This paper presents experimental results concerning the response of circular cylinders with and without strakes. The longitudinal and transverse fluid forces (drag and lift), amplitude response and wake structures of plain and helically straked cylinders are compared. Six different configurations of straked cylinders with pitches (p) equal to 5D, 10D and 15D and heights (h) equal to 0.1D and 0.2D are investigated. Measurements on the dynamic response oscillations of an isolated plain and straked cylinders and flow visualization employing a PIV system are shown. Fixed cylinder drag measurements are also shown. The models are mounted on an elastic base fitted with flexor blades and instrumented with strain gauges or in an air bearing base. The base is fixed on the test-section of a water channel facility. The flexor blades possess a low-damping and the flexor blades base an the air bearing base are free to oscillate only in the cross-flow direction. The Reynolds number of the experiments ranges from 2000 to 10000, and reduced velocities, based on natural frequency in still water, vary up to 13. The drag coefficient is increased by 20% for the h = 0.1D cylinder, and 60% for the h = 0.2D cylinder, comparing both with the plain cylinder. The smaller height strokes (h = 0.1D) do not prevent vortex formation in the region very close to the body, resulting in a decrease of about 50% of the amplitude response compared with the plain cylinder. Lowest amplitude response was found to the p = 10D and h = 0.2D case. The analysis of the vorticity contours shows that the shear layer does not roll close to the body (same result for the other cases with h = 0.2D).

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