Wind Load Test Facility

The Clemson University boundary layer wind tunnel is a mid-scale boundary layer wind tunnel. The test section is 3 m wide and 2.4 m high with a 2.7 m diameter turntable. The tunnel has 20 m of fetch with adjustable surface roughness. The air flow is driven by two 1.5 m diameter fans with adjustable blade angle and rotational speed. The wind tunnel is capable of achieving sustained winds speeds of up to 16 m/s. The fan speed, turntable, and data collection is all controlled remotely from the facilities control room.

View looking upwind along the tunnel with the turntable in the foreground.

The facility has a broad range of instrumentation including

  1. A 512 channel Scanivalve system for measuring pressure distributions over building surfaces
  2. 2 Cobra probes for measuring the mean flow and turbulence characteristics of the flow in three dimensions
  3. Irwin probes for measuring surface shear stress and pedestrian level wind speeds
  4. load cells for measuring base force and moments of structures
  5. A three dimensional instrument traverse
  6. A debris cannon for impact testing

The facility is housed in its own building that also includes office space, a control room, a workshop for model construction, a meeting room, and library.

Control room

Meeting room and library

Debris cannon

Built Environment Laboratory (BEL)

The Built Environment Laboratory (BEL) is a shared facility between the Glenn Department of Civil Engineering, the School of Architecture, and the Wood Utilization + Design Institute.  BEL includes a 6000 sf high bay area devoted to structural testing and a 6000 sf low bay area devoted to component fabrication and studio learning.  Officially opened in 2019, BEL provides a “collision space” for students and faculty who study diverse aspects of the built environment.