Steel Joints for RFEM 6

Product Description

  • FE-BUCKLING Stand-Alone Program


Excited About Steel Joints Add-on

"I am excited about how you can finally model whatever connections you like with Dlubal Software. The output with the exact calculation history is also great. I will definitely arrange for the Steel Joints add-on to be purchased in our company."

Models to Download

Models to Download

Find a variety of structural analysis models of steel connections to download, which you can use for training purposes or for your projects.



  • Analysis of steel joints via automatic generation of an FE model from the connection in the background
  • Consideration of all internal forces in the design (N, Vy, Vz, My, Mz, and Mt), no restriction to planar loading
  • Automatic transfer of the loading of all load combinations at all selected nodes into the FE model
  • Time-saving modeling for complex connection situations, you can also save and use the generated FE model for your own detailed analyses
  • Extensive, extensible library with predefined steel connection templates
  • Possible to be used for any connections with almost all rolled and welded, composite, and thin-walled cross-sections. Currently available cross-sections are I-sections, channel sections, angles and T-sections, built-up cross-sections, rectangular hollow sections, and thin-walled parametric sections.

Connection Components

  • Many predefined components available for easy input of typical connection situations (for example, end plates, cleats, fin plates)
  • Universally applicable basic components (plates, welds, bolts, auxiliary planes) for entering complex connection situations
  • Graphical display of the connection geometry that is updated in parallel with the input
  • The Steel Joints Template included in the Add-on allows you to select from several connection types and, when selected, is applied to your model
  • In the Template, there are connections from 3 general categories: Rigid, Pinned, Truss
  • Automatic adaptation of the connection geometry, even if the members are subsequently edited, due to the relative relation of the components to each other

Plausibility Check

  • Parallel to the input, a plausibility check is carried out by the program to quickly detect missing input or collisions, for example
  • When an error is found, an error message appears describing the problem



  • The design of the connection components is performed according to AISC 360-16 and Eurocode EN 1993-1-8
  • After activating the Add-on, the design situations for Steel Connections must be activated in the 'Load cases and Combinations' dialog box
  • For the design of the connection stability (Buckling), it is necessary to have the Add-on Structure Stability activated
  • The calculation can be started via the table or via the icon in the top bar

Design According to AISC 360 and EN 1993-1-8

The program can also help you here. It determines the bolt forces on the basis of the calculation on the FE model and evaluates them automatically. You can perform the design checks of the bolt resistance for the failure cases tension, shear, hole bearing, and punching shear according to the standard. The program takes care of everything else in this step. It determines all the necessary coefficients and displays them clearly.

Do you want to perform weld design? The required stresses are also determined on the FE model in that case. Then, the Weld element is modeled as elastic-plastic shell element, where every FE element is checked for its internal forces. (Plasticity criteria is set to reflect failure acc. to AISC J2-4 and J2-5 (weld resistance check) and also J2-2 (base metal capacity check). The design can also be carried out with the partial safety factors according to the selected National Annex.

You can perform the plate design plasticall by comparing the existing plastic strain to the allowable plastic strain. By default this is set to 5% for the AISC 360 but can be specified through user-definition 5% according to EN 1993-1-5, Annex C, or again, user-defined specification.


Calculation of Initial Stiffness Sj,ini

In the Steel Joints add-on, you can determine the initial stiffness Sj,ini according to Eurocode and AISC. This can be done for selected members with reference to the internal forces N, My, and Mz.

In the Members tab of the input dialog box of the Steel Joints add-on, you can select the desired internal forces via a checkbox. Multiple selection is possible. For these internal forces, the stiffness analysis is carried out with a positive and a negative sign.


Steel Joint Design for Built-up and Thin-Walled Sections

In the Steel Joint add-on, you can design the connections of members with composite cross-sections. Furthermore, you can perform joint design checks for almost all thin-walled cross-sections in the RFEM library.


Plastic Material Model for Weld Design

Here, the weld design becomes child's play. Using the specially developed material model "Orthotropic | Plastic | Weld (Surfaces)", you can calculate all stress components plastically. The stress τperpendicular is also considered plastically.

Using this material model you can design welds closer to reality and more efficiently.


Connecting Plate Component

Using the Connecting Plate component, you can automatically create a new gusset plate in the Steel Joints add-on. This saves you separate components, and the other elements, such as a cap plate and a slide plate, are thus automatically taken into account with their dimensions.


Component "Member Editor"

The "Member Editor" component allows you to modify the individual or several member plates in the Steel Joints add-on.

You can use the chamfer, notch, rounding, and hole operations with multiple shapes. It is possible to apply both operations, "Notch" and "Chamfer", for several member plates.

In this way, you can notch flanges from I-sections, for example (see the image).


Shear Resistance of Bolts

To determine the shear resistance of bolts, you can use the Steel Joints add-on to specify whether there is a shaft or a thread in the shear plane.


Material of Weld

If a weld seam connects two plates with different materials, it is possible to select from a combo box in the Steel Joints add-on which one of both materials should be used for the weld seam.


Connection of Rectangular Hollow Sections

In the case of rectangular cross-sections, you can usually achieve a direct connection by using welds. However, you can also connect them to other cross-sections in the same way. Furthermore, other components such as end plates help you to connect the rectangular cross-sections to other structural components.


Component "Inserted Member"

When designing connections, you can now also insert a new member as a component directly in the Steel Joints add-on. This will only be considered for the connection design. You can use the Weld and Fasteners components to connect to other members.


Preloaded Bolts for Steel Joints

In the Steel Joints add-on, you have this option to consider the preloaded bolts in the calculation of all components.

You can easily activate the prestress using the check box in the bolt parameters, and it has an impact on the stress-strain analysis as well as the stiffness analysis.


Connection of Circular Hollow Sections

The Steel Joints add-on provides you with the option to connect circular hollow sections using welds.

It is possible to connect the circular sections to each other or to planar structural components. The fillets of standard and thin-walled sections can also be connected with a weld.


Component "Auxiliary Solid"

In the Steel Joints add-on, you can perform precise cuts on plates and structural components using the "Auxiliary Solid" component. Within this component, you can use the shapes of a cuboid, a cylinder, or any cross-section as a guide object.


Component "Plate Cut"

You can use the "Plate Cut" component to cut plates (for example, gusset plates, fin plates, and so on). There are various cutting methods available:

  • Plane: The cut is performed on the closest surface to the reference plate.
  • Surface: Only the intersecting parts of plates are cut.
  • Bounding Box: The outermost dimension consisting of width and height is cut out of the plate as a rectangle.
  • Convex Envelope: The outer hull of the cross-section is used for the plate cut. If there are fillets at the corner nodes of the cross-section, the cut is adapted to them.


Results of Steel Joint

  • Advanced printout report options
  • Eliminate internal force imports from an external program
  • Automatic update of internal forces with model modifications
  • Automatic update of result calculations with model modifications
  • Consideration of 3D internal forces, including torsion
  • Full design equation output avoiding a black box calculation
  • Detailed FEA model can be viewed and analyzed
  • High-quality 3D connection visualization


1,850.00 EUR

The prices apply to the use of the software in all countries.

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Online Training | English

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Online Training 04/10/2024 4:00 PM - 7:00 PM CEST

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Online Training 04/17/2024 4:00 PM - 5:00 PM CEST

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Cross-Laminated Timber (CLT) Building


The Multilayer Surfaces add-on allows you to define multilayer surface structures. The calculation can be carried out with or without the shear coupling.

Price of First License
1,250.00 EUR