Much effort in the past half century has been made to explain the role of damping in the prediction of VIV. Scruton (1965), Griffin et al. (1975), Klamo, et al. (2005) and Govardhan & Williamson (2006) all made significant contributions. None fully characterized the role of damping in governing the response over the full range reduced velocities, which encompass the wake synchronized region. In 2012 Vandiver devised a way to do that with a new damping parameter c*. His results were verified using 2D spring-mounted cylinders in uniform flow.
The primary objective of the research described in this paper is to find a c* -like quantity for flexible cylinders, which is capable of organizing response data for flexible cylinders, which may have many modes, be exposed to sheared flows and possess spatially varying properties, such as the coverage of strakes and fairings. Data from a recent high mode VIV model test campaign conducted by SHELL Exploration and Production Company are used to illustrate the application of c* to flexible cylinders. It is shown that, if one accounts for Reynolds number, the response of flexible cylinders with varying strake coverage in the SHELL Tests collapse onto a single curve.