Bridge Piers - Hydrodynamic Force

by Colin J. Apelt,
Lewis T. Isaacs,

Serial Information: Journal of the Hydraulics Division, 1968, Vol. 94, Issue 1, Pg. 17-30

Document Type: Journal Paper


The forces experienced by models of three different types of bridge piers have been measured for angles of inclination between the stream flow and the pier axis in the range 0○ to 50○, and the results are presented in the form of drag coefficients and lift coefficients. The types of pier tested were a plate pier, dumb-bell piers, and twin cylinder piers. The values obtained for the lift coefficient for the first two types were large, their magnitudes generally falling between one and two for angles of inclination in excess of 10○, whereas those obtained for the third type were relatively small. The forces measured for all pier types possessed fluctuating components the characteristics of which are described. The fluctuating components experienced by the dumb-bell and twin cylinder piers were generally quite large and complex. The relevance of the model results to prototype conditions is discussed and it is concluded that the force coefficients obtained can be used for preliminary design calculations.

Subject Headings: Piers | Bridges | Hydrodynamics | Flow measurement | Streamflow | Cylinders | Structural models | Movable bridges

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