Cable systems are common structures in engineering that are popular because of their relatively lightweight construction and their aesthetic beauty. When someone says, "Picture a bridge in your mind," many people in the United States think of the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, renowned for its glowing red shape and long, slender cable system.
Although you still must observe all the rules of equilibrium I discuss in Part V, cable systems provide a unique set of challenges in that the forces in the cable structures are all dependent on the geometry of the cable system. For the same applied loads, you can get completely different geometrical behaviors!
In this chapter, I explain the three major categories of flexible cable systems (concentrated loaded, uniformly loaded, and catenary)and the properties that make cable systems unique. I show you how to calculate the tension and deflection (known as sag) in cables for each of the different types of system and introduce a shortcut method known as the beam analogy (but try to resist jumping directly to that discussion).
In Chapter 19, I show you trusses, which are systems of multiple members (objects) that are axially loaded (or members ...