Airfoil and Bridge Deck Flutter Derivatives

by Robert H. Scanlan, (M.ASCE), Prof. of Civ. Engrg.; Dept. of Civ. and Geological Engrg., Princeton Univ., Princeton, NJ,
John J. Tomko, (A.M.ASCE), Struct. Res. Engr.; Fairbank Highway Res. Station, Federal Highway Admin., U.S. Dept. of Transp., McLean, VA,

Serial Information: Journal of the Engineering Mechanics Division, 1971, Vol. 97, Issue 6, Pg. 1717-1737

Document Type: Journal Paper


The writers compare the flutter phenomena of the suspension bridge and the airfoil and employ a free-oscillation experimental method to measure model bridge flutter coefficients analogous to airfoil flutter coefficients. They employ the airfoil as a check on the experimental method, both as a theoretical backdrop and to test out the nature of aerodynamic oscillatory forces under exponentially modified motion. A short catalogue of bridge deck flutter coefficients is then experimentally obtained and presented covering a range of bridge deck forms. Detailed results are described to account for a number of phenomena observed in the wind tunnel and in the field.

Subject Headings: Bridge decks | Suspension bridges | Aircraft wings | Aerodynamic flutter | Structural models | Oscillations | Wind tunnel | Tunnels

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