Modeling Downstand Beam Without Fixed Connection

Tips & Tricks


As a supplementary support of a floor slab you want to enter a downstand beam in RFEM to which only vertical compressive forces are transferred. Defining a rib or an eccentric member whose system line lies within the surface plane is not correct because member element and slab would be rigidly connected with each other in every finite element. But if you model the downstand beam at the level of its centroid, no connection will exist between member and surface.


You connect the downstand beam with the help of connecting members in each FE mesh point of the surface. When you select the member type ‘Compression’, neither tensile nor horizontal forces and moments will be transferred. To avoid further considerations concerning the cross‑section of the compression members, you can use the cross‑section ‘Dummy Rigid’.


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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