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A new deformable catenary element for the analysis

of cable net structures


A. Andreu
a
, L. Gil
a,
*
, P. Roca
b
a
Department of Strength of Materials and Engineering Structures, Universitat Polite` cnica de Catalunya,
ETSEIAT Campus Terrasa, C. Colom, 11, 08222 Terrassa, Spain
b
Department of Construction Engineering, ETSECCPB Campus Nord, edici C2, C. Jordi Girona, 1-3, 08034 Barcelona, Spain
Received 2 November 2005; accepted 7 August 2006
Abstract
The formulation of a deformable catenary element permitting the simulation of nets systems composed of multiple cables is presented.
The formulation proposed, stemming as a modication of the conventional equations for inextensible cables, ensures exact equilibrium
after the deformation of the cable. The use of analytical expressions for both the geometrical description of the element and the corre-
sponding tangent stiness provides high numerical stability to the calculation procedures. The accuracy and eciency of the formulation
are assessed by comparison with available results obtained by other authors using dierent analytical or numerical approaches.
2006 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Keywords: Cable net simulation; Catenary element; Inextensible cable; Elastic cable
1. Introduction
Cable modelling has widespread applications in the
design and analysis of engineering structures. Cables are
present in many dierent types of structures, such as cable
stayed brides, suspension bridges, suspension shells, tenseg-
rities and basked structures. Cable nets can also be used to
model, with large accuracy, bidimensional curved structures
such as membranes and suspension shells, textile mem-
branes and pressurized structures. Furthermore, cables
and cable nets can be used, based on the antifunicular anal-
ogy, to assess the equilibrium of masonry or plain-concrete
arches and vaults working in compression, or to generate
antifunicular shapes adequate for this type of structures.
The computational modelling of individual cables or
cable systems encounters signicant diculties due to the
highly non-linear nature of the problem. Most available
solutions for cables show signicant numerical instability
or poor eciency. More simplied solutions provide too
inaccurate solutions which do not even aord to describe
accurately the equilibrium in the nal deformed congura-
tion of the cable. All these problems become very promi-
nent when these approaches are used to model net
systems composed of multiple cables.
In this paper, a new formulation of a deformable, elastic
cable element, aimed at solving the mentioned numerical
problems, is presented. The formulation results as a modi-
cation of the classical solution for an inextensible cable.
Both the equilibrium equations and the stiness matrix of
the cable are described by a set of exact analytical expres-
sions. The use of these analytical expressions provides the
method with large numerical robustness, while also permit-
ting a very accurate treatment of the equilibrium in the
nal, deformed conguration of the cables. The formula-
tion is apt, in particular, for the modelling of complex cable
systems composed of multiple cables. Because of that, it
can be applied to the analysis of a large variety of complex
structures like:
Membranes
Tensegrities
0045-7949/$ - see front matter 2006 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
doi:10.1016/j.compstruc.2006.08.021
*
Corresponding author.
E-mail address: lluis.gil@upc.edu (L. Gil).
www.elsevier.com/locate/compstruc
Computers and Structures 84 (2006) 18821890
Inatable
Parachutes
Geometries of minimal surfaces
Geometries with shapes of nature
In particular, it can also be applied to the assessment of
masonry skeletal or vaulted historical constructions
(Fig. 1). The latter is described in a companion paper (in
preparation by authors) specically devoted to the use of
the proposed cable element in combination with a set of
optimization procedures for the application of the limit
theorems of plasticity to ancient masonry structures.
2. Modelling cables and cable networks
Dierent numerical approaches have been proposed to
model cable structures. In particular, there are various cat-
enary-type nite elements as well as analytical elements
available, all stemming from the direct problem-solving
of the equilibrium and compatibility equations.
2.1. Inextensible catenary elements
The cable elements adopted are innitely sti in the axial
direction and cannot experience any increment of length.
In fact, the catenary is dened as the curve which an inex-
tensible cable, with negligible resistance to bending, adopts
when suspended from its ends and is subject to the eects of
gravity. Its mathematical expression has been known for a
long time. In 1691, in response to a challenge set forward
by Jacob Bernoulli, the scientists Leibnitz, Huygens and
Johann Bernoulli found the equilibrium equation for an
inextensible catenary. Leibnitz used the theory of innites-
imal calculation to derive the equation of this curve.
In practice, computer applications based on this type of
