Advanced Steel Construction

Vol. 7, No. 2, pp. 131-143 (2011)



Zhihua Chen 1,2, Hongbo Liu 1,*, Xiaodun Wang 1 and Ting Zhou 1

1 Department of Civil Engineering, Tianjin University, Tianjin 300072, China

2 Tianjin Key Laboratory of Civil Engineering Structure & New Materials,

Tianjin University, Tianjin 300072, China

*(Corresponding author: E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)

Received: 15 May 2010; Revised: 20 September 2010; Accepted: 23 October 2010




View Article   Export Citation: Plain Text | RIS | Endnote


Based on thermal expansion theory, cable-sliding criterion equations are derived for the static analysis of cable-pulley systems. The friction between cable and pulley is considered in the equations. The cable-sliding criterion equations can govern the sliding motion between cable and pulley. In terms of the governing equations, a few program codes can be easily implemented using the APDL language of ANSYS software. The implemented program is further adopted in the following three examples: the structural behavior of a suspen-dome structure with sliding cable-strut joints; the constructional process of a suspen-dome structure with sliding cable-strut joints and the design of a tree structure. The analytical results show that the cable-sliding criterion equations are effective in describing the sliding motion between cable and pulley.



Cable-pulley systems; sliding; friction; suspen-dome structure; tree structure


[1]       Han, Q.H., Yuan, Z.H., Ying, M. and Liu, X.L. “Numerical Analysis and Experimental Study of Prestressed Diagonal-on-Square Composite Space Truss”, Advanced in Structural Engineering, 2005, Vol. 8, No. 4, pp. 397-410.

[2]       Cui, X.Q. and Guo, Y.L., “Influence of Sliding Cable Joint on Mechanical Behavior of Suspen-dome Structures”, International Journal of Space Structure, 2004, Vol. 19, No. 3, pp.149-154.

[3]       Hunt, J., Haase, W., Sobek, W., “A Design Tool for Spatial Tree Structures”, Journal of the International Association for Shell and Spatial Structures, 2009, Vol. 50, No. 1, pp. 3-10.

[4]       Aufaure, M., “A Three-node Cable Element Ensuring the Continuity of the Horizontal Tension: A Clamp Cable Element”, Computers & Structures, 2000, Vol. 74, No. 2, pp.243-252.

[5]       Aufaure, M., “A Finite Element of Cable Passing through a Pulley”, Computers & Structures, 1993, Vol. 46, No. 5, pp. 807-812.

[6]       Zhou, B., Accorsi, M.L. and Leonard, J.W., “Finite Element Formulation for Modeling Sliding Cable Elements”, Computers and Structures, 2004, Vol. 82, No. 2, pp. 271-280.

[7]       Ju, F., and Choo, Y.S., “Dynamic Analysis of Tower Cranes”, Journal of Engineering Mechanics, 2005, Vol. 131, No. 1, pp. 88-96.

[8]       Ravikumar, M. and Chattopadhyay, A., “Integral Analysis of Conveyor Pulley using Finite Element Method”, Computers & Structures, 1999, Vol. 71, No. 3, pp. 303-332.

[9]       Singru, P.M. and Modak, J.P., “Computer Simulation of the Dynamic and Vibration Response of a Belt Drive Pulley”, Journal of Sound and Vibration, 2001, Vol. 242, No. 2, pp. 277-293.

[10]     Lee, K.H., Choo, Y.S. and Ju, F., “Finite Element Modeling of Frictional Slip in Heavy Lift Sling Systems”, Computers and Structures, 2003, Vol. 81, No. 2, pp. 673-690.

[11]     Ju, F., and Choo, Y.S., “Super Element Approach to Cable Passing through Multiple Pulleys”, International Journal of Solids and Structures, 2005, Vol. 42, No. 3, pp. 533-547.

[12]     Wei, J.D., “Friction Sliding Cable Element for Structural Analysis of Prestressed Steel Truss”, Chinese Journal of Computational Mechanics, 2006, Vol. 23, No. 6, pp. 800-806 (in Chinese).

[13]     Beer, F.B. and Johnston, E.R., “Vector Mechanical for Engineers: Statics”, McGraw-Hill, New York, 1996.

[14]     Zhang, Z.H., Cao, Q.S., Dong, S.L. and Fu, X.Y., “Structural Design of a Practical Suspendome”, Journal of Advanced Steel Construction, 2008, Vol. 4, No. 4, pp. 323-340.

[15]     Chen, Z.H., Yan, X.Y. and Liu, H.B., “Large-span Hybrid Structure of Suspen-dome with Stacked Arch in Chiping Gymnasium”, Building Structures, 2009, Vol. 39, No. 7, pp.18-20 (in Chinese).

[16]     Wang, S., Zhang, G.J. and Zhang, A.L., et al., ”The Prestress Loss Analysis of Cable-strut Joint of the Badminton Gymnasium for 2008 Olympic Games,” Journal of Building Structures, 2007, Vol. 28, No. 6, pp. 39-44 (in Chinese).

[17]     Zhang, A.L., Liu, X.Q. and Wang, D.M., et al., “Health Monitoring of the Prestressing Suspend-dome of the Badminton Gymnasium for 2008 Olympic Games”, Journal of Building Structures, 2007, Vol. 28, No. 6, pp. 93-99 (in Chinese).

[18]     Lv, F.H. and Shen, Z.Y., “Control of Erection of Hybridized Space Structure using the Modified Cyclic Iteration and Initial Length Control Methods”, Journal of Building Structures, 2005, Vol. 26, No. 3, pp. 92-97 (in Chinese).