Vortex Induced Vibrations (VIV) can lead to fast accumulation of fatigue damage and increased drag loads on slender marine structures. A cylinder subjected to VIV can vibrate in both in-line (IL) and cross-flow (CF) directions. The CF response is dominated by the primary shedding frequency and the IL response frequency is often two times of the primary CF frequency. In addition, higher harmonics can also be present. The third order harmonics are more pronounced when the motion orbit of the cylinder is close to “figure 8″ shape and cylinder is moving against the flow at its largest transverse motion. Recent studies with flexible beam VIV tests have shown that higher harmonics can have significant contribution to the fatigue damage in addition to the loads at the primary shedding frequency. However, there is a lack of understanding of when and where higher harmonic loads occur. The fatigue damage due to the higher harmonics is not considered in the present VIV prediction tools.

In the present paper, the test data of selected cases subjected to linearly sheared flow profile from two test programs, the Shell high mode VIV test[11] and the Hanøytangen test[5] have been studied. The factors that may influence the occurrence of the higher harmonics, such as the bending stiffness, reduced velocity and orbits stability, have been studied. The importance of higher harmonics in VIV fatigue has also been investigated. Finally, a method to include higher harmonics in the fatigue calculation is presented.

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