Vous êtes sur la page 1sur 583

____________________________________________________________________

RAM Elements V8i


Release 12.5
____________________________________________________________________

2011 Edition

Manual
____________________________________________________________________
DAA037740-1/0003
Legal Notices
TRADEMARK NOTICE
Bentley and the "B" Bentley logo are registered or non-registered trademarks of Bentley Systems,
Incorporated. All other marks are the property of their respective owners.
RAM Elements, RAM Connection, RAM Connection Standalone, RAM Interaction Diagrams, RAM
Beam Design, RAM Concrete Column, RAM Concrete Wall, RAM Footing Design, RAM Masonry
Wall, RAM Retaining Wall, RAM Tilt-Up, RAM Truss Design and RAM Wood Design are
registered or non-registered trademarks of Bentley Systems, Incorporated.
All other marks are the property of their respective owners.
COPYRIGHT NOTICE
Copyright (c) 2011 Bentley Systems, Incorporated. All rights reserved.
Including software, file formats, and audiovisual displays; may only be used pursuant to applicable
software license agreement; contains confidential and proprietary information of Bentley Systems,
Incorporated and/or third parties which is protected by copyright and trade secret law and may not be
provided or otherwise made available without proper authorization.
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
CM2 MeshTools (c) Computing Objects SARL
Portions Copyright (c) Microsoft Corporation
Includes Adobe (R) PDF Library technology. Portions Copyright (c) Adobe Systems, Inc.
Adobe (R) Flash (R) Player software by Adobe Systems Incorporated, Copyright (c) 1996 2008
Adobe Systems Incorporated. All Rights Reserved. Adobe and Flash are either trademarks or
registered trademarks in the United States and/or other countries.
RESTRICTED RIGHTS LEGENDS
If this software is acquired for or on behalf of the United States of America, its agencies and/or
instrumentalities ("U.S. Government"), it is provided with restricted rights. This software and
accompanying documentation are "commercial computer software" and "commercial computer
software documentation," respectively, pursuant to 48 C.F.R. 12.212 and 227.7202, and "restricted
computer software" pursuant to 48 C.F.R. 52.227-19(a), as applicable. Use, modification,
reproduction, release, performance, display or disclosure of this software and accompanying
documentation by the U.S. Government are subject to restrictions as set forth in this Agreement and
pursuant to 48 C.F.R. 12.212, 52.227-19, 227.7202, and 1852.227-86, as applicable.
Contractor/Manufacturer is Bentley Systems, Incorporated, 685 Stockton Drive, Exton, PA 19341-
0678.
Unpublished - rights reserved under the Copyright Laws of the United States and International
treaties.
DISCLAIMER
Both United States copyright law and international treaty provisions protect this software and related
documentation. Any unauthorized copy or reproduction is strictly prohibited and subject to civil and
criminal penalties. Please refer to the License Agreement for authorization to make a backup copy of
the software. You may not sell or give this software or any documentation to anyone without a
previous written authorization.
Except as expressly warranted in the License Agreement, Bentley Systems, Incorporated disclaims all
warranties, expressed or implied, including but not limited to implied warranties of merchantability
and fitness for a particular purpose, with respect to the software, the accompanying written materials,
and any accompanying hardware. All results should be verified to the users satisfaction. The
contents of these written materials may include technical inaccuracies or typographical errors and
may be revised without prior notice.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
LEGAL NOTICES ..................................................................................................................3
INTRODUCTION ..................................................................................................................19
How to learn RAM Elements? ...................................................................................................................... 19
User Interaction Principle ............................................................................................................................ 19
Design in RAM Elements ............................................................................................................................. 19
Do you need assistance? ............................................................................................................................. 20
How to report bugs? ..................................................................................................................................... 20
RAM Elements and Windows Least-Privileged User Account (LUA) Approach ................................... 22
Description of the most significant changes from the LUA approach implementation ........................ 23
CHAPTER 1: GENERAL OVERVIEW .................................................................................27
Main Window ................................................................................................................................................. 27
The data explorer and the data panel ......................................................................................................... 29
Units ............................................................................................................................................................... 30
Entering nodes, members and shells ......................................................................................................... 30
How to create nodes? ................................................................................................................................................. 32
End nodes of physical members ............................................................................................................................ 33
Nodes generation tools .......................................................................................................................................... 33
Entering nodes coordinates in an Excel worksheet ............................................................................................... 33
How to create members? ............................................................................................................................................ 34
Selecting the nodes ................................................................................................................................................ 34
Connecting the members ....................................................................................................................................... 35
Templates .............................................................................................................................................................. 36
How to create shells? ................................................................................................................................................. 36
Assigning properties to nodes, members and shells ............................................................................... 37
Selecting the elements ................................................................................................................................................ 37
Entering the required information in the worksheet ................................................................................................... 37
Grouping members and shells .................................................................................................................... 38
Load cases and combinations .................................................................................................................... 39
Automatic generation of load combinations .............................................................................................................. 40
Entering loads for a load case ..................................................................................................................... 40
Display of data and results .......................................................................................................................... 40
Zoom and rotation ........................................................................................................................................ 42
Panning .......................................................................................................................................................... 42
Views .............................................................................................................................................................. 42
Selecting and hiding elements .................................................................................................................... 44
Other basic operations ................................................................................................................................. 44
Undo Command ......................................................................................................................................................... 44
Erasing elements ........................................................................................................................................................ 44
Erasing the contents of a worksheet ........................................................................................................................... 44
Delete duplicated elements and un-connected nodes ................................................................................................. 44
Segment Selection ...................................................................................................................................................... 45
General Configuration .................................................................................................................................. 45
AVW Conversor............................................................................................................................................. 46
CHAPTER 2: LOCAL AND GLOBAL AXES .......................................................................47
Coordinate systems ..................................................................................................................................... 47
Global coordinate system ............................................................................................................................ 47
Local coordinate system .............................................................................................................................. 47
Principal coordinate system ........................................................................................................................ 48
Element rotation............................................................................................................................................ 48
180 and 90 degrees rotation ........................................................................................................................................ 48
Rotating members at an angle ..................................................................................................................................... 50
Making a local axis parallel to a global axis ............................................................................................................... 50
Orientating a local axis toward a specific node .......................................................................................................... 51
Orientating a local axis parallel to a vector between two nodes ................................................................................. 51
Principal axes................................................................................................................................................ 52
Laterally restrained for torsion ................................................................................................................... 53
CHAPTER 3: PHYSICAL MEMBERS, STRUCTURE PURGING, SEGMENTATION AND
COMMANDS FOR ROTATING ELEMENTS ...................................................................... 55
Physical members ........................................................................................................................................ 55
Model purging ............................................................................................................................................... 61
Rotating elements of the Structure ............................................................................................................. 63
CHAPTER 4: END RELEASES AND TENSION OR COMPRESSION ONLY MEMBERS 65
Pin (hinges) at both ends of members ....................................................................................................... 65
Pin one end of a member ............................................................................................................................. 66
Fixing ends of elements ............................................................................................................................... 67
Fix one end of a member ............................................................................................................................. 67
Tension or compression only members .................................................................................................... 68
Pre-tension .................................................................................................................................................... 69
CHAPTER 5: CARDINAL POINTS, RIGID ZONE OFFSETS, RIGID FLOOR AND
PRESSURE ON FRAME MEMBERS.................................................................................. 71
Cardinal Points ............................................................................................................................................. 71
Rigid zone offsets ......................................................................................................................................... 72
Beams aligned to floor level (dropped floor) ............................................................................................. 75
Some advises in relation to the use of rigid zone offsets and cardinal points ...................................... 77
Simultaneous use of rigid offsets and hinges ........................................................................................... 79
Rigid floor ...................................................................................................................................................... 80
Entering Rigid floor .................................................................................................................................................... 80
Pressure on frame members ....................................................................................................................... 82
CHAPTER 6: CREATING SECTIONS AND MATERIALS .................................................. 83
Creating new sections ................................................................................................................................. 83
Parameters for the design of steel members ............................................................................................ 87
Laterally restrained for torsion: .................................................................................................................................. 87
Tapered Members ......................................................................................................................................... 88
Creating Materials......................................................................................................................................... 91
Importing and exporting sections and materials ...................................................................................... 93
CHAPTER 7: USING STRUCTURE TEMPLATES ............................................................. 97
Templates ...................................................................................................................................................... 97
Example 1: Creating a Truss ....................................................................................................................... 97
Example 2: Creating an entire structure .................................................................................................. 102
Completing data.......................................................................................................................................... 107
CHAPTER 8: OTHER ADVANCED SUBJECTS .............................................................. 109
Addition of load cases ............................................................................................................................... 109
Generation of load combinations ............................................................................................................. 112
Elastic supports .......................................................................................................................................... 114
Prescribed displacements ......................................................................................................................... 116
Self - weight ................................................................................................................................................. 117
Thermal loads ............................................................................................................................................. 118
Node generation ......................................................................................................................................... 119
Copy nodes ............................................................................................................................................................... 120
Linear generation of nodes ....................................................................................................................................... 121
Quadrangular generation of nodes ........................................................................................................................... 122
Circular generation of nodes .................................................................................................................................... 123
CHAPTER 9: ANALYSIS ...................................................................................................125
Introduction ................................................................................................................................................. 125
Frame Element ............................................................................................................................................ 126
Shell Element .............................................................................................................................................. 128
Rigid Diaphragm Constraints .................................................................................................................... 129
P-Delta Analysis .......................................................................................................................................... 129
What is P-Delta effect? ............................................................................................................................................ 129
Small P-delta effect .................................................................................................................................................. 130
Large P-Delta effect ................................................................................................................................................. 130
P-Delta calculation methods .................................................................................................................................... 130
Iterative P-Delta Effects ........................................................................................................................................... 130
P-Delta effect in load combinations ......................................................................................................................... 131
Dynamic analysis, and P-Delta ................................................................................................................................ 132
Option to disregard P-Delta effects in members with loads along their span .......................................................... 132
Nonlinear (Incremental\Iterative) Analysis ............................................................................................... 132
Eigen Value Analysis .................................................................................................................................. 134
References ................................................................................................................................................... 135
CHAPTER 10: DYNAMIC SEISMIC ANALYSIS ...............................................................137
Modal Analysis ............................................................................................................................................ 137
Determination of the Dynamic Forces ...................................................................................................... 138
Methods of Modal Superposition ............................................................................................................................. 138
CQC Method ....................................................................................................................................................... 138
SRSS Method ....................................................................................................................................................... 138
ABS Method ......................................................................................................................................................... 138
Seismic results with sign...................................................................................................................................... 138
Entering Mass ............................................................................................................................................. 139
Seismic Loads ............................................................................................................................................. 140
Seismic analysis ......................................................................................................................................... 143
Seismic loads: response spectrum and earthquake acceleration ........................................................ 143
Load combinations ..................................................................................................................................... 143
Construction details ................................................................................................................................... 144
Seismic aspects in RAM Elements ........................................................................................................... 144
Seismic dynamic analysis of buildings .................................................................................................... 144
Analysis ................................................................................................................................................................... 146
Viewing mode shapes (Free vibration) ..................................................................................................... 146
CHAPTER 11: STEEL AND WOOD STRUCTURES OPTIMIZATION AND CODE CHECK
...........................................................................................................................................149
Optimization and code check .................................................................................................................... 149
Optimization ............................................................................................................................................................ 149
Verification or Code Check ..................................................................................................................................... 149
Optimization basis ...................................................................................................................................... 150
Section Collections..................................................................................................................................... 150
How RAM Elements chooses an optimum section ................................................................................. 150
Optimization process ................................................................................................................................. 150
Verification process ................................................................................................................................... 151
Steps for optimization/Verification ........................................................................................................... 151
Optimization with other criteria ................................................................................................................. 156
Appropriate section not found .................................................................................................................. 156
Non-steel or wood members ..................................................................................................................... 156
AISC and AISI sections .............................................................................................................................. 156
Optimization with default sections collections ....................................................................................... 156
CHAPTER 12: PRINTING GRAPHICS AND REPORTS .................................................. 157
Data reports ................................................................................................................................................. 157
Geometry data............................................................................................................................................. 157
Loads data ................................................................................................................................................... 157
List of Materials .......................................................................................................................................... 158
Parts List ..................................................................................................................................................... 158
List of Joints ............................................................................................................................................... 158
Analysis reports.......................................................................................................................................... 158
Analysis results .......................................................................................................................................... 158
Dynamic analysis........................................................................................................................................ 159
Design reports ............................................................................................................................................ 159
Steel design ................................................................................................................................................. 160
Reinforced concrete design ...................................................................................................................... 160
Wood design ............................................................................................................................................... 161
Report diagrams ......................................................................................................................................... 162
General commands for print report ........................................................................................................................... 164
Customizing the heading of a report ......................................................................................................................... 167
View diagrams on screen .......................................................................................................................... 168
Export diagrams to DXF ............................................................................................................................. 169
Print to file ................................................................................................................................................... 170
Print graphic ................................................................................................................................................ 171
Text Box ....................................................................................................................................................... 172
CHAPTER 13: IMPORTING AND EXPORTING DATA .................................................... 173
Importing ..................................................................................................................................................... 173
Exporting ..................................................................................................................................................... 173
DXF files ...................................................................................................................................................... 173
What are DXF files? .................................................................................................................................... 173
Exporting as DXF files ............................................................................................................................... 174
Importing a DXF file .................................................................................................................................... 175
Creating a DXF file ...................................................................................................................................... 175
Reading DXF files ....................................................................................................................................... 176
RAM Structural System Files .................................................................................................................... 178
Major differences between RAM Elements and RAM SS analysis ........................................................ 178
Importing STAAD.Pro files ........................................................................................................................ 179
Importing SAP2000 files ............................................................................................................................ 181
SDNF Files ................................................................................................................................................... 181
What are SDNF files? ................................................................................................................................. 182
Sending data to a SDNF file ....................................................................................................................... 182
Sending data to RAM BasePlate ............................................................................................................... 183
Export to RAM SBeam................................................................................................................................ 184
CHAPTER 14: INTEGRATED STRUCTURAL MODEL (ISM) .......................................... 187
What is ISM? ............................................................................................................................................... 187
Purpose ..................................................................................................................................................................... 187
ISM and Application Data ........................................................................................................................................ 187
ISM Sync Tools Overview .......................................................................................................................... 188
CHAPTER 15: SHELLS .................................................................................................... 191
Introduction ................................................................................................................................................. 191
The Shell Element ....................................................................................................................................... 191
Applications for the model ........................................................................................................................ 193
Generating quadrangular shells ............................................................................................................... 195
Generating general shell ............................................................................................................................ 197
Description .................................................................................................................................................. 198
Entering Shell Thickness ........................................................................................................................... 198
Entering Openings in Shells ...................................................................................................................... 199
Defining intermediate supports ................................................................................................................. 200
Defining local axes ..................................................................................................................................... 201
Defining the degree of segmentation (meshing) ..................................................................................... 202
Assigning Materials .................................................................................................................................... 203
Pressure on the Plates ............................................................................................................................... 203
Distributed loads on shell faces ................................................................................................................ 204
Shell interfaces ........................................................................................................................................... 205
Segmentation (meshing) of Plates ............................................................................................................ 205
Printing the results ..................................................................................................................................... 208
Shell stresses .............................................................................................................................................. 209
Internal forces in nodes ............................................................................................................................. 210
Corner Forces ............................................................................................................................................. 211
Face forces .................................................................................................................................................. 212
Graphic environment .................................................................................................................................. 212
Frame members (default) ......................................................................................................................................... 213
Stresses..................................................................................................................................................................... 213
Internal forces in nodes ............................................................................................................................................ 214
Smooth ..................................................................................................................................................................... 214
Envel and Max ......................................................................................................................................................... 215
Stresses on both sides of the shell ............................................................................................................................ 216
References ................................................................................................................................................... 216
CHAPTER 16: CREATING NEW TYPES OF SECTIONS WITH MACROS ......................217
Common parameters: ................................................................................................................................. 219
Default Units ............................................................................................................................................................ 219
Section type .............................................................................................................................................................. 219
Shape ........................................................................................................................................................................ 220
Design code .............................................................................................................................................................. 220
, Design formulation .......................................................................................................................... 221
Connection ............................................................................................................................................................... 221
Category........................................................................................................................................................ 222
Commentary ............................................................................................................................................................. 222
Section variables ........................................................................................................................................ 223
Prop AskUser .............................................................................................................................................. 224
Prop Section Shape .................................................................................................................................... 225
Node ......................................................................................................................................................................... 225
SetLine...EndLine .................................................................................................................................................... 226
Segment ................................................................................................................................................................... 227
SetSolid .................................................................................................................................................................... 229
Bars and Bar ............................................................................................................................................................. 229
Join ........................................................................................................................................................................... 230
Closed ...................................................................................................................................................................... 231
Line .......................................................................................................................................................................... 231
CHAPTER 17: CREATING STRUCTURE TEMPLATES ..................................................233
The TEXT.tpl file .......................................................................................................................................... 234
The TPL file.................................................................................................................................................. 234
TITLE ...................................................................................................................................................................... 234
VARIABLES ........................................................................................................................................................... 235
SELECT ................................................................................................................................................................... 236
LINE ........................................................................................................................................................................ 236
WEB......................................................................................................................................................................... 238
TEMPLATE ............................................................................................................................................................. 240
Example 1: Creating a template ................................................................................................................ 242
1) Create a 20x20-pixel drawing .............................................................................................................................. 242
2) Create a detailed 150x150-pixel bitmap drawing ................................................................................................. 243
3) Create the TPL file ............................................................................................................................................... 243
Example 2: Creating a template ................................................................................................................ 245
1) Create a 20x20-bitmap drawing ........................................................................................................................... 247
2) Create a detailed 150x150-pixel drawing ............................................................................................................. 247
3) Create the TPL file ............................................................................................................................................... 247
Using the Example 2 template ................................................................................................................... 250
CHAPTER 18: BUILDING STRUCTURES ....................................................................... 253
Generating deck or wall areas ................................................................................................................... 253
Generating Wind Load ............................................................................................................................... 257
Rigid floor diaphragm .............................................................................................................................................. 257
Generating wind loads ............................................................................................................................... 258
Generating masses for each floor ............................................................................................................ 260
CHAPTER 19: DESIGN AND DETAILING ....................................................................... 263
Design .......................................................................................................................................................... 263
Design and Detailing Modules .................................................................................................................. 265
Introduction ................................................................................................................................................. 265
Invoking the Modules ................................................................................................................................. 265
Using information from the main program ............................................................................................................... 265
Passing data of the main program to reinforced concrete beams, columns and footings. ................................... 265
Passing data to wall modules: ............................................................................................................................. 269
Organization of the Modules ..................................................................................................................... 270
General commands for all modules .......................................................................................................... 275
Navigation and Data Entry ......................................................................................................................... 276
Commands from the status bar ................................................................................................................................. 276
Zoom ........................................................................................................................................................................ 276
Font Size ................................................................................................................................................................... 276
DXF Options (ribbon) .............................................................................................................................................. 277
DXF files .................................................................................................................................................................. 277
Print graphics ............................................................................................................................................................ 277
Panning ..................................................................................................................................................................... 277
Data Entry ................................................................................................................................................................. 278
Results and verifications ........................................................................................................................... 279
CHAPTER 20: GENERAL DESIGN OF STEEL STRUCTURES ...................................... 281
Loads ........................................................................................................................................................... 281
Sections ....................................................................................................................................................... 282
Selection of the design code ..................................................................................................................... 283
Coordinate system used in design ........................................................................................................... 283
Design Parameters ..................................................................................................................................... 284
Design and optimization ............................................................................................................................ 285
Seismic Provisions Steel frame members ............................................................................................... 287
Steel Connections ...................................................................................................................................... 288
Output of results ......................................................................................................................................... 288
Screen output ............................................................................................................................................................ 288
Reports...................................................................................................................................................................... 289
CHAPTER 21: DESIGN OF HOT ROLLED STEEL MEMBERS (AISC-ASD-LRFD) ....... 293
Determination of a member with an AISC section .................................................................................. 293
CODE=HOTROLLED ............................................................................................................................................. 294
TYPE=LINEOPEN .................................................................................................................................................. 295
TYPE=LINECLOSED ............................................................................................................................................. 295
SetSolid..EndSolid .................................................................................................................................................... 295
Shape=<section shape> ............................................................................................................................................ 295
Second order analysis ............................................................................................................................... 296
Technical notes ........................................................................................................................................... 296
General ..................................................................................................................................................................... 296
Assumptions and restrictions for sections and elements .......................................................................................... 298
Tension members ..................................................................................................................................................... 299
Beams and other flexural members .......................................................................................................................... 299
Columns and other compression members ............................................................................................................... 299
Members subject to torsion ...................................................................................................................................... 299
Combined stresses .................................................................................................................................................... 300
Seismic Provisions ................................................................................................................................................... 300
Joint Code Check ..................................................................................................................................................... 301
Tapered members ....................................................................................................................................... 301
CHAPTER 22: DESIGN OF COLD-FORMED STEEL MEMBERS (AISI) .........................305
Technical notes ........................................................................................................................................... 305
Assumptions and restrictions for elements ............................................................................................................... 305
Tension members ..................................................................................................................................................... 306
Flexural members ..................................................................................................................................................... 306
Compression members ............................................................................................................................................. 307
Combined axial load and bending ............................................................................................................................ 307
Tubular members ..................................................................................................................................................... 307
Selection of the section for a cold-formed steel member ...................................................................... 308
CODE=COLDFORMED ......................................................................................................................................... 308
TYPE ....................................................................................................................................................................... 308
nd
2 order analysis ........................................................................................................................................ 309
Cold-formed steel design Flowcharts....................................................................................................... 310
CHAPTER 23: DESIGN OF STEEL MEMBERS (BS 5950) ..............................................317
Determination of a member with a BS section ........................................................................................ 317
CODE=HOTROLLED or CODE=BS_COLDFORMED ........................................................................................ 317
TYPE=LINEOPEN .................................................................................................................................................. 317
TYPE=LINECLOSED ............................................................................................................................................. 317
SetSolid..EndSolid ................................................................................................................................................... 317
FORMULATION=<formulation> ........................................................................................................................... 318
Load Combinations .................................................................................................................................... 318
Second order analysis ............................................................................................................................... 319
Technical notes ........................................................................................................................................... 319
Assumptions and restrictions for sections and elements .......................................................................................... 319
Tension members ..................................................................................................................................................... 321
Beams and other flexural members .......................................................................................................................... 321
Columns and other compression members ............................................................................................................... 322
Members subject to torsion ...................................................................................................................................... 323
Tapered members ....................................................................................................................................... 323
BS 5950 Flowcharts .................................................................................................................................... 326
CHAPTER 24: DESIGN OF HOT-ROLLED STEEL MEMBERS ACCORDING TO AS 4100-
1998 INC. SUPP 1-1999 ....................................................................................................337
Designing a member with AS Standard ................................................................................................... 337
CODE=HOTROLLED............................................................................................................................................. 338
TYPE=LINEOPEN .................................................................................................................................................. 338
TYPE=LINECLOSED ............................................................................................................................................. 338
SetSolid, EndSolid ................................................................................................................................................... 338
Shape=<section shape> ............................................................................................................................................ 338
Second order analysis ............................................................................................................................... 339
Technical notes ........................................................................................................................................... 339
General ..................................................................................................................................................................... 339
General assumptions ................................................................................................................................................ 340
Beams and other flexural members .......................................................................................................................... 340
Columns and other compression members ............................................................................................................... 342
Tension members ...................................................................................................................................................... 342
Combined stresses .................................................................................................................................................... 343
Varying cross-section members ............................................................................................................... 343
CHAPTER 25: DESIGN OF OPEN WEB STEEL JOIST (SJI-LRFD, SJI-ASD) ............... 345
Technical Notes .......................................................................................................................................... 345
CHAPTER 26: ACI-318 AND BS-8110 REINFORCED CONCRETE DESIGN ................. 347
Loads ........................................................................................................................................................... 347
Bar size series............................................................................................................................................. 347
CHAPTER 27: REINFORCED CONCRETE BEAM DESIGN ........................................... 349
Identifying Concrete Beams ...................................................................................................................... 349
Analysis ....................................................................................................................................................... 350
Cracked Section Factors ........................................................................................................................................... 350
Second Order Analysis ............................................................................................................................................. 351
Reports and Window Output ..................................................................................................................... 352
Summary Report of Beam Design ............................................................................................................................ 352
Window Display of Reinforcement .......................................................................................................................... 356
Concrete Beam Design Module ................................................................................................................. 357
Home tab .................................................................................................................................................................. 357
Diagrams tab ............................................................................................................................................................. 360
Detailing tab ............................................................................................................................................................. 361
Configuration dialog ................................................................................................................................................. 362
Report of reinforced concrete beams....................................................................................................... 362
Technical Notes ACI Beams ...................................................................................................................... 365
General ..................................................................................................................................................................... 365
Limitations ................................................................................................................................................................ 365
Flexural Design ............................................................................................................................................. 365
Shear Design ................................................................................................................................................. 367
Torsion Design .............................................................................................................................................. 367
Detailing Requirements ................................................................................................................................. 368
Technical Notes BS-8110 ........................................................................................................................... 369
Flexural Design ......................................................................................................................................... 369
Shear Design ............................................................................................................................................. 369
Torsion Design .......................................................................................................................................... 370
Detailing Requirements ............................................................................................................................. 370
ACI 318-05 Beam Design Flowcharts ....................................................................................................... 371
BS-8110 Beam Design Flowcharts........................................................................................................... 376
CHAPTER 28: DESIGN AND DETAILING OF REINFORCED CONCRETE COLUMNS . 381
Design Steps ............................................................................................................................................... 381
1) Data input ............................................................................................................................................................. 381
2) Reinforcement Optimization ....................................................................................................................... 381
3) Verifications ................................................................................................................................................ 381
Reports and Window Output ..................................................................................................................... 383
Summary Report of Column Design ........................................................................................................................ 383
Window Display of Reinforcement .......................................................................................................................... 384
Concrete Column Design Module ............................................................................................................. 385
Home tab .................................................................................................................................................................. 385
Interaction diagram window .................................................................................................................................... 387
Detailing tab ............................................................................................................................................................. 388
Configuration dialog ................................................................................................................................................ 389
Report of reinforced concrete columns ................................................................................................... 389
Technical Notes .......................................................................................................................................... 391
1) General................................................................................................................................................................. 391
2) Limitations ........................................................................................................................................................... 392
3) Design Code ........................................................................................................................................................ 392
4) Loads ................................................................................................................................................................... 392
ACI 318-05 Technical Notes ....................................................................................................................... 392
1) Design of longitudinal reinforcement .................................................................................................................. 392
2) Slenderness effects ............................................................................................................................................... 393
3) Bending design .................................................................................................................................................... 394
4) Shear design ......................................................................................................................................................... 395
5) Special provisions for seismic design .................................................................................................................. 395
BS-8110 Technical Notes ........................................................................................................................... 396
1) Longitudinal Reinforcement design ..................................................................................................................... 396
2) Slenderness effects ............................................................................................................................................... 396
3) Bending design .................................................................................................................................................... 397
4) Shear design ......................................................................................................................................................... 397
ACI 318-05 Column Design Flowcharts .................................................................................................... 398
BS-8110 1997 Column Design Flowcharts ............................................................................................... 408
CHAPTER 29: FOOTING DESIGN AND DETAILING .......................................................413
Soil-footing-structure modeling ................................................................................................................ 413
Steps Design ............................................................................................................................................... 413
1) Input Data ............................................................................................................................................................ 413

2) Base dimensions ........................................................................................................................................ 413

3) Reinforcement Optimization ..................................................................................................................... 413

4) Verifications .............................................................................................................................................. 414


Footing Design Module .............................................................................................................................. 414
Home tab .................................................................................................................................................................. 414
Soil pressure window ............................................................................................................................................... 415
Detailing tab ............................................................................................................................................................. 417
Configuration dialog ................................................................................................................................................ 418
Report of footing ......................................................................................................................................... 418
Technical Notes .......................................................................................................................................... 420
1) General................................................................................................................................................................. 420
2) Limitations ........................................................................................................................................................... 421
3) Design Code ........................................................................................................................................................ 421
4) Loads ................................................................................................................................................................... 421
5) Analysis ............................................................................................................................................................... 421
6) Overall stability against sliding, overturning and soil bearing capacity .............................................................. 422
7) Design .................................................................................................................................................................. 423
Foundation Spring Modeling Tools .......................................................................................................... 424
Column Position: ..................................................................................................................................................... 425
Soil Type - Modulus of Subgrade Reaction: ............................................................................................................ 425
Spring Method: ........................................................................................................................................................ 425
Appendix A: Soil Structure Interaction - Theory ..................................................................................... 428
Column Located at Center of Footing ...................................................................................................................... 428
Eccentric Footings (Columns located at edge of the footing) .................................................................................. 430
Appendix B: ACI 318-05 Footing Design Flowcharts .............................................................................. 433
BS-8110 Footing Design Flowcharts ........................................................................................................ 440
CHAPTER 30: WOOD DESIGN (NDS) ............................................................................. 445
Determination of the wood member data ................................................................................................. 445
Loads ........................................................................................................................................................................ 445
Member Section ........................................................................................................................................................ 445
Wood materials ......................................................................................................................................................... 447
Species ...................................................................................................................................................................... 450
Design Parameters .................................................................................................................................................... 452
Design method .......................................................................................................................................................... 455
Design post processing inside RAM Elements ....................................................................................... 455
Reports...................................................................................................................................................................... 455
Screen output ............................................................................................................................................................ 456
Deflection control ..................................................................................................................................................... 458
Wood Detailing Module .............................................................................................................................. 458
NDS technical notes ................................................................................................................................... 459
Tension members ...................................................................................................................................................... 460
Beams and other flexural members .......................................................................................................................... 460
Columns and other compression members ............................................................................................................... 461
Members subject to torsion ....................................................................................................................................... 462
Combined stresses .................................................................................................................................................... 462
Bearing ..................................................................................................................................................................... 462
Wood design tables for adjustment factors ............................................................................................ 462
References .................................................................................................................................................. 464
CHAPTER 31: RETAINING WALLS ................................................................................. 467
Design steps ............................................................................................................................................... 467
1) Data introduction .................................................................................................................................................. 467
2) Verification and Detailing .................................................................................................................................... 467
3) Optimization ......................................................................................................................................................... 467
Retaining Wall Design Module .................................................................................................................. 469
Properties area .......................................................................................................................................................... 469
Graphic window ....................................................................................................................................................... 470
Help window ............................................................................................................................................................ 471
Diagrams window ..................................................................................................................................................... 472
Detailing worksheets ................................................................................................................................................ 473
Configuration window .............................................................................................................................................. 476
View as RAM Elements Model ................................................................................................................................ 479
Reports and Screen Output ....................................................................................................................................... 479
Technical notes........................................................................................................................................... 482
Terminology ............................................................................................................................................................. 482
General ..................................................................................................................................................................... 483
Limitations ................................................................................................................................................................ 484
Design Codes ............................................................................................................................................................ 484
Loads ........................................................................................................................................................................ 484
Stem axial loads ................................................................................................................................................... 484
Earth pressures ................................................................................................................................................... 484
Seismic Load ............................................................................................................................................ 488
Load Combinations .............................................................................................................................................. 488
Design of the wall components ................................................................................................................................. 489
Unreinforced Concrete Design ............................................................................................................................ 489
Reinforced Concrete Design ................................................................................................................................ 489
Reinforced Masonry Design .................................................................................................................... 491
References .................................................................................................................................................. 492
CHAPTER 32: BEAM DESIGN ......................................................................................... 493
Design steps ............................................................................................................................................... 493
1) Entering Data........................................................................................................................................................ 493
2) Analysis/Design/Detailing ................................................................................................................................... 493
3) Verifications ........................................................................................................................................................ 493
4) Optimization ........................................................................................................................................................ 493
Technical Notes .......................................................................................................................................... 494
General ..................................................................................................................................................................... 494
Limitations ............................................................................................................................................................... 494
Design Specifications ............................................................................................................................................... 494
Analysis ................................................................................................................................................................... 495
Pattern loading .................................................................................................................................................... 495
Load combinations .............................................................................................................................................. 496
Design parameters .................................................................................................................................................... 496
Cracked Section Factors ..................................................................................................................................... 496
Unbraced length Lb ............................................................................................................................................. 497
Bending coefficient Cb ........................................................................................................................................ 497
Design ...................................................................................................................................................................... 498
Detailing Requirements............................................................................................................................................ 498
Beam Design Module ................................................................................................................................. 498
Properties area .......................................................................................................................................................... 498
Diagrams screen ....................................................................................................................................................... 500
Detailing Screen ....................................................................................................................................................... 502
Optimization screen ................................................................................................................................................. 502
Reports and Screen Output....................................................................................................................................... 502
CHAPTER 33: TILT-UP WALLS .......................................................................................505
Design steps................................................................................................................................................ 505
1) Data introduction ................................................................................................................................................. 505
2) Detailing .............................................................................................................................................................. 505
3) Optimize/Verify design........................................................................................................................................ 505
Technical notes ........................................................................................................................................... 508
Terminology ............................................................................................................................................................. 508
General ..................................................................................................................................................................... 508
Limitations ............................................................................................................................................................... 509
Design Codes ........................................................................................................................................................... 509
Geometry.................................................................................................................................................................. 509
Restraints.................................................................................................................................................................. 510
Loads ........................................................................................................................................................................ 510
Vertical in-plane loads: ....................................................................................................................................... 510
Lateral in-plane loads: ........................................................................................................................................ 510
Lateral out-of-plane loads: ................................................................................................................................. 511
Concentrated load distribution ........................................................................................................................... 511
Load Combinations ............................................................................................................................................. 511
Wall design optimization ......................................................................................................................................... 511
Hypotheses .......................................................................................................................................................... 512
Characteristics .................................................................................................................................................... 513
Minimum and maximum reinforcement ............................................................................................................... 514
Main window ........................................................................................................................................................... 516
Diagram window ...................................................................................................................................................... 516
Detailing window ..................................................................................................................................................... 519
Configuration window ............................................................................................................................................. 523
Reports and screen Output ....................................................................................................................................... 525
CHAPTER 34: CONCRETE WALLS .................................................................................529
Design steps................................................................................................................................................ 529
1) Data introduction ................................................................................................................................................. 529
2) Detailing .............................................................................................................................................................. 529
3) Optimization/Verification design......................................................................................................................... 529
Technical notes ........................................................................................................................................... 531
Terminology ............................................................................................................................................................. 531
General ..................................................................................................................................................................... 531
Limitations ................................................................................................................................................................ 532
Design Codes ............................................................................................................................................................ 532
Geometry .................................................................................................................................................................. 532
Wall ...................................................................................................................................................................... 532
Rigidity elements .................................................................................................................................................. 533
Restraints ............................................................................................................................................................. 534
Loads ........................................................................................................................................................................ 534
Vertical loads:...................................................................................................................................................... 534
Lateral in-plane loads: ........................................................................................................................................ 534
Lateral out-of-plane loads: .................................................................................................................................. 534
Global forces: ...................................................................................................................................................... 535
Load Combinations .............................................................................................................................................. 535
Wall design optimization .......................................................................................................................................... 535
Hypotheses ........................................................................................................................................................... 536
Main window ............................................................................................................................................................ 539
Diagram Screen ........................................................................................................................................................ 540
Detailing window ..................................................................................................................................................... 541
Configuration Screen ................................................................................................................................................ 546
Reports and Screen Output ....................................................................................................................................... 547
CHAPTER 35: MASONRY WALLS .................................................................................. 551
Design steps ............................................................................................................................................... 551
1) Data introduction .................................................................................................................................................. 551
2) Detailing ............................................................................................................................................................... 551
3) Optimization/Verification design ......................................................................................................................... 551
Technical notes........................................................................................................................................... 552
Terminology ............................................................................................................................................................. 553
General ..................................................................................................................................................................... 553
Limitations ................................................................................................................................................................ 554
Geometry .................................................................................................................................................................. 555
Wall ...................................................................................................................................................................... 555
Rigidity elements .................................................................................................................................................. 555
Restraints ............................................................................................................................................................. 556
Loads ........................................................................................................................................................................ 556
Vertical loads:...................................................................................................................................................... 556
Lateral in-plane loads: ........................................................................................................................................ 556
Lateral out-of-plane loads: .................................................................................................................................. 557
Global forces: ...................................................................................................................................................... 557
Load Combinations .............................................................................................................................................. 557
Wall design optimization. ......................................................................................................................................... 557
Bearing walls ....................................................................................................................................................... 557
Shear walls........................................................................................................................................................... 558
Columns ............................................................................................................................................................... 559
Lintels .................................................................................................................................................................. 560
Hypotheses ........................................................................................................................................................... 560
Main window ............................................................................................................................................................ 561
Diagram window ...................................................................................................................................................... 562
Detailing window ..................................................................................................................................................... 563
Reports and Screen Output ....................................................................................................................................... 567
Configuration window .............................................................................................................................................. 569
CHAPTER 36: TRUSS DESIGN ....................................................................................... 571
Design steps ............................................................................................................................................... 571
1) Entering Data........................................................................................................................................................ 571
2) Analysis/Design/Detailing.................................................................................................................................... 571
3) Verifications ........................................................................................................................................................ 571
4) Optimization ........................................................................................................................................................ 571
Technical Notes .......................................................................................................................................... 572
General ..................................................................................................................................................................... 572
Limitations ............................................................................................................................................................... 572
Design Specifications ............................................................................................................................................... 572
Geometry.................................................................................................................................................................. 572
Analysis ................................................................................................................................................................... 572
Load combinations .............................................................................................................................................. 573
Design parameters .................................................................................................................................................... 573
General parameters............................................................................................................................................. 573
Steel design parameters....................................................................................................................................... 573
Wood design parameters ..................................................................................................................................... 573
Design ...................................................................................................................................................................... 573
Truss Design Module ................................................................................................................................. 573
Data Screen .............................................................................................................................................................. 574
Diagram Screen ........................................................................................................................................................ 575
Optimization screen ................................................................................................................................................. 575
Reports and Screen Output....................................................................................................................................... 576
CHAPTER 37: RAM ELEMENTS INTEGRATION WITH DESIGN MODULES .................577
Main features ............................................................................................................................................... 577
Import of internal forces in the integrated design of walls .................................................................... 582
Results with the integrated design of walls ............................................................................................. 583
Introduction

Introduction
Welcome to RAM Elements, the structural engineers toolkit system, for analysis and design of
almost any type of structure or structural component complete with sophisticated design tools to help
you with your everyday analysis and design needs.
This program provides unequaled flexibility for the design and analysis of different types of 2D or
3D structures containing linear members and shell elements.
The types of analysis available are: First order (Linear Analysis), Second order (P-Delta Analysis)
and Dynamic (Seismic Analysis).
In addition, RAM Elements is also capable of designing hot-rolled or cold-formed steel members,
wood (sawn lumber and glulam) and reinforced concrete members using the AISC 360-05 ASD,
AISC 360-05 LRFD, AISC 360-10 ASD, AISC 360-10 LRFD, AISC 341-05, AISC 341-10, BS
5950-00, AISI 01 ASD, AISI 01 LRFD, AS4100-98, NDS 05 ASD, NDS 05 LRFD, ACI 318-99,
ACI 318-05 and BS8110-97 codes respectively. The program includes special modules for designing
spread footings, combined footings, reinforced concrete columns, retaining walls, concrete walls, tilt-
up walls, masonry walls, continuous beams and trusses. Additionally RAM Elements has links with
RAM Connection, a revolutionary tool that allows the fast design of steel connections inside or
outside RAM Elements, STAAD.Pro, the RAM Structural System and ProSteel (SDNF).

How to learn RAM Elements?


We strongly suggest that new users read the RAM Elements Examples Manual to learn and practice
the basic commands of the program.

User Interaction Principle


RAM Elements has a constant philosophy in the way all of its commands (actions) are applied to
members in a model. Specifically, the user has to select the desired elements (nodes, members or
shells) of the structure and once they are selected, the engineer can then apply any command that will
only affect those elements. This select and apply rule is a unique and fundamental feature of the
program that facilitates rapid model creation and output customization.
All the provided tools for entering or generating data, together with the display and printing options
adhere to this select and apply principle.

Design in RAM Elements


Another philosophy that RAM Elements has adopted for the design of steel, reinforced concrete or
wood structures, is the "trial and error" procedure. The engineer defines initial properties (i.e.
sections and materials) and the program verifies the members obtaining a strength ratio that reflects
the status of each element. After each verification cycle, the user is free to change or confirm the
properties with or without several tools developed for this purpose. The most important benefit of this
procedure is that the user will have a complete control of the structure design and the certainty that it
suits to his/her requirements

19
Introduction

Do you need assistance?


RAM Elements has several tools that can help you during the execution of the program. At any time
you need assistance on any particular feature you are working on, press F1 (or click on the help
button in the worksheet area) to access context sensitive help.

How to report bugs?


We are continuously improving the program to increase your productivity. Although, all the involved
changes are always thoroughly tested, it is possible, however, that a side effect is not detected during
the quality assurance. If something that is not working as is expecting during the check of your work,
please let us know. Use the bug report option to compile all the information and send it to
www.bentley.com/serviceticketmanager.

Select the RAM Elements button/Create bug report.

20
Introduction

Select the desired options to create the compressed file and send it to our technical support.
RSSFeed
RAM Elements has a new welcome window when it is started (It can also be opened with the option
Help/Welcome Window in the main Menu). This pane displays items from a custom Bentley Really
Simple Syndication (RSS) feed. The feed items are used to provide timely information on new
updates, releases and general product news. The intent of this feature is to get timely and relevant
information to our users. The items in the list may be updated at any time so they should be checked
regularly for new announcements.
Clicking on a feed item will launch the default browser and load the associated web page (link), if an
internet connection is available on the computer. The RSS feed will be unavailable, if there is no
internet connection and a message will be displayed. If you are consistently only getting that message
or if RSS feed is unavailable it means you are missing important announcements and information.

21
Introduction

Welcome window with important updated news.


Items in the feed are icon coded. Icons have the following general meanings:

- Important messages for Bentley users or RAM Elements users.

- Notification of available downloads, updates, full releases, etc.

- General messages from Bentley to its users

- Educational announcements, upcoming seminars, webinars, etc.

- Communication about related products, industry news, BE Community, etc.

RAM Elements and Windows Least-Privileged User Account (LUA) Approach


Modern networking technology, such as connectivity to Internet, have increased the risk of been
attacked by malicious software and other external intruders. Although old risks are kept under
control, new risks are always discovered or even created.
A significant factor that increases the risks from malicious software is the inclination to give users
administrative rights in their client computers. When a user or administrator logs on with
administrative rights, any programs that they run also have administrative rights. When these
programs activate harmful applications, that can be self-installed, they manipulate services such as
antivirus programs and even hide from the operating system.
A security strategy to counter these threats is the least-privileged user account (LUA) approach. The
LUA approach ensures that users follow the principle of least privilege and always log on with

22
Introduction

limited user accounts. This strategy offers among other benefits reduced risks from malicious
software and accidental or incorrect configuration. [http://technet.microsoft.com/es-es/library/bb456992.aspx]
In previous versions, RAM Elements was installed providing all privileges to the installation folders
in order to achieve compatibility with the recent versions of operating systems.
With the aim to fulfill the requirements of the newest operating systems such as Windows Vista and
Windows 7, RAM Elements has undergone some changes for this new version, regarding the
management of the structure for program folders and user folders, so it behaves properly under the
least-privileged user account approach, avoiding errors due to security restrictions and allowing a
better organization of the data folders.

Description of the most significant changes from the LUA approach


implementation
The most important change for this release is the separation of the files that are installed with the
program from the files that may be modified by the user.
The program files are installed, as usual, in the read-only folder "Program Files".
Files that may be generated, modified or deleted by the user (sections, materials and connections
databases, load combinations generators, templates and LEO files, etc.) are stored in the read/write
folder ProgramData. For the case of old users, the installer will extract all the user information and
will save it in this folder, nothing will be lost. The path is shown in the following table:

Configuration files such as local settings and print preferences will be created in another folder with
the path shown in the following table:

The new structure of program file folders (read-only) is shown below:

23
Introduction

The read/write folders that will contain users modified files are:

A summary of modifications made to the application data folders is shown in the following table:

24
Introduction

NOTE: A reminder that this version does not recognize hardware locks. Licensees of Bentleys RAM
International product line who are current subscribers under Bentleys SELECT Program agreement
should already have a SELECT license available to them. If a client is not under a SELECT
agreement and would like to upgrade to receive Version 10.0, they need to contact their Bentley
account manager or regional engineer.

25
Chapter 1: General Overview

Chapter 1: General Overview


The purpose of this chapter is to illustrate the basic commands required to model a structure in RAM
Elements, and to familiarize the user with the programs interface.
The basic operations of the program required to create a structural model are:
1. Create nodes, members and shells
2. Assign properties to elements such as sections, materials, etc.
3. Group members and shells
4. Create load cases and load combinations
5. Enter loads
6. Display various member properties
7. Other basic operations
After learning the basic operations, we recommend you practice the basic operations by modeling one
of the structures in the Examples Manual.

Main Window
RAM Elements has a main window in which all the model geometric, section and load data is input,
manipulated and viewed. The main window is displayed below with all of the individual work areas
identified.

27
Chapter 1: General Overview

RAM Elements Main window.


In short the areas are:
A: RE button: Displays basic commands such as Open a model, Save, etc.
B: Quick access toolbar: Puts in first-hand commands to be used with some frequency, such as
Analyze model, Design all, etc.
C: The Ribbon: Gathers all the commands that help in the selection, drawing, visualization of data or
results and design of structural elements.
D: Data Explorer: Area that allows quick navigation between the different sheets of the data panel. In
addition, control allows having data entered into the model.
E: Data Panel: Spreadsheet where data are entered for both geometry and design of the selected
items.
F: Display area: Area where model and any other selected display options are shown
G: Status bar. It presents useful information, such as the number of elements, load conditions, etc.
The general use of these areas is described later in this chapter.

28
Chapter 1: General Overview

The data explorer and the data panel

The data explorer


The Explorer shows you all the available data worksheets where you can enter the data for the model.
To navigate from one worksheet to another, you can simply click over the required item in the
Explorer and it will open the corresponding worksheet.
Remark.- Initially the Data Explorer is disabled (hidden). To activate (or deactivate) it, on the Home
tab, in the Data group, click the Data explorer button.
If the items in the list are checked , it means that those items contain data. In this way the user can
easily verify what data have been entered and what data is still required.
The user is not required to enter data for all of the items. It is only necessary to enter data required to
completely model the specific structure. For example, if your structure does not have shells, then the
corresponding shell item can be ignored.
It is also not necessary to follow a specific order in data entry. The user can skip from one worksheet
to another in almost any order.
If you want to hide your Explorer then you can still get to any worksheet on the Data panel by
pressing one of the Tab elements (1), and then the button related to the desired property (2), as it is
illustrated in the figure below.

29
Chapter 1: General Overview

The data panel


Note.- In the data panel the user may find some spreadsheets that have several useful tools (the
spreadsheets may be accessed by selecting the tab according to the type of element that is being
created or edited). These tools are organized in the higher part of the main window in the ribbon.
Notice that after selecting one of the tabs in the data panel the tools appear in the ribbon at the
Spreadsheet tab, Active spreadsheet tools group.

Select the data panel spreadsheet and the available tools will appear in the ribbon.

Units
It is always recommended to define the current unit system before entering any data.
To define it, in the Status bar, press the Units system button, will deploy a context menu, and then
select the unit system to be used:

The Units system button


Note.- The title of the Units system button always corresponds to the current units system.

Entering nodes, members and shells


A single structural model consists mainly of nodes, linear members, and shell elements with their
corresponding properties.

30
Chapter 1: General Overview

There are several methods available to generate these elements. For example, you can import a model
from a DXF file, you can create it using templates, you can import it from RAM Structural System or
you can generate it manually.
In this chapter we will explain the manual entry of nodes, members and shells. Refer to the relevant
chapters of this manual for a description of the other methods available to create a model.

31
Chapter 1: General Overview

How to create nodes?

Go to the Nodes/Coordinates worksheet. You can click in the Nodes/Coordinates item of the
Explorer or if it is hidden you can use the Tabs (Nodes) and the corresponding buttons (Coordinates)
of the Data Panel.
Enter the node coordinate data in the worksheet. Note that while you are entering the coordinates, the
nodes are displayed graphically.

Use the tab button to move between cells on the same row and Enter to go to the next row of
cells.
When entering coordinates you can include the units of the coordinates. For example, if you are
working with meters for lengths in the SI units system, but you want to enter a coordinate in feet.
Then you can enter "10ft" and the program will automatically perform the conversion to the default
units (in this case [m]).

You can even combine different units. For example, you can enter 10'-6" and the program will
interpret this value as 10.5ft.
Some examples of acceptable data entry are given next:
10ft
10
10ft-6in
10-6
10ft-6
10ft-16cm
32
Chapter 1: General Overview

10m
10m-50cm
This feature can be applied in any worksheet of the Data Panel.
Press ESC if you want to cancel the entry.

Press the Undo button to undo the entered data.


Press F2 if you want to edit the cell contents.

End nodes of physical members

It is only necessary to enter the nodes at the ends of physical members. The generation of
intermediate nodes or the nodes at the intersections of members will be described later.

Nodes generation tools


On the Spreadsheet tab, in the Active spreadsheet tools group, there are tools to automatically
generate nodes. Note that the worksheet Nodes/Coordinates must be active.

Node generation tools


Press F1 to obtain more information related to the use and application of these tools.
In any worksheet of the Data Panel you can press F1 to display the Help context, which has
useful information on: 1) The data to be introduced in the worksheets and 2) The use of the tool
buttons to generate the data.

See the description of all shortcuts and mouse operations pressing the help button menu
located in the right top corner of the main window.

Entering nodes coordinates in an Excel worksheet


This is a powerful option for the generation of node coordinates. The user can create the coordinates
in another application like Excel and then paste the data into RAM Elements.

On the Spreadsheet tab, in the Spreadsheet group is the Paste button . This button pastes the
information of the Clipboard to the active worksheet of the Data Panel. For example, you can
generate the nodes coordinates in Excel, copy them to the Clipboard and then paste them to the
Nodes worksheet using the indicated button.

33
Chapter 1: General Overview

This paste option can be applied to any worksheet of the Data Panel. For example, the user can
generate the springs for a mat-slab in Excel and then import them with this command.
For more information on how to use this command, press F1 and then go to General commands of the
worksheet.
It is also possible to copy the contents of a RAM Elements worksheet and paste it into another
application.

How to create members?

Go to Members/Connectivity worksheet (Nodes and Description) to generate members.


The creation of members is simple and it is performed in two steps:
1. Select the nodes that will be connected by the members.

2. Connect the members pressing the button or .

Selecting the nodes


To generate any member, its initial and final nodes have to be selected.
To select multiple nodes, click the cursor on the first node and then holding down the shift key select
each of the remaining nodes.

