Bridge Aeroelasticity Research Project

Project Name Funding Body Industrial Partners Academic/Research Partners Duration
Bridge Aeroelasticity N/A N/A N/A 2008-2012

The aeroelastic stability of brige sections is of crucial importance. As the Tacoma Narrows bridge disaster demonstrated, aeroelastic phenomena can cause the total destruction of a bridge or viaduct. To date, the mechanisms responsible for aeroelastic instabilities are uncertain; for instance, there are several theories attempting to describe the Tacoma Narrows failure, based on galloping, vortex lock-in and pitch-plunge flutter.

The main objective of the research project is to test all three of these phenomena in the wind tunnel, using a model of a sample bridge section. Galloping has already been tested, the infrastructure necessary for the lock-in and flutter experiments is currently being developed.

A bridge section model in the ULg wind tunnel

A demonstration of pitch flutter oscillations

A demonstration of galloping oscillations in heave