Governing equations describing small dynamic motions about an initially deformed shape are derived for orthogonal cable gridworks. Dirac delta functions enable exact representation of the discrete tensions and physical property distribution of the system; Galerkin’s method is employed to reduce the field equations to ordinary differential equations in the time domain. It is shown that the effect of initial deformation on system natural frequencies is characterized by a characteristic parameter whch can be non-negligible even for small initial deformations. Numerical results are obtained for a typical system to illustrate the influence of initial sag. A model two-by-two orthogonal net of fine wires is constructed and tested experimentally. Results of the experiments tend to verify the theoretical conclusions.

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