VIV response of a flexible cylinder with varied coverage by buoyancy elements and helical strakes Academic Article uri icon


  • Many significant engineering challenges have emerged as the petroleum industry has moved their field development and production activities into increasingly deeper water depths. The design of deepwater marine risers presents the combined challenges to minimize top tensioning requirements, mitigate any flow-induced vibrations, and if possible to increase the expected fatigue life of these slender structural members. As part of the design process to achieve these goals external buoyancy modules and strakes have been employed. To gain insight into the complex multi-mode response behavior a recent experimental study was performed and the analysis of selected data sets is presented. In the experiments a horizontal cylinder with a length to diameter ratio of 263 was fitted with a variety of strake and buoyancy element configurations. The models were towed at uniform speeds ranging from 0.4 to 2.0m/s and fiber optic strain gages were used to measure both in-line and cross-flow strain response. The resulting time series information was processed utilizing the method of time domain decomposition formulated for strain data input and the introduction of modal assurance criterion to resolve the modal strain information that included frequency, mode shape, and critical damping ratio information. The pre-tensioned cylinder without appendages was used as a base case and the results were basically consistent with expectations. In the case of 0.8m/s low-tension test, multiple closely spaced non-overlapping peaks were observed in both in-line and cross-flow directions and were identified as being of the same mode with mode shapes distorted away from purely sinusoidal behavior. The test data for the 100% coverage by helical stakes demonstrated the effectiveness of that suppression device over the range of current velocities investigated. The most interesting case was that of a staggered combination of helical strakes and buoyancy element whose total for each type of coverage was equal. This effective asymmetric VIV suppression approach is presented and discussed in detail. 2014 Elsevier Ltd.

published proceedings


author list (cited authors)

  • Fang, S. M., Niedzwecki, J. M., Fu, S., Li, R., & Yang, J.

citation count

  • 26

complete list of authors

  • Fang, Sam M||Niedzwecki, John M||Fu, Shixiao||Li, Runpei||Yang, Jianmin

publication date

  • January 2014