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Structural Engineering and Mechanics
  Volume 71, Number 3, August10 2019, pages 271-282

Span limit and parametric analysis of cable-stayed bridges
Xinwei Zhao, Rucheng Xiao and Bin Sun

    The span record of cable-stayed bridges has exceeded 1,000 m, which makes research on the maximum possible span length of cable-stayed bridges an important topic in the engineering community. In this paper, span limit is discussed from two perspectives: the theoretical span limit determined by the strength-to-density ratio of the cable and girder, and the engineering span limit, which depends not only on the strength-to-density ratio of materials but also on the actual loading conditions. Closed form equations of both theoretical and engineering span limits of cable-stayed bridges determined by the cable and girder are derived and a detailed parametric analysis is conducted to assess the engineering span limit under current technical conditions. The results show that the engineering span limit of cable-stayed bridges is about 2,200 m based on materials used available today. The girder is the critical member restricting further increase in the span length; its compressive stress is the limiting factor. Approaches to increasing the engineering span limit are also presented based on the analysis results.
Key Words
    cable-stayed bridge; span limit; cable sag; strength-to-density ratio; height-to-span ratio; sagging cable efficiency
Department of Bridge Engineering, Tongji University, 1239 Siping Rd., Shanghai 200092, China

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