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PROKON Structural Analysis

PROKON Structural Analysis

PROKON Structural Analysis and Design

The PROKON suite of structural analysis and design software is developed by engineers for engineers. Used worldwide in more than eighty countries, the suite provides quick and reliable answers to everyday structural and geotechnical engineering problems:
  • Frame and finite element analysis
  • Steel member and connection design
  • Reinforced and prestressed concrete design
  • Reinforced concrete detailing
  • Timber member design
  • Masonry design
  • Geotechnical analysis
  • Other structural applications such as section properties calculation


Welcome to PROKON Web Apps — free online analysis and design tools.

What is available:

  • WebSec: Use the online version of ProSec to calculate the bending and torsional section properties of any general shape. Sections can have openings and thin walls. The complexity of the section is limited only by the number of lines in the input table. (ProSec has "unlimited" input.)
  • New features in the pipeline: Save and open data files to and from your computer.
  • More apps: Coming soon...



Section Properties Calculation

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More Apps

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Frame and Finite Element Analysis


Structural Analysis

PROKON Structural Analysis and Design includes several analysis modules for calculating deflections and design forces in structural members. At the core lies Sumo Structural Modeler and  Frame Analysis, two general-purpose finite element analysis packages that integrate with the PROKON steel, concrete and timber design modules. Separate modules are also available for special or simple tasks: Plane Stress/Strain Analysis, Single Span Beam Analysis and Beam on Elastic Support Analysis.

Analysis-Design Integration

Summary of integration between analysis and design modules:

ModuleDesign Link from Sumo and
Frame Analysis
Design from Single
Span Beam Analysis
Steel Member Design
Member Design for Axial Stress x  
Member Design for Combined Stress x x
Steel Connection Design
Base Plate Design x  
Beam-Column Connection Design x  
Apex Connection Design x  
Hollow Section Connection Design x  
Double Angle Cleat Connection Design x  
Fin Plate Connection Design x  
End Plate Connection Design x  
Concrete Design
Continuous/Beam Slab Design x  
Rectangular Column Design x  
Circular Column Design x  
Concrete Base Design x  
Timber Design
Timber Member Design x  


Sumo Structural Modeller

Sumo is a three-dimensional structural modeller and building information modelling (BIM) software. With Sumo you can build 3D models of structures using physical structural components such as beams, columns and slabs. Sumo shields you from the complexities of finite element analysis while still keeping you in control of the finer details.

Sumo Structural Modeller

Basic list of analysis features:

  • Finite elements: Beam and shell finite elements.
  • Static analysis modes: Linear, second-order, (geometric) non-linear, and buckling analysis.
  • Dynamic analysis modes: Modal (mode shapes and frequencies), harmonic (cyclic loads) and seismic (response spectrum) analysis.
  • Reinforced concrete design: Design of slabs and walls modelled using shell finite elements.
  • Design links: Design of steel members and connections, reinforced concrete members and timber members via the PROKON design links.

Sumo Structural Modeller

When it was released in February 2012, Sumo included nearly all the analysis functionality of Frame Analysis. Some advanced analysis features, such as the use of solid finite elements, were still under development. Sumo can import and export Frame Analysis models, making for seamless collaboration between team members using either program. Sumo offers many advantages over Frame Analysis, however, that will likely make it the analysis tool of choice for most PROKON users:

  • Easier and faster input: By using structural components such as beam, columns and slabs, Sumo shields the user from intricacies such as nodes and node numbering, and finite meshing of slabs
  • Easier access to detailed analysis output: One can filter analysis output using multiple criteria, e.g. certain beam sections, or forces over a certain value.
  • Member and connection design: Like Frame Analysis, Sumo integrates with the PROKON the steel, concrete and timber design modules—analyse the model, select one or more structural elements or connections, and transfer the geometric and loading information to the relevant design module.

The Future of Frame Analysis

While Sumo is positioned to eventually replace Frame Analysis as the primary analysis tool in PROKON, demand for Frame Analysis remains strong and will likely continue to do so for many more years. Maintenance updates of Frame Analysis will continue for as long as that is the case.


Sumo Structural Modeller is currently available as a "differential upgrade" from Frame Analysis. Existing users of Frame Analysis that upgrade to Sumo pay only the difference in price. Or for new orders, if you pay for Sumo then you get Frame Analysis and all its add-on modules at no extra charge.

Frame Analysis

Frame Analysis performs frame and finite element analyses of 2D and 3D structures. It can perform linear and non-linear static analysis of three dimensional structures comprising. The program can also perform buckling, modal, harmonic and seismic analyses of 3D models.

