Structural Mechanics - Department of Structural Engineering
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The structural mechanics group is responsible for teaching and research within structural mechanics and design of structures.
Our work in structural design and extension of service life of existing structures ranges from basic research in structural reliability through efficient design with parametric modelling, improved modelling of environmental and operational loads to building with timber and steel structures.
The overall goal of our research group is to develop theoretical, numerical and experimental methods for a more sustainable society by improving design, use, and maintenance of large structures.
To achieve our goals we combine our extensive experience in experimental work in the field and laboratory together with excellent theoretical and numerical expertise.
The researchers involved in WindBridge study the dynamic response and load effects in long-span bridges due to wind loading. Wind loading is, in fact, the most important concern when designing long-span bridges. Wind can cause vibrations at low mean wind speeds due to vortex shedding. Wind can also cause vibrations due to turbulence in strong winds and even make bridges unstable due to flutter, which caused the infamous collapse of the Tacoma Narrows Bridge in 1948.
The research project will focus on the vibration of suspension bridge hangers and nonstationary wind loads caused by downbursts.
Many hangers of suspension of Norwegian suspension bridges vibrate due to wind. The vibrations have not been considered a problem since they are typically small. Severe hanger vibrations were, however, observed already during the construction of the Hålogaland Bridge, and Stockbridge dampers had to be installed to suppress the vibrations. Unfortunately, the dampers did not work well since many were destroyed less than a year after the installation. The research project aims to provide new insight into hanger vibrations and how these can be mitigated.
Nonstationary wind loads
Downburst is a solid downward and outward wind originating from a point source above. Downbursts are often caused by air high above the ground that has been cooled by rain, making the air fall rapidly towards the ground. The wind blows radially outwards from where the air hits the ground, creating a sudden strong wind. Downbursts are often considered related to thunderstorms.
Measurements taken at bridge sites have shown that sudden and intense correlated wind gusts can cause severe load effects in suspension bridges and that this should be considered in the design of bridges. This project aims to provide new insight into how nonstationary wind loads affects suspension bridges.
Structural mechanics lab
Hell test arena
Trains and railway infrastructure