VIBIC (Vibration of Beams with Intermittent Contacts) is a non-linear dynamics computer code developed and maintained by Atomic Energy of Canada Limited over the past 40 years in collaboration with universities. Its main application is the assessment of possible vibration damage to steam-generator and heat exchanger tubes. This assessment is done by performing simulations of the vibration response of beam-like structures to various flow-induced excitation mechanisms, such as turbulence buffeting, vortex shedding, and fluidelastic excitation. Fluidelastic excitation is potentially the most damaging flow-induced excitation mechanism. The fluidelastic effect has, until now, been incorporated in VIBIC using the frequency-based Connors model.
To properly perform a time-domain simulation of fluidelastic-induced vibration, a time-domain fluidelastic force model is needed. In the present work, a time-domain formulation of the fluidelastic forces based on the quasi-steady model is implemented in VIBIC. The time delay inherent to the quasi-steady model is taken into account by using a delayed displacement in the expression of the fluidelastic forces. The resulting modal equations are delay differential equations that are solved using a continuous extension of the Runge-Kutta method. Both linear and nonlinear fluid force models are incorporated. The fluidelastic instability results predicted by the models are compared to known theoretical and experimental results for validation. The predictions of the models are in good agreement with those results. The results given by the nonlinear quasi-steady fluidelastic forces are found to be more realistic than those of the linear quasi-steady fluidelastic forces. A realistic simulation of the post-instability behaviour is made possible through the use of the nonlinear fluidelastic forces.