Flexible cylinders, such as marine risers, often experience sustained vortex-induced vibration (VIV). Both helical strakes and fairings are demonstrated to be effective in suppressing VIV, while, helical strakes result in large drag, which increases the rotational angle and bending moment at the riser hang-off location and, fairings are cumbersome in term of storage, installation and maintenance. This study was inspired by the giant Saguaro Cacti which grow in desert region. Saguaro Cacti have shallow root system, but can grow up to fifty feet in height and can withstand very high wind velocities. In this study, numerical simulations of flow past a stationary cactus-shaped cylinder are performed in two-dimensional field at a low Reynolds number of 200. The hydrodynamic coefficients and the vortex-shedding patterns of a cactus-shaped cylinder are compared with those of a circular cylinder. In addition, a set of two cactus-shaped cylinders of tandem arrangement are also studied to investigate the effects of wake. Results showed that a cactus-shaped cylinder can reduce the drag, lift, and Strouhal number, which suggests its potential as an alternative technology to suppress VIV of a riser.

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