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Wind tunnel simulation of wind effects and associated displacement hazards on flat surface construction materials such as plywood
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Accidents and hazards continue to plague the construction industry. One often overlooked hazard to workers is the potential for flying debris and materials during high winds. This research was designed to evaluate the wind velocity required to create such an airborne hazard with flat surface materials such as plywood. This research was developed to show select correlations between the wind velocity, lifting forces and the susceptibility to movement of large surface area flat sheets of construction material, specifically four feet by eight feet sheets of floordeck plywood weighing 107 pounds. It also examined and evaluated the correlation of a shape coefficient to movement of materials and wind velocities, so that calculations can be made to adequately predict the potential movement of these materials. This will allow construction supervisors to reasonably prepare for such anticipated conditions. The Texas A&M University low speed wind tunnel was used to place a ftffl-scale stack of plywood floor decking material with the air stream flowing over the stack until top sheet separated or lifted from the stack. Next, a half-scale model was placed in the test section of the tunnel with pressure ports attached to a high speed sampling transducer to measure the actual pressures at select velocities. This allowed for a correlation between the ftifl-scale data and the sampled data. Tests were performed for several front and side angles of the wind striking the edge surface of the materials. Velocities were used up to 60 miles per hour full-scale equivalent. The full-scale model achieved lift forces exceeding the material weight of 107 pounds at one orientation angle at a velocity just below 30 miles per hour. This was consistent with the half-scale test pressures for a similar orientation. Various orientations yielded different forces as was anticipated. From this information a pressure coefficient was developed which when applied with a safety factor allows for reasonable calculations to be made to determine potential hazards and adequately secure materials on any sites where large flat materials may be handled or stored.
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Includes bibliographical references: p. 55.
Issued also on microfiche from Lange Micrographics.
Madeley, Jack T. (1996). Wind tunnel simulation of wind effects and associated displacement hazards on flat surface construction materials such as plywood. Master's thesis, Texas A&M University. Available electronically from
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