# An iterative calculation method for hanger tensions and the cable shape of a suspension bridge based on the catenary theory and finite element method

An iterative calculation method for hanger tensions and the cable shape of a suspension bridge... Construction of suspension bridges and their structural analysis are challenged by the presence of elements (chains or main cables) capable of large deflections leading to a geometric nonlinearity. For an accurate prediction of the main cable geometry of a suspension bridge, an innovative iterative method is proposed in this article. In the iteration process, hanger tensions and the cable shape are, in turns, used as inputs. The cable shape is analytically predicted with an account of the pylon saddle arc effect, while finite element method is employed to calculate hanger tensions with an account of the combined effects of the cable-hanger-stiffening girder. The cable static equilibrium state is expressed by three coupled nonlinear governing equations, which are solved by their transformation into a form corresponding to the unconstrained optimization problem. The numerical test results for the hanger tensions in an existing suspension bridge were obtained by the proposed iterative method and two conventional ones, namely, the weight distribution and continuous multiple-rigid-support beam methods. The latter two reference methods produced the respective deviations of 10% and 5% for the side hangers, respectively, which resulted in significant errors in the elevations of the suspension points. To obtain more accurate hanger tensile forces, especially for the side hangers, as well as the cable shape, the iterative method proposed in this article is recommended. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Advances in Structural Engineering SAGE

# An iterative calculation method for hanger tensions and the cable shape of a suspension bridge based on the catenary theory and finite element method

, Volume 22 (7): 13 – May 1, 2019
13 pages

/lp/sage/an-iterative-calculation-method-for-hanger-tensions-and-the-cable-8DRR0U0PZH
Publisher
SAGE
ISSN
1369-4332
eISSN
2048-4011
DOI
10.1177/1369433218820243
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

### Abstract

Construction of suspension bridges and their structural analysis are challenged by the presence of elements (chains or main cables) capable of large deflections leading to a geometric nonlinearity. For an accurate prediction of the main cable geometry of a suspension bridge, an innovative iterative method is proposed in this article. In the iteration process, hanger tensions and the cable shape are, in turns, used as inputs. The cable shape is analytically predicted with an account of the pylon saddle arc effect, while finite element method is employed to calculate hanger tensions with an account of the combined effects of the cable-hanger-stiffening girder. The cable static equilibrium state is expressed by three coupled nonlinear governing equations, which are solved by their transformation into a form corresponding to the unconstrained optimization problem. The numerical test results for the hanger tensions in an existing suspension bridge were obtained by the proposed iterative method and two conventional ones, namely, the weight distribution and continuous multiple-rigid-support beam methods. The latter two reference methods produced the respective deviations of 10% and 5% for the side hangers, respectively, which resulted in significant errors in the elevations of the suspension points. To obtain more accurate hanger tensile forces, especially for the side hangers, as well as the cable shape, the iterative method proposed in this article is recommended.