Vol.20, No.2, pp.327-347


Reynolds number effects on twin box girder long span bridge aerodynamics

Ramtin Kargarmoakhar, Arindam G. Chowdhury and Peter A. Irwin

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This paper investigates the effects of Reynolds number (Re) on the aerodynamic characteristics of a twin-deck bridge. A 1:36 scale sectional model of a twin girder bridge was tested using the Wall of Wind (WOW) open jet wind tunnel facility at Florida International University (FIU). Static tests were performed on the model, instrumented with pressure taps and load cells, at high wind speeds with Re ranging from 1.3X10 to 6.1X10 based on the section width. Results show that the section was almost insensitive to Re when pitched to negative angles of attack. However, mean and fluctuating pressure distributions changed noticeably for zero and positive wind angles of attack while testing at different Re regimes. The pressure results suggested that with the Re increase, a larger separation bubble formed on the bottom surface of the upstream girder accompanied with a narrower wake region. As a result, drag coefficient decreased mildly and negative lift coefficient increased. Flow modification due to the Re increase also helped in distributing forces more equally between the two girders. The bare deck section was found to be prone to vortex shedding with limited dependence on the Re. Based on the observations, vortex mitigation devices attached to the bottom surface were effective in inhibiting vortex shedding, particularly at lower Re regime.
Reynolds number effect; twin box girder bridge; vortex shedding; force and moment coefficient; pressure distribution; aerodynamic response
Ramtin Kargarmoakhar, Arindam G. Chowdhuryand Peter A. Irwin: Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering and International Hurricane Research Center, Florida International University, Miami, FL, USA