Research Papers: Fluid-Structure Interaction

The Effect of Fins on Fluidelastic Instability in In-Line and Rotated Square Tube Arrays

[+] Author and Article Information
Robert H. Lumsden1

Department of Mechanical Engineering, McMaster University, Hamilton, ON, L8S 4L7, Canadalumsdenr@aecl.ca

David S. Weaver

Department of Mechanical Engineering, McMaster University, Hamilton, ON, L8S 4L7, Canadaweaverds@mcmaster.ca


Corresponding author. Present address: Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd., Chalk River Laboratories, Chalk River, ON, K0J 1J0, Canada.

J. Pressure Vessel Technol 132(5), 051302 (Aug 31, 2010) (6 pages) doi:10.1115/1.4001201 History: Received June 12, 2009; Revised December 08, 2009; Published August 31, 2010; Online August 31, 2010

An experimental program was conducted to examine fluidelastic instability in in-line and rotated square finned tube arrays. Three arrays of each geometry type were studied: two with serrated, helically wound finned tubes of different fin densities and the third is a bare tube, which had the same base diameter as the finned tubes. The finned tubes under consideration were commercial finned tubes of a type typically used in the fossil and process industries. The addition of fins to tubes in heat exchangers enhances heat transfer due to the increased surface area and the turbulence produced by the flow moving over the fins. The resulting flow pattern/distribution due to the fins is, therefore, more complex than in bare tube arrays. Previous research has shown that an effective diameter of a finned tube is useful in the prediction of vortex shedding. This concept is used to compare the finned tube results with the existing bare tube array guidelines for fluidelastic instability. All of the tube arrays in the present study have the same tube pitch and have been scaled to have the same mass ratio. The results for rotated square arrays suggest that the use of an effective diameter is beneficial in the scaling of fluidelastic instability and the finned tube results are found to fit within the scatter of the existing data for fluidelastic instability. For in-line square arrays, the results indicate that fins significantly increase the stability threshold. An earlier version of this paper appeared at the ASME 2007 PVP Division Conference, PVP2007-26597.

Copyright © 2010 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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Figure 1

Test sections: (a) in-line square and (b) rotated square arrays (6). Note: fixed tubes are indicated by a solid center.

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Figure 2

Test tube support, monitored tubes

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Figure 3

Photo of finned tubes under investigation: (a) 3.3 fpi and (b) 5.7 fpi

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Figure 4

Geometry of finned tubes

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Figure 5

In-line square array: (a) bare tubes, (b) 3.3 fpi, and (c) 5.7 fpi—◼ 1, ● 2, ▲ 3, and ▼ 4 (refer to Fig. 1)

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Figure 6

Rotated square array (a) bare tubes, (b) 3.3 fpi, and (c) 5.7 fpi—◼ 5, ● 6, ▲ 7, and ▼ 8 (refer to Fig. 1)

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Figure 7

In-line square arrays ▶ bare, ◀ 3.3 fpi, and ▼ 5.7 fpi (adapted from Ref. 3)

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Figure 8

Rotated square arrays ▶ bare, ◀ 3.3 fpi, and ▼ 5.7 fpi (adapted from Ref. 3)



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