Aerodynamic Instability of Suspension Bridges

by Ali Sabzevari,
Robert H. Scanlan,

Serial Information: Journal of the Engineering Mechanics Division, 1968, Vol. 94, Issue 2, Pg. 489-520

Document Type: Journal Paper


A general linearized analytical theory for the flutter of suspension bridge decks under uniform steady wind is presented. In this theory, the essential aerodynamic forces are presumed to be obtained, in real coefficient form from wind tunnel tests on section models, as explained in an earlier paper by the same authors. In light of the theory given and the experimental observations reported in the writers' previous paper, the following questions are critically examined: (1) The present state of suspension bridge flutter studies; (2) the exact representativeness of bridge section models; (3) the general inapplicability of airfoil aerodynamics to bridge flutter; (4) a critique of forced resonance, autorotation theory, and (5) Dicker's theory as applied to bridge aerodynamic instability. An extensive bibliography of the subject matter is appended.

Subject Headings: Suspension bridges | Aerodynamic flutter | Aerodynamics | Bridge decks | Structural models | Linear analysis | Bridge tests | Wind tunnel

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