Friction Hinges

Tips & Tricks

Some compound beam structures such as stacked containers or retracted telescopic bars transfer the forces in the connection between the components by friction. The load bearing capacity of such a connection depends on the effective axial force perpendicular to the friction plane and on the friction coefficients between both friction surfaces. For example, the more the friction surfaces are compressed, the more horizontal shear force can be transferred by the friction surfaces (static friction).

In RFEM and RSTAB, this nonlinear relation between the axial and shear force can be applied iteratively by using a friction hinge on the member end. That is: The member hinge represents the connection between the “structural components,” the load bearing capacity results from the corresponding members and the defined friction coefficient. The position of the friction plane or the direction of the axial force perpendicular to the friction plane is defined by the axis system of the member with the friction hinge and its settings.

The hinge degree of freedom (ux, uy, uz) with the “Friction” nonlinearity setting determines the direction of the friction force / horizontal shear force. The direction in the nonlinearity setting determines the axial force perpendicular to the friction plane. The friction coefficient can be defined in the submenu of the nonlinearity setting.

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