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Experimental Vibration Analysis for Civil Engineering Structures

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Full-scale dry inclined stay-cable vibrations: modeling by non


linear quasi-steady analysis of wind-tunnel tests
O. Boujard & G. Grillaud
Centre Scientifique et Technique du Btiment (CSTB), Nantes, France

ABSTRACT: A wind-tunnel campaign of pressure measurements at the surface of an inclined


cylinder has enabled to identify steep variations of the lift force with Reynolds number, responsible for dry stay-cable vibrations recorded on the Iroise Bridge. A two degrees-of-freedom
quasi-steady model, based on experimental data, shows that these variations induce a decrease
of the effective damping of the cable, increasing its sensitivity to wind and traffic ambient excitations and leading to instabilities with limited amplitude response if the effective damping gets
null.

1 INTRODUCTION
Over the last decades, aerodynamics of inclined cables has become a crucial issue with the development of long-span cable-stayed bridges. In recent years, several phenomena at the origin
of vibrations of stay-cables have been identified by full-scale observations and wind-tunnel
tests. Among those, research has particularly focused on the rain-wind-induced vibration phenomenon (Hikami & Shiraishi 1987; Matsumoto et al. 1992, 1995; Main et al. 2001; Cosentino
et al. 2003) which leads to large amplitudes with relatively moderate wind and rain. Nevertheless, wind induced vibrations of inclined cables without rain have also been reported as results
of wind-tunnel tests (Saito et al. 1994; Cheng et al. 2003). The phenomenon, occurring in a narrow range of wind directions and leading to a divergent motion of cable, has been attributed to a
generalized Den Hartog galloping (Cheng et al. 2003). However, up to now a confrontation of
these wind-tunnel observations with full-scale measurements still had to be done, in order to
evaluate the real risk of damage induced by such a phenomenon, and design new adapted mitigation devices.
The occurrence and measurement by the CSTB of vibrations both with and without rain on
one stay of the Iroise Bridge, France, have given the opportunity to identify the characteristics
of full-scale dry inclined cable vibrations. A wind tunnel campaign of pressure measurements at
the surface of an inclined circular cylinder has then been performed to provide an explanation to
the onset of the observed vibrations. A mathematical model, fitted to the experimental data, is
finally proposed to evaluate and explain the role of the flow characteristics around the cylinder
in the onset of oscillations.
2 FULL-SCALE CHARACTERIZATION OF VIBRATIONS
The Iroise cable-stayed bridge is made of a 800 m long concrete deck supported by axial stays,
26 per semi-span, anchored in two towers (Fig. 1). The stays consist of 36 to 61 15 mm galvanised steel strands protected by a HDPE duct injected with petroleum wax.

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Following the observation of cracks at the bottom anchorages of 4 stay-cables of the main
span of the Iroise Bridge, a 3 years monitoring of decks, piles and 9 stay-cables accelerations,
along with measurement of wind speed and direction, was conducted. During the first year, only
small amplitude vibrations induced by traffic and vortex shedding were recorded on stay-cables
fitted up with external viscous dampers.

Figure 1. Longitudinal profile of the Iroise bridge (a) and crack at the anchorage of the H3Q22 stay (b).

To highlight the occurrence of the phenomenon likely responsible for the cracks, external
dampers of one of the monitored cable were removed. The present study focuses on the behaviour of this stay, of which main mechanical characteristics are summarised in Table 1.
Table 1. Main characteristics of the considered cable-stay (without external dampers).
Stay-cable

Length
(m)

Mass per
unit length
(kg/m)

Diameter
(m)

Inclination
angle ()

Frequency
of the first 3
modes (Hz)

H3Q22

172.0

79.6

0.18

25.2

0.74 1.47
2.20

Damping ratio of the


first 3
modes (%)
0.18 0.18
0.20

Vertical vibrations both with and without rain were recorded, with nearly the same characteristics. Figures 2a, b present the peak modal amplitude of the dominant mode versus the mean
wind speed and the wind direction relative to the projection of the stay axis in the horizontal
plane, currently referred as yaw angle. Over a period of 12 months, it appeared that only the
first three modes of the H3Q22 cable were excited, with a clear predominance of the third one.
Besides, most of vibrations occurred over a limited range of wind speeds, from 11 to 18 m/s,
and for yaw angles || between 10 and 40.

