Flutter analysis of long-span bridges using ANSYS

X. G. Hua, Z. Q. Chen, Yiqing Ni, J. M. Ko

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

54 Citations (Scopus)


This paper presents a novel finite element (FE) model for analyzing coupled flutter of longspan bridges using the commercial FE package ANSYS. This model utilizes a specific user-defined element Matrix27 in ANSYS to model the aeroelastic forces acting on the bridge, wherein the stiffness and damping matrices are expressed in terms of the reduced wind velocity and flutter derivatives. Making use of this FE model, damped complex eigenvalue analysis is carried out to determine the complex eigenvalues, of which the real part is the logarithm decay rate and the imaginary part is the damped vibration frequency. The condition for onset of flutter instability becomes that, at a certain wind velocity, the structural system incorporating fictitious Matrix27 elements has a complex eigenvalue with zero or near-zero real part, with the imaginary part of this eigenvalue being the flutter frequency. Case studies are provided to validate the developed procedure as well as to demonstrate the flutter analysis of cablesupported bridges using ANSYS. The proposed method enables the bridge designers and engineering practitioners to analyze flutter instability by using the commercial FE package ANSYS.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)61-82
Number of pages22
JournalWind and Structures, An International Journal
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2007


  • Complex eigenvalue analysis
  • Coupled flutter
  • Finite element (FE) model
  • Instability
  • Long-span bridge

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Building and Construction
  • Modelling and Simulation


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