What is the critical load factor and how is it possible to determine it?

Answer

A critical load factor specifies which factor can be used to increase the load until the structural system fails. If it is smaller than one, the calculation according to the second-order analysis is usually unstable as the structural system is already subjected to the critical load. This factor is also referred to in standards. For example, Eurocode 3 specifies that the calculation according to the second-order analysis is no longer necessary as of the critical load factor of 10.
The critical load factor can be determined by using the RF‑STABILITY or RSBUCK add-on module.

Keywords

Critical load factor Critical load System failure Second-order analysis

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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
RFEM Other
RF-STABILITY 5.xx

Add-on Module

Stability analysis according to the eigenvalue method

Price of First License
1,030.00 USD
RSTAB Other
RSBUCK 8.xx

Add-on Module

Stability analysis according to the eigenvalue method

Price of First License
670.00 USD