Form-Finding | Calculation

Technical Article on the Topic Structural Analysis Using Dlubal Software

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The form-finding process of the load cases with the load case category "Prestress" shifts the initial mesh geometry to an optimally balanced position by means of iterative calculation loops. For this task, the program uses the Updated Reference Strategy (URS) method by Prof. Bletzinger and Prof. Ramm. This technology is characterized by equilibrium shapes that, after the calculation, almost exactly comply with the initially specified form-finding boundary conditions (sag, force, and prestress).

In addition to the pure description of the expected forces or sags on the elements to be formed, the integral approach of the URS also enables a consideration of regular forces. In the overall process, this allows, for example, for a description of the self-weight or a pneumatic pressure by means of corresponding element loads.

All these options give the calculation kernel the potential to calculate anticlastic and synclastic forms that are in an equilibrium of forces for planar or rotationally symmetric geometries. In order to be able to realistically implement both types individually or together in one environment, the calculation specifies two ways to describe the form-finding force vectors:

  • Tension method - description of the form-finding force vectors in space for planar geometries
  • Projection method - description of the form-finding force vectors on a projection plane with fixation of the horizontal position for conical geometries

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Additional Analysis

The Form-Finding add-on finds the optimal shape of members subjected to axial forces and tension-loaded surface models. The shape is determined by the equilibrium between the member axial force or the membrane stress and the existing boundary conditions.

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