How can I achieve a pressure contact with a failure of tension between a transverse member and a weakly curved membrane surface?


The nonlinear contact between transverse member and membrane can be done by a set of member elements between the member and the surface. This requires that the member is situated eccentrically in the plane of the compressive force resulting from the membrane effect and the connection line of the membrane connection. The geometric distance between member and membrane itself has to be aligned to the physical distance between member axis and membrane connection.

To ensure that the coupling runs homogeneously over the entire coupled length, it is necessary to ensure a uniform arrangement with the same number of FE nodes on the member axis and on the projected contact line on the membrane surface. This distribution and orientation of the FE nodes is achieved by placing the corresponding topology nodes on the member axis and the corresponding line of contact on the surface. The distance of the topology node should be selected affine to the selected grid mesh size of the connected membrane surface.

The coupling itself must be designed with a rigid member failing nonlinearly under pressure load between the resulting nodal pairs. In this case, the specified nonlinearity must be implemented with a member nonlinearity "Ineffectivity During Tension". The connection of the rigid member in the area of the eccentric member is completely compatible (bending-resistant) and must be carried out with a free translational release in the y-/z-axis which is related locally to the rigid member axis in the area of the membrane.

Due to the selected nonlinearity and existing alignment with the compression force resultant in connection with the free translational release, this contact modeling is able to transfer only compression forces to the connected cross beam. In case of a suction load, the coupling components fail and the membrane moves away from the secondary beam unhindered.


Contact lift release collision


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RFEM 5.xx

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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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Form-finding of tensile membrane and cable structures

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