When you click on an element (node, member or shell), the previously selected elements are
unselected. Pressing the Shift key, the user can select (or unselect) several members without affecting
the previously selected elements.
You can select multiple members by enclosing the members in a rectangle created by click and
dragging the mouse from one corner to the other. In this case, pressing the Shift key enables the
selection of the elements within the area without affecting the selection state of the elements outside
the area.

34
Chapter 1: General Overview

You can select only the elements fully enclosed by the area using this technique. That is, in the case
of members, both nodes have to be enclosed in the rectangle, and in the case of shells, the four nodes
have to be enclosed.
If you press the Ctrl key instead of the Shift key while you are selecting members, all the
elements partially covered by the area (with at least one node in rectangle) will be selected.

Connecting the members


Press the button indicated in the figure to connect the members between the selected nodes. This
button will connect the nodes in a continuous manner.

Press the button to connect the nodes alternately with members.


Important! Note that the selection order of the nodes is very important as it defines the local axes of
the members.
You can press F1 to have more information related to the rest of the tool buttons of this worksheet.
You can define physical members by selecting only the start and final nodes of the member:

The member will be automatically segmented for the analysis. See Chapter 3 for further details.
Remark. - Note that it is also possible to manually enter (directly in the worksheet) the information
(initial and final node numbers) for each member. It is also possible to generate the information in
Excel (for example) and use the copy-paste command to bring the data into RAM Elements.

35
Chapter 1: General Overview

Templates
Available structural templates allow for the rapid generation of members and nodes for specific types
of structures. This feature is explained in detail later in the manual but should be kept in mind when
creating typical structural components such as trusses.

How to create shells?

Go to Shells/Connectivity (Nodes) worksheet for the generation of shells.


You can create shells in the same way as members with the following two steps:
1. Select the nodes that will be connected by shells or physical shells (with overall dimensions).

2. Create shells by pressing the button Create Shells .

The nodes have to be selected in the order shown in the figure. Then, press the indicated button to
generate them.

Note that you can create several shell elements if you select more than 4 nodes, as it is illustrated in
the figure below. Please note the required selection order of the nodes.

Press F1 to obtain more information related to the tool buttons of this worksheet.
Important! The shell elements are finite elements that need to be segmented to increment the

precision in the analysis. You can define the mesh size by clicking the button Segment Shells , to
get more information go to chapter of shells. To assign thickness Go to Shells/Thickness in the
worksheet. Note that for description the user can define if the shell is a slab or a wall.

36
Chapter 1: General Overview

Assigning properties to nodes, members and shells


Once the nodes, members and shells have been entered, the user has to assign properties to them.
These properties include restraints, sections, materials, thickness, etc.
The steps to assign properties to elements are:
1. Go to the required worksheet
2. Select the desired elements to be assigned with the properties
3. Enter the required information in the corresponding worksheet.

Selecting the elements


Select the elements to be assigned with a property. For example, select the support nodes to assign
the restraints.

Entering the required information in the worksheet


In the worksheet enter the required information.
Note that in the worksheet only the information of the selected members is displayed.
Information can be entered manually in the worksheet. It can also be defined by using the tool
buttons, or it can be pasted from the Clipboard.
To copy a value to all the selected members put the cursor in the cell with the desired value,
right click on it (a context menu is displayed) and press the button .
You can select any element by entering its number in the first column of the worksheet and
pressing ENTER as it is show in the figure below.

For example, to assign the restraints to the support nodes you can proceed as follows:
1. Go to the Nodes/Restraints worksheet.

2. Select the support nodes

37
Chapter 1: General Overview

3. Press one of the following buttons indicated in the figure.

All the current data in a worksheet may be cleared using the button Delete . This tool button
does not erase the related elements. It only erases the properties or information of the current
worksheet.

Grouping members and shells


As you may have noticed, the rapid and easy selection of elements is very important in the program.
Therefore, it is of vital importance to group the elements to facilitate easier selection (and design), so
that elements can be selected in groups instead of individually.
The members and shells can be grouped using the Description property, which is found in the
Members/Connectivity and Shells/Thickness worksheets.
To group several members or shells you have to assign them the same Description.

The By description Button


Once the members or shells have a description, you can select the whole group (all members with the
same description) by using the tool button shown in the figure above.

38
Chapter 1: General Overview

For example, to select all the roof beams of the model shown in the figure above, select one instance
of the members and then press the button . The program will select all members with the same
Description(s) of the previously selected members.
To simultaneously select several groups select one instance (member or shell) of each group
using the Shift key and then press the button .

You can automatically generate default descriptions with the buttons , and for

members; and for shells.

Load cases and combinations

The Loads conditions group.


This figure shows the Loads Conditions group (on the Home tab) used to create, edit, select and
delete load conditions (RAM Elements refers to both load cases and load combinations as load
conditions).
This option allows you to:
1. Create new load cases or combinations or edit existing ones.
2. Clear load cases or combinations.

39
Chapter 1: General Overview

You can use the Conditions toolbar (in the Status bar) to select the current load case or combination
for the entry or editing of loads

Conditions toolbar

Automatic generation of load combinations


You can automatically generate load combinations in RAM Elements. Execute the Generate
command, on the Home tab, in the Load conditions group and select one of the combinations file
provided by the program. In the event that no generator file matches your needs, you can create a new
one. For more details press F1 in the dialog box.
RAM Elements manages the dynamic load cases exactly in the same way as the static load
cases.

Entering loads for a load case


First, select the desired load case before proceeding to enter loads.

Select the current load case, which will be associated with the loads to be entered.
Continue with the entry of the loads on nodes, members or shells as explained for other properties.
You can also copy the loads from one load case to the current load case. To do this, on the
Home tab, in the Load condition group, click the command Copy forces from another load case. This
command is very useful, for example, to create alternate loads in different spans of continuous
beams. You only have to create one load condition with the loads over all the spans and then copy the
loads to the other load cases. Then you can erase the loads over alternate spans in the two load cases.
This procedure can also be used for 3D structures with similar load cases.

Display of data and results


RAM Elements follows the forces sign convention shown below:

40
Chapter 1: General Overview

RAM Elements can show almost all data and results in a graphical way. This is controlled through
the View tab and their different groups.

The View tab


Press the button with the desired option to display it or unselect it to hide the option.
A tool tip for the button will be displayed if you hover with the cursor over the desired button.
The following button unselects all the display option buttons. You can find it in the Quick
access toolbar (top left of the screen).
Some buttons allows the user to select the degree of freedom to be displayed for certain selected
parameters. For example, if you want to display the Reactions parallel to the global Y-axis, press the
button to display the reactions and then press the "Ty" button. If you want to display the moments
around the global Z axis you have to press the "Rz" button.

These buttons are applicable with the following display options (see Model properties and Analysis
toolbars):
1. Display of translations and rotations.
2. Display of reactions.
3. Display of masses.

41
Chapter 1: General Overview

Press the button Show Units in the Units System toolbar to view the units with all of the
displayed values.

Zoom and rotation


The following toolbar is used to change the font size and zooming in and out the model.

Visualization toolbar

If you have a mouse wheel you can use it to rotate and zoom in or out the model.

Mouse wheel is equivalent to or .

By pressing the mouse right button , you can rotate the model in a similar way as many drawing
applications.
Double clicking the mouse wheel to activate the XY view.
Notice that you can modify the rotation increment for each rotation command in:
RE Button/General Configuration/ General /Mouse rotation sesibility.

Panning
You can move the view, pressing the mouse wheel button on the screen.

Views
Right click in the display area allows creating customized views using the option Customized views
from the pop-up menu. Views are divided in two types, general views and model views; both are
customizable trough the Organize option.
General Views
General views store angles (that determine the view point), zoom conditions, perspective and display
options (to display data or results). These views are available for all models and are shown as options
for the general views.
To create a new general view, presses right click on the model view and select the option General
from the Customized views section.

42
Chapter 1: General Overview

Model Views
On the model views menu you customize the views for the current model storing the element
selection, angles, zoom perspective and display options shown on the screen the time the view is
saved. These views are specific for each model and are shown as options for the customized model
view options.
To create a new model customized view, presses right click on the model view and select the option
Model view from the Customized views section.

The available tools for the Organize option for the views are:

Rename view:
Renames selected views with a new model name.

Erase selected views:


It deletes the selected views.

Move up selected views:


This tool helps in controlling the order of the different views in the View tool bar. In this case it
moves up the selected views.

Move down selected views:


It is a similar command of the former one. It moves down the selected views.

43
Chapter 1: General Overview

Selecting and hiding elements

The Selection group


These commands allow you to select and temporarily hide elements.
To hide parts of your model you can perform the following steps:
1. Select what you want to view. (Unselect the other elements)

2. Press the button . To view the whole model press the same button again.

Other basic operations


Undo Command
If you have accidentally performed an action, you can undo it by pressing the button Undo
located in Quick access toolbar. If you press the button again, the previous command will be undone
and so on.

Erasing elements
If you want to delete nodes, members and/or shells, you have to first select them and then press the
Del key.

Erasing the contents of a worksheet


To erase data related to a group of elements select the desired elements, go to the corresponding
worksheet, right click on it and press the button .

Delete duplicated elements and un-connected nodes


When you automatically generate data with the various tools available in the program, it is possible to
generate members and nodes that are duplicated or disconnected. To solve these problems, on the

Process tab, in the Model adjustement group, press Purge and reconnect model button .
The purpose of this tool is:
1. To eliminate duplicated nodes and reconnect members to the remainder nodes.
2. To eliminate duplicated members (members with exactly the same connectivity)
3. Eliminate members with zero length and "floating" nodes (nodes not connected to elements)
It is recommended that this command be issued before performing an analysis. This will eliminate all
the unnecessary elements that can even affect the results of the analysis. This command acts over all
the elements in the entire structure, irrespective of which elements are currently selected.
Note also that for consistent output and reference, element numbering (nodes, members, shells, load
areas, etc) is maintained even if there are some elements that have been deleted. If you had a printout

44
Chapter 1: General Overview

before erasing these elements, you will be able to compare similar elements of the new model to the
ones of the initial model. However if you want to reorder the numbers of your elements, you can
select them and apply the Reassign numbers to selected elements button of the Spreadsheet tools.

Segment Selection

This tool is used when a node is located in the same physical space as a member, the member is
segmented and the node is incorporated. See Chapter 3 for further details. To use this tool go to the
Process tab, Model adjustment group.

General Configuration
Several general characteristics of the program may be configured using the option General
configuration. To access this option click the RE button.

General Configuration dialog window


A dialog window will be displayed where you can define the several characteristics of the program:
Option to always create a backup copy (*.bak)
View rotation increment for graphics

45
Chapter 1: General Overview

Graphics fonts (styles, size, alignment and fonts)


Graphic scales for deflections and force diagrams
Quality for printing graphics
User folders for models and databases
Nomenclature according to the country (US or UK)
The user may find more information in the Help context.

AVW Conversor
One of the application tools in RAM Elements is the conversor of files from AVW file to a new
format ETZ. file of older versions (such as 7.0) must be converted to this new format. To use this
conversor the user must place the AVWConversor.exe in the folder BIN of RAM Elements. From
the command prompt call the EXE program following the parameters. It is used to convert a single
file or an entire directory. It creates a Log file named AVWConvertLog.txt.
The parameters are:
AVWConversor.exe < Complete file name in AVW Format > [/s]
AVWConversor.exe < Directory Path containing AVW files > [/s]
/s: Optional to convert files in Sub Directories.
For example to convert a single file follow the structure:
AVWConversor.exe "D:\Common\Test\Concrete.avw"
To convert a directory and subdirectories.

AVWConversor.exe "D:\Common\Test" /s
The new etz. format stores and retrieves model information in a new internally most organized and
optimized format and will assure you the compatibility back and fort with any new RAM Elements
program version.

46
Chapter 2: Local and Global Axes

Chapter 2: Local and Global Axes


Coordinate systems
Three coordinate systems are used during the analysis of a structure.
Global coordinate system
Local coordinate system
Principal axis coordinates system

Global coordinate system


The global coordinate system is a user-select system. The structure geometry is entered in this
coordinate system. Some of the data entered in the Global coordinate system are nodal coordinates,
nodal restraints, springs, nodal forces and moments.
In RAM Elements, Global axes are represented by X, Y, and Z. It is recommended that the structure
be elevated in the Y axis. This is because certain program commands (rigid floor, rotate structure) are
based in this assumption.

Local coordinate system


Each frame member and shell of a structure has its own local coordinate system that is referred to as
its local axes (represented by number 1, 2, and 3). Some data and results are presented in this
coordinate system; these include local loads, bending moments, axial forces, etc. Also, local axes are
useful for defining the orientation of the elements in space.

J = initial node
K = final node
In frame members the data that is associated with the local axes coordinate system are:
Section orientation
Rigid offsets and releases
Some applied loads on the element (concentrated forces, distributed forces, and moments).
These loads can also be related to the global system.
Results: the analysis results are related to local, and principal, axes.
By default, RAM Elements orientates the frame members as follows:
Origin of local coordinate system is located at the J node (initial node).

47
Chapter 2: Local and Global Axes

Local 1-axis (axial axis) lies along the vector created between the J and K nodes. Notice that
this axis is automatically defined when the element is created.
Axis 3 is parallel to X-Z plane for horizontal members. In the case of vertical members with
axis 1 in the Y direction, axis 3 will be parallel to Z-axis. For sloped members, axis 3 will be
perpendicular to the plane formed by axis 1 and its projection over plane X Z.
Axis 2 is defined by the right hand rule with the thumb finger pointing toward 1-axis.
Axis 1 (longitudinal axis) will be ALWAYS located at the sections center of gravity
independent of the sections cardinal point (see chapter related to cardinal points).

Principal coordinate system


The principal axes are cartesian axes Section properties such as moment of inertia and section
modulus are related to the principal axis.
In most cases, local and principal axes of the element coincide. However, for certain shapes the local
axis is different from the principal axes, such as with Z and L profiles. The analysis results provided
by RAM Elements are given relative to the principal and local axes. Forces are provided relative to
the principal axes.
RAM Elements allows the user to place the local axes in a different orientation to the principal axes.
This greatly facilitates the data entry.

Element rotation
There are several ways to rotate members to an angle other than the default orientation, these include:

180 and 90 degrees rotation


To rotate a member 90 or 180 degrees, proceed as follows:

Select elements to be rotated.

Go to Members/Local axes.
48
Chapter 2: Local and Global Axes

Press button (180 degrees), (90 degrees) or (-90 degrees) as needed.

Elements have been rotated.

49
Chapter 2: Local and Global Axes

Rotating members at an angle


To rotate one (or more) frame members to a known angle, other than 90 and 180 degrees, proceed as
follows:
Select elements to be rotated.

Enter the angle to be rotated (in degrees) and press from the pop-up menu displayed right-
clicking on the spreadsheet.

Elements have been rotated.

Making a local axis parallel to a global axis


Occasionally, the user will need to set a local axis parallel to the global X, Y, or Z axes.
To do this, proceed as follows:
Select elements to be rotated.
Select the local axis (2 or 3) to set parallel to a global axis.
Then press one of these buttons:

To set the chosen local axis parallel to axis Y.

50
Chapter 2: Local and Global Axes

To set the chosen local axis parallel to axis X.

To set the chosen local axis parallel to axis Z.


Note- When the orientation of a local axis is set, the other local axes are also rotated accordingly.

Orientating a local axis toward a specific node


To orient a members local axis in the direction of a specific node proceed as follows:

Select elements to be rotated.

Select the node to which the local axis should orient (point). Remember to press Shift, so as not to de-
select the elements (notice that only one node should be selected).
Note. Only one node should be selected. If several nodes are selected press Unselect all nodes
command from Home tab/Modeling group/Elements/Nodes option and then select the desired node.

Select the local axis (2 or 3) that should point to the node. Then press or .

The elements are now rotated with their local axis (axis 3 in this case) orientated to a node.

Orientating a local axis parallel to a vector between two nodes


To orient an elements local axis parallel to a vector determined by two nodes proceed as follows:

51
Chapter 2: Local and Global Axes

Select elements to be rotated.

Select the two nodes that define the vector.


Only one node should be selected. If several nodes are selected press Unselect all nodes
command from Home tab/Modeling group/Elements/Nodes option and then select the desired node.

Select the local axis (2 or 3) that will be parallel to the vector. Then press or .

The selected local axis (axis 3 in this case) is orientated parallel to the vector.

Principal axes
As mentioned before, RAM Elements allows to set members local axes system different to the
principal axes.
This characteristic of the software allows to more easily setting the orientation of certain elements.
For instance, to use an L section, we have:

Local axes Principal axes

52
Chapter 2: Local and Global Axes

The analysis results provided by RAM Elements are given relative to the principal and local axes.
Forces are provided relative to the principal axes. For the code check the forces in the principal axes
are normally used. In the next section the user will find the way to change this.

Laterally restrained for torsion


When the dimensions of a section are entered (Home tab, Databases group, Sections and New or Edit
button), the user can define a flag to consider the section laterally restrained for torsion:

Flag used to define the local axes or geometric axes to be used in the design of steel members instead
of the principal axes.
This flag is only applicable in steel members. When the option is enabled, the program assumes the
principal axes to be coincident to the local axes for the analysis. This is of particular importance in
angle or Z-shapes laterally restrained for torsion along their length, which can be designed on the
basis of the geometric axes (local axes) for bending. There are other design provisions and options in
the codes that have to be considered in the design of such members. See the chapters devoted to Steel
Design for further details.

53
Chapter 3: Physical Members, Structure Debugging and Commands for Rotating the Structure

Chapter 3: Physical Members, Structure purging,


segmentation and Commands for Rotating
elements
This chapter explains how to work with physical members. It describes how to delete duplicate
elements and un-connected nodes, how to segment elements (members and shells) and how to rotate
elements of a structure.

Physical members
Physical members are single continuous members such as girders that support multiple members
framing in along their length. RAM Elements allows the user to specify what constitutes a physical
member, regardless of the number of segments created along its span, and it provides result reports
accordingly.
As could be seen, physical members allow the creation of a structure model "as constructed", with
results accordingly. However, if not required, physical members do not have to be used in the model.
The decision to not consider physical members is indicated at analysis time by unselecting the
Automatically segment physical members and shells option in the Finite element model tab of the
analysis window (Process tab, Process group, Analyze model button).
If the user decides to use physical members in the model, it is recommended to view the finite
element model by selecting the command Finite Elements from the Analysis group, View tab,
explained farther down. This step will help to avoid unexpected or uncontrolled behavior in member
segmentation during the actual analysis.
The following example illustrates the process of defining a physical member. The user only needs to
define the nodes at the ends of a physical member and does not need to break the member at
intermediate nodes along the length.
Consider a continuous (physical) member between nodes 1 and 5, which is hinged at the ends.
Instead of defining four members between nodes 1-2, 2-3, 3-4 and 4-5 due to the geometry of the
problem, the user need to define one member between nodes 1 and 5.

Example of a continuous (physical) member between nodes 1 and 5


Before analyzing the model, the user may view the actual Finite Elements (with the physical member
segmented) in the model. The option Automatically segment physical members and shells is
enabled by default. This option can be disabled by clicking on the corresponding check box (Process
tab, Process group, Analyzed model button). Note that, for a successful analysis with model in which
55
Chapter 3: Physical Members, Structure Debugging and Commands for Rotating the Structure

physical members are modeled (i.e. the model does not represent the actual finite elements in the
model but rather the physical elements in the model) this option should be selected.

The segmentation of physical shells is automatically performed. It uses a Mesh Generator that
applies a fast and robust hybrid advancing-front and Delauny algorithm, obtaining high quality
elements with smooth grading size according to the length of the physical shells and user specified
sizes.
The segmentation can be done to members and/or shells (the normal procedure is to segment both,
members and shells).
If the option Segment shells is selected but the option Segment members is not, in some cases (for
example a shell enclosed with beams), there will be no continuity between the shell and members
because the nodes generated by the segmentation of the shell will not be joined to the members. If
both options are selected, there will be continuity in the model. Both cases are shown in the following
figures:

56
Chapter 3: Physical Members, Structure Debugging and Commands for Rotating the Structure

Deformed shape of the model when only segmentation of shells is done. Note that there is no
continuity between the shell and the member in the lower part of the model.

Deformed shape of the model when segmentation is done to shells and members. Note the continuity
between the shell and the member at the lower part of the model.
The user can also view the actual finite element model by pressing the button Finite Elements, from
the View tab, Analysis group:

If the structure was not yet analyzed, the program will ask for a tolerance to build the FEM model
(note that the option is also available at the Analysis window):

57
Chapter 3: Physical Members, Structure Debugging and Commands for Rotating the Structure

Tolerance to be considered in the FEM Model.


This tolerance is the maximum distance between a member and a node to consider the node as
segmenting the member in the Finite Element model. That is, if the node is closer than the tolerance
to a member, the related member will be segmented internally by the program considering that node.
Once the model has been analyzed, pressing the Finite Elements button from Analysis group at View
tab, the program will show the split members and shells.
Note however, that the original unsegmented element will be treated as a single element for the
reports, the display of results and its design.
If a segmentation error appears during analysis, it is recommended to apply smaller values for
this parameter. Another alternative is to segment individually the shell indicated in the error message.
To do this, select the shell, press the Segment selection from Process tab, Model adjustements group,
and in the dialog box select the "Only selected elements" option.

58
Chapter 3: Physical Members, Structure Debugging and Commands for Rotating the Structure

In both Physical Elements and Finite Elements model segmentation, the user can define the advanced
options of optimization level and the Shape quality ratio, to improve the shape and size quality of
meshed elements.

The optimization level is used to improve shape and size quality of meshed elements and it can be set
to a number between 1 and 10. Level 3 is the default value that is a good balanced between quality
and CPU (analysis time) cost.
Shape quality ratio controls the trade-off between shape optimization and size optimization. The
default value is 0.6 that gives a slight preference to the shape quality over the size quality. It can be
set to any number between 0.1 and 1.0.
Note: The nodes generated with the Automatically segment physical members and shells feature are
not generated with floor number or restrictions of contiguous nodes.

59
Chapter 3: Physical Members, Structure Debugging and Commands for Rotating the Structure

Example of a continuous beam treated as a single physical element.


In case of shells and plates, the user may desire to obtain results for the overall wall or slab
dimension. However, the FEM rules and hypothesis require that there be a finer mesh in order to
achieve reliable results.
In this case a finer mesh may be specified. Alternately, the user may define extra nodes at the sides of
the shells to force the shell segmentation. Normally, this is performed when a denser mesh is required
near singularities such as point loads or edges.

1) Define the overall dimensions. 2) Define nodes at the sides to indicate the desired mesh.
Warning! The user must always check the number of subdivisions adopted by the program. The user
must always check the number of subdivisions adopted by the program. If elements dont have
enough subdivisions the results may be inacurate and even invalid. See chapter 14 for further details
and suggestions.
Note:
When importing RAM Structural System models, RAM Elements automatically maintains the
physical members defined in the RSS.
Warning! If the Automatically segment physical members and shells feature is used, it is advisable to
check the generated finite element model (FEM).
Due to the fact that segmentation always generates a mesh of quadrilateral elements, the division
between two nodes close to each other, will give an even number of segments considering a
minimum of two segments (even though if it is defined a maximum distance between nodes bigger
than this value).

60
Chapter 3: Physical Members, Structure Debugging and Commands for Rotating the Structure

a) Input shells and node (before segmentation) b) Output shells and nodes (after segmentation).
In the above model, the maximum distance between nodes was a quarter of the shell side length; but
because of intermediate nodes, two segments were created between them.

When nodes are too close to each other and at the same time the maximum distance between nodes is
big enough, the generated elements might be distorted in the FEM model. Although these elements
are valid, they cannot get accurate results in the model; therefore, the following warning message will
be shown:
'Quality (shape ratio) on one or more segments of shell "N" is too low.
There may be nodes that are too close on its edge.'

Example of a shell with distorted elements.

Model purging
The Process tab, Model adjustements group, has two commands available to assist the cleaning up of
the structure to avoid analytical errors:

61
Chapter 3: Physical Members, Structure Debugging and Commands for Rotating the Structure

Press the Purge and reconnect model button to join parts of the structure and eliminate duplicate
nodes and elements. It is best that this command be executed after generating copies of the structure,
and before analyzing the structure.
The function of this command is:
1. To eliminate duplicated nodes and reconnect the frame members to the node that remains.
2. Eliminate duplicated frame members (elements are considered as duplicated when they
connect to the same two nodes as another element).
3. Eliminate elements with zero length.
4. Eliminate nodes that do not have any elements connected to them.

When two nodes are superimposed, use to eliminate one of the two and reconnect the elements
to the node that remains.

Eliminate duplicated frame members. Frame members are considered as duplicated when they are
connected to the same nodes as other elements.
Press the Segment selection button to segment elements (members and shells). When a node is
located along a frame member axis, this command divides the frame member and then reconnects the
two elements to the node.

When a node is on a frame member, use to divide the frame member and connect the divided
elements to the node.

62
Chapter 3: Physical Members, Structure Debugging and Commands for Rotating the Structure

Note: The difference between the button and the button is that, with the first one it is
possible to view the Finite Element Model (FEM) keeping the original physical elements of the
model unaltered, while with the second button, the physical elements will be segmented (original
physical elements will be altered).
Caution: If the latter command is used on previously defined physical members, they will
permanently be segmented into smaller physical members. In the case of physical shells, the resulting
segmented shells will be divided once more for analysis if the shell division has been specified
entering the number of segments on both local axes. This double division is due to the fact that the
original entered numbers to indicate the shell segments on local axes are kept. It is suggested to

verify the FEM model by pressing the button in all cases.

Rotating elements of the Structure


This command rotates the selected elements of the structure. Notice that it does not refer to view
rotation, but to physical rotation of the nodal coordinates about some of the global axis.
To rotate the selected elements (see the model of the figure), follow the next steps:

Select the elements to be rotated (nodes, members and shells) and choose the pivotal point of rotation
(take note of the coordinates of this point).
Execute the Rotate command, pressing the button at the Home tab, Modeling group:

The following dialog window will be displayed:

63
Chapter 3: Physical Members, Structure Debugging and Commands for Rotating the Structure

Choose the axis about which the structure will rotate, enter the pivotal point of rotation and the
angle of the rotation.

After the rotation is completed, verify the supports and orientation of the elements.
Nodes are rotated about the selected axis and do not remain in the same vertical or horizontal
plane. Be sure to check nodal coordinates once the rotation is complete.
Note: This command rotates the properties and loads defined in the local axis of the selected
elements. The rigid offsets of the selected elements will rotate as well with this command.

64
Chapter 4: End Releases and Tension or Compression Only Members

Chapter 4: End Releases and Tension or


Compression Only Members
End releases are needed to accurately model the joints between elements. Releases, for instance,
represent the hinges of elements.
Note: RAM Elementss default joint is a rigid connection of the element with the end nodes.
A release should be used to represent the actual condition of the joint, for instance, a single bolted
connection will not carry bending moments and as such the joint should be released for that degree of
freedom.

Release the degree of freedom to accurately model the joint.


Warning! The user should note that if excessive members in a model are hinged, some nodes might
become unstable.

Pin (hinges) at both ends of members


It is quite common that an element has bolted joints at both ends. In this case you should pin both
ends of the member.
To do this, proceed as follows:
1.- Select members to be pinned

2.- Choose the Members/Hinges worksheet and select the tool

65
Chapter 4: End Releases and Tension or Compression Only Members

The elements are released and shown in the screen.

Pin one end of a member


Occasionally you will need to pin only one end of members. This can be done as follows:
1.- Select the element(s) to be released.

2.- Select the end to be released. Remember to press Shift to select the nodes without unselecting the
elements.

3.- Press the tool button Release moment and select the required option:

66
Chapter 4: End Releases and Tension or Compression Only Members

Fixing ends of elements


By default, all frame members have rigid joints. However, if you need to fix some elements that were
previously released, press the buttons that are complementary in action to the buttons described
above.
To do this, proceed as follows:
1.- Select members to be pinned

2.- Choose the tab Members/Hinges worksheet and select the tool

Fix one end of a member


Occasionally you will need to pin only one end of members. This can be done as follows:
1.- Select the element(s) to be released.

67
Chapter 4: End Releases and Tension or Compression Only Members

2.- Select the end to be fixed. Remember to press Shift to select the nodes without unselecting the
elements.

3.- Press the tool button Fix moment and select the required option:

Tension or compression only members


All members defined as tension or compression only will be capable of resisting only tension or
compression forces. The method RAM Elements uses to analyze these members involves a nonlinear
analysis, which is an iterative procedure for each load condition and therefore all load conditions are
analyzed, including the combinations. It is no longer possible to superimpose individual load case
results even in a first order analysis.
Warning!
The tension or compression only elements are ignored in
a dynamic analysis.

To define the tension only, compression only or full axial rigidity members proceed as follows:
1.- Select the elements to be defined as tension or compression only members.

2.- Choose the Members/Hinges worksheet and select the tool to define the tension only

members, to define compression only members or to define full axial rigidity members.

68
Chapter 4: End Releases and Tension or Compression Only Members

All selected tension only and compression only members are shown when the display option
Hinges is pressed. This option is located in View tab inside the Model group in the main window.
It is important for to notice that this buttons only assign the axial stiffness to the members (i.e.
Tension or Compression). If besides it is needed to assign releases (e.g. cables, etc) these should be
assigned following the procedures showed above in Pin end Members

Pre-tension
In several cases cables and tensors are subjected to a pre-tension force. This option allows you to
consider the influence of the initial tension in the deformation and distribution of forces in the
structure. It is generally applied to members defined as tension only elements.

To consider a pre-tension in the elements proceed as follows:


1.- Select the desired elements.

2.- Choose the Members/Loads/Pre-tension of cables and tensors worksheet and enter the value of
the pre-tension.

69
Chapter 4: End Releases and Tension or Compression Only Members

If the display option Loads (show values) is selected all the members with pre-tension forces will be
displayed. This option is located in the View tab inside the Model group of the main window.

70
Chapter 5: Cardinal Points, Rigid Zone Offsets, Rigid Floor and Pressure on Frame Members

Chapter 5: Cardinal Points, Rigid Zone Offsets,


Rigid Floor and Pressure on frame Members
This chapter explains several advanced concepts.

Cardinal Points
Cardinal points are used to define the members cross section axis location. This feature is normally
used to align members in the desired position. Common applications are to model eccentric members
or tapered members, which are aligned in relation to a center or a perimeter cross section axis.
The available cardinal points are described in the following figure:

Cardinal points defined along the perimeter (1,2,3,4,6,7,8,9), the center (5) or the center-of-gravity
of the section (0)
The default position is zero.
The steps required to assign cardinal points are:
1.- Select the desired members:

2.- Choose the Members /Cardinal Point worksheet and select the desired position for your members

using some option of the tool :

71
Chapter 5: Cardinal Points, Rigid Zone Offsets, Rigid Floor and Pressure on Frame Members

The following example can illustrate graphically the function of the cardinal points with respect to a
tapered member:

Examples of different position of the cardinal points (a) tapered members with default position (0),
(b) tapered with position 2 (see the location of the member in relation to the nodes), and (c) tapered
members with position 2 and with axis rigid end (see next section).

Rigid zone offsets


Rigid offsets are infinitely rigid segments at the ends of frame members. These rigid segments will
not undergo deformation under bending moments, shear forces, or axial forces; they will just transmit
the forces from one point to another along the length of the rigid offset.
Rigid offsets are typically used to model large joints, eccentric columns, to account for panel zone
deformation, and several other reasons.

RAM Elements offers two ways of considering rigid end zones, the first one takes into account axes
rigid ends in conjunction with cardinal points and the second one is considering rigid end offsets in
72
Chapter 5: Cardinal Points, Rigid Zone Offsets, Rigid Floor and Pressure on Frame Members

the three directions of the global axes (with the member cardinal point in the default position). It is
strongly suggested to adopt only one method for each structure depending on the particular
characteristics of the structure.
In the first method, the end offsets are considered when the sections dimensions overlap. The values
of the axis rigid end J and axis rigid end K are used to define the overlap distances. The clear length
of the member will be the distance between nodes less the rigid ends. The distributed or concentrated
loads on the member will be considered only for this length.

Axes rigid ends, Leff = clear length of the member, L = member length
Note that the loads and forces in the member will be provided always along the clear length
considering the axis rigid ends.
To enter members with rigid axis ends, proceed as follows:
1.- Define the members and assign their sections.
2.- Select the desired members.

3.- Choose the Members/Cardinal point worksheet and use the tool to create axis rigid ends:

The second method for defining rigid end offsets allows considering the offsets in any direction
independently of the longitudinal axis of the member. The offsets are defined in the global directions.
The user has many tools to define the desired offsets. See the help context for the details of the tools.
To model a rigid end zone with the second method proceeds as follows:
1.- Select sections that intersect each other

73
Chapter 5: Cardinal Points, Rigid Zone Offsets, Rigid Floor and Pressure on Frame Members

2.- Select the member and the node where the rigid end offset is required.

3.- Choose the Members/Rigid end offset worksheet and use the tool to create rigid end offset.

Note
The tool only works for segmented columns (not physical columns) and can enter column
eccentricities (offset columns) with any of the described methods. Considering the second method,
proceed as follows:
1.- Select the overall column

74
Chapter 5: Cardinal Points, Rigid Zone Offsets, Rigid Floor and Pressure on Frame Members

2.- Choose the Members/Rigid offsets worksheet and select to define the offset about in the local

axis 2 or to define the offset in the local axis 3.

3.- Column offset has been created

Beams aligned to floor level (dropped floor)


The cardinal points or the rigid end offsets (second method) can be used to align beams at floor level
(drop the floor). Proceed as follows:
1.- Select beam to align with floor level (drop)

75
Chapter 5: Cardinal Points, Rigid Zone Offsets, Rigid Floor and Pressure on Frame Members

2.- Align the beams using the cardinal point options or the rigid offset option. If you are using
cardinal points, select its worksheet and use position 2 for the selected members.

If the Rigid end offsets worksheet is used, select the option Move section below axis 3 :

76
Chapter 5: Cardinal Points, Rigid Zone Offsets, Rigid Floor and Pressure on Frame Members

3.- Selected beams will be aligned with the floor level

Note
The use of cardinal points or rigid end offsets to align beams to floor level may alter the distribution
of bending moments, see next section for further details.

Some advises in relation to the use of rigid zone offsets and cardinal points
It is important to mention that both methods can be used to define the member longitudinal axis at the
desired location. The method to be adopted will depend on the facility to define the required data for
the specific model to deal with. The cardinal points allow, in general, to define the axis location for
common locations as at the top or bottom of the section in an easier and automatic way (internally
the program adopts the required rigid offsets), while the rigid zone offsets may be suited for any
particular condition.

Select the option to display the rigid ends for the cardinal points in green and the rigid zone
offsets in red. This option is located I the View tab inside the Model group.
It is important to notice that the rigid zone offsets or cardinal points change the model. This
influences the results to be obtained.
Lets take for example a beam with two segments, a uniformly distributed load and the end supports
pinned.
The bending moment diagram will have the known shape:

77
Chapter 5: Cardinal Points, Rigid Zone Offsets, Rigid Floor and Pressure on Frame Members

Beam with two segmented pinned at both ends without rigid offsets or cardinal points.
If rigid offsets are included to align the beam at the floor level, the model will be changed.

Beam with two segments with rigid offsets or cardinal points. Note that the distribution of the
bending moments has changed and that an axial load is generated due to the eccentricity at the
supports.
The rigid offsets modify also the distribution of the bending moments in more complex models,
originating discontinuities at the locations of the concentrated loads from the beams framing into
them (see the following figure).

Model without rigid offsets with continuous bending moment diagram.

78
Chapter 5: Cardinal Points, Rigid Zone Offsets, Rigid Floor and Pressure on Frame Members

Model with rigid offsets with discontinuities in the bending moment diagram. Part of the moments
are taken by the rigid offsets.
It depends on the engineers judgment whether to adopt rigid offsets for the different members of a
model. In some cases their use will not be appropriate and the user may use them only for displaying
the 3D view of the structure in a more realistic way and not for the analysis.

Simultaneous use of rigid offsets and hinges


The user must be very careful when using rigid offsets and hinges simultaneously.
One problem is the possible creation of instabilities around hinged supports.

Instability due to simultaneous use of rigid offsets and hinges around hinged supports.
The simultaneous use of rigid offsets and hinges in the case of joints between a beam supported on a
girder can influence the way the supporting girder resists the applied loads. In the case shown below,
the supporting beam will need to resist the rigid zone moment through its torsional stiffness. In many
cases this stiffness is not sufficient to adequately resist the applied load, and the rigid diaphragm
assumption is of no assistance to resist this torsion.

Cross section showing girder (in profile) supporting a beam (shown with single line) with a specified
rigid end offset. When rigid offsets and hinges are used in nodes between beams and girders, the
supporting girders experiences a torsion due to the beams reaction at the specified offset.
Therefore, it is suggested not to use rigid offsets and pinned beam where two beams intersect. They
can however be used simultaneously in beam-column joints.

79
Chapter 5: Cardinal Points, Rigid Zone Offsets, Rigid Floor and Pressure on Frame Members

Rigid floor
When a building is being analyzed the engineer can choose to model the structure with a Rigid floor
Diaphragm or Rigid Floor.
A Rigid floor diaphragm simulates the in-plane rigidity produced by the slab. This constrains all
nodes of a floor to translate (in X and Z-axes), and rotate (around Y) together, i.e. infinitely rigid link
between all nodes in the horizontal plane.

With a rigid floor all nodes of a floor translate as a whole in the in-plane directions

All the nodes of a floor rotate around Y constrained to a single point


The engineer should decide if the rigid floor assumption is appropriate for their structure. If so this
rigid floor diaphragm can result in a faster analysis. It is important to notice that the program accepts
a tolerance for the difference between the y-coordinates of the nodes of each floor up to 0.4in or 1cm,
which is reasonable for any building of normal size, but it is not adequate for very small structures.
Each diaphragm or rigid floor may have just one master node, which will be the rotation point for the
rest of the nodes of the floor. This node is taken coincident with the mass node (only one node may
have masses in the floor). If no masses are defined in the nodes of a floor, the first node of the floor
will be considered the master node.

When a rigid floor is activated the vertical deformation of the beams (out of plane rigidity) isn't
affected.
Important! In order to use rigid floor diaphragm, it is necessary that the building height be orientated
along the Y-axis.

Entering Rigid floor


To enter a Rigid floor diaphragm, follow these steps:
1.- Select the nodes of a floor (all the selected nodes should have the same Y coordinate).

80
Chapter 5: Cardinal Points, Rigid Zone Offsets, Rigid Floor and Pressure on Frame Members

2.- Choose the Nodes/Rigid diaphragm worksheet and select the tool Assign rigid diaphragm number

to selected nodes

3.- Rigid floor diaphragm has been entered

81
Chapter 5: Cardinal Points, Rigid Zone Offsets, Rigid Floor and Pressure on Frame Members

4.- Repeat the same steps to enter the Rigid Floor number of the other floors.
Important!
A Rigid Floor diaphragm can only be used when all the nodes of a floor have the same Y coordinate.

Pressure on frame members


In open structures (towers, bridges, etc.) the wind force can be entered as a pressure on the frame
members. During the analysis, the program finds the projected area (depending on the dimensions of
the section) perpendicular to the pressure force, and calculates an equivalent distributed force.
Choose the Members/Loads worksheet and select the option Pressures.

The pressures on the frame members are entered in the Pres.X, PresY, PresZ columns.
Pres X: Pressure of the wind in the X direction.
Pres Y: Pressure of the wind in the Y direction.
Pres Z: Pressure of the wind in the Z direction.

82
Chapter 6: Creating Sections and Materials

Chapter 6: Creating Sections and Materials


RAM Elements comes with a complete section database. Those sections (profiles) and materials that
are not available in the database can be added as described in this chapter.

Creating new sections


To create a new section, follow these steps:

Look for Home tab, Databases group and press the Sections button.
The following dialog window will be displayed:

83
Chapter 6: Creating Sections and Materials

The dialog window shows a combo box with the label Group, as can be seen in the following
figure:

The program installs sections databases by group and regions. In the left side of the window the
Tables for the current group are located, and they are determined by the shape of the sections
contained in the group. In the right side of the window there is the items list for each table.
The user cannot modify the databases (items, tables and groups) that are installed by the program. It
is possible to access to see items data and properties with the edition button , but without the
chance to modify this information. However, this dialog allows the user to create and edit own
groups, tables and items. The procedure to execute this is described as follows:

Press the button to add a New group to the database. After that, a name for the new group is
required in the displayed window:

Then, add a new Table by pressing the button. A new dialog will be displayed to enter the name
for the new table. It is also required to select the type of table, to perform this action press the
button and the following dialog will be shown:

84
Chapter 6: Creating Sections and Materials

Choose the shape of the profile to be created.

Once the type of table is selected, a LEO file for the definition of the type of sections is assigned to
the table.

Press the button to create a new item (section) for the current table.

85
Chapter 6: Creating Sections and Materials

Enter the units system (1), the section name (2), the data to define the section geometry (3) and then
press OK (See below to for more details concerning valid section names).
The user must notice that when it is desired to add more items to the current table, the program
automatically uses the same type of section for the defined table. That is to say, for the example
shown in the previous figures, after adding a new section for the table Box 4L, the new item will be
defined from the same LEO file and the same data will be required.

These sections become part of the program database and can be used in all subsequent models.
Note that the available sections in the program database are shown with different colors:
American, in black (steel), gray (reinforced concrete) and yellow (wood).
British, in blue (steel) and gray (reinforced concrete).
Australian, in sea green (steel).
European, in dark blue (steel).
Indian, in magenta (steel).
Japanese, in red (steel).
Brazilian, in green (steel).

86
Chapter 6: Creating Sections and Materials

Note. American cold-formed sections per AISI code are named with the prefix aisi. The database
for American sections is provided with steel joists.
Names of the sections should consist of three parts:
1. Type of section (should or not contain space characters)
2. A space character
3. Designation or description (should or not contain space characters)
A valid name is for example PIPE 1-1_4x0.191, where PIPE is the section type (without space
characters) followed by a single space and 1-1_4x0.191, which is the designation of the section
(with or without spaces).
Type of sections is for instance, "W", "T2L", and "TUBE". The Type of Sections should not have
space characters.
Designation is a description of the dimensions of this profile i.e. 2x25x15, 15x22x1.5.
Designations can contain the division ("/") character, space characters, hyphens, dots and special
characters.
Important - the Type of Section groups the profile. That is to say that a profile named PIPE 1-
1_4x0.191 will be stored in the PIPE group. In case the PIPE group does not exist, RAM Elements
will create a new one. So if the user wants that the section belongs to one specific type of section, it
must have the same name exactly.
Examples of valid profile names are:
W 15x25
TUBE 15x10
TUBE 15_25
Non valid profile names are:
W15x25 (space character is missing)
At least the name must have one separation space character

Parameters for the design of steel members


Laterally restrained for torsion:
When the option is enabled, the program assumes the principal axes to be coincident to the local axes.
This is of particular importance in angle or Z-shapes laterally restrained for torsion along their length,
which can be designed on the basis of the geometric axes (local axes) bending.
For example an angle beam loaded parallel to one leg, will deflect and bend about that leg only if the
angle is restrained laterally along the length. In this case simple bending occurs without any torsional
rotation or lateral deflection and the geometric axis section properties should be used in the
evaluation of the stresses:

87
Chapter 6: Creating Sections and Materials

The geometric axes 2 and 3 should be used instead of the principal axes 2' and 3' for angle beams
restrained laterally for torsion.
There are other design provisions on the codes that have to be considered in the design of such
members. See the chapter dedicated to Steel Design in this manual for further details.

Tapered Members
RAM Elements offers the possibility to consider tapered members with a linear variation of the
depth. The width of the section and its flange thickness are considered to be constant along the
member. Although the program can deal in the analysis with any type of section with variable depth,
the design is restricted to hot rolled steel members with a section that possesses at least one axis of
symmetry perpendicular to the plane of bending.
For this case, the user has to assign a section to the member following the usual steps illustrated in
the figure after selecting the desired members:

Then the initial and final depth of the member has to be provided. d0 is the depth at the J end of a
web-tapered member (see next figure) while dL is the depth at the K end of the member.
88
Chapter 6: Creating Sections and Materials

If d0=0 and dL=0, the program considers that the depth at the J end is equal to the specified depth of
the adopted section (d0=d). If d0>0 and dL>0 it is assumed that the section varies linearly from d0 at
the J end to dL at the K end.

Note that a one side tapered member can be achieved by using the section cross section cardinal point
or the member rigid end offsets as it is illustrated in the following figures:

89
Chapter 6: Creating Sections and Materials

Use the cross section cardinal point tool to align the section in position number 2. In this way the
section will be aligned at the top of the section.

Alternatively, use rigid end offsets to align tapered members


RAM Elements provides an analysis for I_tapered sections (i.e. sections with equal flanges) with a
flexibility based formulation adopted in which the element internal equilibrium equations are
satisfied exactly and the exact element stiffness matrix is calculated. Thus, it is only required one
element per member for linear analysis. Similarly, loads applied to the tapered members are handled
within flexibility-based formulation; therefore, their exact effects are included in the element.
For second order analysis, these members are divided in four elements in order to achieve the
required accuracy.
The analysis of tapered members with sections different than I_tapered is performed with an internal
subdivision of the member into 6 elements with a stepped variation of the section properties. The
stiffness matrix of the whole member is then assembled considering each sub-element with an
equivalent prismatic section corresponding to the mean depth of the sub-element. All the section
properties of each sub-element can be calculated in a similar way as for prismatic members, which
increases the time needed for the solution. Or they can be calculated using the special subroutine Prop
TaperedProperties as part of the section macro, which reduces the time required for the solution and
gives a more precise definition of the section properties. (See Chapter 15).

Members with variable depth are subdivided in 6 sub-elements with an equivalent prismatic section.

Note that a special built up section type is provided with RAM Elements to facilitate the creation of
custom built-up tapered members. To create a new tapered section see the method formerly described
using the I_tapered section type. Note that no web depth is entered as it is assumed that the user will
specify the beginning and end web-depth data in the worksheet.

90
Chapter 6: Creating Sections and Materials

For more details about the design of tapered steel members see the chapters on Design of hot rolled
steel members (AISC or BS Codes).

Creating Materials
To create a new material, follow these steps:

Look for Home tab, Databases group and press the Materials button.
The following dialog window will be displayed:

The dialog window shows a combo box with the label Group, as can be seen in the following
figure:

91
Chapter 6: Creating Sections and Materials

The program installs materials databases by group and regions. In the left side of the window the
Tables for the current group are located, and they are determined by type of material contained in the
group. In the right side of the window there is the items list for each table.
The user cannot modify the databases (items, tables and groups) that are installed by the program. It
is possible to access to see items data and properties with the edition button , but without the
chance to modify this information. However, this dialog allows the user to create and edit own
groups, tables and items. The procedure to execute this is described as follows:

Press the button to add a New group to the database. After that, a name for the new group is
required in the displayed window:

Then, add a new Table by pressing the button. A new dialog will be displayed to enter the name
for the new table. It is also required to select the type of table. The following dialog will be shown:

Press the button to create a new item (material) for the current table.

92
Chapter 6: Creating Sections and Materials

Enter data of the material and then press OK.


The user must notice that when it is desired to add more items to the current table, the program
automatically uses the same type of material for the defined table. That is to say, for the example
shown in the previous figures, after adding a new material for the table UserSteel, the new item
will be defined from with the same type and similar data will be required.

It is posible to select any units system for entering the data as well as define each value with its
corresponding units. For further details see the help context.

Importing and exporting sections and materials


This feature allows the user to import and export sections and materials to the clipboard.
To export the data, select the group of materials to be exported:

93
Chapter 6: Creating Sections and Materials

And then press the export button .


The exported data may then be pasted into any text editor or spreadsheet application such as Notepad
or Excel:

To import data of materials or sections, it is recommended to first export an instance of the


type of material or section to be imported to define the labels of the different fields, enter the new
values in their corresponding fields and then proceed to copy the information to the clipboard.

94
Chapter 6: Creating Sections and Materials

Notice that calculated section properties (i.e. area, inertia, etc) may be entered together with
geometric properties. These entered values will override the calculated ones if the Read Only
property is set to true. Missing section properties will be calculated. Note that when the property
Read Only is enabled, it preserves the imported properties and avoids overwriting them with the
properties calculated by the program. This feature is particularly useful with steel sections with
tabulated values slightly different from those calculated by the program, with a corresponding effect
on code check equations. See the Excel files with several available groups of sections and their
properties that are included in the Tables directory.
The steps to import data are as follows:
Define the required fields.
Input the data in a spreadsheet.
Copy the data to the clipboard.

Press the button in RAM Elements to paste the information into the database.
Remark
Other databases such as bolts and welds may be created and edited in a similar way to that applied for
sections and materials.

95
Chapter 7: Using Structure Templates

Chapter 7: Using Structure Templates


Templates are a unique concept introduced by RAM Elements to allow engineers to create models of
structures in a fraction of the time normally required.
They help in the generation of segments or parts of the structure.
One of the most unique and important characteristics of these templates is that you can create your
own, and incorporate them into the RAM Elements program. See the chapter on Creating Structure
Templates to get information on how to create your own Templates.
RAM Elements already contains several partial Templates. This chapter explains how to use
Templates to quickly generate portions of your structures.
In order to use Templates you should already be comfortable using RAM Elements. If not, we
suggest you first read the RAM Elements Examples Manual.

Templates
When a Template is executed, it automatically generates nodes, frame members and descriptions.
Additional information such as supports, sections, materials, etc. should be entered manually.
To execute a Template three steps are required:
1. Enter the nodes that the Template requires.
2. Select them in certain specific order.
3. Execute the Template and enter the information that it asks for, such as number of segments,
etc.

Example 1: Creating a Truss


For instance, using the Truss1 Template you can enter a triangular truss. This Template requires the
nodes shown below:

Template Truss1 requires 4 referential nodes and the number of segments.


To enter the truss, proceed as follows:
1.- Choose the Nodes/Coordinates worksheet and enter the nodes as shown in the figure:

97
Chapter 7: Using Structure Templates

The model view display the nodes created.

Note
The nodes can be entered in any order.
2.- Select nodes as required by the template

3.- Choose the Modeling group in the Home tab and select the tool Templates

4.- Select the Truss1 template in the group Mono-Slope and press OK.

98
Chapter 7: Using Structure Templates

5.- Enter the data required by the template. In this case, enter 3 in the number of segments.

6.- The truss has been created.

99
Chapter 7: Using Structure Templates

Note
When using the templates it is very important the order in which nodes are selected.
Templates generally create meaningless descriptions such as "g1", "g2", "h1", etc. Therefore, you
should change them to more meaningful descriptions.

To change them to meaningful descriptions, follow these steps:


1.- Select one member of the group with the description to be changed.

