Instructional Objectives: After reading this chapter the student will be able to 1. Differentiate between rigid and deformable structures. 2. Define funicular structure. 3. State the type stress in a cable. 4. Analyse cables subjected to uniformly distributed load. 5. Analyse cables subjected to concentrated loads. 31.1 Introduction Cables and arches are closely related to each other and hence they are grouped in this course in the same module. For long span structures (for e.g. in case bridges) engineers commonly use cable or arch construction due to their efficiency. In the first lesson of this module, cables subjected to uniform and concentrated loads are discussed. In the second lesson, arches in general and three hinged arches in particular along with illustrative examples are explained. In the last two lessons of this module, two hinged arch and hingeless arches are considered. Structure may be classified into rigid and deformable structures depending on change in geometry of the structure while supporting the load. Rigid structures support externally applied loads without appreciable change in their shape (geometry). Beams trusses and frames are examples of rigid structures. Unlike rigid structures, deformable structures undergo changes in their shape according to externally applied loads. However, it should be noted that deformations are still small. Cables and fabric structures are deformable structures. Cables are mainly used to support suspension roofs, bridges and cable car system. They are also used in electrical transmission lines and for structures supporting radio antennas. In the following sections, cables subjected to concentrated load and cables subjected to uniform loads are considered. Version 2 CE IIT, Kharagpur
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The shape assumed by a rope or a chain (with no stiffness) under the action of external loads when hung from two supports is known as a funicular shape. Cable is a funicular structure. It is easy to visualize that a cable hung from two supports subjected to external load must be in tension (vide Fig. 31.2a and 31.2b). Now let us modify our definition of cable. A cable may be defined as the structure in pure tension having the funicular shape of the load. Version 2 CE IIT, Kharagpur