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Analysis & Design Software for Tensile Membrane Structures
Structural engineering FEA software RFEM is the basis of a modular software system. RFEM is used to define structures, materials, and loads for planar and spatial structural systems consisting of plates, walls, shells and members. The program also allows you to create combined structures as well as model solid and contact elements.
Use the stand-alone program RWIND Simulation for complex structures. This program simulates wind flows around any structures by means of a digital wind tunnel.
The generated wind loads acting on these objects can be imported to RFEM or RSTAB.
RF‑FORM‑FINDING searches for shapes of structures subjected to tension or compression, such as membrane and cable structures. The shape is calculated by the equilibrium between the surface stress (specified prestress and additional load such as self‑weight, pressure, etc.) and the given boundary requirements. The prestressed model is afterwards used as the initial state for all subsequent calculations.
RF‑CUTTING‑PATTERN generates 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.
The RF-MAT NL add-on module allows for consideration of nonlinear material behavior in RFEM.
It offers the option to couple surfaces with the stiffness types "Membrane" and "Membrane-Orthotropic" with the material models "Isotropic nonlinear elastic 2D/3D" and "Isotropic plastic 2D/3D" (RF-MAT-NL add-on module required). This functionality enables the simulation of the nonlinear strain behavior of, for example, ETFE foils.
For structural analysis and design of tensile membrane structures or their substructures, find more useful add‑on modules under the Steel Structures as well as Aluminum and Light-Weight Structures industry.
The structural analysis software provided by Dlubal can be seamlessly integrated into the Building Information Modeling (BIM) process. A variety of interfaces allows you to exchange data from digital building models with RFEM or RSTAB.
The engineering company ACS provided the full project structural analysis and design including the fabric membrane and frame structure.
The Belin-Béliet (department of Gironde) municipality tennis club, founded in 1976, completed a new tennis hall in July 2019. This project was made possible due to a subsidy provided by the French Tennis Federation along with the support of the municipality.
Every summer, movie nights and other events take place on the banks of the Elbe in Dresden. Over 200 000 visitors throughout the summer attend more than 55 films and concerts complete with national and international artists.
For twenty years, the Circus Festival in Latina has been thrilling audiences with the world’s most talented artists. The International Circus Festival of Italy, founded by Giulio Montico and operated by the Montico family, has been recognized globally since the first performance. The circus tent built in Latina has made it possible to appreciate the quality of the many artists performing there.
The company Under Canvas provides the unique opportunity for all-inclusive adventure glamping (glamorous camping). Established in 2009, the company has since grown to include multiple luxury glamping resorts and customized events all over the country.
A roofing made of steel and fabric membranes was designed for the football stadium in San Bernardo, a city in the south of Santiago de Chile. The elegant, curved design in lightweight construction now also covers the standing area.
Under Canvas began in 2009 with the opening of an all-inclusive glamping adventure package. It has since grown to include eight luxury glamping resorts and a customized event’s offering, bringing the glamping experience to life anywhere in the country.
The architectural highlight of the Halle (Saale) bus station include the stylish canopies over the bus platforms. The continuous lights integrated at the roof edges are the real eye-catcher especially at night.
An impressive roof structure was constructed over the Passion Play open-air theater in Sömmersdorf, Franconia (Germany). The self-supporting spatial steel structure includes a PVC membrane roof covering the 14,908 ft² auditorium. Only four foundations in total support the entire roof structure.
The entrance structure to the dinosaur park Kleinwelka near Bautzen, Germany has a total height of 72 ft and resembles mitosis. Mitosis is a type of cell division and the origin of life. The bionic structure consists of 1,389 steel tube members assembled together at 269 joints.
A unique project called "Oxigeno" is currently under construction in San Francisco de Heredia, San José, Costa Rica. The recreational and commercial space, which measures almost 1,345,489 ft², offers the visitor a relaxing shopping atmosphere in harmony with nature.
A unique structure which roofs the main bus station in the Swiss town of Aarau was built at the end of 2013.
The canopy has a cloud-like shape and contains the largest single-chamber cushion in the world. It has a volume of 1810 m 3 and a roofed area of 1070 m 2 .
Allianz Arena is a soccer stadium in Munich, Germany, which hosted the opening match of the 2006 FIFA World Cup.
The translucent exterior facade of the stadium emits light in various colors and thus makes the whole arena building very special.
The Eden Project is a complex of two biomes and outdoor gardens with plants from many diverse climates and environments.
The biome is a steel frame structure with cladding panels consisting of triple-layered membrane cushions made of ETFE foil.
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.
Dlubal Software is a member of the TensiNet Association .
Doctoral Thesis on Membrane Structure Design According to FEA
This doctoral thesis by Rostislav Lang deals with the design and analysis of membrane structures using FEA software.
Section of drawing with top view (top) and section through roof (bottom, © FHS Ingeniería Estructural Ltda.)
In RFEM, there is an option to couple surfaces with the stiffness types "Membrane" and "Membrane Orthotropic" with the material models "Isotropic Nonlinear Elastic 2D/3D" and "Isotropic Plastic 2D/3D" (RF-MAT NL add-on module required).
This functionality enables the simulation of the nonlinear strain behavior of, for example, ETFE foils.
- How do I determine wind loads on structures of any shape?
How do I activate the RF-FORM-FINDING add-on module?
- Is it also possible to calculate cable structures in RFEM and RSTAB?
- I would like to calculate and design "temporary structures." What do I need for this?
- I have already divided my membrane roof into individual surfaces. Can I quickly create a cutting pattern from these surfaces?
- How is an inflatable object simulated in RFEM?
- How can I define a material allowance at the edge of a cutting pattern?
- I have modeled a structure made of outer and inner cables as well as membranes, and get a message about instability or the error message "Jacobi matrix is not positive definite" in the RF‑FORM‑FINDING add-on module. What should I do?
- Why does the FE mesh of my conical membrane look like angular after the form-finding?
- How to model a cable net structure in using the RF-FORM-FINDING add-on module?
Recommended for Tensile Membrane Structures
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
Form-finding of tensile membrane and cable structures
Generation of cutting patterns for tensile membrane structures
Design of steel members according to Eurocode 3
Module Extension for RF-STEEL EC3 and RF-STEEL AISC
Warping torsion analysis according to the second-order theory with 7 degrees of freedom
Module Extension for RF-STEEL EC3
Plastic design of cross-sections according the Partial Internal Forces Method (PIFM) and Simplex Method
Design of aluminum members according to Eurocode 9