Unloading Area of an Industrial Site in Isère, France

Customer Project

Structural analysis Études Techniques Lyonnaises, France

Dimensions of the base slab

The Études Techniques Lyonnaises engineering office was in charge of planning and structural design of the foundation of an industrial site’s new unloading area in the Isère department in France.

The new unloading area consists of a steel framework built on a base slab. The total area is divided into two parts: a traffic and unloading zone for rail cars, and an area with a pit and a traffic zone for lift trucks.


The reinforced concrete base slab receives the loads from the steel framework’s 16 columns and is supported by 41 bored piles. Several different load types (imposed loads, snow loads, wind loads, and seismic loads) were applied to the base slab during calculation.

In the pit area, filling loads are applied to the base slab. In the area where the rail cars operate, moving loads were generated with the RF-MOVE Surfaces add-on module. In total, 40 load cases were assigned for the base slab’s design. After the automatic generation of load combinations, the filter settings for combinations allowed only for the most relevant to be kept.

Base slab and modelling

The base slab with a length of 31.20 m and a width of 11.03 m was modelled as a surface element. The foundation bases beneath the steel columns are restrained in the base slab.

Loads from the steel framework were assigned to the bases’ heads as nodal loads. In RFEM, elastic supports model the bored piles. The RFEM function “Elastic Support via Column in Z” allowed for the FE mesh at the pile heads to be adjusted.

Generating the rail cars’ moving loads was done by defining the position of axles, the load, and the direction of rail cars in RF-MOVE Surfaces. Based on the input data, the module generated several load cases automatically.

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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

Price of First License
3,540.00 USD
RFEM Concrete Structures

Add-on Module

Design of reinforced concrete members and surfaces (plates, walls, planar structures, shells)

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810.00 USD
RFEM Other
RF-MOVE Surfaces 5.xx

Add-on Module

Generation of load cases from moving loads for surfaces

Price of First License
540.00 USD