Software for Form-Finding and Cutting Patterns of Tensile Membrane Structures

Structural Analysis of Tensile Membrane, Cable, Shell and Beam Structures

The structural analysis programs RFEM and RSTAB provide various options for form‑finding and cutting patterns of tensile membrane structures, such as form‑finding and analysis of cable, shell and beam structures.

Both programs perform the calculation according to the large deformation analysis.

  • Membrane structure
  • Membrane structure
  • Membrane structure
  • Membrane structure

Calculation in RFEM

The structural analysis software RFEM 6 allows you to calculate membranes together with the supporting structure (for example, cables).

The membranes can be modeled as general surfaces as well as quadrangle surfaces. The quadrangle surfaces are general four-sided surfaces whose boundary lines do not have to lie in one plane. This allows you to model surfaces with anticlastic and synclastic curvature that are important for membrane structures.

The membrane and membrane orthotropic surface types are available for the design. In the case of the membrane orthotropic type, you can define different stiffness properties, depending on the direction (in the warp and weft direction).

RFEM also provides the option to model and design connection plates, fittings, and so on.

Form-Finding of Membrane, Cable, Shell, and Beam Structures

The Form-Finding add-on for RFEM 6 search for the optimal shape of the members subjected to axial forces and the surface models subjected to tension. The shape is determined by the equilibrium between the member axial force or the membrane stress and the existing boundary conditions. The resulting new model shape with impressed force conditions is made available as a universally applicable initial state for further calculation of the entire structure.

Consideration of Nonlinear Material Laws

The Nonlinear Material Behavior add-on for RFEM 6 allows you to consider material nonlinearities in RFEM.

There is the option to couple surfaces with the stiffness types "Membrane" with the material models "Isotropic | Nonlinear Elastic" and "Isotropic | Plastic." This functionality enables the simulation of the nonlinear strain behavior of ETFE foils, for example.

Add-ons and Add-on Modules for Structural Analysis of Membrane, Cable, Shell, and Beam Structures

For structural analysis and design of membrane, cable, shell, and beam structures, we recommend the add-ons and add-on modules of the Steel Structures, Aluminum and Lightweight Structures as well as Concrete Structures industries.

Cutting Patterns of Tensile Membrane Structures

The RF‑CUTTING‑PATTERN add-on module for RFEM 5 calculates and organizes cutting patterns for membrane structures. Boundary conditions of the cutting patterns on curved geometry are determined by boundary lines and independent planar cutting lines or geodesic cutting lines. The flattening process is performed according to the minimum energy theory.

Calculation in RSTAB

The structural frame & truss analysis software RSTAB 8 designs the primary structure of membrane or cable structures. Form-finding and structural design can be performed, for example, in Easy by technet, to which RSTAB has a special connection.

In Easy, the internal forces are determined and the membrane is dimensioned. After the transfer to the structural analysis software RSTAB, the design and, if necessary, the stability analysis are carried out.

Since the stiffnesses can have a considerable influence on the forces in the membrane, the cross-sections optimized in RSTAB are transferred to Easy for recalculation. The frame & truss analysis software RSTAB is also used as a tool for the graphical and tabular documentation of the structural analysis after the successful design.

Interfaces for Data Exchange

The structural analysis software provided by Dlubal Software can be integrated seamlessly into the Building Information Modeling (BIM) process. The large number of interfaces ensures the data exchange of digital building models with RFEM or RSTAB.

The web service (programmable interface) can be used to read or write data from/to RFEM and RSTAB.

Support and Learning

Customer service is one of the fundamental pillars of the Dlubal Software company philosophy. We also offer you all the support you need for your daily work.

Contact us

Contact Dlubal

Do you have any questions about our products or need advice on selecting the products needed for your projects?
Contact us via our free e-mail, chat, or forum support or find various suggested solutions and useful tips on our FAQ page.

(267) 702-2815

info-us@dlubal.com

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Dlubal Software is a member of the TensiNet Association .

