We describe recent results showing the dynamic response, excited by vortex shedding, of a long flexible cylinder subject to a stepped current. The experiments were conducted at the Naval Architecture Department towing tank of the Technical University of Madrid (UPM) during March 2012. The tank is 100 m long with a cross-section of 3.8 × 2.5 m, and it is able to deliver speeds over 4 m/s. A supporting structure was designed in order to provide support for a 3 m long cylinder with an external diameter of 19 mm. The cylinder was instrumented with strain gauges providing curvature measurements in the in-line and the cross-flow directions at 11 locations along its length. Tension and drag forces were also measured at both ends of the model. More than 50 runs were conducted with the cylinder being placed vertically having its lower 65% length under the water free surface, connected to the structure by means of universal joints. The supporting structure allowed to configure different top end conditions and to apply different top tensions. Tests were conducted for Reynolds numbers as high as 34000. The cylinder had a low flexural stiffness and very low mass ratio m* of 0.67. Fundamental natural frequencies were in the range from about 4 to 7.9 Hz, and the cylinder responded in modes up to the third cross-flow. In this article we will describe the experiments and the instrumentation used, the modal tests conducted and the results obtained during the experiments.

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