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New developments in rain-wind-induced vibrations of cables

Taylor, I. J. and Robertson, A.C. and Wilson, S.K. and Duffy, B.R. and Sullivan, J.M. (2010) New developments in rain-wind-induced vibrations of cables. Proceedings of the ICE - Structures and Buildings, 163 (2). pp. 73-86. ISSN 0965-0911

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Abstract

On wet and windy days, the inclined cables of cable-stayed bridges can experience large amplitude, potentially damaging oscillations known as rain-wind-induced vibration (RWIV). RWIV is believed to be the result of a complicated non-linear interaction between rivulets of rain water that run down the cables and the wind loading on the cables from the unsteady aerodynamics; however, despite a considerable international research effort, the underlying physical mechanism that governs this oscillation is still not satisfactorily understood. An international workshop on RWIV was held in April 2008, hosted at the University of Strathclyde. The main outcomes of this workshop are summarised in the paper. A numerical method to investigate aspects of the RWIV phenomenon has recently been developed by the authors, which couples an unsteady aerodynamic solver to a thin-film model based on lubrication theory for the flow of the rain water to ascertain the motion of the rivulets owing to the unsteady aerodynamic field. This novel numerical technique, which is still in the relatively early stages of development, has already provided useful information on the coupling between the external aerodynamic flow and the rivulet, and a summary of some of the key results to date is presented.