Development of Suspended Structures | Structural Systems

Suspended Structures | Structural Systems

Suspended Structures are those with horizontal planes i.e. floors are supported by cables (hangers) hung from the parabolic sag of large, high-strength steel cables. The strength of a suspended structure is derived from the parabolic form of the sagging high strength cable.

To make this structure more efficient, the parabolic form is so designed that its shape closely follows the exact form of the moment diagrams.

The sagging cable is more stable under symmetrical loading conditions as the cable may deform as it attempts to adjust to an eccentric loading. As the cable adjusts to this load its shifts the rest of the structure.


Dulles International Airport
Dulles International Airport


This adjustment causes secondary stresses in the horizontal surface and additional deformation. The parabolic curve of the cable is also designed for various eccentric or lateral loads such as wind, seismic etc.

The large curving cable may consist of many smaller cables which are tightly spun together. As the cables are being spun together, they are also stretched over the span and attached to the supports.

Read more