Finite Element Analysis (FEA) Software

Finite Element Method (FEM)

The Finite Element Method (FEM) is a calculation method typical for the scientific and technical area. The FE method allows you to calculate complex problems that can hardly be solved by other means.

Since FEM is a numerical method for solving differential equations, it is possible to perform the finite element analyses (FEA) in various physical disciplines. A component subjected to FEA is subdivided into a large number of small finite elements with simple geometry so that the required quantity can be easily calculated. This subdivision provided the name for the numerical technique: Finite Element Method.

In structural engineering, finite element analysis applies FEM as a standard method for computer-aided calculation of beam and plate structures.

3D Finite Element Analysis and Design

The structural analysis program RFEM is the right software for user‑friendly application of the Finite Element Method in structural engineering. Efficient data input and intuitive handling facilitate modeling of simple and large structures. RFEM also provides solutions for structural and dynamic analysis of 3D structures.

RFEM is the basis of a modular software system and is used to define structures, materials, and loads for planar and spatial structural systems consisting of plates, walls, shells and members.

In addition, it is possible to calculate internal forces as well as support forces. The program also allows you to create combined structures and model solid or contact elements.

Further analysis and design of components consisting of different materials in compliance with various standards can be performed in the corresponding add‑on modules.

Add-on Modules for RFEM

For design of various materials such as reinforced and prestressed concrete, steel, aluminium, timber, and glass, there is a wide range of powerful add-on module available for RFEM.

These modules allow you to perform nonlinear, stability and dynamic analyses as well as connection designs and form‑finding processes for cable and membrane structures.

Quality of FEA Results

Structural analysis programs by Dlubal Software provide comprehensible structural calculations. They are not a "Black Box". Numerous verification examples available on our website explain how the software works and reveal the calculation methods.

Knowledge Base | Finite Element Analysis (FEM)

  1. Displaying FE Mesh Quality

    Displaying FE Mesh Quality

    As a new tool for structural analyses of two-dimensional components, a display function for the FE mesh quality was implemented in RFEM. When you perform an internal check of the generated finite elements for defined criteria, you can graphically display the result. It will be displayed in three different colors to illustrate the different levels of quality. You can edit all values of the criteria and thus adjust them to your individual needs.

  2. 1 - Effective Area

    Using Result Beam in RFEM

    Since the release of RFEM 5, the ‘Result Beam’ member type has been available. The result beam is a virtual member that does not have any stiffness nor require any support. It can be used in various situations in order to integrate the results from members, surfaces, and solids, and to display them as member internal forces.

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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

RFEM Concrete Structures
RF-CONCRETE 5.xx

Add-on Module

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

RFEM Concrete Structures
RF-CONCRETE Columns 5.xx

Add-on Module

Reinforced concrete design according to the model column method (method based on nominal curvature)

RFEM Concrete Structures
RF-CONCRETE NL 5.xx

Add-on Module

Physical and geometrical nonlinear calculation of beam and plate structures consisting of reinforced concrete

RFEM Concrete Structures
RF-PUNCH Pro 5.xx

Add-on Module

Punching shear design of foundations and slabs with nodal and line supports

RFEM Steel and Aluminium Structures
RF-STEEL 5.xx

Add-on Module

Stress analysis of steel surfaces and members

RFEM Steel and Aluminium Structures
RF-STEEL EC3 5.xx

Add-on Module

Design of steel members according to Eurocode 3

RFEM Steel and Aluminium Structures
RF-STEEL Warping Torsion 5.xx

Module Extension for RF-STEEL EC3

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

RFEM Steel and Aluminium Structures
RF-STEEL Plasticity 5.xx

Module Extension for RF-STEEL EC3

Plastic design of cross-sections according the Partial Internal Forces Method (PIFM) and Simplex Method

RFEM Steel and Aluminium Structures
RF-STEEL AISC 5.xx

Add-on Module

Design of steel members according to the American standard ANSI/AISC 360

RFEM Steel and Aluminium Structures
RF-ALUMINUM 5.xx

Add-on Module

Design of aluminium members according to Eurocode 9

RFEM Steel and Aluminium Structures
RF-ALUMINUM ADM 5.xx

Add-on Module

Design of aluminium members according to the American standards ADM 2010 and ADM 2015

RFEM Timber Structures
RF-TIMBER Pro 5.xx

Add-on Module

Timber design according to Eurocode 5, SIA 265 and/or DIN 1052

RFEM Timber Structures
RF-TIMBER AWC 5.xx

Add-on Module

Design of timber members according to the American standard ANSI/AWC NDS

RFEM Glass Structures
RF-GLASS 5.xx

Add-on Module

Design of single-layer, laminated and insulating glass

RFEM Towers and Masts
RF-TOWER Structure 5.xx

Add-on Module

Generation of geometrically complex 3D tower structures such as lattice towers and radio masts

RFEM Towers and Masts
RF-TOWER Loading 5.xx

Add-on Module

Generation of wind, ice and variable loads for lattice towers

RFEM Towers and Masts
RF-TOWER Design 5.xx

Add-on Module

Design of triangular and quadrilateral lattice towers according to European standards

RFEM Connections
RF-FRAME-JOINT Pro 5.xx

Add-on Module

Design of rigid bolted frame joints according to Eurocode 3 or DIN 18800

RFEM Connections
RF-JOINTS Steel - Pinned 5.xx

Add-on Module

Design of pinned joints according to Eurocode 3

RFEM Connections
RF-JOINTS Steel - Column Base 5.xx

Add-on Module

Design of hinged and restrained column base footings according to Eurocode 3

RFEM Connections
RF-JOINTS Timber - Steel to Timber 5.xx

Add-on Module

Design of indirect timber connections with dowel-type fasteners and steel plates according to NDS and Eurocode 5

RFEM Connections
RF-JOINTS Timber - Timber to Timber 5.xx

Add-on Module

Design of Direct Timber Connections According to Eurocode 5

RFEM Dynamic Analysis
RF-DYNAM Pro - Natural Vibrations  5.xx

Add-on Module

Dynamic analysis of natural frequencies and mode shapes of member, surface, and solid models

RFEM Dynamic Analysis
RF-DYNAM Pro - Forced Vibrations 5.xx

Add-on Module

Dynamic and seismic analysis including time history analysis and multi-modal response spectrum analysis

RFEM Dynamic Analysis
RF-DYNAM Pro - Equivalent Loads 5.xx

Add-on Module

Seismic and static load analysis using the multi-modal response spectrum analysis

RFEM Dynamic Analysis
RF-DYNAM Pro – Nonlinear Time History 5.xx

Add-on Module

Nonlinear dynamic analysis to external excitations

RFEM Piping Systems
RF-PIPING 5.xx

Add-on Module

Modeling piping systems

RFEM Piping Systems
RF-PIPING Design 5.xx

Add-on Module

Piping design and pipe stress analysis

RFEM Tensile Membrane Structures
RF-FORM-FINDING 5.xx

Add-on Module

Form-finding of tensile membrane and cable Structures

RFEM Tensile Membrane Structures
RF-CUTTING-PATTERN 5.xx

Add-on Module

Generation of cutting patterns for tensile membrane structures