Using Member End Releases with Tolerance

Tips & Tricks

To simulate a bearing clearance in a connection between members, you can use the “Diagram” function for member end releases. To use this function, first define the according degree of freedom as release (see Figure). Then you can select the “Diagram” function form the drop‑down list.

The picture shows an example for the usage of such a clearance. The top left and bottom right of the picture shows the difference on a model. A beam on two supports is connected in the middle by means of a round steel, which is also supported on the other end.

The connection between the beam and the round steel with one member end release is in one case moment resistant (left) and in the other has a member end release (right) with clearance, as shown in the picture. In Load Case 1 (top left in the picture), this clearance does not deform the round steel at the right beam.

The bottom right of the picture shows the same model with Load Case 2. Only the loading was changed. Because the bearing clearance is now fully utilized and the member thus transfers the entire force, both models are nearly equally deformed and the round steel resists the according forces.

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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

RSTAB Main Program
RSTAB 8.xx

Main Program

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