Beam and Shell Finite ElementsYou use a combination of beams, shells, and solid finite elements to build your model. The supports can be rigid or elastic. Loads are entered in load cases and grouped in load combinations with separate SLS and ULS load factors. You can choose to have the program calculate the structure's own weight automatically; sections and material properties are linked from the Section Database and Material Database. Advanced features include tension-only elements (e.g. bracing slender elements), spring elements (elastic constraints between parts of the model) and compression-only supports (uplift possible); all of these advanced features require iterative solutions via second-order or non-linear analysis.

The program supports multiple ways for building a structural model; depending on your preference, use any one or combination of the following methods:

  • Table Editor: Manually enter of members, supports and loads in a tabular environment reminiscent of Microsoft® Office Excel. You can copy and paste information between the table editor and Excel and other tabular programs.
  • Modeller: Draw the structure in a 3D CAD-like environment.
  • Input Wizards: Generate models of typical building frame and trusses by entering a set up parameters that defines the layout and loads. For more complex layouts, you can use the Plate and Solid Mesh Generator to generate finite element input.


The basics Frame Analysis module is capable of linear analysis of 2D frames, e.g. (vertical) plane frame and trusses, and (horizontal) grillages. Several add-on modules are available to extend the program's functionality:

  • First Mode Shape of Tower

    3D Module: Extend to full 3D analysis.
  • Finite Element Module: Adds the ability to use shell finite elements and solid finite elements (bricks).
  • Second Order & Buckling Analysis Module: Adds the option to perform second-order analysis (P-delta) and buckling analysis (global instability).
  • Non-linear Analysis Module: Allows the you to incorporate geometric non-linearity and material non-linear behaviour in the analysis, and use and catenary cable elements. This module also facilites stage analysis that account for elestic and inelastic deformation during construction stages.
  • Dynamic Analysis Module: Enables you to determine mode shapes and natural frequencies of 3D structures, and also perform harmonic analysis (cyclic loads) and seismic analysis (response spectrum).

When using shell finite elements to model concrete slabs and walls, Frame Analysis can calculated reinforcement steel quantities. It can do this for bending and/or in-plane stresses.

Frame Analysis has design links to the steel, concrete and timber design modules. When sending analysis output to a design modules, the geometric and design load case input data is entered automatically.

Third-party Integration

PROKON Structural Analysis and Design and Frame Analysis in particular, can form an integral part of your Building Information Management (BIM) stragedy. Several options are available fro sharing Frame Analysis models with other software:

  • AutoCAD® and Revit®: Using the ProDESK module, you round-trip information sharing for 3D structures of any complexity is possible between AutoCAD and Revit on the one side, and Frame Analysis and Sumo Structural Modeller on the other side. Build the model in AutoCAD or Revit (or modify the architect's model), and send it to Frame Analysis or Sumo for analysis and design.
  • RobotLink: A convenient interface for linking analysis results in Robot Structrual Analysis with the steel and concrete design modules in PROKON Structural Analysis and Design.
  • Industry Standards: Integerate with models created by packages such as ProSteel 3D and StruCad. You can import models from and export to CIS/2 (CIMSteel Integration Standard) and SNF (StruCad Neutral File) format.
  • CAD Drawings: Import 2D and 3D drawings of structures saved in DWG or DXF format. You can also use Padds to draw a frame and generate geometrical input for Frame Analysis.



Plane Stress/Plane Strain Analysis

Finite element analysis using plane stress or plane strain theory. You use simple polygins to enter complex geometries, and the program automatically generates a suitable mesh for the analysis. Multiple load cases comprising point loads and UDLs can be applied to the outline of the model.

Plane Stress and Plane Strain Analysis






Single Span Beam Analysis

Quick analysis of simple beams. You can analyse a single span beam, or a single span from a continuous beam. The continuity of the beam by specifying the end condition at each end: free, simply supported, fully fixed or an elastic/spring support.

Multiple load cases (point loads and moments, and distributed loads) can be entered, and the analysis results can be linked to Steel Member Design for Combined Stress to optimise beam section size. The analysis output includes diagrams for elestic deflection, bending moment and shear force.

Single Span Beam Analysis

Beam on Elastic Support Analysis

Analyses of a beam or slab on an elastic support. You can model a varying beam/slab cross section, as well as variations or gaps in the elastic medium and rigid supports. The analysis output includes diagrams for soil pressure, bending moment, and shear force.

