Flexible pipe with staggered buoyancy elements such as lazy wave riser and drilling riser has been widely used in ocean engineering. Under the influence of sea current, both of the buoyancy elements and the riser may experience vortex induced vibrations (VIV). However, when VIV occurs, hydrodynamic characteristics of the buoyancy elements and its influence on hydrodynamic force of the bare pipe still need investigation. The purpose of this paper is to reveal the hydrodynamic characteristics of flexible pipe with staggered buoyancy elements undergoing VIV. The crossflow (CF) hydrodynamic coefficients of the flexible pipe with 25%, 50%, and 100% coverage of staggered buoyancy are obtained from model tests, using hydrodynamic forces and coefficients identification method. Then, the characteristics of added mass coefficients and excitation coefficients in CF direction are analyzed. The results show that the added-mass coefficients of bare pipe are relatively larger than those of buoyancy module, while the total mass per unit length (sum of structural mass and added mass) is consistent along the pipe. Similarly, the range of excitation coefficient on the buoyancy elements is smaller than that on the bare pipe, and their ratio is equal to the reciprocal of diameter ratio 2.5.

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