he Logistic Engineering College in collaboration with the Applied Mechanics Group of the Institute of Physics is hosting a meeting on the mechanics of systems employing slender structural elements. This conference forms a continuation of a successful meeting series on the Mechanics of Slender Structures first held in Northampton, U.K., in 2006, followed by the event hosted in Baltimore, USA, in 2008, in San Sebastian, Spain in 2010, in Harbin, China, in 2013,and inNorthampton, U.K, in 2015.
Applications of slender structures include terrestrial, marine and space systems. Moving elastic e lements such as ropes, cables, belts and tethers are pivotal components of many engineering systems. Their lengths often vary when the system is in operation. The applications include vertical transportation installations and, more recently, space tether propulsion systems. Traction drive elevator installations employ ropes and belts of variable length as a means of suspension, and also for the compensation of tensile forces over the traction sheave. In cranes and mine hoists, cables and ropes are subject to length variation in order to carry payloads. Tethers experiencing extension and retraction are important components of offshore and marine installations , as well as being proposed for a variety of different space vehicle propulsion systems based on different applications of momentum exchange and electrodynamic interactions with planetary magnetic fields. Furthermore, cables and slender rods are used extensively in civil engineering; in cable-supported bridges, guyed masts and long-span roofs of buildings and stadia. Also, suspended cables are applied as electricity transmission lines. Chains are used in various power transmission systems that include such mechanical systems as chain drives and chain saws. Moving conveyor belts are essential components in various material handling installations.
Tall buildings and towers represent another important class of slender structures. In the modern high-rise built environment tall buildings have increased height and slenderness as well as reduced weight. Such structures are designed to withstand a broad range of external loads such as strong wind and seismic excitation. However, they are prone to structural vibrations and complex resonance phenomena that case damage, affect their occupants and modular installations such as vertical transportation/ lift systems. The performance of these installations plays a significant role in the building operation and a holistic approach is needed in the analysis and design of the entire structural system.