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Methods for numerical study of tube bundle vibrations in cross-flows

type de publication      article dans une revue internationale avec comité de lecture
date de publication 2003
auteur(s) Longatte Elisabeth; Bendjeddou Zaky; Souli Mhamed
journal Journal of Fluids and Structures
volume (numéro) 18 (5)
pages 513 – 528
résumé In many industrial applications, mechanical structures like heat exchanger tube bundles are subjected to complex flows causing possible vibrations and damage. Part of fluid forces are coupled with tube motion and the so-called fluid-elastic forces can affect the structure dynamic behaviour generating possible instabilities and leading to possible short term failures through high amplitude vibrations. Most classical fluid force identification methods rely on structure response experimental measurements associated with convenient data processes. Owing to recent improvements in Computational Fluid Dynamics, numerical simulation of flow-induced vibrations is now practicable for industrial purposes. The present paper is devoted to the numerical identification of fluid-elastic effects affecting tube bundle motion in presence of fluid at rest and one-phase cross-flows. What is the numerical process? When fluid-elastic effects are not significant and are restricted to added mass effects, there is no strong coupling between structure and fluid motions. The structure displacement is not supposed to affect flow patterns. Thus it is possible to solve flow and structure problems separately by using a fixed nonmoving mesh for the fluid dynamic computation. Power spectral density and time record of lift and drag forces acting on tube bundles can be computed numerically by using an unsteady fluid computation involving for example a large Eddy simulation. Fluid force spectra or time record can then be introduced as inlet conditions into the structure code providing the tube dynamic response generated by flow. Such a computation is not possible in presence of strong flow structure coupling. When fluid-elastic effects cannot be neglected, in presence of tube bundles subjected to cross-flows for example, a coupling between flow and structure computations is required. Appropriate numerical methods are investigated in the present work. The purpose is to be able to provide a numerical estimate of the critical flow velocity for the threshold of fluid-elastic instability of tube bundle without experimental investigation. The methodology consists in simulating in the same time thermohydraulics and mechanics problems by using an arbitrary Lagrange Euler (ALE) formulation for the fluid computation. A fully coupled numerical approach is suggested and applied to the numerical prediction of the vibration frequency of a flexible tube belonging to a fixed tube bundle in fluid at rest or in flow. Numerical results turn out to be consistent with available experimental data obtained in the same configuration. This work is a first step in the definition of a computational process for the full numerical prediction of tube bundle vibrations induced by flows.
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