A refined analytical model is presented for the dynamics of a cantilevered pipe conveying fluid and constrained by motion limiting restraints. Calculations with the discretized form of this model with a progressively increasing number of degrees of freedom, N, show that convergence is achieved with N = 4 or 5, which agrees with previously performed fractal dimension calculations of experimental data. Theory shows that, beyond the Hopf bifurcation, as the flow is increased, a pitchfork bifurcation is followed by a cascade of period doubling bifurcations leading to chaos, which is in qualitative agreement with observation. The numerically computed theoretical critical flow velocities are in excellent quantitative agreement (5–10 percent) with experimental values for the thresholds of the Hopf and period doubling bifurcations and for the onset of chaos. An approximation for the critical flow velocity for the loss of stability of the post-Hopf limit cycle is also obtained by using center manifold concepts and normal form techniques for a simplified version of the analytical model; it is found that the values obtained in this manner are approximately within 10 percent of those computed numerically.

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