element encounter severe diculties due to the fact that the
curve that relates forces and displacements, in the inexten-
sible catenary, is asymptotic (Fig. 2). Solving procedures
tend to experience large numerical instability causing, in
turn, a very dicult or even impossible convergence.
2.2. Elastic catenary elements
An elastic catenary curve is dened as the curve formed
by a perfectly elastic cable, which obeys Hookes law and
has negligible resistance to bending, when suspended from
its ends and subjected to gravity. This theory can be appli-
cable to cables made of a suciently rigid material. In 1891
Routh derived the equation for a symmetric catenary com-
posed of a linear elastic material. A discussion on a wide
variety of elastic catenaries can be found in Tibert [1] and
Irvine [2]. It should be noted that the conventional formu-
lations are based on the hypothesis of small deformations,
meaning that the forces are integrated with respect to the
initial conguration of the catenary. Hence, the weight
per unit length does not vary consistently with the elonga-
tion of the catenary. However, in a real catenary, the
weight per unit length will actually decrease in value as
the cable elongates. This may result in an inaccurate
equilibrium of forces in the deformed conguration. The
second example of application included (Section 7.2)
illustrates this fact.
2.3. Associated catenary elements
In this case, a constant load is considered applied per
unit of length notwithstanding the elongation experienced
by the cable. The actual distribution of the applied load in
the nal deformed shape of the catenary is taken into
account by means of additional equations. In the associated
catenary element, a positive elongation of the cable will pro-
duce an increase of the total load sustained by it. This
approach is adequate to model cables subjected to an exter-
nal pressure (such as wind forces) or other possible types of
external forces. Ref. [1] shows a complete development of
Fig. 1. Computational simulation of masonry structures.
Fig. 2. Asymptotic relationship between forces [N] and displacements [m]
in the inextensible catenary.
A. Andreu et al. / Computers and Structures 84 (2006) 18821890 1883
the kinetic expressions as well as the tangential stiness
matrix deduced in the non-deformed conguration.
2.4. Straight elements
The cable is modelled as a series of straight linear ele-
ments. Specic formulations have been developed to
improve the performance of the straight elements taking
into account the behaviour of the cable. Many researchers,
such as Vilnay and Rogers [3], Pellegrino [4], Kwan [5],
Mitsugi [6], Barnes [7], Stefanou [8] or Leonard [9] have
developed cable structure analysis techniques based on this
approach. In general, it is necessary to use a large number
of elements to model correctly the behaviour of the cable
which causes high computing costs [1].
2.5. Approximation of cable elements by polynomial
functions
The geometry of a catenary has been approached, in
some cases, by means of a second degree polynomial. In
fact, a parabola is the antifunicular of a horizontally dis-
tributed load; therefore, in cables experiencing a small cur-
vature, this approximation can be considered acceptable.
In particular, a parabolic elastic element has been devel-
oped in order to model elastic cable elements in those cases
in which the element has low curvature. The full formula-
tion of these equations can be found in Tibert [1],
Ahmadi-Kashani [10] and Mllmann [11].
3. Formulation of the proposed catenary element
3.1. Basic assumptions
In order to adequately describe funicular curves and
overcoming the limitations of the existing formulations, a
new catenary element is here proposed. The new elements
stems from the following hypothesis:
1. Funicular equilibrium of the deformed element. Once
deformed, the catenary element adopts the equilibrium
conguration corresponding to the nal distribution of
forces on the cable.
2. Small deformations, allowing the calculation of the
overall elongation of the element by simply integrating
the deformations along the length of the original
conguration.
3. Conservation of the total unit weight after the deforma-
tion (or, equivalently, conservation of the mass of the
cable).
These assumptions are combined to envisage an approx-
imate solution to a deformable cable verifying exact equi-
librium in the deformed conguration. In the approach
proposed, the weight per unit length is always considered
uniform across the length of the cable. However, the value
of the weight per unit length is made to vary in accordance
with the elongation experienced by the element.
3.2. Development of the kinetic equations of the cable
element
Firstly, the formulation of an isolated catenary element
will be presented. In the following sections, the formulation
will be extended to spatial catenary networks composed of
multiple cables.
The kinetic equations of an inextensible element of cat-
enary (Fig. 3) are obtained from the equilibrium condition.
A detailed derivation, leading to the nal equation (1), can
be found in Irvine [2]
X
2
X
1

