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Wind and Structures
  Volume 23, Number 2, August 2016, pages 157-169

Simulations of fluidelastic forces and fretting wear in U-bend tube bundles of steam generators: Effect of tube-support conditions
Marwan Hassan and Atef Mohany

    The structural integrity of tube bundles represents a major concern when dealing with high risk industries, such as nuclear steam generators, where the rupture of a tube or tubes will lead to the undesired mixing of the primary and secondary fluids. Flow-induced vibration is one of the major concerns that could compromise the structural integrity. The vibration is caused by fluid flow excitation. While there are several excitation mechanisms that could contribute to these vibrations, fluidelastic instability is generally regarded as the most severe. When this mechanism prevails, it could cause serious damage to tube arrays in a very short period of time. The tubes are therefore stiffened by means of supports to avoid these vibrations. To accommodate the thermal expansion of the tube, as well as to facilitate the installation of these tube bundles, clearances are allowed between the tubes and their supports. Progressive tube wear and chemical cleaning gradually increases the clearances between the tubes and their supports, which can lead to more frequent and severe tube/support impact and rubbing. These increased impacts can lead to tube damage due to fatigue and/or wear at the support locations. This paper presents simulations of a loosely supported multi-span U- bend tube subjected to turbulence and fluidelastic instability forces. The mathematical model for the loosely-supported tubes and the fluidelastic instability model is presented. The model is then utilized to simulate the nonlinear response of a U-bend tube with flat bar supports subjected to cross-flow. The effect of the support clearance as well as the support offset are investigated. Special attention is given to the tube/support interaction parameters that affect wear, such as impact and normal work rate.
Key Words
    flow-induced vibrations; fluidelastic instability; impact; friction; loosely-supported tubes; nuclear steam generators
Marwan Hassan: School of Engineering, University of Guelph, Guelph, Ontario, Canada
Atef Mohany: Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Ontario Institute of Technology,
Oshawa, Ontario, Canada

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