Vortex-induced vibration (VIV) tests have been performed on long, flexible pipes with fairings in sheared flows in a circular towing tank at prototype Reynolds numbers for production risers [1]. It is discovered that there existed strong attenuation of the vibration responses for the test configuration with fairings placed in the strong current zone, compared to the pipe configuration without any fairings. Wave attenuation is typical when waves travel in systems with dissipation. Strong attenuation is an indication of large damping. Additional pluck tests of pipes with fairings in still water were conducted to determine damping in the system in a quantitative manner. The results, though scattered, provide evidence on the level of damping that could exist in structures with fairings. Furthermore, analytical models based on a Green’s function solution and mode superposition method for a taut string were also used to complement experimental data. A range of damping values was considered to find the damping value for which the level of attenuation matched that of the experiments. It is found that this damping value is close to that from the tests.

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