1
p
f

Fy
2
2
Fz
2
2
P Fx
2

2
_

Fy
2
2
Fz
2
2
Fx
2
2
_
_ _
Y
2
Y
1

Fy
2
p
f
arcsnh
P Fx
2

Fy
2
2
Fz
2
2
_
_
_
_
_
_
_arcsnh
Fx
2

Fy
2
2
Fz
2
2
_
_
_
_
_
_
_
_
_
_
_
_
_
Z
2
Z
1

Fz
2
p
f
arcsnh
P Fx
2

Fy
2
2
Fz
2
2
_
_
_
_
_
_
_arcsnh
Fx
2

Fy
2
2
Fz
2
2
_
_
_
_
_
_
_
_
_
_
_
_
_
1
where X
i
, Y
i
, Z
i
are the coordinates of the i-node, Fx
i
, Fy
i
,
Fz
i
the forces at the i-node, p
f
is the distributed load per
unit length of arc and P is the total weight of the catenary.
Eq. (1) can be expressed in a more compact form as
X
2
X
1
f F
2
2
where X
i
is the vector of the i-node coordinates (i = 1, 2)
and f is a specic function of the vector of forces F
2
in node
2.
Eq. (2) can be regarded as a non-linear system of three
equations including three unknowns the forces Fx
1
, Fy
2
and Fz
2
in node 2 if the end coordinates at nodes 1 and
2 and the unit weight p
f
are known.
Fig. 3. Catenary element.
1884 A. Andreu et al. / Computers and Structures 84 (2006) 18821890
The above equation is also applicable to the equilibrium
of an extensible, linear elastic catenary, in the deformed
conguration. In that case, p
f
represents the nal unit
weight acquired by the cable after the elongation. The
extensible element will have experienced an increment of
length, Dl, between the initial and the nal (loaded)
congurations.
This increment can be evaluated based on hypothesis 2
(Section 3.1). To do so, the axial deformation of the cable
e(s) is integrated along the original non-deformed length
using the arc length parameter s:
Dl
_
l
0
0
esds 3
where l
0
is the un-deformed length of the cable.
Using Hookes law, the catenarys deformation is calcu-
lated as
es
Ns
EA
4
where N(s) represents the axial force at each point s in the
catenary, A is the cross-section of the cable and E is
Youngs modulus. Considering the cable in equilibrium
(Fig. 3) and taking EA as constant, the axial force can be
evaluated as
Ns

Fy
2
2
Fz
2
2
l
0
sp
0
Fx
2

2
_
5
where p
0
is the unit weight of the cable in the initial un-
deformed conguration.
The following expression for Dl is obtained by combin-
ing Eqs. (4) and (5) and solving the integration on Eq. (3):
Dl
1
p
0
EA
t
2
2

Fy
2
2
Fz
2
2
t
2
_
_

Fy
2
2
Fz
2
2
2
ln t

Fy
2
2
Fz
2
2
t
2
_
_ __
tFx
2
tPFx
2
6
where t is an auxiliary variable used for the integration.
Substituting the variable at the integration limits, gives:
Dl
1
p
0
EA
Fx
2
h
2

g
2
2
lnFx
2
h
_

P Fx
2
x
2

g
2
2
lnFx
2
P x
_
7
where the auxiliary variables x, h and g are dened as
x

Fy
2
2
Fz
2
2
P Fx
2

2
_
h

Fy
2
2
Fz
2
2
Fx
2
2
_
g

Fy
2
2
Fz
2
2
_
8
After the deformation, the catenary will have a nal length
l
f
:
l
f
l
0
Dl 9
Because of the elongation experienced, the unit weight of
the catenary element will have varied. In order to comply
with hypothesis 3 (Section 3.1), the weight per unit length,
in the deformed conguration, is adjusted to keep the total
weight constant. This results in the following equations
relating the total weight P to the initial p
0
and nal p
f
weights per unit length:
P l
f
p
f
l
0
p
0
10
p
f

P
l
0
Dl
11
4. Formulation of the stiness of catenary elements
Eq. (2) describes the response of the catenary element in
terms of exibility as it relates the displacement of the nodes
and the forces applied in them in an explicit manner. The
purpose of this section is to obtain an inverse relationship
Fig. 4. Change from global to local axes.
A. Andreu et al. / Computers and Structures 84 (2006) 18821890 1885
describing the stiness, which will permit the evaluation of
the forces applied at the nodes at their location points.
As the catenary curve does not warp in space it will
always lie in a plane called the local plane. The local plane
can be dened by the H- and V-axes (Fig. 4). Taking node 1
as the origin of the coordinates, the following trigonomet-
ric expressions can be derived:
d

