Date of Graduation

7-2021

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Civil Engineering (MSCE)

Degree Level

Graduate

Department

Civil Engineering

Advisor

R. Panneer Selvam

Committee Member

Eric Fernstrom

Second Committee Member

Ernie Heymsfield

Keywords

Wind Tunnel (WT) Testing Methods, Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD), inflow turbulence, Large Eddy Simulation (LES), Navier-Stokes (NS) Equation, Finite Difference Method (FDM), Non-Dimensional Grid Frequency

Abstract

The collapse of the Tacoma Narrows Bridge in Washington state in 1940 due to high wind forces gave structural engineers notice of the importance of understanding the behavior of wind forces on infrastructure. Wind forces play an important role in the design of buildings and other structures. ASCE 7-16 is the manual used for the design of these buildings and other structures throughout the country. These design criteria have been approved based on research projects involving experimental procedures. For the design of wind loads, ASCE 7-16 uses criteria based on wind tunnel (WT) tests. However, since the development of computing software, numerical methods based on computational fluid dynamics (CFD) have been adopted to study peak pressures produced by wind forces on infrastructure. Once CFD measurements show a good agreement with field measurements and experimental measurements, CFD has the potential to become a cost-effective tool saving time and money.

For this study, peak pressures are computed using CFD procedures and compared with 1:6 scale WT measurements for the Texas Tech University (TTU) building. The Narrowband Synthesis Random Flow Generator (NSRFG) method is used to calculate the inflow turbulence. The behavior of the pressure and the velocity at the building location in the computational domain without building using the NSRFG inflow turbulence method is also investigated. The number of segments of the wind spectrum (N) is varied where a total of 4 different cases are considered. Percentages of error between CFD measurements and WT measurements are investigated. The causes of these errors are discussed as well as limitations of the inflow turbulence generator being used.

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