Much work has been devoted to the investigation and understanding of the flow-induced vibrations of twin cylinders vibrating individually (e.g., vortex-induced vibration and wake-induced galloping), but little has been devoted to coupled twin cylinders with synchronous galloping. The primary objective of this work is to investigate the aerodynamic forcing characteristics of coupled twin cylinders in cross flow and explore their effects on synchronous galloping. Pressure measurements were performed on a stationary section model of twin cylinders with various cylinder center-to-center distances from 2.5 to 11 diameters. Pressure distributions, reduced frequencies and total aerodynamic forces of the cylinders are analyzed. The results show that the flow around twin cylinders shows two typical patterns with different spacing, and the critical spacing for the two patterns at wind incidence angles of 0° and 9° is in the range of 3.8D~4.3D and 3.5D~3.8D, respectively. For cylinder spacings below the critical value, vortex shedding of the upstream cylinder is suppressed by the downstream cylinder. In particular, at wind incidence angles of 9°, the wake flow of the upstream cylinder flows rapidly near the top edge and impacts on the inlet edge of the downstream cylinder, which causes a negative and positive pressure region, respectively. As a result, the total lift force of twin cylinders comes to a peak while the total drag force jumps to a higher value. Moreover, there is a sharp drop of total lift coefficient for α = 9–12°, indicating the potential galloping instability. Finally, numerical simulations were performed for the visualization of the two flow patterns.
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