Wind loading and structural response
Lecture 17 Dr. J.D. Holmes
Windtunnel techniques
• Original wind tunnel of W.C. Kernot  1893
Contraction
Propeller
Gas engine
Fly wheel
Air jet
Model mounted on 3wheel
carriage
Windtunnel techniques
• Two types : open circuit and closed circuit
Open circuit type (fan downstream of test section) :
Blowing type  fan upstream of test section :
test section nearly at atmospheric pressure
Fan
Test Section
Diffuser
Contraction
FLOW
Flow
Straightener
Screen
Windtunnel techniques
• Simulation of atmospheric boundary layer :
Natural growth method :
Boundary layer is grown naturally over surface roughness elements
Boundary layer thickness is usually too small to model complete
atmospheric boundary layer  use auxiliary ‘tripping’ devices
1015 m
Windtunnel techniques
• Simulation of atmospheric boundary layer :
Methods for short test sections :
Other devices : triangular ‘spires’ , graded grids
Counihan method
Fins
Castellated
barrier
h
T
Roughness
~4h
T
Windtunnel techniques
• Simulation of ‘surface layer’ (<100 m) :
Barrier  roughness :
Eddy size (~ integral length scale) larger than other methods
h
B
>30h
B
Barrier
Roughness
Useful for model scales of 1/50 to 1/200 (e.g. lowrise buildings)
Windtunnel techniques
• Simulation of hurricane boundary layers :
Near eye wall : steep profile up to about 100 metres  then nearly constant
Can use nonhurricane boundary layer for rougher terrain in wind tunnel
simulations
Turbulence is higher in hurricanes (but ‘patchy’)
Windtunnel techniques
• Simulation of thunderstorm downburst by impinging jet :
Jet Working
section
Contraction Diffusing
section
Vertical board
Blower
Stationary downbursts only are modelled  continuous not
transient
Windtunnel techniques
• Modelling rules  dimensional analysis :
t’s are nondimensional groups associated with flow and structure
Nondimensional response/pressure coefficients =
f(t
1
, t
2
, t
3
etc…)
t’s should be matched in full scale and model scale
Examples of t’s :
I
u
, I
v
, I
w
 turbulence intensities
Uh/u  Reynolds Number (u is kinematic viscosity)
E/µ
a
U
2
 Cauchy Number (elastic forces in structure/inertial forces in flow)
µ
s
/µ
a
 density ratio (density of structure / air density)
Windtunnel techniques
• Modelling rules  dimensional analysis :
For example, reduced frequency :
Nondimensional numbers may not be independent
i.e. proportional to square root of the Cauchy Number divided by the density ratio
s
a
2
a
2
s
s
ρ
ρ
.
U ρ
E
K
U
L
.
L ρ
E
K
U
L n
= =
Windtunnel techniques
• Modelling rules  dimensional analysis :
Scaling requirements might be relaxed
Not possible to obtain equality of all nondimensional groups
Judgement based on experience and understanding of mechanics of the
phenomena
Quality assurance manuals and standards for windtunnel testing are
now available  e.g. A.W.E.S. , A.S.C.E.
Windtunnel techniques
• Measurement of local pressures :
Local pressures  measurement done with single measurement ‘tap’
Fluctuating and short duration peak pressures must be measured
Areaaveraged pressures with multiple pressure taps manifolded together
Multiple input tubes 
single output tube to
electronic pressure sensor
Windtunnel techniques
• Areaaveraged pressures :
Discrete averaging overestimates continuous average fluctuating loads
R
d
discrete
averaging
R
c
continuous
averaging
R
d
R
c
Assumed correlation
function = exp (Cr)
B
B
2
1.8
1.6
1.4
1.0
0.8
0.6
0.4
0
0 2 4 6 8 10
CB
Variance of averaged
panel force to variance
of point pressure
Overestimation depends on
correlation between point
pressures on the area
Windtunnel techniques
• Frequency response of measurement system :
Require amplitude response ratio equal to 1.0 ( +/ small error) over a
defined frequency range
0
0.5
1
1.5
0 100 200 300 400
Frequency (Hertz)
A
m
p
l
i
t
u
d
e
r
a
t
i
oSystem within +/ 15%
limits to 150 Hertz
Windtunnel techniques
• Frequency response of measurement system :
Require phase response to vary linearly over a defined frequency range
0
50
100
150
200
250
300
350
0 100 200 300 400
Frequency (Hertz)
P
h
a
s
e
l
a
g
(
d
e
g
r
e
e
s
)
Time delay =
(1/n) × (phase angle / 2t)
For constant time delay, phase
angle should be proportional to
frequency, n
Windtunnel techniques
• Types of tubing systems :
Short tube : high resonant frequency
but amplitude response rises fast
Restricted tube :
restrictor tube damps resonant peak
Leaked tube :
high pass filter, mean response is
also reduced
Transducer
volume
(a) Short tube
Restrictor
(b) Restricted
tube
Controlled
leak
(c) Leaked tube
Windtunnel techniques
• Overall loads on tall buildings :
Two techniques : aeroelastic models  resonant structural response is scaled
Basepivotted aeroelastic model :
Gimbals
Springs
Strain
gauges
Electromagnet
Aluminium
disc
h
motion of building in sway modes of vibration are reproduced  hence aeroelastic
(e.g. aerodynamic damping) forces are included
Uses equivalence of rigid body
rotation and movement of tall
building in first mode with linear
mode shape
Model should be scaled to have the
same density
Windtunnel techniques
• Overall loads on tall buildings :
model building supported on a stiff
base balance to measure
aerodynamic applied forces
highfrequency base balance :
spectral densities of applied base
bending moments are measured and
used to compute resonant
components in sway modes
mean and background aerodynamic forces only are measured
h
Six component strain gauge
balance
requires mode shape corrections,
special processing for coupled
modes, linked buildings
Windtunnel techniques
• Highfrequency base balance :
Support system should be made very stiff, and building
model light to keep frequency above measurement range
Frequency relationships :
U
1
(>U
2
)
U
2
Simulated
building
frequency
Model
frequency in
wind tunnel
Spectral
density
Usable frequency
range for
measurements
Windtunnel techniques
• Full aeroelastic models :
Elastic properties are concentrated in a ‘spine’ to which
nonstructural segments are attached to give correct
aerodynamic shape and mass
Slender structures such as bridges and towers
Length scale ratio and velocity scale ratio chosen to suit
size and speed range of wind tunnel
Frequency then obtained by equality of reduced velocity :
p
s
m
s
U
L n
U
L n

.

\

=

.

\

Stiffness of spine obtained by requirement to keep
frequency of structure equal in model and full scale
Windtunnel techniques
• Full aeroelastic models :
Segmented tower legs and deck
End of Lecture 17
John Holmes
2254053789 JHolmes@lsu.edu