This paper addresses a practical problem: “Under which coverage of buoyancy modules, would the Vortex Induced Vibration (VIV) excitation on buoyant segments dominate the response?” This paper explores the excitation competition between bare and buoyant segments of a 38 meter long model riser. The source of data is a recent model test, conducted by SHELL Exploration and Production at the MARINTEK Ocean Basin in Trondheim Norway. A pipe model with five buoyancy configurations was tested.
The results of these tests show that (1) the excitation on the bare and buoyant regions could be identified by frequency, because the bare and buoyant regions are associated with two different frequencies due to the different diameters; (2) a new phenomenon was observed; A third frequency in the spectrum is found not to be a multiple of the frequency associated with either bare or buoyancy regions, but the sum of the frequency associated with bare region and twice of the frequency associated with buoyancy region; (3) the contribution of the response at this third frequency to the total amplitude is small; (4) the power dissipated by damping at each excitation frequency is the metric used to determine the winner of excitation competition. For most buoyancy configurations, the excitation on buoyancy regions dominates the VIV response; (5) a formula is proposed to predict the winner of the excitation competition between bare and buoyant segments for a given buoyancy coverage.