Figure 2. Peak modal amplitude of the dominant mode versus the mean wind speed (a) and the yaw angle (b).

Experimental Vibration Analysis for Civil Engineering Structures

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Figure 3a gives a representative example of the evolution of the peak modal displacement
time histories, obtained by band-pass filtering the signal at the accelerometer location and scaling to the modal peak location. As shown by the example, most of vibrations presented a steep
increase of the 3rd mode amplitude, which could be modelled by a negative aerodynamic damping ratio ranged between -0.3 and -0.6 %, sometimes linked with a slower increase of the second
one (by non-linear geometrical coupling) and quickly followed by a return to the equilibrium as
wind conditions were changing. According to Figure 3b, the movement was nearly vertical and
perpendicular to the wind direction.

Figure 3. Evolution of the peak modal amplitude with time (a) and trajectory of the stay (b) during dry
inclined cable vibrations.

The most excited frequencies of the global structure (0.3, 0.44 and 0.65 Hz) lead to exclude
the eventuality of a classical resonance or parametric excitation. Although a complex non linear
interaction between the stay and the global modes of the structure, addressed in a complementary paper (Boujard et al. 2007), could explain the repeated excitation of the 3rd mode of the cable, the occurrence of vibration events in similar wind conditions leads to consider in the present paper the influence of a local aerodynamic phenomenon on the stay-cable. Nevertheless,
frequency of the movement appears to be beneath the range corresponding to the vortex shedding (ft 15 Hz for U = 14 m/s) and the phenomenon can not be attributed to a wake galloping,
because the wind is blowing in a direction nearly perpendicular to the bridge during the vibration events. Some of the characteristics of the observed vibrations, such as wind critical directions, spectral content of displacements and instability in a limited range of wind speeds, are
similar to those of the rain-wind-induced vibrations (Main et al. 2001), but the phenomenon also
occurs without rain. Therefore, although the eventuality of a link between the two phenomena
has to be considered, the following study focuses on the origin of dry inclined cable vibrations.
3 PRESSURE MEASUREMENTS ON A STEADY INCLINED CYLINDER
An experimental campaign of pressure measurements at the surface of a steady 25 inclined circular cylinder has been performed in the CSTBs 2m (H) 4m (W) atmospheric wind-tunnel.
The aim was to explain the onset of the observed full-scale vibrations and to provide a complement to the few data present in literature dealing with aerodynamics of yawed and inclined circular cylinders (Bursnall & Loftin 1951; Larose & Zan 2001; Larose et al. 2003, 2005).
A 0.2 m diameter and 4.7 m long roughened PVC cylinder was used. The extremities of the
tube were fixed to the floor, fitted up with a turntable (in order to test different wind directions),
and the ceiling of the wind tunnel. A metallic tripod was used to ensure the rigidity of the cylinder. To avoid the tripod to modify the flow around the cylinder, tests were carried out for negative values of the yaw angle (cable inclining in the direction of the wind flow). Simultaneous
measurements of time varying surface pressures were made by use of 64 pressure taps arranged
in 2 cross-sectional rings located in the middle of the model (Fig. 4). Acquisitions of 120 sec-

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onds at a frequency of 200 Hz were performed for a low turbulence intensity of 0.75 %, for yaw
angles between -70 and 0, and for many values of the Reynolds number.

Figure 4. Cable-stay model in the CSTBs wind-tunnel.

For -30<<-10, Figures 5a, b show that the decrease of the drag coefficient CD with Reynolds number Re, proper to the so-called critical flow regime around circular cylinders (Zdravkovich 1997), is correlated in these configurations with 2 particularly steep variations of the lift
coefficient CL (with CL = FL/(0.5DU), CD = FD/(0.5DU), and: FL and FD the lift and drag
forces, the air density, D the cable diameter, U the wind velocity).