Doctoral Thesis on Membrane Structure Design According to FEA

Master thesis Rostislav Lang

This doctoral thesis by Rostislav Lang deals with the design and analysis of membrane structures using FEA software.

The best I have used

"RFEM is the best I have used. I have experience with RISA, STAAD, ETABS, Visual Analysis, and others. In the tensile/fabric structure world, I've tried NDN, Forten, etc. Once you get used to RFEM's interface, it has no comparison to the others. Even with typical structures, it's much easier."

RFEM 5
RFEM

Main Program

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

Price of First License
3,540.00 USD
RSTAB 8
RSTAB

Main Program

The structural engineering software for design of frame, beam and truss structures, performing linear and nonlinear calculations of internal forces, deformations, and support reactions

Price of First License
2,550.00 USD
RFEM 5
RF-FORM-FINDING

Add-on Module

Form-finding of tensile membrane and cable structures

Price of First License
1,750.00 USD
RFEM 5
RF-CUTTING-PATTERN

Add-on Module

Generation of cutting patterns for tensile membrane structures

Price of First License
2,240.00 USD
RFEM 5
RF-STEEL

Add-on Module

Stress analysis of steel surfaces and members

Price of First License
1,030.00 USD
RFEM 5
RF-STEEL EC3

Add-on Module

Design of steel members according to Eurocode 3

Price of First License
1,480.00 USD
RFEM 5
RF-STEEL Warping Torsion

Module Extension for RF-STEEL EC3 and RF-STEEL AISC

Warping torsion analysis according to the second-order theory with 7 degrees of freedom

Price of First License
850.00 USD
RFEM 5
RF-STEEL Plasticity

Module Extension for RF-STEEL EC3

Plastic design of cross-sections according the Partial Internal Forces Method (PIFM) and Simplex Method

Price of First License
850.00 USD
RFEM 5
RF-STEEL AISC

Add-on Module

Design of steel members according to the American standard ANSI/AISC 360

Price of First License
1,480.00 USD
RFEM 5
RF-STEEL SIA

Add-on Module

Design of steel members according to the Swiss standard SIA 263

Price of First License
1,480.00 USD
RFEM 5
RF-STEEL IS

Add-on Module

Design of steel members according to the Indian standard IS 800:2007

Price of First License
1,480.00 USD
RFEM 5
RF-STEEL BS

Add-on Module

Design of steel members according to the British standard BS 5950-1:2000 or British Annex BS EN 1993-1-1

Price of First License
1,480.00 USD
RFEM 5
RF-STEEL GB

Add-on Module

Design of steel members according to the Chinese standard GB 50017-2003

Price of First License
1,480.00 USD
RFEM 5
RF-STEEL CSA

Add-on Module

Design of steel members according to the Canadian standard CSA S16

Price of First License
1,480.00 USD
RFEM 5
RF-STEEL AS

Add-on Module

Design of steel members according to the Australian standard AS 4100-1998

Price of First License
1,480.00 USD
RFEM 5
RF-STEEL NTC-DF

Add-on Module

Design of steel members according to the Mexican standard NTC-DF 2004

Price of First License
1,480.00 USD
RFEM 5
RF-STEEL SP

Add-on Module

Design of steel members according to the Russian standard SP 16.13330.2011

Price of First License
1,480.00 USD
RFEM 5
RF-STEEL SANS

Add-on Module

Design of steel members according to the South African standard SANS 10162-1:2011

Price of First License
1,480.00 USD
RFEM 5
RF-STEEL NBR

Add-on Module

Design of steel members according to the Brazilian standard ABNT NBR 8800:2008

Price of First License
1,480.00 USD
RFEM 5
RF-STEEL HK

Add-on Module

Design of steel members according to Code of Practice for the Structural Use of Steel 2011 (Buildings Department - Hong Kong)

Price of First License
1,480.00 USD
RFEM 5
RF-STEEL Fatigue Members

Add-on Module

Fatigue design of members and sets of members according to EN 1993-1-9

Price of First License
1,120.00 USD