Direct Design of Taut Cables under Uniform Loading

by Anthony J. Wilson, Design Engr.; Dept. of Main Roads, N.S.W., Sydney, Australia,
Robert J. Wheen, Lect. in Civ. Engrg.; Univ. of Sydney, Sydney, Australia,

Serial Information: Journal of the Structural Division, 1974, Vol. 100, Issue 3, Pg. 565-578

Document Type: Journal Paper


The behavior of tightly strung cables under uniformly distributed loading is considered. It is found that the relevant literature is not very extensive in view of the previous lack of practical applications. An expression is derived relating the cable deflection to the change in loading based on a parabolic approximation to the cable shape. Stresses in the cable are shown to be readily calculated. Equations for the unextended length of the cable lead to the consideration of the effect of temperature changes on deflected shape. The form of the analysis is shown to be suitable for the direct design of taut cables and this is demonstrated with an example.

Subject Headings: Cables | Load factors | Displacement (mechanics) | Load distribution | Paraboloid | Approximation methods | Temperature effects

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