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How many divisions must a member have for the calculation in RFEM so that I get accurate results?


It is not possible to globally answer this question because it depends on the system. There are several divisions to be considered in RFEM.

1. Member divisions for results tables
The member divisions for result values can be created with "Insert → Model Data →" Member Divisions ". This division ensures that - e.g. in the RFEM results tables - the internal forces of members can also be displayed at intermediate points. The graphical output remains unchanged.

2. Member divisions
The divisions for the graphical result diagram and the determination of the extreme value can be viewed and influenced in the FE mesh settings (see Figure 1).

For cable, foundation, and tapered members or members with plastic properties, you can specify the number of internal divisions. They lead to a real division of the member by intermediate nodes. However, if a member is arranged on the boundary line of a surface or if the definition line has an FE mesh refinement, the specification has no effect.

Select the 'Activate Internal Member Divisions for Large Deformation Analysis' option to divide also beams by intermediate nodes for the calculation according to large deformation analysis so that these members are calculated with higher accuracy. The number of member divisions is taken over into the input field above.

If using the division even for straight members, which are not integrated into surfaces, FE nodes are generated on all free members and considered for calculations according to the linear static and second-order analysis. The length of the finite elements is either determined by the global target length l FE set in the General dialog section or entered manually.

With the option 'Use Division for Members with Nodes Lying on Them', RFEM generates FE nodes on those locations of the member where end nodes of other members are lying, without having any connection existing between these members.


Member division distribution of internal forces FE mesh member



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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