2.- Choose to Member/Connectivity and description worksheet and right-click in the Description
column to display the general commands of the worksheet. Choose Select elements that have the
same data as at the cursor location

100
Chapter 7: Using Structure Templates

3.- In the current worksheet select the tool Assign description and select the option

3.- In the same, change the other descriptions.

101
Chapter 7: Using Structure Templates

Note

Right-click and select the option of the general commands of the worksheet to replicate the
description of one element in the group selected.

Example 2: Creating an entire structure


In the following example you will see how powerful Templates are.
The structure shown below will be entered using Templates.

Proceed as follows:
1.- Select the preferred units system. In this case, select Metric System
2.- Enter the reference nodes before calling up the Templates (meters)

3.- Enter the columns and assign them COL1 description.

102
Chapter 7: Using Structure Templates

To generate the principal truss, the roofTruss1 template will be used.

4.- Select the nodes as requested by the template.

5.- Execute the roofTruss1.

103
Chapter 7: Using Structure Templates

6.- Enter the number of segments (enter 4 in this case).

Note
In the event you did not select the correct number of nodes; you'll get the "Select 6 nodes in the
illustrated order" message.
104
Chapter 7: Using Structure Templates

7.- The principal truss has been created.

8.- Assign descriptions as shown in the figure below:

9.- Select the whole elements and copy these 3 times, each 5 meters in the Z direction. The copy
command is locate in the Modeling group in the Home tab.

10.- Use the Truss1 Template to generate the longitudinal trusses, selecting the nodes as shown in
the figure below

11.- Execute Truss1 template using 12 segments in this case.

105
Chapter 7: Using Structure Templates

12.- Assign descriptions as shown

13.- Repeat previous steps to generate the other two trusses shown below.

14.- Enter the roof beams. For this purpose select the nodes as shown in the figure below

15.- Choose the Members\Connectivity and description worksheet, select the tool Generate members

and select the option Z.

106
Chapter 7: Using Structure Templates

15.- The model view display the members created.

Completing data
At this point, all the geometry of the structure was entered very quickly. The structure is ready to be
completed with other information such as supports, sections, materials, loads, etc.

For instance, to enter sections, follow these next steps:


1.- Select one of the group with the section to be changed.

2.- Choose to Members\Connectivity and description worksheet and use right-click in the Description
column to display the general commands of the worksheet. Choose Select elements that have the
same data as at the cursor location

3.- Choose the Members\Sections spreadsheet, select the section required and press

107
Chapter 7: Using Structure Templates

4.- Sections have been assigned

Note
It is very important to assign meaningful descriptions. This will expedite structural modeling.

108
Chapter 8: Other Advanced Subjects

Chapter 8: Other Advanced Subjects


Addition of load cases
Generation of load combinations
Elastic supports
Prescribed displacements
Self weight
Thermal loads
Generation of nodes
This chapter deals with several additional features that provide RAM Elements with several advanced
capabilities.

Addition of load cases

To add load conditions to the model, press the button, from the Load conditions group,
Home tab, and a dialog window will be open to enter new load conditions.

109
Chapter 8: Other Advanced Subjects

It is possible to add load conditions automatically with the button. This action displays a new
dialog window to choose the load condition:

110
Chapter 8: Other Advanced Subjects

With the button the user may access to the categories manager:

111
Chapter 8: Other Advanced Subjects

Note that the categories included in the list are set by default by the program and the user cannot
modify them. However, it is possible to create users own categories with the button; the user
may rename them with the button or delete them pressing the button.

Generation of load combinations


This utility tool allows to generate combinations to be used in the model. The tool is called from the
command at Home tab, Load conditions group and Generate button . In the displayed
window the user can choose generation files of the program that consist in template files for the
adopted building code from which load combinations can be generated (based on the load case
category, DL for dead loads, LL for live loads, etc). Note that it is possible to retrieve these files for
use in any structure or even in the detailing modules.

112
Chapter 8: Other Advanced Subjects

Window for the generation of load combinations.


The user cannot modify the generator files that are installed by the program, which are identified by
the icon , but the user can create generation files from the program files or simply write equations
for load combinations in the text editor of the dialog window. For this purpose, use the button
that creates or adds a new generation file, after that, press the button to copy the formulae and
paste it with the for the new generation file. Pressing the button will save the changes for the
new file and using the button, the files created by the user may be deleted.
The formulae have to be organized in the following order:
1. Mathematics symbols (+, -).
2. The reserved words AND or OR followed always by a space. Note that the rest of the
components of the formulae may or may not be separated by spaces.
3. A factor which may be any real number.
4. The name of the desired category. (These must be valid symbols that are to be associated with
the individual load cases).
5. Steps 1 4 are repeated as required.
6. Special commentary lines are also allowed if they start with "//".
Note that the reserved word AND is used to show that each load combination to be generated has to
include ALL the load cases that belong to the specified category, while the reserved word OR is used
to generate different load combinations for each load case of the specified category.
113
Chapter 8: Other Advanced Subjects

The following example illustrates the procedure:


//Example combinations
+AND 1.20DL + AND 1.60LL
+AND 1.05DL + AND 1.28LL + OR 1.40EQ
If there is one dead load case (DL1, category = DL), two live load cases (LL1, LL2, category = LL)
and two seismic load cases (EQ1, EQ2, Category = EQ) the following load combinations will be
generated:
1.2DL1 + 1.6LL1 + 1.6LL2
1.05DL1 + 1.28LL1 + 1.28LL2 + 1.4EQ1
1.05DL1 + 1.28LL1 + 1.28LL2 + 1.4EQ2
Notice that the seismic load cases are not included in the same combination due to the OR
designation, while the live loads are always in the same combination due to the AND designation.
When the OK button is pressed, the combinations will be generated based on the selected load
combination file and the currently available load cases. It is important to note that only the names of
the categories can be used in the editor. Load combinations in the template file will be ignored if they
contain a load category that is not currently adopted in the model.
See the example files (path: main RAM Elements directory/ComboGenerators) that come with the
program which have the basic load combinations to consider for the different codes.
In order to generate load combinations for design, service checks or as amplified seismic loads, one
of the following lines should be included in the file prior to the formulae in order to have the correct
type of combinations:
[COMBOTYPE=COMBO_SERVICE_STEEL]
[COMBOTYPE=COMBO_DESIGN_STEEL]
[COMBOTYPE=COMBO_AMPLIFIED_SEISMIC]
[COMBOTYPE=COMBO_SERVICE_CONCRETE]
[COMBOTYPE=COMBO_DESIGN_CONCRETE]
[COMBOTYPE=COMBO_SERVICE_WOOD]
[COMBOTYPE=COMBO_DESIGN_WOOD]
[COMBOTYPE=COMBO_SERVICE_MASONRY]
[COMBOTYPE=COMBO_DESIGN_MASONRY]
Review some of the files in the ComboGenerators folder with any text editor to see some application
examples for these generators that are included with the program. The extensions *.cbg are for
continuous beams, *.rag for general applications (mainly RAM Elements and Walls modules) and
*.rwg for retaining walls.

Elastic supports
Elastic supports are modeled in the RAM Elements program using springs.

114
Chapter 8: Other Advanced Subjects

One possible method of calculating the spring stiffness is using the soil modulus of sub grade
reaction as follows:
K spring = Modulus of sub grade reaction* tributary area for the node
It is the users responsibility to obtain appropriate spring stiffness.
To enter the springs, proceed as follows:

Select the nodes.

Go to Nodes/Springs.

115
Chapter 8: Other Advanced Subjects

Enter the value of the spring in the adequate direction, select the value, right click on the spreadsheet
area and copy it pressing from the pop-up menu.

Notice that the tool to model footings is available to assist the user in the entry of the
appropriate values for the rotational and translational springs under a footing of known dimensions.
See the chapter of Footing Design and Detailing for more information.

Springs have been entered.


Note: A node cannot have a spring if it is restrained in the same degree of freedom. However, it is
possible for a node to have springs in some degree of freedom and restraints in the other degrees of
freedom.

Prescribed displacements
This option is used to apply specified ground displacements (translations and rotations) at joints that
are restrained. The different components of the displacements are specified in the global coordinate
system (TX, TY, TZ, RX, RY, RZ). Only the components that have restrained degrees of freedom
will be considered as loading the structure.
116
Chapter 8: Other Advanced Subjects

To enter prescribed displacements proceed as follows:

Select the restrained node(s) with prescribed displacements

.
Enter the displacement/rotations in the restrained degrees of freedom.

Self - weight
RAM Elements calculates the self-weight of the elements (shells and/or members) in a structure. To
activate the self-weight calculation proceed as follows:

From the status bar select the load case that is going to include the self-weight loads.

117
Chapter 8: Other Advanced Subjects

Go to Gen/ Self weight tab and then execute the tool .

Note: To deactivate the self-weight calculation, press .


Note: The self-weight multiplier can also be entered manually.

Thermal loads
When there are differences of temperature in-between faces of the members, enter these loads in the
following way:

Go to Members/Loads on members tab and to Gradients of temperature button.


The temperature differences are entered in the Temp1, Temp 2, and Temp3 column. Note the
temperature differential should be in degrees Fahrenheit if the units are in the English System,
otherwise centigrade. Temperature loads are only applicable to linear elements and cannot be applied
to shells.
Temp 1 is the temperature differential that will cause axial expansion (positive values) or shortening
(negative values) in the member length.
Temp 2 is the gradient per unit length of temperature in local axis 2. It causes bending about axis 3.

118
Chapter 8: Other Advanced Subjects

Temp 3 is the gradient per unit length of temperature in local axis 3. It causes bending about axis 2.

Node generation
RAM Elements has several methods of generating nodes. It is important for the user to know them in
order to optimize the time of the data input:
1. Use of templates. The user enters the nodes required to position the new portion of the
structure that will be generated including the nodes. This tool is very useful for trusses or
structures with typical geometry. For more details see Using Structure Templates.
2. Import from DXF files. This option allows to define the basic geometry (that is, the nodes and
frame members), transferring data between drawing programs and RAM Elements. This
option is particularly useful when the geometry is very complicated and the node coordinates
are not easily defined. The user can draw the structure in any drawing software and then
import the data in RAM Elements. For more details see chapter related to Importing and
Exporting Data.
3. Import from Excel and other spreadsheet applications. The RAM Elements Data Panel has
only limited functions to manipulate the data. Therefore, if the nodes coordinates follow
special functions like trigonometric or exponential functions, the user can generate the
coordinates in applications like Excel which are plenty equipped with those functions and
then transfer the data in RAM Elements. This is performed with the known "copy and paste"
operation very common in all applications.
For example, to generate nodes following the function y = (x - 1)^1.14, create the data in a
spreadsheet application:

Data generated in a spreadsheet like Excel. The data is selected and copied to the Clipboard.

119
Chapter 8: Other Advanced Subjects

In RAM Elements, go to Nodes/Coordinates, locate the area where the data are going to be
entered and press the paste button .

The data is pasted in the Nodes/Coordinates spreadsheet.


The generated nodes are shown in the Display window:

4. The use of special tools for the generation of nodes. The available tools are the following:
5. Copy nodes.
Lineal generation of nodes.
Quadrangular generation of nodes.
Circular generation of nodes.

Copy nodes
To copy nodes, proceed as follows:

120
Chapter 8: Other Advanced Subjects

Select the nodes to be copied.

Press Copy Nodes button .


A dialog box appears. Enter the distance (in X, Y and Z direction) that the selected nodes will be
copied to. Press the OK button.

Two new nodes have been created.

Linear generation of nodes


Select two nodes

Press Linear Generation of nodes button .


In the dialog box that appears enter the number of nodes to be generated and press OK.
121
Chapter 8: Other Advanced Subjects

Now, we have:

Quadrangular generation of nodes


Go to Nodes; select four nodes in the order shown in the illustration.

Press Quadrangular generation of nodes button .


In the dialog box enter the nodes to be generated along sides 1-2 and 1-3.

The result will be:

122
Chapter 8: Other Advanced Subjects

Circular generation of nodes


Select three nodes, as shown below in the figure. Node 1 (first node to be selected) is the center of the
circle. Node 2 (second node to be selected) is used to set a vector perpendicular to the circle. Node 3
is the starting point of the generation and the node that determinates the radius of the circle. The new
nodes will be generated in the plane defined by nodes 1-3 and perpendicular to 1-2.

Press Circular generation of nodes button .


In the dialog box enter the number of nodes to be generated, and the total angle that the nodes will
cover.

The result of the above choices is:

123
Chapter 9: Analysis

Chapter 9: Analysis
Introduction
The static analysis of a structure involves the solution of a set of linear equations that can be shown in
terms of the following form:
P=KD (Eq 1)
Where P is the matrix of generalized applied loads, K is the stiffness matrix of the structure and D is
the matrix of resulting displacements. For each load case defined by the user, there is a vector of
loads that generates a vector of displacements. The problem is more involved if non-elastic materials
are considered or if P-Delta effects are taken into account
RAM Elements is using an analysis engine, which is part of a general-purpose finite element analysis
library based on object-oriented programming architecture, developed completely by Bentley
Systems, LLC. It has been used mainly for linear-elastic, nonlinear-inelastic and Eigen analysis of
any type of framing systems. The analysis engine is built on a highly optimized matrix library that is
particularly tuned for sparse matrix computation and it is armed with a state of the art bandwidth
optimization technique based on Graph theory. The currently enforced bandwidth optimization
method is Reverse Cuthill-McKee Ordering algorithm. The bandwidth optimization provides a
substantial reduction in storage requirements and when it is combined with the direct sparse solvers,
the time to decompose large symmetric-profile matrices is greatly reduced.
RAM Elements currently supports the following type of analysis:
Static Linear Elastic Analysis
Static Nonlinear Elastic Analysis
Eigen Value Analysis
In addition the following list contains element types currently available for the users:
Frame element with 6 degrees of freedom (dof) at its both ends. Geometric nonlinear effects
can be included.
Tension or Compression Only frame elements
Quadrilateral Shell element with 6 dof at each corner (three translational dofs, two rotational
dofs and one drilling dof)
Linear Traslational with option to only compression springs and rotational springs.
In the subsequent sections, a brief description of these analysis capabilities and element types are
summarized. The user is referred to associated references given within the text for further
information.

125
Chapter 9: Analysis

Frame Element

Element Degrees of Freedom for Frame Element


The frame element is a two-node element and there are 6 DOFs at each node. For illustrative
purposes, the above figure is given showing total number of 12 DOFs. The element has the following
features:
Three translational and three rotational DOFs defined at each end.
Distribute loads (trapezoidal in general form) can be applied along the element according to
global or element local definition.
Point loads can be applied along the element according to global or element local definition
Shear deformations due to bending can be considered in analysis: The current implementation
adopts the concept of an equivalent shear area, (As) for considering transverse shear
deformations. This area is multiplied by the shearing stress (na) at the neutral axis to obtain
the total shear force on the cross section (i.e., Fs = na As). Therefore, it is assumed that there
is a uniform shear stress on the cross section. The corresponding neutral axis shear strain is
= Fs / As G. Based on this concept, shear deformations may be included in analysis by
augmenting the member stiffness matrix with additional shear terms. These additional terms
can be found in any structural analysis book (Reference 1). For most members of practical
length, the influence of transverse shear deformations is negligible. However, it can be
significant for members with small span-to-depth ratio. For these cases, the implemented
method is usually satisfactory. Several references can be found in literature on how to
calculate equivalent shear area. Among these are Reference 2 and 3. RAM Elements uses
the cross-sectional property fs (form factor for shear) that is defined as As= fs A, where A is
the member cross section.
Element stiffness matrix is derived as follows:

126
Chapter 9: Analysis

Eq. (2)
In which Ix, Iy, J, G, E and L are major moment of inertia, minor moment of inertia, St.
Venant torsion constant, shear modulus, elastic modulus and member length, respectively.
The terms x and y are shear correction terms to account for transverse shear deformations.
They are calculated as follows:

Eq. (3)
In which Asx and Asy are equivalent shear area for major and minor directions, respectively.
It should be noted that if x and y are zero, Eq. (2) is reduced to conventional stiffness
matrix for frame members.
Bending, shear and axial releases can be defined at element ends. Calculated stiffness matrix
and effects of loads applied to elements are modified due to releases.
Offsets\eccentricities can be defined at element ends in three separate directions. Calculated
stiffness matrix and effects of loads applied to elements are modified due to releases.
Temperature effects can be included by considering both axial and bending effects due to
relative temperature changes.
Axial pre-tensioning can be defined. Such effects can be used for applying axial pre-stress to
members or for considering member axial initial imperfections (for instance, due to
fabrication errors, members can be too short or too long, therefore, it creates initial strains
when placing these members into position)
Geometric nonlinear effects are considered (see Iterative P-Delta Effects) in element
formulation. In this case, a nonlinear (iterative) analysis is utilized.
Frame elements can be assigned as tension or compression only members. In this case, a
nonlinear (iterative) analysis is utilized.
Deformation at any point within an element is extracted after the analysis is completed. The
engine calculates these deformations at any point accounting for element end displacements

127
Chapter 9: Analysis

and loads applied. Shear deformations are not considered in the calculation of these
deformations.
For web tapered elements, a flexibility based formulation is adopted

Shell Element
A four-node shell element is developed and it consists of six degrees of freedom at each of the four
nodes: three translations, two rotations and one drilling degrees of freedom (see next Figure). The
element is capable of generating both in-plane and out-of-plane stiffness. The drilling degree of
freedom facilitates fixity of members that frame into the wall. Refer to References 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8 for
further assistance. Triangular shell elements in which three nodes of the shell are co-linear should be
avoided if possible. They should only be used as a last resort and only in transition zones where is not
possible to fit a rectangular element. In those cases, the user is responsible of the results in these
triangular shells. Instead, the user is encouraged to use the automatic mesh generator during the
analysis to avoid inaccuracies due to the use of this element.

Degrees of Freedom of Shell Element (local definition)


The formulation for the element stiffness matrix includes membrane stiffness and plate bending
stiffness which are calculated separately and then combined to form the complete element stiffness
matrix.
The membrane stiffness accommodates three degrees of freedom at each node, namely two in plane
translational and one drilling degree of freedom. The formulation uses Allman type shape functions
within Hughes-Brezzi variational formulation framework. It includes a correction matrix to remove
any existing membrane locking from element behavior. Furthermore, another correction matrix is
applied to the stiffness matrix in case of warped planes shell.
The plate bending stiffness is derived based on a thin plate assumption and it is a typical Discrete
Kirchoff Element (shear deformations over the element thickness are ignored). The formulation
includes three degrees of freedom at each node: remaining two rotational and one translational
degrees of freedom perpendicular to the plane of the shell.
The general characteristics of the shell element are summarized as follows:
The element is a quadrilateral element with 6 DOFs at each node.
Loads (point loads on nodes) can be applied in global system or in the local axis of the shell.

128
Chapter 9: Analysis

Surface loads can be applied to the shell either in global system or in local system of the shell.
Only constant surface loads are allowed.
Geometric stiffness matrix (i.e. geometric nonlinear effects) is not calculated for shell
elements.

Positive Definition of Shell Local Forces at Nodes

Shell membrane and bending Forces

Rigid Diaphragm Constraints


RAM Elements provides a method to define a rigid diaphragm by enforcing a set of constraint
equations. It is assumed that the diaphragm is infinitely rigid in its plane and it transmits forces
through it without deforming. Therefore, members attached to these rigid diaphragms are moved
together according to defined constraint equations. In the current implementation, a rigid diaphragm
is assumed completely in the X-Z plane: translation DOFs in X and Z directions and rotation around
Y are used to define diaphragm constraint equations. Hence, all members attached to this diaphragm
have the same displacements in X and Z if there is no rotation around Y. Otherwise, member
displacements are adjusted due to diaphragm rotation around Y according to the distance between
member nodes and diaphragm mass center.

P-Delta Analysis
To analyze most structures it is necessary to take into account the P-Delta effect. This effect can be
considered either at the analysis stage and/or at the code check stage. The simplest method is to allow
RAM Elements to calculate P-Delta during the analysis stage.

What is P-Delta effect?


When an element experiences a lateral displacement, secondary moments arise as a result of the axial
force acting through the lateral displacement of the member. The secondary moments created by the
lateral displacements are also called P-Delta moments, or simply the P-Delta effect. There are two
kinds of P-delta effects: P- (small p-delta), and P- (large P-Delta).

129
Chapter 9: Analysis

Small P-delta effect


Secondary P- moments are caused by axial force acting through the lateral displacements of the
member relative to its central line (See figure below).

P- effect
This effect is also called a member instability effect because it increases the instability of the
members of a structure.

Large P-Delta effect


P- moments are caused by axial force acting through the relative displacements of the ends of the
member (figure below).

P- effect
This effect is also called structure instability effect because increases the instability of the structure.
Both P-delta moments combined are simply called the P-Delta effect.
P-Delta effect (also called P-Delta with axial-bending interaction) is a second order effect that causes
a non-linearly behavior of the structure.
The P-Delta effect generally decreases the structure and member stability. It should be taken into
account by the analysis, even if lateral displacements are small. P-Delta effects can be ignored only
when axial forces (tension or compression) are small and lateral displacements minor.

P-Delta calculation methods


As opposed to first-order analysis, where a solution can be obtained in a direct way, a second-order
analysis requires several iterations to obtain the solution, which may considerably increase the
computation time. RAM Elements used in previous versions the fictitious lateral load method to
calculate the P-delta effect. In the current version the adopted method is more robust and it is detailed
in the following Section.

Iterative P-Delta Effects


P-Delta effects at element level are accounted for through element geometric stiffness matrix. The
geometric stiffness matrix is calculated at each iteration and analysis is repeated until convergence
130
Chapter 9: Analysis

(equilibrium) is achieved. These effects can be interpreted as the effect of axial force on element
bending (i.e., axial-bending interaction) so that they create additional flexural moments and then it
leads to additional lateral displacements. The current implementation considers only axial-bending
interaction but it does not consider other effects such as torsion-axial force interaction, torsion-
bending interaction etc.
The current implementation has some limitations. They are summarized below:
It considers axial- bending interaction in members (1D element only). For some members if
such interaction is not significant (or axial loads in these members are not big enough to
create considerable P-Delta effects), one can disregard P-Delta effects. Beams, girders or
horizontal members are typical members where they are usually subjected to distributed loads
or point loads, and they usually carry low axial loads. If this is the case, one can ignore P-
Delta effects for these types of members. Note that this might also help to overcome some
convergence problem if encountered during analysis.
The P-Delta affect due to self-weight is always considered as if it were applied with
equivalent forces at end nodes.
No geometric stiffness matrix is calculated for shell elements.
The above procedure is generally referred to as large P-Delta. If one also wants to consider small P-
Delta effects, it is advised to divide frame members into two or three sub-elements. With this
modeling approach, small P-Delta effects are accounted for.
The geometric stiffness matrix for a frame element is given in Eq. 4. Note that it is referred to the
figure given in Frame Element section.

(4)
where P, L are axial force and member length, respectively. The reader is referred to Reference 1 for
further explanation.

P-Delta effect in load combinations


When a first-order analysis is performed, the results for a combination can be found using
superposition. That is by simply adding together the results of each basic load case together
multiplied by the respective combination factors. This is only possible due to the linear elastic
analysis assumption.

131
Chapter 9: Analysis

However, when a second-order analysis is performed, the results for a combination cannot be
calculated in the same way. Therefore, for load combinations P-Delta will be calculated in the
analysis results using the same iterative method as was used with the load cases as described above.
Therefore, load combinations are prepared before the analysis as opposed to ones created after the
analysis in the first-order analysis.

Dynamic analysis, and P-Delta


Second order analysis cannot consider dynamic loads. However, when they are present in the load
combination, the rest of the loads will be calculated with the P-Delta effect and the dynamic load
forces will be "added" to the result obtained in the P-Delta analysis.

Option to disregard P-Delta effects in members with loads along their span
The current implementation for P-Delta application is in such a way that it considers axial- bending
interaction in members (1D element only). For some members if such interaction is not significant (or
axial loads in these members are not big enough to create considerable P-Delta effects), one can
disregard P-Delta effects for them. Beams, girders or horizontal members are typical members where
they are usually subjected to distributed loads or point loads, and they usually carry low axial loads.
If this is the case, one can ignore P-Delta effects for these members. Note that this might also help to
overcome some convergence problems during analysis.

Nonlinear (Incremental\Iterative) Analysis


RAM Elements is capable of performing a nonlinear analysis. It is usually used with nonlinear
elements (i.e. Tension or Compression only members) or it is called for an analysis to include P-Delta
effects. Two methods are available for the nonlinear analysis: The standard or full Newton Raphson
method (NR) and the Modified Newton Rhapson method (MNR). In both methods the total applied
load is divided into a number of load steps. The standard method calculates, at each load step, a
tangent stiffness matrix of the structure that is used to iteratively search the equilibrium state. In the
Modified Newton Raphson Method the load increments are applied using the tangent stiffness matrix
too, but the iterative displacements are found using the original tangent matrix without updates. This
procedure could be faster than the first one, saving the time required for updating the tangent matrix.
However, it may require more iteration, a greater tolerance and may have more difficulties in the
convergence. Thus, it is recommended only for big models with few non linear members, where the
original calculated tangent matrix is similar to the final one.

132
Chapter 9: Analysis

Comparison of the two methods available for the non-linear analysis.


The following is a summary of the features in this type of analysis:
The number of (load) increments is defined before starting the analysis. The load is applied
incrementally and analysis is carried out until all loads are applied. If divergence is observed
in analysis solution, one can increase the number of increments. Usually, this increases
analysis time but it helps convergence with smaller number of load increments.
The number of iterations can also be set prior to the analysis. In this case, the solution is
forced to converge within number of iteration per load increment. Again, this number can be
increased if any difficulty is found in converging.
At the end of each increment, equilibrium is checked in such a way that the difference
between element resisting forces and externally applied loads is less than the pre-defined
tolerance. In this case it is assumed that an equilibrium state is found.
To perform the P-Delta analyses select the Second-Order option when the structure is analyzed. It is
always recommended to perform a preliminary linear analysis to check the model and to compare the
results with the non-linear analysis.

133
Chapter 9: Analysis

Choose Perform second order analysis (P-Delta).


Enter the required parameters for the second order analysis.
In general for an efficient analysis the following values are recommended (default values):
Number of increments = 1
Number of iterations per increment = 10
Convergence tolerance = 1E-5

Eigen Value Analysis


The analysis engine is capable of finding Eigen values for a given system. It is assumed in the current
implementation that constructed stiffness matrix is always positive definite and constructed mass
matrix is a diagonal matrix. The program utilizes a sub-space iteration technique (see References 9,
10, 11 and 12) to find the lowest frequencies (i.e., higher periods).

134
Chapter 9: Analysis

The general characteristics of the current implementation are summarized as follows:


Only diagonal mass matrix is allowed in the current implementation. Therefore, any mass
should be defined at nodes or at master nodes. This is also called lumped mass approach.
If all masses are lumped at master nodes (master nodes generally associated with rigid
diaphragms), static condensation can be applied for Eigen solution. In this case, the program
statically condenses out all degrees of freedom without mass. This usually reduces the risks
for having numerical problems related to DOFs without mass.
If all the masses are not applied to master nodes and hence there are some other masses
assigned to other nodes, static condensation is not used. The program assigns 1.0E-8 for
degrees of freedom where no mass is defined.
The program internally sets a number of trial vectors, which is larger than the number of
requested Eigen values. For most cases, this number is enough to converge in sub-space.
There are rare cases that the program is not able to converge. It is advised to increase the
required number of Eigen values that may accelerate convergence characteristics in sub-
space.
The program internally enforces spectrum slicing (Sturm sequence check) to make sure that
found n Eigen values are the first n Eigen values in the solution queue. This guaranties
that the solution does not miss any Eigen values so that the lowest n Eigen values are
always found.
The program also applies Gram-Schmidt orthogonality technique to prevent converging to
already converged solutions.
The algorithm is optimized for sparse computation.

References
[1] Matrix Structural Analysis, McGuire, W., Gallagher, R.H., and Ziemian, R.D, 2 nd Edition, John
Wiley & Sons, Inc., 2000
[2] Strength of Material, Part 1, Timoshenko, S., 3rd Edition, Van Nostrand, Princeton, N.J., 1955
[3] Formulas for Stress and Strain, Roark, R.J., and Young, W.C., 5th Edition, McGraw-Hill, New
York, 1975
[4] MacNeal, R.H., and Harder, R.L., (1988), A Refined Four-noded Membrane Element with
Rotational Degrees of Freedom, Computers & Structures, Vol. 28, No.1, pp. 75-84
[5] Ibrahimbegovic, A., Taylor, R. L., and Wilson, E. L., (1990), A Robust Quadrilateral membrane
Finite Element with Drilling Degrees of Freedom, International Journal for Numerical Methods in
Engineering, Vol. 30, 445-457
[6] Ibrahimbegovic, A. and Wilson, E. L., (1991), A Unified Formulation for Triangular and
Quadrilateral Flat Shell Finite Elements with Six Nodal Degrees of Freedom, Communications in
Applied Numerical Methods, Vol. 7, 1-9
[7] Taylor, R.L.,(1987), Finite Element Analysis of Linear Shell Problems, Proceedings The
Mathematics of Finite Elements And Applications, Academic Press, New York, pp. 211-223

135
Chapter 9: Analysis

[8] Long, C.S., and Groenwold, A.A., (2004), Reduced Modified Quadratures for Quadratic
Membrane Finite Elements, International Journal of Numerical Methods in Engineering, 31:837-
855
[9] Bathe, K.L., Finite Element Procedures, 1996
[10] Hughes, Thomas J.R., The Finite Element Methods: Linear and Static Dynamic Finite Element
Analysis, 1987
[11] Wilson, E.L., An Eigensolution Strategy For Large Systems, Computer and Structures, Vol.
16, No. 1-4, pp. 259-265, 1983
[12] Bathe, K.J., Wilson, E.L., Large Eigenvalue problems in Dynamic Analysis, Journal of
Engineering mechanics Division, ASCE, Vol. 98, No. EM6, 1972

136
Chapter 10: Dynamic Seismic Analysis

Chapter 10: Dynamic Seismic Analysis


RAM Elements performs dynamic analysis using the method of modal superposition. To perform a
dynamic analysis it is necessary to first enter the corresponding masses in the respective nodes and a
seismic response spectrum.
The dynamic analysis can be subdivided into two parts, the Modal Analysis which determines the
free vibration behavior of the structure, and the determination of the Seismic forces and
displacements due to the combination of modes for a given direction of acceleration.

Modal Analysis
The Modal Analysis consists of the calculation of the period, frequencies and the undamped free
vibration mode shapes of the structure. Free vibration is only dependent on the rigidity of the
structure and its masses, not on the loads. The type of Modal Analysis performed by the program is
the Eigenvalue Analysis, which is an excellent insight to the behavior of the structure.
In this process the following equation has to be solved:
[K - T M] Z=0
Where K is the stiffness matrix, T is the diagonal matrix of eigenvalues, M is the diagonal mass
matrix and Z is the corresponding matrix of eigenvectors.
Each eigenvalue-eigenvector pair is called a natural vibration mode and they are calculated with a
numeric method of iteration (see more details of the modal analysis in the Analysis Chapter).
The number of Modes to be calculated will depend on the following factors:
The number of Modes specified by the user in the Analysis dialog window.
The number of mass degrees of freedom of the structure that considers both the translational
and rotational masses.
The output of the modal analysis given by the program consists of the following:
The list of the masses that are acting on the different nodes of the structure.
The mode frequencies, periods and maximum accelerations
The mass participation percentage that provides a measure of how important the Mode is in
the calculation of the response of the structure. This parameter is very useful for the
determination of the accuracy of the Modal Analysis
The total mass that is the sum of the masses in each degree of freedom that acts over the
whole structure.
The seismic response spectrum, which represent the ground acceleration in an earthquake in a
certain direction. It is given as a digitized response- spectrum curve. The function is displayed
in a graphical way.
The modal shapes for each Mode.

137
Chapter 10: Dynamic Seismic Analysis

The base reactions that are the total moments and reactions in global coordinates required by
the supports to resist the inertia forces originated by the response spectrum loading. They are
printed for each load combination, each Mode frequencies and for the modal combination.

Determination of the Dynamic Forces


Seismic Dynamic Forces are the maximum forces (response) that occur on the structure as a result of
a dynamic analysis utilizing a loading response spectrum. In this case the program performs a
statistical measure of the likely maximum response of the structure for the given response spectrum.

Methods of Modal Superposition


Modal superposition is performed in order to compute the maximum displacements, forces and
stresses for each vibration mode.
RAM Elements offers three methods for performing this superposition:

CQC Method
CQC represents the Complete Quadratic Combination technique developed by Wilson, Der
Kiureghian and Bayo (1981) and is taken as the default method. It considers the statistical coupling
between closely spaced Modes caused by modal damping. Therefore the damping factor must be
greater than zero for this method.

SRSS Method
It combines the results by taking the square root of the sum of their squares. It is very similar to the
CQC method, considering a damping factor equal to zero. Therefore the damping factor is not
considered in this method.

ABS Method
It combines the results by taking the sum of absolute values. It is quite conservative and therefore not
commonly used.

Seismic results with sign


Even though the response can be expected to vary within a positive and negative value range, the
results of the adopted methods are traditionally given as single positive results (this includes the
displacements, reactions, member forces and stresses). The sign of the results can impact the
combination of dynamic loads with other types of loads that already have an associated sign. This
includes member forces, displacements and stresses. Therefore, RAM Elements includes a method to
assign signs to the displacements, forces and stresses calculated from the dynamic analysis. The
program does this by taking the sign from the predominant modes acting on each member to
determine the sign of the total seismic response. The method used by RAM Elements is as follows:

The sign is obtained from the sum of the modal values multiplied together, but with one term in
absolute value. To the magnitude can be used one of the methods listed (CQC, SRSS or ABS).
For example when bending and axial loads are combined, the member design will not be accurate if
the moment diagram due to seismic loading does not reflect the true moment signs. We can consider
the case of a column in a building:

138
Chapter 10: Dynamic Seismic Analysis

Combination of dynamic loads with and without signs with other type of loads.
With the feature to calculate signs for the dynamic loads, the combination of loads will better reflect
the real behavior of the structure. It is important to mention that when signs are going to be
considered, the user has to create load combinations in the two opposite directions, for example in -X
and +X direction. Nevertheless, the user must be aware that the signs are only estimated and must be
used with caution.

Entering Mass
Modal shapes are automatically calculated when the structure contains a mass on at least one node.
Mass can only be entered at the nodes.
To enter mass, follow these steps:
1.- Select the nodes, which are to contain mass.

2.- Choose the Nodes\Masses worksheet and enter the value of the mass. Right Click on the
worksheet display the option to assign the value of the current mass to the group selected.

139
Chapter 10: Dynamic Seismic Analysis

3.- The masses have been introduced.

Notes
Use the Mass command to display graphically the mass assignments for the selected degrees of
freedom. This command is located inside the Model group in the View tab.

It is important to note that there are two available tools to automatically generate masses for one or
several floors considering members and shells. Refer to the context sensitive help for the available
tools in the worksheet.

Seismic Loads
The dynamic response spectra analysis requires the following data:
Dynamic scale factor = Seismic acceleration/gravity constant.
Damping constant (in percentage).
Seismic Response spectrum.
To perform the seismic analysis, proceed as follows:
140
Chapter 10: Dynamic Seismic Analysis

1.- Create a load case for seismic forces. E.g. ex = Earthquake in X (positive direction) or ez =
Earthquake in Z. The load cases for the current model are showed in the status bar.

2.- Choose the Gen\Earthquake accelerator worksheet and enter the scale factor and direction of the
earthquake force, as specified by the code used.

Note
The seismic direction should be 0 degrees for an earthquake in global X, 180 degrees for an
earthquake in global -X, -90 degrees for an earthquake in global Z direction and +90 degrees for an
earthquake in global -Z direction. (This is only valid when the seismic is calculated with sign. In the
opposite case the results for the seismic for X and -X or for Z and -Z will be the same).
3.- Choose the Gen/Earthquake response spectrum worksheet and enter the response spectrum
specified by the code used for the design.

141
Chapter 10: Dynamic Seismic Analysis

It is possible to load response spectrum files using the tool , then a dialog window will
open to choose the file from a list of response spectrums of the program:

To save a response spectrum use the tool .

142
Chapter 10: Dynamic Seismic Analysis

Seismic analysis
As described previously the program performs modal dynamic analyses. This means that the seismic
dynamic load is represented by a response spectra (it is also possible to represent other dynamic
forces with a response spectra).
This kind of dynamic analysis is the most convenient for seismic design because most seismic
building codes include the response spectra to be used in the design of a building.
To perform a seismic design, the user must have the following information:
Seismic loads, i.e. the response spectra.
Load combinations where seismic load is included.
Construction details
Warning!
The program does not include the Tension only option in the dynamic analysis. All elements are
considered as carrying compression as well as tension in dynamic load cases.

Seismic loads: response spectrum and earthquake acceleration


Just as with other loads (i.e. Wind load), is necessary to determine the magnitude of the seismic
forces.
Seismic load is represented by a response spectrum. Notice that acceleration is normalized with
respect to gravity. That is, the response spectra curve shows on its vertical axis the maximum
acceleration/gravity, and on it's horizontal axis the period of the structure.

Response spectra: acceleration/Gravity versus period of the structure.


Notice that RAM Elements allows entering a Scale Factor. This factor scales the response spectra.
Enter 1 (one) if the response spectra need not be scaled.

Load combinations
Once a seismic load case in X, or in Z is created, the user should create the load combinations
required by the code. Note that RAM Elements allows the simultaneous analysis of load cases with
second order effects and dynamic load cases (these are calculated with a first order analysis). It is
important to note that the combinations that include both types of load cases will be analyzed in two
parts. The first one, considering all the non-dynamic cases where the second order effects will be
included, and a second one that will add all the dynamic cases calculated with a first order analysis.

143
Chapter 10: Dynamic Seismic Analysis

Construction details
It is important that the user understand the behavior of structures subject to seismic loads and the
design details that are required to provide a structure with the required ductility. Refer to the local
concrete and building code for the pertinent detailing information. The RAM Elements Reinforced
Concrete Design modules handle many of these details included in Chapter 21 of the ACI-318 Code.

Seismic aspects in RAM Elements


The program performs modal analysis as follows:
1. Modal superposition is done using the CQC, ABS or the SRSS method.
2. Nodal mass is entered in Kip, Lb, Ton, Kg. The program will divide the mass load by gravity,
in order to obtain the respective units for the analysis.
3. Results from a dynamic response spectra analysis are always positive since they represent the
maximum values of the structure vibration. The program offers an analysis option to
automatically assign a sign to the calculated response based on the fundamental mode of
response.
4. The summation of bending moments and other forces is not zero at the nodes when the option
seismic result with sign is not used.

As opposed to wind load (left), bending moments are always positive in a typical dynamic load case
(right). However, also is possible an option to obtain the seismic results with signs.

Reactions are always positive when the option seismic results with signs are not used.

Seismic dynamic analysis of buildings


Dynamic analysis of buildings has some special considerations to be taken into account.

144
Chapter 10: Dynamic Seismic Analysis

Often a building contains a slab which increases the horizontal rigidity of a floor (perpendicular
stiffness of the slab is taken as zero). This rigidity is represented by rigid floor diaphragm.
To model this rigid diaphragm proceeds as follows:
1.- Create a node (master node) in the mass center of each floor.

2.- Assign TX, TZ, and RY floor masses to the master node. These are the masses of the entire floor.

Note
In a floor, only the mass center node should have a mass. The other nodes should not have mass.
3.- Select all the nodes in a floor

4.- Choose the Nodes/Rigid floor diaphragm worksheet and select the tool to assign a floor
number to the selected nodes.

145
Chapter 10: Dynamic Seismic Analysis

5.- Assign all floor numbers.

Note
Notice that each floor should has a unique number in the structure.

Analysis
Analyze the structure using the Analyze model command. This command is located in the Process
group in the Process tab and also in the quick access toolbar.

Viewing mode shapes (Free vibration)


To see the modal shapes of the building, follow the next steps:

1.- Select the command Modal Shapes to display the modal shape. This command is locate into
the Modal Shapes group in the View tab.
2.- Select the desired modal shape from the option Modes in the Status Bar.

146
Chapter 10: Dynamic Seismic Analysis

3.- Select the command Free Vibration to show the free vibration. This command is locate into
the Modal Shapes group in the View tab.

4.- To display vibration modes with 3D sections, select the option Rendering in the command
Modal Shapes and then the command Free Vibration to show the free vibration

5.- To display stress and vibration, select the option Stresses in the command Modal Shapes
and then the command Free Vibration to show the free vibration

147
Chapter 10: Dynamic Seismic Analysis

6.- To display normalized displacements of the selected mode, use the command Normalized
Displacements and select the normalized displacements required. This command is locate into
the Modal Shapes group in the View tab.

Note
It is necessary select the elements to be included in the modal shapes before to execute these
commands,

148
Chapter 11: Steel and Wood Structure Optimization and Code Check

Chapter 11: Steel and Wood Structures


Optimization and Code check
After the analysis and design of a steel or wood structure has been checked graphically, the user can
proceed to the structure optimization. This operation has two purposes:

1) Oversized sections will be changed to another section (normally with lower weight) from a
predefined group of sections that can adequately carry the imposed loads.
2) Sections that fail the code check will be changed to a section that passes the code check.
There are many optimization criteria that can be applied to these processes. The criterion to be
adopted will be defined with the list of sections to be considered (section collection). The order of the
sections in this list will determine the priority of each section to be considered for replacing the
current section.

Important. To optimize a structure, members with the same description (same group) should have
the same initial section.

RAM Elements will not optimize a structure if a group (or description) of members has different
sections assigned within that group.

Optimization and code check


Optimization
Optimization performs two actions:
1) Adopts the first section of the selected section collection (list of sections) that fulfills the strength
and deflection requirements. Normally this results in the reduction of the weight of oversized
members to a lower weight section, and
2) Replaces elements that fail the code check by others that pass it.

Verification or Code Check


Verification or Code Check will suggest section changes for only those elements that fail the code
check. Oversized elements are not modified.

149
Chapter 11: Steel and Wood Structure Optimization and Code Check

Optimization basis
The purpose of structure optimization is to find the optimum section that complies with the set of
criteria (weight, depth, width or any other criteria).

Important. Optimization and Verification assign the same section to all the elements of a group of
members (or description). That is, after optimization, all elements with description COL1 will have
the same section. Elements with BEAM1 description will have a common section that may differ
from COL1.

A section is assigned to each group of members. RAM Elements will assign the same section to all
elements with the same description.

Section Collections
A section collection is defined as a group of members that will be considered in the optimization. The
sections in a collection should be ordered according to the order in which they should be considered
in the optimization. Different types of sections can be used in the same collection (W, C etc), and
they can be designed by different codes (i.e., NDS, BS, AS, AISI and AISC)

How RAM Elements chooses an optimum section


The program chooses a section to replace the original only if it exists in the section collection. A
search is done only among those sections. Note that the sequence in which sections are considered is
based on the order of the sections in the collection. If an optimization based on the weight of the
members is desired, the sections in the collection have to be sorted by weight. Sizes in a set can be
sorted using the tools to order the list of sections by weight or moment of inertia (there are tools to
perform this action).
Different types of sections (i.e., I, L, C, etc) can exist in a single section collection, furthermore, a
collection with sections that belong to different material types (hot-rolled steel, cold-formed steel and
wood) can also co-exist.

RAM Elements will choose the section to replace from the section collection. The program will pick
the first section in the list that resists the applied loads within the deflection limits.
Note. Remember that the type of a section is defined by its name. That is, a "W 10x20" section has
"W" type, "Tube 15" has "Tube" type.

Optimization process
For each group (description) of elements, the program checks sections in the selected collection and
selects those that pass the code check (strength and deflection) for all the selected load conditions and

150
Chapter 11: Steel and Wood Structure Optimization and Code Check

for all the selected elements that belong to the same group. Once RAM Elements gets the first section
that meets these criteria, it is selected for a possible change.

Verification process
The Verification process is similar to the Optimization process. However, checks are made first to see
if the current section passes the code check. If that happens, it is left without modification. If the
current section does not pass the code check, then RAM Elements proceeds to the optimization
explained above.

Steps for optimization/Verification


To optimize a model, it must have been analyzed and designed first.

Look for the Process tab and Process group. Then, execute Optimize model. Note that there is
another button in the quick access toolbar on the top of the main window.
The following dialog window will appear:

151
Chapter 11: Steel and Wood Structure Optimization and Code Check

To optimize/check following the criteria of Strength, in the tab with the same name:
1.- Check all groups of members (descriptions) desired to optimize.
2.- Then check the load conditions that members should resist. (Select the desired load combinations
that are included in the design or the unassigned types)
Optimization and verification processes may additionally check structure deflections or deformations
(lateral deflections are considered with the same limit).

To optimize/check following the criteria of Deflection, in the tab with the same name:
3.- Enable the deflection check.
4.- Select all groups of members desired to be optimized.
5.- Select the load conditions to check the deflections. (Only the service load conditions or the
unassigned ones may be selected to perform this check)
6.-Define the allowable deflections. Note that it is possible to enter absolute values or values in
function of the members length.
In the Collections for optimization tab, it is possible to define the sets of sections for the groups of
members to be optimized:
7.- Choose the section collection to consider in the optimization.
8.- Assign the collection(s) to the desired groups of members.

152
Chapter 11: Steel and Wood Structure Optimization and Code Check

The user can create new sections collections by pressing the button and
executing the following steps:

153
Chapter 11: Steel and Wood Structure Optimization and Code Check

Steps to create a new section collection for optimization. The Collection window is divided in
different areas. In the right area, the first panel displays a list of the available collections and the
second panel displays a list of sections in the currently selected collection.

a.- Press the button to create a new collection. Then enter a name for the collection in
the dialog window that appears. The name of the collection must be a valid and unique
filename. RAM Elements will create a text file with this name where it will save a list with
the sections names. The collection files can be edited using Notepad or any text editor.
The file is located in the Sets folder (in the main RAM Elements folder).
b.- Select one of the groups that contain the desired sections.
c.- Select the desired sections to be included in the collection with the mouse. (Ctrl + left
mouse button to select the sections).

d.- Press the button to add the selected sections to the new collection.
e.- Repeat steps (b) to (d) as desired. Note that when sections are added to a collection they
are not duplicated. That is, sections are not added if they already exist in the collection,
only one instance of a section can be in a collection.
f.- Sort the section in the list according to their weight or to other criteria. After finishing this
task, close the window.
9.- Finally, select the operation to be performed: Optimize or Check. In order to explain further
details, select Optimize. Then, press OK.

154
Chapter 11: Steel and Wood Structure Optimization and Code Check

Notes:
Some load conditions should only be used for deflection verification and others should only
be used for code check.
Notice that it is preferable to work with physical members for deflection check because
deflections are always calculated relative to the members end points.
Review the slopes graphically to see if they are within the given limits. This deflection check
is very important and it may be performed as part of the design process.
When optimization is finished, RAM Elements will present a list of suggested changes. Check all
approved changes and press Replace. RAM Elements will change the current sections to those
suggested.

Mark all changes agreed. Do not check the groups not desired to be changed. Then press Replace
button to make the suggested changes. Notice that the program informs the reason for the changes
(strength or deflection).

After the structure has been optimized, sections are changed and all analysis results will be lost.
Therefore, analysis and design of the structure must be performed again.
It is recommended to study the structure results and optimize the structure again, until the sections
used are satisfactory.

Important. Structure design is iterative. So the analysis-design cycle must be performed more than
one time.
155
Chapter 11: Steel and Wood Structure Optimization and Code Check

Warning. In the optimization of wood members, the user has to check that the assigned material is
adequate for all sections of the collection and the type of loads of the members. See the Wood Design
Chapter for more information.

Optimization with other criteria


There may be other factors to be considered in the optimization that are not included in the deflection
or strength check. One possible way to include them is limiting the value for the stress ratio to a value
different than one. It is the users responsibility to ascertain if this is appropriate for the given model.

Appropriate section not found


In the event that the message "No section was found to resist imposed load in the replace sections
list, it means that no section in the collection passes the code check for the imposed load conditions
or specified lengths.
To correct this, add stronger sections to the section collection, or change the geometry or loads of the
model.

Non-steel or wood members


If the structure has frame members with sections that are not made of steel or wood, RAM Elements
will ignore them during the optimization or verification processes.

AISC and AISI sections


When both AISC and AISI elements are present in a structure, RAM Elements can change one kind
for the other.

Optimization with default sections collections


If the user does not define a collection, the optimization will consider the complete set of sections of
the original adopted section. The optimization process will look for the lightest section that complies
with the defined strength and deflections requirements.

156
Chapter 12: Printing Graphics and Reports

Chapter 12: Printing Graphics and Reports


For printing data or results, first select the elements that need to be included in the printout, and then
choose the type of output to display. The structure needs to be analyzed and designed to get more
output options.
The Output tab is divided in three groups: Data, Analysis and Design. The first one provides the
ability to print all the data and results of the analyzed and designed structure. The second group
allows printing the forces and deflections, including the points of inflection and envelopes. The third
group allows saving and printing the current model view.

Groups and commands in the Output tab


A description of the commands and options in each group of the Output tab is given next:

Data reports
The Data command has the following options:

Geometry data
This option allows printing all the structure geometric information like coordinates of the nodes, data
of members, geometric data for the design, etc. Like all the other reports, only the information of the
graphically selected members will be printed.

Loads data
This option allows printing all the information relative to node forces, distributed forces on members,
self-weight multipliers for load conditions, seismic loads, etc.

157
Chapter 12: Printing Graphics and Reports

List of Materials
This option allows obtaining a list of the selected materials with their respective quantities. These
quantities can be expressed in length or weight.

Parts List
This option prints the list of parts for the currently selected members.

List of Joints
This option prints the list of connections assigned to the joints. This list may be very useful for the
detailing and to know if there are still joints without connections.

Analysis reports
The Analysis command has the following options:

Analysis results
Before printing the reports, a window is displayed. This window allows the user to choose which
information will be printed. This window also allows you to choose the load conditions to be
included in the output.
Once all the information to be printed is set, press OK to obtain the printed report.
Note
Some print options require additional information in the form of additional parameters like the
number of stations along the member, or whether to group by elements, group by conditions, etc.
All the data and results that can be obtained are shown in the graphic below. The user must choose at
least one static or dynamic load condition.

158
Chapter 12: Printing Graphics and Reports

Window of Analysis Results


Use the two options at the top right edge of each group of reports ( ) to select or unselect
all reports of the group.

Dynamic analysis
The dynamic response results are displayed in this report. It also gives the calculated accelerations for
each vibration mode together with the percentage of mass participation. This report also includes a
graphic of the seismic response spectrum.

Design reports
The Design command has the following options:

159
Chapter 12: Printing Graphics and Reports

Steel design
Before printing the report, a window is displayed. This window allows you to choose between a
concise and a detailed report. It also allows you to choose the load conditions to be considered in the
design. For more details about the information given in each type of report, see the Reports section in
the Chapter devoted to the General Design of Steel Structures.

