On static analysis of tensile structures with sliding cables: the frictional sliding case

  • Nizar Bel Hadj AliEmail author
  • Ziyun Kan
  • Haijun Peng
  • Landolf Rhode-Barbarigos
Original Article


In some structural systems, such as cable structures, membranes and tensegrity structures, the use of sliding cables allows to reduce the number of elements required to be controlled during tensioning or activation. However, using sliding cables modifies the structural behavior of tensile structures since it alters the distribution of axial forces in structural members. This has been experienced in structures with continuous cables under the assumption of frictionless sliding. However, sliding-induced friction can further alter the behavior of the system. An enhancement of the static analysis of tensile structures with sliding-induced friction is investigated in this paper. In the proposed formulations, the finite-element analysis method and the dynamic relaxation method are combined with a linear complementary approach. Sliding-induced friction is integrated in the formulations through the consideration of the Euler–Eytelwein equation. The importance of considering sliding-induced friction in the static analysis of tensile structures is demonstrated through a series of examples, where it is shown that friction significantly affects the mechanical behavior of the structures. The examples also reveal that the proposed formulations do not affect the computational time of the static analyses.


Tensile structures Continuous cable Sliding Friction Finite elements analysis Dynamic relaxation Linear complementary approach 



The first author gratefully acknowledges the financial support of the Fulbright Visiting Scholar Program for the academic year 2018–2019. The second and third authors gratefully acknowledge the financial support of the National Natural Science Foundation of China (11772074, 11761131005).


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag London Ltd., part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.LASMAP, Ecole Polytechnique de Tunisie, University of CarthageLa MarsaTunisia
  2. 2.State Key Laboratory of Structural Analysis for Industrial Equipment, Department of Engineering MechanicsDalian University of TechnologyDalianPeople’s Republic of China
  3. 3.Department of Civil, Architectural and Environmental EngineeringUniversity of MiamiCoral GablesUSA

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