Estimating Cable Forces in a Large Cable-Stayed Bridge


Article Preview

The presence of complex boundary conditions makes the estimation of cable forces in cable-stayed bridges quite difficult when using conventional model-based force identification methodologies. A large dataset of recorded acceleration signals is available for the Ting Kau Bridge (TKB) in Hong Kong. The dataset is used together with a numerical model of the bridge to reconstruct the tension forces in the main cables. A part of the data is used to calibrate the model. The remaining data are used for validation. The created numerical model permits an investigation of the tensions distribution in the stay-cables during a typhoon, based on the observed increase of some of the bridge frequencies during this extreme event.



Edited by:

Pietro Vincenzi




S. Casciati and L. Elia, "Estimating Cable Forces in a Large Cable-Stayed Bridge", Advances in Science and Technology, Vol. 101, pp. 26-34, 2017

Online since:

October 2016




* - Corresponding Author

[1] B. Yan, J. Yu, M. Soliman, Estimation of cable tension force independent of complex boundary conditions, J. Eng. Mech. 141(1) (2015).


[2] W. -X. Ren, G. Chen, W. -H. Hu, Empirical formulas to estimate cable tension by cable fundamental frequency, Struct. Engrg. Mech. 20(3) (2005) 363–380.


[3] B. -H. Kim, T. Park, Estimation of cable tension force using the frequency-based system identification method, J. of Sound and Vibration 304(3-5) (2007) 660–676.


[4] D. -H. Choi, W. -S. Park, Tension force estimation of extradosed bridge cables oscillating nonlinearly under gravity effects, Intl. J. of Steel Struct. 11(3) (2011) 383–394.


[5] J. Wang, W. Liu, L. Wang, X. Han, Estimation of main cable tension force of suspension bridges based on ambient vibration frequency measurements, Struct. Engrg. Mech. 56(6) (2015) 939–957.


[6] T. Shinke, K. Hirokana, H. Zui, H. Nishimura, Practical Formulas for Estimation of Cable Tension by Vibration Method, J. of the Japan Society of Civil Engineers 27(294) (1980) 25–34 (in Japanese).


[7] H. Zui, T. Shinke, Y. Namita, Practical Formulas for Estimation of Cable Tension by Vibration Method, J. of Struct. Engrg. ASCE, 122(6) (1996) 3651–3656.

[8] H. Utsuno, I. Yamagiwa, K. Endo, K. Suguii, Identification of Flexural Rigidity and Tension of One-Dimensional Structure. Part 4: Transfer Function Method Applied to Rotational Stiffness Boundary. Proceedings of the Japan Society of Mechanical Engineers, 98(9) (1998).

[9] J.L. Robert, D. Bruhat, J. P. Gervais, J. Chatelain, The Measurement of Cable Tension by the Vibratory Method. Bulletin de Liaison des Laboratoires des Ponts et Chaussees 173 (1991) 109–114 (in French).

[10] A.B. Mehrabi, H. Tabatabai. Unified Finite Difference Formulation for Free Vibration of Cables. J. of Strct. Engrg. ASCE 124(1) (1998) 1313–1322.


[11] C. -B. Yun, S. Cho, H. -J. Park, J. Min, J. -W. Park, Smart wireless sensing and assessment for civil infrastructure, Struct. & Infrastr. Eng. 10(4) (2014) 534–550.

[12] F. Casciati, S. Casciati, L. Elia, L. Faravelli, Tension Estimates in Cable-Stayed Bridges, Proceedings of the Second International Conference on Performance-based and Life-cycle Structural Engineering (PLSE 2015) (2015) 266–272.


[13] Y.Q. Ni, Y.W. Wang, Y.X. Xia, Investigation of mode identifiability of a cable-stayed bridge: comparison from ambient vibration responses and from typhoon-induced dynamic responses, Smart Structures and Systems 15(2) (2015) 447–468.


[14] F. Casciati, S. Casciati, L. Elia, L. Faravelli, Optimal reduction from an initial sensor deployment along the deck of a cable-stayed bridge, Smart Structures and Systems 17(3) (2016) 523–539.


[15] MSC, Marc Mentat User Manual, MSC Software Corp., USA (2015).

[16] R. Bergermann, M. Schlaich, Ting Kau Bridge, Hong Kong, Struct. Eng. Int. 6(3) (1996) 152–154.

[17] J.M. Ko, Y.Q. Ni, Technology developments in structural health monitoring of large-scale bridges, Eng. Struct. 27(12) (2005)1715–1725.


[18] K.Y. Wong, Instrumentation and health monitoring of cable-supported bridges, Struct. Contr. Health Monit., 11(2) (2004) 91–124.


[19] K.Y. Wong, Design of a structural health monitoring system for long-span bridges, Struct. Infrastruct. Eng. 3(2) (2007) 169–185.

[20] Y.Q. Ni, K.Y. Wong, Y. Xia, Health checks through landmark bridges to sky-high structures, Adv. Struct. Eng. 14(1) (2011) 103–119.


[21] ABAQUS; ABAQUS User Manual Dassault Systems (2015).

[22] Dept. of Civ. Engrg., http: /www. cee. polyu. edu. hk/~benchmarkstudy/ (2015).

[23] J. -H. Park, T. -C. Huynh, K. -S. Lee, J. -T. Kim, Wind and traffic-induced variation of dynamic characteristics of a cable-stayed bridge – benchmark study, Smart Structures and Systems 17(3) (2016) 491–522.