Figure 5. Evolution of the mean drag CD (a) and lift CL (b) coefficients in the critical range.

Figure 6 shows that these variations of CL are linked to a sudden increase of the negative
pressures on the lower part of the cylinder, followed by the formation of a second negative pressure lobe on the upper part for Re > 3.105.

Figure 6. Evolution of the mean pressure distribution around the cylinder with Reynolds number for
= -17.5.

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377

These characteristics of the pressure distribution are quite similar to those observed at the surface of a horizontal cylinder in the critical regime, when the transition to turbulent flow occurs
in the separated shear layer and induces a re-attachment on one side of the cylinder (TrBL1 regime) and on both sides (TrBL2) for higher values of Re (Zdravkovich 1997; Larose & Zan
2001). Nevertheless in the present study, the first negative pressure lobe always appears on the
same side of the cylinder and leads to higher values of CL compared to previous results (Larose
et al. 2003, 2005). This result may be attributed to the influence of the inclination angle, which
is responsible for an asymmetry of the section as seen by the wind: for negative values of ,
the section presents a corner on the lower part, leading to an early separation of the flow,
whereas the upper part shows a downstream migration of the separation point typical of the
critical regime of circular cylinders (Fig. 7). For || 30, the ellipse is even flatter and more inclined. Flow characteristics then get very different from those of a horizontal cylinder perpendicular to the wind.

Figure 7. Ellipse as seen by the wind in the vertical plane containing the wind velocity vector.

4 QUASI-STEADY MODEL FOR THE ANALYSIS OF EXPERIMENTAL DATA


4.1 Analysis of the linear problem
In order to clarify the nature of the instability responsible for dry inclined cable vibrations and
to evaluate the influence of the flow characteristics around the cylinder, a general 2 degrees of
freedom quasi-steady model of galloping, similar to the model proposed by Macdonald &
Larose (2005, 2006) is used. This linear model, fitted to the presented experimental data, takes
into account the dependency of the aerodynamic coefficients on both Reynolds number and yaw
angle.

Figure 8. Definition of the reference angles.

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In the local system x1, x2, x3 of the cable (Fig. 8), the wind force acting on the steady cylinder
is given by:

1 DU
f =
2 cos *

( )

(
(

C D Re , *

*
C L Re ,

)
)

(
)
(R , )

C L Re , *
CD

0.n
0

(1)

with n the unit vector representing the direction of the wind. The angles * and * are linked to
the inclination angle and the yaw angle by the equations:

( )
sin ( ) = cos( ). sin ( )

tan * = sin ( ). tan ( )

(2)

(3)

First eigen frequencies of a stay-cable being beneath the frequency of the vortex shedding in
the considered Reynolds number range, the quasi-steady theory is applicable. So expressing the
instantaneous flow-cylinder relative velocity in the sytem x1, x2, x3 and developing the instantaneous wind force in the plane (x1, x2) at the first order, the dynamic system is determined:

M .&x& + (C + C a ).x& + K .x = 0

(4)

with:

2m1
m 0
M =
,C=

0 m
0

m1 2
0
0
K
,
,
=

2
2m 2
0
m

g (C ) g (C L )
Re
h(C D ) h(C L )
[G.B + H ] , G = D
Ca =
, H =

,
4
g (C L ) g (C D )
h(C L ) h(C D )

( )
( )

cos 2 *
B=
*
sin 2

sin 2 *

cos 2 *

1
g (C F ) = C F 2 cos *
cos *

2C F
h(C F ) = g (C F ) +
cos( * )

( )

( )

C F
C
+
Re cos * F* sin * ,

Re

( )

( )

(with m the mass per unit length, the structural damping ratio, 1 and 2 the circular frequencies of the oscillations in the x1 and x2 directions, CF = CD or CL).
The transversal and vertical aerodynamic damping ratios are then given by:

a1 = C a11 2m1

(5)

a 2 = C a 22 2m 2

(6)

