SHAPE-THIN - Thin‑Walled and Cold‑Formed Cross‑Sections

Any open and closed thin-walled sections

  • SHAPE-THIN Program

Properties and Stresses of Thin‑Walled and Cold‑Formed Sections

Further Information


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The SHAPE‑THIN stand‑alone program determines the section properties of open or closed thin‑walled and cold-formed cross-sections, icluding stress analysis and plastic design.

In the case of SHAPE-THIN, there is a connection option to RFEM and RSTAB: SHAPE-THIN sections are also available in the library of the FEM software or the framework program; conversely, RFEM and RSTAB internal forces can be imported and designed in SHAPE-THIN.

You can enter the data graphically, in tables, or by importing a DXF file.



  • Modeling of the cross-section via elements, sections, arcs, and point elements
  • Expansible library of material properties, yield strengths, and limit stresses
  • Section properties of open, closed, or non-connected cross-sections
  • Ideal section properties of cross-sections consisting of different materials
  • Determination of weld stresses in fillet welds
  • Stress analysis including design of primary and secondary torsion
  • Check of c/t-ratios
  • Effective cross-sections according to
    • EN 1993-1-5 (including stiffened buckling panels according to Section 4.5)
    • European Union EN 1993-1-3
    • European Union EN 1999-1-1
    • Germany to DIN 18800-2
  • Classification according to
    • European Union EN 1993-1-1
    • European Union EN 1999-1-1
  • Interface with MS Excel to import and export tables
  • Printout report

Cross-Section Properties and Stresses

SHAPE-THIN determines the section properties and stresses of any open, closed, built-up, or non-connected cross-sections.

  • Section Properties
    • Cross-sectional area A
    • Shear areas Ay, Az, Au, and Av
    • Centroid position yS, zS
    • moments of area 2 degrees Iy, Iz, Iyz, Iu, Iv, Ip, Ip,M
    • Radii of gyration iy, iz, iyz, iu, iv, ip, ip,M
    • Inclination of principal axes α
    • Cross-section weight G
    • Cross-section perimeter U
    • torsional constants of area degrees IT, IT,St.Venant, IT,Bredt, IT,s
    • Location of the shear center yM, zM
    • Warping constants Iω,S, Iω,M or Iω,D for lateral restraint
    • Max/min section moduli Sy, Sz, Su, Sv, Sω,M with locations
    • Section ranges ru, rv, rM,u, rM,v
    • Reduction factor λM
  • Plastic Cross-Section Properties

  • Axial force Npl,d
  • Shear forces Vpl,y,d, Vpl,z,d, Vpl,u,d, Vpl,v,d
  • Bending moments Mpl,y,d, Mpl,z,d, Mpl,u,d, Mpl,v,d
  • Section moduli Zy, Zz, Zu, Zv
  • Shear areas Apl,y, Apl,z, Apl,u, Apl,v
  • Position of area bisecting axes fu, fv,
  • Display of the inertia ellipse
  • Statical Moments
    • First moments of area Qu, Qv, Qy, Qz with location of maxima and specification of shear flow
    • Warping coordinates ωM
    • moments of area (warping areas) Sω,M
    • Cell areas Am of closed cross-sections
  • Stress
    • Normal stresses σx due to axial force, bending moments, and warping bimoment
    • Shear stresses τ from shear forces as well as primary and secondary torsional moments
    • Equivalent stresses σv with customizable factor for shear stresses
    • Stress ratios, related to limit stresses
    • Stresses for element edges or center lines
    • Weld stresses in fillet welds
  • Shear Wall Sections
    • Section properties of non-connected cross-sections (cores of high-rise buildings, composite sections)
    • Shear wall shear forces due to bending and torsion
  • Plastic Design
    • Plastic capacity design with determination of the enlargement factor αpl
    • Check of the c/t-ratios following the design methods el-el, el-pl or pl-pl according to DIN 18800
  • 3

    Cold-Formed Sections

    SHAPE‑THIN determines the effective cross-sections according to EN 1993‑1‑3 and EN 1993‑1‑5 for cold-formed sections. You can optionally check the geometric conditions for the applicability of the standard specified in EN 1993‑1‑3, Section 5.2.