Y
2
Y
1

2
Z
2
Z
1

2
_
12
sin a Z
2
Z
1
=d 13
cos a Y
2
Y
1
=d 13bis
Thus, the coordinates of points 1, 2 can be written in local
axes as
h
1
0
v
1
0
h
2
cos a Y
2
Y
1
sin a Z
2
Z
1

v
2
X
2
X
1
_

_
14
Eq. (14) can be used to update the nodal forces to the local
axes according to
Fv
1
Fv
2
P
Fh
1
Fh
2
Fh
2
cos a Fy
2
sin a Fz
2
Fv
2
Fx
2
_

_
15
Obtaining the inverse transformation that changes the cat-
enarys local plane (H, V) to a three-dimensional space
(X, Y, Z) is also straightforward. The expressions for the
forces in the general global axes are
Fx
1
Fv
2
P
Fy
1
Fh
2
cos a
Fz
1
Fh
2
sin a
Fx
2
Fv
2
Fy
2
Fh
2
cos a
Fz
2
Fh
2
sin a
_

_
16
Changing Eq. (1), formulated in global axes, to the axes of
the catenarys local plane results in
v
2

1
p
f

Fh
2
2
P Fv
2

2
_

Fh
2
2
Fv
2
2
_
_ _
h
2

Fh
2
p
f
arcsnh
P Fv
2
Fh
2
_ _
arcsnh
Fv
2
Fh
2
_ _ _ _ 17
Thus, the elongation of the cable can be calculated as
Dl
1
p
0
EA
t
2
2

Fh
2
2
t
2
_

Fh
2
2
2
ln t

Fh
2
2
t
2
_
_ _ _ _tFv
2
tPFv
2
18
The unit weights p
0
and p
f
are related through Eq. (10).
The non-linear scheme of three equations (1) has been
reduced to a system of two equations with two unknowns
Fh
2
and Fv
2
.
In the resolution of this scheme the reliability and accu-
racy are more important than the speed of the calculation
process. For this reason, the use of the bisection method is
recommended, as it oers greater stability although its con-
vergence velocity is low. To improve the convergence speed,
it is convenient to use an algorithm of the regula falsi type,
but only for the rst iterations. It has been observed that
using this method as an accelerator during the entire search
process increases the instability. This is so because the coef-
cient that appears in the regula falsi tends rapidly towards
zero which, in turn, causes increasing errors due to rounding
and distorts the convergence process.
Once the forces Fv
2
and Fh
2
are found, in accordance
with the scheme for the catenary elements local plane, they
can be expressed in the general X-, Y-, Z-axes by using the
above Eq. (16).
5. Tangent matrix of the catenary element
The tangent matrix associated to the catenary element
permits the solution of cable net problems by techniques
which are explained in the following Section 5. It is known
that an analytically derived, exact tangent matrix provides
a much greater degree of stability than a numerical matrix
obtained by nite dierence techniques [5].
The force vector F and coordinates at the node ends X
are dened by
F Fx
1
; Fy
1
; Fz
1
; Fx
2
; Fy
2
; Fz
2
;
X X
1
; Y
1
; Z
1
; X
2
; Y
2
; Z
2
19
By simply equilibrium, it is known that
Fx
1
Fx
2
P 0
Fy
1
Fy
2
0
Fz
1
Fz
2
0
20
Deriving implicitly the kinematic expressions in (1) and
equilibrium expressions in (20) with respect the coordinate
variables X
1
, Y
1
, Z
1
, X
2
, Y
2
, Z
2
, the components of tangent
stiness matrix can be found as
oF
oX

