Measurement of rivulet movement on inclined cables during rain-wind induced vibration

Yongle Li, Haiquan Jing, Yong Xia, You Lin Xu, Huoyue Xiang

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

22 Citations (Scopus)


The large amplitude vibration of stay cables has been observed in several cable-stayed bridges under the simultaneous occurrence of rain and wind, which is called rain-wind induced vibration (RWIV). During RWIV, the upper rivulet oscillating circumferentially on the inclined cable surface is widely considered to have an important role in this phenomenon. However, the small size of rivulets and high sensitivity to wind flow make the measurement of the rivulet movement challenging. This study proposes a digital image processing method to measure the rivulet movement in wind tunnel tests. RWIV of a cable model was excited during the test and a digital video camera was used to record the video clips of the rivulets, from which the time history of the rivulet movement along the entire cable is identified through image processing. The oscillation amplitude, equilibrium position, and dominant frequency of the upper rivulet are investigated. Results demonstrated that the proposed non-contact, non-intrusive measurement method is cost-effective and has good resolution in measuring the rivulet vibration. Finally the rivulet vibration characteristics were also studied when the cable was fixed. Comparison demonstrates the relation between the upper rivulet and cable vibration.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)17-24
Number of pages8
JournalSensors and Actuators, A: Physical
Publication statusPublished - 7 Apr 2015


  • Cable
  • Image processing
  • Rain-wind induced vibration
  • Water rivulets

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Instrumentation
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films
  • Metals and Alloys
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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