A dynamic finite element method for the estimation of cable tension

  • Huang, Yonghui (Guangzhou University-Tamkang University Joint Research Center for Engineering Structure Disaster Prevention and Control, Guangzhou University) ;
  • Gan, Quan (Network & Educational Technology Center, Jinan University) ;
  • Huang, Shiping (School of Civil Engineering and Transportation, South China University of Technology) ;
  • Wang, Ronghui (School of Civil Engineering and Transportation, South China University of Technology)
  • Received : 2018.03.26
  • Accepted : 2018.09.12
  • Published : 2018.11.25


Cable supported structures have been widely used in civil engineering. Cable tension estimation has great importance in cable supported structures' analysis, ranging from design to construction and from inspection to maintenance. Even though the Bernoulli-Euler beam element is commonly used in the traditional finite element method for calculation of frequency and cable tension estimation, many elements must be meshed to achieve accurate results, leading to expensive computation. To improve the accuracy and efficiency, a dynamic finite element method for estimation of cable tension is proposed. In this method, following the dynamic stiffness matrix method, frequency-dependent shape functions are adopted to derive the stiffness and mass matrices of an exact beam element that can be used for natural frequency calculation and cable tension estimation. An iterative algorithm is used for the exact beam element to determine both the exact natural frequencies and the cable tension. Illustrative examples show that, compared with the cable tension estimation method using the conventional beam element, the proposed method has a distinct advantage regarding the accuracy and the computational time.


Supported by : National Natural Science Foundation of China


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