I would like to create a cross‑section consisting of several elements in SHAPE‑THIN. However, I do not succeed to connect the elements in such a way that they act as a single entity.

Answer

Elements are connected together if you have a common node. Thus, Elements 1 and 2 shown in Figure 01 are connected by Node 2.

If there is no common node available, you can create a shear-rigid connection by using a null element. In the case of the null element, the normal thickness t is equal to zero. However, the shear thickness t* must be greater than zero. Determination of the shear thickness t* is required for the null elements that are not affected by "normal" elements (t > 0) along their entire length. It is recommended to specify the thickness of the thinnest element adjacent to the null element.

A null element can be defined manually or created by using the "Connect node and element" function. Please make sure that the connection is always created by using nodes of the elements and not help points (see Figure 02).

If connecting the elements with cross-sections, the cross-sections have to be previously reduced into the individual elements by using the "Reduce Cross-Section into Elements" feature (Figure 03). This is also demonstrated in the video.

Keywords

Connect elements Null element Non-connected Shear rigidity

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