Vortex induced vibrations (VIVs) may cause a large amount of damage to deep water risers. Helical strakes are used as a mitigating measure to suppress these vibrations. The purpose of this paper is to verify the efficiency of round-sectioned helical strakes in suppressing VIV. It is believed that round-sectioned helical strakes can be more readily mounted on risers for intervention and maintenance compared with sharp-edged strakes that may have to be welded onto the risers. Systematic experimental investigations including 28 configurations of round-sectioned helical strakes were tested in an attempt to find the most suitable strake configuration. The experiments were performed in a steady flow flume with an elastically mounted rigid circular cylinder of 500 mm in length and 50 mm in outer diameter. The test cylinder was spring-supported in both the inline and cross-flow directions. The measurements were limited to mapping the displacement of the cylinder. First, the cylinder was tested without strakes as a reference case. The best configuration among the tested round-sectioned helical strake configurations was found to reduce the amplitude of oscillation relative to the bare cylinder case by 96% in the cross-flow direction and by 97% in the inline direction. The main features of this configuration are the number of starts (3), the pitch (5D), and the diameter of the strake (0.15D), where D is the outer diameter of the test cylinder. Additionally, this paper investigates the effects of varying pitch, the effects of surface roughness, and the effects of the ratio between the cross-flow and inline natural frequencies of the test rig on the efficiency of the suggested configuration of round-sectioned helical strakes.

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