Fluidelastic instability is generally regarded as the most severe type of flow excitation mechanism. When this mechanism prevails, it could cause serious damage to tube arrays in a very short period of time. This mechanism is characterized by a critical flow velocity beyond which the tubes undergo unstable oscillations. Recently, a number of experimental investigations showed that it is possible to have instability in the streamwise direction; previously, it was believed that fluidelastic instability was only a concern in the direction transverse to the flow.

The purpose of this study is to characterize the flow in the channels surrounding a vibrating tube in a normal triangular bundle with P/d = 1.5. The tube is oscillating in the streamwise direction with a constant amplitude. Numerical simulations were conducted by solving the unsteady Reynolds Averaged Navier-Stokes equations (uRANS) cast in Arbitrary Lagrangian-Eulerian (ALE) form. The unsteady flow perturbation is estimated along the flow channel. The pressure perturbation is used to compute the streamwise unsteady force coefficients in the context of Chen’s model. The perturbation phase and decay are extracted and utilized in the framework of the Lever & Weaver model to study the stability of tube bundles due to tube motion in the streamwise direction.

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