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

Nizar Bel Hadj Ali, Ziyun Kan, Haijun Peng, Landolf Rhode-Barbarigos

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1429-1442
Number of pages14
JournalEngineering with Computers
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2021


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

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Modeling and Simulation
  • Engineering(all)
  • Computer Science Applications


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