2 EQUILIBRIUM EQUATIONS
2.1 Variational principle of a cableelement
Let p = p(s) be the parametric configuration of the cable at a generic instant, with s the arclength. The tangent space Tp Bt at point p is generated by the unitary triad constituted by the tangent
p
vector t := s p, the unit normal n
:= kss pk
and the unit binomal vector
b := t n
. We denote
with the normal resultant stress vector defined by := t, where = k k. For any virtual
displacement v the principle of virtual work is given by
Z L
Z L
s (v) ds =
q v ds + F0 v0 + FL vL
(1)
0
q v ds + F0 v0 + FL vL .
(2)
(3)
or
or
v(0) = v0
v(L) = vL .
(4)
From the last condition the boundary forces must be tangent to the the boundary configuration of the
cable.
2.2 Intrinsic representation of plane equilibrium equations
Let v Tp Bt be a generic tangent vector, v = (v t)t + (v n
)
n + (v
b)
b. The intrinsic line
gradient of v is indicated by gradk (v ) and is defined by
gradk (v ) = s (v) t
= (s v t)t t + (s v n
)
n t + (s v
b)
b t.
(5)
Projecting the equilibrium equation (3) in the intrinsic tangent space we have
s t = q t = qt,
s n
=qn
= qn ,
s
b = q
b = qb .
(6)
Using Frenets formula and considering that = t the component of gradk ( ) are
s t = s ,
s n
= ,
s
b = 0,
(7)
(8)
qb (s) = 0,
with the boundary conditions
(0) = (0) t
(L) = (L) t
2
v(0) = v0
v(L) = vL .
(9)
s (t ey ) = q ey ,
s (t ez ) = q ez ,
(10)
(s)
= qx (s),
(s)
= qy (s),
(s)
= qz (s).
s
s
s
s
s
s
(11)
The projection of the internal traction stress resultant along the cartesian directions are usually
called thrust and shear
H(s) = ex = (s)
x
(s),
s
K(s) = ey = (s)
y
(s),
s
V(s) = ez = (s)
z
(s). (12)
s
s K(s) = qy (s),
s V(s) = qz (s).
(13)
qy (s)ds,
V(s) = V(0)
qz (s)ds.
0
(14)
A new integration along s yelds the parametric representation of the funicular configuration
Rs
Rs
Z s
Z s
H(0) 0 qx (s)ds
K(0) 0 qy (s)ds
x(s) =
ds x(0), y(s) =
ds y(0),
(s)
(s)
0
0
R
Z s
s
V(0) 0 qz (s)ds
z(s) =
ds z(0),
(s)
0
where the resultant stress traction is defined by
s
2
Z s
Z
(s) =
H(0)
qx ds + K(0)
0
2
Z
qy ds + V(0)
(15)
qz ds
(16)
3. Only selfweight acts on the cable, and it is assumed conservation of mass of the cable element
during the deformation process, i.e. the value of the weight per unitlength varies in agreement with
the mass conservation.
4. Bending stiffness is neglected.
5. Plane funicular geometries, only are considered for simplicity (
b defines the plane of the
funicular curve).
3.2 Equations of the elastic cable element
A total Lagrangian approach is used. As reference configuration we adopt the inextensible catenary configuration of the cable and denote with s0 [0, L0 ] the arclength coordinate, with L0 the
length of the nondeformed cable.
Since we consider that the only external action is the self weight along the zdirection we have
from equations (14)
H(s) = H(0), s V(s) = qz (s).
(17)
Equation (13) reduces to
x
(s)
= H(0),
s
with
s
(s0 ) =
Z
2
H 0 + V0
s0
z
(s)
= qz (s),
s
s
ds0
qz
s0
2
=
H02
(18)
W
s0
+ V0
L0
(19)
where mass conservation qz,0 ds0 = qz ds, have been used, and W denotes the total weight of the
cable. Integrating the preceding equations on the Lagrangean configuration we have
Z s0
H0 s
x(s0 ) x0 =
ds0
(s) s0 s(s0 )
0
(20)
Z s0
W
s0 s
V0 L
0
ds0 .
z(s0 ) z0 =
(s)
s0
0
s(s0 )
ds
Considering that = ( ds
1) and assuming a linear constitutive relation = A0 E
0
previous equations become
Z s0
H0
H0
x(s0 ) =
+
ds0 + x0
EA0
(s0 )
0
Z s0
W
V0 L
s0 (s0 )
0
+ 1 ds0 + z0
z(s0 ) =
(s0 )
EA0
0
ds
ds0
1 the
(21)
Sinh
"
#!
W
V0 L
s0
V0
1
0
Sinh
H0
H0
(22)
V0
s0
+
W
2L0
s
v
!2
u
2
W
u
V 0 L 0 s0
H 0 L0
V0
+
t1 +
1+
.
