by fretting wear due to tube-to-tube support impact or by fatigue. Due to manufacturing considerations, many parameters such as support clearance, alignment, and friction at the supports are not exactly known and are represented by statistical distributions. This makes the use of deterministic equations inaccurate. This paper presents a methodology that can be used during component operation to monitor known flaws and ensure safe operation. The methodology incorporates Monte Carlo simulations to predict remaining service life of a vibrating heat exchanger tube with a small circumferential through-wall crack next to the tube sheet. Vibration excitation includes turbulence and low-level fluid-elastic forces. Leakage calculations are made on the through-wall crack as it grows to fracture. A Weibull distribution is given for the time-to-fracture and for the time for the leak rate to reach a threshold value. This statistical information can then be used to assess the remaining service life and whether LBB criteria will be met.

Copyright © 2009 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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Figure 2

Vibration response in lift direction in channel 4 with different support friction factors and radial clearances: (a) 0.155 mm, (b) 0.236 mm, and (c) 0.315 mm.

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Figure 1

Tube geometry (adapted from Hassan (19))

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Figure 3

Clearance distribution at the supports

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Figure 4

(a) Crack growth rate and (b) leak rate for all Monte Carlo simulations

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Figure 5

Weibull distribution for time-to-fracture

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Figure 6

Time-to-fracture versus clearance at support 1



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