Numerical simulation of the effect of section details and partial streamlining on the aerodynamics of bridge decks

  • Bruno, L. (Department of Structural Engineering, Politecnico di Torino) ;
  • Khris, S. (OptiFlow, Consulting Company in Numerical Fluid Mechanics) ;
  • Marcillat, J. (Institut de Recherche sur les Phenomenes Hors Equilibre, UMR 6594 UM-UP CNRS)
  • Published : 2001.08.25


Presented herein is a numerical study for evaluating the aerodynamic behaviour of equipped bridge deck sections. In the first part, the method adopted is described, in particular concerning turbulence models, meshing requirements and numerical approach. The validation of the procedure represents the aim of the second part of the paper: the results of the numerical simulation in case of two-dimensional, steady, incompressible, turbulent flow around a realistic bridge deck are compared to the data collected from wind-tunnel tests. In order to demonstrate the influence of the section details and of the partial streamlining of the deck geometry on its aerodynamic behaviour, in the third part of the paper the effect of the fairings and of each item of equipment of the section (such as central barriers, side railings and sidewalks) is evaluated. The study has been applied to the deck section of the Normandy cable-stayed bridge.


  1. Nagao, F., Utsunomiya, H., Oryu, T., Manabe, S. (1993), "Aerodynamic efficiency of triangular fairing on box girder bridge", J. Wind Eng. Ind. Aerod., 49, 565-574.
  2. Onyemelukwe, O.U., Torkamani, M.A.M. and Bosch, H.R. (1997), "Numerical simulation of wind induced forces on bridge deck sections of long-span bridges", Computer and Structures, 62(4), 667-679.
  3. Panneer Selvam, R. and Bosch, H.R. (1999), "Finite element modelling of flow around bridges", Proc. 10th Int. Conf. on Wind Eng., Copenaghen, June.
  4. Scanlan, R.H., Jones, N.P., Sarkar, P.P. and Singh, L. (1995), "The effect of section model details on aeroelastic parameters", J. Wind Eng. Ind. Aerod., 54/55, 45-53.
  5. Schofield, W.H. and Logan, E. (1990), "Turbulent shear flows over surface mounted obstacles", Trans. of the A.S.M.E., 112, 376-385.
  6. Szechenyi, E. (1987), "Pont de Normandie: effets du vent; etude aeroelastique-essais", 10/3588 RY070R370G, ONERA, Paris.
  7. Virlogeux, M. (1992), "Wind design and analysis for the Normandy bridge", Proc. First Int. Symp. on Aerod. of Large Bridges, Copenaghen, February.
  8. Yakhot, V., Orszag, S.A., Thangam, S., Gatski, T.B. and Speziale, G.C. (1992), "Development of turbulence models for shear flows by a double expansion technique", Phys. Fluids, A 4(7), 1510-1520.
  9. Barre, C. and Brebion H. (1991), "Coefficients aerodynamiques stationnaires du Tablier du Pont de Normandie Equipe de corniches arrondies", EN-AS 92.4 C, CSTB, Nantes.
  10. Bienkiewicz, B. (1987), "Wind tunnel study of geometry modification on aerodynamics of a cable-stayed bridge deck", J. Wind. Eng. Ind. Aerod., 26(3) 325-339.
  11. Bietry, J. and Grillaud, G. (1994), "Wind studies for the Normandy bridge", Proc. Int. Conf. on Cable Stayed and Suspension Bridges, Deauville, October.
  12. Bruno, L., Khris, S. and Marcillat, J. (1999), "Contribution of numerical simulation for evaluation of the effect of section details on the aerodynamic behaviour of a long span bridge deck", Proc. 10th Int. Conf. on Wind Engi., Copenaghen, June.
  13. Fluent (1996), "Theory Manual", Lebanon: Fluent Incorporated.
  14. Haroutunian, V. and Engelman, M. (1991), "On modelling wall-bound turbulent flows using specialized near wall finite elements and the standard $k-{\varepsilon}$ turbulence model", Proc. Symp. on Advances in Numerical Calculation of Turbulent Flows, Portland, June.
  15. Jones A.C. and Launder D.B. (1972), Lectures in Mathematical Models of Turbulence, Academic Press, London.
  16. Khris, S. and Marcillat, J. (1997), "Effects of first-order turbulence models applied to flows around lifting airfoils", Proc. of 11 Symp. on Turbulent Shear Flow, Grenoble, September.
  17. Kuroda, S. (1996), "Numerical simulation of flow around bridge", Ihi Engineering Review, 29(2), 59-66.
  18. Launder, B.E. and Spalding D.B. (1974), "The numerical computation of turbulent flows", Comp. Meth. Appl. Mech. Eng., 3, 269-289.

Cited by

  1. The validity of 2D numerical simulations of vortical structures around a bridge deck vol.37, pp.7-8, 2003,
  2. Numerical bridge deck studies using finite elements. Part I: flutter vol.19, pp.2, 2004,
  3. Numerical study of a twin box bridge deck with increasing gap ratio by using RANS and LES approaches vol.99, 2015,
  4. Finite element simulation of the wind action over bridge sectional models: Application to the Guamá River Bridge (Pará State, Brazil) vol.44, pp.3, 2008,
  5. Bridge deck flutter derivatives: Efficient numerical evaluation exploiting their interdependence vol.136, 2015,
  6. Sensitivity Analysis of Geometrical Parameters on the Aerodynamic Performance of Closed-Box Girder Bridges vol.18, pp.7, 2018,