• CHI Consulting Engineers

CFD and Vortex-Induced Vibration analysis of a suspension bridge with painting containment systems


The installation of temporary painting containment system to a long span bridge leads to significant changes to its aerodynamic characteristics, oftentimes resulting in excessive wind-induced vibrations. This video presents an aeroelastic study of a long span suspension bridge in the United States. The superstructure of this bridge is partially enclosed (350 ft in length) by temporary containment in staged painting work. CHI implemented a numerical approach that combines Computation Fluid Dynamics (CFD) and Finite Element Method (FEM) to provide a fast evaluation of wind induced vibration risks for this project. As illustrated in the video, the visualization of the vortex shedding and quantified structural vibration time-history provide in-depth insight into the bridge’s aeroelastic characteristics, allowing the engineers to optimize construction plan for improved efficiency, safety, and constructability.

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