Window displayed prior to printing steel design reports. In this window the user can choose the kind
of report to be printed and the load conditions to be considered in the design.

Reinforced concrete design


Before printing the report, a window is displayed. This window allows you to choose the code to be
used, the type of stirrups and the load conditions to be considered in the design.

160
Chapter 12: Printing Graphics and Reports

Window displayed prior to the printing of reinforced concrete design reports. In this window the user
can choose the code, the stirrups and the load conditions to be considered in the design.
The report gives information relative to the design of beams and columns like forces acting on
members, maximum, minimum and calculated reinforcement, spacing of stirrups, etc.
For a more detailed design of reinforced concrete columns and beams, use the respective detailing
module. Each detailing module has a more detailed report where the user can introduce more
information for a complete design.

Wood design
Before printing the report, a window is displayed. This window allows choosing between a concise
and a detailed report. It also allows you to choose the load conditions to be considered in the. For
more details about the information given in each type of report, see the Reports section in the Chapter
devoted to the Design of Wood Members.

161
Chapter 12: Printing Graphics and Reports

Window displayed prior to printing wood design reports. In this window the user can choose the kind
of report to be printed and the load conditions to be considered in the design.

Report diagrams

The Report command displays axial, shear, flexural and torsional forces as well as their
respective envelopes, translations and rotations for each selected member and load condition.
Before printing the report window is displayed where the user can choose the diagrams to be printed.
Note that the envelopes will consider only the selected load conditions. Also, this window allows you
to select the option to show the points where the values of the diagrams are zero, which is very useful
for reinforced concrete members.

162
Chapter 12: Printing Graphics and Reports

Screen displayed before the diagram report.

All the diagrams are referenced to the member local axes.

It is possible choose the number of diagrams per printing line, which varies between 1 and 6. The
default value is 2, which is recommended for reports in a letter size with portrait orientation. Note
that where more diagrams are included in a line, they will be smaller. It is advisable to perform a
small print test to determine if the chosen number is adequate for the current paper size and printer.
Warning!
The large number of figures that can be generated when multiple members and load conditions are
chosen in big structures may produce problems of memory and resources on the computer. It is
advisable to save the structure before executing this command and not to process more than
approximately one hundred diagrams each time. That is to choose the particular members you want
diagrams displayed for.
Once the type of diagrams and the load conditions are chosen, the user will be able to see on the
screen a preview of the report and continue with the printing.
The reports have icons and information that are very useful. Each time the user prints a report, a
screen similar to the one shown below will be displayed:

163
Chapter 12: Printing Graphics and Reports

Report screen
The characteristics and components of the report screen are explained next.

General commands for print report


A description of all the buttons in the top bar of the screen report is given next.

Print
Print the current report. In this case the standard dialog window for printing will appear

164
Chapter 12: Printing Graphics and Reports

Standard dialog window for printing.

Print configuration
Set all the print configuration parameters. The window that appears is the standard Windows
printer setup dialog. For more details refer to your Windows manual or to your printers
manual.

Standard window to setup the printer.

Repeat title in each page


Use this option to repeat the title block on the top of each page. Note that when this option is
activated you will see the titles that will be repeated on the screen.

Select all
Select the complete report.
165
Chapter 12: Printing Graphics and Reports

Copy
Copy a selected block (Ctrl + C) to the Clipboard to read it from another program like Excel,
WordPad, etc.

Save as text file


Use this option to save the complete report as a text file (*.txt). This allows the user to export
the file in a simple text format (TXT). Later the user can read the report from WordPad or
Notepad.

Export selected text to Microsoft Word, format not included


Export the selected block to Microsoft Word. The program exports only the text without the
font styles or graphics (without format).

Export selected text to Microsoft Excel, format not included


Export the selected block to Microsoft Excel. The program exports only the text without the
font styles or graphics (without format). This button is very useful because the user can export
the selected blocks of the report, modify them in Microsoft Excel, and bring them back (using
the Ctrl + C and Ctrl + V keys to copy and paste the selected blocks) to the RAM Elements
worksheets.

Exported report to Microsoft Excel.

Export selected text to Microsoft Word, format included


Export the selected block to Microsoft Word. This is a very useful button because it includes
the styles, tabulations and graphics (with format). From Microsoft Word the user can make
any modification desired to the report.

166
Chapter 12: Printing Graphics and Reports

Report exported to Microsoft Word. Note that the export is done with the original formatting intact,
even graphics are exported.

Close
Close the report window.
Warning!
When exporting a report, RAM Elements automatically runs the respective software (Word or Excel).
This requires that the user must have this software properly installed on their computer.
Warning!
The user must be aware that the transfer of a report to Microsoft Word or Excel might take some
time, depending on the speed of the processor and the number of pages of the report.

Customizing the heading of a report


Use the options in the Print tab of the Configuration dialog, to customize the heading of a report.
Press the RAM Elements button and select General configuration to display the Configuration dialog.

167
Chapter 12: Printing Graphics and Reports

View diagrams on screen

The View on screen command displays the member force diagrams for the member that was
selected first on the screen. The available member force options include the bending moments, shear,
axial forces, torsional moments, together with translation and rotation diagrams.
It is important to note that the envelopes that are displayed with this option are calculated only from
all the selected load combinations.
In the upper part of the displayed window the user will find two menus to choose the type of diagram
and the load condition to display in the diagrams.
Note that there is a track bar at the bottom of the window which allows you to chose any point along
the member and get the numerical value of the diagram at that point.

168
Chapter 12: Printing Graphics and Reports

The type of diagrams is chosen from the menus at the top of the window. Note the track bar at the
bottom of the window allows displaying the numerical values of the diagram at any point along the
member.

Export diagrams to DXF

The Export to DXF command displays a screen very similar to that of the detailing modules
and includes an option to export the drawing as a DXF file.

169
Chapter 12: Printing Graphics and Reports

The screen is very similar to the ones of the detailing modules and includes an option to export the
drawing as a DXF file. .

Print to file

The command Print to file allows save the current graphic on the screen to a file in BMP or
JPG format.

A dialog window will appear were you should define the type of file BMP (Windows Bit Map) or JPG
(JPEG graphic). Additionally you can set the scale and the size (in pixels) of the graph.

170
Chapter 12: Printing Graphics and Reports

Notes
If the computer freezes or the printing is too slow, take into account the following suggestions:
Reduce the printing quality in RAM Elements.
Reduce the printing quality in your printer (see the printer manual).
Once you succeed in printing the graphic, you can increment the quality.
Install the last available driver for your graphics card and printer considering your current
operating system.
It is possible to observe small differences in the tones between the printed graph and the graph
displayed in the screen.

Print graphic

The command Print graphic allows printing the current graphic model on the screen.
If you have a color printer, the printout will be in the original colors. If you have a black and white
printer, the printout will be in gray tones. The user can change the print quality in the program
configuration option.

Press the RAM Elements button and select General configuration to display the Configuration
dialog.

171
Chapter 12: Printing Graphics and Reports

.
The Print tab allows to configurate the quality of printings .
Use the option Print in black & white printers or plotters to improve the quality of printings
for black and white printers.
The normal quality will give a standard print. Better qualities will require more resources of the
system.
Note
In the Configuration/ Print are also additional options such as: Assign logo to reports, Company
name and Address, and define the position of the model data properties that could or not be included
in the reports.

Text Box
This option allows entering any information that will be printed on the graphic output. This
information can be a title, a description, a comment, etc. This text box will be located in the top-right
side of the graphic model screen of RAM Elements and will be printed along with the graphic.

Text Box.

172
Chapter 13: Importing and Exporting Data

Chapter 13: Importing and Exporting Data


This chapter describes how to import and export information from and to other programs. The
following options are available:

Importing
DXF Importing from drawing software (MicroStation, Autocad, and others which create DXF
files)
RAM Structural System - Full Model: To import all members from a RAM Structural System
version 7.2x file and later.
RAM Structural System - Lateral Model: To import only lateral members from a RAM
Structural System version 7.2x file and later.
STAAD. Pro: Importing STAAD.pro model. The user must install the OpenSTAAD library
to import STAAD models.
SAP2000: Importing files s2K generated by SAP2000.
Note: With a RAM SS version 8.0 or later the user will be able to import models only for the current
version of RAM SS.

Exporting
DXF: exporting to drawing software (Autocad, MicroStation, etc.).
RAM Elements Neutral: exporting data to an ASCII text file.
SDNF: Exporting to steel detailing neutral file for detailing software.
RAM BasePlate: Exporting data of the selected column for the base plate design in RAM
BasePlate.
RAM SBeam: Exporting beam to RAM SBeam software.
It is also possible to import or export information to the databases, for more details see Chapter 6,
Importing and exporting sections and materials.

DXF files
DXF files allow interchanging only the basic geometry (that is, the nodes and frame members). This
is very useful for transferring data between drawing programs and RAM Elements.

What are DXF files?


DXF files (Drawing Exchange Files) are ASCII files (plain text) that contain almost all the
information necessary to produce a drawing. These files have extension "DXF".

173
Chapter 13: Importing and Exporting Data

Exporting as DXF files


RAM Elements can export the geometry of a model to a DXF file. Note that the dxf file is created
from all the elements of the model, not just the currently visible or selected members on the RAM
Elements display.
To export as a DXF file, select the command File/Export/DXF Model, enter the name of the file and
choose a vertixal axis orientation.

To export, use command Export - DXF from the menu accessed pressing the RAM Elements button.

174
Chapter 13: Importing and Exporting Data

Then choose a vertical axis orientation.


Note. RAM Elements only exports the basic geometry to DXF files. This includes:
Nodal coordinates
Frame members
Shell members
All other data (restraints, springs, loads, hinges, rigid offset, etc.) are ignored.

Importing a DXF file


RAM Elements will import the basic geometry of a structure that was created in some other drawing
software and exported in a DXF format file. This option is very useful since it allows to easily create
nodes, frame members and shells, which are the most time consuming data to enter.
The user may assign some data to elements from layers name of the drawing model:
Section and material to frame members, <section> <material>.
Thickness and material to shell members, <thickness> <unit> <material>.
Importing the drawing, the program will consider those data to easily assignment to the structure.
Ex: "W 10x12 A36" "W 10x12". RE will assign that section and material.
"2.0 in A36 ". RE will assign that thickness and material.

Creating a DXF file


The following steps should be performed:
1. Using a CAD software, draw the frame members of the structure using any available
command but explode everything into LINES before exporting.

175
Chapter 13: Importing and Exporting Data

Draw lines to represent the frame members.

2. Draw using as many layers as desired. Note that the section and the material can be used to
nominate the layers.
3. Save the drawing as DXF file.

Reading DXF files


Make sure RAM Elements is set to the correct units (the same length units of the drawing) before
importing the DXF file.
Select the command File/Import from/DXF. Then select the desired file and press OK.

176
Chapter 13: Importing and Exporting Data

From the menu accessed pressing the RAM Elements button, execute the command Import - DXF to
read the DXF file.
Important!
RAM Elements will automatically insert nodes at straight-line intersection points.
For instance, if RAM Elements locates a line as illustrated in the picture below-left, it will
automatically insert a node and will create an additional element as illustrated by the right picture.

(a) Line as drawn (b) Nodes and elements as created by RAM Elements
RAM Elements will automatically create joints when it is necessary.
For good results:

177
Chapter 13: Importing and Exporting Data

1. All the frame geometry must be imported with the definition of the layer used in the drawing,
meaning that the sections and the material may be assigned from the layers.
2. All the shell geometry must be imported with the definition of the layer used in the drawing,
meaning that the thickness and the material may be assigned from the layers.
3. The graphic must be drawn in simple lines and 3Dfaces. If there are polylines, circles and
polygons, those must be exploded to lines before importing.

RAM Structural System Files


RAM Elements has the ability to import a RAM Structural System model (*.rss;*.ram file). It is
possible to import: the structural geometry, member properties (shapes, fixity etc), gravity and lateral
loads, the raw wall openings that were modeled in the wall. The gravity loads can only be imported
once the structures tributary loads have been calculated (by entering any of the design modules in
the RAM Structural System). Note that RAM Elements has a maximum of 24 uniform loads and 24
concentrated loads per member per load case.
Note that any member shapes used in the RAM Structural System, but not available in the RAM
Elements database, will need to be manually added to RAM Elements.
To import a RAM Structural System model, from the menu accessed pressing the RAM Elements
button execute the command Import - RAM SS:

Full model This option will import all lateral and gravity members. All gravity beam and
brace members will be imported with pin conditions at their ends. Columns however will be
imported fixed at the top. Note that in RAM Elements the intersection of any two members
results in a node being created. For example, wherever a beam frames into another beam, the
supporting beam will be broken in two and a node will be inserted.
Lateral model This option will import only lateral members from the RAM SS model.
Member fixity and tributary loads will also be imported.

Major differences between RAM Elements and RAM SS analysis


Here are a few of the major things that RAM Structural System (RAM Frame) and RAM Elements
does differently. These differences can significantly affect the results, even for a model that is
imported into RAM Elements from RAM Structural System.

Foremost, RAM SS divides the model in gravity members and lateral load resisting members.
In RAM Frame, gravity members transmit only vertical reactions to the supporting lateral
members. They do not get considered further in the RAM Frame analysis. In RAM Elements
there is no separation of gravity and lateral members and the behavior of the structure is
analyzed all together (when the full model is imported).
Live load reduction. In RAM Structural System all of the live loads are analyzed. Then, when
performing a code check on a member the live load results (axial, bending, shear) are reduced
based on the LL reduction % for that specific member. In RAM Elements this cannot be done
so no reduction is applied at all.

178
Chapter 13: Importing and Exporting Data

Cracked section factors. In RAM, it is possible to assign cracked section factors to walls
whereas it is not in RAM Elements. User can reduce the thickness or E value of the walls in
RAM Elements to have a consistent model.
Meshing, each program does its own wall meshing and while they use the same meshing
engine, the same results are not achieved even when using the same desired mesh size. This
can greatly affect the model stiffness.
P-Delta, the programs have completely different methods of performing P-Delta analysis
(RAM Frame - Global Stiffness method, RAM Elements - iterative method)
Horizontal diaphragms. In RAM Frame horizontal diaphragm constraints can be assigned to
sloping levels. This is not allowed in RAM Elements.
Rigid end zones. User can assign rigid end zones in RAM Elements but it is not automated as
it is in RAM Frame.

Importing STAAD.Pro files


RAM Elements has the ability to import STAAD.Pro models (*.STD files). The user can import basic
geometry, member properties, load cases, load combinations and member sections and materials.

To import a STAAD.Pro model, select File/Import From/STAAD.Pro and select the model as shown
in the figure.

179
Chapter 13: Importing and Exporting Data

The program will convert the selected model. In case of identifying elements that cannot be
converted the system will display a warning window detailing the conditions that could not be
imported.

Please take note of the following advises:


To assign sections The program uses a conversion table.
Sections that are not found in the table will
be assigned in RAM Elements as they
appear in STAAD.Pro
To assign material The program uses a conversion table.
Sections that are not found in the table will
be assigned in RAM Elements with the
name defined in STAAD.Pro
Member uniform distributed loads All the UDL loads are assumed to be
applied in the shear center of the section.
Concentrated loads All the loads are assumed to be applied in
the shear center of the section.
Member offsets Member offsets are assigned by default in
global axis.
Shell (plate) thickness The thickness of the shell is the minor
thickness value of the shell nodes.
Shell pressure loads The pressures in global axis are imported
such as components in local axis of the
RAM Elements model.
Composite sections and plate Cannot be imported by the program , but
covered sections (Top, bottom, their properties are identified by a suffix
top&bot) (Top, bottom, top&bot)
Double W sections The program cannot import double W
sections.
For spring constants in hinged The spring constants along the axis that
members were defined in STAAD such as KFX,
KFY... KMZ are ignored.
Shell (plate)exceptions Trapezoidal pressures over shells (plates)
are not imported. Concentrated loads
assigned to shells (plates) are neither
imported.
Node supports Inclined supports are not imported.

Space between double angle The space between double angle and
sections channel sections is not considered in the

180
Chapter 13: Importing and Exporting Data

sections imported.

Importing SAP2000 files


RAM Elements has the ability to import SAP2000 generated as s2k. (: *s2k) files. The user can
import basic geometry, member properties, load cases, load combinations and member sections and
materials.
The members sections and material are imported with the same name that was defined in SAP2000.
The dynamic load cases that were defined in SAP (Time history and response spectrum cases) are
imported as load cases defined with a prefix "DY" to distinguish them from the static load cases.
To import SAP200 model, the user must generate an s2k file form SAP2000, then select the
command File/Import from/SAP2000 and select the file to import.

RAM Elements imports the model only in global coordinates system.

SDNF Files
RAM Elements can export the structural data as a SDNF file. This file can be read by steel detailing
software that supports the SDNF format.

181
Chapter 13: Importing and Exporting Data

What are SDNF files?


SDNF (Steel Detailing Neutral File) are ASCII (plain text) files that allow to send the structural
member data to steel detailing software. This is a standard format conceived to facilitate data
interchange among analysis/design and detailing software.
Many detailing programs (e.g. Xsteel) can read or create SDNF files.

Sending data to a SDNF file


To export data to a SDNF file, execute command File/Export/SDNF, enter the name of the file, the
desire units, and the member types by description (optional) and press OK.

To export, use command Export - SDNF from the menu accessed pressing the RAM Elements button.

182
Chapter 13: Importing and Exporting Data

A dialog window will appear. Define the file name, the units and the member types.
Select the SDNF file version (2.0 or 3.0) to export.
Now it is possible to read the file with any detailing software that supports the SDNF file.
Some characteristics of the exported SDNF File:
Member description first line:
"Member number" "Cardinal point" "0 " "0 " Type field Piecemark field Revision level
field
The cardinal point number is according to the standards.
The "Type field" can only be COLUMN, BEAM or BRACE. By default, if the member nodes are
completely horizontal or vertical, the member will be reported as a beam or column, otherwise, as a
brace. The user may change this in the dialog window.
The "Piecemark field" contains the RE member description
The "Revision level field" is reported always as "0"
Length units: in the specified units
For tapered members, it is defined the following standard section name notation: W 14X74 and W
10X68 such as constants.

Sending data to RAM BasePlate


RAM Elements has the ability to export the required data for the design of base plates.
To design a base plate, select the desired column and execute the command File/Export/RAM
BasePlate.

183
Chapter 13: Importing and Exporting Data

Dialog window to export data for RAM BasePlate.


A dialog window will appear. The user has to define the loads to be considered, the Code for the load
combinations, the axis where the loads are applied (RAM BasePlate currently does not analyze
biaxial bending) and the template file with the initial anchor geometry. Press OK and the column
shape together with the load cases will be exported. The column can be a tube, pipe or wide flange
and may be of any size contained in the database.
Immediately, RAM Base Plate will be executed and the base plate design can be performed. See
RAM BasePlate documentation for further details.
Notice that only the load cases are considered. Within RAM BasePlate there is a Load Combination
Generator that will generate the combinations according to the selected code.
It is important to remark that RAM BasePlate works only with a single moment in the strong or in the
weak axis. The user has to select which moment will be considered: M33 if the strong axis option is
selected or M22 if the weak axis option is selected.
Notice also that with an already exported data from a specific column, the program will remember
the template file that was selected so the user does not have to define it again.

Export to RAM SBeam


Exporting to RAM SBeam requires the following:
Only I, C and rectangular hollow sections are allowed.
Members only considered as a beam will be exported, with slopes of less than 48.5.
It is possible to select up to a maximum of one span and two cantilevers.

184
Chapter 13: Importing and Exporting Data

Selected spans must be part of a continuous beam as shown below.


Selected spans must have the same material and section.
It is necessary to map the load cases in RAM Elements to an equivalent case in RAM SBeam
as shown below.
Span selection
It is possible to select from one to three spans from a continuous beam on RAM Elements. The
selection must be made according to one of the following criteria:
a. To export only one span, only one beam must be selected.
b. To export one span and a cantilever, the selection order must be the cantilever first and
then the beam.
c. To export one span and two cantilevers, the selection order must be one of the
cantilevers, then the beam and finally the opposite cantilever.
Mapping the load cases
The dialog to export to RAM SBeam allows to specify the RAM Element load cases equivalence with
the load cases available in RAM SBeam:
DL CDL LL CLL
Dead load
Snow
Live load
Construction live
load
Wind in X

Each column represents a load case in RAM SBeam. Each row represents a load case defined in the
current model. Only one target load case in RAM SBeam for each RAM Element load case can be
selected.
Blank rows are valid, the RE load case will not be included on the export. By default all the cells are
blank and it is not mandatory to select one (in this case no load cases will be exported). If the
selected member has loads that are not perpendicular, a warning will notify the user and those
loads will be ignored.
The RAM SBeam load cases are:
DL (Dead load).
CDL (Construction dead load).
LL (Live load).
CLL (Construction live load).

185
Chapter 13: Importing and Exporting Data

Exported information to RAM SBeam


The exported information to RAM SBeam is:
Length of each span.
Section.
Material Fy.
Job Name.
Concentrated loads in selected members for defined load cases.
Distributed loads in selected members for defined load cases.
Unbraced lengths on each member.
When the export settings are accepted, RAM SBeam opens with the information of the selected
beams. Then, the user will only interact with RAM SBeam and RE does not have any control on this
interaction.
To export another beam, RE will verify that RAM SBeam is not active before starting the export.

186
Chapter 14: Integrated Structural Model (ISM)

Chapter 14: Integrated Structural Model (ISM)


What is ISM?
Bentleys Integrated Structural Model (ISM) is a technology for sharing structural engineering
project information among structural modeling, analysis, design, drafting and detailing applications.
ISM is similar to Building Information Modeling (BIM), but focuses on the information that is
important in the design, construction and modification of the load bearing components of buildings,
bridges and other structures.

Purpose
There are two related purposes for ISM:
The transfer of structural information between applications.
The coordination of structural information between applications.
To provide for the first purpose (transferring information), ISM provides a means of defining, storing,
reading and querying ISM models.
To provide for the second purpose (coordination of information), ISM additionally provides
capabilities to detect differences between ISM models and to selectively (based on user selection)
update either an ISM repository or an applications data to provide a user-controlled level of
consistency between the two data sets.

ISM and Application Data


ISM is not intended to store all of the information that all of its client applications contain. Rather, it
is intended to store and communicate a consensus view of data that is common to two or more of its
client applications, such as RAM Elements.
RAM Elements continues to hold and maintain its own private copy of project data. Some of the
application data will duplicate that of the associated ISM repository. The application data may even
conflict with that in the ISM repository. RAM Elements (or you as its user) may decide that a conflict
gives the best data for RAM Elements and ISMs different uses.

187
Chapter 14: Integrated Structural Model (ISM)

ISM Sync Tools Overview


RAM Elements can send structural data to and from an ISM repository through a set of ISM Syncing
tools. These tools allow you to both create and update RAM Elements models as well as ISM
repositories. Further, these flexible tools allow you to begin models and move data as your workflow
dictates.
These tools are accessed from the RE Button:

188
Chapter 14: Integrated Structural Model (ISM)

The following table explains which tools to use for a given task:
If you need to use Description
this
tool
Create a new ISM Create to Repository transfers the current model
repository from an opened in RAM Elements and generates a new ISM
existing RAM Elements repository. This is the most common way in which a
model ISM repository is initially created.
Create a new RAM New from Repository creates a new RAM Elements
Elements model from an model from an existing ISM repository. This is used
existing ISM repository to transfer model data into other tools used for your
workflow.
Update an existing Update to Repository will coordinate changes made
repository to reflect to the model in the RAM Elements and coordinate
changes made in a RAM some or all of those changes with an existing ISM
Elements model repository.
Update an existing RAM Update from Repository allows you to update your
Elements model to reflect RAM Elements model with some or all of the
changes in an ISM changes which have been made to the ISM
repository repository.

When any of these tools are selected, the relevant dialog boxes are opened to select either a
application model file or an ISM repository for use. The Change Management environment is
typically used with the update tools to coordinate which changes are to be reflected in the models and
repository.

189
Chapter 15: Shells

Chapter 15: Shells


Introduction
This chapter provides a brief description of options to enter shell elements, certain necessary
concepts, and how to view the results numerically or graphically. In order to model shells is
necessary have a solid understanding of the finite element theory because it is very easy to make
mistakes in the structural modeling or in misinterpreting the results.

The Shell Element


The following assumptions are made regarding the shell element used in RAM Elements:
Rectangular plates
Elastic material, isotropic and homogeneous
Strength developed by a combination of bending and membrane actions.

The calculation method uses the force matrix and the general element adopted is rectangular with
four nodes.

Adopted element of 4 nodes.


Two types of loads can act over the shells:
Bending and torsion moments originated by loads acting out of the plane of the shell: M11, M33 or
M22 with the corresponding transverse shear forces.

191
Chapter 15: Shells

Bending and torsion moments originated by out-of-plane loads.


It is also possible to have loads acting in the plane of the shells (membrane loads) that can be normal
loads F11 and F33 and shear loads F13.

Membrane actions acting over the shell.


If both types of loads are considered, we will have 6 degrees of freedom.
The adopted elements are formulated based on a numeric integration of 8 points located in both faces
of the shell. They are called the Gauss points:

Gauss points of the element.


The forces in the element are evaluated in the Gauss points using the local coordinate system and the
values obtained are extrapolated to the nodes at the corners in global coordinate system.

192
Chapter 15: Shells

Forces in the nodes calculated for each element.


The numerical procedure always produces some amount of error, the magnitude of which can be
evaluated based on the differences in the forces for each common point of the shells.

Approximated error of the forces calculated in the nodes.


It is also possible to model a triangular element, which is not suggested because the calculation and
distribution of stresses in this element is not as accurate as a traditional four-node element. It is
recommended to avoid these elements using the automatic mesh generator.

Applications for the model


There are many applications for the adopted element.
The behavior as a membrane is used when loads acting in the same plane of the shells originate the
stresses in the shells. These forces are parallel to the smallest dimension of the shell:

Membrane behavior with forces acting in the plane of the shell.


These types of loads occur frequently in shear walls with vertical and lateral forces:

193
Chapter 15: Shells

Example of a shear wall with a membrane effect.


Bending occurs when loads act perpendicular to the plates plane.

Loads that originate bending in shells.


Bending stresses frequently occur in floor slabs and mats:

Example of slabs modeled with plates.


It is also possible to have shells in three dimensions with a curvilinear axis.

194
Chapter 15: Shells

Shells with curvilinear axis.

Generating quadrangular shells


The generation of shells is similar to the generation of frame members: that is, select the nodes to
which shells will be connected to, and then select the tool to create the elements.
The generation of shells is best explained with an example:

Above is a row of four plates to be generated.


1.- Select the nodes in the order shown below. That is, first select the bottom row of nodes, and then
select the top row of nodes in the same direction.

2.- Choose the Shells/Connectivity and Description worksheet and select the Create quadrangular

shell tool .

Note

195
Chapter 15: Shells

The order of selection of nodes is very important to correctly generate the plates and to establish their
local coordinates. Take the time to check the local axis orientation of the shells. Output such as top
and bottom reinforcing steel is all presented relative to the shells local axis orientation.

If the plates have not been generated as is expected press (Ctrl + Z) from the quick access toolbar
in order to undo the generation of plates and start over.
Node selection should be done in the following order:
a) First select the bottom row of nodes in the order indicated.

b) Next select the top row of nodes in the order indicated.

Please notice that the top and bottom rows of nodes should be selected in the same direction.

It is only necessary to define big physical units; the rest of the elements may be generated
automatically by controlling the degree of segmentation (meshing).

Irregular plate divided into smaller rectangular plates.

It is possible use the Create gap with selected shells and nodes tool to enter the gap size
between shells, previously the user must select the nodes of the shell and then enter the gap size.

196
Chapter 15: Shells

So is possible use the Merge selected shells to a single element tool to merge the selected plates
to a single element. For the shell selection the user must consider the following aspects: select shells
in the same plane, with the same thickness, must have the same material and the same loads assigned.
The program will show warning messages in case of failing any of these conditions.

Generating general shell


Next we describe how to generate shells with more than four vertexes
1.- Select nodes counterclockwise to define the normal orientation of the shell

2.- Choose the Shells/Connectivity and Description worksheet and select the Create shell tool

The final result is a six vertexes shell

197
Chapter 15: Shells

Description
As with beams, the shells should be assigned a description immediately after create them.
The process for assigning the description is similar to that of beams and is explained below.
1.- Select the plates to be assigned a description, choose the Shells/Connectivity and Description.
Right click in the Description column ad select the option

2.- In the current worksheet select the tool to generate a common description for the group of
plates selected.

Entering Shell Thickness


To enter the thickness of the plates, follow these steps:
1.- Select the plates.

2.- Type the value of the thickness of the plate and replicate with the option of the general
commands of the worksheet.

198
Chapter 15: Shells

Note
To graphically view the description and thickness of the plates, active the commands Properties and
Materials from the Model group in the View tab. In the command properties is necessary that the
Shell thickness is selected.

Entering Openings in Shells


To enter openings in shell elements:
1.- Select the plates

2.- Type the values of the distances from the reference node to locate the openings, and the length
along each axis.

199
Chapter 15: Shells

Note

The user can define new openings selecting the tool to display a window with the options to
define the locations and the dimensions of the opening. To introduce new openings in more than one
shell, it is important to check that the selected shells have the same local axis.

Defining intermediate supports


To define intermediate supports, follow these steps:
1.- Select the plates
2.- Choose the Shells/Intermediate support worksheet and type the data.

200
Chapter 15: Shells

If it is required to assign only supports at ends of the shell, select the tool: .

To assign intermediate base supports select the tool: . A window will be displayed to define the
support type: fixed, pinned or compression only springs; the distance in which the intermediate
supports are going to be placed, extended from the external supports of the physical model. It must be
entered as a percentage (%) or an absolute length.

Defining local axes


To define local axes, follow these steps:
1.- Select the plates
2.- Choose the Shells/Local axes worksheet and type the data.

The user may introduce orientation of local axes of the shell directly in the worksheet or using the
following tools:

Flip shell orientation


Flip shell orientation to invert the local axis.

Align axis 1 toward selected node


Align the local axis 1 of the shell toward selected node.

201
Chapter 15: Shells

Align axis to the axis of the first selected shell


Align the axis to the local axis of the first selected shell
Note
The units of the rotation angle must be degrees.

Defining the degree of segmentation (meshing)


The degree of segmentation influences the quality of results, so is necessary set an appropriate value
considering the accuracy of analysis results, the time spent in the process and memory space engaged.

The degree of segmentation can be defined using the Segment selection tool . This tool is
located into the group Model Adjustments in the Process tab.
In the window segmentation, the user should define the maximum distance allowed between nodes
and merge node tolerance; this means that any two nodes that are closer than this tolerance are
assumed to be single node and hence they are merged during generating the mesh for shells. When
boundaries are shared, they should have the same nodes generated after the meshing of the edge to
avoid duplicate nodes. The mesh is done from the boundary of the shell, and then other unstructured
points are generated in the shell.

To mesh shells the program uses an advanced meshing library to model shells with any openings
(Computing Objects SARL). The user may modify in the advanced options the optimization level and
the shape quality ratio.

The optimization level is used to improve shape and size quality of meshed elements and it can be set
to a number between 1 and 10. Level 3 is the default value that is a good balanced between quality
and CPU (analysis time) cost.
202
Chapter 15: Shells

Shape quality ratio controls the trade-off between shape optimization and size optimization. The
default value is 0.6 that gives a slight preference to the shape quality over the size quality. It can be
set to any number between 0.1 and 1.0.
Note

Use the Segment shells tool in the Shells/Shells nodes worksheet, to segment manually the
shells.

Assigning Materials
To assign materials, follow these steps:
1.- Select the plates
2.- Choose the Shells/Materials worksheet, select the material and assign to the current shell selected
using the tool or to the current group of shells selected using

Note
In the case of a reinforced concrete slab is necessary to enter the mechanical cover too.

Pressure on the Plates


To enter pressure on the plates, follow these steps:
1.- Select the corresponding load condition from the Conditions option in the status bar.

203
Chapter 15: Shells

2.- Select the plates.

3.- Choose the Shells/Load on shells worksheet, type the value of the pressure and replicate this with
the option of the general commands of the worksheet.

Note - If the pressure in the model has the opposite direction, enter a pressure with the opposite sign.
A positive value coincides with the positive direction of the local axis 2.

Distributed loads on shell faces


To enter distributed loads on shell faces, follow these steps:
1.- Select the corresponding load condition from the Conditions option in the status bar.

2.- Select the shells.

204
Chapter 15: Shells

3.- Choose the Shells/Load on shells/Distributed loads on shell faces worksheet , type the face
where the load will be applied, the direction and the values of the load.

Note.- It is posible to add loads with the tool Assign distributed loads , from the tool bar.
To add the load in all the faces of the selected shells, just select the shells and use the tool.
To add the load in one or more faces of the selected shells, select first the shell, and then the nodes of
the face where the load will be applied

Shell interfaces
Choose the Shells/Interfaces worksheet to create shell interfaces

Once that the interface is created the user is able to assign to the interface an axial rigidity (i.e.
tension only or compression only) and the corresponding in plane and out of plane releases. The
nomenclature used is explained in the section Face Forces of this manual.
The user also is able to create interfaces using the different available tools. These tools assign an
interface to each face of the shell. Every interface allows transmitting to the shell a certain force
according to the type of the interface.
Warning! The user should note that if excessive releases are assigned to the interfaces, some of them
might become unstable.

Segmentation (meshing) of Plates


To obtain an acceptable precision in the analysis of shells, it is necessary to mesh the shell into a
reasonable number of sub-plates. In the case of very coarse meshes, subdividing is necessary in order
to reduce errors and increase precision. Model idealization and mesh subdividing is one of the most
important steps in finite element modeling.

When subdividing a mesh, same shape finite elements should be employed.

205
Chapter 15: Shells

It is strongly recommended to read the available literature on this subject before use shell elements in
the structural modeling. Engineering knowledge and judgment plays a very important role in the
structure idealization.

For example: first generate the shells that are illustrated in the graph (entering shells), and also enter
their thickness (entering thickness) and then select them.

Select plates to be subdivided.


Then, to subdivide, enter the number of segments of each plate.

The differences between the forces in the nodes calculated in contiguous shells are good parameters
to determine the precision obtained with the subdivision of the plates. It is important to mention that
this precision diminishes at the borders.
Another possibility for determining the precision obtained is to study the convergence of the results,
performing two calculations with two different subdivisions. Large differences in the results will
indicate that a larger number of plates are needed to accurately model the structural behavior. As an
example, the case of a rectangular slab is presented. The slab is fixed in the four borders and it is a
reinforced concrete slab. The dimensions of the slab are: 30 ft x 15 ft and a uniform pressure is acting
from top to bottom. This example will be used in several sections of this chapter and will be referred
to as Shell1. It is a very simple example, and there are tables with the solutions for the stresses and
deflections following classic methods.

206
Chapter 15: Shells

Characteristics of the adopted example.


The results obtained by tables are:
Main moments: on support Mxx = -0.084*p*l, at mid span Mxx = -0.041*p*l
Secondary moments: on support Mzz = -0.058*p*l, at mid span Mzz = 0.010*p*l
Maximum deflection: = 0.030*p*l4/(E*t3)
Where l = the least span, in this case = 15 ft
E = Deformation Modulus
t = thickness of the shell
p = applied uniform pressure
= Poisson Coefficient
Three different numbers of subdivisions are adopted: 2x4, 4x8 and 8x16:

207
Chapter 15: Shells

Different subdivisions used in calculations.


The results (*) obtained are:
Description Tables 2x4 4x8 8x16
M11 on supports -3.78 -3.05 -3.49 -3.69
(Kip)
M11 at mid span 1.85 3.05 2.13 1.90
(Kip)
M33 on supports -2.61 -1.55 -2.30 -2.50
(Kip)
M33 at mid span 0.45 1.12 0.72 0.63
(Kip)
Maximum 0.00468 0.00620 0.0057 0.00562
deflection (ft) 7

Printing the results


This section describes the reports provided for the RAM Elements Shell element. These reports are
provided by selecting the command Analysis into the group Report in the Output tab. The report
options available are shown in the shell frame of the dialog shown in the next figure.

208
Chapter 15: Shells

Print Analysis window

Shell stresses
In this report the shell stresses acting on each shell node are shown. The in-plane and out-of-plane
forces determine the value of the stresses on both faces of a shell. Thus, each node has two points
where the stresses are calculated. One located at the top face or +t/2 of the shell middle fiber and the
other at the bottom face or-t/2 of the shell middle fiber. Note that both the top and bottom face are
relative to shell local axes.

Figure that shows the stresses in the local axes with the positive directions.
The shell stresses are defined as the forces per unit area of the plate that act within the element to
resist the applied loads. The different stresses at each node are:
11, 33: In-plane normal stresses in the Axes 1 and 3 directions.
13: The shear force along the edge.
12, 13: Transverse shear stress.
22: Transverse direct stress (it is always assumed equal to zero).
The main or principal stresses are:

209
Chapter 15: Shells

max: Total maximum stress in the plane formed by the plate.


min: Total minimum stress.
Ang : The angle of the main axes in relation to the local axes.
max: Maximum transverse shear stress (average for both faces)
Ang: : The angle of the maximum shear stress in relation to local axes.
Von Mises: The uniaxial equivalent stress proposed by von Mises (used for the design of steel
plates). It is calculated with the following expression:
e = (x + y - x*y + 3*)1/2
Where:
e = von Missed uniaxial equivalent stress
x, y = biaxial stresses referred to any coordinate system
= Shear stress related to the former biaxial stresses
All the calculated stresses consider bending and membrane forces.

Example of a Shell Stresses Report

Internal forces in nodes


They are defined as the resultant forces and moments considering the stresses along the thickness of
the shell per unit length. These forces are:
210
Chapter 15: Shells

F11, F33: Normal membrane forces.


F13: Membrane shear force.
M11, M33: Bending moments around Axis 1 and Axis 3.
M13: Twisting moment.
V12, V23: Transverse shear forces.
The main forces are:
Fmax: Maximum axial force.
Fmin: Minimum axial force.
Ang F: The angle of the main forces in relation to the local axes.
M max: Maximum bending moment.
M min: Minimum bending moment.
Ang M: The angle of the main moments in relation to the local axes.
Vmax: Maximum shear force (average)
Ang V: The angle of the maximum shear force in relation to local axes.
The adopted sign convention is according to local axes.

Adopted sign convention for internal forces in nodes.

Corner Forces
The local corner forces are internal forces that are acting on each node of the plate. The convention
adopted to display such forces is given in the following figure and it is related to the global axes.

Sign convention for corner forces according to global axes.


This option is useful to verify the magnitude of each force that must be in equilibrium with the force
of the contiguous shell. As it was stated before, the precision of the number of plates applied to a
specific problem is in direct relation to the equilibrium of these forces.

211
Chapter 15: Shells

The option to get the envelope of corner forces is also included. This option displays the maximum
local forces acting for the chosen load combinations. It is very useful for design purposes.

Face forces
This option shows the forces acting on each lateral face of the shells:

Face forces with the adopted sign convention.


It is very useful in the design step, mainly in the design of shear walls, because it allows having the
loads act on different sections of the wall. The adopted sign convention is:

Shear forces, V and S according to the former figure.


Warping moment, M22, according to local axis 2.
Axial force, F, positive for tension and negative for compression.
Bending moments, M, positive if the bottommost fiber is in tension and negative otherwise.
In a similar way as for the envelope of corner forces, RAM Elements allows printing the envelope of
the face forces considering the selected load conditions. This option provides the range of values of
the face forces.

Graphic environment

The Stresses command allows displaying stresses and other results in a highly graphical
manner. A graphic can show many results at the same time in an easy, clear and concise manner.
This command is locate into the Analysis group in the View tab.

212
Chapter 15: Shells

When this option is activate, an additional window appears where the units, the parameter name and
range are displayed. There is also a submenu where is possible to find the list of parameters that can
be displayed and several options to display the graphs.
The list of parameters is:

Frame members (default)


This option is used to view the stresses in the frame members (see the Examples Manual for more
details).
The selected shells are shown in white with this option.

Stresses
The stresses that can be seen graphically are:
Von Misses stresses. They are the equivalent uniaxial stress proposed by von Mises and used
in the design of steel plates. For more details see the section Principal stresses in the section
Printing results.
11, 33 and 13, the normal and shear stresses in the local axes.
max, min, the main or principal normal stresses.
12 and 23, the transverse shear stresses in planes 1-2 and 2-3 respectively.
max, the main or principal transverse shear stress (averaged from both sides)
It is also possible to see the different stresses related to a coordinate system rotated a specified
angle (i.e. ) referring to the local axes.

213
Chapter 15: Shells

Stress contours for a membrane stresses example.

Internal forces in nodes


The internal forces that can be seen graphically are:
F11, F33 and F13, the normal forces and in-plane shear force related to the local axes.
Fmax and Fmin, the principal normal forces.
M11, M33 and M13, the bending and torsion unitary moments related to the local axes.
Mmax and Mmin, the principal bending moments.
V12 and V23, the transverse shear forces.
Vmax, the principal shear force (averaged)
It is also possible to see the different forces and bending moments related to a coordinate
system rotated a specified angle (i.e. ) referring to the local axis 1.

Contours for a bending forces example.

Smooth
The option uses an algorithm that averages the values obtained in contiguous shells. This
action smoothes the contour lines displayed.

214
Chapter 15: Shells

Example of the effects of the option smooth.

Envel and Max

The options (Envel and Max) provide the envelope graph for the stress selected. When the
option Max is activated, the envelope is calculated considering only positive values of stresses. When
Max is deactivated, the envelope is calculated considering only negative values of stresses Note that
these options work only with load combinations.
In the next figure the positive and the negative envelopes for the moment M11 are presented for the
example Shell1. The load combination used is C1 = DL

Positive and negative envelopes for the bending moment M11 in model Shell1.
215
Chapter 15: Shells

Stresses on both sides of the shell

The Stresses command displays the thickness and then stresses on both sides of the shells
selected. This command is located into the Analysis group in the View tab

References
Computing Objects SARL, (2005), CM2 MeshTools, www.computing-objects.com

216
Chapter 16: Creating New Types of Sections with Macros

Chapter 16: Creating New Types of Sections with


Macros
RAM Elements has the ability to allow the user to create any type of sections. These are included in
the program with macros where their shape and geometrical parameters are defined. It is also possible
to define how the main section properties will be calculated based on the cross section proportions
(such as width, height, thickness).
The adopted macro language is very simple: It is called LEO (Language for Engineering Objects) and
it is used for different applications within RAM Elements. (For more details please refer to the
Annex)
This chapter shows how to create new section types (all the files to be created have to be stored in the
Leos folder of the main RE directory):
1. Create a new 16x16 pixels bitmap drawing. To do this, use any drawing software that can
handle BMP format, such as the Paint program that comes with Windows. This drawing
should illustrate the new shape.
2. Create a 100x100-bitmap drawing that clearly shows the dimensions and variables of the
profile. This drawing will be used for some reports too.
3. Create an htm file with any text editor able to save files in this format. Insert the bitmap
created in the former step. It is also possible to add a remark. Note that this file will serve as
the Help context for the user when they enter the cross section data.
4. Next, create the macro for the section type using any available text editor.
All macros that come with the program have been created as described in this chapter. It is advisable
to take a look at the available macros located in the RAM Elements/Leos folder.
The best way to create a new macro for sections is to use and modify an existing one.
Lets create a section type that will be called TEST.
1) Create a new 16x16-pixel bitmap drawing and save it as TEST_16x16.bmp in the folder \RAM
Elements\Leos.

Example of 16x16 bmp


For other section types, replace the word TEST with the name of the section desired to create.
2) Create a new 100x100-pixel bitmap drawing that shows the dimensions and variables of the
profile, then save it as TEST_100x100.bmp in the folder \RAM Elements\Leos.

217
Chapter 16: Creating New Types of Sections with Macros

Example of a 100x100 bmp.


3) Open an htm editor like Microsoft Word supplied with Microsoft Windows and insert the
drawing. Add some remarks if desired. Save it as Test.htm in the folder \RAM Elements\Leos.

5. Create the macro for the new section type. It advisable to copy a macro of an existing section
type, which is similar to the new one. Select the desired file and copy it in the same folder.
Rename the file and execute the text editor to open the new macro.

218
Chapter 16: Creating New Types of Sections with Macros

A Text Editor(NotePad) with a macro for sections. Note that it is divided in three parts.
The macros for sections have three parts. The first one is where the common properties or general
parameters are defined. The second part defines the section variables or the input data for the section,
for example the height, width, etc. Finally, the last part contains the subroutines that define the
section. There we find the askUser function that defines the order and characteristics of the input
data, the SectionShape function that defines the geometry of the section, and others. The next section
of the manual details the characteristics of each part.
The macro of each section type is stored in a basic text file with the extension .leo, located in the
Leos folder of the main RAM Elements directory. Note that the macros of previous versions (before
6.0) with .def extension have been replaced.
Warning- If this file contains errors, RAM Elements will not necessarily give an error message, and
therefore the properties of the sections could be incorrect. The reason is that as in any programming
language, the file should be without syntax errors. The user is responsible for verifying that the
section properties are correct.

Common parameters:
This part contains commands for the general definition of the section. For example, it is necessary to
include the following line:
(To set In (inches) as the default unit for a shape, include the following line)
UNIT='In'
(To set Cm (centimeters) as the default unit for a shape, include the following line)
UNIT='Cm'
As can be seen, a command consists in this case in the assignation of a default value to a parameter.
Note that if a string is assigned to the parameter, the string is between quotation marks.
The most common commands are explained below:

Default Units
Command action:
Assigns the default units to a shape (cm, in or mm). When a new section is created the specified unit
will show by default. However, it is possible to change it when creating the section, if desired.
Syntax:
UNIT=<unit>
Allowable values for <Unit>:
cm: Centimeters
in: Inches
mm: Milimeters

Section type
Command action:
Instructs RAM Elements which procedure should be used to calculate section properties.
219
Chapter 16: Creating New Types of Sections with Macros

Syntax
TYPE=<type>
Allowable values for <type>
LINEOPEN: shape is an open section composed by elements that are thin in comparison with its
overall dimensions. Normally it is applicable to steel shapes such as L, I, W, S, T2L, etc.
LINECLOSED: section is also composed of thin elements but they belong to a closed shape such as:
square box, pipe, etc.
SOLID: shape is solid. This is applicable to square solid bars, round bars, reinforced concrete
sections, etc.

Shape
Command action:
Describes the shape of the section. Used for steel and wood design.
Syntax
SHAPE=<shape>
<Shape> is a string of maximum 5 characters that describes briefly the form of the section. The
strings used in the program are: 'Built Box', 'C', 'Circle', 'Circular', 'Compound', 'I', 'L', 'Rectangular',
'Spaced', 'T', 'Z'
All shapes as 'I', 'C', 'L', 'T', etc, have to be defined using these strings in the macros used in
RE. The reason is that the design processes use this property to recognize the shape in order to apply
the correct formulae of the Specifications.

Design code
Command action:
Specifies the design code to be used with this shape.
Syntax
CODE=<code>
Allowable values for <code>
HOTROLLED: Section is made from hot rolled steel and will be designed with -ASD, -
LRFD or codes, as applicable.
COLDFORMED: Section is made from cold-formed steel and will be designed with -ASD or
-LRFD codes, as applicable.
BS_COLDFORMED: Section is made from cold-formed steel and will be designed with Code
WOOD: Section is made of wood (lumber or glulam) and will be designed with -ASD Code.
RCONCRETE: Section is made of reinforced concrete and will be designed with or EH codes,
as selected.

220
Chapter 16: Creating New Types of Sections with Macros

OTHER: Any other section or profile that does not belong to the categories explained above, such as
aluminum.

, Design formulation
Command action:
It is only used for wood and steel with British Standards.
For wood sections, RAM Elements has to know if it is lumber or glulam.
Note. It is very important to understand this instruction and its effects on the design of the new
section template. Please see the chapters on Design of Steel Members () for how the program has
implemented the code provisions or the chapter devoted to wood design.
Syntax
FORMULATION=<formulation>
Allowable values for <formulation>
Allowable values for <formulation> are GEN, TUBE, IC, for steel sections ( ) and LUMBER or
GLULAM for wood. Each one of these formulations represents a different approach, as stated by the
BS or NDS codes. These approaches (or formulations) are:

IC: Assign this formulation only to I (W, HP, S, UB, UC or Joists) and C shapes.
This formulation applies to rolled or welded I or H cross sections (BS).
TUBE: This formulation should be used with Tube and Pipes shapes.
This formulation is intended for hot finished RHS or cold formed RHS
GEN: This formulation is used for other sections.
For wood members, the following formulations are available:
LUMBER: This formulation should be used with rectangular and rounded sections. Spaced columns
are also considered. This formulation is explained in Chapter 4 of the NDS-Specifications.
GLULAM: This formulation should be used only with rectangular sections. It is explained in Chapter
5 of the NDS Specifications.

Connection
Command action:
This command indicates if the connection between flange and web is continuous or intermittent
(welded). If the shape is hot rolled then the connection is continuous. If the shape is welded then the
connection is intermittent (built-up members).
Syntax
CONNECTION=<connection>
Allowable values for <connection>
CONTINUOUS: Connection between flanges and web is continuous

221
Chapter 16: Creating New Types of Sections with Macros

NONCONTINUOUS: Connection between flanges and web isn't continuous

Category
Command Action:
It is an additional classification that is used for reinforced concrete members. It helps to determine the
type of members suitable for the section (it is only a descriptive property).
Syntax:
CATEGORY=<Category>
Allowable values for <category> are
BEAM, COLUMN and WALL

Commentary
Command action:
To make any comment concerning the shape. The commentary does not have an affect on properties
or the design. This can be used, for instance, if the shape has unequal legs, some unique shape, or any
other unusual condition to communicate to the user. This commentary appears when the user creates
new sections.
Syntax
COMMENTARY=<commentary>
Allowable values for <commentary>
Any pertinent commentary.
All the previous commands can be illustrated with an example. Lets define an angle section type
with the following data:

Geometrical data of the angle.


