An evaluation of iced bridge hanger vibrations through wind tunnel testing and quasi-steady theory

Henrik Gjelstrup, Christos T. Georgakis, A. Larsen

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Bridge hanger vibrations have been reported under icy conditions. In this paper, the results from a series of static and dynamic wind tunnel tests on a circular cylinder representing a bridge hanger with simulated thin ice accretions are presented. The experiments focus on ice accretions produced for wind perpendicular to the cylinder at velocities below 30 m/s and for temperatures between -5C and -1C. Aerodynamic drag, lift and moment coefficients are obtained from the static tests, whilst mean and fluctuating responses are obtained from the dynamic tests. The influence of varying surface roughness is also examined. The static force coefficients are used to predict parameter regions where aerodynamic instability of the iced bridge hanger might be expected to occur, through use of an adapted theoretical 3- DOF quasi-steady galloping instability model, which accounts for sectional axial rotation. A comparison between the 3-DOF model and the instabilities found through two degree-of-freedom (2-DOF) dynamic tests is presented. It is shown that, although there is good agreement between the instabilities found through use of the quasi-steady theory and the dynamic tests, discrepancies exist-indicating the possible inability of quasi-steady theory to fully predict these vibrational instabilities.
Original languageEnglish
JournalWind & Structures
Issue number5
Pages (from-to)385-407
Number of pages23
Publication statusPublished - 2012


  • Circular cylinder
  • Bridge hangers
  • Ice accretion
  • Wind tunnel tests
  • Aerodynamic instability
  • Low temperatures
  • Quasi-steady aerodynamics

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