Skip to contentUnited States Department of Transportation - Federal Highway Administration FHWA Home
Federal Highway Administration Research and Technology: Coordinating, Developing, and Delivering Highway Transportation Innovations


FHWA Home > Research > POA > Federal Highway Administration Research Project-For more projects go to: > PMSS Project Details


PMSS Project Details


Project ID:FHWA-PROJ-10-0059
Project Name: Wind Effects on Bridge Stay Cables
Status: Active
Last Name:Bosch
First Name:Harold R
Office: Office of Infrastructure Research and Development
Team:Hazard Mitigation Team
Roadmap/Focus area(s): Infrastructure Research and Technology Strategic Plan and Roadmap
Project Description:This project is an extension of activities conducted under pooled fund study SPR-3(078) to address the very important problem of wind-induced large amplitude vibration of bridge stay cables. Research activities will focus on wind tunnel tests to further clarify the impact of helical fillets, High-Density Polyethylene (HDPE) pipe roundness, and wind turbulence on aerodynamic stability of stay cables.
Laboratories: Aerodynamics Laboratory
Start Date: September 30, 2010
End Date: May 31, 2014
Goals: The key objective of this project will be to perform wind tunnel tests on a full-scale section model of a typical bridge stay cable to evaluate the influence of wind turbulence, aerodynamic surface treatment, roundness, damping, and cable/wind orientation on cable stability.
Background Information: Rain/Wind-Induced vibration of stay cables has become a significant issue in the United States as well as around the world. There have been a number of significant observed events in this country accompanied by structural damage. A major pooled fund project has been underway to study the problem and develop guidelines to mitigate the problem. During this study, it has become apparent that more detailed information is needed regarding the influence of wind turbulence, aerodynamic surface treatment, roundness, damping, and cable/wind orientation on cable stability.
Test Methodology: Wind tunnel tests will be performed to provide necessary information regarding surface treatments and specific cable instability issues. A full-scale section model will be tested statically and dynamically in both turbulent and smooth wind conditions over a full range of expected wind speeds. The model will be configured with and without a typical helical fillet attached to the High-Density Polyethylene (HDPE) pipe. Test runs will be performed for a series of cable/wind orientations, pipe rotation angles, and levels of damping.
Other Information: Tests will be performed in the 3 meter by 6 meter wind tunnel located at the National Research Council Canada (NRCC) in Ottawa, Ontario.
Expected Benefits:The research will help to fill the knowledge gap regarding the significance of pipe roundness and a common surface treatment, such as a helical fillet, on the aerodynamic stability of bridge cables. The information obtained will support pooled fund study SPR-3(078).
Deliverables:Name: Research report.
Product Type(s): Research report
Description: The deliverable will consist of one or several research reports, as appropriate, to document wind tunnel testing. The influence of aerodynamic surface treatment, wind turbulence, pipe roundness, and cable orientation on cable stability will be discussed.
Keywords: Bridges
Cable Stayed Bridges
Long Span Bridges
Wind Tunnels
Mechanical Vibration
Bridge Cables
Subject Areas: Bridges and other structures