Prestress design for cable-strut structures by grouping elements

Qian Zhang, Xinyu Wang, Jianguo Cai, Ruiguo Yang, Jian Feng

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Cable-strut structures, composed of cables in tension and struts in compression, are famous in space and civil engineering. The systems bear the external load and exhibit stiffness only when prestressed, so it is paramount to determine the prestress distribution. This paper presents a novel method to obtain the distribution of initial prestress in cable-strut structures with a given shape and topology. Singular value decomposition is first performed on the equilibrium matrix to obtain the independent self-stress modes. We group the structure by symmetry and decompose a second time to get the number of independent self-stress modes when the number of independent self-stress modes is larger than one. Finally, calculated prestress, expressed by the modes, should also conform to the prescribed member types and stability conditions. This new method shows excellent performance in several examples with different configurations and constraints.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number112010
JournalEngineering Structures
StatePublished - Oct 1 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • Cable-strut structures
  • Grouping elements
  • Prestress design
  • Singular value decomposition

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering


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