Tornadoes and windborne debris: an experimental and analytical approach

Bourriez, Frederick ORCID: 0000-0002-0336-6476 (2020). Tornadoes and windborne debris: an experimental and analytical approach. University of Birmingham. Ph.D.

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Windborne debris during severe weather events such as hurricanes or tornadoes can seriously damage engineering and non-engineering structures. Building failures, whether induced by strong winds or debris impact, can generate significant amounts of airborne debris, increasing the risk of damage to surrounding buildings. To date, the interaction between tornado winds and windborne debris is poorly understood. Analytical models and numerical simulations have previously been used to examine debris flight, but those models are by nature highly simplified and still lack experimental or full-scale validation. This research investigates the flight of debris in tornado-like flow fields using physical and analytical models. Physical simulations were carried out using a tornado simulator, and experimental results of the flight of single or multiple debris showed some good agreement with full-scale observations. Debris trajectories were also compared with numerically calculated debris trajectories based on experimental velocity and particle tracking data and the methodology developed showed good agreements with experimental data. Finally, the flight of debris was examined using velocity fields from analytical vortex models and demonstrates the limitations of these models to reproduce similar experimental flow fields or debris trajectories. One model showed good potential, but additional research and data are still needed before validating and using it further.

Type of Work: Thesis (Doctorates > Ph.D.)
Award Type: Doctorates > Ph.D.
Licence: All rights reserved
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Engineering & Physical Sciences
School or Department: School of Engineering, Department of Civil Engineering
Funders: None/not applicable
Subjects: T Technology > TA Engineering (General). Civil engineering (General)


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