A new equivalent friction element for analysis of cable supported structures

  • Yan, Renzhang (School of Civil Engineering, Tianjin University) ;
  • Chen, Zhihua (School of Civil Engineering, Tianjin University) ;
  • Wang, Xiaodun (School of Civil Engineering, Tianjin University) ;
  • Liu, Hongbo (School of Civil Engineering, Tianjin University) ;
  • Xiao, Xiao (School of Civil Engineering, Tianjin University)
  • Received : 2014.02.26
  • Accepted : 2014.10.10
  • Published : 2015.04.25


An equivalent friction element is proposed to simulate the friction in cable-strut joints. Equivalent stiffness matrixes and load vectors of the friction element are derived and are unified into patterns for FEM by defining a virtual node specially to store internal forces. Three approaches are described to verify the rationality of the new equivalent friction element: applying the new element in a cable-roller model, and numerical solutions match well with experimental results; applying the element in a continuous sliding cable model, and theoretical values, numerical and experimental results are compared; and the last is applying it in truss string structures, whose results indicate that there would be a great error if the cable of cable supported structures is simulated with discontinuous cable model which is usually adopted in traditional finite element analysis, and that the prestress loss resulted from the friction in cable-strut joints would have adverse effect on the mechanical performance of cable supported structures.


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