This paper investigates the coupled mechanics of a fluid-conveying microtube embedded inside an elastic medium and subject to a pretension. The fluid-structure interaction model of the microsystem is developed based on Lagrange’s equations for the open system of a clamped-clamped microtube. A continuation model is used to examine the nonlinear mechanics of this microsystem prior to and beyond losing stability; the growth and the response in the supercritical regime is analysed. It is shown that the microtube stays stable prior to losing stability at the so-called critical flow velocity; beyond that point, the amplitude of the buckled microsystem grows with the velocity of the flowing fluid. The effects of different system parameters such as the linear and nonlinear stiffness coefficients of the elastic medium as well as the length-scale parameter and the slenderness ratio of the microtube on the critical speeds and the post-buckling behaviour are analysed.
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