W
H0
H0
W s0
z(s0 ) z0 =
EA0
(23)
The kinematic of the elastic catenary element is described by equation (22) and (23), which are
resumed as
x(L0 ) x0 = l(L0 ) = f (H0 , V0 , L0 ),
(24)
The function f and g are non linear functions of H0 , V0 and L0 . We note that for a ith cable of
length L0,i and weight Wi assigned, the ith funicular configuration is defined by six parameter, four
geometric pi0 = {xi0 , z0i } and pi (L0 ) = {xi (L0 ), z i (L0 )}, and two static i0 = {H0i , V0i }. If a net
of catenary elements is cut at the connecting nodes, each isolated element will be in equilibrium via
non linear equations. The conditions of global equilibrium and kinematic compatibility are used to
derive the global equations of the entire 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 external loads
applied on the node.
Enforcing the compatibility and equilibrium equations at each node the solution of the elastic cable net is determined. A NewtowRaphson numerical scheme is adopted to solve equations (24). The
initialization of this procedure is made linearizing the set of equations using as initial trial configuration the parabolic inextensible cable element. This strategy provides a method with large numerical
robustness permitting a very accurate treatment of the equilibrium in the final configuration of the
cable net, as will be show by the examples in the next section.
4 NUMERICAL EXAMPLES
In this section first we show simple benchmarks and then analyze different more complex typologies of cable nets.
4.1 Example 1
The present example, taken from Tibert [6], is a benchmark already considered by other authors
to validate different methods for simulating cables,(OBrien [8], and Jayaraman [9]). The initial
(a)
(b)
Figure 1: 1(a) Geometry description and 1(b) data,(from A. Andreu, L. Gil, P. Roca.).
configuration is a suspended elastic catenary subjected only to self weight, and data can be found in
figure 1. Successively a non symmetric point force is applied.
In the figure 2 we show the initial inextensible configuration of the catenary subjected to self
weight (in blue), the initializing inextensible parabolic configuration (in purple) and the final elastic
catenary configuration.
CONFIGURAZIONE GEOMETRICA
0
20
40
Z ft
D
@
SOLUZIONE PARABOLICA
60
80
100
CATENARIA
ELASTICA
0.0
CATENARIA
INELASTICA
SCARICA
0.2
0.4
0.6
0.8
1.0
XLuce
The horizontal and vertical displacements of the point of the application of the load agree with
those given by of OBrien [8] and Roca [2].
4.2 Example 2
In this example we study the behavior of a selfweight cable subjected to an horizontal point
force applied on the centreline. The distance between the ends is l = 5m, the length is L0 = 10m.
6
and the selfweight for unity of inextensible length is q = 1N/m. In figure3 the incremental
configurations are plotted. As the horizontal force increases, the thrust in the right segment of the
CONFIGURZIONE GEOMETRICA
0
Sollecitazioni ,V,H N
1
Z m
@ 6
L
t
H
2
3
P1 11
4
TAGLIO 1 Estremo
TAGLIO 2 Estremo
TIRO 1 Estremo
2
TIRO 2 Estremo
4
P1 1
0.0
0.2
0.4
0.6
0.8
1.0
Forza Concentrata P @ ND
XLuce
(a)
(b)
SFORZO NORMALE
TAGLIO
6
7
11 STEP DI CARICO
4
11 STEP DI CARICO
5
2
V N
D 4
@
1 STEP DI CARICO
1 STEP DI CARICO
2
1 STEP DI CARICO
11 STEP DI CARICO
4
0
0.0
0.2
0.4
0.6
0.8
0.0
1.0
0.2
0.4
0.6
0.8
1.0
XLuce
XLuce
(c)
(d)
Figure 3: 3(a) Incremental configurations, 3(b) reactions at the ends, 3(c) stress resultant traction
and 3(d) shear component.
cable tends to a constant value, corresponding to the reaction of the isolated segment subjected to
its self weight only (see figure 3(b)). If the cables are inextensible, this is a limiting configuration
no matter how large is the horizontal load whose increments are completely balanced by the left
segment (see figure 3(c)).
4.3 Example 3
In this example we study the behavior of a selfweight cable. The distance between the ends is
l = 5m, the length is L0 = 10m, and the selfweight for unity of inextensible length is q = 0.5N/m.
A point load is applied to the cable by a pulley. In the incremental loadprocess we the vertical
component of this force is kept constant and only the horizontal component increases.
From the figure4 we note that the point of application of the load during the incremental process
describes an ellipse having as foci the suspension endpoints. The centre of weight of the system
describes an ellipse rotated of /2. In figure 5 are plotted the incremental horizontal and vertical
endreactions.