K
11
K
12
K
21
K
22
_ _
21
where the sub-matrices K
ij
have a 3 3 format and show
the following symmetry condition:
K
11
K
22
K
21
K
22
K
12
K
22
22
Once the submatrix K
22
is found, the rest of the sub-matri-
ces can be found according to (22). The expressions of
matrix K
22
are
K
22
M
1
d
x
M
1
d
y
M
1
d
z
_
23
where
1886 A. Andreu et al. / Computers and Structures 84 (2006) 18821890
The auxiliary variables appearing in Eq. (24) are defined as
a arcshb arcshc; a x h;
b Fy
2
a; c Fz
2
a; C
g
h
; w
g
x
;
w

b
2
1
_
b
2
1
; C

c
2
1
_
c
2
1
; b
P Fx
2

Fy
2
2
Fz
2
2
_
_
_
_
_
_
_;
c
Fx
2

Fy
2
2
Fz
2
2
_
_
_
_
_
_
_ 26
6. Calculations for cable nets
The aim of this section is to establish a procedure for the
resolution of nets of catenary elements. If a net of catenary
elements is cut at the connecting nodes, each isolated ele-
ment will be in equilibrium via non-linear equations. Each
isolated i-element can be described by the following equi-
librium equation:
X
i
2
X
i
1
f F
i
2
27
The conditions of global equilibrium and kinematic com-
patibility are used to derive the global equations of the en-
tire net of cables. Overall equilibrium requires the balance
of all the forces appearing at the ends of catenary elements
connected to a node, with the possible external loads ap-
plied on the node. On the other hand, overall compatibility
requires to reach a single position (same coordinate values)
to each node of the net. The same method used to assemble
elementary matrices in the nite element method, or in
conventional matrix calculation for frame structures, can
also be used to produce the global systems of equations of
a cable net. The resulting non-linear scheme to be solved is
KFX X f 28
where X are the node coordinates, F(X) are the forces at the
nodes of each catenary element, in accordance to Eq. (27),
K is the global tangent stiness matrix and f are the exter-
nal forces on the net nodes.
Fig. 5. Geometry of example 1.
Table 1
Initial properties of the cable
Item Data
Cable cross-section 5.4842 cm
2
Modulus of elasticity 13357.7 N/cm
2
Cable weight 47.0 N/m
Initial cable length Sections 12 125.88 m
Sections 23 186.85 m
Table 2
Example 1: comparison of displacements predicted [mm]
Researcher Element type Vertical displacement Horizontal displacement
Safaan [14] Elastic straight 5.472 0.846
OBrien and Francis [13] Elastic catenary 5.627 0.860
Michalos and Birnstiel [12] Elastic straight 5.472 0.845
Jayaraman and Knudson [15] Elastic straight 5.471 0.845
Jayaraman and Knudson [15] Elastic catenary 5.626 0.859
Tibert [1] Elastic parabola 5.601 0.866
Tibert [1] Elastic catenary 5.626 0.859
Tibert [1] Associated catenary 5.656 0.860
Proposed element Elastic catenary 5.626 0.860
M
a
2
PEA
D
P Fx
2
x

