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Why is a free load not applied completely?


In contrast to the normal surface or nodal load, a free load is defined by the influence range and the influenced elements. By definition, free loading is only applied to the areas of the selected elements resting within this influence range.

A free load is defined by the absolute coordinates, with no regard to the elements of the model. For entering data, you can easily define them by selecting the model nodes, though there will be no link to the selected nodes. For example, if the model is then moved, the free load remains in the assigned position.

If using an imperfection generated by RF‑IMP as a pre‑deformed FE mesh, the free loads are applied to this deformed structure. This may be out of the influence range and absorbs no load.

If the load is expected to be linked to the structure and also moved in the case of displacements and generated imperfections, it is necessary to use the standard loads. As an alternative, it is also possible to increase the influence range of the free load as required in order to stress the entire structure anyhow.

A simple check of the applied load is possible by displaying the load distribution in the Project Navigator - Results.


Free load Imperfection Load application Load distribution


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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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