How can I determine the resulting force of a surface support or its contact stress in RFEM?


For some time, RFEM provides a useful feature which you can use to display the resultant of the contact stress by surface. These resulting contact stresses are thus displayed in the result tables of the surfaces Contact Stresses (Table 4.21) in Column F, Column G, and Column R (see Figure 01).

As an alternative, it is also possible to determine the resultant "manually." If your model includes a uniform FE mesh, whose elements can be used to determine the surface area, you can export the determined values of the contact stresses from RFEM and multiply them by the surface area of the finite elements in order to obtain the resulting forces for each element. To obtain the total resulting force of the surface support, it is necessary to add the individual resultants together. Since Table 4.21 shows the values of the contact stresses for each grid point, it makes sense to adjust the grid of the surface in the way that the grid point is always as close as possible to the center of the finite element. The grid of the surface can be adjusted by using "Edit Surface" in the "Grid" tab (see Figure 02).


Contact stress Resultant of surface elastic foundation Elastic foundation Surface support



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RFEM Main Program
RFEM 5.xx

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

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