Laboratory experiments were conducted to determine the flow-induced vibration response and fluidelastic instability threshold of a model heat exchanger tube bundle subjected to a cross-flow of refrigerant 11. Tube bundles were specially built with cantilevered tubes mounted on asymmetric supports so that the stiffness in the streamwise direction was about double that of the transverse direction. This was designed to simulate the tube dynamics in the U-bend region of a recirculating-type nuclear steam generator. Three model tube bundles were tested, one with a pitch ratio of 1.49 and two with a smaller pitch ratio of 1.33. The primary intent of the research was to improve our understanding of the flow-induced vibrations of heat exchanger tube arrays subjected to two-phase cross-flow. Of particular concern was to compare the effect of the asymmetric support stiffness on the fluidelastic stability threshold with that of symmetric stiffness arrays tested most prominently in the literature. The experimental results are analysed and compared with existing data from the literature using various definitions of two-phase fluid parameters. The fluidelastic stability thresholds of the present study agree well with results from previous studies for single phase flow. In two-phase flow, the comparison of the stability data depends upon the definition of two-phase flow velocity.

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