International Journal of Civil Engineering

, Volume 16, Issue 5, pp 499–511 | Cite as

Influence of the Drag Coefficient on Communication Towers

  • Edgar Tapia-Hernández
  • José A. Cervantes-Castillo
Research Paper


This paper discusses some of the recent wind loading procedures for the design of lattice towers. In particular, the paper focuses the attention on the drag coefficient of communication towers with square and triangular cross-section and with flat-sided and circular elements. It provides some background behind the normative methodology of the current specialized codes and its relationship with results of experimental tests. For this purposes, different load patterns were adopted from the application of the normative methodology of the following countries: Mexico, United States, India, Japan and Australian–New Zealand Code. Additionally, the paper provides examples based on actual communication towers to illustrate the lack of consensus and to identify uncertainties in the procedures. The paper concludes that the complexity of most current wind design procedures is not justified and it pretends to help to make rational decision by designers.


Communication tower Wind load Drag coefficient Lattice tower Solidity ratio 



The master fellowship granted to the second author by the National Science and Technology Council of Mexico (Conacyt) is gratefully acknowledged.


  1. 1.
    Mara T, Hong H (2013) Effect of wind direction on the response and capacity surface of a transmission tower. Eng Struct 57:493–501CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Peyrot AH (2009) Wind loading: uncertainties and honesty suggest simplification. In: Proceedings, electrical transmission and substation structures conference, american society of civil engineering, Ohio, US, pp 184–208Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Savory E, Parke GAR, Zeinoddini M, Toy N, Disney P (2001) Modeling of tornado and microburst-induced wind loading and failure of a lattice transmission tower. Eng Struct 23:365–375CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Murià D (2015) El huracán Odile y sus efectos en la infraestructura del sur de la península de Baja California. Research report, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, October (in Spanish) Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Tapia-Hernández E, Ibarra-Santiago S, De-León-Escobedo D (2016) Collapse mechanisms of power towers under wind loading. Struct Infrastruct Eng. doi: 10.1080/15732479.2016.1190765 Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Mara (2013) Capacity assessment of a transmission tower under wind loading. Thesis and Dissertation Repository, University of Western Ontario, Paper 1527Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    IS 875–95 (1992) Use of structural steel in over head transmission line towers- code of practice (Materials, loads and permissible stress), Bureau of Indian Standards, New Delhi, IndiaGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    AIJ-06 (2006), Recommendations for loads on building. Chapter 6: Wind loads, Architectural Institute of Japan AIJ, TokyoGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    ASCE 7–10 (2010), Minimum design loads for buildings and other structures, ASCE Standard ASCE/SEI 7–05, American Society of Civil Engineers. ISBN 07844-0809-2Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    AS/NZS-11 (2011) ASNZS 1170.2. Structural design actions. Part 2: Wind actions. Australian, New Zealand standardGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    IEC-03 (2003), International Electro-technical Commission (IEC). Design criteria of overhead transmission lines, IEC Standard 60826: 2003, 3rd. EditionGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    CFE-08 (2008), Manual de Diseño de Obras Civiles, Capitulo de Diseño por Viento, Instituto de Investigaciones Eléctricas, Comisión Federal de Electricidad, Mexico (in Spanish) Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    NTCV-04 (2004), Guidelines for Wind Design of the Mexico’s Federal District Code, Gaceta Oficial del Distrito Federal, Tomo II (in Spanish) Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Davenport AG (1961) The application of statistical concepts to the wind loading on structures. Proc Inst Civil Eng 19(4):449–472Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Bayar DC (1986) Drag Coefficients of latticed towers. J Struct Eng ASCE 112(2):417–430CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Holmes JD (2007) Wind loading of structures, Second edition. Spon, LondonGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    De Oliveria e SA, Medeiros JC, Loredo-Souza AM, Rocha MM, Rippel I, Carpeggiani EA, Nuñez GJZ (2006) Wind loads on metallic latticed transmission line towers, International Council on Large Electric Systems, Cigre, Paper B2-202. Paris, FranceGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    AIJC-06 (2006) Commentary. Recommendations for loads on building. Architectural Institute of Japan AIJ, Tokyo, JapanGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Flachsbart O, Winter H (1955) Model research on the wind loading of lattice structures. Translated from German by Tucker BL. Sandia National Laboratories, Albuquerque, NM, pp 1–122Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    Pagon WW (1958) Wind forces on structures: plate girders and trusses. J Struct Eng Div 84:ST4Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    Carril CF, Isyumov N, Reyolando MLRF (2003) Experimental study of the wind forces on rectangular latticed communication towers with antennas. J Wind Eng Ind Aerodyn 91:1007–1022CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Cowdrey CE (1965) Aerodynamic forces and moments on models of two sections of a forth crossing tower. NPL/Aero Special Report 027, JuneGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Travanca R, Varum H, Vila P (2012) The past 20 years of telecommunication structures in Portugal. Eng Struct 48:472–485CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Savory E, Parke GAR, Disney P, Toy N (2008) Wind-induced transmission tower foundation loads: A field study-design code comparison. J Wind Eng Ind Aerodyn 96:1103–1110CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    Yang F, Yang J, Niu H, Zhang H (2015) Design wind loads for tubular-angle steel cross-arms of transmission towers under skewed wind loading. J Wind Eng Ind Aerodyn 140:10–18CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. 26.
    Cervantes-Castillo JA (2017) Effect of wind direction on the response of telecommunication towers. Master Thesis, Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana Azcapotzalco, Mexico (in Spanish) Google Scholar
  27. 27.
    CSI (2010) SAP 2000 V14 integrated finite element analysis and design of structures. Computers and Structures, CSI, Berkeley, California, EEUUGoogle Scholar
  28. 28.
    MFDC-04 (2004) Mexico’s Federal District Code, Gaceta Oficial del Departamento del Distrito Federal, Tomo II (in Spanish) Google Scholar
  29. 29.
    Yin T, Lam HF, Chow HM, Zhu HP (2009) Dynamic reduction-based structural damage detection of transmission tower utilizing ambient vibration data. Eng Struct 31:200–2019CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. 30.
    Holmes JD (1995) Along-wind response of lattice towers-II. Aerodynamic damping and deflections. Eng Struct 18(7):483–488CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. 31.
    Lee PS, McClure G (2007) Elastoplastic large deformation analysis of a lattice steel tower structure and comparison with full-scale tests. J Constr Steel Res 63:709–717CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. 32.
    Da Silva JGS, Vellasco PCG, Da S, De Andrade SAL, De Oliveira MIR (2005) Structural assessment of current steel design models for transmission and telecommunication towers. J Constr Steel Res 61:1108–1134Google Scholar
  33. 33.
    Tapia-Hernández E (2016) Tubular steel poles under lateral load patterns. Adv Steel Constr 12(4):428–445Google Scholar
  34. 34.
    Cheng X, Dong J, Han X, Fei Q (2016) Structural health monitoring-finite-element model for a large transmission tower. Int J Civ Eng. doi: 10.1007/s40999-016-0069-3 Google Scholar
  35. 35.
    Prasad RN, Knight GMS, Mohan SJ, Lakshmanan N (2012) Studies on failure of transmission line towers in testing. Eng Struct 35:55–70CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Iran University of Science and Technology 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Universidad Autonoma Metropolitana AzcapotzalcoMéxico, D.F.Mexico

Personalised recommendations