What is the recommended setting for the distribution of internal forces/stresses in the Project Navigator - Display?


The FE analysis determines the results for each FE mesh node. Usually, a continuous distribution of the internal force or deformation is preferable for the graphic. For this purpose, it is necessary to smooth the results, for example via interpolation. However, the question cannot be answered in general as this has to be decided from model to model. Basically, RFEM distinguishes between the following five options:

  • Constant on Elements
    Constant distribution in the element

  • Non Continuous
    Interpolation in the element based on the results in special points

  • Continuous within Surfaces
    Calculation of average at the node within the defined surfaces, followed by the interpolation via the element

  • Continuous Total
    All results are averaged on the node (independent of the defined surfaces) and then interpolated via the element

  • Continuously by groups
    It is also possible to smooth results by groups. RFEM provides Generated groups with similar material properties. You can create user-defined groups of surfaces or solids by using the navigator shortcut menu (right-click User Groups).
There is an interesting technical article on this issue.


Calculation of average Smoothing Distribution of internal forces Work window Continuous Constant



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RFEM Main Program
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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RSTAB 8.xx

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

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