Whittaker, R.J., Heil, M., Jensen, O.E., & Waters, S.L. (2009) The onset of high-frequency self-excited oscillations in elastic-walled tubes. Proceedings of the Royal Society A (submitted)

We present a theoretical description of flow-induced self-excited oscillations in the Starling resistor, a pre-stretched thin-walled elastic tube that is mounted on two rigid tubes and enclosed in a pressure chamber. Assuming that the flow through the elastic tube is driven by imposing the flow rate at the downstream end, we study the development of small-amplitude long-wavelength high-frequency oscillations, combining the results of two previous studies in which we analysed the fluid and solid mechanics of the problem in isolation. We derive a one-dimensional eigenvalue problem for the frequencies and mode shapes of the oscillations, and determine the slow growth or decay of the normal modes by considering the system's energy budget. We compare the theoretical predictions for the mode shapes, frequencies and growth rates with the results of direct numerical simulations, based on the solution of the three-dimensional Navier-Stokes equations, coupled to the equations of shell theory, and find good agreement between the results. Our results provide the first asymptotic predictions for the onset of self-excited oscillations in three-dimensional collapsible tube flows.

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