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VIV Suppression Device Development and the Perils of Reynolds Number

[+] Author Affiliations
Don W. Allen

VIV Solutions LLC, Sugar Land, TX

Nicole Liu

Shell International Exploration and Production, Houston, TX

Paper No. OMAE2017-62690, pp. V002T08A045; 11 pages
  • ASME 2017 36th International Conference on Ocean, Offshore and Arctic Engineering
  • Volume 2: Prof. Carl Martin Larsen and Dr. Owen Oakley Honoring Symposia on CFD and VIV
  • Trondheim, Norway, June 25–30, 2017
  • Conference Sponsors: Ocean, Offshore and Arctic Engineering Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-5764-9
  • Copyright © 2017 by ASME


Most deepwater tubulars experiencing high currents frequently require vortex-induced vibration (VIV) suppression to maintain an acceptable fatigue life. While helical strakes and fairings are by far the most popular VIV suppression devices used in the offshore industry today, a myriad of small alternations to these basic devices can significantly impact the observed levels of suppression effectiveness. Additionally, numerous novel VIV reduction devices are continually being developed and some new devices are progressing towards the product readiness phase.

It is quite common to first test suppression devices at low Reynolds numbers due to the availability of smaller scale facilities that are typically more budget-friendly than larger scale facilities. For larger scale testing, it is usually simpler and less expensive to evaluate prototype suppression devices on shorter pipe sections that are spring mounted rather than test on longer flexible pipes.

This paper utilizes results from historical VIV experiments to evaluate the merits of various test setups and scales and to underscore the importance of Reynolds number. An assortment of testing scales are presented including: a) small diameter tests at low Reynolds numbers; b) moderate diameter tests that incorporate at least part of the critical Reynolds number range; c) short pipe tests conducted at prototype Reynolds numbers; and d) long pipe tests conducted at high Reynolds numbers but at less than full scale suppression geometry. The use of computational fluid dynamics (CFD) is also briefly discussed.

Copyright © 2017 by ASME



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