Application Areas

Structural Analysis & Design

Structural engineering software RFEM for FEM analyses and RSTAB for frame and truss analyses are the ideal solution for structural analysis and design of planar and spatial structures made of reinforced concrete, prestressed concrete, steel, aluminium, timber, and other materials.

Designs can be performed according to international standards (ACI, AISC, AWC, IBC, CSA, BS, Eurocode, AS, NBC, and more).

Finite Element Analysis

RFEM is the ultimate 3D structural engineering software for finite element method (FEM) analyses.

Due to flexible modeling of structures consisting of member, plate, wall, folded plate, shell, solid, and contact elements, the software can be applied to all possible tasks of structural design.

Stress Analysis

Structural FEA software RFEM and the frame analysis software RSTAB perform stress analysis of planar and spatial structures. In RSTAB, stress analysis is performed for member cross‑sections and in RFEM, also for surfaces and solids.

In addition to normal and shear stress, you can also calculate contact stresses in RFEM.

Nonlinear Analysis

In the structural analysis programs RFEM and RSTAB, it is possible to consider member nonlinearities (for example failure at compression/tension, slippage, tearing, creeping) as well as support and release nonlinearities such as failure, creeping, friction support, and more.

In addition to linear static analysis and second-order analysis, there is also large deformation analysis available (for design of cables, for example). Moreover, RFEM supports the consideration of material nonlinearities such as plastification, concrete in cracked state, and many others.

Stability Analysis

Stability analysis is necessary particularly for structural components subjected to compression and bending. Generally, stability analysis is performed in the corresponding add-on module for the relevant material (for example in RF‑/STEEL EC3 for steel members).

In addition, RFEM and RSTAB provide powerful add‑on modules for plate buckling design, buckling analysis, and much more.

Nonlinear Buckling Analysis

In addition to linear buckling analysis, RFEM also allows for nonlinear buckling analysis using the Finite Element Method.

Geometrically and materially nonlinear analysis with imperfections included (GMNIA) represents the ‘real’ structural behaviour in this case. Imperfections can be generated using the add‑on modules RF‑STABILITY and RF‑IMP. Nonlinear material behaviour can be considered by using the ‘Isotropic Plastic 2D’ material model (requires RF‑MAT NL).

Warping Torsion Analysis

Especially for unsymmetric steel cross‑sections (for example channel sections, angle sections, and so on), it is possible to perform torsional‑flexural and lateral‑torsional buckling designs according to the second‑order analysis with 7 degrees of freedom.

Dynamic and Seismic Analysis

Typical application areas for dynamic analysis are seismic design, vibration design of buildings, calculation of machine foundations as well as natural frequency analysis of bridges and chimneys.

The FEA program RFEM and the frame structure program RSTAB provide a wide range of powerful add‑on modules for dynamic analysis.

Nonlinear Dynamics

RFEM and RSTAB allow for nonlinear dynamic analyses performed for time history analysis. For this task, the nonlinear analysis method is available.

Among others, it is possible to consider nonlinear member types (tension and compression members as well as cables), member nonlinearities (failure, yielding, etc.), support nonlinearities (failure, friction, etc.), and release nonlinearities.

Pushover Analysis

Pushover analysis is a nonlinear static calculation for seismic analysis of structures. The load pattern is inferred from dynamic calculation of equivalent loads. These loads are incrementally increased until the global failure of the structure occurs. The nonlinear behavior of a building is usually represented by using plastic hinges.

In RFEM, the plastic hinges according to the definition of FEMA 356 are available for the steel material. Together with the load increment option in RFEM and calculation diagrams, you can easily generate pushover curves.

Form-Finding and Cutting Patterns

Structural engineering software RFEM and RSTAB provide various options for form‑finding and cutting patterns of membrane structures as well as form‑finding and analysis of cable structures. The calculation is performed according to the large deformation analysis.

Numerous spectacular cable, tensile, and membrane structures (e.g. Allianz-Arena in Munich, Germany) were analyzed with the structural analysis programs by Dlubal Software.

Steel and Timber Connections

In the structural analysis software RFEM and RSTAB, there are powerful add-on modules for the design of steel and timber connections.

Rigid and hinged beam connections, column bases, hollow section and tower connections in steel structures are designed according to Eurocode 3.

Simulation of Masonry

RFEM allows for realistic assessment of structural behaviour of masonry.

For this, it is possible to define the nonlinear material model "Isotropic Masonry 2D" using the RF‑MAT NL add‑on module, which causes failure when exceeding limit stresses.

Building Information Modeling (BIM)

BIM (Building Information Modeling) is a modern way of planning and carrying out construction projects. The advantage of this concept is that all partners involved in a project are connected, sharing one single data source. All relevant building data is digitally maintained within a three-dimensional model, which is then used in all planning stages. In this way, various CAD and structural analysis programs use the same model, which is directly transferred between the programs.

Dlubal provides an option for structural planning according to the Building Information Modeling (BIM). This is primarily achieved through the numerous interfaces for data exchange in RFEM and RSTAB.

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