Inclined Cables Under Load — Design Expressions

by Anthony J. Wilson, Design Engr.; Dept. of Main Roads, Sydney, NSW, Australia; formerly, Research Student, School of Civ. Engrg., Univ. of Sydney, Sydney, NSW, Australia,
Robert J. Wheen, (M.ASCE), Sr. Lect. in Civ. Engrg.; Univ. of Sydney, Sydney, NSW, Australia,

Serial Information: Journal of the Structural Division, 1977, Vol. 103, Issue 5, Pg. 1061-1078

Document Type: Journal Paper


The findings of an earlier paper are extended to include the behavior of cables with support points at different levels. It is shown that generalized expressions can be used for the direct design of such inclined cables under uniform loading where stress or slope limitations are specified. The inclined cable expressions may, alternatively, be used as a means of analyzing cables for relatively simple load cases. The cable is considered as a number of inclined segments that join the loading points. The method is demonstrated by three examples. The results from the examples are compared with other solutions for the same problems. All of the expressions derived in the paper are based on the parabolic approximation to the true elastic catenary shape which the cable adopts. It is shown that the accuracy which can be achieved lies well within the normal bounds of engineering accuracy.

Subject Headings: Cables | Load factors | Load and resistance factor design | Slopes | Professional societies | Paraboloid | Approximation methods | Elastic analysis

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