The following command lines should be included:
UNIT='In' //Defines inches as the default unit
TYPE='LineOpen' //it is an open section
SHAPE='L' //The shape is L, it is very important for the design of the shape
CODE='HOTROLLED'
FORMULATION='L' //Not used any more for AISC Specifications
CONNECTION='Continuous' //It is a laminated shape
COMMENTARY='(AISC L with unequal legs)'

222
Chapter 16: Creating New Types of Sections with Macros

Section variables
These commands specify the name, the default value and tags of the variables required for calculating
section properties of the new section type. Many variables can be created to define the shape
dimensions.
Syntax
Name of the variable = default value [units] tag <string>
Name of the variable. When possible, use a descriptive name with few characters. The first one
should always be a letter (shouldn't be a number) following the general rules for variable names in
LEO. For example:
a
bf
d2
t
The tag is a text description of the variable. For instance, "Total height", "Width", "Web thickness",
"Internal bending radius".
Examples for variable definitions are:
a = 0.0 [cm] tag 'Section height'
bf = 1.0 [in] tag 'Flange thickness'
Note that the default value has not to be necessarily zero. The units between brackets define the units
for the variable.
In order to follow the different steel design codes for specific shapes, it is required to adopt unique
names for certain variables (in lower or upper case). The shapes with specific variables are:
Shapes with IC formulation (I, C or T shapes)
d: height
tf: flange thickness
tw: web thickness
bf: flange width
r: radio (only for BS)
k,k1 distances (only for AISC)
Rectangle shapes (tube formulation)
Rectangular and/or square tubes:
a: height
b: width
t: thickness
Pipes
d: diameter
223
Chapter 16: Creating New Types of Sections with Macros

t: thickness
Built-up I shapes:
d: height
tf1: top flange thickness
tf2: bottom flange thickness
tw: web thickness
bf1: top flange width
bf2: bottom flange width
L Shapes (L formulation)
a: height
b: width (only for unequal legs)
t: thickness
Rectangular sections for wood:
a: height
b: width
t: thickness
Circular sections for wood:
d: diameter
t: thickness
Other shapes do not have any restrictions.
Following the example of the angle section, the required variables are:
//section variables
a = 0.0[in] tag 'Height'
b = 0.0[in] tag 'Width'
T = 0.0[in] tag 'Thickness'
k = 0.0[in] tag 'Distance k'

Prop AskUser
This subroutine defines the data that will be required. In general two types of command lines are
used:
Declaration:
Html(fileName as string)
This shows the help context that will be used when the data is asked. Specify a htm file that has to be
located in the Leos folder of the main directory of the program.
Declaration:

224
Chapter 16: Creating New Types of Sections with Macros

Ask(ref data, caption as string)


This requests information from the user>
Syntax
Prop AskUser()
html(<FileName.htm>)
ask(Variable name, <input line>)
...
End Prop
The variable has to be previously declared.
The input line contains the text that will be associated with the requested variable
Following with the example of the angle section, the required subroutine is:
//user defined values
Prop askUser()
html('Test') //The help context that will be shown in the input data
ask(a, 'Height') //First, the section height is asked
ask(b, 'Width') //Then the section width
ask(T, 'Thickness') //and finally the thickness
ask(k, 'Distance k') //This factor is only used for connections design
End Prop

Prop Section Shape


The geometry of the section and some design properties are defined in this subroutine.

Node
Declaration:
Node(id as integer, x as float, y as float)
In order to define a new shape create nodes and then connect them with lines or elements.
Command action:
Creates a node that defines an edge of the section.
Note. - The word "Node", as defined here, does not have any relation with the Node element of a
structure.
Syntax
NODE (<Node number or identifier>, <X coordinate>, <Y coordinate>)
The node is defined by an identifier and its coordinates. This command has to be repeated the
required number of times to define all the edges of the desired section.
The following lines have to be included for the example of the angle section:
225
Chapter 16: Creating New Types of Sections with Macros

Coordinates of the required nodes


//Nodes
Node(1, 0, 0)
Node(2, -b+0.5*t, 0)
Node(3, -b+0.5*t, a-0.5*t)
The nodes that were defined are:

SetLine...EndLine
Declaration:
SetLine(thickness as float, radius as simple)
EndLine
Command action:
It allows to define the different elements of a section including the thickness and internal bent radius.
Note that after starting this command, a variable number of lines can be adopted to include elements
and their properties. The commands that are used within SetLine are: Rigid, Closed and Segment.
Notice that at the end a line with the word EndLine indicates that the line definition has finished.
Syntax
SetLine(<variable for line thickness>, <variable for bent radius>)
To define the line thickness, adopt any section variable as for example t. The bent radius has
normally a value grater than zero for cold formed steel sections. The variable for the bent radius has
also to be previously defined. If there is no bent radius, enter the a zero value 0.
Next, the subroutine applied to the angle section example can be found:

//lines

226
Chapter 16: Creating New Types of Sections with Macros

SetLine(T, 0)
//Other commands like rigid or closed are not included, they will be explained further in this
chapter
Segment(1, 2)
Segment(2, 3)
EndLine

Segment
Declaration:
Segment(n1 as integer, n2 as integer)
Command Action:
It determines a line segment between two nodes (n1 and n2). This command has to be always within
a SetLine. The actual values of rigid and closed will be assigned to the new segment
Syntax:
Segment(<Initial node identifier>, <final node identifier>)
Two instruction lines are required for the angle section example:

Segment(1,2)

Segment(2,3)
Rigid(ity)
Declaration:
Rigid(value as integer)
Command action:
This command specifies how to geometrically consider each of the elements of a steel cross section.
For AISC :
RAM Elements does not need this information for hot-rolled sections with known shapes such as I,
C, HSS, etc. This information is only used when a built-up section is specified, to determine if the
section is compact, non-compact or slender.

227
Chapter 16: Creating New Types of Sections with Macros

Rigid Value Use


1, Legs of double angles with separators.
2 T section stem.
3 Unstiffened elements (supported along one edge).
4 Flanges of rectangular box and hollow structural sections of uniform thickness.
5 Stiffened elements (supported alod both edges).
6 Webs of doubly symmetric I-shaped sections and channels.
7 Legs of single angles.
8 Circular hollow sections.
9 Flanges of I-shaped rolled beams and channels.

For BS :
Rigid Value Use
1 Outstanding leg of an angle in contact back-to-back in a double angle member.
2 Stem of a T-section, rolled or cut from a rolled I- or H-section.
3 Angle,compression due to bending (both criteria should be satisfied)
4 Internal element of compression flange.
6 Webs of an I-, H-, C- or box sections
7 Single angle, or double angles with the components separated, axial compression. (All
three criteria should be satisfied)
8 Circular hollow section - including welded tube .
9 Flanges of I-shaped rolled beams

For AISI :
Rigid Value Use
0 Rigid element (default).
1 Not rigid element.
2 Lip.
3 Flange with lip.

For AS:

228
Chapter 16: Creating New Types of Sections with Macros

The rigidity is determined by the connectivity of each segment. It is not necessary to include the
Rigid command manually in the LEOs for this specification. Consideration for a segment if
connected to other at both ends (rigid) or just one end (not rigid) is given.

SetSolid
Declaration:
SetSolid
EndSolid
Action command:
This command defines the perimeter shape of a solid section. Between the reserved words SetSolid
and EndSolid three or more Segment commands have to be included. The EndSolid finishes the
definition of the solid section.
Syntax
SetSolid
Segment(n1,n2)
Segment(n2,n3)
....Segment(n3,n4)
...
End Solid
Important
Notice that the border should be closed. If started with node 1 should be ended with node 1 in a
clockwise direction.

The commands for the definition of the previous figure are:


//solids
SetSolid
Segment(1, 4)
Segment(4, 3)
Segment(3, 2)
Segment(2, 1)
EndSolid

Bars and Bar


Declaration:

229
Chapter 16: Creating New Types of Sections with Macros

Bars(x1 as float, y1 as float, x2 as float, y2 as float, nroBars as integer, setInitial as boolean)


Bar(x as float, y as float)
Command action:
The command Bars allows to specify the number of bars that will be drawn in 3D for reinforced
concrete members, while the command Bar draws only one bar. Both commands are used normally
after defining a solid section with SetSolid.
Syntax
BARS (<X coordinate of the initial point>, <Y coordinate of the initial point>, <X coordinate of the
final point>, <Y coordinate of the final point>, <number of spaces between bars in the line between
the initial and final points>, <0 or 1 to determine if a bar will be drawn on the initial point>)
BAR (<X coordinate of the bar>, <Y coordinate of the bar>)
The following is an example of the application of this command for a rectangular reinforced concrete
section:

The commands to define the reinforcement of the section consider a coordinate system with its center
on the bottom left corner of the section.
//Bars
Bars(s, s, b-s, s, 3, true) //Draw 3 spaces with 4 bars at the bottom part
Bar(b-s, h-s) //Draw one bar at the top right corner
Bar(s, h-s) //Draw one bar at the top left corner

Join
Declaration:
Join(thickness as float, n1 as integer, n2 as integer)
Action command:
This command indicates the nodes that are considered joined when a single section is made up of
more than one individual profile (like a W and C-section).
Syntax
Join(<variable for join thickness>,<node of the first group of elements>,<node of the second group of
elements>)
Note that the nodes to be joined must be very close.
An example for this command can be found in the C&C section where it is used to join nodes 3 and 5
of the two shapes (groups of elements) with a thickness given by the tf2 variable in the following
way:
230
Chapter 16: Creating New Types of Sections with Macros

Example for the application of the Join command


Join(tf2, 3, 5) //join nodes 3 and 5 with a thickness equal to tf2

Closed
Declaration:
Closed(value as boolean)
Action command:
This command allows to indicate which elements are connected in a closed shape (i.e. a box or a
tubular section). It is used with the SetLine command.
Syntax
Closed(<0 or 1>)
Where
0: Is for open elements
1: Is for closed elements
The application of the command can be illustrated with the following box section

SetLine(t,0)
...
Closed(1) //The following segments will be considered part of a closed section
Segment(1,2)
Segment(2,3)
Segment(3,4)
Segment(4,1)
EndLine

Line
Declaration
231
Chapter 16: Creating New Types of Sections with Macros

Line(thickness as float, radius as simple, rigid as integer, close as integer, n1 as integer, n2 as integer)
Command action:
This is an alternative command to create a segment that connects two nodes with a line including all
the characteristics of the line as bent radius and rigidity in a single command.
Syntax
Line(<thickness>, <bent radius>,<rigid>,<closed>,<initial node>, <final node>)
For the example of the angular section, the following command lines are required:
Line(t, 0,7,0,1,2) //Draws a line with thickness = t, without bent radius, rigid=10, open segments
between nodes 1 and 2
Line(t,0,7,0,2,3) //Draws a line with thickness = t, without bent radius, rigid=10, open segments
between nodes 2 and 3

232
Chapter 17: Creating Structure Templates

Chapter 17: Creating Structure Templates


RAM Elements allows creating users own structure templates and incorporating them into the
program. This chapter will explain how to create users own templates.
To create a Template, the following steps should be done:

1. Create a new drawing (jpg format) that represents the Template


2. Create a larger drawing (jpg format) that shows dimensions and variables
3. Create a text file that contains the Template definition
All the Templates that come with the program have been created as described in this chapter. It is
advisable to take a look at the available templates located in the RAM Elements\Templates folder.
The best way to create a new template is to use and modify an existing one.

Let's suppose that we want to create a new template named TEST. In the example that follows we
will create a template called TEST.
Proceed as follows:
1. Create a new drawing of 20x20 pixels (recommended size)
2. Save the 20x20 drawing with the name TEST_20x20.jpg in the folder RAM
Elements\Templates
3. Create a new bitmap drawing of 150x150 pixels and save it as TEST_ 150x150.jpg at the
RAM Elements\Templates folder.
4. Create a new text file as explained next and save it as TEST.tpl in the same RAM
Elements\Templates folder.

Create a new 20x20 pixels drawing and save it as TEST_20x20.jpg in the RAM Elements\Templates
folder.

Create a new150x150 pixels bitmap drawing and save it as TEST_150x150.jpg at the RAM
Elements\Templates folder.

233
Chapter 17: Creating Structure Templates

Create a new text file as indicated next and save it as TEST.tpl in the RAM Elements\Templates
folder.
Note. - To create the bitmap drawing, use the Paint program from Windows or any other program
that supports the JPG format.

The TEXT.tpl file


The *.TPL file defines how the structure will be created and it has a specific format that allows RAM
Elements to recognize it.
Warning. When the *.tpl file contains errors, RAM Elements will not give any error message
therefore the created structure may have errors.

The TPL file


The TPL file is a text file with the required commands to define the creation of a structure. Each
command can take one or more lines. Most commands take more than one line.
For instance, to start a template, write the following:
TITLE
As can be seen, one line composes the command in this case: TITLE.

Following is an explanation of the most common commands:

TITLE
Command action: It starts a template
Start a template.

Syntax:
TITLE
GROUP
Command action:
Use this command to define the group where the template will be located.
Syntax:
Group= <group name>
Allowable values of <group name>:
If possible, use a single word and the first character should be a letter not a number. Example:
Triangle
Pitched
Curved Truss
DIMENSION

234
Chapter 17: Creating Structure Templates

Command action:
Use this command to define the type of template.
Syntax:
DIMENSION
Type= <dimension type>
Allowable values of <dimension type>:
BASE (for templates that will be used by other templates)
TRUSS (for templates used only for planar trusses)
2D (for templates in 2D)
2D-3D (for 2D or 3D templates, general purpose templates)

VARIABLES
Command action:
Use this command to declare the variables required by the template to generate the structure. Notice
that this command requires several lines.
Syntax:
VAR
Name= <name>
Type = <var type>
Default= <default value>
Refvar= <reference variable name>
Html= <html file>
AlwaysVisible = <Boolean variable>
Allowable values of <name>:
Name of the variable. If possible, don't use more than two characters and the first character should be
a letter not a number. Normally in uppercases. Example:
A
L
NS
Allowable <var type>
INT(integer), DBL (double), STR (string), BOOL (Boolean), DBLU (double precision)
Allowable values of <default value>:
The default value of the variable. This is the value that RAM Elements will assign in the event that
the user omitted entering a value. The value should be in function of the type. Example:
2

235
Chapter 17: Creating Structure Templates

0
desc1
Note. - The variables created using this command will appear in the dialog box that shows up when
the template is executed.
Refvar
Name of a variable that is related for scaling purposes. For example, if H0 is referenced to H and
if H is reduced in 50%, then H0 will be reduced in the same proportion
Html file
Name of a help html file (located in the html folder) that will be called when the variable will be
entered.
AlwaysVisible
Flag to define if the variable will be always visible. If it is true, the variable will have to be defined
even if it is called within RAM Elements.

SELECT
Command action:
This command indicates how many nodes should be selected to use the template. This is a very
important command to validate the node selection. If this command is left out, the structure generated
by RAM Elements may contain errors.

Syntax:
SELECT
Nodes= <number of nodes>
Values of <number of nodes>:
The number of nodes that the user must select before using the template. Example:
1
2
3
4
5

LINE
Command action:
This command creates a line between two nodes selected by the user. The line can be segmented into
a number of frame members. The members of the line are assigned with a description. If there is
already a line of members between the two nodes, they will not be modified. Note that it is possible
to define also physical members if only the two extreme nodes of a member are considered. (See the
Joist.tpl template as an example).

236
Chapter 17: Creating Structure Templates

Syntax:
LINE
Group= <member description>
NS= <number of segments>
N1=<n1>
N2=<n2>
Values for <member description>:
The description to be assigned to the members that will be created. After using the template the user
may modify the member's descriptions. Example:
Col1
"Beam1"
"g1
"H1"
desc1
Values of <number of segments>:
The number of segments (or frame members) of the line that is being created. Example: any integer
value, variable or formula.
3
ns
(ns-2)/2
Values of <n1>:
The initial node of the line to be created. Notice that this is selection order of the nodes, not the
absolute number of the nodes. Example:
1 (first selected node)
2 (second selected node)
3 (third selected node)
Up to the number of selected nodes.
Values of <n2>
The final node of the line to be created.
Notice that these numbers (n1 and n2) refer to the order of selection of the nodes. Therefore, for
example, if 5 nodes were selected, and if creating a line between the 4th and 2nd nodes is desired, n1
and n2 should be:
4 {n1=initial node of the line i.e. the 4th selected node}
2 {n2=final node of the line i.e. the 2nd selected node}

237
Chapter 17: Creating Structure Templates

Example: to create a line between the 1st and 2nd selected nodes, as illustrated in the figure above of a
triangular truss, enter the next command:
LINE
Group= G1 {frame members description}
NS= NS {variable for number of segments}
N1=1 {line starts at the 1st selected node}
N2=2 {line ends at the 2nd selected node}

WEB
Command action:
This command creates one or more diagonal members between two lines of members. The diagonal
elements can also be sub-divided. If there is any member between the nodes to be generated, it is not
replaced.

Syntax:
WEB
Group= <description>
N1= <n1>
N2= <n2>
N3= <n3>
N4= <n4>
NS=<number of segments>
OffsetINI1=<initial offset 1-2>
OffsetINI2<initial offset 3-4>
OffsetEND1<final offset 1-2>
OffsetEND2<final offset 3-4>
Step=<step>
WebSegNo<number of segments in each diagonal member>

238
Chapter 17: Creating Structure Templates

Description by default of diagonal members.


Please notice that the default description can be a variable previously defined, instead of a constant
value.
Values for <n1>, <n2>, <n3>, and <n4>
Normally, two lines of elements, as illustrated in the next figure delimit the diagonal elements.

Two lines (defined by n1-n2 and n3-n4) delimit the diagonal elements.

Line 1 is the line determined by n1-n2. Line 2 is the line determined by n3-n4.

Initial offset 1-2 is the offset of the diagonal related to the n1 node.

239
Chapter 17: Creating Structure Templates

Initial offset 3-4 is the offset of the diagonal related to the n3 node.

Final offset 1-2 is the offset related to the n2 node, where the diagonals should end. Notice that this
value should be zero or negative.

Final offset 3-4 is the offset related to the n4 node, where the diagonals should end. Note that this
value should be zero or negative.

This is the step between one diagonal element and another. Notice that it should be 1 or greater.

Each diagonal can be segmented into various pieces. Enter 1 or zero if segmenting the diagonal is
not desired, or the number of pieces to segment the element.

TEMPLATE
Command action:
240
Chapter 17: Creating Structure Templates

Executes a template like a subroutine. An example of this command can be seen in the
RoofTruss1.tpl template that is located at the folder RAM Elements\Templates.
Syntax
TEMPLATE
Name=<template>
Nodes=<n1>; <n2>; <n3>
Vars=<assign variables>
Values of <template>
It is the name of the template to be executed. The template to be executed should be located in the
templates directory (RAM Elements\templates). Example:
TITLE
Group= Pitched
DIMENSION
Type= 2D-3D
VAR
Name= NS
Default= 2
AlwaysVisible = True
# NS is the number of nodes that should be selected in order to execute the template to be called up.
SELECT
Nodes= 6
# This selects the desired nodes for the template that is being called up. Notice that this is the
selection order of the nodes.
# Now call a template:
TEMPLATE
Name= TRUSS1.TPL
Nodes= 2; 1; 5; 4
Vars= NS
These are the parameters (variables values) required by the template to be called in the same order as
they are present in the dialog box.
Consequently, to call the Trian1 template, which required 4 selected nodes and the number of
segments, the command will be as defined previously.
CURVE
It defines a curve instead of a line (see the BaseBowstring.tpl)
Remarks

241
Chapter 17: Creating Structure Templates

Use the following character to insert a remark line #','/';

Example 1: Creating a template


In this example, the template illustrated below is going to be created:

Arbitrarily, we decide that the user should select 4 nodes in the illustrated order. Note that the order
is arbitrary but not the number of nodes.

We'll allow the user to enter the number of segments and this value will be stored in the NS variable.

By default, we'll use the member descriptions illustrated above


Note. - The name of this template is example1.
The following are the steps required to create this template:

1) Create a 20x20-pixel drawing


The first step is to create illustrative 20x20 pixels drawing of the template in jpg format. To do this,
use the Paint software that comes with Windows.

Illustrative 20x20 pixels drawing, in jpg format.

242
Chapter 17: Creating Structure Templates

Then save the drawing as example1_20x20.jpg in the folder RAM Elements\Templates.

2) Create a detailed 150x150-pixel bitmap drawing


The second step is to create a detailed 150x150 pixels drawing in BMP format.

Detailed drawing of 150x150 pixels, in bmp format.


Then, save the picture as example1_150x150.jpg in the RAM Elements/Templates folder.
Note. - This drawing should clearly identify the selection order of the nodes and any variable that
will need to be provided by the end user.

3) Create the TPL file


Now, the example1.tpl is going to be created. This file defines how the template will work.
The file will be as follows:
# Starting the template
TITLE
Group= Staggered
DIMENSION
2D-3D
# variable to store the number of segments
VAR
Name= NS
Default= 2
AlwaysVisible = True
# 4 nodes should be selected before using this template
SELECT
Nodes= 4
# Generation of the first and last vertical members, respectively
LINE
Group= G3
NS= 2
N1= 1
243
Chapter 17: Creating Structure Templates

N2= 3
LINE
Group= G3
NS= 2
N1= 2
N2= 4
# Generation of the horizontal members
LINE
Group= G1
NS= NS
N1= 1
N2= 2
LINE
Group= G2
NS= NS
N1= 3
N2= 4
# Generation of the middle vertical members
WEB
Group= G3
Type= 3
N1= 1
N2= 2
N3= 3
N4= 4
NS= NS
OffsetINI1= 1
OffsetINI2= 1
OffsetEND1= -1
OffsetEND2= -1
Step= 1
WebSegNo= 2
# Generation of the diagonal members
WEB
244
Chapter 17: Creating Structure Templates

Group= G4
Type= 3
N1= 1
N2= 2
N3= 5
N4= 6
NS= NS
OffsetINI1= 0
OffsetINI2= 1
OffsetEND1= -1
OffsetEND2= 0
Step= 1
WebSegNo= 0
WEB
Group= G4
Type= 3
N1= 5
N2= 6
N3= 3
N4= 4
NS= NS
OffsetINI1= 1
OffsetINI2= 0
OffsetEND1= 0
OffsetEND2= -1
Step= 1
WebSegNo= 0

Example 2: Creating a template


In the following example we will create the template that is illustrated below:

245
Chapter 17: Creating Structure Templates

In this template we want the user to select the nodes as illustrated. Notice that there are 8 nodes.

Two variables are required to store the desired number of segments. These values will be stored in
the NS1 and NS2 variables.

By default, the illustrated descriptions will be assigned by the template.

The roof beam descriptions will be entered by the user and stored in the descRoof variable.
Note. - The name of this template is example2.
The steps to create this template are as follows

246
Chapter 17: Creating Structure Templates

1) Create a 20x20-bitmap drawing


The first step is to create illustrative 20x20 pixels drawing of the template in jpg format.

Illustrative 20x20 pixels drawing, in jpg format.


Then save the drawing as example2_20x20.jpg in the c:\RAM Elements\Templates folder.

2) Create a detailed 150x150-pixel drawing


The second step is to create a detailed 150x150 pixels drawing in jpg format.

Detailed drawing of 150x150 pixels, in jpg format.


Next, save the picture as example2_150x150.jpg in the RAM Elements/Templates folder.
Note. - This drawing should clearly identify the selection order of the nodes and any variable that
must be provided by the end user.

3) Create the TPL file


Create the example2.tpl file that defines how the structure is going to be created. The file contents are
as follows:
TITLE
Group= Other
DIMENSION
Type= 2D-3D
# variable required to input the number of segment 1
VAR
Name= NS1
Default= 2
AlwaysVisible = True
# variable required to input the number of segment 2
VAR
Name= NS2
Default= 2
AlwaysVisible = True
247
Chapter 17: Creating Structure Templates

# required number of selected nodes to execute this template


SELECT
Nodes= 8
# call the Truss2 template to generate the front truss
TEMPLATE
Name= TRUSS2.TPL
Nodes= 1; 2; 3; 4
Vars= NS1
# call the Truss2 template to generate the rear truss
TEMPLATE
Name= TRUSS2.TPL
Nodes= 5; 6; 7; 8
Vars= NS1
# call the Truss2 template to generate the right side truss
TEMPLATE
Name= TRUSS2.TPL
Nodes= 2; 6; 4; 8
Vars= NS2
# call the Truss2 template to generate the left side truss
TEMPLATE
Name= TRUSS2.TPL
Nodes= 1; 5; 3; 7
Vars= NS2
# generation of the roof beams. Notice that it uses description Desc1
WEB
Group= DESC1
Type= 3
N1= 3
N2= 4
N3= 7
N4= 8
NS= NS1
OffsetINI1= 1
OffsetINI2= 1
248
Chapter 17: Creating Structure Templates

OffsetEND1= -1
OffsetEND2= -1
Step= 1
WebSegNo= 0
Now save this file as RAM Elements\Templates\example2.tpl and run RAM Elements to execute it.

249
Chapter 17: Creating Structure Templates

Using the Example 2 template


To execute the template created by the previous example, simply go to RAM Elements and execute
the templates dialog box.

Go to Home tab, Modeling group and Templates button.

As can be seen, any newly created template appears automatically.

250
Chapter 17: Creating Structure Templates

When the template is executed, RAM Elements will automatically ask for the variables.
Remark.
To create own templates the user should save them in the following directory:
Documents and Settings\<UserName>\Application Data\Bentley\RAM Elements\RE\Templates.
This folder has access with read/write privileges.

251
Chapter 18: Building Structures

Chapter 18: Building Structures


RAM Elements has several special commands to facilitate data entry for building structures. These
commands provide the capability of automatically:
Generating deck or wall areas (transmitted surface loads).
Generating wind loads for each rigid diaphragm floor level,
Generating the mass for a rigid diaphragm from applied surface loads.
These options are described in more detail below.

Generating deck or wall areas


Deck or wall areas are used to generate the loads transmitted by surface loads.
There are two options to generate load areas. The first require the selection of the surrounding beams
and the second requires the selection of the nodes that define the deck area, following a clockwise or
counter clockwise order of selection.
In all cases the nodes of the members ends are required to be in a plane. The areas have to be fully
enclosed by members. In the case of a free border, the user should model an additional beam in order
to fulfill the former requirement:

When physical members surround the area, all the enclosed areas will be considered:

The tools for the generation of the load areas are located in the worksheet Areas/Node.

253
Chapter 18: Building Structures

This worksheet has the following tools:

Defining deck/wall areas spanning in X / Horizontal direction:


The function of this tool is to generate area elements covering the selected surrounding
members or physical members, and setting the direction of load distribution in the horizontal
Global-X direction or in the horizontal plane for inclined areas.

Defining deck/wall areas spanning in Z / Vertical direction:


The function of this tool is to generate area elements covering the selected surrounding
members or physical members, and setting the direction of load distribution in the horizontal
Global-Z direction or in the vertical direction for inclined areas.

Defining deck/wall areas spanning at an angle relative to the X axis / Horizontal plane:
The function of this tool is to generate area elements covering the selected surrounding
members or physical members, and setting the direction of load distribution as a specific angle
(clockwise) of the horizontal Global-X direction or of the horizontal plane for inclined areas.
Click the tool button and enter the direction of load distribution.

Create deck/wall area at selected nodes (in a plane):


The function of this tool is to generate a deck/wall element covering all the selected nodes in a
clockwise or counter clockwise order. The tool does not define the direction of the deck/wall.
Note that the order of the nodes does not determine the orientation of the loads.

Assign description to selected areas:


This button will automatically assign a new description. It is possible to enter any description
manually.
The steps to generate the deck surface are:

Select the desired load case.

254
Chapter 18: Building Structures

Select the girders (members or physical members) that surround the deck area.
Press any of the following buttons:

To create a deck spanning in the X direction,

To create a deck spanning in the Z direction,

To create a deck spanning at an angle relative to the X-axis.

The generated deck area will be shown with the specified deck orientation (for load distribution
purposes).
Notes:

1. If there are members in the middle of the load area (marked in blue), they will be considered
in the distribution of loads.
2. The deck areas are not required to be generated one by one. In the above example, the
members that belong to the four deck areas were simultaneously selected.

255
Chapter 18: Building Structures

Use the option Deck areas from the menu displayed pressing Elements in the Selection group,
on Home tab, to easily select all the deck/wall areas or the group of deck/wall areas attached to the
selected nodes.

If the tool was used to generate a load area, it is necessary to specify the deck direction
manually. In this case, go to Areas/Deck spanning and then the following tools may be used:

To assign direction for load distribution in global X direction/horizontal plane XZ,

To assign direction for load distribution in global Z direction/vertical plane,

To assign direction for load distribution at an angle relative to global X axis/horizontal plane
XZ.
The final step is to define the magnitude and direction of the loads that will act on the previously
defined deck areas. Select the areas that will have the same load, then go to Areas/Surface load and
in the worksheet enter the pressure that is acting on the defined deck/wall surface. The direction of
the pressure may act downwards in the negative direction of the vertical axis (Y-axis, by pressing
) or perpendicular to the area (by pressing ).

Notice that there is a tool to graphically see the loads that are generated on the beams. The
generated loads are displayed in green and the other loads (defined directly by the user) are shown in
red:

Note:
This command is applied over all deck areas, even if not all areas are selected.

256
Chapter 18: Building Structures

If a deck area is deleted, the generated loads (displayed on green) will still be displayed graphically
until the user applies the tool again or until the user analyze the structure. This happens because the
program automatically executes the tool before the analysis, even if it has not been executed
previously.

Generating Wind Load


Lateral wind loads can be calculated from a pressure applied to the side of a building. This command
is only applicable to rigid diaphragm stories.

Rigid floor diaphragm


Before generating a story wind load a rigid floor diaphragm should be created. To create rigid
diaphragms proceed as follows.

Select all the nodes of a floor, these are the nodes that will be constrained to displace as a rigid
diaphragm.

Press the button to assign a rigid floor diaphragm number to selected nodes.

Or enter the floor number and press from the pop-up menu that is displayed over the spreadsheet
area by right-clicking.
All the selected nodes (nodes with the same floor number) will now be constrained to move together
as in a rigid diaphragm.

257
Chapter 18: Building Structures

Generating wind loads


For models that contain rigid diaphragms, lateral wind loads can be automatically calculated from an
applied lateral pressure.

Enter wind load cases (for example, wx = Wind in X and wz = Wind in Z).

Select all the beams and columns of the floors against which wind will act.

Press the button .


The next dialog that appears requires several pieces of data. These include:

258
Chapter 18: Building Structures

Based on the selected floors and columns RAM Elements can calculate the wind load over an
exposed vertical surface associated with each floor. The applied wind pressure is multiplied by the
exposed area to generate a lateral wind load at each selected floor. Note that the force applied to a
story is calculated as the pressure times the floor height (largest column length below a floor) times
the projected width of the structure in the required direction (based on the nodes selected in each
floor).
The user can enter a wind pressure for each horizontal direction (1), or these values can be calculated
(2) by pressing the button . This action displays another dialog window:

Pressure calculation: When this option is applied, the program calculates the wind pressure on the
structure based on the wind speed and a structural shape drag coefficient. Enter the appropriate values
for the selected direction and the wind pressure will be calculated using the following formula:
Pressure = Cd*(0.00256*V2)
Where:
V = Wind velocity, in MPH (English units system)
Or:
Pressure = Cd*(v2 / 16) (Metric units system)
Where:
v = Wind velocity, in m/s
For both cases,
Cd = Coefficient of Drag (approximately 2.0 for a flat surface)

Back into the first dialog window, the calculated value is shown in the pressure box (1). The lateral
load that is calculated must be associated with a load case, which should have already been created.
Select the desired load case name from the drop down list box (3).

259
Chapter 18: Building Structures

The program will automatically create a node at the center of pressure of each floor. Wind story
force is applied at this node.

Generating masses for each floor


To perform a dynamic analysis on a building structure with rigid diaphragms it is necessary to
associate translation and rotation masses with the floor. These mass values are typically located at the
center of mass of the floor. If loads have been applied to individual nodes on a floor, then RAM
Elements can automatically calculate the center of mass and the translation / rotation story mass
properties.
The center of mass is the single point on the floor where the mass from all the elements and shells of
a rigid floor can be considered to act without changing the results. The program allows creating this
node for each floor, with the masses calculated in the following way:
Translation masses Tx = Tz = dead load case * dead load factor + live load case * live load factor
considering all the dead and live load forces on members and floor nodes.
The rotation mass is calculated with the following expression: Ry = integral (r*dm)
Where:
r: distance from the mass center to the point where dm is acting.
dm: is the mass that is equivalent to the distribution of the linear or surface loads of the elements of
the floor.
See the required steps for the generation of masses for each floor in the following paragraphs to know
how the data is entered.
Before using the command for the generation, rigid floor diaphragms should be created. Refer to the
previous section on wind load generation for how to create rigid diaphragms.

260
Chapter 18: Building Structures

Select all the beams and columns from desired floors.

Press the button .

Enter the required information and press OK. This figure indicates that RAM Elements should
consider all the existing nodal dead load and half the nodal live load when calculating the mass
properties for the floor.

Nodes have been generated at the mass centers.

261
Chapter 18: Building Structures

To view the translation and rotation mass values, select the values for Mass in X, Z or about Y-axis
respectively from the menu displayed by clicking the button Masses on the View tab, in the Model
group.

262
Chapter 19: Design and Detailing Modules

Chapter 19: Design and Detailing


Design
After the analysis, the user can design the model to check the design conditions of each member of
the structure. This is evaluated with the strength ratio and design status. The strength ratio determines
the condition of each member in relation to its strength (i.e. if it is over or sub dimensioned) and the
design status shows the overall condition of each element (OK or No Good). With the former
information the user can decide if it is necessary to perform further changes (i.e. select other sections,
materials, etc). This procedure is performed for wood and steel materials while concrete is designed
directly in the detailing modules.
More details related to the design of each particular material may be found in each specific design
chapter.

A feature in RAM Elements is that when any design parameter is changed, there is no need to
perform the analysis again. This will save much time in big models.
Select the Design all command in the Process group on the Process tab or pulse Shift+F9 to design
the model.

It is important to define some design parameters before proceeding with the design. The user will find
special options for each type of material.
For concrete and steel members, it is required to define the code that will be used in the design. The
program offers the following possibilities:
Concrete:
ACI 318-99
ACI 318-05
BS 8110-97
Steel:
AISC 360-05 (ASD and LRFD)
AISC 360-10 (ASD and LRFD)
AISC 341-05 (ASD and LRFD)
AISC 341-10 (ASD and LRFD)
AISI 01 (ASD)
AISI 01 (LRFD)

263
Chapter 19: Design and Detailing Modules

BS 5950-00
AS 4100-98

In order to set the specific nomenclature for the design, select the option located in General
Configuration/Nomenclature and choose the nomenclature required.
For wood members, the program is using the NDS (ASD or LRFD) Specification. In this case the
duration of each load case has to be specified for both methods (The time effect factor in LRFD is set
according to the duration, too. See the Wood Design Chapter for further details). This information
will be used only in the design procedures.

264
Chapter 19: Design and Detailing Modules

Design and Detailing Modules


RAM Elements has design and detailing modules for concrete members, wood members,
connections, trusses, retaining walls, concrete walls, tilt-up walls, masonry walls and beams that will
allow to reduce working time considerably. These modules can work as standalone applications or
with data imported from the main program after the analysis.
Most of the modules will work generating internally a RAM Elements model from the application,
which can be saved with extension "ETZ" and be used by RAM Elements, or with its own extension
(i.e. "RTW", "RCB") to be used directly by the respective module. To use the module, the user
should enter all the necessary data to obtain the new model before making the analysis and going to
the design window. The design is realized automatically to obtain the results in graphical form or
report form.
In all modules, the user can use any of the available tools for more advanced design and detailing to
further manipulate the design and obtain details for structural drawing exporting DXF files.

Introduction
The design of any reinforced concrete, wood or steel structure requires the user to design and detail
all the members in the structure. RAM Elements has provided several Design and Detailing modules
to assist the user in the design and detailing of: concrete columns and beams, isolated or combined
spread footings, wood members, connections, trusses, retaining walls, concrete walls, masonry walls
and continuous beams.
These modules allow the user to take the results of the analysis performed in the main application or
make an isolated analysis and complete his or her design and detailing of any member.
This section describes how to invoke the design/detailing modules, how the design/detailing modules
are organized and how to navigate within the modules. For more detailed information on the content
and display for each individual design/detailing module, refer to the particular member section in this
manual.

Invoking the Modules


Using information from the main program
Before using the detailing modules, the user must select the structural elements in RAM Elements.
Depending on the module of design, the user must follow these advises in the selection for passing
data of the main program to detailing modules.

Passing data of the main program to reinforced concrete beams, columns and footings.
To detail a reinforced concrete beam, select the beams desired to detail in RAM Elements and then
invoke the beam detailing module as described below.
Analyze a concrete structure. Select the line of beams containing the members to be detailed. Note
that the beams must be in a continuous line. It is advisable to consider each span as a physical
member because all the tools of the detailer are designed with this consideration.

265
Chapter 19: Design and Detailing Modules

Analyze the structure and select the members in RAM Elements, which form a continuous beam for
example, before invoking the detailing module.

To select all the beams in a line, select an end member and then use the Select continuous

member command from the group Selection in the Home tab.

Invoke the beam module.


Notice that it is possible to select the Concrete option if the user wants to keep the results of the
analysis and design the reinforced concrete beam. The continuous beam option will export the loads
and member properties as a continuous beam, which will be analyzed again without considering the
influence of the rest of the structure.
To pass data of the main program, the user must select from the main program the members he/she
wants to design, considering that the selection order of the elements that compose his beam is not
relevant. The user should only consider that the first selected beam will be the reference for the
results location in one or other direction.
Note. - The program will show an error message when the user selects members that do not belong to
continuous beams, for example selecting alternate members, including other elements or excluding
spans. Some examples are shown below:

266
Chapter 19: Design and Detailing Modules

What the user should not do


Once the user has selected the elements correctly, he/she is ready to enter to the module, which will
consider the following data of the main model: geometry, sections, materials, loads in the analysis
plane and restrictions. The restrictions follow the next priority and excluding order in case of existing
more than one restriction for each node: fixed, pinned, hinged and spring.
When there are connected members, the module will assume for the model a pinned restriction and
the user will change it according to requirements.
Inside the design/detailing module, there are specific options for continuous beam design, the user
must refer to Chapter Design and detailing of continuous beams. The geometry data and loads
assigned in the RAM Elements model are sent to the module; though, any change that is made inside
the module will not be recognized in the RAM Elements model.
Columns are selected and the detailer is invoked in a similar manner. When selecting columns in a
stack the program will consider always the lowest column and then the columns sequentially
upwards. To select all the columns in a column stack, the user can select one and then use the Select

continuous member command from the group Selection in the Home tab.

Select all the members that belong to the column line to be detailed, it is better to start at the lowest

column, and then use the Select continuous member command from the group Selection in the
Home tab.
The column module is invoked by selecting the Modules Reinforced concrete columns menu
item.

267
Chapter 19: Design and Detailing Modules

Select the Concrete Column module


For footings, the user can select one or more foundation nodes. If more than one node is selected the
loads for each node will be transferred into the module. Only one type of footing can be designed at a
time, but the forces used to control the design are taken from all the nodes selected before invoking
the detailer.

Select all the nodes that are to have a common footing.


The footing module is invoked by selecting the Detailing Footings with isolated or combined
options menu item.

Select Footings module as indicated.


Note that for combined footings the local axis of the columns should be aligned:

268
Chapter 19: Design and Detailing Modules

Passing data to wall modules:


Tilt-Up Wall, Concrete Wall and Masonry Wall are design/detailing modules that can be used as
stand alone or as an integrated program with RAM Elements. Shell in RAM Elements working as
walls, with or without openings, can be transferred to wall modules for design and detailing.
Retaining Wall works only as standalone and it uses only linear elements in its internal model.
In order to transfer a wall to any of the wall modules, the user has to select the shells and members
that are part of the wall considering the following points of views:
Shells must be part of a vertical and rectangular wall. Better results are obtained if the
complete wall is selected instead of wall segments.
The selection order of shells is not important.
The shells and columns must have the same material; concrete for Tilt-up and Concrete wall
modules and masonry for Masonry wall module. If columns of different material are selected,
they are not going to be transferred to the module.
The shells must have the same thickness.
The height of the shells defines the height of the stories in the wall module. Note that if the
last level shell is less or equal to 4ft height, it will be considered as parapet.
Only the selected vertical members are transfer as columns. Note that only Concrete Wall and
Masonry Wall modules are capable to receive columns.
Columns must have the same cross section and material from the bottom to the top and they
only may have a rotation of 90, 180, 270 degrees for their transverse section.
All the restraints or springs at the base of the wall must be the same.
Concrete wall module receives any levels. However, bear in mind that the module does not
perform any special consideration for tall structures.
When the model is analyzed, RAM Elements transfers the resultant forces that act externally
to the wall, otherwise it only transfer geometry.

269
Chapter 19: Design and Detailing Modules

Masonry Wall and Concrete Wall may receive flanges but only when loads are not transferred
(un-analyzed model) because the loads implicitly consider the effect of the flanges.
Note that it is possible to create gaps between adjacent shells using the tool create gaps

in RAM Elements.
Note that any change inside the wall modules will not be transferred back to the RAM
Elements model.
To enter to the Tilt-up, Concrete Wall or Masonry wall detailing module, the user must go the
Modules tab then select the appropriate button. Additional information about the module, design
options and available tools is developed in the respective chapters.

Organization of the Modules


Every detailing module works in the same way. One module has up to six windows that can be
accessed by pressing the buttons that will be described later.
In each modules main window there are six different areas that may be distinguished, as it is shown
in the figure below:

Main window for the Masonry Wall module. The organization of the window is common for the rest
of the modules.

270
Chapter 19: Design and Detailing Modules

Work area Function


ID Name
A RE button Displays a menu with basics commands such as Open a
model, Save file, etc.
B Quick access toolbar Contains some commands required to be used with
frequency, such as Open a model, Save file, Optimize, Check
and Report.
C Ribbon Gathers all the commands for the module, managing load
cases, process, configuration and drawing options. It contains
tabs, groups and command buttons.
D Properties edition In this area the user may enter or modify the required data for
area the structural element to be analyzed/designed in the module,
such as geometry, materials, loads and design data.
E Graphic area Shows the graphic display and DXF view of the structural
element. The user can modify all the properties marked in
red text directly through this area.
F Sensitive help area Displays helpful information about the current item selected
in the edition area.
G Status bar It shows the traffic light for the structural elements design
status and some commands for font size and zoom.

After entering the data, the user can see the diagrams or detailing windows, which involves the
automatic calculation of the current module.
Home tab. The first tab that is accessed after calling the module is the Home tab that is used to enter
or modified geometrical data, materials and loads. The material data of this window is maintained
between sequential callings of the module, but it is not necessarily associated with any particular
beam, column or footing. The tab has default values when an independent module is invoked.
Diagrams tab displays the design and analysis results, which are shown in a tabular form or in a
graphical form according to the detailing module. These diagrams can be simple when a single stress
is drawn as moment or merged as resisting moments together with required moments, according to
the detailing module.
The user can typically locate information here on the design results. To change material properties or
geometry to achieve a satisfactory design, the user should switch to the data window as described
previously.

271
Chapter 19: Design and Detailing Modules

Diagrams window for Walls modules (in this case for Masonry Wall, but similar to Concrete Wall
and Tilt-Up Wall modules).
FEM tab (for wall modules) shows the structure with the internal stresses and displacements,
structure analysis using the finite element method.

272
Chapter 19: Design and Detailing Modules

FEM diagrams window for Wall modules (in this case for Concrete Wall, but similar to Masonry
Wall and Tilt-Up Wall modules).

Drop-down the combo box in the window and select a diagram option.
This drop-down menu has several options to bring the user an easy handling of the values, which are
explained in the help context.
At the top of the window there is a group of buttons that manage options for the graphs.

273
Chapter 19: Design and Detailing Modules

Buttons for FEM results graphic options.


Detailing tab displays the generated details that can be exported to a CAD program. Depending on
the detailing module, the user will be able to edit design values through a spreadsheet on the left side.

Detailing window for Concrete Wall module. Other modules have similar detailing windows showing
two different areas: Reinforcement spreadsheet and Reinforcement details.
The Wall modules (Concrete wall, Masonry wall and Tilt-up wall) have similar tools to enter the
reinforcement manually; these tools can be summarized as follows:

o Add wall vertical continuous bars.

274
Chapter 19: Design and Detailing Modules

o Add wall vertical discontinuous reinforcement.

o Add wall horizontal continuous bars.

o Add wall horizontal discontinuous reinforcement.

o Add opening reinforcement (perimeter reinforcement).

o Add opening diagonal reinforcement.

o Add Columns reinforcement, longitudinal and transversal (for Concrete Wall


module and Masonry Wall module).

o Add hoops for each level (for Concrete Wall module only).

o Add hoops uniformly for all levels (for Concrete Wall module only).

o Add lintel reinforcement, longitudinal and transverse (for Masonry Wall


module only).

General commands for all modules

Report.
This command allows generating a report where the input data, the results of the analysis and
verification/ optimization process can be found.
In the report the following is presented:
A summary of the data (wall and rigidity elements geometry, materials, and loads)
A summary of analysis results (excerpt for Wood Design module).
A summary of design results, such as general status, design criteria, required and provided
reinforcement area (for concrete structural elements) and capacity results (for concrete, steel
and wood members).
For a detailed explanation of the commands used in this window for de depending modules,
see the Report section of the chapter of Printing Graphics and Reports, for the no depending
modules, refer to corresponding chapter.

Verify design.

275
Chapter 19: Design and Detailing Modules

Use this command to check the section and reinforcement provided (for concrete elements),
or to check the provided section (for steel and wood members). The design results are shown
in the reports and the design status is represented by the colors of the traffic light.

Optimize design.
Use this command to get a new optimized reinforcement (for concrete members) or an
optimized section (steel and wood members) with the criteria and parameters defined by the
user.

Configuration.
This command allows the user to establish the design and detailing criteria that RAM
Elements uses to determine the appropriate design and details. This data is saved for future
designs and should be used typically to establish office standards for design and detailing of
the various member types. Refer to the corresponding chapter module.

Navigation and Data Entry


Each module presents similar navigation and movement tools. All options for the different areas of
the window are described next. These options may be enabled depending on the detailing module.

Commands from the status bar

Zoom
Press one of the following buttons:

Zoom in.

Zoom out.

Zoom fence. Press this button and drag a fence around the area to zoom in on.

Fit in window. Use this tool to return the currently displayed structure to the full window
space image.

Hint: If a mouse wheel is available , the user can use the wheel to zoom in or out in a similar way
as in the main RE window.

Font Size

Increase the font size for the graphic in the window.

Reduce the font size for the graphic in the window.

276
Chapter 19: Design and Detailing Modules

DXF Options (ribbon)

Increase the arrow size for the graphic in the window.

Reduce the arrow size for the graphic in the window.

Activate and inactivate graphic layers.

Activate and inactivate edges movement.

Pressing this button it is possible to locate an axes system to cut the detailing drawing and get a
transversal section (this tool is available for wall modules).

Allows to select all the elements in the detailing drawing.

Allows to invert the selection in the detailing drawing.

Unselects the selected elements in the detailing drawing.


RE button menu commands

DXF files

Some modules have the option to export graphics to DXF. The user can find this option in the
RE button menu.

Print graphics

Print current graphic. This button allows printing the graphics of the window directly. The
user can find this option in the RE button menu.
Refer to the chapter corresponding to each module for more details about specific tools and views for
each window.

Panning
To pan (move the drawing across the window), use the center mouse button to click and move.

277
Chapter 19: Design and Detailing Modules

Click the center button and move the point.

The window will redraw with the new position of the window.

Data Entry
The data window let the user introduce the information by the Properties edition area and the Graphic
area of the window. All editable values appear in red color. Click on the value (left mouse button) to
make it editable as shown in the figure below.
Hint: If there are problems in selecting a value for editing, zoom in on the value.

Clicking on the red text, the property will be modified editing manually.
Notice that in some cases the red text has the display option through a drop-down menu as shown
below.

278
Chapter 19: Design and Detailing Modules

Click the mouse on the red text and select the option required from the drop-down menu.

Remark: The defined units groups of variables of the main program are not valid in the detailing
modules.

Results and verifications


In the design and detailing windows, the user is able to immediately see the analysis and design
results for an element. All the input data, design parameters and results will be printed in a Report.
See chapter Printing Graphics and Reports for more information regarding reports.
All the modules also have a graphic indicator for the general design status called Traffic light. This
indicator allows the user to evade from having to repeatedly see the report and verify if the member
fulfills all the code checks.

Once the data has been input, the Traffic light is automatically enabled when the user
runs the design (pressing the Check, Optimize or Report buttons, or the Diagrams or Detailing tabs),
indicating the design status of the member according to these color rules:
Red, when the member fails in the strength verification and the ratio is bigger than the unity
(>1.0).
Yellow, when the member resists the applied loads, but some Code conditions such as
deflections, slenderness or reinforcement ratio are not complying with the requirements.
Green, when the member fulfills all the code verifications.

279
Chapter 20: General Design of Steel Structures

Chapter 20: General Design of Steel Structures


This chapter describes the general options available in RAM Elements for the design of steel
members. The program allows the user to choose between three codes: US, UK and AS. Within the
US, the AISC Specifications (American Institute of Steel Construction) for hot rolled sections and the
AISI Specifications (American Iron and Steel Institute) for cold-formed sections are used while the
BS 5950 is adopted for the UK and the AS 4100 is adopted for the AS.
The user is required to provide several design parameters before proceeding with the analysis of the
model. Design is then performed automatically and the results are shown graphically or in a text
form.
Two methods are available for performing steel member design in the US: Allowable Stress Design
(ASD) method and the Load and Resistance Factor Design (LRFD) method. For the ASD method, the
user will need to specify service or nominal load conditions. The LRFD method will require
specification of factored loads for limit states.
The BS 5950 Code and AS 4100 Code are Limit State Design methodologies that requires the use of
factored loads similar to the American AISC LRFD method.
The design philosophy embodied in the former concept includes the consideration of the limit states
at which they become unfit for their intended use. Two major categories of limit state are recognized
- serviceability and ultimate. The primary considerations in ultimate limit state design are strength
and stability while that in serviceability limit state is deflection. Appropriate safety factors are used
so that the chances of limits being surpassed are acceptably remote.
The following steel design codes are implemented in RAM Elements:
ANSI/AISC 360-05. Specification for Structural Steel Buildings (ASD and LRFD methods).
ANSI/AISC 360-10. Specification for Structural Steel Buildings (ASD and LRFD methods).
ANSI/AISC 341-05. Seismic Provisions for Structural Steel Buildings (ASD and LRFD
methods).
ANSI/AISC 341-10. Seismic Provisions for Structural Steel Buildings (ASD and LRFD
methods).
North American Specification for the Design of Cold-Formed Steel Structural Members AISI
ASD-LRFD Cold Formed Steel Manual (2004 Supplement).
British Standard BS 5950 - 1:2000.
Australian Standard AS 4100 : 1998

Loads
The user will need to ensure that all loads are applied correctly and that required load
combinations have been generated with the correct type (service or design). It is important to verify
load types and if they belong to a limit state.

281
Chapter 20: General Design of Steel Structures

The user may exclude any of the created load conditions for design. The user may specify load
conditions used for the optimization process and those that will be considered in the output report.
For more details see the Output of results sections in this chapter.
The user is responsible to include in the load conditions the notional horizontal forces specified
in BS 5950, Section 2.4.2.4.

Sections
Use the procedure illustrated in the following figure to assign steel section sizes to members. Note
that new sections may be created and added to the list of available sections as described in chapter
Creating Sections and Materials.

