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Wind and Structures
  Volume 11, Number 3, May 2008, pages 209-220

Effect of rain on flutter derivatives of bridge decks
Ming Gu and Shu-zhuang Xu

    Flutter derivatives provide the basis of predicting the critical wind speed in flutter and buffeting analysis of long-span cable-supported bridges. Many studies have been performed on the methods and applications of identification of flutter derivatives of bridge decks under wind action. In fact, strong wind, especially typhoon, is always accompanied by heavy rain. Then, what is the effect of rain on flutter derivatives and flutter critical wind speed of bridges? Unfortunately, there have been no studies on this subject. This paper makes an initial study on this problem. Covariance-driven Stochastic Subspace Identification (SSI in short) which is capable of estimating the flutter derivatives of bridge decks from their steady random responses is presented first. An experimental set-up is specially designed and manufactured to produce the conditions of rain and wind. Wind tunnel tests of a quasi-streamlined thin plate model are conducted under conditions of only wind action and simultaneous wind-rain action, respectively. The flutter derivatives are then extracted by the SSI method, and comparisons are made between the flutter derivatives under the two different conditions. The comparison results tentatively indicate that rain has non-trivial effects on flutter derivatives, especially on and , and thus the flutter critical wind speeds of bridges.
Key Words
    bridge deck; flutter derivative; rain and wind action; stochastic subspace identification.
State Key Laboratory for Disaster Reduction in Civil Engineering, Tongji University, Shanghai, 200092, P. R. China

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