Fluidelastic Instability of Heat Exchanger Tube Bundles: Review and Design Recommendations

[+] Author and Article Information
M. J. Pettigrew, C. E. Taylor

AECL Research, Chalk River Laboratories, Chalk River, Ontario, Canada

J. Pressure Vessel Technol 113(2), 242-256 (May 01, 1991) (15 pages) doi:10.1115/1.2928752 History: Received December 31, 1990; Online June 17, 2008


Fluidelastic instability is the most important vibration excitation mechanism for heat exchanger tube bundles subjected to cross-flow. Most of the available data on this topic have been reviewed from the perspective of the designer. Uniform definitions of critical flow velocity for instability, damping, natural frequency and hydrodynamic mass were used. Nearly 300 data points were assembled. We found that only data from experiments where all tubes are free to vibrate are valid from a design point of view. In liquids, fluid damping is important and should be considered in the formulation of fluidelastic instability. From a practical design point of view, we conclude that fluidelastic instability may be expressed simply in terms of dimensionless flow velocity and dimensionless mass-damping. There is no advantage in considering more sophisticated models at this time. Practical design guidelines are discussed.

Copyright © 1991 by The American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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