The Members/Sections Worksheet allows assigning steel section to the selected members.

The local 3 axis is also called the x-x axis or strong axis, while the local 2 axis is also called the y-y
axis or weak axis.

282
Chapter 20: General Design of Steel Structures

Selection of the design code


When a section is assigned to a member, the program checks the type of material (hot-rolled or cold-
formed steel) and associates the appropriate design code. For detailed information on defining new
sections see the Chapter Creating New Types of Section with Macros. For more information on the
design of steel members in accordance with a specific code see the chapters Design of AISC Hot
Rolled Steel Members, Design of AISI Cold Formed Steel Members ,Design of BS Steel
members or Design of AS Steel members.
Note that in section definition (*.leo) files, the variables CODE and COUNTRY define the code
to be used (AISC, AISI, BS or AS). The naming convention adopted for default section files in the
database, reflect the implicitly used code. As examples of this naming convention, AISI sections
(cold-formed) could be named aisiAAA, aisiAAB, etc. It is customary though to only name hot-rolled
sections based on their shape and size (W12x).
It is important to remark that sections with CODE = HOTROLLED may be designed with either
AISC, BS or AS.

Coordinate system used in design


Normally the coordinate system used in design is coincident with the local axis, which at the same
time coincides with the principal axis. However, there are cases where the local axis does not
coincide with the principal axis, for example with L or Z shapes. For these situations it is important to
define which coordinate system will be used in the analysis and design.

It is possible use the command Sections to access the sections database, select a section and

use the tool Edit to edit the laterally restrained for torsion parameter. This command is
located into the Databases group in the Home tab.

Option to determine the reference axis to be used in design for laterally restrained members for
torsion along their length.

283
Chapter 20: General Design of Steel Structures

When this option is enabled, the program assumes the principal axes are coincident with the local
axes in the analysis, and the member is then designed on the basis of the geometric axes (local axes)
bending.
Also note that in total asymmetric sections the longitudinal axis does not coincide with the centroid
of the section. For these cases, rigid offsets or the cardinal points have to be specified in order to
locate the longitudinal axis in the correct position.

In total asymmetric sections like the L shape, the user has to use the axis location tool or to adopt
rigid offsets in order to locate the longitudinal axis in the right position.
Additionally the user should enable the option CLT (Laterally restrained for torsion) to define the
member laterally fully restraint in the design parameters in order to consider this in the design.

Design Parameters
Member design parameters must be specified prior to running analysis and design. For more
information on the creation of members see the context sensitive help system, the Assistant or refer to
the Examples Manual.
Examples of some of the design parameters that may be specified are frame bracing, sway (unbraced)
or non-sway (braced), effective length factors and unbraced lengths. See the next section for
additional information. To enter design parameters, choose the Members/ Steel design parameters
worksheet and select the code required. For more information about the design parameters of the
code selected, see the context sensitive help system pressing F1.

Note
It is possible display graphically the design parameters, selecting some option of the command
Design properties. This command is located into the Design group in the View tab.

284
Chapter 20: General Design of Steel Structures

Design and optimization


The design of members is performed by an iterative procedure, which verifies if the chosen section
fills all the strength requirements, by the selected code. This allows for the optimization of sections
too, if a group of possible sections is selected instead of a single section.

To verify if members comply with a given code, select the Model design command that is
located into the group Process in the Process tab. For steel design, the available codes are: AISC
360-05 ASD, AISC 360-05 LRFD, AISC 360-10 ASD, AISC 360-10 LRFD, AISI 01ASD, AISI 01
LRFD, BS 5950-00 and AS4100-98. If the LRFD, BS or AS code is selected, it is suggested that a
second order analysis be used in order to take into account their effects in the calculated forces on the
members. See the LRFD method in the AISC or AISI chapters, BS Chapter for more details or AS
Chapter for more details.

Optimization may be performed once initial verification results are available. See the following
sections for more details on the output of results. To optimize the selected member comply with a

given code, select the Optimize design command that is located into the group Process in the
Process tab
The user can choose between two types of optimization. Selecting the Optimize option will result in
the program selecting the lightest member section which meets all code requirements, for all the
members, and then replacing all under and over sized members with this selection. Selecting Check
will cause the program to change a member section assignment only if it fails the applicable code
check. To optimize a member follow the next steps:
1.- Select the group of members (descriptions) that are going to be optimized and also the load
conditions to consider.

285
Chapter 20: General Design of Steel Structures

2.- If is required by the optimization, check the include deflections option.

3.- Assign the section collections to optimize the collections for optimization, using the tools: Assign
collection to the description at the cursor or Assign collection to all descriptions .
286
Chapter 20: General Design of Steel Structures

After the optimization is performed, the program will present a list of suggested changes. Check the
changes wanted to be applied and press OK. RAM Elements will then change all the selected sections
to the new ones.
Warning!
All the results from the analysis and design are lost when sections are changed. A new analysis and
design of the structure is required after the change of sections
The optimization process is iterative because the change of sections causes a change in the
distribution of stresses in the members, and which causes a new change in sections. Because of this,
in some cases, optimization results may not converge in a unique section selection, and results will
alternate between optimizations.
Please refer to the chapter devoted to the Steel Structure Optimization and Code Check for more
details.

Seismic Provisions Steel frame members


While the standard provision specifications address the ability of the steel members to adequately
resist all the forces applied to the structure, the special seismic provisions ensure that the model is
appropriately designed to resist seismic loading in a ductile and life-safe manner. Therefore, this
option investigates each steel frame member and/or restrained (fixed) beam-column flange joint for
the requirements of the AISC 341-05 and AISC 341-10 Specifications. (For more information, see
Design of Hot-Rolled Steel Chapter, Technical Notes).

287
Chapter 20: General Design of Steel Structures

Steel Connections
The program has incorporated a module for the design and verification of steel connections. See the
Connections Manual for more details.

Output of results
There are several options available to display analysis and design results to the screen or in report
form. This section describes these options.

Screen output
The user has different options to see the results. These options can be selected in the commands
Status and Stress ratio from the Design group in the View tab.

Available options for the presentation of design results.


The user may choose to see a selected group of members for each of the described options, for the
current load condition or for the governing load condition.
The following describes each of these options:
Design Status

In some cases the verifications of stresses are not enough to verify the correctness of a member.

Other aspects, such as the slenderness of the member, should be verified as well. The command
will show if a member complies with all the requirements of the code. The buttons , display
only the members with an OK status or with a no good (NG) status from the selected group of
members. The labels represent the results for the current load condition.
To verify the same results, taking into account the full load combinations (not just the current load
condition), select the For the controlling combination option. In this case, the result will include the
name of the governing load condition for each member.
Maximum stress ratio

All selected members will be colored with one of the nine assigned stress ratio colors when the Stress

ratio tool is selected. These colors represent 9 different ranges of stresses. Ranges are calculated
by determining the maximum value of the stress ratio for all elements, and dividing this maximum
value into 9 equal ranges. The colors represent the stress values for the selected load condition. The
range value to color mapping is shown in a legend at one side of the window.
Note that when a different group of members is selected, the range of colors is recalculated. This may
change the color of any specific member to coincide with the new scale and color range as calculated
for that group. This option is used mainly to detect the critical members within a group.

288
Chapter 20: General Design of Steel Structures

Select the tool and the For the controlling combination option, allows to see the ranges
considering the whole set of load combinations and not only the current load condition. To select the

members within a given range, select the desired stress range with the mouse and press the
button.

The user can select and view the members with stresses inside a certain range.
Unitary stress ratio

All the selected members will be colored with one of the nine assigned stress ratio colors when the

Stress ratio tool is selected. The colors represent the nine different ranges of stresses, which are
defined as shown in the legend. Members with interaction values greater than one will be colored in
red. The other colors represent the interaction range value for the current load condition.
The ranges do not change when different members are selected. Thus a specific member will
maintain its color independently of the other members selected with it. This option is ideal for
identifying members that do not comply with the strength requirements, members with very low
stresses and members working very close to their strength capacity.

Selecting the command and the For the controlling combination option, shows the selected
members with the color range determined from considering the full set of load combinations (not
only the current load condition). To select and view only the members within a certain range of

stresses select the stresses that you are interested in and then press the button .

Reports
Different types of reports are available for displaying the results obtained after running a design with
a given code. The reports are grouped into three types, which include options for extensive or

concise. Reports are generated by the Steel option in the Design command. This command is
located into the group Reports in the Output tab.

289
Chapter 20: General Design of Steel Structures

The type of report is selected together along with the load conditions to be considered in the design.
A brief description of each type of report is included in the following paragraphs.
For all selected load conditions

This report organizes the results as a function of the description of the selected members. The report
shows all the results for each selected load condition. The results correspond to the controlling
member in each group for each load condition. This means that when more than one member has the
same description, the results obtained are related only to the critical member for each load condition.
Group by member

This report considers only an abridged review of the critical results for selected members. The report
is grouped by descriptions.
Group by section

This report considers only an abridged review of the critical results for selected members. The report
is grouped by sections. This means that when more than one member falls under the same section,
only the controlling member in the group will be considered.
Group by description

This report considers only an abridged review of the critical results for selected members. The report
is grouped by descriptions. This means that when more than one member falls under the same
description, only the controlling member in the group will be considered.
Comprehensive

290
Chapter 20: General Design of Steel Structures

This report provides full results for each selected member. The report includes detailed information
and several descriptions. The code check is performed in several stations along the member for each
load condition. The verification of stresses due to pure torsion not is considered in the AS4100-98
code.
Concise

This report considers only an abridged review of the results for each selected member (approximately
one page). The report includes the results for the controlling load case of each member.
Joints BCF Joints Design

This complementary report for Beam-To-Column Flange joints allows checking the full joint
(including both beams, if they exist) to panel shear and other seismic checks prescribed in AISC-341.

291
Chapter 21: Design of Hot-Rolled Steel Members (AISC-ASD-LRFD)

Chapter 21: Design of Hot Rolled Steel Members


(AISC-ASD-LRFD)
This module allows the design of hot rolled steel members in accordance to the AISC Codes,
adopting the alternative designs of Allowable Stress Design (ASD), and Load and Resistance Factors
Design (LRFD).
This chapter describes the design of steel members according to the following specifications:
ANSI/AISC 360-05 Specification for Structural Steel Buildings (March 9, 2005), published
by the American Institute of Steel Construction in Manual of Steel Construction (13th
Edition).
An option is included to consider also the Seismic Provisions for Structural Steel Buildings
ANSI/AISC 341 (March 9, 2005) and Supplement No. 1 dated November 16, 2005.

Determination of a member with an AISC section


The determination of a member with an AISC section is done when assigning a hot rolled section and
after selecting the AISC code before executing the design after the analysis. Normally, the name of
the cold formed sections which do not conform to the current method, include the letters aisi, while
the hot rolled sections have a name that reflects only the shape.

293
Chapter 21: Design of Hot-Rolled Steel Members (AISC-ASD-LRFD)

Example of an AISC section assignment for a member. Note that all the AISC standard sections
should not start with the letters aisc.

The ASD or LRFD design methods have to be selected before executing the design.
In the macros for section (files with *.leo extension) the following data and/or specific commands
used in the AISC design can be found, besides the section geometry. See the Chapter dedicated to
Creating Section Types for more details.

CODE=HOTROLLED
This value for CODE defines that the section is of hot rolled steel and that it will be designed with the
AISC Specifications. Yet, there are two methods to choose from, the allowable stress design (ASD)

294
Chapter 21: Design of Hot-Rolled Steel Members (AISC-ASD-LRFD)

or the load and resistance factor design (LRFD). The election of the method is done before
performing the analysis, as will be shown later.

TYPE=LINEOPEN
Indicates that the section is open for the case of C, I, etc. sections. The stiffness of each element is
defined with the RIGID variable, as described further on.

TYPE=LINECLOSED
It indicates that the section is closed like the case of a box or cylindrical section.

SetSolid..EndSolid
This option defines that the section is solid and has no elements. In this case, the local buckling of the
flange or the web wont be considered in the stress evaluation of the section.

Shape=<section shape>
The AISC Specifications have several formulae for flexural-compression design, which can be used,
based mainly on the shape of the section. In spite of the possibility of using one general formulation,
this was submitted to a series of simplifications and modifications depending on the particular shape
of the section for a more direct application. These assumptions cause differences in the results
between the general and particular formulae. The possible choices are:
I: It is the most popular choice, applied to the known W, M, S and HP shapes, which calculation
details are presented in section F for bending, section E for compression. When an I shape is used, the
section has to include the following parameters: height (d), flange width (bf), flange thickness (tf) and
web thickness (tw) and the parameters k and k1 for the connections design.
C: It is also very popular and includes the known C, and MC shapes. The calculation is very similar
to the W shapes, including the names for the parameters.
L: It includes the equal leg and unequal leg angles. The Specifications include a special section for
this shape for flexure and compression (Section F10 and Section E5). The section has to include the
following parameters: height (a), width (b), and thickness (t).
T: This type of shape is also very popular and includes the WT shapes. Section F9 is applied for
flexure.
The required parameters are similar to the W shapes.
T2L: It includes all double angles loaded in the plane of symmetry. The parameters are similar to the
angles with an extra parameter for the separation between shapes (s).
Rectangle: It includes all square and rectangular HSS and box-shaped members. The parameters are
height (a), width (b), and thickness (t). Flexure is calculated using Section F7. This shape is used also
for solid bars (FORMULATION = SOLID). In this case Section F11 is applied.
Circle: For round HSS shapes. The parameters are Diameter (D) and thickness (t). This shape is also
used for solid bars. In this case Section F11 is applied.
Other shapes: No special parameters are required. Comprises the general formulation that follows
Section F12 of the Specifications.

295
Chapter 21: Design of Hot-Rolled Steel Members (AISC-ASD-LRFD)

Second order analysis


It is important to note that the program only performs a second order analysis due to lateral
translation of the structure (P- effect), not considering the members own deformation (P- effect).
Both effects should be considered when designing, so the user must determine how the P-delta effect
will be considered. The code gives an indirect way to consider the second order effect by the
magnification of the bending moments obtained from an elastic analysis. Refer to Chapter C of the
AISC-LRFD code. The proposed equations allow the estimation of the P-Delta (capital letter) as well
as the P-delta (small letter) effect. In this way, the user can incorporate a magnification factor in the
load combinations to consider both effects.
Referring to the parameter Cb, it is calculated in the same way for both a second and a first order
analysis. The user does have the option to give a user defined value to this parameter. To do this, the
user can select the desired members and go to the Data Panel/Members/Steel Design as explained in
the chapter on General Design of Steel Structures.

Technical notes
The assumptions and simplifications used for this part are:

General
ASD LRFD methods were unified. The only differences are in the factors.
Ru < Rn (LRFD) while Ra < Rn / (ASD)
Where:
Ru: required ultimate strength,
strength factor,
Rn: nominal strength,
Ra: required strength,
reduction factor.
The following table summarizes the specifications considered:
Chapter/Secti Description Remarks
on
B2 Loads and load combinations See load generators
B3 Design basis
B4 Classification of sections for local buckling Table B4.1 is fully
implemented
C2 (*) Calculation of required strength Amplification of first order
analysis forces
D1 Slenderness limitations
D2 Tensile strength Only tensile yielding is
considered
E1 General provisions

296
Chapter 21: Design of Hot-Rolled Steel Members (AISC-ASD-LRFD)

E2 Slenderness limitations and effective length


E3 Compressive strength for flexural buckling of
members without slender elements
E4 Compressive strength for torsional and flexural-
torsional buckling of members without slender
elements
E5 Single angle compression members
E6 Built-up members
E7 Members with slender elements
F1 General provisions Calculation of Cb coefficient
F2 Doubly symmetric compact I-shaped members
and channels bent about their major axis
F3 Doubly symmetric I-shaped members with
compact webs and non-compact or slender
flanges bent about their major axis
F4 Other I-shaped members with compact or non-
compact webs bent about their major axis
F5 Doubly symmetric and singly symmetric I-
shaped members with slender webs bent about
their major axis
F6 I-shaped members and channels bent about their
minor axis
F7 Square and rectangular HSS and box-shaped
members
F8 Round HSS
F9 Tees and double angles loaded in the plane of
symmetry
F10 Single angles
F11 Rectangular bars and rounds
F12 Unsymmetrical shapes Galambos equations are
implemented for this case
G1 General provisions
G2 Members with unstiffened or stiffened webs
G3 Tension field action
G4 Single angles
G5 Rectangular HSS and box members
G6 Round HSS

297
Chapter 21: Design of Hot-Rolled Steel Members (AISC-ASD-LRFD)

G7 Weak axis shear in singly and doubly symmetric


shapes
H1 Doubly and singly symmetric members subject
to flexure and axial force
H2 Unsymmetric and other members subject to
flexure and axial force
H3 Members under torsion and combined torsion, Section H3.3 is implemented
flexure, shear and/or axial force only for rectangular bars,
rounds and single angles
subject to axial, flexure,
shear and torsion

(*) For AISC 360-10, the provisions regarding amplification of first order analysis forces were
moved from Chapter C to Appendix 8

Assumptions and restrictions for sections and elements


All the elements are considered to be lineal with a width that is equal to the distance between
its ends and with a constant thickness.
The program does not consider hybrid sections (sections which elements have different yield
stresses).
There are special considerations for built up members (Section E6).
The program does consider the influence of hc (twice the distance from the centroid to the
inside face of the compression flange less the corner radius) when calculating the limiting
slenderness parameter for non-compact elements (r). This applies mainly to sections with
different flanges.
The width b of an element of the section is considered between centerlines.
Standard sections (sections of a defined shape) do not require a value for the RIGID variable.
Custom sections should include this variable for each element of the section. The allowable
values are:
Rigid Use
Value
1, Legs of double angles with separators.
2 T section stem.
3 Unstiffened elements (supported along one edge).
4 Flanges of rectangular box and hollow structural sections of uniform
thickness.
5 Stiffened elements (supported alod both edges).
6 Webs of doubly symmetric I-shaped sections and channels.
7 Legs of single angles.

298
Chapter 21: Design of Hot-Rolled Steel Members (AISC-ASD-LRFD)

8 Circular hollow sections.


9 Flanges of I-shaped rolled beams and channels.

Tension members
The calculation of tension members is given in section D2 of the Specifications. The assumptions and
simplifications adopted are the following:
Only the tensile yielding in gross section is considered. The tensile rupture of net section is
part of the verifications to be checked in connections.
There are no special considerations regarding to the kind of used connections.
Prismatic members in axial tension are due to forces acting through the centroidal axes.
Based on Section D1 of the Specifications, only a suggested limiting value of 300 is used for
the slenderness ratio Kl/r when the member is subject to tension. The program is giving a
warning when the slenderness is over this suggested limit.

Beams and other flexural members


The flexural calculation comprises yielding, local buckling and lateral torsional buckling as specified
in section F of the Specifications.
The adopted restrictions and assumptions are:
There are three categories of sections for local buckling: compact, non-compact and slender.
The classification is made considering the critical element of the section.
When determining the shear stress of any shape, the Specifications use a simplified value, the
web area (Aw). See Chapter G for further details.
Transverse stiffeners are considered for the determination of shear stress for deep girders as
well as tension field action.

Columns and other compression members


The compression member analysis follows the steps given in chapter E of the Specifications. The
adopted assumptions and restrictions are:
Holes in flanges and/or webs that can affect the calculation of the effective section are not
considered.
The slenderness suggested limit Kl/r for members in compression is 200 and is only
considered as a warning.

Members subject to torsion


Torsion design is limited to members with hollow rectangular and circular sections per Specifications
Section H3. Only for the cases of rectangular bars and rounds and single angles the Section H3.3 is
applicable following the provisions of the Torsional Analysis of Structural Steel Members Guide
(Paul A. Seaburg, Charles J. Carter, Steel Design Guide Series 9, AISC Inc., 1997). For the rest of the
open sections the program does not perform the torsion design.
The restrictions and assumptions used for torsional analysis are the following:
299
Chapter 21: Design of Hot-Rolled Steel Members (AISC-ASD-LRFD)

Warping is not considered in members subject to torsion. Therefore torsion is not considered
in the interaction equations.
The torsion stress determination requires the torsion modulus (Tor Mod) which has a
simplified value of 1/(2*tmin*Ao) for closed sections and a value of tmax/Jtor for open
sections. Ao is the boundary area limited by the centerlines of the elements confining the
section.

Combined stresses
Combined stresses are considered using the interaction equations of Chapter H of the Specifications.

Seismic Provisions
While the standard provision specifications address the ability of the steel members to adequately
resist all the forces applied to the structure, the special seismic provisions ensure that the model is
appropriately designed to resist seismic loading in a ductile and life-safe manner. Therefore, this
option investigates each steel frame member and/or restrained (fixed) beam-column flange joint for
the requirements of the Specifications.
The seismic specifications considered are the ANSI/AISC 341-05 and ANSI/AISC 341-10. Using
Code-generated and/or user-defined load combinations the detailing and strength requirements are
checked for each member and valid joints, and the results are displayed in a steel design report that
also includes the pertinent design parameters of the seismic specifications.
The following Table summarizes the specifications considered:
(ANSI/AISC Description Remarks
341-05)
Section
8.2 Classification of section for Calculation of p and ps using Table I-8-1
local buckling
9.6 Column Beam Moment Ratio Exception a-ii is not considered
9.8, 10.8 Lateral Bracing of Beams Only the unbraced length and the strength of
lateral bracing are considered

(ANSI/AISC Description Remarks


341-10)
Section
D1.1b Classification of section for Calculation of hd and md using Table D1.1
local buckling

300
Chapter 21: Design of Hot-Rolled Steel Members (AISC-ASD-LRFD)

D1.2a, D1.2b Lateral Bracing of Beams Only the unbraced length and the strength of
lateral bracing are considered

The user is responsible to check other specifications not covered by the program.

Joint Code Check


RAM Elements has implemented a design check of the restrained (fixed or rigid) frame joints. This
check involves some seismic provisions related to the joint as the Column-Beam Moment Ratio
(Section 9.6 AISC 341-05). The column panel zone shear verification and the web plate (doubler)
and/or stiffeners implementation is now done inside the connection design. It is important that the
user should also perform the checks included in the connections design, which include other seismic
or strength provisions in order to complete the design (see the Connections Manual).
Joint checks can be performed only on beam to column flange joints. A valid joint should have a
column with an I-section with one or two I-section beams attached to the flanges. Otherwise, no
checks are performed.
In the analysis, all members (i.e. beams and columns) are normally assumed to have coincident
longitudinal axes. RE calculates the shear in the panel zone as the net sum of the shear from the
column above, the shear applied to the joint from the story (through the diaphragm), the axial load in
the beams (divided between the beam flanges) and the shear due to the beam moments. As illustrated
in the figure below the story shear applied to the joint is assumed to be the net difference of the shear
in the column above and below the joint.

Tapered members
The design method followed by RAM Elements is largely explained in the MBMA/AISC design
guide Frame Design Using Web-Tapered Members, which is primarily an interpretation of, and
extension to, the provisions of the 2005 AISC Specification for Structural Steel Buildings, which
contains no specific provisions for web-tapered members.
The method presented in the aforementioned document produce designs in compliance with the 2005
AISC Specification and provide additional information needed to apply it to web-tapered members.
In some instances, certain procedures are provided for situations not addressed by the Specification.

301
Chapter 21: Design of Hot-Rolled Steel Members (AISC-ASD-LRFD)

The behavior of web-tapered members is very similar to that of prismatic members. Tapered
members are subject to the same limit states but adjustments in the calculation of the capacities are
required for some limit states due to the varying geometry along the member.
The calculation of limit state strengths involving the overall member behavior requires adjustments to
the procedures given in the AISC Specifications. These include the limit states of:
In-plane buckling (strong-axis flexural column buckling)
Out-of-plane buckling (weak-axis flexural, torsional or torsional-flexural column buckling as
well as lateral - torsional beam buckling)
Strength under combined axial load and bending, where in-plane or out-of plane buckling is a
controlling limit state.
Shear buckling strength or shear tension-field strength of stiffened web panels Strength
calculations in the 2005 AISC Specification for these limit states are based on the assumption
of constant section properties over the member unsupported lengths.
Stability and analysis requirements
Section C1 of the AISC 360 Specifications requires that stability shall be provided for the structure as
a whole and for each of its elements. Stability for the individual members of the structure is provided
by compliance with the design provisions of Chapters E, F, G, H and I of the Specifications.
Overall stability of the structure is provided by selecting an appropriate analysis approach combined
with a corresponding set of member design constraints.
Any method of analysis and design that considers the following effects is permitted by the
Specification.
o Second-order effects
P-P-Geometric imperfections
o System out-of-plumbness
o Member out-of-straightness
Member stiffness reductions due to residual stress
Significant member flexural, shear and axial deformations
Significant connection flexibility
RAM Elements complies with the requirements of the AISC Specification and the recommendations
of the MBMA/AISC design guide Frame Design Using Web-Tapered Members. As far as the
analysis goes, RAM Elements uses a brand new state-of-the-art finite element. The current
formulation is a flexibility-based element one, in which the element internal equilibrium equations
(axial, bending and related shears) are always satisfied and an exact element stiffness matrix is
derived. Thus, it only requires one element per member for linear analysis. Shear deformations can be
also included in the analysis for tapered members (the current implementation utilizes the concept of
an equivalent shear area to consider transverse shear deformations). Otherwise, it is a typical 3D
frame element with six degrees of freedom at each end (three translational and three rotational
degrees of freedom). In addition, loads applied to the tapered elements are handled within flexibility-
based formulation and hence, their exact effects are accounted for.
The following table shows the limit states checked for the design procedure:
302
Chapter 21: Design of Hot-Rolled Steel Members (AISC-ASD-LRFD)

For the axial compression design provisions, the elastic flexural buckling strength of the member
based on the idealized pinned-pinned end conditions and evaluated in the plane of bending, is
extensively used. For a tapered I-shaped section member there are several available solutions to
account for this buckling load, as described in the MBMA/AISC design guide Frame Design Using
Web-Tapered Members, which are:
Using an elastic eigenvalue buckling analysis.
Using a method of successive approximations (Timoshenko and Gere, 1961).
Using an approximate but accurate method for single linearly-tapered members supporting a
constant internal axial force and having no plate or taper changes, which determines the
buckling strength of the member with a empirically derived expression that utilize the
moment of inertia calculated using the section depth at a certain distance from the small end.
(See Kaehler et al, Frame Design Using Web-Tapered Members, equation 4.5-4, page 21).
RAM Elements uses option (c) to calculate the elastic buckling strength.
For the calculation of the lateral-torsional buckling modification factor (Cb), the program uses the
AASHTO (2004 & 2007) procedure that modifies the regular AISC equation to account the variation
of the moment along the varying section member with stresses at certain member locations.
REFERENCES
303
Chapter 21: Design of Hot-Rolled Steel Members (AISC-ASD-LRFD)

AISC (2005). Specification for Structural Steel Buildings, March 9, American Institute of
Steel Construction, Chicago, IL.
AISC (2005a). Commentary on the Specification for Structural Steel Buildings, March 9,
American Institute of Steel Construction, Chicago, IL.
AISC (2010). Specification for Structural Steel Buildings, June 22, 2010, American Institute
of Steel Construction, Chicago, IL.
AISC (2010a). Commentary on the Specification for Structural Steel Buildings, June 22,
2010, American Institute of Steel Construction, Chicago, IL.
Kaehler, R. C., White, D. W. and Kim, Y. D., (2007). Frame design using web-tapered
members, MBMA & AISC, Chicago, IL.

304
Chapter 22: Design of Cold-Formed Steel Members (AISI)

Chapter 22: Design of Cold-Formed Steel


Members (AISI)
This module is used to the design of cold-formed steel members in accordance with the American
Iron and Steel Institute Specifications (AISI). The present specification has an integrated treatment
for two design methods, the Allowable Stress Design method (ASD) and the Load and Resistance
Factor Design method (LRFD), which are widely used in US.
The specification used is:
The 2001 Edition of the Specification for the Design of Cold-formed Steel Structural
Members (2001 Edition), including Supplement 2004.

Technical notes
Certain assumptions and simplifications have been incorporated in the present design module.

Assumptions and restrictions for elements


The following assumptions have been adopted in relation to the elements and parts of a given section.
(Section B of the Specifications)
All considered elements are straight-line elements. In other words, they can be represented
with a length and a thickness. See Chapter Creating New Types of Sections with Macros for

further details.
Example of a C section generated by linear elements
At the edges or corners of the section where a bend radius has been defined, the program will
internally approximate the circular elements needed as a set of two straight lines as it is shown
in the following figure:

Example of a C section divided into linear elements to approximate a curved section.


The elements with intermediate stiffeners as the one shown in the following figure are divided
in linear elements in a similar way as described in the former paragraph, without taking into

305
Chapter 22: Design of Cold-Formed Steel Members (AISI)

account special considerations for the calculation of the effective lengths as indicated in B4.1
or B5 of the Specification.

Example of a section with a stiffened element not considered in the calculation of the effective widths.
The ratios width/thickness of the elements are not verified in accordance to the limits
specified in B1.1 of the Specification. The user is responsible to verify that all those
requirements are fulfilled for the used sections in the model.
Sections with reinforced webs are not considered in a special way in the calculations. That
means that no special requirements for stiffeners (Section 3.6) are checked.
There is no special consideration for elements with holes.

Tension members
The calculation of tension members is given in section C2 of the Specification (see also the design
flow chart at the end of this chapter). The assumptions are:
The net area is estimated as a function of the gross section applying a reduction factor.
The influences of the type of connections used are not considered.

Flexural members
In the design of flexural members, the program takes into account the flexural strength based on
procedure I based on initiation of yielding (Section C3.1.1), lateral-torsional buckling strength
(Section C3.1.2) that considers open cross section members (Section C3.1.2.1) and closed box
members (C3.1.2.2). Additionally, members having one flange through fastened to deck or
sheathing (C3.1.3) are considered. The flow charts at the end of this chapter give more details of the
different procedures.
The assumptions and restrictions are:
A point symmetric section (such as the Z-section) is treated as a non-symmetrical section
about both axes

Shear calculations consider only the area of web element (h*t), following Section C3.2.1. The
webs are considered always unreinforced. With no transverse stiffeners attached to members
webs.

306
Chapter 22: Design of Cold-Formed Steel Members (AISI)

Web crippling strength due to concentrated reactions are considered in the calculations
(Section C3.4 of the Specification). The nominal web crippling strength is calculated and it is
compared with the support reaction. Tables C3.4.1-1, C3.4.1-2, C3.4.1-3 and C3.4.1-4 are
used to determine the resistance factors and safety factors required for the calculations.
The user should, in general, not consider torsion in open cross section members as a
recommendation. Note, also, that due to the small thickness of most of these sections, their
torsional strength is very low and is normally neglected. However, when torsion is acting on
the member, the program is calculating the torsion stress (without considering warping) and it
is comparing to the maximum tension given by 0.6*Fy. If torsion stresses are important, a
warning message is displayed.
In the calculation of the Cm coefficient, the restrictions at the ends of each member are
verified together with the type of supports to which the member is connected. Due to the used
sign convention, the ratio M1/M2 is positive when the member is deformed in simple
curvature and negative otherwise. When the transverse loads are very small in relation to the
forces acting axially (almost zero), the program will assume that the member has no
transverse loads.

Compression members
The calculation for compression members follows the specifications given in section C4 of the
Specification. The details of the calculations are given in the flow charts at the end of this chapter.
The hypothesis and restrictions are:
A member is considered a compression member when Pu > 0.05*Pn* for the LRFD method
and P > 0.05*Pn/ for the ASD method.
No holes in the effective length region of the member are considered.
The program considers the provisions applicable to C-or Z-sections concentrically loaded
along their longitudinal axis, with the flange attached to deck or sheathing through fasteners.
(Section C4.6).

Combined axial load and bending


The combination of stresses is considered with the interaction equations given in Section C5 of the
Specifiation:
Combined tensile axial load and bending.
Combined compressive axial load and bending.
The strength for combined bending and shear is also considered with the equations given in Section
C3.3 of the Specification.

Tubular members
The Specification has a special section devoted to cylindrical tubular members (Section C6), which
considers special requirements for bending and axial compression loads. This aspect is also
considered in the program and it is detailed in the flow charts.
It is also important to note that the definition of sections for rectangular tubular members must be
started in one corner of the section and not at the middle of one element as it is shown in the next
figure.

307
Chapter 22: Design of Cold-Formed Steel Members (AISI)

Correct and incorrect definitions of the different points of a rectangular tubular section.

Selection of the section for a cold-formed steel member


When a cold-formed steel section is selected for a member, it is automatically defined as a cold
formed steel member and will be designed in accordance with the North American Specification for
clod-formed steel.

Example of the selection of a cold-formed section for a member. It is suggested that all cold-formed
steel sections start with the letters aisi, csa or canacero; for example aisiBox, aisiC, etc. In this way
the user will recognize them very easily.
In the macros for sections, very important data are considered, which will be needed to properly
perform the cold-formed steel design, apart from the geometry of the section:

CODE=COLDFORMED
This option defines that the section belongs to a cold-formed steel member, which will be designed
with the North American Specification.

TYPE
This command defines if the section is open or closed. The values that may be assigned are:
LINEOPEN
This word is used to define an open section as in the case of I and C-sections. The geometry will
define if an element is stiffened or unstiffened. If the element is connected at both ends it will be
considered a stiffened element; unstiffened otherwise.

308
Chapter 22: Design of Cold-Formed Steel Members (AISI)

LINECLOSED
It shows that the section is closed as in the case of a tubular or box section. In this case all the
elements of the section are considered stiffened.
RIGID
Rigid Value Use
0 Rigid element (default).
1 Not rigid element.
2 Lip.
3 Flange with lip.

Refer to the chapter Creating Section Types for more details relating to this subject.
Important!
Cold-formed tapered members are handled by the program.

2nd order analysis

A second order analysis is recommended as the magnification of design moments to account for
second order effects is not explicitly addressed in the cold-form design code. Although the code does
not specifically mention this aspect, the second order analysis can be considered in the same way as
is described in Chapter C of the AISC Specification.
The Cm and Cb parameters are calculated in the same manner for the first or second order analyses.
The user may assign, however, any value for these parameters, to consider the type of analysis in
accordance to desired criteria. This can be accomplished by selecting all the necessary members,
choosing the option Members/Steel Design parameters from the spreadsheet and entering the correct
values for the parameters as explained in the Chapter devoted to the General Design of Steel
Structures.

309
Chapter 22: Design of Cold-Formed Steel Members (AISI)

Cold-formed steel design Flowcharts

310
Chapter 22: Design of Cold-Formed Steel Members (AISI)

311
Chapter 22: Design of Cold-Formed Steel Members (AISI)

312
Chapter 22: Design of Cold-Formed Steel Members (AISI)

313
Chapter 22: Design of Cold-Formed Steel Members (AISI)

314
Chapter 22: Design of Cold-Formed Steel Members (AISI)

315
Chapter 23: Design of Steel Members (BS 5950)

Chapter 23: Design of Steel Members (BS 5950)


RAM Elements allows the design of hot rolled and cold formed steel members in accordance to the
BS Code, adopting the Ultimate Limit State method of Design (or Load and Resistance Factor).
This chapter describes the design of steel members according to the British Standard:
BS 5950-1:2000

Determination of a member with a BS section


The determination of a member with a BS section is done before the design:

Setting the steel design to BS


A section that may be designed with the BS is defined in the LEO files (files with *.leo extension). In
these files the user can find the following data and/or specific commands, besides the section
geometry. See the Chapter devoted to Creating Section Types for more details.

CODE=HOTROLLED or CODE=BS_COLDFORMED
These values for CODE define that the section is of hot rolled steel or cold formed steel. In both
cases, it may be designed with the BS.

TYPE=LINEOPEN
Indicates that the section is open for the case of C, I, etc. sections. The stiffness of each element is
defined with the RIGID variable, as described further on.

TYPE=LINECLOSED
Indicates that the section is closed like the case of a box or cylindrical section.

SetSolid..EndSolid
This option defines that the section is solid and has no elements. In this case, the local buckling of the
flange or the web wont be considered in the stress evaluation of the section.

317
Chapter 23: Design of Steel Members (BS 5950)

FORMULATION=<formulation>
The BS has various formulations or groups of formulae for flexural-compression design, which can
be adopted, based mainly on the shape of the section. RAM Elements offers the possibility to choose
the formulation to be adopted for each type of section. The possible choices are:
IC
It is the most popular choice, applied to the known I, H, C and similar shapes, in which calculation
details are included in the Code. When the IC formulation is adopted, the shape has to include the
following parameters: height (d), flange width (bf), flange thickness (tf) and web thickness (tw)
TUBE
This option is applied only to circular, square or rectangular tubes. The following parameters have to
be defined for square or rectangular tubes: height (a), width (b), thickness (t) and for circular tubes:
diameter (D), thickness (t).
L
This formulation is for L shaped sections. These sections are designed according to the special
specifications for single angle members or similar shapes. The parameters to be included are: angle
height (a), angle thickness (t) and angle width (b) for unequal angles.
GEN
Comprises a general formulation. Although the BS do not specify a general case, the general
formulae for buckling given by Galambos (1968) was adopted and calibrated to the values obtained
for the known sections and formulae given by the BS. No special parameters are required.
Galambos, Theodore V., 1968, Structural Members and Frames, Prentice Hall, USA.
With some supplements and suggestions given in:
Galambos, Theodore V. 1988, Guide to Stability Design Criteria for Metal Structures 4th Edition,
John Wiley & Sons, New York, USA.

Load Combinations
According to the BS5950 Code, Table 2, Section 2.4, the following load combinations may be
included if a structure is subjected to dead load (DL), live load (LL), wind load (WIND) and
earthquake (EQ):
1.4DL
1.4DL + 1.6LL
1.0DL1.4WIND
1.4DL1.4WIND
1.2DL+1.2LL1.2WIND
1.0DL1.4EQ
1.4DL1.4EQ
1.2DL+1.2LL1.2EQ

318
Chapter 23: Design of Steel Members (BS 5950)

The user can automatically generate the required load combinations with the option Generate Loads
Combinations in the Load Conditions group and Home tab, and selecting the file:
BS5950LoadCombosStrength.txt. For more information, see Chapter 1, Automatic generation of load
combinations.

Second order analysis


Elastic analysis method is used to obtain the forces and moments for design. Depending upon the
analysis requirements a P-Delta analysis may be specified. It is important to note that the program
only performs a second order analysis due to lateral translation of the structure (P- effect), not
considering the members own deformation (P- effect). To evaluate the need for a second order
analysis, the code requires a check for sway stability with the determination of the critical load factor
(cr) (Section 2.4.2 ), which may be calculated with the horizontal deflections on each floor due to
the factored applied loads with an elastic analysis. If this factor is less than 10, then the structure is
sway sensitive and a second order analysis must be carried out.
Referring to the parameters m and mLT, they are calculated in the same way for both a second and a
first order analysis. The user has the option to give a defined value for both parameters. To do this,
select the desired members and go to the Data Panel/Members/Steel design as explained in the
chapter on General Design of Steel Structures.

Technical notes
Assumptions and restrictions for sections and elements
The following assumptions for the elements of a section are adopted:
Code checking is done using only the forces and moments at specific sections (stations) of the
members.
All the elements are considered to be lineal with a width that is equal to the distance between
its ends and with a constant thickness.
All the elements of a section have the same yield strength (homogenous section). Members
with different yield strengths (hybrid sections) are not considered.
Built up members (welded I, H, or box sections) were calculated with a py value 20 N/mm
below that obtained from Section 3.1.1 (BS).
The program does not consider the special considerations for I or H sections with unequal
flanges. Members with such sections may be approximately calculated with a GEN
formulation.
The RIGID variable assigned to each element of the section in the LEO file (*.leo) determines
the kind of element required for the calculation of the limiting slenderness parameters. (See
the table below)
The width of an element of a section is considered between centrelines and is corrected to the
actual value for common shapes like I, H, C, L or T sections.
Warning!

319
Chapter 23: Design of Steel Members (BS 5950)

When assigning a RIGID value for an element of a section, the user must be very careful because
some values are valid only when the element is in compression or in bending. Because of this, the
user must have a clear vision of the forces that will be applied to the member.

320
Chapter 23: Design of Steel Members (BS 5950)

RAM Elements checks the sections according to the following table in order to classify them for the
calculation of the nominal strengths for axial compression and flexure:

Sections are classified as either Class 1 (plastic), Class 2 (compact), Class 3 (semi-compact) or Class
4 (slender).

Tension members
The calculation of tension members is given in section 4.6 of the BS. For more details see the
flowchart given below. The assumptions and simplifications adopted are the following:
Only the gross area is considered for tension members. There are no special considerations
regarding to the kind of connections used
Prismatic members in axial tension are due to forces acting through the centroidal axes.

Beams and other flexural members


The flexural calculation comprises bending and lateral-torsional buckling as specified on sections 4.2
to 4.3 of the BS. The shear capacity calculations are specified in section 4.2.3. See the flowcharts at
the end of the chapter.
The adopted restrictions and assumptions are:

321
Chapter 23: Design of Steel Members (BS 5950)

The moment capacity of a section is based on the design strength and section modulus of the
section as specified in Section 4.2.5 of the code.
The coexisting shear is considered in two groups, low shear (Section 4.2.5.2) and high shear
(Section 4.2.5.3) and the member is considered to be loaded through the shear centre
When determining the shear stress for the shapes, the program uses a simplified value given
by Section 4.2.3 of the Code. For any other section, the program adopts a shear area (Av)
equal to 0.9/Qmod.
Transverse stiffeners are not considered for deep girder design.
For the m coefficients calculation of each member, a verification of the restraints and type of
supports is done. RAM Elements uses the general equations given in Tables 18 and 26 of the
Code where Mmax and M24 are calculated considering intervals of 5% of L.

Columns and other compression members


This part follows the criteria given on section 4.7 of the code. The adopted steps are shown in the
flowcharts at the end of the chapter. The restrictions and assumptions adopted are:
A member is considered in compression when the stress at both extreme fibres is in
compression; otherwise the member is considered in bending or tension.
End connections, holes in flanges and/or webs that can affect the effective section calculation
are not considered.
Compression members composed of angles, channels or T-sections are treated with the
criteria given in Sections 4.7.10.2, 4.7.10.3, 4.7.10.4 with the definition of two parameters: Lv
and Cnx type.
Lv is the length measured between interconnecting bolts and Cnx type is related to the connection
types defined in Table 25 of the Code. Both parameters are entered in the spreadsheet
Members/Steel Design:

Lv and Cnx Type parameters are located in the Members/Steel design parameters spreadsheet.

322
Chapter 23: Design of Steel Members (BS 5950)

The following table relates the Cnx type values with the connection types of Table 25 of the
Code.

Members subject to torsion


Considerations for members subject to torsion were not included in the Code. There are some
methods proposed, but they are more suited to a plastic analysis and are restricted for specific shapes.
As an alternative to those methods, a simplified method is proposed with the following restrictions
and assumptions:
The torsional loading is mostly resisted by uniform torsion. Warping is not considered. This
occurs mainly in thin walled closed sections, whose torsional rigidities are very large or in
members with small warping rigidities as angle and tee sections. This criterion may be
conservative for I or channel section members.
Von Mises interaction check is adopted to evaluate the maximum stress due to shear forces,
torsion, axial and bending
The torsion stress determination requires the torsion modulus (Tor Mod) which has a simplified value
of 1/(2*tmin*Ao) for closed sections and a value of tmax/Jtor for open sections. Ao is the boundary
area limited by the centrelines of the elements confining the section.

For open sections, not considering warping, Tor Mod=tmax/Jtor where tmax=the maximum thickness
of the elements and Jtor = torsional constant of the cross section. Jtor is a simplified value equivalent
to the sum of (b*t^3)/3 for each element of the cross section.

Tapered members
According to BS 5950-1:2000, the recommendations for structures with rigid moment-resisting joints
apply to first order methods of global analysis (based on their initial un-deformed geometry), second

323
Chapter 23: Design of Steel Members (BS 5950)

order effects (stability effects due to deformations under load) being covered by recommendations for
member buckling and frame stability.
Detailed recommendations for practical direct application of second order methods of global analysis
(based on the final deformed geometry of the structure), including allowances for geometrical
imperfections and residual stresses, strain hardening, the relationship between member stability and
frame stability and appropriate failure criteria, are not covered in the design code. However, such use
is not precluded provided that appropriate allowances are made for these considerations.
BS 5950 also states that either elastic or plastic global analysis may be used. Elastic analysis should
normally be first order linear elastic. Plastic analysis should normally be first order rigid-plastic or
first order elastic-plastic (either linear elastic-plastic or the elasto-plastic plastic zones method).
RAM Elements uses an elastic analysis/design which is accepted for varying section members. In
agreement with the code, the structure may be analyzed using an elastic first order or second order
analysis.
The following table shows the analysis/design checks performed by the program for I-section
tapered/haunched members using an elastic global analysis.
Elastic analysis/design checks for tapered/haunched members Performed
by RAM
Elements
Structure in- Amplified moment method
plane stability
Sway-check method

Second-order analysis X

Members out- Annex G. Members with one flange laterally X


of-plane restrained
stability

The general design requirements for tapered/haunched members are very similar to those for
prismatic members with the slight difference that Annex G can be used to cover special
considerations for members of variable section.
The cross section properties at each station are used with the same procedures of an equivalent
member with a uniform cross section.
Annex G may be used for haunched or tapered members with two types of haunching, as follows:
two-flange haunch
three-flange haunch
For the first case, RAM Elements allows to define a tapered member with a varying depth and
different thickness or width flanges, however, the code advises the use of uniform flanges of equal
size to comply with Annex G. The three-flange haunched member may be obtained adding to a
uniform doubly-symmetric I-section a T-section of varying depth from a similar or larger I-section.

324
Chapter 23: Design of Steel Members (BS 5950)

To enable the use of Annex G provisions for the design of members with one flange laterally
restrained, the user may set the Restr. Flange = Yes design parameter at the Members/Steel/BS
design spreadsheet for the desired members.
The user has the responsibility to enter the right effective length factor for compression members and
the equivalent uniform moment factor mLT (equal to 1.0 for varying cross section members according
to Annex B2.5).

The Restr. Flange flag parameter allows to use Annex G for members with one flange laterally
restrained.
REFERENCES
BS 5950-1:2000. Structural use of steelwork in building. Part 1: Code of practice for design-
Rolled and welded sections, British Standard, May 15, 2001.
Salter P.R., Malik A. S. and King C. M., Design of Single-Span Steel Portal Frames to BS
5950-1:2000, SCI Publication P252, The Steel Construction Institute, 2004.
Way A. G. and Salter P.R., Introduction to Steelwork Design to BS 5950-1:2000, SCI
Publication P325, The Steel Construction Institute, 2003.

325
Chapter 23: Design of Steel Members (BS 5950)

BS 5950 Flowcharts
BS 5950-1:2000 DESIGN OF STEEL MEMBERS
Aeff: Effective cross-sectional area
Area: Area
Av: Shear area
Class: Classification of sections in plastic=1, compact=2, semi-compact=3 or slender=4
d: Depth of section
Fv: Shear force
E: Modulus of elasticity of steel
K: Effective length factor
L: Span
Mb: Buckling resistance moment
Mc: Moment capacity
mLT,m,mx,my: Equivalent uniform moment factors
Mmax: Maximum moment in the member
M1,M2,M3,M4,M5: Moment at 0,25,50,75 and 100% of L
Pc: Compression resistance
pc: Compressive strength
PE: (*E/)
py: Design strength of steel
Pv: Shear capacity of a member
qw: Shear buckling strength
r: Radius of gyration
S: Plastic modulus
Seff: Effective plastic modulus
Sv: Plastic modulus of the shear area
Sx: Plastic modulus about the major axis
Sy: Plastic modulus about the minor axis
t: Thickness
Vb: Shear buckling resistance of a web
Vcrit: min(Vb,Pv)
Z: Section modulus
Zeff: Effective section modulus

326
Chapter 23: Design of Steel Members (BS 5950)

Zx: Section modulus about the major axis


Zy: Section modulus about the minor axis
: Robertson constant (Annex C2)
: Constant SQRT(275/py)
: Slenderness
LO: Limiting equivalent slenderness (lateral-torsional buckling)
LT: Equivalent slenderness (lateral-torsional buckling)
w: SQRT(0.6*py/qe)
0 Limiting slenderness (axial compression)

327
Chapter 23: Design of Steel Members (BS 5950)

328
Chapter 23: Design of Steel Members (BS 5950)

329
Chapter 23: Design of Steel Members (BS 5950)

330
Chapter 23: Design of Steel Members (BS 5950)

331
Chapter 23: Design of Steel Members (BS 5950)

332
Chapter 23: Design of Steel Members (BS 5950)

333
Chapter 23: Design of Steel Members (BS 5950)

334
Chapter 23: Design of Steel Members (BS 5950)

335
Chapter 24: Design of Steel Members AS 4100)

Chapter 24: Design of Hot-Rolled Steel Members


according to AS 4100-1998 Inc. Supp 1-1999
RAM Elements designs hot-rolled steel members in accordance to the AS 4100 standard, adopting
the Limit States Design method.
This chapter describes general aspects of steel member design according to the aforementioned
standard:
AS 4100-1998 including Supplement 1-1999

Designing a member with AS Standard


The design of a member with any hot-rolled steel section using AS 4100, is done by selecting the AS
standard before executing the design and after running the analysis.

Setting the steel design to AS 4100-98.

337
Chapter 24: Design of Steel Members AS 4100)

AS section assignment to a member. Note that all the AS standard sections provided by the program
start with letters AS .
In the section templates using macros (files with *.LEO extension) the following data and/or specific
commands are used in the AS design, besides the ones for section geometry. Refer to the chapter
Creating New Types of Sections with Macros for more details.

CODE=HOTROLLED
Defines that the section is hot-rolled steel.

TYPE=LINEOPEN
Indicates the section is open for the I, C and L shaped sections cases.

TYPE=LINECLOSED
Indicates the section is closed, like the case of a box or tube section.

SetSolid, EndSolid
Defines that the section is solid and has no segments.

Shape=<section shape>
The AS Standard has several formulae for design, which can be used based mainly on the shape of
the section. The available shapes are:
I: It is the most popular choice, applied to the known UB, UC, TFB, UBP, WB and WC shapes.
When an I-shaped section is used, the section geometry must include the following parameters:
338
Chapter 24: Design of Steel Members AS 4100)

height (d), flange width (bf), flange thickness (tf) and web thickness (tw). If the section is a universal
beam/column the parameter (r) should be included and if the section is a parallel flange beam, (r1)
and (r2) should be added.
C: It is also very popular and includes the PFC shape. The geometry is very similar to that of I-
shaped sections.
L: It includes the equal leg and unequal leg angles EA and UA. The section has to include the
following geometry parameters: height (a), width (b) and thickness (t).
T: This shape is also very popular and includes the BT and CT shapes. The required geometry
parameters are similar to those of I-shaped sections.
Rectangle: It includes all square and rectangular box-shaped members, such as RHS and SHS shapes.
The geometry parameters are height (a), width (b), and thickness (t).
Circle: For round hollow shapes, such as CHS. The geometry parameters are the diameter (D) and
thickness (t).