Fx
2
h
_ _
symmetry symmetry
ab
PEA
D
Fy
2
x

Fy
2
h
_ _
b
2
PEA
D a Fy
2
2
CFx
2
wP Fx
2

g
3
_ _ _ _
symmetry
ac
PEA
D
Fz
2
x

Fz
2
h
_ _
bc
PEA
D Fz
2
Fy
2
CFx
2
wP Fx
2

g
3
_ _ _ _
c
2
PEA
D a Fz
2
2
CFx
2
wP Fx
2

g
3
_ _ _ _
_

_
_

_
24
d
x

p
0
0
0
_

_
_

_; d
y

0
p
0
0
_

_
_

_; d
z

0
0
p
0
_

_
_

_ 25
A. Andreu et al. / Computers and Structures 84 (2006) 18821890 1887
To solve the system (28) a scheme of iterative increments
in adopted. In each load increment, the NewtonRaphson
method is used to solve the resultant non-linear system.
The use of the analytic expression (21) for the calculation
of the tangent matrix provides stability and rapid conver-
gence to the solving method.
7. Validation examples
7.1. Example 1
The present example, taken from Tibert [1], is a refer-
ence case already considered by other authors to validate
dierent methods for simulating cables, such as Michalos
and Birnstiel [12], OBrien and Francis [13], Saafan [14]
and Jayaraman and Knudson [15]. The initial congura-
tion and data can be found in Fig. 5 and Table 1,
respectively.
Table 2 summarizes the results obtained by dierent
authors. The prediction yielded by the proposed catenary
element coincides satisfactorily with that of other authors.
It should be noted that the set of catenary type elements
shows a more deformable behaviour than the straight type.
The shape acquired by the cable after the deformation is
shown in Fig. 6.
Fig. 6. Deformation of the cable.
Fig. 7. Geometry of example 2.
Fig. 8. Comparison between elastic elements.
Fig. 9. Percentage dierence between elastic catenary and proposed
element.
Fig. 10. Initial geometry from [5].
1888 A. Andreu et al. / Computers and Structures 84 (2006) 18821890
7.2. Example 2
This example (Fig. 7) has been considered to study the
inuence of the cables stiness on the behaviour of the
proposed element and to compare the result with the per-
formance of other elastic elements such as Irvines [2].
The catenary has a length of 20 m and is xed at its
ends, which are 10 m apart. Its self-weight is 100 N/m.
The stiness is made to vary between 50 N and 10
8
N.
The horizontal reaction at the supports is determined for
each dierent value of stiness considered, thus enabling
a qualitative comparison between the behaviour of the elas-
tic element created and a conventional one.
Fig. 8 shows a diagram comparing the relationship
between the resulting horizontal reactions and the stiness
of the cable for both types of elements. As can be observed,
in the case of low stiness, the proposed element shows
small discrepancies with respect to the classical solution,
whilst very good coincidence is obtained for high stiness.
When the element is very exible, the nal length of the cat-
enary is remarkably dierent to that of the elastic element
dened by Irvine [2].
Due to the fact that conventional element does not re-
compute its distributed load after deformation, then as
the element increases its length, the reaction becomes
higher than it should be. Fig. 9 shows the percentage of
the deviation between the resulting horizontal reactions
for the conventional as well as the proposed elastic cate-
nary elements. This dierence is not important when sti-
ness of cable increases and the deformation becomes
relatively small.
Note that for a stiness greater than 10
3
N the dierence
vanishes completely.
7.3. Example 3
The following example has been analyzed numerically as
well as experimentally by various authors [5]. The structure
consists of a grid in the form of a hyperbolic paraboloid
formed by 31 cable segments with stiness AE of
100.72 kN and with loads of 157 N applied as shown in
Fig. 10. The cables are prestressed with a force of 200 N.
Table 3 compares the results obtained by dierent
authors with the prediction resulting from the proposed
formulation.
The comparison of results shows the closeness of the
experimental results as well as the similarity between the
diverse results obtained by the dierent authors. Fig. 11
describes the tension forces experienced by the elements
(kN).
8. Conclusions
A new elastic cable element for the analysis of funicular
complex systems has been proposed. The satisfactory per-
formance of the newelement, in terms of eciency and accu-
racy, has been appraised by comparison with experimental
and numerical results provided by dierent researchers.
Table 3
Example 3: comparison of predicted vertical displacements [mm]
Node Experimental
(Lewis) [16]
Rigidity matrix
(Krishna) [17]
Minimum energy
(Suan) [18]
Dynamic
relationship (Lewis)
[16]
Dynamic
relationship
(Kwan) [5]
Approximation by
series (Kwan) [5]
Present
method
5 19.5 19.6 19.3 19.3 19.38 19.52 19.51
6 25.3 25.9 25.5 25.3 25.62 25.35 25.65
7 22.8 23.7 23.1 23.0 22.95 23.31 23.37
10 25.4 25.3 25.8 25.9 25.57 25.86 25.87
11 33.6 33.0 34.0 33.8 33.79 34.05 34.14
12 28.8 28.2 29.4 29.4 29.32 29.49 29.65
16 25.2 25.8 25.7 26.4 25.43 25.79 25.86
17 30.6 31.3 31.2 31.7 31.11 31.31 31.47
18 21.0 21.4 21.1 21.9 21.28 21.42 21.57
21 21.0 22.0 21.1 21.9 21.16 21.48 21.62
22 19.8 21.1 19.9 20.5 19.79 20.00 20.15
23 14.2 15.7 14.3 14.8 14.29 14.40 14.55
CPU 150 s. 120 s. 2 s.
a
a
CPU Pentium II, 233 MHz.
Fig. 11. Distribution of cable forces (kN).
A. Andreu et al. / Computers and Structures 84 (2006) 18821890 1889
One of the main features of the catenary element pro-
posed lays on its high numerical eciency. The tangent
matrix formulated helps in stabilising the solving process
and enormously speeds up the equilibrium calculation for
the cable net. The numerical eciency has been made evi-
dent by comparing with the computation time required by
other formulations available.
Acknowledgements
This research has been developed in co-operation under
contracts BIA2004-05552 and ARQ2002-04659 funded by
DGE of the Spanish Ministry of Science and Technology
MCYT, whose assistance is gratefully acknowledged.
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