Fluidelastic instability (FEI) produces large amplitude self-excited vibrations close to the natural frequency of the structure. For fluidelastic instability caused by the damping controlled mechanism, there is a time delay between tube motion and the resulting fluid forces but magnitude and physical cause of this is unclear. This study measures the time delay between tube motion and the resulting fluid forces in a normal triangular tube array with a pitch ratio of 1.32 subject to air cross-flow. The instrumented cylinder was forced to oscillate in the lift direction at three excitation frequencies for a range of flow velocities. Unsteady surface pressures were monitored with a sample frequency of 2 kHz at the mid plane of the instrumented cylinder. The instantaneous fluid forces were obtained by integrating the surface pressure data. A time delay between the tube motion and resulting fluid forces was obtained. The nondimensionalized time delay was of the same order of magnitude assumed in the semi-empirical quasi-steady model (i.e., τ2 = 0.29 d/U). Although, further work is required to provide a parameterized model of the time delay which can be embedded in a model of damping controlled fluidelastic forces, the data already provides some insight into the physical mechanism responsible.

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