Beam on Elastic Support Analysis

Steel Connection Design


Steel Connection Design

The PROKON steel member connection design modules are used primarily in conjunction with Frame Analysis. After an analysis, you can link to the design modules by simply clicking a connection or support node with the click of your mouse -- all information relating to the connection geometry and design loads will be exported to the connection design module. However, you can also use the connection design modules on their own, entering geometry and design loads manually.

The connection design modules have the ability to display connections in 2D or 3D. You can export the pictures as drawings to Padds, AutoCAD and other CAD software.

Analysis-Design-Detailing Integration

Summary of integration between analysis, design and detailing modules:

Module Design Link from
Sumo and
Frame Analysis
Drawing to CAD
or Padds
Base Plate Design x x
Beam-Column Connection Design x x
Apex Connection Design x x
Hollow Section Connection Design Design x x
Double Angle Cleat Connection Design x x
Fin Plate Connection Design x x
End Plate Connection Design x x

Base Plate Design

Design of base plates for steel columns. Base plates are rectangular in shape and columns can be hollow sections, I or H sections (universal columns and universal beams). The program performs calculations for stiffened as well as unstiffened base plates, and the plates can be attached to the concrete substrate with studs or bolts.

Baseplate DesignThe graphical design output shows the bending moment in the base plate, compressive or tensile forces in the bolts, and the distribution of the compressive stress under the plate in the concrete substrate (if bolted).

Moment Connection Design

Design connections that transmit shear, moment and axial force. Only forces in the plane of the connection are considered, i.e. vertical shear, axial compression or tension and in-plane moment.

Two modules are available for design of moment connections:

  • Beam to Column Connection DesignBeam to Column Connection Design
  • Apex Connection Design

The two modules support all I and H sections (universal columns and universal beams) in the Section Database. The connection can be bolted or welded. Beams can have haunches and placed at any angle. An optimisation function is available to help you determine a suitable layout, eg. web plates, stiffeners, bolt sizes and spacing. The design output includes a calcsheet with full design calculations. You can view the connections in 3D or 2D (e.g. elevation or plan) and save the pictures as CAD drawings.


Hollow Section Connection Design

Design of connections comprising welded structural hollow sections that transmit axial forces. All members are that transmit axial force. All members are circular, square or rectangular hollow sections with the exception of the main chord that may be an I or H section (Universal Beam or Universal Column).

Hollow Section Connection DesignSupported connection layouts include K, T, N, X, and Y joints and combinations thereof. The design calculations are based on Annex K of Eurocode 3 - 1992.



Shear Connection Design

When a bolt group or weld group is loaded in its plane and the load does not work through the centroid of the group, additional shear forces are caused in the bolts or welds. The shear connection design modules calculate the maximum resistance of bolt and weld groups.

Two shear connection design modules are available:

  • Weld Group DesignBolt Group Design (bearing or friction grip connections)
  • Weld Group Design (fillet welds)

When determining the bolt forces and weld stresses, you can choose to use either a linear (polar moment) or non-linear (instantaneous centre of gyration) method of analysis. To simplify input of welds, you can use a wizard tho place welds around the outline of standard steel sections. The design output displays the bolt forces and weld stresses graphically and provides calcsheets with design calculations. The programs can determine the minimum bolt or weld size required to resist the design loads.


Simple Connection Design

Design connections that transmit end shear and axial force only. The designed connections are considered simple connections that have negligible resistance to rotation and is thus incapable of transmitting significant moments at ultimate limit state.

Three modules are available for simple connection design (axial and shear forces only; no moment transfer):

  • Double Angle Cleat Connection DesignDouble Angle Cleat Design
  • Fin Plate Design
  • End Plate Design

The modules allow you to enter the sections and orientations with the relevant design loads. You can then either check the design as entered, or use the optimisation functions to improve the design. The design output includes calcsheets with complete design calculations.






Steel Member Design

Steel Member Design

The PROKON Structural Analysis and Design suite includes a number of modules with which you can design most types of steel members. Some modules interact with Sumo Structural ModellerFrame Analysis and Single Span Beam Analysis, allowing you to effortlessly post-process analysis results.

Analysis-Design Integration

Summary of integration between analysis and design and detailing modules:

Module Design Link from
Sumo and
Frame Analysis
Design from Single
Span Beam Analysis
Member Design for Axial Stress x  
Member Design for Combined Stress x x

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.

Plastic Frame Analysis

Plastic and optimisation design of plane frames. Availability of this program was discontinued in 2007. Equivalent features and more are now available in Sumo Structural Modeller and Frame Analysis with the Non-Linear Analysis add-on.

