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Truss and Frame Design

Two modules are available for design and optimisation of basic steel members. In most case your will use these members design modules in conjunction with Frame Analysis. After analysis, you will open the structural model in the design module, set the design parameters, and then perform the design. You can also use the modules for interactive design of steel members, entering the geometry and design loads manually.

  • Detailed Design CalculationsMember Design for Axial Stress (struts and ties)
  • Member Design for Combined Stress (beams and columns)

Given the different design scope of the two programs, you may often use both modules to design different parts of the same structure, e.g. Member Design for Combined Stress to check the main framing elements and Member Design for Axial Stress to design the roof truss and cross-bracing.

When using the design modules, you can set up design tasks. Each task lists the members to be designed, the design parameters such as effective length factors, and the design approach. The design approach can be to either evelatuate the current sections (as defined in Frame Analysis) or to optimise the section sizes, i.e. choose the lightest sections that will resist the design loads. You can save the design tasks to a file so that you can easily recall it later, e.g. after you have made changes to the model and need to check the design again.

When designing simple beams, the Member Design for Combined Stress module can use the analysis output from the Single Span Beam Analysis module.

The programs generate the following design output:

  • Member Design for Axial Stress: Calcsheet with tabular design results listing slenderness ratios, allowable stress and design stress for each member.
  • Member Design for Combined Stress: Calcheet with summary or in-depth design calculations for every member and graphs showing axial force and bending moment distribution along the length of the member.