Dynamic analysis of large-diameter sagged cables taking into account flexural rigidity

Yiqing Ni, J. M. Ko, G. Zheng

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

134 Citations (Scopus)


For the purpose of developing a vibration-based tension force evaluation procedure for bridge cables using measured multimode frequencies, an investigation on accurate finite element modelling of large-diameter sagged cables taking into account flexural rigidity and sag extensibility is carried out in this paper. A three-node curved isoparametric finite element is formulated for dynamic analysis of bridge stay cables by regarding the cable as a combination of an "ideal cable element" and a fictitious curved beam element in the variational sense. With the developed finite element formulation, parametric studies are conducted to evaluate the relationship between the modal properties and cable parameters lying in a wide range coveting most of the cables in existing cable-supported bridges, and the effect of cable bending stiffness and sag on the natural frequencies. A case study is eventually provided to compare the measured natural frequencies of main cables of the Tsing Ma Bridge and the computed frequencies with and without considering cable bending stiffness. The results show that ignoring bending stiffness gives rise to unacceptable errors in predicting higher order natural frequencies of the cables, and the proposed finite element formulation provides an accurate baseline model for cable tension identification from measured multimode frequencies.
Original languageEnglish
Article number95060
Pages (from-to)301-319
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Sound and Vibration
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2002

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Acoustics and Ultrasonics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering


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