High fidelity simulation and validation of crossflow through a tube bundle and the onset of vibration Academic Article uri icon


  • 2019 Elsevier Ltd Flow induced vibrations can be detrimental to all manner of engineering applications with fluid flow. Heat exchangers with bundles of thin tubes experiencing a crossflow are especially susceptible to the unexpected onset of vibration. Heat-exchanger design necessarily involves extensive modeling and testing to ensure that significant vibrations cannot develop for any expected flow conditions. A properly validated numerical simulation can work in conjunction with physical experiments to identify problematic vibrations and allow for rapid iteration of design at relatively low expense. A high-fidelity fluidstructure interaction code has been developed by fully coupling CFD LES/DNS code Nek5000 and CSM code Diablo. The coupled code is used to simulate crossflow through a tube bundle in a geometry recreated after a physical experiment. Validation against this experiment involves comparing the amplitude and frequency spectrum for three different flow velocities. The velocities compared straddle the onset of large magnitude vibrations. The simulation accurately captures the onset of the vibrations with a marginally lower predicted frequency of vibration. When the onset velocity is compensated for the difference in natural frequency, the simulation results closely match the experiment. The continuous nature of the simulation measurements helps illustrate the fluid mechanics behind the pin motion and reveals the front to back propagation of the vibrations as the fluid velocity increases.

published proceedings


author list (cited authors)

  • Brockmeyer, L., Merzari, E., Solberg, J., Karazis, K., & Hassan, Y.

citation count

  • 8

complete list of authors

  • Brockmeyer, Landon||Merzari, Elia||Solberg, Jerome||Karazis, Kostas||Hassan, Yassin

publication date

  • December 2019