The VIV oscillations of marine risers are known to increase drag, and lead to structural fatigue. One proven method of suppressing this vibration is the use of fairings and strakes. These coverings essentially modify the flow along the cylinder, tripping the production of Karman vortices so that they act less coherently or far enough downstream so they interact less with the body.

The Norwegian Deepwater Programme (NDP) has conducted a project with the objective to develop and qualify effective low drag fairing concepts with respect to VIV mitigation and galloping. Furthermore, emphasis is put on easy handling and installation.

This paper describes the work and findings in an early phase of the development. This includes small scale model test campaigns. In addition to the bare riser for reference, the behaviour and performance of a total of 10 different fairing concepts are evaluated. Free oscillation tests are performed in a towing tank, where 2D fairings were tested in a pendulum set-up. The set-up enables free vibrations in up to 3 DOF (in-line and cross-flow vibrations and yaw). Fix tests with the purpose of establishing hydrodynamic coefficients for the various fairings have been performed in a large cavitation tunnel.

Clear differences in performance have been noticed; particular for drag and galloping responses. Based on the results from the 2D tests, a screening of the fairing designs has been performed and the findings have set the course for further development of the most promising candidates for real life applications.

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