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Wind and Structures
  Volume 25, Number 2, August 2017 , pages 177-193

Computational study of the wind load on a free-form complex thin shell structure
A. Moret Rodrigues, Ana Tomé and M. Glória Gomes

    The accelerated development of new materials, technologies and construction processes, in parallel with advances in computational algorithms and ever growing computational power, is leading to more daring and innovative architectural and structural designs. The search for non-regular building shapes and slender structures, as alternative to the traditional architectural forms that have been prevailing in the building sector, poses important engineering challenges in the assessment of the strength and mechanical stability of non-conventional structures and systems, namely against highly variable actions as wind and seismic forces. In case of complex structures, laboratory experiments are a widely used methodology for strength assessment and loading characterization. Nevertheless, powerful numerical tools providing reliable results are also available today and able to compete with the experimental approach. In this paper the wind action on a free-form complex thin shell is investigated through 3D-CFD simulation in terms of the pressure coefficients and global forces generated. All the modelling aspects and calibrating process are described. The results obtained showed that the CFD technique is effective in the study of the wind effects on complex-shaped structures.
Key Words
    free-form shell; wind load; pressure coefficients; global forces; CFD simulation
A. Moret Rodrigues, Ana Tomé and M. Glória Gomes: CEris, ICIST, Department of Civil Engineering, Architecture and Georesources, Instituto Superior Técnico, Universidade de Lisboa, Av. Rovisco Pais 1049-001 Lisbon, Portugal

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