Spiral strand cables subjected to high velocity fragment impact

R Judge, Z Yang, S. W. Jones, G. Beattie, I. Horsfall

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    11 Citations (Scopus)
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    Structural cables are widely adopted around the world in offshore construction, sports stadia, large scale bridges, Ferris wheels and suspended canopy and fabric structures. However, the robustness of such structures to blast or impact is uncertain with a particular concern related to the loss of a primary structural cable when damaged by high velocity blast fragmentation. This paper presents the first ever numerical and experimental study on commonly used high-strength steel spiral strand cables subjected to high velocity fragment impact. Spiral strand cables were impacted by 20 mm fragment simulating projectiles travelling at velocities between 200 and 1400 m/s. Complex 3D non-linear finite element models were developed and carefully compared with experimental tests. The penetration resistance of the cables and resultant damage were studied with respect to fragment impact velocity. It was found that for all the impact velocities, the fragment penetration depth was less than half of the cable diameter demonstrating a considerable amount of resilience. Considering the damage caused, the residual cable breaking strengths were estimated and found to be still higher than the minimum breaking load of an un-damaged cable. The numerical models were also able to reproduce the main features of the impact tests, including the extent of localised damage area, the fragment penetration depth and mode of individual wire failures, thus demonstrating their potential to be widely used in industry for structural resilience and robustness assessments by structural engineers.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)58-79
    Number of pages22
    JournalInternational Journal of Impact Engineering
    Early online date1 May 2017
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2017

    Bibliographical note

    Publisher Statement: NOTICE: this is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in International Journal of Impact Engineering. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in International Journal of Impact Engineering, [107, (2017)] DOI: 10.1016/j.ijimpeng.2017.04.026

    © 2017, Elsevier. Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/


    This study is funded by UK EPSRC and ARUP through a CASEAward (No.CASE/CAN/07/107).


    • Spiral strand cable
    • Non-linear finite element method
    • Fragment simulating projectile
    • Impact
    • Modified Johnson–Cook model
    • Cockcroft-Latham
    • LS-DYNA


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