Turbulent flow induced pipe vibration is a phenomenon that has been observed but not fully characterized. This thesis presents research involving numerical simulations that have been used to characterize pipe vibration resulting from fully developed turbulent flow. The vibration levels as indicated by: pipe surface displacement, velocity, and acceleration are characterized in terms of the parameters that exert influence. The influences of geometric and material properties of the pipe are investigated for pipe thickness in the range 1 to 8 mm at a diameter of 0.1015 m. The effects of pipe elastic modulus are explored from 3 to 200 GPa. The range of pipe densities investigated is 3,000 to 12,000 kg/m3. All pipe parameters are varied for both a short pipe (length to diameter ratio = 3) and a long pipe (length to diameter ratio = 24). Further, the effects of varying flow velocity, fluid density and fluid viscosity are also explored for Reynolds numbers ranging from 9.1x104 to 1.14x106. A large eddy simulation fluid model has been coupled with a finite element structural model to simulate the fluid structure interaction using both one-way and two-way coupled techniques. The results indicate a strong, nearly quadratic dependence of pipe wall acceleration on average fluid velocity. This relationship has also been verified in experimental investigations of pipe vibration. The results also indicate the pipe wall acceleration is inversely dependant on wall thickness and has a power-law type dependence on several other variables. The short pipe and long pipe models exhibit fundamentally different behavior. The short pipe is not sensitive to dynamic effects and responds primarily through shell modes of vibration. The long pipe is influenced by dynamic effects and responds through bending modes. Dependencies on the investigated variables have been non-dimensionalized and assembled to develop a functional relationship that characterizes turbulence induced pipe vibration in terms of the relevant parameters. The functional relationships are presented for both the long and short pipe models. The functional relationships can be used in applications including non-intrusive flow measurement techniques. These findings also have applications in developing design tools in pipe systems where vibration is a problem.



College and Department

Ira A. Fulton College of Engineering and Technology; Mechanical Engineering



Date Submitted


Document Type





les, turbulence, pipe, flow, turbulent, vibration