A first experimental work was previously carried out to study the dynamic behavior of a tube simply supported at both ends in interaction with an anti-vibration bar at mid-span. This paper presents modifications to the previous setup with the aim of improving the accuracy of the results. A comparison of the dynamic behavior of the tube is made between both setups. The objective of this experimental study is to characterize the vibration behavior of U-tubes found in steam generators of nuclear power plants. Indeed, two-phase cross-flow in the U-tubes section of steam generators can cause many problems related to vibration. In fact, flow-induced vibration of the U-tubes can cause impacts or rubbing of the tubes against their flat bar supports. Variation of the clearance between the AVB and the U-tubes may lead to ineffective supports. The resulting in-plane and out-of-plane motions of the tubes are causing fretting-wear and impact abrasion. In this study, the clearance between the tube and the AVB, as well as the amplitude, form and frequency of the excitation force are controlled parameters. The first two modes of the tube are studied. The modifications made to the setup lead to significant improvements in the results. The natural frequencies of both setups are compared to theoretical values. The difference between experimental and theoretical frequencies confirms that the new setup better represents the theoretical model of a simply supported tube. The damping of both setups is also compared to values found in literature. The results show that the new setup is more representative of realistic steam generator situations. Compared to the first setup, the displacements of the new setup clearly indicate that the movement of the tube is mostly parallel to the flat bar and in the same direction as the excitation force. The whirling motion of the tube is prevented in the new setup. The accuracy of the contact force as a function of clearance was also improved. The use of more sensitive force sensors helped to reduce the noise level of the contact force. Finally, the dynamic interaction between the tube and the AVB, defined by the fretting wear work-rate, presents a more consistent behavior. The maximum work-rate occurs when the tube is excited around the second mode for clearance between −0.10 and 0.00 mm. Such clearance between the tube and the AVB should then be avoided to minimize fretting damage.

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