Reducing wind-induced vibrations of road sign structures through aerodynamic modifications: A computational pilot study for a practical example

Qiming Zhu, Stein K.F. Stoter, Michael Heisel, Catherine E. French, Michele Guala, Lauren E. Linderman, Dominik Schillinger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations

Abstract

In this article, we illustrate the potential of aerodynamic modifications of road signs to reduce wind-induced vibrations. Using a real-world sign structure operated by the Minnesota Department of Transportation, we focus on two modification variants, one based on the simple removal of secondary panels and one based on the addition of drag reducing rear extensions to the main panel. Our main analysis tool is a computational fluid dynamics framework based on the finite element method, which is validated against experiments with a scaled sign model that were conducted in the towing tank and the wind tunnel of the St. Anthony Falls Laboratory. We demonstrate computationally that aerodynamic modifications constitute an effective way of reducing the vibration amplitude in the example structure for head wind at the average operating wind speed. The present study can be seen as a first step towards establishing the use of aerodynamic devices for road sign structures.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number104132
JournalJournal of Wind Engineering and Industrial Aerodynamics
Volume199
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 2020

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors gratefully acknowledge support from the Minnesota Department of Transportation via the project “Understanding and mitigating the dynamic behavior of RICWS and DMS under wind loading” within the Local Road Research Board program (grant no. 1003325 , PI: L. Linderman). D. Schillinger gratefully acknowledges support from the National Science Foundation via the NSF CAREER Award No. 1651577 . The authors also acknowledge the Minnesota Supercomputing Institute (MSI) of the University of Minnesota for providing computing resources that have contributed to the research results reported within this paper ( https://www.msi.umn.edu/ ).

Funding Information:
The authors gratefully acknowledge support from the Minnesota Department of Transportation via the project ?Understanding and mitigating the dynamic behavior of RICWS and DMS under wind loading? within the Local Road Research Board program (grant no. 1003325, PI: L. Linderman). D. Schillinger gratefully acknowledges support from the National Science Foundation via the NSF CAREER Award No. 1651577. The authors also acknowledge the Minnesota Supercomputing Institute (MSI) of the University of Minnesota for providing computing resources that have contributed to the research results reported within this paper (https://www.msi.umn.edu/).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 Elsevier Ltd

Keywords

  • Aerodynamic modifications
  • CFD validation
  • Finite element method
  • Road sign structures
  • Wind-induced vibrations

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