Fluidelastic vibration of tube arrays caused by cross-flow has recently been highlighted by a practical event. There have been many studies on fluidelastic instability, but almost all works have been devoted to the tube-vibration in the transverse direction to the flow. For this reason, there are few data on the fluidelastic forces for the in-flow movement of the tubes, although the measured data on the stability boundary has gradually increased.
The most popular method to estimate the fluidelastic force is to measure the force acting on tubes due to the flow, combined with the movement of the tubes. However, this method does not give the physical explanation of the root-cause of fluidelastic instability.
In the work reported here, the in-flow instability is assumed to be a nonlinear phenomenon with a retarded or delayed action between adjacent tubes. The fluid force acting on tubes are estimated, based on the measured data in another paper for the fixed cylinders with distributed pressure sensors on the surface of the cylinders. The fluid force acting on the downstream-cylinder is assumed in this paper to have a delayed time basically based on the distance between the separation point of the upstream-cylinder to the re-attachment point, where the fluid flows with a certain flow velocity.
Two models are considered: a two-cylinder and three–cylinder models, based on the same dimensions as our experimental data to check the critical flow velocity. Both models show the same order of the critical flow velocity and a similar trend for the effect of the pitch-to-diameter ratio of the tube arrays, which indicates this analysis has a potential to explain the in-flow instability if an adequate fluid force is used.