Discrete Analysis of Elastic Cables

Martti Kiisa, Juhan Idnurm, Siim Idnurm


This paper presents a discrete calculation method for an elastic cable loaded by static concentrated forces. The discrete method is suitable to use for all suspension structures (bridges, roofs). In the calculation of the elastic cable the main problem is the geometrically non-linear behaviour of the parabolic cable. The linear methods of analysis are suitable only for small spans. A geometrically non-linear continual model is especially useful for classical loading types, e.g. uniformly distributed loads. The discrete model of suspension structures allows applying all kinds of loads, such as distributed or concentrated ones. The assumptions of the discrete method described here are: the stress-strain dependence of the material is linear, the area of the cross-section of the cable is unchangeable during the elongation and the flexural rigidity of the cable is not taken into account. An experimental investigation was conducted to prove this calculation method.


cable-supported structure; elastic cable; suspension structure; long-span structure; discrete analysis; geometrical non-linearity; load test

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DOI: 10.3846/bjrbe.2012.14


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