Plastic Design of Steel Structures in RFEM and RSTAB

New Add-on Module RF-/STEEL Plastic

7. January 2014

The RF-/STEEL Plastic add-on module uses the plastic cross-section reserves of steel members. In this way, a very efficient design is possible. Taking into account the interaction conditions, the action effects must not exceed the limit internal forces.

The following design methods are available:

  • Cross-sections consisting of two or three sheets (I-, C-, Z-, L-sections, channels, tees), flat steel, pipes and hollow sections according to the Partial Internal Forces Method (PIFM) with redistribution by Kindmann/Frickel
  • Elliptical cross-sections with analytical nonlinear optimization procedure
  • Simplex Method for general cross-sections

RF-/STEEL Plastic includes an extensive as well as extendable cross-section / material library with standard-specific strength values.

Functions in STEEL Plastic

The add-on module RF-/STEEL Plastic imports all relevant information and internal forces from RFEM/RSTAB. First, you select the members/member sets as well as load cases, load combinations or result combinations that you want to take into account for the ultimate limit state design. The materials from RFEM/RSTAB are preset but can be adjusted (for example changing the yield strength).

RF-/STEEL Plastic designs the cross-sections for tension, compression, bending, torsion, shear and combined internal forces. Furthermore, you can optimize the cross-sections if desired. Then, the program will determine for example the cross-section which is utilized best within a particular section table.

When checking the cross-sections, you can decide if the design values are taken from the standard, or if user-defined values are considered for the calculation. Design-relevant parameters such as the calculation of all cross-sections according to the Simplex Method can be adjusted as desired. 

The design ratio of the steel cross-sections can be represented with colors in the RFEM/RSTAB model (see picture above). In this way, you get a quick overview about the zones in the structural system that are stressed too much. Concerning the creation of a structural calculation to be prepared for a test engineer, you can include any input data, results, graphics, etc. in the printout report.

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