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RFEM – Online Manual

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4.11 Variable Thicknesses

General description

A variable thickness describes a linear decrease or increase of the surface thickness. Use variable thicknesses to model tapered surfaces. The variable thickness must be defined on three points in order to interpolate linearly between them.

A variable thickness is not entered directly, but set as a parameter when defining a surface. When you create a surface, define the Thickness as Variable (see Chapter 4.4). In doing so, the [Edit] buttons shown on the left become active in the dialog box and table.

Figure 4.116 Edit Variable Thickness dialog box
Figure 4.117 Table 1.11 Variable Thicknesses

Variable thicknesses can only be used for plane surfaces, but not for curved surfaces, for example.

Variable Thickness at Three Nodes

To define a variable thickness, specify three nodes so that RFEM can interpolate linearly between them. You can select any nodes within the plane of the surface for the thickness definition. They do not need to belong to the surface, but it is necessary that FE nodes can be generated on theses definition points.

Select the three nodes from the list, or use or to select them graphically. It is also possible to create [New] nodes. Then, assign the corresponding Thickness d.

The Node-Thickness-Assignment dialog section represents a short overview of the input: Node number and thickness are separated by a comma, individual node-thickness pairs by a semicolon.

It is possible to display the distribution of surface thicknesses in the rendering mode to check data: Select the Filled incl. thickness option in the Display navigator.

Figure 4.118 Display navigator: Rendering → Model → Solid Model → Surface → Filled incl. thickness