Plastic Frame Design

Crane Gantry Girder Design

Design and optimisation of crane gantry girders. The program supports several classes of cranes, multiple steel sections, capping sections, and multiple cranes on a single girder. It calculates the envelopes for all the required design forces (inlcuding vertical loads and horizontal effects of the moving cranes), moments and deflections.The design output includes deflection, bending moment and shear force diagrams, and calcsheets with detailed calculations.

Crane Gantry Girder Design

Plate Girder Design

Design of welded plate girders. The program is capable is designing I-shaped sections with identical or different top and bottom flanges. You can also make the section properties vary along the length of the girder to model a tapered element. Plate girders are normally used to resist high bending moments and/or vertical shear forces; correspondingly the program considers the effects of vertical load only. The design output includes vertical and horizontal deflection, bending moment and shear force diagrams, and also calcsheets with detailed calculations of all elements including stiffeners.

Plate Girder Design


Concrete Design

The PROKON suite includes a series of modules for designing concrete elements:

  • Reinforced concrete beams and slabs.
  • Prestressed concrete beams and slabs.
  • Rectangular and circular columns, and also columns with any general shape.
  • Retaining walls.
  • Rectangular bases.
  • Design of beam and slab sections for flexure, shear and torsion.
  • Crackwidth calculation.
  • Punching shear of flat slabs.

Concrete Design

Input of the geometry and/or load cases in some modules can be automated by linking from the analysis results in Frame Analysis. The work flow is further enhanced by semi-automatic generation of reinforcement bending schedules by most of the concrete design modules. Bending schedules are stored as drawing files that can be opened with, edited (if needed) and printed using Padds or AutoPadds.

Analysis-Design-Detailing Integration

Summary of integration between analysis, design and detailing modules:

ModuleDesign Link from
Design Link from
Frame Analysis
Bending Schedule to
Padds and AutoPadds
Continuous/Beam Slab Design   x x
Prestressed Beam/Slab Design     x
Rectangular Slab Panel Design     x
Rectangular Column Design x x x
Circular Column Design x x x
General Column Design x   x
Concrete Retaining Wall Design     x
Concrete Base Design x x x

Continuous Beam/Slab Design

Design and detailing of reinforced concrete beams and slabs. Cross-sections can include a combination of rectangular, I, T and L-sections, and spans can have constant or tapered sections. You can design a single span (simply supported, fixed or cantilever) or many continuous spans. Spans can be supported on with or without rotational restraints, e.g. columns below and/or above.

The design calculations incorporates automated pattern loading (of dead and live loads). At ultimate limit state, moments and shears can be redistributed to a user specified percentage. Both short-term (elastic) and long-term deflections are calculated. The long-term deflection calculations take account of concrete cracking, shrinkage and creep. For beams and one-way spanning slabs, you can manipulate long-term deflections by editing the steel reinforcement.

Continuous Beam/Slab Design

Frame Analysis also provides a convenient way for generating input for this program. When you model a building structure, you can use the design links function to select a series if beam elements and export the analysis results (geometry together with the bending moment and shear force envelopes) to Continuous Beam/Slab Design.

You can generate complete bending schedules (main bars and shear reinforcement) for beams and slabs. A 3D picture helps you position the bars accurately and identify conflicts. The program automatically adjusts the reinforcement detailing rules according to the mode selected, e.g. beam or column strip of a flat slab. Using the rebar editor, it is easy to modify the main and shear reinforcement -- diagrams display the entered reinforcement together with the required amounts at ULS and minimum amounts required by the design code. You can open the generated bending schedules in Padds or AutoPadds for final editing (if needed) and printing.

Captain - Prestressed Beam/Slab Design

Design and detailing of prestressed concrete beams and slabs. The program's name, Captain, is an acronym for Computer Aided Post-Tensioning Analysis Instrument. Its workings is similar to that of Continuous Beam/Slab Design, but it adds additional design features such as complex sections such as bridge decks, and user-specified load combinations (as an alternative to pattern loading).

Prestressed Beam/Slab Design

You can specify the characteristics of the prestressing tendons/cables, and use parabolic or harped profiles. The program has a function for automatic generation of tendon profiles that is based on balancing a specified percentage of dead load. You can also place of additional (conventional) steel reinforcement to contain cracking, control long-term deflection, and increase flexural or shear capacity at ULS. The program can also perform punching shear design checks for slabs, and include the ability to use column heads (drop panels).

Different to Continuous Beam/Slab Design, Captain can generate tendon profile schedules. Schedules can be edited and printed using Padds or AutoPadds.

