Unloading Area of an Industrial Site in Isère, France
The engineering office Études Techniques Lyonnaises was in charge of planning and structural design of the foundation for a new unloading area of an industrial site in the Isère department in France. The new unloading area consists of a steel structure built on a foundation plate. The total area is divided into two parts: a traffic and unloading area for rail vehicles, and an area with a pit and a traffic zone for lift trucks.
|Structural Analysis||Études Techniques Lyonnaises, France|
Foundation Plate Dimensions
The foundation plate, made of reinforced concrete, absorbs the loads from 16 columns of the steel structure, which is supported by 41 bored piles. During the calculation, several different load types (live loads, snow loads, wind loads, and seismic loads) were applied to the foundation plate.
In the pit area, the filling loads were applied to the foundation plate. In the traffic area with rail vehicles, moving loads were generated using the RF‑MOVE Surfaces add-on module. A total of 40 load cases was selected for the design of the foundation plate. After the automatic generation of load combinations, the filter settings were applied to keep only the most relevant combinations.
Foundation Plate and Modeling
The foundation plate, with a length of about 102 ft and a width of about 36 ft, was modeled as a surface element. The foundation bases under the steel columns are restrained in the foundation plate.
The loads of the steel structure were assigned as nodal loads to the base heads. In RFEM, the elastic supports represent the bored piles. The RFEM feature "Elastic Support via Column in Z" allowed for the adjustment of the FE mesh at the pile heads.
To generate the moving loads due to rail vehicles, it was necessary to define the position of the axes, the loading, and the direction of the rail vehicles in RF‑MOVE Surfaces. Based on the data entered, the add-on module generated several load cases automatically.
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In order to create a surface model with failing supports close to reality, an option called "Failure if contact perpendicular to surfaces failed" is available in RFEM 5 for contact solids under "Contact Parallel to Surfaces".
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The number of degrees of freedom in a node is no longer a global calculation parameter in RFEM (6 degrees of freedom for each mesh node in 3D models, 7 degrees of freedom for the warping torsion analysis). Thus, each node is generally considered with a different number of degrees of freedom, which leads to a variable number of equations in the calculation.
This modification speeds up the calculation, especially for models where a significant reduction of the system could be achieved (e.g. trusses and membrane structures).
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Programs Used for Structural Analysis
Structural engineering software for finite element analysis (FEA) of planar and spatial structural systems consisting of plates, walls, shells, members (beams), solids and contact elements
Design of reinforced concrete members and surfaces (plates, walls, planar structures, shells)
Generation of load cases from moving loads for surfaces