In cable-stayed structures cables are subjected to potential damage, mainly due to fatigue and galvanic corrosion. The paper presents an analysis of damage effects on the statics and dynamics of suspended cables. An elastic continuous mono-dimensional model for damaged cables, including geometric nonlinearities, is formulated for the purpose. The damage is described as a diffused reduction of the cable axial stiffness, and defined through its intensity, extent and position. Exact solutions of the equations governing the cable static equilibrium under self-weight are achieved, and the significance of the tension loss and sag augmentation resulting from damage are investigated under variation of practically significant parameters. The system spectral properties characterizing the free undamped dynamics are obtained in a closed-form fashion for shallow cables within the low frequency range. The sensitivity of the frequencies to the intensity and extent of damage is discussed, outlining two damage effects, which alternatively stiffen or soften the cable modes, whose respective static and geometric origin is recognized. Finally, the symmetry-breaking induced by damage on the static profile is verified to destroy the crossing phenomenon (crossover) characterizing the frequency loci of undamaged cables, which degenerates into a narrow frequency veering phenomenon.
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