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Is it possible to find the form-finding of the membranes without considering the semi-rigid substructure?

Answer

Generally, the form-finding process in RFEM always considers all model data. In the form-finding, the elastic supporting elements on the membrane react with deformations in the direction of the acting membrane tension stress. The integral process passes the prestressed model for the subsequent calculation if the forces of all deformed elements are in equilibrium with the membrane geometry below the specified prestress.


Figure 01 - Form-finding with deformed supporting structure

However, the support structure's non-linearity "Only form-finding -Condition" (also called form-finding support) at the membrane edges can be suppressed for pure form-finding.


In this case, the form-finding process results in a shape whose prestress is in equilibrium with the set form-finding support forces and remaining boundary reactions.


For the structural analysis of all other load cases and combinations, the form-finding supports are deactivated and the form-finding support forces are applied as external loads to maintain the global equilibrium on the entire model.

Due to the removal of supports, the membrane responds in the subsequent analyzes (LC and CO) with the semi-rigid supporting structure. Without additional loading, this reaction is similar to relaxation with a concomitant reduction in prestress




Keywords

Form-finding Support Substructure Supporting structure Elasticity Prestress Membrane

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RFEM Main Program
RFEM 5.xx

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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

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RF-FORM-FINDING 5.xx

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Form-finding of tensile membrane and cable structures

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