A model for the numerical simulation of rivulet evolution on a circular cylinder in an air flow

A.C. Robertson, I.J. Taylor, S.K. Wilson, B.R. Duffy, J.M. Sullivan

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution book


The simultaneous occurrence of rain and wind can generate rivulets of water on the cables of cable-stayed bridges. Under certain conditions the interaction of these rivulets with the local aerodynamic field may result in Rain Wind Induced Vibration (RWIV). A method to model this phenomenon computationally is currently under development at the University of Strathclyde. The current paper presents a two-dimensional model for the evolution of a thin film of water on the outer surface of a circular cylinder subject to pressure, shear, surface-tension and gravitational forces. Numerical simulations of the resulting evolution equation using a bespoke pseudo-spectral solver capture the formation of 'rivulets'; the geometry, location and growth rate of which are all in good agreement with previous studies.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationFlow-induced vibration
EditorsI. Zolotarev, J. Horacek
Place of PublicationPrague
Number of pages5
Publication statusPublished - 3 Jul 2008
Event9th International Conference on Flow-Induced Vibration - Prague
Duration: 30 Jun 20083 Jul 2008


Conference9th International Conference on Flow-Induced Vibration


  • rain-wind-induced vibration
  • circular cylinder
  • numerical simulation
  • pseudo-spectral method
  • thin-film approximation

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