General Solution of Suspended Cable Problems

by Terence O'Brien,

Serial Information: Journal of the Structural Division, 1967, Vol. 93, Issue 1, Pg. 1-26

Document Type: Journal Paper


A general method is presented for the solution of freely suspended cable problems involving three-dimensional systems of gradually applied loads. Any number of concentrated and distributed loadings can be treated in an exact manner. Effects such as temperature change, movement of the supports, and slipping of the cable are readily included and the method can be applied to nonuniform cables and cables of composite construction. The generality and accuracy of the method, when coupled with the speed of a digital computer, provides a powerful tool for the solution of any suspended cable problem. The method has been successfully applied to the analysis of complex loading systems on freely suspended cables and has been used as a basic subprogram for the analysis of pretensioned cable trusses and deep-sea mooring systems. Excellent agreement has been obtained with tests performed on experimental models of each of these types of structures. For loadings distributed uniformly along the length of the cable, the general equations reduce to direct formulas without significant loss of accuracy.

Subject Headings: Cables | Load factors | Suspended loads | Load distribution | Construction methods | Composite construction | Concentrated loads | Temperature effects

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