On the Use of the Cubic Translation to Model Bimodal Wind Pressures

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The cubic translation model is a well know tool in wind engineering, which provides a mathematical description of a non-Gaussian pressure as a cubic transformation of a Gaussian process. This simple model is widely used in practice since it offers a direct evaluation of the peak factors as a function of the statistics of the wind pressure data. This transformation is rather versatile but limited to processes which are said to be in the monotonic region. For processes falling outside this domain, this paper describes an alternative which is based on the physics of the wind flow. First, it is shown, with a classical example of a flow involving corner vortices on a flat roof, that the pressure data which does not meet the monotonic criterion is in fact associated with a bimodal distribution. Then, the proposed approach is to decompose this data into the two governing modes (slow background turbulence and fast corner vortices) and apply the usual translation model to each of them.

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