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Using CFD Analysis to predict the effect of Wind on a Tower Crane

CFD proves to offer a reliable working methodology for designers

Newsletter EnginSoft Year 17 n°3
revision November 2022
By Francesco Valente, Terex Tower Cranes | Alessandro Arcidiacono, EnginSoft
Fig. 1 - Terex flat top CTT172-8 crane
Fig. 1 - Terex flat top CTT172-8 crane


Designers of tower cranes must consider many variables when translating the interaction between air flow and a structure into an integral force.
Synthesizing the variables makes the calculations more precise and easier to perform, without compromising safety margins.
Industry regulations must also be followed in creating appropriate predictive models for evaluating the effect of airflow on these cranes. The reference standard for calculating the wind loads acting on a tower crane are conceptually simple and easy to implement and include many rules and parameters that can help designers to evaluate the shielding effects of components’ shapes. However, engineers must typically be guided by their intuition and experience to understand how much one element is shielded by another and how intensely they are affected by the air flow.
This article proposes the use of computational fluid dynamics (CFD) to address these complexities.

Terex is a registered trademark of Terex Corporation in the United States of America and many other countries

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