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Mogens G. Nielsen, MSc CEng,
Chief Consultant, Secretary of IASS Working Group no. 4 Masts and Towers, Rambøll Denmark, Bredevej 2, DK-2830 Virum, Denmark Received February, 7, 2008; Revised version February, 6, 2009; Acceptation March, 25, 2009 ABSTRACT: For many years both guyed masts and self-supporting towers have been used for supporting antennas for mobile and other communications. The choice between masts and towers has often been determined by the tradition. However masts have its clear advantages in the open country, whereas the towers are more likely to be chosen in the urban areas. Masts and towers are often used for broadcasting of radio and television or antennas for cellular phones. The masts and towers consequently are situated on the top of hills and mountains, where the climate often is extreme with respect to wind load and in some cases due to atmospheric icing. Since the wind is turbulent and the masts and towers are flexible and sensitive to dynamic load, the dynamic response becomes important in the analysis of towers and guyed masts. However there are some differences in the analysis of masts and towers. The wind resistance for lattice sections is dependent on the type of members, the solidity of the sections and for tubular members also dependant on the Reynolds number. Furthermore, latest research within the IASS Working Group for Masts and Towers has shown that the wind resistance of tubular sections is dependent on the turbulence of the wind. The masts act strongly in non-linear fashion since the guy ropes are varying from slackened to a taut string. Over the years different methods have been used for analysing guyed masts making the methods more and more realistic: starting by a gust factor method, over the IASS patch wind method to the Eurocode patch wind method, which gives results close to the results from a stochastic analysis and the time domain analysis. The towers do not act as non-linear as the masts. However, the towers are also sensitive to the dynamics of the wind and a dynamic factor should be applied depending on the turbulence of the wind, the height of the structure etc. Keywords: Masts, Towers, Wind, Ice, Buckling, Guy rupture
Within the last few decades the need for tall structures has accelerated with the requirements for effective communication especially with the advent of radio, radar and television. Recently the exponential growth in the use of cellular phones has led to a new era for self-supporting towers and guyed masts. In addition to the complexity in the structural system itself, the predominant loads of self-supporting towers and guyed masts are natural loads due to wind
and ice and these also affects the structural behaviour. The wind load is a dynamic load and the slender structures are sensitive to the dynamic part in the wind. Ice on a mast will by its weight change the dynamic behaviour, as well as it may increase the wind drag of a lattice mast dramatically. The overall layout of telecommunication masts is governed by the requirements to the transmission and receiving conditions. Added hereto the access and working conditions for installation and service are
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International Journal of Space Structures Vol. 24 No. 2 2009
as for instance  & : • • • • • the placing of antennas and cables the stiffness of the structure the access system for service and working and the cable management system the codes and standards to be used for the project the standard heights of the structures Solidity Ratio Figure 1. the lattice structure itself contributes significantly to the wind loading on the tower. antennas etc. Overall Drag Coefficients for Masts 5. WIND LOAD Apart from the wind load on the antennas. 3.5 4. The wind resistance of the lattice towers is dependent on various parameters: e. Type of Cross Section and Profile.0 0. The predomi-nating design parameter for the structures is the wind load on the structure itself and on the antennas and feeders. BASIS OF THE DESIGN The operator normally specifies their basic requirements to the structures. The Eurocode for Towers and Masts  and the American TIA/EIA-222-G  are two codes that include the specific considerations regarding guyed masts and self-supporting towers.0 0. The first requirement often leads to relatively tall structures or in mountainous areas a smaller structure on the top of hills or mountains. the amount of ice on an angular profile is more than for a tubular profile.5 1. Some codes like the old American TIA/EIA-222-F  does not take this reduction of the wind load for circular profiles into account. 24 No.0 4. solidity ratio and type of members. buckling length.0 Flat sided 2. The values are based upon data from wind tunnel tests and are given in EC 3: Part 3-1 1997 .3 0.g. Finally the wind resistance for flat-sided profiles is often up to 50 % larger that the circular profiles . BUCKLING CAPACITY The design of the members in the bracing of lattice towers is normally controlled by their buckling capacity. The wind resistance is larger for square cross sections than for triangular cross sections.5 3.The Analysis of Masts and Towers Drag Coefficient important issues for the design. 