Mathematical Problems in Engineering
Volume 2008 (2008), Article ID 370767, 21 pages
Research Article

Nonlinear Modeling of Cables with Flexural Stiffness

Walter Lacarbonara1 and Arnaud Pacitti2

1Dipartimento di Ingegneria Strutturale e Geotecnica, Università degli studi di Roma la Sapienza, Via Eudossiana, 00184 Rome, Italy
2Ecole Nationale des Travaux Publics de L'Etat, Laboratoire des Séomatériaux, 69120 Vaulx-En-Velin, France

Received 14 November 2007; Accepted 28 March 2008

Academic Editor: Paulo Gonçalves

Copyright © 2008 Walter Lacarbonara and Arnaud Pacitti. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


A geometrically exact formulation of cables suffering axis stretching and flexural curvature is presented. The dynamical formulation is based on nonlinearly viscoelastic constitutive laws for the tension and bending moment with the additional constitutive nonlinearity accounting for the no-compression condition. A continuation method, combined with a mixed finite-difference spatial discretization, is then employed to path-follow the static responses of cables subject to forces or support displacements. These computations, conducted in the quasistatic regime, are based on cables with linearly elastic material behaviors, whereas the nonlinearity is in the geometric stiffness terms and the no-compression behavior. The finite-difference results have been confirmed employing a weak formulation based on quadratic Lagrangian finite elements. The influence of the flexural stiffness on the nonlinear static responses is assessed comparing the results with those obtained for purely extensible cables. The properties of the frequencies of the linear normal modes of cables with flexural stiffness are also investigated and compared with those of purely extensible cables.