The nose up effect in twin box bridge deck flutter: Experimental observations and theoretical model

Maja Rønne*, Allan Larsen, Jens H. Walther

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


    For the past three decades a significant amount of research has been conducted on bridge flutter. Wind tunnel tests for a 2000 m class twin box suspension bridge have revealed that a twin box deck carrying 4 m tall 50% open area ratio wind screens at the deck edges achieved higher critical wind speeds for onset of flutter than a similar deck without wind screens. A result at odds with the well known behavior for the mono box deck. The wind tunnel tests also revealed that the critical flutter wind speed increased if the bridge deck assumed a nose up twist relative to horizontal when exposed to high wind speeds a phenomenon termed the “nose up” effect. Static wind tunnel tests of this twin box cross section revealed a positive moment coefficient at 0⁰ angle of attack as well as a positive moment slope, ensuring that the elastically supported deck would always meet the mean wind flow at ever increasing mean angles of attack for increasing wind speeds. The aerodynamic action of the wind screens on the twin box bridge girder is believed to create the observed nose up aerodynamic moment at 0⁰ angle of attack. The present paper reviews the findings of the wind tunnel tests with a view to gain physical insight into the “nose up” effect and to establish a theoretical model based on numerical simulations allowing flutter predictions for the twin box bridge girder.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalWind & Structures
    Issue number4
    Pages (from-to)239-308
    Publication statusPublished - 2021


    • Twin box girder
    • Flutter prediction
    • Aerodynamic derivatives
    • Nose up effect
    • Suspension bridges
    • Wind tunnel test
    • Numerical simulations
    • Long span bridges
    • Force and moment coefficient


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