Post-Elastic Response of Suspended Cables

by H. Max Irvine, Lect.; Dept. of Civ. Engrg., Univ. of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand,

Serial Information: Journal of the Engineering Mechanics Division, 1975, Vol. 101, Issue 6, Pg. 725-737

Document Type: Journal Paper


An analytical investigation is made of the post-elastic response of a suspended cable to a point load and a uniformly distributed load. The theories apply to a suspended cable in which the ratio of sag to span is about 1:8 or less. This restriction covers most cases of practical importance. The solutions are given in dimensionless form and take account of the actual stress-strain properties of the material. They are particularly simple to apply to practical problems. The investigation shows that there exists a considerable reserve of strength over and above the elastic limit before the ultimate capacity is reached. It is found, however, that post-elastic excursions, which give rise to nonrecoverable strains, can cause unacceptable changes in dead-load geometry especially for cables that are originally taut and flat.

Subject Headings: Cables | Elasticity | Load distribution | Suspended loads | Dead loads | Load factors | Case studies | Stress strain relations

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