Advanced Steel Construction

Vol. 18, No. 2, pp. 585-591 (2022)



Jian-Wei He 1, De-Hong Huang 2, Yao-Peng Liu 1, 2, 3, *, Wen-Feng Chen 1, Yue-Yang Ding 1 and Siu-Lai Chan 1

1 Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong, China

2 School of Civil Engineering, Southwest Jiaotong University, Chengdu, China

3 NIDA Technology Company Limited, Hong Kong, China

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

Received: 6 May 2021; Revised: 8 October 2021; Accepted: 20 November 2021




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Sliding motion has attracted much attention in the design of cable structures such as flexible barriers and suspend-dome structures. Engineers can take the benefit of sliding behavior to develop the innovative cable systems like flexible barriers to absort large impact energy while the risk of sliding in some cable dome structures should be evaluated. The conventional analysis methods need many straight-line cable elements but with inaccurate results and low numerical efficiency. The well-known catenary cable element show high performance in the cable structures but limited to no sliding cases. Thus, an advanced cable element allowing for sliding effect is urgently required in the practical analysis of cable structures. In this paper, a super cable element based on the conventional catenary cable element is proposed to model the segments within a slidable cable. In the proposed super element, every segment performs in the characteristic of catenary cable. Meanwhile, the sliding motion will be activated when the unbalanced axial force between segments are deteced and as a result, the sliding behaviours of the cables in both taut and slack states can be modelled. This work has not been done in previous research and the proposed element can be applied to many structures. The verification examples show the accuracy and efficiency of the proposed element in the analysis of cable structures with internal movement passing the supports or relocation of the loading points.



Cable structures, Flexible barrier system, Sliding behavior, Catenary cable element, Multi-node cable element


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