volume flow rate, pipe vibration


Flow-induced pipe vibration caused by fully developed pipe flow has been observed but not fully investigated when turbulent flow prevails. This article presents experimental results that indicate a strong correlation between the volume flow rate and a measure of the pipe vibration. In this work, the standard deviation of the frequency-averaged time-series signal, measured using an accelerometer attached to the pipe, is used as the measure of pipe vibration. A numerical, fluid-structure interaction (FSI) model used to investigate the relationship between pipe wall vibration and the physical characteristics of turbulent flow is also presented. This numerical FSI approach, unlike commercial FSI software packages, which are based on Reynolds averaged Navier-Stokes flow models, is based on large eddy simulation (LES) flow models that compute the instantaneous pressure fluctuations in turbulent flow. The results from the numerical LES models also indicate a strong correlation between pipe vibration and flow rate. In general, the numerical simulations show that the standard deviation of the pipe wall vibration is proportional to the pressure fluctuations at the wall induced by the flow turbulence. This research, indicates that the pressure fluctuations on the pipe wall have a near quadratic relationship with the flow rate. Furthermore, the experimental results and the numerical modeling show that there is a definite relationship between the acceleration of the pipe (pipe vibration) and the flow rate. These last two concepts open possible avenues for the development of a non-intrusive flow sensor.

Original Publication Citation

Pittard, Matthew T., Robert P. Evans, Daniel R. Maynes, and Jonathan D. Blotter. "Experimental and numerical investigation of turbulent flow induced pipe vibration in fully developed flow." Review of Scientific Instruments 75 (24): 2393-241.

Document Type

Peer-Reviewed Article

Publication Date


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Ira A. Fulton College of Engineering and Technology


Mechanical Engineering