Flow-induced vibration is an important criterion for the design of heat exchangers in nuclear, fossil, and chemical plants. Of the several known vibration excitation mechanisms, fluidelastic instability (FEI) is the most serious because it can cause tube failures in a relatively short period of time. Traditionally, FEI has been observed to occur in the direction transverse to the flow and antivibration bars have been used to stiffen the tubes against this motion. More recently, interest has increased in the possibility of FEI occurring in the streamwise direction, parallel to the flow. This is the subject of the present paper. Numerical simulations have been carried out to study the effects of tube-to-support clearance, tube sliding friction, tube-to-support preload, and ambient turbulence levels on the FEI threshold in the streamwise direction. As one would expect, increasing friction and tube preload against the support both tend to stabilize the tube against streamwise FEI. Importantly, the results also show that decreasing tube-support clearances destabilizes streamwise FEI while having little effect on transverse FEI. Increasing ambient turbulence levels also has the effect of destabilizing streamwise FEI.

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