Second order analysis


AS 4100 requires that the design action effects due to the displacement of the structure and
deformations of the members action be determined by a second-order analysis or a method that
closely approximates the results of a second-order analysis. From an AS 4100 perspective and for
practical purposes, the only second-order effects to be considered for typical steelwork applications
are changes to bending moments from the interaction of axial compression, member curvature and
sway deflections. When a second-order elastic analysis is carried out, the design action effects
(moments, shear and axial forces) are obtained directly from analysis. The code also allows the
option to replace the second-order analysis with a moment amplification method, described in Clause
4.4 of AS 4100.
It is important to note that the program only performs a second order analysis due to lateral
translation of the structure (P- effect), not considering the members own deformation (P- effect).
Both effects should be considered when designing a member, thus the user should determine how the
P-delta effect will be considered. The program allows an indirect way to consider second order
effects by the magnification of the bending moments obtained from an elastic first-order analysis,
following the procedure stated in AS 4100.

Technical notes
General
The objective of the design using the Strength Limit State is to ensure that the structure as a whole,
including all of its members have design capacities in excess of their respective design action effects.
The basic inequality for the Strength Limit State design is:
(Design action effect) ( (Nominal capacity)
The main features of Strength Limit State design are as follows:
The structure is deemed to have adequate strength if it can be shown that it can resist the least
favorable design action combination without exceeding the limit state of strength.
Load factors are applied to the specified actions. The load factors range from 0.40 to 1.50 for
the strength limit state.
339
Chapter 24: Design of Steel Members AS 4100)

The design action effects (bending moments, axial, and shear forces) are computed from
factored loads and their combinations.
The computed member and section capacities (ultimate resistances) are factored down using
capacity reduction factors.
The capacity reduction factors for steel structures range from 0.6 to 0.9, depending on the
type of the member and the nature of forces.
The following table summarizes the capacity factors for Strength Limit States covered by AS 4100
and used by RAM Elements:
Design capacity for Clauses Capacity
factor ()
Member subject to Full lateral support 5.1, 5.2 & 5.3 0.90
bending
Segment without full lateral support 5.1 & 5.6 0.90
Web in shear 5.11 & 5.12 0.90
Member subject to Section capacity 6.1 & 6.2 0.90
axial compression
Member capacity 6.1 & 6.3 0.90
Member subject to axial tension 7.1 & 7.2 0.90
Member subject to Section capacity 8.3 0.90
combined actions
Member capacity 8.4 0.90

General assumptions
All the elements are considered to be linear.
The program does not consider hybrid sections (sections which elements have different
materials).
The width (or length) of a section segment is measured between centerlines.
Torsion design is not performed by the program since AS 4100-1998 does not include that
check.
The following tables show the design checks performed by RAM Elements in accordance with AS
4100:

Beams and other flexural members


DESIGN OF MEMBERS SUBJECT TO BENDING SECTION
Section Moment capacity for bending about principal axis 5.2
General 5.2.1
Section slenderness 5.2.2
Compact sections 5.2.3

340
Chapter 24: Design of Steel Members AS 4100)

Non-compact sections 5.2.4


Slender sections 5.2.5
Elastic and plastic section moduli 5.2.6
Member capacity of segments with full lateral restraint 5.3
Member capacity 5.3.1
Segments with full lateral restraint 5.3.2.1
Segments with continuous lateral restraints 5.3.2.2
Segments with intermediate lateral restraints 5.3.2.3
Segments with full or partial restraints at both ends 5.3.2.4
Critical section 5.3.3
Member capacity of segments without full lateral restraint 5.6
Segments fully or partially restrained at both ends 5.6.1
Open sections with equal flanges 5.6.1.1
Segments of constant cross-section 5.6.1.1(a)
Segments of varying cross-section 5.6.1.1(b)
I-sections with unequal flanges 5.6.1.2
Angle sections 5.6.1.3
Hollow sections 5.6.1.4
Segments unrestrained at one end 5.6.2
Effective length 5.6.3
Bending in Non-principal plane 5.7
NOT CONSIDERED BY THE PROGRAM:
Design by buckling analysis 5.6.4

DESIGN OF MEMBERS SUBJECT TO SHEAR SECTION


Shear capacity of webs 5.11
Shear capacity 5.11.1
Approximately uniform shear stress distribution 5.11.2
Non-uniform shear stress distribution 5.11.3
Shear yield capacity 5.11.4
Shear buckling capacity 5.11.5
Unstiffened web 5.11.5.1
Stiffened web 5.11.5.2

341
Chapter 24: Design of Steel Members AS 4100)

Shear and bending interaction method 5.12.3


NOT CONSIDERED BY THE PROGRAM:
Compressive bearing action on the edge of a web 5.13
Design of load bearing stiffeners 5.14
Design of intermediate transverse web stiffeners 5.15
Design of longitudinal web stiffeners 5.16

Columns and other compression members


DESIGN OF MEMBERS SUBJECT TO AXIAL SECTION
COMPRESSION
Design for axial compression 6.1
Nominal section capacity 6.2
General 6.2.1
Form factor 6.2.2
Plate slenderness 6.2.3
Effective width 6.2.4
Nominal member capacity 6.3
Effective length 6.3.2
Nominal capacity of a member of constant cross-section 6.3.3
Nominal capacity of a member of varying cross-section 6.3.4
NOT CONSIDERED BY THE PROGRAM:
Laced and battened compression members 6.4
Compression members back to back 6.5

Tension members
DESIGN OF MEMBERS SUBJECT TO AXIAL TENSION SECTION
Design for axial tension 7.1
Nominal section capacity 7.2
NOT CONSIDERED BY THE PROGRAM:
Tension members with two or more main components 7.4
Members with pin connections 7.5

342
Chapter 24: Design of Steel Members AS 4100)

Combined stresses
DESIGN OF MEMBERS SUBJECT TO COMBINED ACTIONS SECTION
Section capacity 8.3
General 8.3.1
Uniaxial bending about the major principal x-axis 8.3.2
Uniaxial bending about the minor principal y-axis 8.3.3
Biaxial bending 8.3.4
Member capacity 8.4
General 8.4.1
In-plane capacity - elastic analysis 8.4.2
Compression members 8.4.2.2
Tension members 8.4.2.3
Out-of-plane capacity 8.4.4
Compression members 8.4.4.1
Tension members 8.4.4.2
Biaxial bending capacity 8.4.5
NOT CONSIDERED BY THE PROGRAM:
In-plane capacity - plastic analysis 8.4.3
Eccentrically loaded double bolted or welded single angle in trusses 8.4.6

Varying cross-section members


The design of varying cross-section members is performed by RAM Elements using the
recommended clauses of the AS 4100 Standard. The design procedure adopted by the program is
extensively explained in the document of Hogan and Syam, Design of tapered haunched universal
section members in portal frame rafters, which presents the design for haunched members according
to AS 4100, procedure that is feasible to be used for tapered members in compliance with the
Standard.
In general, the design is covered for the design clauses applicable to constant cross-section members,
with the slight difference in the calculation of the bending member capacity. Section 5.6.1.1(b) is
intended to calculate the moment capacity using the specific criteria for tapered or haunched
members.
Varying cross-section members include tapered and haunched members based on I-shaped sections.
For the typical application of this type of members, design actions are calculated by either:
first-order elastic analysis and then modifying the calculated first-order bending moments by
using appropriate moment amplification factors determined from Clause 4.4.2 of AS 4100, or
second-order elastic analysis in which the design bending moment is obtained directly.

343
Chapter 24: Design of Steel Members AS 4100)

All the design checks aforementioned for the general design of steel members according to AS 4100
are considered for the design of varying cross-section members.
REFERENCES
AS 4100-1998. Australian Standard. Steel Structures, June 5, 1998, Standards Australia.
AS 4100 Supp 1-1999. Steel structures - Commentary, March 5, 1999, Standards Australia.
Gorenc, B., Tinyou R., Syam A., 2007, Steel Designers Handbook, 7th edition, UNSW
Press.
Hogan T. J., and Syam A. A., 1997, Design of tapered haunched universal section members
in portal frame rafters Journal of the Australian Steel Institute, Volume 31, Number 3.

344
Chapter 25: Design of Open Web Steel Joists (SJI-LRFD, SJI-ASD)

Chapter 25: Design of open web steel joist (SJI-


LRFD, SJI-ASD)

Typical open web steel joist


RAM Elements allows the design of open web steel joist according to the following U.S. standards:
SJI-K-1.1. Standard Specification and Load Tables, Open web steel Joist, K-Series. Adopted
by the Steel Joist Institute (SJI), effective March 01, 2005.
SJI-LH/DLH-1.1. Standard Specification and Load Tables, long span steel joist LH-Series
and deep long span steel joist DLH-Series. Adopted by the Steel Joist Institute (SJI), effective
March 01, 2005.
The Allowable Strength Design (ASD) and Load and Resistance Factor Design (LRFD) are permitted
in these standards.

Technical Notes
Joists are assumed to be simply supported and uniformly loaded. (Section 4.1 SJI-K-1.1,
Section 103.1 SJI-LH/DLH-1.1). This is important when modeling the joists.
The design of K-Series, LH-Series and DLH-Series joists is done in the way that they support
the uniformly distributed load given in the corresponding Load Tables (Section 2 SJI-K-1.1,
Section 101 SJI-LH/DLH-1.1). The design basically is summarized to compare the total
uniformly distributed load acting on the joist (by load combination) with that obtained from
the Load Tables.
RE only takes into account the uniformly distributed loads corresponding to the following
loads types: dead load (DL), live load (LL), roof live load (LLr) and snow load (SNOW).
Other load types will be ignored in the design.
The uniformly distributed loads that do not act throughout the length of the joist will be
ignored in the design.
Non uniform distributed loads acting in the joist will be ignored in the design.
Concentrated loads acting in the joist will be ignored in the design.
Uplift loads acting in the joist will be ignored in the design.
The material yield strength used shall be at least 36 ksi (250 MPa) but no more than 50 ksi
(345 MPa).

345
Chapter 25: Design of Open Web Steel Joists (SJI-LRFD, SJI-ASD)

Like any other steel element, open web steel joists, are structural elements likely to be
optimized. See the Steel and wood structure optimization and code check chapter for more
details.

346
Chapter 26: ACI Reinforced concrete design

Chapter 26: ACI-318 and BS-8110 Reinforced


Concrete Design
This chapter describes the options available in RAM Elements to design and detail concrete beams,
columns and footings in accordance with the American Concrete Institute (ACI) Building Code
Requirements and British Standard Code (Including amendments) for Structural Concrete. The user
should provide an appropriate model and design parameters before implementing an analysis in RAM
Elements. The ACI design post processing is performed automatically when the building is analyzed,
and the results can be displayed graphically or in report form. For more advanced design and
detailing the user can invoke one of three designer/detailing modules as described in the following
chapters.

Loads
The application of appropriate loads and the generation of the required load combinations are the
responsibility of the user. All applicable loads and load combinations should be applied to the
structure as illustrated in the Examples Manual. Concrete design is performed for all load
combinations. The user has the ability to filter the design in the designer/detailer module to obtain
results for any individual load condition (case or combination). Refer to the next chapter on the
Design/Detailing module for more information on filtering loads when viewing the results.

Bar size series


The program uses two lists of bars that are commonly used. They can be selected in the configuration
window of any of the concrete detailing modules.
The first list corresponds to the ASTM standard reinforcing bars and the second one to the SI
standard bars. It is important to note that the user can modify the diameters, areas and weights of the
bars to be considered as well as their designation (#3 etc.) by editing the bars.itb file which is located
in the Other folder of the main directory of RAM Elements. This file sets the names, diameters,
areas and weights of the reinforcing bars used in the verification and design of reinforced concrete
elements. Note that the tables are in fixed units:
Table Diameter Area Weight
ASTM Standard in in2 lb/ft
bars
SI Standard bars mm mm2 kgf/m

Important! Note that the list should be always ordered by size starting from the smallest size.
Remark: In the rare event of changing the bar series in any module after the reinforcement
optimization, the user should optimize and redefine the reinforcement for the current elements. Note
that the program will not automatically set equivalent bars.

347
Chapter 27: Reinforced Concrete Beam Design

Chapter 27: Reinforced Concrete Beam Design


This section describes the provisions of the reinforced concrete beam design code as implemented by
RAM Elements. The currently implemented codes are the following:
The 1999 American Concrete Institute Building Code Requirements for Structural Concrete,
ACI 318-99 (ACI 1999).
The 2005 American Concrete Institute Building Code Requirements for Structural Concrete,
ACI 318-05 (ACI 2005).
British Standard Code. BS-8110 (1997) (Including 30/11/05 Amendments).

Identifying Concrete Beams


RAM Elements performs different designs on beams and columns. As such members must be
identified as either a beam or a column if they are to be appropriately designed. This is done by
assigning the appropriate section to the various elements. Each Reinforced Concrete Section is
implicitly either a Beam or Column section. To assign a reinforced concrete beam to a member select
a RC Beam section as illustrated in the figure below.

To create a new section, select the appropriate Section Type for Beams or Columns, as illustrated
below:

349
Chapter 27: Reinforced Concrete Beam Design

Creating new sections using the command Sections from the Databases group in the Home tab.

Analysis
Before proceeding with a beam design, the model should be analyzed appropriately. The analysis
should consider the reduction in moment of inertia (cracked section factor) prescribed by the design
code, and where applicable a second order analysis should be performed as described below.

Cracked Section Factors


To accurately analyze a concrete structure it is common to assign a cracked section factor to the
beams and column of the model. These factors reduce the moment of inertia of the members during
the analysis. Recommended factors should be taken from the local concrete design or building code.
For example, the ACI318-05 (Section 10-11.1) recommends 0.35*Ig (gross moment of inertia) for
beams. The values can be entered directly into the Ig factor column in the spreadsheet as shown in the
figure below. Valid values are 0.0 to 1.0. Note that if 0.0 is entered, a value of 1.0 is used in the
analysis.

350
Chapter 27: Reinforced Concrete Beam Design

Assign the suggested inertia reduction factors (cracked section factors) for beams and columns. The
worksheets tools can be used to automatically enter the 0.35 value (as recommended by the Code)
for the currently selected beams.

Second Order Analysis


To analyze the structure and perform concrete design it is necessary to perform a second order
analysis. The second order analysis is recommended as no moment magnification is performed in the
design stage. (Refer to the technical notes in the column section).

351
Chapter 27: Reinforced Concrete Beam Design

A second order P-Delta analysis should be performed. This is particularly important in the
calculation of sway frames according to ACI 10.13.4.

Reports and Window Output


Two forms of concrete design output are available for the user in RAM Elements. Significantly, more
output is available in the beam design module discussed in the next section. In the main program the
user can obtain a design summary report with the reinforcement in the concrete members.

Summary Report of Beam Design


RAM Elements provides a summary output for concrete beam design. The output consists of two
lines for each member. Note that output is relatively wide. To view the output of a reinforced
concrete design, first select the beams and then select the Design/Reinforced concrete command from
the group Reports in the Output tab, as illustrated below.

Execute the command Design/Reinforced concrete to display a summary report of the reinforced
concrete design
From the displayed dialog (See figure below) to generate the report, select the load conditions
required and the size of the stirrup to be consider.

352
Chapter 27: Reinforced Concrete Beam Design

Select OK and the report will be generated for all selected members. The report that appears is
described below.
Beams with rectangular sections are designed only for bending moment about axis 3, shear in axis 2,
and torsion. Other forces and sections are ignored. If a beam should be designed for biaxial bending it
should be specified as a column section.
The beam design is performed assuming an ordinary moment frame with no special seismic
provisions implemented. In the RC Beam Detailer the user can change this to examine the impact of
some of the seismic provisions.

The following default partial safety factors are used for the preliminary report:
Reinforcement: 1.15, Concrete in flexure: 1.50, Shear in concrete: 1.25.
The links spacing is calculated considering a minimum percentage of longitudinal reinforcement
(Table 3.25 of the Code).

353
Chapter 27: Reinforced Concrete Beam Design

Beam
design output.
The previous output is described below
Beam ID
The beam number to match the number of the beam selected in the model.
A.left, A.cent, A.right
This is the required top and bottom area of reinforcement for the left, central, and right zones. The
area shown under the A.left column is the steel area required from end J of the member for the
distance shown in the I.P.left column. The area shown in the A.right column is the area of steel
required from the K end of the section for the distance shown under I.P.right. The area of steel in the
A.cent zone is the area of steel required from the distance I.P.left away from end J to a distance
I.P.right away from end K. See the explanation for I.P. below for more information on the inflection
points.
Where no inflection point occurs along a beam the reinforcing indicated for the center zone (A.
Cent) applies to the entire length of the beam. Based on the above description the I.P.left and I.P.right
are 0.0 in this case. That is, the steel shown in the A.cent is required from 0.0 away from J end of
beam (i.e. left end of beam) to 0.0 away from K end of beam (i.e. right end of beam).
I.P.left, I.P.right
I.P.left, and I.P.right are the distances of the inflection points from the ends of the beam. Note that
where left and right are referred to, they represent the J and K end of the member respectively. The
"Left" is the J node; the "Right" is the K node.
Important!
When a beam is displayed, it has the J node at the left and the K node at the right

Left and right, as indicated by RAM Elements


354
Chapter 27: Reinforced Concrete Beam Design

Inflection points of the bending moment envelop.

The required reinforcement areas are provided in three zones:


The left zone is delimited by the J node and the left inflection point (I.P. left).
The central zone is delimited by the I.P.left and I.P.right points.
The right zone is delimited by the right I.P. point and the K node.
The inflection points reported are the largest distances from all the load conditions considered. The
design moment shown in the output is the maximum moment for all load conditions in the various
zones.

Reinforcement bar zones in a beam


The cut-off points should be calculated by the user (beyond the P.I.) if detailing a beam using these
results.
SKIN
When torsion must be considered in the design this value reflects the additional longitudinal
reinforcing area that must be distributed in the section (equivalent to Al/3 in the beam-detailing
module). The shear reinforcing will also be adjusted to resist the applied torsion.
Stirrup spacing
This is the maximum allowable stirrup separation for each zone. The stirrup separation is given for
three lengths along the member: the first 25%, the center half and the last 25% of the beam.
When closed stirrups are required for longitudinal compression bars, the spacing between stirrups
shall be less than 15 times the longitudinal bar diameter.

355
Chapter 27: Reinforced Concrete Beam Design

The spacing of the stirrups is based on the shear demand and the torsion demand on the section.
TYPE
The Type indicates what kind of stirrup is required. U indicates that stirrups can be open, as
illustrated in the figure (b). A [] symbol shows that stirrups should be closed, as shown in figure (a).
The [] is an indicator of torsion in the section, whereas the >[]< symbol indicates compression
reinforcing is required. Note again that no seismic provisions are considered in this design.

(a) Closed stirrups ([]) (b) Open stirrups (U)


An open stirrup should be placed as shown in the figure. Open stirrups are assumed to only carry
shear forces parallel to axis 2.
Mmin/max, V and T
Mmax and Mmin show the maximum and minimum values of bending moments about axis 3. V is
the maximum shear force parallel to axis 2. T is the maximum torsion moment. This moment is the
maximum moment for all load conditions and it is the value used to design the critical reinforcing.
Note, when no inflection point exists the A.cent (normally top steel) will contain the area of
reinforcing required over the full length of the member. The Mmax and Mmin values shown reflect
the moment that the steel was designed for, even if this moment occurred somewhere other than the
center of the beam.
Length
The length of the beam.

Window Display of Reinforcement


To obtain a schematic layout of a beam or column bars, select the concrete members and use the

Reinforcement position command from the Model group in the View tab. The display will

356
Chapter 27: Reinforced Concrete Beam Design

indicate the correct layout of the longitudinal bars in the currently selected members. A more detailed
output of the reinforcing can be obtained in the detailer described next.

These are the true location of reinforcing bars in those sections selected.

Concrete Beam Design Module


This section describes the options available in the Concrete Beam design module to design and detail
a selected reinforced concrete beam. As in all the detailing modules for reinforced concrete, the
design is faced as a trial and error process, where the user input the geometry, materials and
reinforcement and the program verifies the condition of the beam for the specified loads. This module
is invoked by selecting the option Concrete from the command Beams (see the figure below). The
command Beams is located into the Members group in the Modules tab. Refer to Chapter of Design
and Detailing Modules for more details on invoking and navigating within the concrete
design/detailing modules.

Home tab
The Home tab display the data window, it appears as shown in the following figure.

357
Chapter 27: Reinforced Concrete Beam Design

This window allows to modify materials, sections and geometry of the structure. Sometimes
dimensional modifications are made in the analysis phase to model more accurately the true structural
behavior. As this module is most likely to be used to generate structural drawings, the user should
enter the true dimensions.

358
Chapter 27: Reinforced Concrete Beam Design

Note that in the drawing columns can be moved relative to the axis used in the analysis program. By
clicking on the word Center and changing it to Left, the column is now located to the left of the
gridline (see above Figure). In addition, by selecting the dimension of the column it can be modified
to any desired value. Remember that all text in red can be modified.
Once the user has reviewed all data, it is possible to select the detailing window, the design window
or to review the report.
When the user displays the detailing window, it would show the reinforcement purposed for optimal
design and calculated with configuration default values.
RAM Elements suggest transversal and longitudinal reinforcement for an optimized design. Tough,
the laps along the beam must be calculated a placed by the user verifying the maximum bar length.
The hooks and the development lengths in discontinuous bars are calculated internally. The user must

select the Check command to design the beam with the reinforcement data introduced. Using

the Optimize command after any change in the beam reinforcement data, will optimize the
reinforcement with the consequent loss of the entered data.

359
Chapter 27: Reinforced Concrete Beam Design

Diagrams tab

The Diagrams tab displays a window where the demand and capacity diagrams for the beam are
shown. Note that two diagrams can be viewed on the window at the same time, thus allowing a
comparison between the demands (required) curve and the capacity (demand) curve. Some of the
diagrams that can be displayed are dependent on the load condition selected. The moment or shear
diagrams are displayed for the currently selected load condition.
Warning!
It is the user responsibility to review the required steel with respect to the provided steel to confirm
that sufficient capacity is provided by the bars shown. This is best viewed in the design window and
the report of the RC Beam Detailer where the design against the nominal moments or the design
shear forces against the nominal shear forces can be visually displayed.
In some circumstances, the area of required steel may exceed the provided. This will most often
happen at the end of a member where there is not sufficient length to develop the bars that are
required for moments at the face of the column-beam joint.
The Deflection, Moments, Shear, and Torsional moments are all dependent on the currently selected
load condition. The other options are displayed and calculated for the selected load conditions. It is
particularly important to view the envelope for design bending moments and the nominal bending
moments. The last diagram illustrates the increase of section capacity over the development length of
the longitudinal bars. As such the user can determine whether the strength of the beam is enough to
360
Chapter 27: Reinforced Concrete Beam Design

resist the design moments over any length of the beam (particularly in the development zone of the
bars).

Detailing tab

The detailing window shows the reinforcing bars adopted for the beam.
Both longitudinal and vertical reinforcement are shown on this window. The cross section represents
the reinforcing required at the desired points along each span. Note that the user can only define the
reinforcement and the localization of the cross sections in the figure. Press the RE button and select

the Export to DXF option to create a CAD file and manipulate this outside RAM Elements.
Notice that the detailing window has some tools in the ribbon to introduce the reinforcement for the
beam.

Add longitudinal reinforcement and stirrups.

Add continuous reinforcement.

Add discontinuous reinforcement at axis (top).

361
Chapter 27: Reinforced Concrete Beam Design

Add discontinuous reinforcement in spans (bottom).

Add stirrups.

Generate automatic splices of bars at a percentage of the length.

Configuration dialog

Press the Advanced command located in the Options group on the Home tab to display the
configuration dialog.
This dialog allows the user to establish some standards for design and to have control over the
reinforcing design. Note that data changed on this window is saved for subsequent entries into the
detailing module.
These criteria should all be set before the detailing is viewed but need not be modified for subsequent
beam details unless required.

Report of reinforced concrete beams


The report of reinforced concrete beams displays all the detailed information of the beam. At the top
the general information that is common to all the selected members of the beam is displayed. This
section is followed by the data that is particular to each member of the beam. The report window is
shown next:

362
Chapter 27: Reinforced Concrete Beam Design

Report window of reinforced concrete beams.


For a detailed explanation of the tools in this report, see the Report section of the chapter of Printing
Graphics and Reports.
In the general information section, the user can find the loading conditions, the moment frame and
the properties of the materials.

General information displayed in the report of reinforced concrete beams.


In the specific data section for each member of the beam the user can find the geometry, the
reinforcement and some design parameters such as the clear cover, the initial spacing of stirrups, etc.
363
Chapter 27: Reinforced Concrete Beam Design

One particular feature is the graphic layout of the bar pattern with the position and number of each
group of bars.

Example of the graphic layout presented for the adopted reinforcement of the beam.
The results are divided in two sections, namely a flexural and a shear/torsion section.
Each member is divided in 10 equal lengths and thus 11 stations are considered in the verification of
the bar layout.
The status of the different stations is graphically shown in a special diagram that shows the design
moments envelope and the nominal moment capacity (multiplied by the factor) simultaneously. If
the strength at some station is not enough to resist the applied moments, this part of the diagram is
displayed in red. In this way, the user can evaluate the flexural design of the beam at a glance. All
diagrams are drawn from face-of-column to face-of-column.

Example of the flexural verification diagram. Note the areas with insufficient strength are highlighted
in red.
Note that the report indicates the spacing of bars required to meet cracking controls of the beam as
specified in ACI 10.6.4. The actual spacing of the bars as currently laid out is also indicated. This
spacing is calculated considering the dimensions of the following figure:

364
Chapter 27: Reinforced Concrete Beam Design

The report also displays all the information required to design shear and torsion reinforcement. The
status of the different stations is showed graphically with a diagram that compares the design shear
forces envelope with the nominal shear strength of each station. Most of the seismic considerations
given on chapter 21 of the Code are taken into account. In this case, the purpose is to get members
with shear strength greater than the maximum probable bending capacity of the member, in order to
avoid a brittle failure of the member.
A description of the main variables and the adopted nomenclature is explained in the notes section of
the report.

Technical Notes ACI Beams


The beam design in RAM Elements incorporates the requirements of:
The 2005 American Concrete Institute Building Code Requirements for Structural Concrete,
ACI 318-05 (ACI 2005). (ACI 318-99 is also included)
This section describes how these provisions are implemented in RAM Elements for beam design.

General
In the main program, beam design is performed for all design load combinations selected from the
print reinforced concrete design dialog. For the summary output in the main program flexure, shear
and torsion design is performed at evenly spaced stations along the beam (0.1xLength). In the Beam
Design module, the user can specify which load conditions to consider for design. The following
items are checked in the design of the reinforced concrete beams.
Flexure
Shear
Torsion
Detailing Requirements (RC Beam Detailer Only)
No axial load or out-of-plane loading is considered in the design.

Limitations
The following limitations currently exist in the RAM Elements implementation of the ACI318 with
respect to beam members:
No axial load is considered in the design.
Only in plane bending (about local axis 3-3 of member) is considered.
No deflection limits are checked.
No deep member design is considered.

Flexural Design
The flexural design of concrete beams is based on the simplified rectangular stress assumption as
described in ACI 10.2.7. The design assumptions of ACI 10.2.7 are fully implemented, particularly
the use of the equivalent rectangular stress distribution. The section is compression controlled if the
net tensile strain in the extreme tension steel is equal or less than the strain limit 0.002 when concrete
365
Chapter 27: Reinforced Concrete Beam Design

in compression reaches its assumed strain limit of 0.003 (ACI 10.3.3). The section is tension
controlled if the net tensile strain in the extreme tension steel is equal or greater than 0.005 when the
concrete in compression reaches its assumed strain limit of 0.003. At each section, the beam is
designed for the envelope (max positive and negative) moments from all the appropriate load
conditions. In the main program, the position of reinforcement is as specified when the section was
created. In the Reinforced Concrete (RC) Beam Detailer, the location of bars can be adjusted as
described later. For T and L shape beams (RC Beam Detailer only) the full flange width provided by
the user is considered for calculating the compressive stress block under positive moments. Where
the compressive stress encroaches on the web of the T or L section the beam is designed to account
for the reduction in the width of the compression zone. Note that no checks are performed on the
validity of the flange width provided. For negative moments, the flanges of the beam are ignored. The
minimum flexural reinforcing requirements of ACI 10.5 are implemented. Note that the distribution
of flexural reinforcing provisions (ACI 10.6) are implemented with equation (10-5), but the limits of
distance between lateral supports (ACI 10.4) are not considered, this should be checked by the user.
Special seismic requirements are implemented in the RC Beam Detailer. The appropriate moment
frame is specified as ordinary, intermediate or special in the data window of the detailer. The main
program always assumes an ordinary moment frame, which does not require any additional provision.
The following items describe the implementation of the flexural requirements for intermediate or
special moment frames.
ACI Description Intermediate Special moment
moment frames frames
21.2.4.5 Limits on Concrete User User
and Reinforcing responsibility Responsibility
Strength
21.3 Flexural Frame Not Applicable As indicated
Members below
21.3.1 Dimensional Limits Assume zero
axial loads.
Dimension
limits user
responsibility
21.3.2.1 Reinforcing Limits Implemented
21.3.2.2 and Prescriptive
Reinforcing
21.10 Requirements for As indicated Not Applicable
Moderate Risk: below
Intermediate moment
frames
21.10.2 Flexural Requirements Assume zero
axial loads
21.10.4 Prescriptive Implemented
Reinforcing

366
Chapter 27: Reinforced Concrete Beam Design

Shear Design
The shear design of concrete beams uses the concepts and requirements provided in the Chapter 11 of
ACI code. In the RC Beam Detailer the controlling shear at a distance d (effective depth) from the
face of a column may be used as the design shear (ACI 11.1.3). Notice that RAM Elements does not
check the concrete strength defined in the section 11.1.2. The shear strength provided by concrete is
computed with the equations (11-3) y (11-5) from the design code, for members subject to shear and
flexure. For special moment frames, the design shear force corresponding to the development of the
probable moment strength of the member (Mpr) that is calculated according to section 21.3.4.2 of the
ACI code. The design shear force (Ve) is calculated with the shear strength requirements provided in
section 21.3.4 and considering the factored static load during the earthquake that must be defined by
the user in the data window of the module Finally, the maximum value between Vu and Ve within a
2d length from the face of the supporting member toward midspan at both ends of the flexural
member (sec. 21.3.3.1.a) is used for the shear design. The user has the responsibility to check if there
are no other critical points in the shear diagrams.
It is important to remark that Section 11.5.5.3 of the Code can be interpreted in two ways. One using
the required reinforcement strength (Vsreq) and other using the provided reinforcement strength (Vs).
In the program and according to normal practice Vsreq is used. In case of Vsreq >
4*SQRT(fc)*bw*d then the required spacing is reduced to one half.
The vertical stirrups (closed or open hoops), used as shear transversal reinforcement, must perform
the requirements of spacing limits, minimum shear reinforcement area for shear and torsion as
indicated in the ACI code.
Special Seismic requirements from the ACI code are implemented in the RC Beam Detailer. The
following items describe the requirements implemented in the program for intermediate or special
moment frames:
ACI Description Intermediat Special
e moment moment
frames frames
21.3.4.1 Design shear Not Implemented
based on Applicable
member
21.10.3(a Implemente Not
bending
) d Applicable
capacity
21.3.4.2 Transverse Vc is Vc is
Reinforcement considered considered
in frame according to
members Mpr. No
axial load
assumed

Torsion Design
When necessary, member torsion design must provide additional steel for both the longitudinal and
the shear reinforcement of the member. Torsion is considered only in the section where design
torsion exceeds the limit provided in the section 11.6.1 of the ACI code. After torsional cracking
367
Chapter 27: Reinforced Concrete Beam Design

develops the torsional resistance is provided mainly by closed stirrups, longitudinal bars. The
additional area of longitudinal reinforcement to resist torsion shall not be less than the provided with
the equation (11-22).

Detailing Requirements
The design code has an important influence in the requirements of number, size, and distance
between bars. This section identifies those detailing specifications implemented by RAM Elements in
the Reinforced Concrete Beam Detailer. Notice that it is responsibility of the user to confirm that the
design performs all the requirements of the design code used. The following chart resumes some of
the requirements adopted in the ACI318-05 code.
ACI Description Comment
10.6 Distribution of flexural Implemented
reinforcing
11.5.4 Spacing limits for shear Implemented
reinforcing
11.6.6 Maximum spacing of Implemented
torsion reinforcement
12.2 Development of deformed Implemented
bars in tension except for
12.2.5
12.3 Development of deformed Not
bars comp. Implemented
12.4 Development of bundled Not
bars Implemented
12.5 Development of standard Implemented
hooks tension except
12.5.3.4
12.10 Development flexural bars Implemented
General
12.11 Development of positive User
moment reinforcing. responsibility
12.12 Development of negative User
moment reinforcing. responsibility
12.14 Splices of reinforcement in Implemented
tension
12.16 Splices of reinforcement in Not
compression Implemented
Special moment frames
21.3.3.2 Transverse reinforcement Implemented
21.3.2.3 Hoops at lap locations User

368
Chapter 27: Reinforced Concrete Beam Design

responsibility
Intermediate moment frames
21.10.4.2 Transverse reinforcement Implemented

In sections 21.3.4.1 and 21.10.3 the design requirements for maximum shear reinforcement, assumes
that the ends are hinged. Note that the program gives most of the data to easily evaluate the
requirements not covered directly by the program.

Technical Notes BS-8110


The beam design in RAM Elements adopts the requirements of the:
Structural use of concrete of the British Standard (BS-8110) code, version 1997.
This section has a description of code requirements adopted in RAM Elements for the beam design
procedure.

Flexural Design
The flexure design of concrete beams is done with the criterion of strength redistribution and the
analysis described in the section 2.5 of BS-8110 code. The hypothesis of design is based on section
3.4.4.4 BS-8110, for example the use of the equivalent concrete strength block. The beam is designed
at each section for the envelope (max positive and negative) moments from all the appropriate load
conditions. In the main program, the position of the reinforcing is as specified when the section was
created. In the Reinforced Concrete (RC) Beam Detailer, the location of the bars can be adjusted as
described later in this document. For T and L shape beams (RC Beam Detailer Only) the full flange
width provided by the user is considered for calculating the compressive stress block under positive
moments. Where the compressive stress encroaches on the web of the T or L section the beam is
designed to account for the reduction in the width of the compression zone. Note that no checks are
performed on the validity of the flange width provided. For negative moments, the flanges of the
beam are ignored. The minimum flexure reinforcement adopted is in accordance with table 3.25.
The seismic special requirements are not specified in the BS-8110 code. The program does not make
any seismic consideration if designed with this code. The user has the responsibility to cover all the
provisions that are not covered by the program.

Shear Design
Beam shear design of concrete reinforced with the BS-8110 code adopts the criteria and the
requirements that are provided in the section 3.4.5 of the BS-8110 code referring to design shear
resistance of beams. The design shear force is the maximum value from the envelope generated from
all selected load combinations. In the concrete reinforced beam detailer the shear design uses the
critical shear in a section located at a distance d from the face of the support. The concrete shear
stress c considers the section and the characteristic concrete strengths. The code provides in the
table 3.8 some values of c design concrete shear stress (3.4.5.4 BS-8110).

Where:
369
Chapter 27: Reinforced Concrete Beam Design

: Should not be taken as greater than 3

: Should not be taken as less than 0.67 for members without shear reinforcement and should
not be taken as less than 1 for members with shear reinforcement.

Torsion Design
It is not necessary to calculate reinforcement for torsion cracking, usually is controlled by the
transversal shear. When it is necessary to design the torsion members it must be considered the
recommendations in the section 2.4 of the BS 8110-2:1985.
The longitudinal torsion reinforcement must be distributed with a minimum of four bars one at each
corner and should not exceed a maximum distance between bars of 300mm.The links spacing should
not exceed 200mm, nor the smaller dimension of the link, neither the larger dimension of the link.

Detailing Requirements
Notice that is the user responsibility to confirm that the reinforcement provided performs the
requirements of the code. The following chart details the requirements of the BS-8110 code
implemented in the module
BS 8110 Description Comment
3.12.4 Distribution of flexural Implemented
reinforcement, reinforcement
details
3.4.5.5 Spacing limits for shear Implemented
reinforcing
3.12.8.23 Effective anchorage length of a Implemented
hook or bend
3.12.8.23 Effective anchorage of length of Implemented
a hook or bend
3.12.8.13 Design of tension laps Implemented
3.12.8.15 Design of compression laps Implemented

The program considers a minimum lap length stated in the code Sec.3.12.8.11. The minimum lap
distance should not exceed 15 time the bar size or 300mm.
Development length is calculated for the stress of 0.95fy and provides a constant value over the
length.
The anchorage length considers the straight and the bended portion of the bar, (full anchorage
length). If the bar does not extend or is not assumed to be stressed beyond a point four times the bar
diameter past the end of the bend no check need to be made. If it is assumed to be stressed beyond
this point, the bearing stress inside the bend must be checked to control the ultimate stresses.

370
Chapter 27: Reinforced Concrete Beam Design

ACI 318-05 Beam Design Flowcharts


Beam design
Material : Reinforced concrete.
Elements: Beams
Code: ACI 318-05
Date: 30-01-06
Considerations:
Look at the notes in the flowchart
It is assumed to be a constant section in all its length
It is assumed that axial loads shouldnt exceed the value (Ag*fc/10)(21.3.1.1)
Data:
Asprov, Asprov1: Provided inferior and superior reinforcement at the section
Asreq, Asreq1: Required reinforcement at the section.
Es: Modulus of elasticity, Es= 29000000 psi (8.5.2).
Fc: Specified compressive strength of concrete
Fy: Specified yield strength of reinforcement
L: span length of beam
Mn: Resistant nominal moment
Mpr: Resistant probable bending moment
Mupos,Muneg: Negative, Positive factored moments around 3-3 axis
Muminpos: Design positive minimum moment
Mumin: Minimum moment design.
Rdist: Moment redistribution percentage at supports.
Ve: Design Shear Force for seismic considerations
Vn: Nominal shear strength
Vu: Factored shear force at section
Sblim: Maximum spacing between bars considering cracking control
Seismic: Moment frame flag (0: Ordinary moment frame, 1: Intermediate moment
frame and 2: Special moment frame.
Tn: Torsional nominal moment.
Tu(i): Factored Torsional Moment at section
strength reduction factor for bending (9.3.2.2), 0.85 for shear (9.3.2)
ratio As to bd
b: ratio of As to bd producing balanced strain conditions.
371
Chapter 27: Reinforced Concrete Beam Design

lim: maximum geometric ratio


max: Maximum reinforcement ratio
1: ratio As to b*d

372
Chapter 27: Reinforced Concrete Beam Design

373
Chapter 27: Reinforced Concrete Beam Design

374
Chapter 27: Reinforced Concrete Beam Design

375
Chapter 27: Reinforced Concrete Beam Design

BS-8110 Beam Design Flowcharts


Beam bending design
Material : Reinforced concrete.
Elements: Beams
Code: BS-8110
Date: 30-01-06
Data:
f: Concrete cubic strength
fy: specified yield strength of reinforcement
As0: Tension reinforcement area
As1: Compression reinforcement area
b: width of section at compression area
bw: width of web in flanged beams
d: Depth of reinforcement in tension
d: Depth of compression reinforcement in compression
hf: Thickness of the flange
M: Moment of analysis
Mf: Resistant moment at the flange
x: Depth of neutral axis
z: lever arm
d: Ratio of moment at the section alter redistribution and moment at
section before redistribution.
Ma: Additional moment provided by compression reinforcement
Mbal: Moment for balanced failure and tension steel yield collapse
xbal: neutral axis at balanced condition.
As1eff: Effective area of compression reinforcement
Fscncalc, fstcalc: Compression and tension strength of reinforcement at balanced
state

Shear and Torsion Beam Design


Material : Reinforced concrete.
Elements: Beams
Code: BS-8110
Date: 30-01-06

376
Chapter 27: Reinforced Concrete Beam Design

Tu: Factored Torsional moment strength


Vu: Factored Shear Force at section
Ac: Steel reinforcement at the section
Asstirrups: Area of shear reinforcement
d: effective depth of the tension reinforcement
snom: nominal stirrups spacing
Scalc: calculated stirrups spacing
vt: Shear provided by torsion
v: Nominal shear strength provided by concrete
vs: Nominal shear strength provided by shear reinforcement
Al: Total area of longitudinal reinforcement to resist torsion
Tn: Nominal Torsion
Vn: Nominal Shear

377
Chapter 27: Reinforced Concrete Beam Design

378
Chapter 27: Reinforced Concrete Beam Design

379
Chapter 27: Reinforced Concrete Beam Design

380
Chapter 28: Design and Detailing of Reinforced Concrete Columns

Chapter 28: Design and Detailing of Reinforced


Concrete Columns
This section describes the design process of reinforced concrete columns in RAM Elements, which is
easy and quick.

Design Steps
1) Data input
The user has to enter the required data related to material properties, geometry, and design
parameters, which can be modified at any time, before or after analysis. See Detailing Modules
chapter for more information about module management.
Important!
All input data can be modified in the detailer. However, modifications made in the detailer will not be
reflected back in the model of the main program. It is suggested that all user input data be applied in
the model prior to invoking the detailer.

2) Reinforcement Optimization
This step defines the longitudinal and transverse reinforcement of the column, considering minimum
bar spacing, minimum bar quantity, required reinforcement area, etc.
The reinforcement is based on the current column dimensions introduced by the user.

3) Verifications
The last step belongs to the design checks and it is executed by pressing the button Verify design.
The program performs a series of design verifications in order to assure a good behavior of the
column.
Concrete columns
RAM Elements performs different designs on beams and columns. As such members must be
identified as either a beam or a column if they are to be appropriately designed. This is done by
assigning the appropriate section to the elements. Each Reinforced Concrete Section is implicitly
either a Beam or Column section. To assign a reinforced concrete column to a member select an
RcCol (or RcColM) section as illustrated in the figure below.

381
Chapter 28: Design and Detailing of Reinforced Concrete Columns

To create a new section, select the appropriate Section Type for Beams or Columns, as illustrated
below:

382
Chapter 28: Design and Detailing of Reinforced Concrete Columns

Creating new sections using the command Sections from the Databases group in the Home tab.

Reports and Window Output


Two forms of concrete design output are available for the user in RAM Elements. Significantly, more
output is available in the concrete design module discussed in the next section. In the main program
the user can obtain a design summary report with the reinforcement in the concrete members.

Summary Report of Column Design


RAM Elements provides a summary output for concrete column design. The output consists of two
lines for each member. Note that output is relatively wide. To view the output of a reinforced
concrete design, first select the elements and then select the Design/Reinforced concrete command
from the Reports group in the Output tab, as illustrated below.

383
Chapter 28: Design and Detailing of Reinforced Concrete Columns

Execute the command Design/Reinforced concrete to display a summary report of the reinforced
concrete design
From the displayed dialog (See figure below) to generate the report, select the load conditions
required and the size of the stirrup to be consider.

Select OK and the report will be generated for all selected members. The report that appears is
described below.

Window Display of Reinforcement


To obtain a schematic layout of a beam or column bars, select the concrete members and use the

Reinforcement position command from the Model group in the View tab. The display will
indicate the correct layout of the longitudinal bars in the currently selected members. A more detailed
output of the reinforcing can be obtained in the detailer described next.

384
Chapter 28: Design and Detailing of Reinforced Concrete Columns

These are the true location of reinforcing bars in those sections selected.

Concrete Column Design Module


This section describes the available options in the Concrete Column design module to design and
detail a selected reinforced concrete column. As in all the detailing modules for reinforced concrete,
the design is faced as a trial and error process, where the user input the geometry, materials and
reinforcement and the program verifies the condition of the column for the specified loads. This
module is invoked by selecting the command Concrete Columns from the Members group, Modules
tab. (see the figure below). Refer to Chapter of Design and Detailing Modules for more details on
invoking and navigating within the concrete design/detailing modules.

Home tab
The Home tab display the data window, it appears as shown in the following figure.

385
Chapter 28: Design and Detailing of Reinforced Concrete Columns

This window allows to modify materials, sections and geometry of the structure. Sometimes
dimensional modifications are made in the analysis phase to model more accurately the true structural
behavior. As this module is most likely to be used to generate structural drawings, the user should
enter the true dimensions.
Once the user has reviewed all data, it is possible to select the detailing window, the interaction
diagram design window or to review the report.
When the user displays the detailing window, it would show the reinforcement purposed for optimal
design and calculated with configuration default values.
RAM Elements suggest transversal and longitudinal reinforcement for an optimized design. The user

must select the Check command to design the column with the reinforcement data introduced.

Using the Optimize command after any change in the column reinforcement data the program
will optimize the reinforcement with the consequent loss of the entered data.

386
Chapter 28: Design and Detailing of Reinforced Concrete Columns

Interaction diagram window

To access this window press the button in the Diagrams group, Home tab.

Interaction diagrams window. The user may see the column interaction diagrams varying the
application several options to display the diagrams and interaction surfaces as well as section
stresses.

387
Chapter 28: Design and Detailing of Reinforced Concrete Columns

Detailing tab

The detailing window shows the reinforcing bars adopted for the column.
Both longitudinal and vertical reinforcement are shown on this window. Press the RE button and

select the Export to DXF option to create a CAD file and manipulate this outside RAM
Elements.
Notice that the detailing window has some tools in the ribbon to introduce the reinforcement for the
column.

Add longitudinal and transverse reinforcement.

Add stirrups.

Add longitudinal reinforcement bars.

Make longitudinal bars uniform.

388
Chapter 28: Design and Detailing of Reinforced Concrete Columns

Configuration dialog

Press the Advanced command located in the Options group on the Home tab to display the
configuration dialog.
This dialog allows the user to establish some standards for design and to have control over the
reinforcing design. Note that data changed on this window is saved for subsequent entries into the
detailing module.
These criteria should all be set before the detailing is viewed but need not be modified for subsequent
element details unless required.

Report of reinforced concrete columns


The report of reinforced concrete columns displays all the detailed information of the column design.
At the top of the report is the general information that is common to all the selected members. This
section is followed by the data that is particular to each member of the column. The report window is
shown next:

389
Chapter 28: Design and Detailing of Reinforced Concrete Columns

Report window of reinforced concrete columns.


In the general information section, the user can find the loading conditions, geometry data and
properties of the materials.

390
Chapter 28: Design and Detailing of Reinforced Concrete Columns

Results section of the report.


For a detailed explanation of the tools in this report, see the Report section of the chapter of Printing
Graphics and Reports.

Technical Notes
1) General
The general characteristics of the module are:
Design of compression or tension members
Consideration of rectangular and circulars sections
391
Chapter 28: Design and Detailing of Reinforced Concrete Columns

Interactions diagrams: interaction curves and surfaces.


Consideration of the seismic risk type
DXF export
Detailed report

2) Limitations
The aspects not covered are:
Torsion Design

3) Design Code
The reinforced concrete column design in RAM Elements incorporates the latest requirements of:
The 2005 American Concrete Institute Building Code Requirements for Structural Concrete,
ACI 318-05.
The 1997 (incorporating amendments 1, 2 and 3 from 30/11/2005) British Standard,
Structural Use for Concrete, BS 8110-1: 1997

4) Loads
The column is designed to resist the entire factored load in his transversal section. All load
combinations need to be generated by the user, according to the applicable local code. The user can
consider some or all combination when performing the design.

ACI 318-05 Technical Notes


This section describes how these provisions are implemented in RAM Elements for column design.

1) Design of longitudinal reinforcement


The longitudinal reinforcement is designed to resist both biaxial bending and axial loads. The
following assumptions have been made:
Strength Design Theory.
The strain of concrete is proportional to the distance to the neutral axis.
Maximum concrete strain max = 0.003
The compression force of the concrete is calculated using the equivalent rectangular block of
forces proposed by Whitney, integrating the compression area.
The stress-strain diagram for the steel is elasto-plastic, which means that the stress of the steel
has a linear variation up to the yielding point, and then it remains constant.
Modulus of elasticity of the reinforcement E = 29000 ksi.
The stress in the reinforcement is calculated based on the strain of the centroid of each
reinforcement bar.
All the moments are in reference to the geometric centroid of the section, not considering the
reinforcement.
The nominal strength of a section is calculated with the following strength reduction factors:
392
Chapter 28: Design and Detailing of Reinforced Concrete Columns

= 0.9 in axial tension, or axial tension with flexure.


= 0.7 Compression controlled sections with transverse spiral reinforcement.
= 0.65 Compression controlled sections with other reinforced members.
For intermediate cases, shall be permitted to be increased linearly to 0.90 as *Pn decreases
from 10*fc*Ag or *Pb, whichever is smaller, to zero.
If the reinforcement is less than 1% (the minimum suggested reinforcement ratio), the
calculation is done in a similar way with the specified strength of the concrete, displaying a
warning message.
The tension strength of the concrete is neglected.
The strength reductions factors are according section 9.3 of the Code.

2) Slenderness effects
The ACI318 Code specifies that the slenderness effects in columns should be considered by
performing either section 10.10.1 or 10.10.2 of the Code.
The design procedure uses the moment magnifier concept, considering the non-linear analysis and the
second order effects (P-). A second-order frame analysis is an elastic analysis that includes the
internal force effects resulting from deflections and is based on realistic stiffness values. The (P-)
effect uses moment magnification factors that depends on the nonsway frame (10.12.3) or the
sidesway frame (10.13.4), to reflect lateral drift and the member curvature resulting from lateral and
vertical loads.
Important: The ACI 318-05 code states that columns with k*lu/r >100 need to be designed
according to 10.10.1. This is not currently performed in the program and therefore a warning will be
shown.
To analyze sway frames, the program considers columns like individual compression members and
neglects the effects of slenderness when klu/r is less than 22, section 10.13.2. The moments at the
ends of an individual compression member in a sway frame are not added to the unmagnified
nonsway moment (from a first order elastic analysis) of the same column. However, the user can
make the analysis again and add the results to the moments from the P-analysis before starting the
design procedure
The user has the responsibility to decide if the columns belong to a sway or non-sway frame. The
criterion stated in 10.11.4.1 can be helpful to decide whether the members of the frame should be
considered braced against sidesway.
The P- effects for columns subject to sidesway are automatically obtained from the second order
analysis results. Previously, the user must define the inertia reduction factors for each section, in this
way the design will represent the real stiffness of the members immediately prior the failure, (section
10.11.1). The inertia is modified dividing it by the coefficient (1 + d) as shown in the equation (10-
12). It must be assumed d=0.6 but this value may change when lateral permanent loads are applied
in sway frames (R10.13.4.1).
The flow charts at the end of this chapter show the column design procedure and the slenderness
effects.

