Can I also design a cable truss in RSTAB?


Yes, it is possible. Cables absorb only tension forces. This allows cable chains to be calculated, taking longitudinal and transverse forces into account. To do this, it is necessary to define the complete cable as a cable chain consisting of several cable members. It is possible to quickly create chain lines using the menu 'Tools → Generate Model → Arc.' The more precisely the initial shape of the chain line matches the real cable chain, the more stable and faster the calculation can be.

It is recommended to prestress the cable members. In this way, the pressure forces are prevented, which would lead to failure. Cables should also only be used if the deformations make a significant contribution to the changes in the internal forces, that is, if large deformations may arise. For simple straight riggings like transverse bracings, tension members are completely sufficient.

When evaluating deformations of cable members, set the scaling factor in the control panel to '1' so that tightening effects are represented realistically.

The 3rd Order Theory, also called 'Cable Theory' or 'Large Deformation Analysis,' takes longitudinal and transverse forces into account in the analysis of the cutting forces. In the analysis, the stiffness matrix is created for the deformed system after each iteration step.

Member loads that have been defined as local are currently handled in such a way that the load direction is the same as for the non-deformed system. All internal forces are transformed into the deformed member axis systems. The members of the member type 'Cable' are always calculated according to the 3rd Order Theory. The remaining members will be treated according to the selected method of analysis.


Cable Cable theory Cable chain Large deformation analysis Deformation Prestress Cable structure

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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
RSTAB Main Program
RSTAB 8.xx

Main Program

The structural engineering software for design of frame, beam and truss structures, performing linear and nonlinear calculations of internal forces, deformations, and support reactions

Price of First License
2,550.00 USD