How can I perform a buckling analysis for a surface in RFEM?


If you want to perform a buckling analysis with shell elements, the add-on modules RF‑STABILITY, RF‑IMP, and RF‑STEEL Surfaces are required.

Determining governing load according to the linear static analysis
The results of the governing CO are then used in RF‑STABILITY to determine the lowest mode shape (local deflection / buckling of surface).
With the result of RF‑STABILITY, you can generate a pre‑deformed structure in RF‑IMP by scaling the mode shape to a maximum ordinate (maximum value of the initial deformation). An engineer has to define the maximum value of the initial deformation.
Now, you can copy the governing CO and design this according to the second-order analysis while considering the pre-deformed structure of RF‑IMP.
The results are then used to perform the stress analysis in RF‑STEEL Surfaces.

The attached video shows the general procedure again.

There are already some very interesting technical articles on this topic on our website.


Buckling Shell buckling Surface buckling analysis



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RFEM Other

Add-on Module

Stability analysis according to the eigenvalue method

Price of First License
1,030.00 USD
RFEM Other
RF-IMP 5.xx

Add-on Module

Generation of equivalent geometric imperfections and pre-deformed initial structures for nonlinear calculations

Price of First License
760.00 USD
RFEM Steel and Aluminum Structures

Add-on Module

Stress analysis of steel surfaces and members

Price of First License
1,030.00 USD