2 2009 . For circular profiles the drag coefficient is dependent on the Reynolds number (proportional to the wind speed and the diameter) since the wind generates some turbulence around the cylinder which decreases the wind drag for larger circular profiles .4 0. cables and other ancillaries.9 1. Consequently is the demand for the strength and the stiffness of the sections of the tower and the foundation dependent on the type of members.5 0.5 2.1 0.6 0. Important parameters for the buckling capacity are radius of inertia. The weight per meter of ice on a profile is dependent on the free surface area and since all the surfaces on angular profiles are exposed to ice load. 98 5.0 Circular subcritical 3. The special considerations concerning ice load is further described in . Drag Coefficients Dependent on the Solidity Ratio. type of cross section and profile.0 0. The wind resistance of the flat-sided profiles such as angular profiles is larger than for the circular profiles. ICE LOAD In some regions heavy ice load occurs on the structure and the dimensioning load can be the weight of the ice or the combination of ice load and wind load.2 0.7 0.0 1.5 Circular supercritical 0. The wind load on the structure depends on the wind climate and the wind resistance of the structure. If a large number of structures are going to be built it could be an advantage to divide the structures into different groups: • • • • heights of the structures self-supporting towers and guyed masts different categories of sites depending of the wind climate wind resistances from antennas Fig 1 illustrates the drag coefficient dependent on the solidity ratio. eccentricity and the buckling curve. the radius of inertia of a circular tube will typically be 10% larger than the radius of inertia about the strong axis of the angular profile and 70 % larger compared to the radius about the weak axis.8 0.0 2. 4. Both solutions lead to various problems with regard to analysis. design and construction. The drag coefficient for lattice bracing is decreasing for increasing solidity ratio in situations where the solidity ratio is moderate. type of cross section. This results in a International Journal of Space Structures Vol. When comparing a circular tube to a single angular profile with identical width and area of cross sections. see Fig 2.
Furthermore. Some of them are as mentioned due to the nature of the loads. Hot finnished tubes S355 Curve b. The major advantage of towers with angular sections is the simplicity in detailing at joints as compared to tubular sections. The buckling curve according to EC 3: Part 1-1 1992 gives less critical stresses for angular profiles than the buckling curve used for hot rolled or even cold formed circular profiles. This makes the towers of angular profiles more complicated to erect. W t D 6. where an accurate estimation of the design values and combinations often is difficult. Most important is perhaps that the wind load acts dynamically and guyed masts are sensitive to dynamic loads. they are flexible and they have low structural damping characteristics. Guyed masts are essentially of a more complex nature for several reasons. L-profiles tubes 350 300 250 200 150 100 50 0 0 50 100 150 200 Slenderness Figure 3. significant lower buckling capacity of the single angle profile for the same distance between the bracings (See Fig 3).Mogens G. Consequently it is more difficult for the towers with circular tubes to compete with the towers of angular profiles when the American standard is followed. In the case of self-supporting towers. It is therefore essential that self-supporting towers and guyed masts are analysed for the dynamic response of the structure to the wind. the design of towers of angular profiles demands more bracings and more members than for towers of circular profiles. whose natural frequencies usually are well separated. the response of the structure to wind gusts is governed by the fundamental mode of vibration. Some of them are due to the static system of a mast shaft as a column subjected to bending moments and elastically supported by guys with non-linear stiffness. especially for heavily eiffelated tower configura-tions . 20% higher buckling capacity for the hot International Journal of Space Structures Vol. This enables simplified analysis procedures to be adopted using appropriate gust response factors. Cold formed tubes S355 Curve c. The wind is a dynamic load and slender structures like self-supporting towers and guyed masts are sensitive to dynamic load as. This result in an approx. 24 No. ANALYSIS OF MASTS AND TOWERS 8t L Figure 2. The American standards  &  do not separate the buckling curves. In order to meet the requirements laid down in the codes. 2 2009 The predominant load on self-supporting towers and guyed masts is the wind load. Especially when icing is combined with wind this may be decisive for the design in some countries . which results in even lower buckling capacity. Wmax 400 Allowable stress acc. care needs always to be exercised in the design. In some areas also the atmospheric icing on the structure may have important influence on the design. Nevertheless. Ice Accretion Model for Rime on Circular and Angular Profiles. If the static system of a guyed mast is complex it is nothing compared with the complexity of the dynamic 99 . Buckling Curves According to EC 3:Part 1-1 1992. for instance wind and ice. Hot finnished tubes S235 Curve a. The guyed mast is also dependent of the loading directly on the guys themselves. to EC S355 Curve a. Nielsen 8t L Wmax I t W D rolled circular profiles compared to the angular profiles for a typical slenderness of 60-120. A Significant Lower Buckling Capacity of the Single Angle Profile for the Same Distance Between the Bracings. the diagonals for the sections with single angular profiles are often eccentrically loaded. namely natural loads as wind and ice.
