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Experimental study on cross-flow induced vibrations in heat exchanger tube bundle

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Vibration in heat exchangers is one of the main problems that the industry has faced over last few decades. Vibration phenomenon in heat exchangers is of major concern for designers and process engineers since it can lead to the tube damage, tube leakage, baffle damage, tube collision damage, fatigue, creep etc. In the present study, vibration response is analyzed on single tube located in the centre of the tube bundle having parallel triangular arrangement (60°) with P/D ratio of 1.44. The experiment is performed for two different flow conditions. This kind of experiment has not been reported in the literature. Under the first condition, the tube vibration response is analyzed when there is no internal flow in the tube and under the second condition, the response is analyzed when the internal tube flow is maintained at a constant value of 0.1 m/s. The free stream shell side velocity ranges from 0.8 m/s to 1.3 m/s, the reduced gap velocity varies from 1.80 to 2.66 and the Reynolds number varies from 44500 to 66000. It is observed that the internal tube flow results in larger vibration amplitudes for the tube than that without internal tube flow. It is also established that over the current range of shell side flow velocity, the turbulence is the dominant excitation mechanism for producing vibration in the tube since the amplitude varies directly with the increase in the shell side velocity. Damping has no significant effect on the vibration behavior of the tube for the current velocity range.

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The authors gratefully acknowledge the financial and technical support of University of Engineering and Technology, Taxila for carrying out the research.

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Correspondence to Luqman Ahmad Nizam.

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Khushnood, S., Nizam, L.A. Experimental study on cross-flow induced vibrations in heat exchanger tube bundle. China Ocean Eng 31, 91–97 (2017).

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