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Research and Development (R&D) Project Sites

Project Information
Project ID:   FHWA-PROJ-06-0018
Project Name:   Parametric Studies of Bridge Geometric Details and Their Aerodynamic Significance
Project Status:   Active
Start Date:  September 1, 2006
End Date:  December 31, 2015
Contact Information
Last Name:  Bosch
First Name:  Harold R
Telephone:  202-493-3031
E-mail:  harold.bosch@dot.gov
Office:   Office of Infrastructure Research and Development
Team:   Hazard Mitigation Team [HRDI-50]
Program:   Innovative Bridge Research and Deployment
Laboratory:   Aerodynamics Laboratory
Project detail
Roadmap/Focus area(s):   Infrastructure Research and Technology Strategic Plan and Roadmap
Project Description:   In Japan, many parametric, aerodynamic studies of various deck geometries and details have been conducted and the information from such studies has been used heavily in the development of their Wind Design Guide for Long Span Bridges. In this country, there has been no such systematic study of geometry/details or cataloging of aerodynamic properties. While in the past some effort has been expended to conduct such activities in the Federal Highway Administration Aerodynamics Laboratory, it has been at a very low-level and progress has been slow. The intent of this project is to initiate a more aggressive program of parametric studies to investigate a variety of generic bridge geometries, actual bridge sections, and structural details.
The objectives of this research are to perform systematic parametric tests on a variety of bridge cross sections and catalog the aerodynamic properties for use by researchers and designers.
Product Type:   Research report
Test Methodology:   The research would involve special static and dynamic wind tunnel studies on small-scale models in the laboratory to extract and catalog aerodynamic properties such as force coefficients, flutter derivatives, and Strouhal numbers. Bridge deck section models will be installed in a force-balance to measure wind forces under simulated wind conditions in the large wind tunnel. The same or similar models will later be installed on a suspension system to measure bridge dynamic response to simulated wind conditions. In addition, detailed flow visualization studies will be performed in the small wind tunnel using special models and particle image velocimetry.
Expected Benefits:   Compilation of parametric data on the significance of long-span bridge geometric details on the aerodynamic behavior that will be of use to researchers and designers.
Deliverables: Name: Research report.
Product Type(s): Research report
Description: The deliverable will be a research report containing aerodynamic properties such as force coefficients (lift, drag, and pitching moment), flutter derivatives, critical wind speeds, and Strouhal numbers. The information will be organized for easy reference by researchers and designers. The findings in this report will serve as a basis for later development of draft design criteria.
FHWA Topics:   Roads and Bridges--Design
TRT Terms:   Aerodynamics
Long Span Bridges
Aerodynamic Stability
Wind Tunnels
FHWA Disciplines:   Structures
Subject Areas:   Bridges and other structures


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