615 Hz 0. Fig 6 shows the extreme forces developed in the diagonals for the three analytical models. — EC3 part 3.567 Hz 0. Full dynamic 1000 kN Axial forces in leg members Comparison analysis Overall extreme values Figure 5. and ice if appropriate. .The Analysis of Masts and Towers 0. and recently a relatively reliable simplified procedure has been developed and adopted in new codes. The Comparison of the Extreme Forces in the Leg Members of a 160 m Guyed Mast.367 Hz 0.766 Hz 2.617 Hz Figure 4. 0. For a number of different existing guyed masts the procedure based on simplified static patch wind models has been compared with a full dynamic analysis .067 Hz 2. It is not only the modes of the shaft that are interesting but in some instances the modes of the guys are important too. and also dependent on the direction of the wind on the structure. . Besides the new patch model as adopted in the Eurocode for Towers and Masts . 24 No. .186 Hz 5.593 Hz 2. as the modes are not well separated and many modes may contribute to the response of the structure to turbulent wind  & . if nonsymmetrically deposit of ice on the mast shaft and the individual guys shall be taken into consideration. .0 – –“IASS Patch” . The principle of applying the patches is described in the Eurocode 3 Part 3-1 model. Also. In guyed masts the fundamental mode of vibration alone does not govern the design. – –“IASS Patch” 75. Fig 4 illustrates some of the modes of a guyed mast compared to a tower.068 Hz 9. It may be seen that the Eurocode Model is quite close to the full 100 — EC3 part 3. . Even with the latest generation of fast high capacity computers a fully dynamic analysis of guyed masts may run for several hours. The frequencies of the structure are dependent on the loading on the mast due to wind.560 Hz 15. . kN Axial forces in diagonals Comparison analysis Overall extreme values Figure 6. the former IASS Patch Wind Model has also been compared with the result of a full dynamic analysis. 50.1 Towers and Masts . . system. Modes of a Lattice Tower Compared to a Guyed Mast. Therefore considerable efforts has been expended in trying to produce simplifications for the design rules for codes and standards.153 Hz 1.260 Hz 1. Extreme Forces Developed in the Diagonals for the Three Analytical Models. latest in the list is the Eurocode 3: Part 3. the dynamic analysis of the guyed masts will be almost impossible. There are few computer programs available for a full dynamic stochastic analysis of guyed masts. Full dynamic 100. Fig 5 shows the comparison of the extreme forces in the leg members of a 160 m guyed mast. International Journal of Space Structures Vol.405 Hz 2.and reasonable agreement has been found. 2 2009 .1 25.689 Hz 1.