A necessary condition for instability is then: a1 < 0 and/or a2 < 0. Based on these relations,
Figure 9a highlights the existence of 2 potential regions of instability, respectively at the beginning and at the end of the critical range (a1 and a2 have been calculated using the characteristics
of the H3Q22 stay-cable of the Iroise Bridge presented in Table 1, assuming an excitation of the
3rd mode). Noting a2(x) the term of a2 proportional to x, Figure 9b shows that steep variations
of CL with Re, leading to particularly high values of the term proportional to CL/ Re, provide
the main contribution to the aerodynamic damping for the wind directions coinciding with the
full-scale observed vibrations. The same remark can be made for a1. On the contrary the term
proportional to CD seems to act as a stabiliser. It can be noticed that the calculated aerodynamic damping ratios are similar to those measured on the Iroise Bridge (Fig. 3a).

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Besides, the nature of the instability in the two regions is different: only the transversal mode
is divergent in the first region, whereas both transversal and vertical modes are unstable in the
second one.

Figure 9. Evolution of the transversal and vertical aerodynamic damping ratios with Re for = -17.5 (a)
and contribution of each term of the vertical aerodynamic damping ratio (b).

Contrary to previous interpretations (Cheng et al. 2003), the analysis of the experimental data
shows that the observed dry inclined cable vibrations can not be attributed to a classical Den
Hartog galloping, of which origin is linked to steep variations of CL with the wind angle of attack for structures with asymmetric profiles (iced cable for example). Nevertheless the high sensitivity of the lift coefficient to Re in limited ranges of wind speeds and directions also leads to a
significant decrease of the effective damping ratio e (e = +a) of stay-cables. This context can
then increase the sensitivity of the stays to other phenomena (parametric excitation for example)
or directly lead to an instability if the effective damping gets null.
To complete the study of the phenomenon, a bifurcation analysis of the dynamic system has
been conducted. Searching for solutions of (4) of the type: x(t ) = Ae t and using a perturbation
method, Luongo & Piccardo (2005) obtained the following approximate analytical expressions
of the eigen values depending on the detuning parameter = 1 / 2 -1:
in the non-resonant case, that means when -1:

(1, 2 ) = 1 [i ( + a1 )]

(7)

(1, 2 ) = 2 [i ( + a 2 )]

(8)

in the resonant and quasi-resonant case, that means when is null or very small:

1 tr (C

a
(1, 2 ) = 2 i +
+ 2i
4

m
2

tr 2 (C a ) 4. det (C a )

(m 2 )2

1 tr (C

4i
(C a11 C a 22 ) 4 2

m 2

a
(3, 4 ) = 2 i +
2i
4
m

2
4

(9)

tr 2 (C a ) 4. det (C a )

(m 2 )2

4i
(C a11 C a 22 ) 4 2
+
m 2

(10)

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The sytem (4) is stable only in the cases where Re()<0. Figure 10 shows that in the case of
the first instability region, the cable is stable when the detuning parameter is null or very small.
Past a certain value of , which depends on the frequency of the cable, the wind speed and the
structural damping, a simple Hopf bifurcation occurs (Re((1,2))>0) and the cable gets unstable.
In the second instability region, the cable is unstable, even for small values of . In this case,
Figure 10 shows that for higher values of , a second Hopf bifurcation occurs.

Figure 10. Evolution of the real part of the eigen values of the dynamic system with the detuning parameter in the two instability regions (f = 2.20 Hz, = 0.2032 %).

In the case of cable-stays with small sag, the detuning parameter is given by (Irvine 1981):

22
k +1
1 + 4 4 1 + ( 1)
k

2
4k 4

(1 + ( 1) )

k +1 2

(11)

with the Irvine parameter of the cable and k the excited mode of vibration. As a consequence,
the antisymmetric modes (even values of k) and the higher modes of the cable can theoretically
not be subjected to the first instability.
4.2 Influence of the aerodynamic non-linearities
Since the two instability regions are relative to narrow ranges of Reynolds numbers, aerodynamic non-linearities quickly influence the evolution of the amplitude, which will be limited.
Assuming the only dependence of the aerodynamic coefficients on the Reynolds number (or
equivalently on the flow-cylinder relative velocity), CD and CL have been developed in powers
of x&1 and x& 2 . Only odd powers are used: indeed it can be easily shown (for example by the
multiple scales method) that the even powers of the components of the cable velocity do not
modify the amplitude and the phase of the periodic solution. The development of the aerodynamic coefficients are then deduced by an interpolation of the CD-Re and CL-Re curves in each
instability region.
The resulting dynamic systems are of the following type:
in the first instability region:

&x&1 + 21 x&1 + 1 2 x1 A1 .x&1 + B1 .x& 2 + C1 .( x&1 )3 D1 .( x&1 )2 .x& 2 + E1 .x&1 .( x& 2 )2

3
F1 .( x& 2 ) = G1

&x& + 2 x& + 2 x A .x& + B .x& + C .( x& )3 D .( x& )2 .x& + E .x& .( x& )2


2 2
2
2
2 1
2 2
2
1
2
1
2
2 1
2
2
3

F2 .( x& 2 ) = G 2

(12)

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in the second instability region:

&x&1 + 21 x&1 + 1 2 x1 A1 .x&1 + B1 .x& 2 + C1 .( x&1 )3 D1 .( x&1 )2 .x& 2 + E1 .x&1 .( x& 2 )2

3
5
4
3
2
2
3
F1 .( x& 2 ) + G1 .( x&1 ) H 1 .x&1 .x& 2 I 1 .( x&1 ) .( x& 2 ) + J 1 .( x&1 ) .( x& 2 )

4
5
K 1 .x&1 .( x& 2 ) + L1 .( x& 2 ) = M 1

(13)

&x& + 2 x& + 2 x + A .x& B .x& C .( x& )3 + D .( x& )2 .x& E .x& .( x& )2


2 2
2
2
2 1
2 2
2
1
2
1
2
2 1
2
2
3
5
4
3
2
2
3

+ F2 .( x& 2 ) G2 .( x&1 ) + H 2 .( x&1 ) .x& 2 I 2 .( x&1 ) .( x& 2 ) + J 2 .( x&1 ) .(x& 2 )

4
5

K 2 .x&1 .(x& 2 ) + L2 .(x& 2 ) = M 2


parameters Ai, Bi, Ci, Di, Ei, Fi, Gi, Hi, Ii, Ji, Ki, Li, Mi being polynomials of the mean wind
speed U, positive in the instability regions.
Using parameters of the H3Q22 stay of the Iroise Bridge, simulations show that the instabilities lead to limited amplitudes of about one diameter of cable, in good agreement with the fullscale observed ones. Nevertheless, the evolution of the amplitude and the direction of the
movement in the second instability region seems to be closer to the observed vibrations than in
the first one (Figs 11-12).

Figure 11. Simulation of the behavior of the H3Q22 stay-cable: evolution of the vertical amplitude with
time (a) and trajectory of the cable in the periodic state (b) for Re = 2.53 105, = -17.5 and = -4.5 10-3

Figure 12. Simulation of the behaviour of the H3Q22 stay-cable : evolution of the vertical amplitude with
time (a) and trajectory of the cable in the periodic state (b) for Re = 3.13 105, = -17.5 and = -4.5 10-3

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5 CONCLUSIONS
A full-scale characterization of dry inclined cable vibrations has given the opportunity to study
the phenomenon from a new angle. An experimental campaign of pressure measurements on a
yawed and inclined circular cylinder has then enabled to attribute the oscillations to a decrease
of the effective damping of the cable, induced by a high sensitivity of the lift coefficient to
small variations of the Reynolds number in a limited range of wind speeds and directions. The
proposed mathematical model correctly reproduces the behaviour of the stay-cable and enables
a future parametric analysis to define the damping required to mitigate the vibrations.
The local aerodynamic phenomenon addressed in the present paper is suspected to increase
the sensitivity of the stay-cables of the Iroise Bridge to a complex non linear interaction between the stays and the global modes of structures, excited by wind and traffic. This point is developed in a complementary paper (Boujard et al. 2007).
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