Project: Model-Based Aeroelastic Analysis of Long-Span Bridges on the HPC Cloud

BridgeCloud aims to revolutionize everyday bridge design by developing a methodology and producing a corresponding software product for (i) obtaining wind pressure distributions in space and time accounting for fluid (wind) – structure (bridge) interaction, (ii) automatically incorporating them into the structural design process, and (iii) capturing and avoiding eventual aerodynamic instability effects that may endanger long-span bridges._x000D_The final product will actually provide a “virtual and significantly improved wind tunnel laboratory” that will enhance the design phase with an extra tool, which will be integrated seamlessly via Building Information Model (BIM) technology in the model based (CAD) design process, essentially shifting the experimental phase (virtual wind tunnel tests) towards the early stages of the whole design procedure, thus facilitating testing and comparison of alternative bridge typologies, and optimizing bridge design in all design stages. _x000D__x000D_By performing all necessary design tasks in-house, structural design office productivity will be improved, and by optimizing the structural system and bridge cross-sections, the overall construction cost will be reduced. To achieve that, three major gaps have to be closed: (i) the current computational problems of fluid - structure interaction (FSI), (ii) the current lack of processing power, and (iii) the current lack of interoperability, both between the design team members and between their tools._x000D_The interaction between the fluid flow and an embedded elastic body is extremely complex. The aeroelastic instability includes phenomena like vertical due to vortex shedding phenomenon induced by the flow over bluff bodies, torsional, and coupling of vertical and torsional instability, called flutter. If the wind speed is greater than the critical wind speed the aerodynamic instability develops, which leads to failure. _x000D__x000D_The current design codes (in Europe EN1991-1-4) include guidelines for calculating wind actions, depending on the location, type of terrain, type and dimensions of the specific structure. Spatial-temporal variability of wind actions as well as interaction between wind flow and bridge deformations are ignored. For bridges outside the field of application of the codes, wind tunnel tests are commonly performed, yielding realistic wind pressure distributions and capturing structural instabilities. In spite of their high cost and several shortcomings, such tests are currently the most reliable means for treating the wind response of bridges._x000D_In terms of numerical efforts, currently Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) results are at best used to extract theoretical or empirical laws for wind actions and stability of bridges, while Computational Structural Dynamics (CSD) analysis takes into account only qualitatively the CFD results to check extreme conditions. In the majority of attempts only 2D deck sections are examined, without taking 3D aeroelastic effects into account. The results of 2D coupled analysis are empirically adapted and transferred to 3D CSD simulations. Fully coupled 3D aeroelasticity analysis of bridges during the design phase, is an oncoming technological issue. _x000D_The time and memory requirements for the fully-coupled FSI simulation are well above the usually available computational facilities of a typical engineering design team. For the necessary high computing power to realize a virtual wind tunnel lab on the desktops of SME engineers the involvement of cloud computing on a rental basis is the most promising solution. Cloud computing enables efficient HPC while reducing the associated cost of building dedicated HPC systems. It can deliver the needed utilization and scalability on par with the current native HPC approach of designing dedicated systems for specific applications, while cloud concept can be used without performance degradation. The capabilities of HPC clouds will be utilized within the project to render the proposed product practical for engineering applications and provide to SME bridge engineers the computer power to make a virtual wind tunnel lab as an integrated design tool alive._x000D__x000D_Extraction from the architectural design of the information relevant to CFD and CSD independent analyses will be performed according to a BIM paradigm. Design of bridge considering FSI is a multi-model interoperability problem which is currently not solved and each of the models, the architectural design model, the CSD and the CFD models have to be established und updated for each iteration by hand, which is a very tedious, error prone and time consuming procedure. On the other hand BIM based interoperability is a well developed method in building engineering and latest development in particular for multi-model interoperability, management and filtering has reached a high level of efficiency. This concept of working should be transferred and adapted to bridge design, COtenance and retrofitting. _x000D__x000D_

Acronym BridgeCloud (Reference Number: 7987)
Duration 01/01/2013 - 31/12/2015
Project Topic BridgeCloud aims to develop a bridge-wind interaction virtual design lab that integrates semi-automatic modeling on a BIM basis with mesh generation, numerical wind-bridge interaction analysis and cloud computing power, providing for an easy-to-use sophisticated design tool to bridge design SMEs.
Network Eurostars
Call Eurostars Cut-Off 9

Project partner

Number Name Role Country
5 FIDES DV-P Beratungs- und Vertriebs-GmbH Coordinator Germany
5 Wacker Bauwerksaerodynamik GmbH Partner Germany
5 Institute of Bioorganic Chemistry Polish Academy of Sciences - Poznan Supercomputing and Networking Center Partner Poland
5 Technische Universität Dresden, Institut für Bauinformatik Partner Germany
5 DENCO Development and Engineering Consultants S.A. Partner Greece