On wet and windy days, the inclined cables of cable-stayed bridges can experience large amplitude, potentially damaging oscillations known as Rain-Wind Induced Vibration (RWIV). The phenomenon is believed to be the result of a complicated nonlinear interaction between rivulets of rain water that run down the cables and the wind loading on the cables due to the unsteady aerodynamic flow field. A numerical method has been developed at the University of Strathclyde, to simulate aspects of RWIV, the results of which can be used to assess the importance of the water rivulets on the instability. This combines a Discrete Vortex Method solver to determine the external flow field and unsteady aerodynamic loading and a pseudo-spectral solver based on lubrication theory to model the water on the surface of the body and which is used to determine the evolution and growth of the water rivulets under external loading. These two models are coupled to simulate the interaction between the aerodynamic field and the thin liquid film on a horizontal circular cylinder. The results illustrate the effects of various loading combinations, and importantly demonstrate rivulet formation in the range of angles previous research has indicated that these may suppress the Karman vortex and lead to a galloping instability. These rivulets are found to be of self limiting thickness in all cases.

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