In the experimental determination of fluid-elastic stability thresholds in tube arrays, the critical flow velocity is normally approached from below. Once large amplitude whirling motions are initiated, however, the system often does not retrace the response curve as flow velocity is reduced. This hysteresis behavior has been the subject of a recent investigation utilizing a newly constructed wind tunnel facility at Memorial University. The post-stable response of a 1.375-pitch ratio parallel triangular array was first generated under steady flow conditions, with positive velocity increments to just beyond the threshold, then velocity reductions in steps back to stable amplitude levels. It was found that an array with 7 central flexible tubes displayed a fairly broad hysteresis loop, while the same array with only a single flexible tube displayed no hysteresis. The transition from steady stable response levels to steady unstable response levels was then investigated using two types of transient excitation: tube displacement and flow velocity. The effect of increasing tube damping was also investigated.

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