Experimental investigation on vortex shedding and fluid elastic instability in finned tube arrays subjected to water cross flow

[+] Author and Article Information
Sandeep Rangrao Desai

Rajarambapu Institute of Technology, Islampur, Maharahstra, India, 415414

S Pavitran

Mechanical Engineering Department, Vihwakarma Institute of Technology, Pune, Maharahstra, India, 400036

1Corresponding author.

ASME doi:10.1115/1.4037263 History: Received August 20, 2016; Revised June 20, 2017


The paper presents results of an experimental study on fluid elastic instability and vortex shedding in plain and finned arrays exposed to water cross flow. The parallel triangular array with cantilever end condition is considered for the study. Pitch ratios considered are 2.1 and 2.6 while fin densities considered are 4 fpi (fins per inch) and 10 fpi. The results for critical velocity at instability for two finned tube arrays are presented. Apart from results on fluid elastic vibration behavior, extensive results on vortex shedding are also presented to study the phenomenon in subjected to water cross flow. The test parameters measured are water flow rate, natural frequency and vibration amplitudes of the tubes. The datum case results were first obtained by testing plain arrays with pitch ratios 2.1 and 2.6. This was then followed by experiments with finned arrays with pitch ratios 2.1 and 2.6, and each with two different fin densities. The higher pitch ratios typical of chemical process industries resulted into delayed instability threshold due to weak hydrodynamic coupling between the neighboring tubes. The results indicated that finned arrays are more stable in water cross flow compared to plain arrays. The Strouhal numbers corresponding to small peaks observed before fluid elastic instability are computed and compared with the expected ones according to Owen's hypothesis. It was concluded that peaks observed are attributed to vortex shedding observed for all the arrays tested in water.

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