Wave force coefficients for horizontally submerged rectangular cylinders

Vengatesan Venugopal, Kamlesh S. Varyani, Nigel D.P. Barltrop

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43 Citations (Scopus)


The results of wave force measurements carried out on a section of horizontally submerged rectangular cylinders, which are used as pontoons in many offshore structures, are reported in this paper. Two rectangular cylinders with aspect (depth-breadth) ratios equal to frac(1, 2) and frac(3, 4) and a square section (aspect ratio=1.0) cylinder are chosen for this study. Experiments are carried out in a wave tank at a water depth of 2.2 m at low Keulegan-Carpenter (KC) numbers to measure the horizontal and vertical wave forces acting on a 100 mm section, located at mid-length of the cylinders. For each cylinder, tests are carried out for two relative depths of submergence of 2.68 and 4.68. Measured wave forces in regular and irregular waves are then used to derive drag (CD) and inertia coefficients (CM). The analysis show that at very low KC numbers the inertia coefficients for all cylinders approached the potential flow values for both horizontal and vertical forces. The drag coefficients at low KC numbers exhibited large values and they decreased sharply with increase in KC number. For the square cylinder, where relatively a large KC number is obtained compared to other cylinders, inertia coefficients reached minimum values in the range of KC of about 3-4 and increased thereafter. In this range, CM values are about 50% or so, smaller than the same at KC close to zero. The results of the experiments reveal that aspect ratio has large influence on hydrodynamic coefficients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1669-1704
Number of pages36
JournalOcean Engineering
Issue number11-12
Early online date23 Jan 2006
Publication statusPublished - 31 Aug 2006


  • aspect ratio
  • drag and inertia coefficients
  • low KC number
  • rectangular cylinder
  • regular and random waves


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