Comparison of the aerodynamics of bridge cables with helical fillets and a pattern-indented surface

Publication: Research - peer-reviewJournal article – Annual report year: 2012

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In this paper, the aerodynamics of bridge cables with helical fillets and a pattern-indented surface are examined. To this end, an extensive wind-tunnel test campaign was undertaken to measure the static force coefficients about the critical Reynolds number region, with varying relative cable-wind angles. The tests confirmed that the pattern-indented tubing exhibits the lowest drag coefficient, reaching its supercritical flow state for Reynolds numbers lower than the other cables tested. For this cable, vortex-shedding was found to be present throughout the supercritical range. The asymmetry of the surface pattern introduce a wind-angle of attack dependency that leads to a prediction of Den Hartog galloping instability. For yawed positions, flow transition was found to be independent of the relative cable-wind angle and therefore only governed by the along-wind flow velocity. The helically filleted cable was found to have a much slower flow transition for near normal flow and relatively large lift force components for the yawed positions. Flow visualizations confirmed the existence of specific flow structures which are often associated with the presence of lower drag or large lift forces. The visualization tests confirmed the presence of an axial flow that was greatly hindered by the presence of the helical fillets.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Wind Engineering & Industrial Aerodynamics
Pages (from-to)166-175
StatePublished - 2012
Event13th International Conference on Wind Engineering - Amsterdam, Netherlands


Conference13th International Conference on Wind Engineering
Internet address
CitationsWeb of Science® Times Cited: 7


  • Bridge cable vibration, Shape modification, Passive aerodynamic control, Pattern-indented surface, Helical fillets, Yawed flow, Axial flow
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