Drag and inertia coefficients for horizontally submerged rectangular cylinders in waves and currents

Vengatesan Venugopal, K. S. Varyani, P. C. Westlake

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The results of an experimental investigation carried out to measure combined wave and current loads on horizontally submerged square and rectangular cylinders are reported in this paper. The wave and current induced forces on a section of the cylinders with breadth—depth (aspect) ratios equal to 1, 0.5, and 0.75 are measured in a wave tank. The maximum value of Keulegan—Carpenter (KC) number obtained in waves alone is about 5 and Reynolds (Re) number ranged from 6.397 ×103 to 1.18 ×105. The drag (CD) and inertia (CM) coefficients for each cylinder are evaluated using measured sectional wave forces and particle kinematics calculated from linear wave theory. The values of CD and CM obtained for waves alone have already been reported (Venugopal, V., Varyani, K. S., and Barltrop, N. D. P. Wave force coefficients for horizontally submerged rectangular cylinders. Ocean Engineering, 2006, 33, 11—12, 1669—1704) and the coefficients derived in combined waves and currents are presented here. The results indicate that both drag and inertia coefficients are strongly affected by the presence of the current and show different trends for different cylinders. The values of the vertical component inertia coefficients (CMY) in waves and currents are generally smaller than the inertia coefficients obtained in waves alone, irrespective of the current's magnitude and direction. The results also illustrate the effect of a cylinder's aspect ratio on force coefficients. This study will be useful in the design of offshore structures whose columns and caissons are rectangular sections.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)121-136
Number of pages16
JournalProceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Part M: Journal of Engineering for the Maritime Environment
Issue numberM
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2009


  • Morison equation
  • rectangular cylinder
  • wave and current force
  • drag and inertia coefficients
  • low Keulegan—Carpenter number


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