Finite Element Slab DesignFESD - Finite Element Slab Design

Design of flat slabs using shell finite element analysis. Availability of this program was discontinued in 2008. Similar features and more are now available in Sumo Structural Modeller and Frame Analysis with the Finite Element add-on.


Rectangular Slab Panel Design

Design and detailing of rectangular flat slab panels. The four corners of the slab panel are supported, e.g. columns) and you can specify the support conditions for each of the four edges: free, supported and/or continuous. You can enter multiple load cases comprising point loads, line loads and UDLs, and combine these with ULS load factors.

Rectangular Slab Panel Design

An automated reinforcement detailing allows you to edit reinforcement and generate a bending schedule that you can edit and print using Padds or AutoPadds.













The PROKON suite includes three concrete column design modules: one for rectangular columns, another for circular columns, and a third for designing columns with any general shape. For rectangular and circular columns you can enter the geometry and design loads manually, or automate data entry by linking from the analysis results in Frame Analysis.

Rectangular Column Design

Design and detailing of rectangular columns. Columns can be short or slender in one or both directions, and different fixity conditions at the bottom and top. You can enter multiple load cases comprising axial load and moments about one or both axes at the bottom or top of the column. The program compiles column design charts and provides complete design calculation sheets.

Concrete Column DesignGenerating reinforcement bending schedules is easy; the program provides full control over the main bars and the stirrups. You can open the bending schedules in Padds or AutoPadds for final editing (if needed) and printing.

Circular Column Design

Design and detailing of circular columns. The features and use of the program is similar to the Rectangular Column Design module, except that it specifically caters for circular columns.

General Column Design

General Column DesignDesign and detailing of concrete columns with any general shape. Data entry is similar to the Rectangular Column Design program, for entering the column geometry: you enter the column outline and any openings, as well as the position and size (if known) of each longitudinal reinforcement bar.

During the design, you have the option of evaluating the column capacity for the reinforcement bars as entered, or to calculate the minimum bar size required to resist the design loads.

You can generate a reinforcement bending schedule that you can edit and print with Padds or AutoPadds.

Concrete Retaining Wall Design

Retaining Wall DesignStability analysis, design and detailing of concrete retaining walls for soil and surcharge loads, and seismic load conditions. The program can consider cantilever, simply supported and propped cantilever walls. The host of input parameters allows you to enter complex wall geometries like sloping walls and toes.

The program allow you to choose between the Rankine and Coulomb theories, and can also incorporate seepage in the analysis. A water table can be specified; it may even be taken above the soil surface to model a liquid retaining wall.

Retaining walls are checked for stability (overturning and sliding at both SLS and ULS) as well as strength (flexure and shear at various positions in the wall and base).

The most common use of the program is to analyse a wall with dimensions as entered. However, functions are available to optimise certain wall dimensions, e.g. the depth of the toe needed to resist sliding.

The program uses the calculated design moments in the wall and base to determine the required reinforcement. This can be taken a step further to generate a bending schedule that you can edit and print with Padds or AutoPadds.


Concrete Base Design

Concrete Base DesignDesign of rectangular column bases. The program can design bases with columns, stub columns, or no column. You can enter up to columns (or points of load application), each with multiple load cases. If the base forms part of a larger structure that you have analysed in Frame Analysis, you can link the analysis results with the Concrete Base Design program; this will extract the support reactions and insert them as load load cases.

Design output includes diagrams of the bearing stress distribution, safety factors for slip and overturning (at both SLS and ULS), linear shear and punching shear checks, and required reinforcement for flexure.

A simple-to-use reinforcement bending schedule generator creates drawings with rebar cutting lists that you can open and print with Padds or AutoPadds.


Section Design for CrackwidthCrack Width Design

Section analysis and crackwidth calculation under bending moment, direct tension and temperature loads. Calculations are performed for various combinations of reinforcement diameter and spacing.


Concrete Section DesignConcrete Section Design

Design of concrete sections for combined bending moment, shear and torsion. Sections can be rectangular, T or L-shaped. Design output includes detailed calculations and code references.


Punching Shear DesignPunching Shear Design

Design of reinforced concrete flat slabs for punching shear. You can design slabs at internal, edge and corner columns by specifying the distance from the support to the slab edge; the program automatically determines the shear perimeters. You can also enter the longitudinal reinforcement (that affects the shear capacity) in the two main directions.

The design output gives the critical load case with corresponding amounts of punching shear reinforcement needed for each perimeter.