In this paper we address the issue of generating, from the spectral and spatial parameters of turbulent flow excitations, time-domain random excitations suitable for performing representative nonlinear numerical simulations of the dynamical responses of flow-excited tubes with multiple clearance supports. The new method proposed in this work, which is anchored in a sound physical basis, can effectively deal with non-uniform turbulent flows, which display significant changes in their spatial excitation properties. Contrary to the classic Shinozuka technique, which generates a large set of correlated physical forces, the proposed method directly generates a set of correlated modal forces. Our approach is particularly effective leading to a much smaller number of generated time-histories than would be needed using physical forces to simulate the turbulence random field. In the case of strongly non-uniform flows, our approach allows for a suitable decomposition of the flow velocity profile, so that the spectral properties of the turbulence excitation are modeled in a consistent manner. The proposed method for simulating turbulence excitations is faster than Shinozuka’s technique by two orders of magnitude. Also, in the framework of our modal computational approach, nonlinear computations are faster, because no modal projection of physical turbulent forces is needed. After presenting the theoretical background and the details of the proposed simulation method, we illustrate it with representative linear and nonlinear computations performed on a multi-supported tube.

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