U. S. An overview over all collapses is difficult to get. As examples of such areas the following phenomena may be mentioned: • improved assessment of the drag force of lattice sections with circular profiles exposed to turbulent wind. & Nielsen. (2007) “Functional Requirements for Telecoms Masts and Towers”.g.G. M.G. (2001). Part 3. (2006). aero elastic instability of various mast sections/antenna configurations. M. particularly those with high structural strength and good electrical resistivity . According to this the most common cause of failure of guyed masts is ice load (70 %). ENV 1993-3-1 Bakmar. • • 7. (1997) “Some known mast failure”.. “Comparison of the Advantages of Guyed Masts to Selfsupporting Towers”. The guyed masts must be able to withstand guy rupture in still air conditions and at a reduced wind pressure in the absence of the ruptured guy. St.G. St. 10. corro-sions) etc. POLARTECH.G.G. “Wind Tunnel Tests”. M. However J.). design and behaviour of masts. 2nd Latin American Symposium on Tension Structures. “Telecommunication Structures in Arctic Regions”. Støttrup-Andersen. Støttrup-Andersen.”Guyed masts Exposed to Guy Failure”.      International Journal of Space Structures Vol. Støttrup-Andersen. (2006). C. REFERENCES  ANSI/TIA-222-G 2006. Nielsen. Louis Nielsen. full-scale measure-ments.         9. 1998. Louis. 8. convergence on an acceptable procedure to predict vortex excitation on masts suppor-ting cylindrical sections. M. U. galloping of guys.G. “Comparison of Maximum Dynamic Response for Guyed Masts using four different Methods of Analysis”.G. P. falling objects etc. J. Analysis in the time domain has shown similar results as the results from the stochastic method and the Eurocode patch . Winchester Nielsen. etc. U. SEWC. Chicago Heslop. At least 14 collapses have been registrated by Laiho and among these was the tallest mast in the world the 646 m mast in Poland. “Design of Guyed Masts”. non-linear dynamic response analysis of a guyed mast. which is seldom considered by designers. USA. THE FUTURE Even though today we have a wide knowledge of the various factors affecting the analysis.B.O. (2005). TIA/EIA-222-F 1996. (2004) “Wind Load on Guyed Masts”. EC3 Part 3-1 (1997) “Eurocode 3: Design of Steel Structures.. M. Støttrup-Andersen. U. Guy rupture is a critical event. Québec. M. Bangalore Leuchsenring. the true theoretical background. assessment of various parameters for full dynamic response and fatigue analyses including. ASCE Congress. IASS WG4. Nuuk Nielsen. IASS WG4. Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA). M. Consequently it should be included in the design analysis for guyed masts in high reliability class. Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA).. (2006). Structural standards for Steel Antenna Towers and Antenna Supporting Structures. P. ASCE Congress. (1997). DTU Laiho. • • • • assessment of atmospheric ice loading and especially the combination of wind and ice. Caracas Nielsen. “Aesthetic Approach to Mast and Tower Design”. Also the development of new materials. the way to predict galloping and how to prevent/dampen when it occurs. ISTS11. cut of guys (Aeroplanes.1: Towers and Masts”. MAST FAILURES Guyed masts are more likely to collapse than other structures as for example towers due to the non-linear behaviour of the guy ropes.may have a significant effect on mast and tower design in the future. Structural standards for Steel Antenna Towers and Antenna Supporting Structures. Master Thesis.. Oslo Nielsen. However guy rupture relative often leads to collapses of guyed masts. 2 2009 101 . USA. This is already recommend-ded in the Eurocode for towers and masts  and the TIA-222-G .Mogens G. GUY RUPTURE Guy rupture is an additional design criterion for design of guyed masts. “Advantages of using tubular profiles for telecommunication structures”. IASS WG4. IASS Symposium. broken insulators (Lightning). Laiho has created a database of the known collapses of mast and towers . erection failures. the computer modelling. Guy rupture can be caused by a number of events e. there are still areas which are not fully understood and which need further development and research. which can lead to collapse of the guyed mast. but collapses due to guy rupture also appear quite often (8 %). Singapore Nielsen. Nielsen dynamic response analysis and that the IASS Model is clearly on the safe side. The most significant incident was the fall of the tallest guyed mast in the World . for instance. deterioration of the guys (fatigue.. 24 No. (1995). vandalism.
2 2009 . Eurosteel. U. ”Towers and Masts: The Past. IASS WG4.  Støttrup-Andersen.W. IASS Colloquium. (1997). (2002). B. Chicago..Gales and Guy Rupture”. U.  Støttrup-Andersen. Present and the Future”. U. “Analysis and design of masts and towers”. Mastricht. Warsaw. “Mast and towers for the UMTS networks in Sweden”. (2005).The Analysis of Masts and Towers  Peil. (1997) “Mast Failures . 102 International Journal of Space Structures Vol.  Smith. 24 No. Støttrup-Andersen. IASS Symposium on Lightweight Structures in Civil Engineering. U. Madrid.
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