CONFIGURZIONE GEOMETRICA
0
B
G7
C
Px H7 STEPL
Z m
G1
CARRUCOLA
G = BARICENTRI
H1  7 L STEP
P H1 STEPL

0.5
0.0
0.5
1.0
1.5
2.0
XLuce
7
TAGLIO 2 ESTREMO
0
6
TIRO 2 ESTREMO
D
TaglioV N
Tiro H N
5
5
TAGLIO 1 ESTREMO
10
TIRO 1 ESTREMO
15
10
15
20
25
30
10
15
20
25
30
Componente orizzontale Px @ ND
Componente orizzontale Px @ ND
(a)
(b)
CONFIGURAZIONE GEOMETRICA
CONFIGURAZIONE GEOMETRICA
1.0
1.0
A
L 1 = 1, 15 m
L 1 = 1, 15 m
0.8
0.8
Cavo Portante " CATENARIA ELASTICA HABL"
Hsenza PretensioneL
L 1 = 1,2 m
0.6
0.4
Z m
Z m
L AB= 2,4 m
L 1 = 1,2 m
0.6
0.4
P
0.2
0.2
L 2 = 1,2 m
L 2 = 1,15 m
0.0
0.5
1.0
0.0
L CD = 2,4 m
L 2 = 1,2 m
L 2 = 1,15 m
1.5
2.0
0.0
0.5
1.0
X @m D
L CD = 2,4 m
1.5
2.0
X @m D
(a)
(b)
15
10
SFORZO NORMALE  Estremo A
10
Sollecitazioni
,V,H N
t
H
TIRO  Estremo A
@
L
@
L
TIRO  Estremo C
6
t
H
Sollecitazioni
,V,H N
TIRO  Estremo C
TAGLIO  Estremo C
2
TAGLIO  Estremo C
5
TIRO  Estremo A
0
TAGLIO  Estremo A
TAGLIO  Estremo A
2
0
10
12
Forza P @ ND
(c)
(d)
10
12
10
12
0.56
0.440
0.54
0.438
D
Freccia al nodo M m
Freccia al nodo M m
Forza P @ ND
0.436
0.434
0.52
0.50
0.48
0.432
0.46
0.430
0.44
0
10
12
Forza P @ ND
Forza P @ ND
(e)
(f)
Figure 6: In figure 6(a) and 6(b) are plotted the geometry and loads, in figure 6(c) and 6(d) are
plotted the component of reactions and the traction stress at the ends and in figure 6(e) and 6(f) are
plotted the vertical coordinate of the loaded point.
4.5 Example 5
In this example we analyze a follower load. We consider an inextensible cable initially subjected
to only selfweight, in a second step a further distribution of pressure directed along the normal of
the funicular curve is applied on the cable. We note that this load is follower only in the direction of
application and not in the module of loadpressure, because the cable is considered inextensible. As
showed in the figure the initially catenary tends to a circular funicular configuration and the traction
stress resultant becomes constant (see figure 7(d)).
FUNICULARE CASO FOLLOWER CON LUNGHEZZA FISSATA
30
0.5
L
1.0
1.5
2.0
25
20
15
10
2.5
5
3.0
0.0
0.2
0.4
(a)
0.6
0.8
1.0
(b)
30
20
10
30
25
10
20
30
20
15
10
5
0.0
0.2
0.4
0.6
0.8
0.0
1.0
(c)
0.2
0.4
0.6
0.8
1.0
(d)
Figure 7: In figure 7(a) is plotted the change of configuration during the incremental loadprocess, in
figure 7(b) is plotted the horizontal component of traction stress, in figure 7(c) is plotted the vertical
component of traction stress and in figure 7(d) is plotted the traction stress.
References
[1] Majowiecki, M. Tensostrutture, progetto e verifica. Consosrzio Crea, (1994).
[2] A. Andreu, L. Gil, P. R. A new deformable catenary element for the analysis of cable net
structures. Computers and Structures 84, 18821890 (2006).
[3] Irvine, M. Cable Structures. New York: Dover Publications, (1992).
[4] K. AhmadiKashani, A. J. B. The analysis of cables subject to uniformly distributed loads.
Eng. Struct. 10, 174184 (1998).
10
[5] Peyrot, A. H. and Goulois, A. M. Analysis of cable structures. Computers Structures 10,
805813 (1979).
[6] Tibert, G. Numerical analyses of cables and structures. Royal Institute of Tecnology, (1998).
[7] W. Lacarbonara, A. P. A nonlinear modeling of cables with flexural stiffness. Mathematical
Problems in Engineering (2008). available on line (doi: 10.1155/2008/370767).
[8] OBrien, W. T. and Francis, A. J. Cables movements under twodimensional loads. J. Struct.
Div ASCE (1964).
[9] H. B. Jayaraman, W. C. K. A curved element for the analysis of cable structures. Computers
Structures 14, 325333 (1981).
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