How is it possible to display the main support direction graphically in RF‑LAMINATE?


Displaying Main Support Direction in RF-LAMINATE Add-on Module
While entering data in the RF‑LAMINATE add-on module, there is an option to graphically control the orthotropic direction of each individual layer. To do this, simply place the cursor in the desired row of the corresponding position. Then, a coordinate system is displayed in the surface in the RFEM model (see Figure 01). This is to be interpreted as follows:

red axis = x-axis = β-value of the corresponding layer

Generally, the outer layers specify the main support direction, which is why it is sufficient to only consider the first layer. The red axis specifies the primary load-bearing direction (see Figure 01).

Displaying Main Support Direction in RFEM
However, the main support direction can also be interpreted directly in RFEM. For this, you can display the local axis systems of the surfaces in detail (see Figure 02). The orthotropic direction β refers to the local x‑axis of the surface. For the example shown in Figure 03, it has a consequence that the main support direction for the left surface runs from one support to another and the secondary surface direction to the right surface. If you want to change the support direction for the right surface, it is possible to either rotate the local surface axis system (see Figure 04) or create a new structure and rotate the orthotropic direction β by 90° (see Figure 05).

If the main support direction is not clearly evident, it is worth taking a look at the stiffness matrix of the surface (see Figure 06). There, it is possible to find the "principal" support direction by means of the bending stiffness, for example. The element D11 refers to the local x‑axis of the surface and the element D22 refers to the local y‑axis of the surface.


Main support direction Secondary support direction Orientation Axis system


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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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Deflection analysis and stress design of laminate and sandwich surfaces

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