Yes. I think the confusion comes here from calling the same thing with two
different names. Robot 97 is applying true elastic catenary cable with
first-order displacement, du, and small gradients, du/dx. Its cable element
is not a rough approximation like in some other popular programs.
From: Waterman Drinkwater <Drinkwater(--nospam--at)EQUATION.COM>
To: 'seaint(--nospam--at)seaint.org' <seaint(--nospam--at)seaint.org>
Date: Thursday, April 08, 1999 3:08 PM
Subject: RE: FEM and Cables-Reply
>Catenary cable is geometrical nonlinear. Nonlinear geometry is not
>identical to "large displacement". It would be better to verify if the
>cable member programmed in Robot 97 are real elastic catenary cable or
>some sort of approximation.
>Elastic cable uses "linear stress-strain relation" and the "first-order
>displacement". First-order displacement does NOT formulate "large
>displacements". Because of geometrical nonlinearity, the temperature
>change and thermal coefficient appear in the stiffness matrix. For more
>introduction of elastic cables, there is a book "cable structures" by
>In fact, the nonlinearity in cable equation is not from "displacement".
>Many books in engineering mechanics introduce catenary cables. Those
>cables (assumed to be undeformable in fundamental engineering mechanics)
>are formulated without a consideration of "displacement", but the cable
>equation is always nonlinear. This is a simple illustration the
>nonlinearity in cable is not from "large displacement".
> From: jk [SMTP:jk(--nospam--at)issstanford.com]
> Sent: Thursday, April 08, 1999 4:12 PM
> To: seaint(--nospam--at)seaint.org
> Subject: Re: FEM and Cables-Reply
> Robot 97, structural analysis and design software, is
>specializing in cable
> elements. They very realistically implemented. They are treated
> - non-linear elements with large displacements,
> - have coordinates of two joints
> - on which you can impose the nodal load
> - you can inlclude the self-weight of a cable,
> - you can include a temperature load
> - you can impose the initial shortening/elengation or prestress
> - you can load the deformed shape of the cable with concentrated
> distributed load,
> - you can specify the E and thermal expansion.
> Robot 97 can analyze all the structure types you mentioned. Our
> have used Robot successfully to model very complex structures
> bridges or nets. Also, given that Robot 97 has the best user
> postprocessor among structural engineering software to model
> structures, I think you should take a look at this program.
> BTW, original message mentioned also tension-only and
> elements: Robot 97 allows for such application.
> Feel free to contact us. Best regards,
> Jack Kucharewicz
> Integrated Structural Software
> 848 Stanford University Ave.
> Palo Alto, CA 94301, USA
> toll free: (888) ISS-8491
> phone: (650) 853-8491
> fax: (650) 853-8490
> e-mail: jk(--nospam--at)issstanford.com