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Wind Loads on High Rise Building Structures

Gary L. Jones

Principal Investigator:
Professor Tayfun E. Tezduyar, T*AFSM

The objective of this project was to analyze and simulate the behavior of structures such as variable trusses with interaction with incompressible fluid flow. There was significant progress in modeling of various structural shapes using a geometric modeler. Several 3-dimensional meshes were created on the Cray C-90 using an automatic mesh generator. The refinement of each mesh had to be adjusted in order to ensure accurate results without surpassing memory quotas. The preliminary results were obtained for wind flow past a high rise building. The building has a circular cross section with constant radius. The load distribution along the building was obtained using the incompressible Navier-Stokes fluid flow solver developed by the T*AFSM. In this project, Mr. Jones was helped by Dr. Shahrouz Aliabadi, at that time a research associate supervised by Tezduyar. The computations were carried out on the massively parallel supercomputer, Cray T3D, using unstructured mesh consisting of 144,011 nodes and 842,197 tetrahedral elements. Visual results were displayed using available software packages.

Left: Explorer Module Used to Generate Image
Right: 3-D Representation of Magnitude of Bending Moment

Part of the fluid flow solver were modified to obtain the discrete load distribution along the subdivided surface. This load distribution was used to calculate the bending moment as a function of height throughout the building. The results were shown in a module of Explorer created by Mr. Jones. The load distribution is also needed in the equation which governs the deflection of cantilever beams.

Left: Top View of Wind Flow
Center: Pressure Distribution of Wind Load on Cylinder
Right: 3-D Perspective

Methods Used

  1. Model and Surface mesh designed
  2. 3D Mesh generated
  3. Solved for airflow using the Navier Stokes' Equations
  4. Calculated net forces at divided sections of the mesh
  5. Calculated bending moment as a function of height
  6. Visualized results using Explorer, Pager, and Visual3

Left: Top View of Pressure Field
Center: Pressure Distribution of Wind Load on Cylinder
Right: Side View of Pressure Field