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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.

References

[1] Tibert, Gunnar. Numerical analyses of cable roof structures. Royal

Institute of Technology, Department of Structural Engineering, Se-

100 44 Stockholm ON, 1998.

[2] Irvine Max. Cable structures. New York: Dover Publications; 1992.

[3] Vilnay Oren, Rogers Paul. Static and dynamical response of cable

nets. Int J Solids Struct 1990;26:299312.

[4] Pellegrino S. Structural computations with the singular value

decomposition of the equilibrium matrix. Int J Solids Struct

1993;30:302535.

[5] Kwan ASK. A new approach to geometric nonlinearity of cable

structures. Comput Struct 1998;67:24352.

[6] Mitsugi J. Static analysis of cable networks and their supporting

structures. Comput Struct 1994;51:4756.

[7] Barnes MR. Form-nding and analysis of pre-stressed nets and

membranes. Comput Struct 1988;30:68595.

[8] Stefanou SD, Moossavi E, Bishop S, Kaliopoulos P. Conjugate

gradients method for calculating the response of large cable nets to

static loads. Comput Struct 1993;49:8438.

[9] Leonard JW. Tension structures. New York: McGraw-Hill; 1988.

[10] Ahmadi-Kashani K. Development of cable elements and their

applications in the analysis of cable structures. PhD thesis, University

of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology (UMIST), 1983.

[11] Mllmann H. Analysis of hanging roofs by means of the displacement

method. PhD thesis, Technical University of Denmark, 1974.

[12] Michalos J, Birnstiel C. Movements of a cable due to change in

loading. J Struct Div ASCE 1960;86(ST12):2338.

[13] OBrien WT, Francis AJ. Cable movements under two-dimensional

loads. J Struct Div ASCE 1964;90(ST3):89123.

[14] Saafan SA. Theoretical analysis of suspension roofs. J Struct Div

ASCE 1970;96(ST2):393404.

[15] Jayaraman HB, Knudson WC. A curved element for the analysis of

cable structures. Comput Struct 1981;14:32533.

[16] Lewis WJ, Jones MS, Rushton KR. Dynamic relaxation analysis of

the non-linear response of pre-tensioned cable roofs. Comput Struct

1984;18(6):98997.

[17] Krishna P. Cable-suspended roofs. New York: McGraw-Hill; 1978.

[18] Suan FMA, Tempelman AB. On the non-linear analysis of pre-

tensioned cable net structures. Struct Eng 1992;4(2):14758.

1890 A. Andreu et al. / Computers and Structures 84 (2006) 18821890

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