    The effects of local plate buckling are considered according to the method of reduced widths, and the possible buckling of stiffeners (instability) is considered for stiffened sections according to EN 1993‑1‑3, Section 5.5.

    As an option, you can perform an iterative calculation to optimize the effective cross-section.

    You can display the effective cross-sections graphically.

    Read more about designing cold-formed sections with SHAPE‑THIN and RF‑/STEEL Cold-Formed Sections in the technical article "Design of Thin-Walled, Cold-Formed C-Section According to EN 1993‑1‑3":



    SHAPE-THIN includes an extensive library of rolled and parameterized cross-sections. They can be combined or complemented by new elements. It is possible to model a cross-section consisting of different materials.

    Graphical tools and functions allow for modeling complex cross-section shapes in the usual way common for CAD programs. The graphical entry provides the option of setting point elements, fillet welds, arcs, parameterized rectangular and circular sections, ellipses, elliptical arcs, parabolas, hyperbolas, spline, and NURBS. Alternatively, it is possible to import a DXF file that is used as the basis for further modeling. You can also use guidelines for modeling.

    Furthermore, parameterized input allows you to enter model and load data in a specific way so they depend on certain variables.

    Elements can be divided or attached to other objects graphically. SHAPE-THIN automatically divides the elements and provides for an uninterrupted shear flow by introducing dummy elements. In the case of dummy elements, you can define a specific thickness to control the shear transfer.



    SHAPE-THIN calculates all relevant cross‑section properties, including plastic limit internal forces. Overlapping areas are set close to reality. If cross-sections consist of different materials, SHAPE‑THIN determines the effective cross‑section properties with respect to the reference material.

    In addition to the elastic stress analysis, you can perform the plastic design including interaction of internal forces for any cross‑section shape. The plastic interaction design is carried out according to the Simplex Method. You can select the yield hypothesis according to Tresca or von Mises.

    SHAPE-THIN performs a cross-section classification according to EN 1993-1-1 and EN 1999-1-1. For steel cross-sections of cross-section class 4, the program determines effective widths for unstiffened or stiffened buckling panels according to EN 1993-1-1 and EN 1993-1-5. For aluminum cross-sections of cross-section class 4, the program calculates effective thicknesses according to EN 1999-1-1.

    Optionally, SHAPE‑THIN checks the limit c/t-values in compliance with the design methods el‑el, el‑pl, or pl‑pl according to DIN 18800. The c/t-zones of elements connected in the same direction are recognized automatically.



    All results can be evaluated and visualized in an appealing numerical and graphical form. Selection functions facilitate the targeted evaluation.

    The printout report corresponds to the high standards of RFEM and -rstab RSTAB. Modifications are updated automatically.


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    1,450.00 EUR

    The prices apply to the use of the software in all countries.

    RFEM 5

    Add-on Module

    Plate buckling analysis of rectangular plates with or without stiffeners

    Price of First License
    1,200.00 EUR
    RSTAB 8
    STEEL Warping Torsion

    Module Extension for STEEL EC3 and RF-STEEL AISC

    Warping torsion analysis according to the second-order theory with 7 degrees of freedom

    Price of First License
    950.00 EUR
    FEED BUCKLING Single Program

    Stand-Alone Program

    Plate buckling analysis of rectangular plates with or without stiffeners

    Price of First License
    1,200.00 EUR

    Add-on Module

    Plate buckling analysis of rectangular plates with or without stiffeners

    Price of First License
    1,200.00 EUR
    RFEM 5
    RF-STEEL Warping Torsion

    Module Extension for RF-STEEL EC3 and RF-STEEL AISC

    Warping torsion analysis according to the second-order theory with 7 degrees of freedom

    Price of First License
    1,100.00 EUR
    RFEM 5

    Add-on Module

    Design of steel members according to Eurocode 3

    Price of First License
    1,850.00 EUR
    RFEM 5

    Module Extension for RF-STEEL EC3

    Design of cold-formed cross-sections according to EN 1993-1-3

    Price of First License
    1,450.00 EUR
    RSTAB 8

    Add-on Module

    Design of steel members according to Eurocode 3

    Price of First License
    1,650.00 EUR
    RSTAB 8

    Module Extension for STEEL EC3

    Design of cold-formed cross-sections according to EN 1993-1-3

    Price of First License
    1,250.00 EUR