393
Chapter 28: Design and Detailing of Reinforced Concrete Columns

3) Bending design
Having determined the magnified moments (the required design moments), the required
reinforcement area (As) is calculated using an exact determination of the axial-moment (P-M)
interaction limits of the column design. This methodology used to determine the true P-M limits
involves a trial and adjustment procedure for establishing moment equilibrium. As illustrated in the
attached flowcharts, this involves both shifting and rotating the neutral axis to obtain equilibrium.
This procedure uses the true (full) section properties, and the rebar pattern entered by the user in the
Data Screen. The program also checks if the adopted reinforcement area is within the maximum and
minimum allowed reinforcement limits prescribed by the code or set by the user. It calculates also the
nominal moments of the section with the adopted reinforcement and determines if the section is able
to resist the imposed moments. The demand or capacity ratio is defined as the ratio between the
current loads acting on the column divided by the strength reduction factor (phi) and the nominal
capacity (axial or bending moments) that are illustrated in the following figure. Note that phi is
defined for Mu and Pu values.

Interaction diagram of a column.


The demand or capacity ratio for the current load is defined as:
The ratio between the distances O-C and O-D for compression axial load. For tension axial
load, the ratio comes in by O-C and O-E distance.
The ration between the distance O-A and O-B for flexural moments.
The governing condition for bending is defined as the condition with the highest demand ratio. If Pu
> Plim then the capacity of the column will be reduced to the Plim value.
Once the user has defined the column reinforcement, the program has on option to see the interaction
diagrams. The interaction diagram shows the maximum axial force that can be resisted with the used
eccentricity or the maximum bending moment that can be resisted with the applied axial force.
394
Chapter 28: Design and Detailing of Reinforced Concrete Columns

4) Shear design
Shear design is performed according to Chapter 11 of the Code. The shear forces in both axes are
considered, but torsion is neglected in the design of the stirrups.

The program considers the maximum factored shear forces (Vu), which are located a distance d from
the face support of the column according to 11.1.3.1. The nominal shear strength of the column, if
subject to axial tension, is taken according to Equation (11-8). Details of how the shear design is
performed are given in the attached flow charts.

5) Special provisions for seismic design


The user can specify the type of moment frame for each design
Ordinary moment frame where no special considerations are taken into account.
Intermediate moment frame where structures with intermediate seismic performance are
considered.
Special moment frame where structures with high seismic performance are included.
This version of the program considers all the requirements given in section 21.4.5 of the code for
special moment frames. This section of the code specifies that the shear design has to be performed
based on the flexural resistance of columns.
The length (Lo) measured from the joint face and the maximum tie spacing for this length (So) is
calculated according to 21.12.5 for intermediate moment frames and according to 21.4.4 for special
moment frames. The attached flow charts show the details of the sections that are considered in the
verification.

395
Chapter 28: Design and Detailing of Reinforced Concrete Columns

BS-8110 Technical Notes


This section describes how these provisions are implemented in RAM Elements for column design.
Some considerations for the design in RAM Elements are the following.

1) Longitudinal Reinforcement design


The longitudinal reinforcement is provided to resist both axial stresses and flexure moments. The
considerations for the design are the following:
Ultimate resistance design.
The concrete strain is proportional to the distance from neutral axis.
Maximum concrete strain max = 0.0035.
The compression force of the concrete is calculated using a parabolic relation between stress
and strain recommended by the code BS-8110.
The stress vs. strain diagram for steel is elasto-plastic, which means that the stress of the steel
has a linear variation up to the yielding point, and then it remains constant.
The stress in the reinforcement is calculated based on the strain of the centroid of each
reinforcement bar.
All the moments are in reference to the geometric centroid of the section, not considering the
reinforcement.
It is applied safety factors for the material strength and the loads applied are increased with
load factors.
The minimum reinforcement ratio is 1% and the maximum is 6%.
If the reinforcement is less than 1% (the minimum suggested reinforcement ratio), the
calculation is done in a similar way with the specified strength of the concrete, displaying a
warning message.
The tension strength of the concrete is neglected.
The balanced axial design load may be taken as 0.25 fcu*b*d.

The safety resistance factors of materials are defined in accordance with the code BS-8110 Sec
2.4.4.1

2) Slenderness effects
The code specifies that for slenderness effects in columns it must be considered the sections 3.8.1 of
the BS-8110 code.

Additional moments produced by bending must be considered. At no section in a column should the
design moment be taken as less than that produced by considering the design ultimate axial load as
acting at a minimum eccentricity equal to 0.05 times the overall dimension of the column in the plane
of the bending considered but no more than 20mm, section 3.8.2.4.
396
Chapter 28: Design and Detailing of Reinforced Concrete Columns

The additional moments are induced by the bending of the column. For the column design, it is
calculated a total moment of the column, as the greatest value of the large initial end moment due to
design ultimate load, the initial moment (maximum moment at the critical section calculated for the
ultimate limit state) incremented with the additional moment, the moment due to minimum
eccentricity.
Important: Usually the clear height between supports should not exceed 60 times the smaller side
the column, section 3.8.1.7.
The user has the responsibility to decide if the columns belong to a sway or non-sway frame.
The moments M1, M2, are the smaller and the larger initial end moment due to design ultimate loads.
To calculate the deflection induced moments in solid slender columns for non sway systems, use
Equation 32 of the code BS-8110 and Equation 37 in case of sway system columns. This influences
the additional moment that is added to the initial moment, which at the same time is used to calculate
the total design moment for the column design considering slenderness effects.

3) Bending design
Having determined the magnified moments (the required design moments), the required
reinforcement area (As) is calculated using an exact determination of the axial-moment (P-M)
interaction limits of the column design. This methodology used to determine the true P-M limits
involves a trial and adjustment procedure for establishing moment equilibrium. As illustrated in the
attached flowcharts, this involves both shifting and rotating the neutral axis to obtain equilibrium.
This procedure uses the true (full) section properties, and the rebar pattern entered by the user in the
Data Screen. The program also checks if the adopted reinforcement area is within the maximum and
minimum allowed reinforcement limits prescribed by the code or set by the user. It calculates also the
resistant moments of the section with the reinforcement adopted and determines if the section is able
to resist the applied moments.

4) Shear design
Shear design is performed according with Section 3.4.5.12 of the code BS-8110, for rectangular
section under compression loads. It is not required any further verification if the moment divided
between the axial load does not exceed 0.6h. In no case should shear stress exceed the maximum
value defined in the code as (0.8*SQRT fcu) or 5N/mm2, whichever is the lesser.

397
Chapter 28: Design and Detailing of Reinforced Concrete Columns

ACI 318-05 Column Design Flowcharts

398
Chapter 28: Design and Detailing of Reinforced Concrete Columns

399
Chapter 28: Design and Detailing of Reinforced Concrete Columns

400
Chapter 28: Design and Detailing of Reinforced Concrete Columns

401
Chapter 28: Design and Detailing of Reinforced Concrete Columns

402
Chapter 28: Design and Detailing of Reinforced Concrete Columns

403
Chapter 28: Design and Detailing of Reinforced Concrete Columns

404
Chapter 28: Design and Detailing of Reinforced Concrete Columns

405
Chapter 28: Design and Detailing of Reinforced Concrete Columns

406
Chapter 28: Design and Detailing of Reinforced Concrete Columns

407
Chapter 28: Design and Detailing of Reinforced Concrete Columns

BS-8110 1997 Column Design Flowcharts

408
Chapter 28: Design and Detailing of Reinforced Concrete Columns

409
Chapter 28: Design and Detailing of Reinforced Concrete Columns

410
Chapter 28: Design and Detailing of Reinforced Concrete Columns

411
Chapter 29: Footing Design and Detailing

Chapter 29: Footing Design and Detailing


This section describes the design process of reinforced concrete footings as implemented by RAM
Elements, which is easy and quick.

Soil-footing-structure modeling
Before proceeding with footing design, the model should be analyzed appropriately. The analysis
should consider the soil-structure interaction where appropriate according to the type of footings.
A soil-structure analysis should consider adequate soil springs for all the situations that include
eccentric columns (columns that are not located at the center of a footing), or where the dynamic
properties of the structure are influenced by soil-structure interaction.
The input data for modeling is described in: Foundation Spring Modeling Tools, with the
recommended methods by RAM Elements to model the soil-structure interaction and their
implications in footing design: dimensions optimization and design checks.
For more details about the basic concepts for soil-footing-structure modeling and how to use this tool,
refer to appendix A: Soil Structure Interaction Theory at the end of this chapter.

Steps Design
1) Input Data
It is performed through pull-down windows in case of multiple options or by keyboard. All data like
material properties, geometry, and design parameters can be modified at any time, before or after
analysis. See Detailing Modules chapter for more information about module management.

2) Base dimensions
This step defines the basic dimensions of the footing geometry and it consists in setting up the base
and height dimensions. They could also be calculated at the same time using Suggest footing
dimension button.

This button calculates the minimum plan dimensions of the base to comply with the soil allowable
stress, and calculates the minimum depth of the footing to resist the applied shear forces without
reinforcement.

3) Reinforcement Optimization
This process defines the longitudinal and transverse reinforcement of the footing, considering
minimum bar spacing, minimum bar quantity, required reinforcement area, etc.
The reinforcement is based on the current footing dimension, determined in the previous step or the
one defined by the user.

413
Chapter 29: Footing Design and Detailing

4) Verifications
The last step belongs to the design checks and it is executed by pressing the button Verify design.
The program performs a series of design verifications including the stability of the foundation.

Footing Design Module


This section describes the available options in the Footing Design module to design and detail a
selected reinforced concrete footings. As in all the detailing modules for reinforced concrete, the
design is faced as a trial and error process, where the user input the geometry, materials and
reinforcement and the program verifies the condition of the footing for the specified loads. This
module is invoked by selecting the command Footings from the Foundations group, Modules tab.
(see the figure below). Refer to Chapter of Design and Detailing Modules for more details on
invoking and navigating within the concrete design/detailing modules.

Select the desired option from the drop-down menu.

Home tab
The Home tab display the data window, it appears as shown in the following figure.

414
Chapter 29: Footing Design and Detailing

This window allows to modify materials, loads and geometry of the element. Sometimes dimensional
modifications are made in the analysis phase to model more accurately the true structural behavior.
As this module is most likely to be used to generate structural drawings, the user should enter the true
dimensions.
Once the user has reviewed all data, it is possible to select the detailing window, the soil pressure
window or to review the report.
When the user displays the detailing window, it would show the reinforcement purposed for optimal
design and calculated with configuration default values.
RAM Elements suggest transversal and longitudinal reinforcement for an optimized design. The user

must select the Check command to design the foorting with the reinforcement data introduced.

Using the Optimize command after any change in the footing reinforcement data the program
will optimize the reinforcement with the consequent loss of the entered data.

Soil pressure window


It is possible to see the soil pressures diagramas for the footing.

415
Chapter 29: Footing Design and Detailing

In the soil pressure window, the user can inspect the contact pressures and settlements calculated for
the current footing.

416
Chapter 29: Footing Design and Detailing

Detailing tab

The detailing window shows the reinforcing bars adopted for the footing.
Both longitudinal and vertical reinforcement are shown on this window. Press the RE button and

select the Export to DXF option to create a CAD file and manipulate this outside RAM
Elements.
Notice that the detailing window has some tools in the ribbon to introduce the reinforcement for the
footing.

Generate longitudinal reinforcement.

Generate transverse reinforcement.

Generate pedestal reinforcement (enabled if the column type was defined as Pedestal)

417
Chapter 29: Footing Design and Detailing

Configuration dialog

Press the Advanced command located in the Options group on the Home tab to display the
configuration dialog.
This dialog allows the user to establish some standards for design and to have control over the
reinforcing design. Note that data changed on this window is saved for subsequent entries into the
detailing module.
These criteria should all be set before the detailing is viewed but need not be modified for subsequent
element details unless required.

Report of footing
The report of reinforced concrete footing displays all the detailed information of the footing design.
At the top of the report is the general information that is common to all the selected elements. This
section is followed by the data that is particular to each element. The report window is shown next:

418
Chapter 29: Footing Design and Detailing

Report window of reinforced concrete footings.


In the general information section, the user can find the loading conditions, geometry data and
properties of the materials.

419
Chapter 29: Footing Design and Detailing

Results section of the report.


For a detailed explanation of the tools in this report, see the Report section of the chapter of Printing
Graphics and Reports.

Technical Notes
1) General
The general characteristics of the module are:
Analysis and design of isolated footings and/or combined footings
Consideration of three types of columns: concrete columns, steel columns or pedestals
420
Chapter 29: Footing Design and Detailing

Design according ACI 318-05 and BS-8110 codes


Pedestal design
Tension forces acting on the footing are considered.
Graphical introduction of the footing geometry
Analysis and design considering the soil above the foundation
FEM Diagram of the soil tensions and settlements
Includes moment and shear diagrams
Bearing capacity as input or calculated considering different theories for the soil bearing
capacity (Vesic, Hansen and Meyerhof)
DXF export
Detailed report
The module could be used as a stand alone program or integrated with RAM Elements.

2) Limitations
The aspects not covered are:
The possibility to incorporate footing shear reinforcement
Detailing of footings with boundary or corner columns for loads of consideration

3) Design Code
The footing design in RAM Elements incorporates the latest requirements of:
The 2005 American Concrete Institute, Building Code Requirements for Structural Concrete,
ACI 318-05.
The 1997 (incorporating amendments 1, 2 and 3) British Standard, Structural Use of
Concrete, BS 8110-1:1997.

4) Loads
Footings should be designed to resist the factored loads and induced reactions. Service load
conditions can also be used to verify soil stresses and settlements. All load combinations (design and
service) need to be generated by the user, according to the applicable local code. The user can
consider some or all load combinations when performing the design.
When calculating the soil pressures and settlements, the loads to be considered are those transmitted
from the column to the base (applied loads), the own weight of the footing and the weight of the soil
overburden (optional). Though, only applied loads are considered for the footing design.

5) Analysis
A numerical method is used to find the stress distribution in the soil. This method considers the soil
as an elastic material, which can be represented by the modulus of subgrade reaction (ks). The
footing is assumed to be infinitely rigid, that is, the soil stress distribution below the footing is
assumed to be linear. Due to the numerical integration method used, values such as soil pressures
may differ by up to 3% from exact solutions.
421
Chapter 29: Footing Design and Detailing

6) Overall stability against sliding, overturning and soil bearing capacity


Any isolated shallow foundation must have stability against:
6.1) Sliding
It is produced by the lateral forces acting on the footing base. Any passive earth pressure developed
by the soil in front of the foundation will help against the slide forward. If this soil is permanent (i.e.
covered by pavement or a sidewalk) it may be included to produce the passive pressure.
(Fr+Pp)/H SF
Where:
SF = Safety factor against sliding
Fr = base friction and adhesion force
Pp = passive earth pressure
H = Horizontal load acting on the foundation.
For estimating the passive pressure and the soil bearing capacity the following reduction coefficients
are suggested (and used as default values): 0.67 for friction angle and 0.5 for cohesion.
6.2) Overturning
Overturning verification involves taking the moment summation, i.e. about point O. These moments
can help stabilize the footing or they can help overturn it.

The following equation must be verified:


(Wc+Ws+P)*x/M SF
Where:
SF = Safety factor against overturning
Wc = weight of the foundation
Ws = weight of the soil over the foundation
P = Vertical load
M = overturning moment and x distance to the overturning edge.
x = point O distance
422
Chapter 29: Footing Design and Detailing

In the above equation, the numerator represents the stability moments and the denominator the
overturning ones, and if horizontal forces exist (which also generate overturning moments), they must
be included.
It is not a good practice to design footings having their resultant outside of the middle third of the
foundation because this highly increases the maximum tension at the edge, generating large
differential settlements that tilt the foundation.
6.3) Bearing capacity failure or allowable bearing pressure
It is important to remember that the allowable soil pressure for a footing takes into account both, the
bearing capacity and the settlements. Sometimes the allowable bearing pressure is already provided
to the user by the soil technician and can be considered directly. However, if the user has enough soil
data, it is suggested to use this information instead to calculate the bearing capacity of shallow
foundations with one of the equations proposed by Hansen, Meyerhof or Vesic (this option considers
the loads acting on the footing and the specific conditions of their surroundings as ground slope,
water table depth, etc).
The bearing capacity calculation considers the wedge weight, the soil cohesion and the lateral
pressure. These three components are affected by correction factors due to foundation shape, load
eccentricity, inclined loading, and foundation depth. Eccentricity and inclined loading correction
factors may not be used simultaneously and the factors not used are unity. Additionally the water
table depth is taken into account, which affects the effective soil unit weight and pressures. Only a
uniform soil layer is considered.
Any method to obtain the bearing capacity is just an estimate and can be adopted depending on the
users judgment or familiarity with the method. The differences are mainly in the correction factors.
For more information on the bearing capacity equations the user is directed to the following
references:
1. Bowles, Joseph E., Foundation Analysis and Design 5th Edition, Mc Graw Hill, New York, 1995
2. USA Corps of Eng., Engineering and Design - Bearing Capacity (EM 1110-1-1905), 1992.

7) Design
The strength design is performed considering both bending and shear.

The figure notes below describe the location of critical sections used for design according ACI 318-
05.

423
Chapter 29: Footing Design and Detailing

The maximum factored moment is calculated at critical sections located at the faces of the column
assuming a concrete column (figure a). For steel columns or masonry walls this critical section is
given by the code, ACI 318-05 section 15.4.2. The reinforcement distribution is always uniform for
the parallel bars to the long direction (longitudinal reinforcement) see ACI 318-05 section 15.4.4.1.
For the short direction, the distribution is being made according to what is stipulated in section
15.4.4.2 of the Code.
Both one and two-way shear is considered in the design. One-way shear strength is verified taking a
critical section at a distance d from the face of the column (figure b). The critical section used to
consider punching shear at the perimeter of the column is located at a distance d/2 from its face
(figure c). Where d is the footing effective average height.
The development length in the footing is calculated in accordance to Chapter 12 of the Code and the
critical sections are the same as the ones adopted for bending. The length of dowels is calculated
considering the splice length, and the minimum necessary development length inside the footing
taking into account the compression or tension in the bars. When the dowels are only in compression,
the development length should be straight; otherwise a standard hook is adopted. Although both
development lengths are listed in the report, only one is considered to check if there is enough space.
Refer to the attached flowcharts and ACI318-05 for details of the design procedure implemented.

Critical sections for flexure and shear are the same that adopted by ACI, but for punching the
perimeter section is located 1.5d off of the column face.
The reinforcement distribution is done in accordance to BS-8110 Section 3.11.3.2 with the limitation
that the program does not concentrate the longitudinal reinforcement if that were the case.

Foundation Spring Modeling Tools


Once the user knows how these Code provisions are implemented for footing design, it is suggested
to follow the procedure below for the soil-footing-structure interaction modeling in foundation
design.
The program has a special tool to help with the input data for footings and determining the spring
constants required to model the soil-structure interaction correctly. The basic concepts to use this tool
are described in Appendix A, at the end of this chapter.
First, to activate this functionality select the support nodes where the footing/s are to be located. Press
the footing button shown below to model the footing-soil springs.

Press the indicated button to model footings for the currently selected nodes
The following dialog will appear.

424
Chapter 29: Footing Design and Detailing

Dialog used to generate soil springs to model the Soil-Structure interaction.

Column Position:
To automatically calculate rigid offset lengths the program currently allows nine different column
positions on the footing. Select the radio button that best reflects the position of your column.

Soil Type - Modulus of Subgrade Reaction:


Select the type of soil that most closely matches that of your site. This selection is used to establish
the footing modulus of sub-grade reaction (ks). By selecting Use and entering a value, any modulus
value can be entered.

Spring Method:
The footing is modeled with three springs, one translational spring (kt) and two rotational springs
(krxx, krzz). There are two methods available to calculate the appropriate spring constants. The two
methods, Direct and Taylor, are described below. Note that to clear the footing springs and rigid
offset from an existing footing the user should select the Remove Springs option in this frame.
Direct Method
kt = ks * B* L
krxx = ks*B*L3/12
krzz = ks*L*B3/12
425
Chapter 29: Footing Design and Detailing

Where ks is the modulus of subgrade reaction (Force/Area per Length Settlement e.g. kip/ft2/ft). Kr
assumes that the ks value is uniform throughout the area below the footing. The derivation of kr is as
follows:

Parameters affecting the rotation and the calculation of the spring constants.
Vertical spring constant:
kt = ks * B* L
For the rotation about axis zz:
tan = (2 - 1) / B
Considering that is a small angle, tan = , so:
= (2 - 1) / B [Eqn I]
Stress in soil at edge of footing is moment/section modulus of footing
Mzz*(B/2)/(L*B3/12) = 6*Mzz/(B2*L).
From the definition of modulus of subgrade reaction:
ks = / [Eqn II]
Considering a conventional analysis of rigid footings the soil pressure can be computed from
principles of mechanics of materials for combined bending and axial stresses:
1 = N/(B*L) - 6*Mzz/(B2*L) 2 = N/(B*L) + 6*Mzz/(B2*L) [Eqn III]
Substituting Eqn.III into Eqn.II we get:
1 = (N/(B*L) - 6*Mzz/(B2*L) )/ks
2 = (N/(B*L) + 6*Mzz/(B2*L) )/ks
Replacing these last in Eqn.I we get:
= 12*Mzz/ks/(B3*L)
And
krzz = Mzz/
thus
krzz = ks*L*B3/12.

426
Chapter 29: Footing Design and Detailing

Finally
krzz = kt*B2/12
Taylor Method
Taylor, P. W. (1967). Design of Spread Footings for Earthquake Loadings, Proceedings of the 5th
Australia-New Zealand Conference on Soil Mechanics and Foundation Engineering, pp.221-229.
This method does not assume uniform soil stiffness below the footing but rather is based on studies
performed by P. W. Taylor as referenced above. This method calculates a rotational stiffness based
on the soil properties and footing dimensions. Most of the soil parameters are incorporated into the
modulus of subgrade reaction so that this is the only parameter entered by the user.
For the rotation about axis zz:
tan = (1-2)*Mzz*I / (Es*B2*L)
Where is the Poissons ratio, Es is the stress-strain modulus and I is an influence factor which can
be expressed as:
I = 16 / (*(1+0.22*B/L))
for rigid footings.
Considering that is a small angle, tan = , and taking into account the Vesics proposal relating ks
with Es: ks = Es / (B*(1-2)).
We get:
= I*Mzz / (B3*L)
And
krzz = Mzz / , thus krzz = ks*L*B3/I
Finally:
krzz = kt*B2/I
Note: Although you provide the program with fundamental data on the footing and soil, RAM
Elements does not store this information with the node. Therefore, future invocations of this dialog
with the same node selected will not necessarily result in the correct data being displayed in the
dialog. Furthermore, the data is not transferred into the design/detailing module.
With the data provided, the program automatically calculates the required spring constants and rigid
offsets to the geometric center of the footing. Analysis reactions are therefore calculated in the
geometric center of the footing thereby taking into account the effect of the footings vertical and
rotational stiffness on the behavior of the structure.
Using this modeling technique the user can easily implement and model a combined (strap) type
footing as illustrated below.

427
Chapter 29: Footing Design and Detailing

(a) Eccentric footing with a strap beam (b) Model to use in the analysis.

Appendix A: Soil Structure Interaction - Theory


The model may need to consider the interaction between footings and the structure. RAM Elements
automatically handles two typical footing situations, the typical case of a column located at the center
of a footing and the less common case of a column located around the edge of a footing.

Column Located at Center of Footing


Consider the following column-footing system:

Typical footing with the column located at the center of the foundation.
If the column is continuous with the footing, then when subject to lateral load the actual footing
rotates (see (a) in figure below) and this modifies the column bending moment and the distribution of
the soil stress (see (b) in figure). Pinned columns (such as steel columns located at footing center)
typically do not subject the footing to moment load and as such it is typically not necessary to
implement a soil spring in this instance.

a) Actual footing rotation. b) Soil stresses.


Note that the footing rotates due to the differential soil deformation.
If the user assumes that the column is fixed against rotation for analysis purposes, then the column
forces may be overly conservative, but the lateral displacement will likely be underestimated.
Therefore, a more accurate modeling technique needs to consider the soil-structure interaction. In this
case the effect of soil on the vertical translational and the rotational of the footing. This phenomenon
can be modeled by using adequate translation and rotation springs.
428
Chapter 29: Footing Design and Detailing

The footing is modeled using translational and rotational springs. This models the elasticity of the
soil.
Note that the rotation of a typical footing, with a column located at its center and subject to mainly
axial load, is small, and that often a simplified model can be used in which rotation and vertical
translation are neglected. This is also true for the case of a pinned column located at the footing
center.

Simplified model (fixed support). The rotation of the footing is neglected.

The following figures show the differences between two models in a typical example (units of kip-ft).

Comparison between the fixed support model and the spring model. The differences between
moments are small in this example, but should be evaluated for each model independently.
429
Chapter 29: Footing Design and Detailing

Notice that the simplified model (fixed support) should only be used if the stiffness of the footing and
soil is high compared to the bending stiffness of the column.
Note: In the next section we will describe how the program can automatically calculate a rotation
spring constant. Note that this calculation is only valid if the entire footing remains in contact with
the soil for all load combinations. If during the design of the footings it appears that this assumption
has been violated the user is responsible for adjusting the spring stiffness to model the soil-structure
interaction appropriately. This may require changing the spring stiffness for each individual load
combination. Obviously this is not trivial and it is recommended that uplift be avoided whenever
possible.

Limitations: a) Rotation spring constant is valid only if footing base is in full contact with the soil, b)
Fixed support is valid when footing rotation is negligible.
The modeling sequence can thus be summarized as follows:
1) Create the model with springs.
2) Perform analysis.
3) Design the footings (See the section on the Design and Detailing module)

a) Acceptable model when foundation stiffness is large relative to the columns.


b) Required model when footing stiffness affects analytical results, particularly when a column is
subject to a significant moment.

Eccentric Footings (Columns located at edge of the footing)


To illustrate the impact of footing rotation on eccentric footings consider the following column-
footing system:

430
Chapter 29: Footing Design and Detailing

Column footing system to be used for illustration of modeling concepts.


The example has only axial load in the column. The column is continuous (fixed) to the footing.
The axial force (N) causes a moment of magnitude N*d

The axial force causes a strong moment of (N*d)


Similarly to the footings with columns at their centers, eccentric footings rotate because of the
applied bending moment. If the column is continuous with the footing then this rotation modifies the
column moments and the distribution of soil stresses. The column takes a portion of the moment and
the moment acting on the footing is somewhat less than N*d. For pinned columns the entire axial and
moment load must be resisted by the footing.

a) The actual behavior of the footing


b) The column may take a significant portion of the bending moments
c) The moment on the footing is less than the full N*d (x is always less than 1.0).
Ignoring the rotation of the footing will often neglect the increased bending moment in the column
and the moment reduction of the footing. Therefore, when appropriate, the model should incorporate
the load eccentricity and footing rotation in the analysis. To model this situation appropriately it is
recommended that a rigid offset is provided from the column to the footing centroid. The soil spring
properties can then be calculated with respect to the footing centroid. This rigid offset is appropriate
when the footing is assumed to act as a rigid member (bending in the footing is ignored in the
analysis). This is the assumption made in the design of the footings in RAM Elements.
This modeling technique is illustrated in the following figure.

431
Chapter 29: Footing Design and Detailing

The footing is modeled using a rigid offset to the geometric center of the footing and the respective
translation and rotation springs.
When modeling an eccentric footing a simplified fixed support should not be used as this ignores the
additional moment present in the columns as illustrated below.

a) Inadequate spring model b) Inadequate fixed support model.


In the model where a rigid offset is present the column will have a non-zero bending moment and the
soil stress will vary linearly below the footing. In the instance where no rigid offset is present the
column will not resist any bending moment. Also, the reaction-resultant of the footing will have to
coincide with the action line of the axial force N. In this case the distribution of the soil stresses does
not agree with the actual behavior of the column-footing system as illustrated in the next figure. This
is obviously true for a concrete column but may not be true for a steel column with a pinned base.

Bending moment in column and soil stresses for a) the adequate spring model for concrete column-
footing and b) for the invalid concrete column-footing model.
Therefore, the correct procedure to design an eccentric footing, with a column fixed to the footing is
as follows:
1) Model the footing with springs including rigid offset,
2) Analyze the structure,
432
Chapter 29: Footing Design and Detailing

3) Design the footings.

a) Example of a structure with different types of footings.

b) Model of the footings to adopt for analysis.


The suggested method of modeling different type of footings. Note the rigid offsets in the eccentric
footings, the translation and the rotation springs.

Appendix B: ACI 318-05 Footing Design Flowcharts


The following flow charts are presented to inform the user the details of the design considerations
that have been included in the program or the ones omitted for the design of isolated footings and
combined footings.

Material: Reinforced Concrete


Elements: footings
Assumptions remarks:
* Soil under the footing is considered elastic and homogeneous.
* Pressure in the soil is considered with a linear variation, i.e. the footing is considered to be
infinitely rigid.
* Axial loads, shear forces and bending moments entered by the user or read in from the analysis
are assumed to occur in the geometrical center of the column.
* Minimum reinforcement is always used.
* No shear reinforcement is considered.
Data:
B: footing width
bc: column width (for rectangular sections) (bw = D for circular sections)
c: free cover for longitudinal reinforcement
433
Chapter 29: Footing Design and Detailing

D: diameter of the column (for circular sections)


db: diameter of footing bars
dbc: minimum diameter of column longitudinal bars
dbs: diameter of ties (at least #3 for #10 or smaller and #4 otherwise
(7.10.5.1))
ebs: Boolean constant (ebt=true if the column is tied)
fc: specified compressive strength of concrete
fy: specified yield strength of reinforcement
k: coefficient of subgrade reaction of soil
hf: height of the footing slab (> 10 in, (15.7))
L: footing length
lc: column height (for rectangular sections) (lc=D for circular sections)
lwc: Boolean variable (true for lightweight concrete, false for normal
concrete)
Mx,Mz: service bending moments acting in the footing
Mmax: maximum factored bending moment of the different load combinations
Mux,Muz: factored bending moments acting in the footing
P: service axial load in the footing
pos: position of the column (1,2,...9)
Pu:factored axial load in the footing
Vxx,Vzz: service shear forces in the footing
Vmax: maximum factored shear force of the different load combinations
Vuxx,Vuzz: factored shear forces in the footing
: strength reduction factor (0.85 for shear, 0.90 for bending)
c: concrete unit weight
s: unit weight of the soil over the footing
Calculation of initial variables:
Ab1: Area of one-bar
dd: maximum allowed straight development length
Output results:
Asxx, Aszz: area of reinforcement needed in both directions (about axes x
and z)
ldbc minimum dowel development length for the column reinforcement
Muxx, Muzz: factored bending moments in the critical sections of the footing

434
Chapter 29: Footing Design and Detailing

Nbxx, Nbzz: number of bars needed in both directions


qmax,qmin,qav: total service stresses in the soil
sxx, szz: spacing between bars in both directions
Vcxx, Vczz, Vcxz: nominal shear strength
Vuxx, Vuzz, Vuxz: factored shear forces in the critical sections of the footing

435
Chapter 29: Footing Design and Detailing

436
Chapter 29: Footing Design and Detailing

437
Chapter 29: Footing Design and Detailing

438
Chapter 29: Footing Design and Detailing

439
Chapter 29: Footing Design and Detailing

BS-8110 Footing Design Flowcharts


The following flowchart is presented to inform the user the details of the design considerations of the
footings under BS-8110 requirements.

Material: Reinforced Concrete


Elements: footings

440
Chapter 29: Footing Design and Detailing

Assumptions remarks:
* Soil under the footing is considered elastic and homogeneous.
* Pressure in the soil is considered with a linear variation, i.e. the footing is considered to be
infinitely rigid.
* No shear reinforcement and no tension load are considered.
* The design moment is calculated in the critical section located at a distance 1.5d form support
faces.
Data:
B: footing width
bc: column width (for rectangular sections) (bw=D for circular sections)
c: free cover for longitudinal reinforcement
D: diameter of the column (for circular sections)
db: diameter of footing bars
dbc: minimum diameter of column longitudinal bars
dbs: diameter of ties (at least #3 for #10 or smaller and #4 otherwise
(7.10.5.1))
ebs: Boolean constant (ebt=true if the column is tied)
fcu: Cube compression strength
fy: specified yield strength of reinforcement
k: coefficient of subgrade reaction of soil
hf: height of the footing slab (> 10 in, (15.7))
L: footing length
lc: column height (for rectangular sections) (lc=D for circular sections)
lwc: Boolean variable (true for lightweight concrete, false for normal
concrete)
Mx,Mz: service bending moments acting in the footing
Mux,Muz: factored bending moments acting in the footing
P: service axial load in the footing
pos: position of the column (1,2,...9)
Pu:factored axial load in the footing
Vxx,Vzz: service shear forces in the footing
Vuxx,Vuzz: factored shear forces in the footing
c: concrete unit weight
s: unit weight of the soil over the footing
m: strength reduction factors for reinforcement and concrete.
441
Chapter 29: Footing Design and Detailing

Calculation of initial variables:


Ab1: area of one-bar
dd: maximum allowed straight development length
Output results:
Asreq: area of reinforcement required
Muxx, Muzz: factored bending moments in the critical sections of the footing
qavm, qmax: total service stresses in the soil
v,vc: shear or punching stress.

442
Chapter 29: Footing Design and Detailing

443
Chapter 29: Footing Design and Detailing

444
Chapter 30: Wood Design (NDS)

Chapter 30: Wood Design (NDS)


This section describes the options available in RAM Elements to design and detail wood members
using the add-on design and detailing modules. This module includes design check of wood members
in accordance to the NDS Specification, adopting the Allowable Stress Design method (ASD) or the
Load and Resistance Factor Design (LRFD).
Wood members are designed according to the following American design Specification:
National Design Specification - 2005 Edition - American Forest & Paper Association -
American Wood Council.

Determination of the wood member data


To use the Wood Design module, wood members must be grouped by Description. Design
parameters such as species, grade, moisture conditions, etc. are specified for each group. The required
data may be entered in two ways as follows:
Member/Wood Design worksheets
Wood Detailing Module.
The Design parameters worksheet is fully integrated in RAM Elements and will be described next.
The Wood Detailing module is an independent module (changes are lost when the module is closed
and do not get saved into the model). The Wood Detailing module will be described later in this
Chapter.
Required Data:

Loads
Loads and load combinations must be properly generated. While no load condition may be excluded
from the analysis, it is possible to specify load conditions used for the optimization process and
output report.
For more details see the result output section of this chapter for more information.

Member Section
A member is automatically considered a Wood Member when a wood section is assigned to it.
Normally, names of sections reflect their shapes and materials.

445
Chapter 30: Wood Design (NDS)

Example of a wood section assignation for a member.


RAM Elements is installed with a library of standard wood sections. These wood sections are
grouped in folders.
The following sections are installed with the program:
Standard Dressed (S4S) Sawn Lumber
These sections include boards, dimension lumber and timber, rectangular sections given in
Table 1B of the NDS Supplement.
Glulam
Table 1C (Section Properties of Western Species) and Table 1D (Section Properties of
Southern Pine) of the same Supplement are used.

It is also possible to define new rectangular, rounded, I-shaped, built-up and spaced wood sections.
The type of wood section is defined with the section macros (files with the section type followed with
the leo extension). In this file the specific commands used for Wood Design can be entered as
follows:
CODE
WOOD
446
Chapter 30: Wood Design (NDS)

//This reserved word indicates that it is a wood section and it will be designed with the NDS
Specification.
SHAPE
Rectangular, Circular or Spaced
//Indicates the type of section.
FORMULATION
Lumber or Glulam
//Only rectangular glulam sections are considered.
See the Chapter devoted to Creating Section Templates for more details (specially the notes preceded
by )

Wood materials
Wood design has two formulations or groups to be considered as materials for design:
Lumber group,
Includes sawn lumber (timber or dimension lumber), MSR or MEL lumber.
Glulam group
Glued-Laminated Timber.
It is the users responsibility to assign the right material considering the type (beam or column), loads
(i.e. positive or negative bending moments) and size of members (i.e. dimension lumber or timber).
The desired wood material can be assigned to each group of members as defined by the member
description:

447
Chapter 30: Wood Design (NDS)

First select the desired wood material (1) and then use one of the two available tool buttons (2) to
assign the material to one or several wood members.

To edit or create a new wood material, select the command Materials, this command is located into
the Databases group in the Home tab.

448
Chapter 30: Wood Design (NDS)

Select the desired material or the New option to define a new material.
A dialog window will appear where the main properties of the material are entered or modified:

449
Chapter 30: Wood Design (NDS)

Edit or Enter the wood design properties.


The required data for materials are:

Species
Included are the most common species. Following is the list of these species:
Lumber:
Alaska Cedar,
Alaska Hemlock,
Alaska Spruce,
Alaska Yellow Cedar,
Aspen,
Austrian Spruce,
Baldcypress,
Balsam Fir,
Beech-Birch-Hickory,
Coast Sitka Spruce,
CottonWood,
Douglas Fir/European Larch,
Douglas Fir-Larch,
Douglas Fir-Larch (North),

450
Chapter 30: Wood Design (NDS)

Douglas Fir-South,
Eastern Hemlock,
Eastern Hemlock-Balsam Fir,
Eastern Hemlock-Tamarack,
Eastern Hemlock-Tamarack (N),
Eastern SoftWoods,
Eastern Spruce,
Eastern White Pine,
Hem-Fir,
Hem-Fir (North),
Mixed Maple,
Mixed Oak,
Mixed Southern Pine,
Montane Pine,
Mountain Hemlock,
Northern Pine,
Northern Red Oak,
Northern Species,
Northern White Cedar,
Norway Spruce,
Ponderosa Pine,
Red Maple,
Red Oak,
Red Pine,
RedWood,
Scots Pine,
Silver Fir,
Sitka Spruce,
Southern Pine,
Southern Pine-Dry,
Southern Pine-Green,
Southern Pine Misiones,
Spruce-Pine-Fir,
Spruce-Pine-Fir (South),
451
Chapter 30: Wood Design (NDS)

Western Cedars,
Western Cedars (North),
Western Hemlock,
Western Hemlock (North),
Western White Pine,
Western Woods,
White Oak,
Yellow Poplar
Glulam:
Hem-Fir
Douglas Fir-Larch
Southern Pine
Grades
The grades (stress grading criteria) adopted are the most commonly used:
Select Structural, No.1, No.2, No.3, Stud, Construction, Standard, Utility, No.1 & Btr, Clear
Structural, Select Structural OG, No.1 OG, No.2 OG, No.3 OG, Dense Select Structural, Non-Dense
Select Structural, No.1 Dense, No.1 Non-Dense, No.2 Dense, No.2 Non-Dense, No.3 and Stud,
Dense Structural 86, Dense Structural 72, Dense Structural 65, Clear Heart Structural.
Two special groups are attached to the grades, which are
MSR (Machine Stress Rated Lumber)
MEL (Machine Evaluated Lumber)
Combination Symbol
Properties of glued laminated timber members are defined by the Combination Symbol. The
following combination symbols are installed with the program:
16F-V2, 16F-V3, 16F-V5, 16F-V6, 16F-V7, 20F-V2, 20F-V3, 20F-V4, 20F-V7, 20F-V8, 20F-V9,
22F-V3, 22F-V8, 24F-V2, 24F-V4, 24F-V8, 16F-E2,16F-E3, 16F-E6, 16F-E7, 20F-E2, 20F-E3, 20F-
E6, 20F-E7', 22F-E1, 22F-E2, 22F-E4, 22F-E5, 22F-E6, 24F-E10, 24F-E11, 24F-E13, 24F-E14, 24F-
E15, 24F-E18, 20F-V5, 22F-V1, 22F-V2, 22F-V4, 22F-V5, 24F-V1, 24F-V3, 24F-V5, 26F-V1, 26F-
V2, 26F-V3, 26F-V4, 16F-E1, 20F-E1, 22F-E3, 24F-E1, 24F-E2, 24F-E4, 28F-E1, 28F-E2, 30F-E1,
30F-E2.
Members stressed primarily in axial tension or compression, are also considered. In this case the
Identification number is used for this field:
1, 2, 3, 5, 14, 15, 16, 17, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 62, 63, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 47, 48, 49, 50, 53, 54,
55, 56, 57, 58.

Design Parameters
Duration data

452
Chapter 30: Wood Design (NDS)

The duration of each load condition to be considered in the design has to be specified in the Load
Conditions dialog window.
The following load duration categories are available:
Load Typical Design
Duration Loads
Permanent Dead Load
Ten years Occupancy Live
Load
Two months Snow Load
Seven Days Construction Load
Ten Minutes Wind/Earthquake
Load
Impact Impact Load

For load combinations, the shortest duration of the different loads should be selected.

453
Chapter 30: Wood Design (NDS)

For the LRFD method, although the time duration factor (Table N3) is function of the load
combination, it is applied using the former load duration categories, which is equivalent:
(See Edit Adjustment Factors Section to know how to change the values)
Load Time effect factor
Duration
Permanent 0.60
Ten years 0.70
Two months 0.80
Seven Days 0.80
Ten Minutes 1.00
Impact 1.25

The member design parameters must be specified prior to performing analysis and design. For more
information on the design parameters for this worksheet see RAM Elements's context sensitive Help
system pressing the hey F1 on the worksheet.

Parameters for the Wood design worksheet

454
Chapter 30: Wood Design (NDS)

Design method

The design method should be selected before design

Design post processing inside RAM Elements


The basic design post processing is performed automatically after analysis. Results can be displayed
graphically or in text form.

Reports

Select the option Wood of the command Design to print the wood reports. The command Design is
located into the Reports group in the Output tab.
Selecting Reports/Wood Design displays a dialog box with options for a concise or detailed report. It
allows you to choose the load conditions to be considered in the design and if separation lines will be
printed in the report:

455
Chapter 30: Wood Design (NDS)

Dialog to define the wood design report

Screen output
The user has different options to see the results. These options can be selected in the commands
Status and Stress ratio from the Design group in the View tab.

Available options for the presentation of design results.


The user may choose to see a selected group of members for each of the described options, for the
current load condition or for the governing load condition.
The following describes each of these options:
Design Status

In some cases the verifications of stresses are not enough to verify the correctness of a member.

Other aspects, such as the slenderness of the member, should be verified as well. The command
will show if a member complies with all the requirements of the code. The buttons , display
only the members with an OK status or with a no good (NG) status from the selected group of
members. The labels represent the results for the current load condition.
To verify the same results, taking into account the full load combinations (not just the current load
condition), select the For the controlling combination option. In this case, the result will include the
name of the governing load condition for each member.
456
Chapter 30: Wood Design (NDS)

Maximum stress ratio

All selected members will be colored with one of the nine assigned stress ratio colors when the Stress

ratio tool is selected. These colors represent 9 different ranges of stresses. Ranges are calculated
by determining the maximum value of the stress ratio for all elements, and dividing this maximum
value into 9 equal ranges. The colors represent the stress values for the selected load condition. The
range value to color mapping is shown in a legend at one side of the window.
Note that when a different group of members is selected, the range of colors is recalculated. This may
change the color of any specific member to coincide with the new scale and color range as calculated
for that group. This option is used mainly to detect the critical members within a group.

Select the tool and the For the controlling combination option, allows to see the ranges
considering the whole set of load combinations and not only the current load condition. To select the
members within a given range, select the desired stress range with the mouse and press the
button.

The user can select and view the members with stresses inside a certain range.
Unitary stress ratio

All the selected members will be colored with one of the nine assigned stress ratio colors when the

Stress ratio tool is selected. The colors represent the nine different ranges of stresses, which are
defined as shown in the legend. Members with interaction values greater than one will be colored in
red. The other colors represent the interaction range value for the current load condition.
The ranges do not change when different members are selected. Thus a specific member will
maintain its color independently of the other members selected with it. This option is ideal for
identifying members that do not comply with the strength requirements, members with very low
stresses and members working very close to their strength capacity.

Selecting the command and the For the controlling combination option, shows the selected
members with the color range determined from considering the full set of load combinations (not
only the current load condition). To select and view only the members within a certain range of
stresses select the stresses that you are interested in and then press the button .
Note

457
Chapter 30: Wood Design (NDS)

Wood structures can be optimized, please see Chapter 11 for further details related to the
optimization. Note that for optimization, it is suggested to avoid mixing different types of sections in
the collections such as dimension lumber with timber.

Deflection control
The structural analysis provides the basis for determining the deflections of wood members. The
program considers shear and bending deformation. The usual practice in wood members is to
calculate the long-term deflection as a multiple of the permanent load elastic deflection (See Section
3.5 of the NDS Specification). Therefore, the deflection control is simplified to the determination of
the calculated elastic deformation which the user should compare to the allowable deflection
determined by the local building Code or the specific requirements of the member.
The user can check the deflection using the command Deflections from the Analysis group in the
View tab.

Note that is possible include the deflection check in the optimization process. See the Optimization
Chapter in this manual for more details.

Wood Detailing Module


For more advanced design and detailing the engineer can invoke the detailing module to further
manipulate the design and obtain details for a specific member.

Select only the member that is to be designed and detailed before invoking the detailing module.

Select the Wood command from the Members group in the Modules tab.

458
Chapter 30: Wood Design (NDS)

The window includes a context sensitive help at the right side .The geometry, material and load data
is entered or modified in this screen as required. The load and geometric data are typically read in
from the main program when the module is invoked.
After editing or entering data, the detailed report may be printed. If the red light of the traffic status
light is on, it shows that the status and strength ratio of the member are no good. When the yellow
light is on, the strength ratio is OK but there is a design requirement not fulfilled and finally, if the
green light is on, the member design status is OK.
Notice also that there are options that can only be calculated or modified in this detailing module
such as the override of the adjustment factors.
The detailing module can be very useful for special cases as it allows the user to apply special
modifications to calculated parameters. Typical cases of these modifications are the reduction of
applied shear forces near supports, modification of adjustment factors for a specific member, etc.
Please see the context sensitive help for further information.
Note
The changes that are performed within the detailer will not be saved.

NDS technical notes


The assumptions and simplifications used for wood member design are as follows:
A unified verification procedure has been used for rectangular, rounded, built-up and spaced
sections. This general procedure considers a member subjected to flexure and shear on
principal axes, torsion and axial loads.
It is always assumed that local axis 2 (y) is perpendicular to grain direction for sawn lumber
and to wide faces of laminations for glulam.
Special provisions for structural composite lumber are not considered.
The adjustment factors are calculated in separate procedures (using tables that can be edited
by the user) considering all cases given by the Specifications.
The following adjustment factors are included:
Load duration factor (CD) according to Table 2.3.2 and Appendix B for typical loads. It is
used only for ASD. The CD factor must be entered for each load combination since the CD
factor will change based on the types of loads that are applied in each load combination. Note
that the adopted CD factor for a load combination should be for the load with the shortest load
duration in that load combination.
3. Time effect factor () for LRFD only. It is assigned in a similar way as the CD factor using
the load duration. The user is responsible to check that Table N3 agrees with the assigned
values.
4. Wet Service Factors (Cm) based on the moisture service conditions specified in Tables 4A,
4B, 4C, 4D, 4F 5A, and 5B. These factors indicate whether the member has sustained
exposure to high moisture (19% for solid sawn, 16% for glulam members).
5. Temperature Factors (Ct) for members that will experience sustained exposure to elevated
temperatures. Table 2.3.3 and Appendix C (Sections C1 and C2) of the Specification are
implemented.

459
Chapter 30: Wood Design (NDS)

6. Incising Factor (Ci) for structural sawn lumber incised to increase penetration of
preservatives. Table 4.3.8. This factor is available in the Wood Detailer and included in the
Detailer Reports, it is not included on reports printed directly from the main program.
7. Size Factors (CF) applied only for visually graded sawn lumber and round timber. The factors
specified for Tables 4B, 4D and 4F are considered in the verifications.
8. Flat Use Factor (Cfu). This factor is used for loads applied in the axis 3 direction. The factors
specified for Tables 4A, 4B, 4C, 4F, 5A and 5B are considered in the verifications.
9. Repetitive member Factor (Cr) applied only to dimension lumber. A value of 1.15 is adopted
for these cases.
10. Volume Factor (Cv). This factor is calculated only for glulam members following Section
5.3.6 of the Specification
11. Beam Stability Factor (CL). This factor is calculated only for lumber following Section 3.3.3
of the Specification.
12. Column Stability Factor (Cp). This factor is calculated internally by the program to account
for the buckling of axially loaded members according to Section 3.7.1 of the Specification.
13. The program is using an internal adjustment factor to obtain the bending strength (Fb),
Tension parallel to grain (Ft), and the compression parallel to grain (Fc) of Table 4B in
function of the current size of the member for Southern Pine and Mixed Southern Pine for
dimension lumber. These adjustment factors modify the 12 wide values (existing in the
standard database) to the current ones in function of the member size.
14. The bearing area factor, which is function of the bearing length (Table 3.10.4)
Note: Shear Stress Factor (CH) is not used anymore. This factor was suppressed in the NDS 2001
or NDS 2005 Specifications.
The program does not consider the following adjustment factors
1. Fire retardant treatment factors. The program does not consider the effect of fire.
2. Curvature factor (glulam) used in curved members.

Tension members
The calculation of tension members is given in section 3.8 of the Specification (NDS-2005). The
assumptions and simplifications used are the following:
Prismatic members in axial tension. The members are assumed with a concentric axial load.
There are no special considerations regarding the type of connections used; i.e. only gross
section checks are performed. Net section areas are not considered.

Beams and other flexural members


The flexural calculation comprises yielding and lateral stability as specified on section 3.3 of the
NDS Specification. The shear stress requirements are given in section 3.4 of the Specification.
Adjustment factors affect the allowable stress of members and are a function of the species, grade,
size, service conditions, type of load, etc.
Following is the list of restrictions and assumptions:

460
Chapter 30: Wood Design (NDS)

Deflection control is not checked in the wood design module. It has to be performed by the
user with the available RAM Elements tools and considering the adequate modulus of
elasticity affected by service conditions. Notice that you can include it in the optimization
process.
Loads are considered applied at the top of bending members and side loads on orthogonal
faces (biaxial bending).
Negative bending moments are considered to be always in compression zone (near supports).
Members are considered supported laterally between supports separated by the defined
effective length. There is a special option to define a fully restrained member.
Shear stress is normally not a failure mode in wood flexural members. Therefore, the
refinement of calculating the reduction of the shear force within a distance from support equal
to the depth is conservatively not considered. When shear stresses are significant, the user
may apply the appropriate reduction by using the Wood Detailer. The shear design equations
are those specified in Section 3.4.2 of the Specification. Shear stresses on both principal axes
are checked independently.
The notch effect is calculated as a reduction factor of the gross section shear strength and it is
only valid for rectangular sections. The user can enter notch dimensions (width and length)
and location (up or down) in the spreadsheet area. The effect is calculated as an adjustment
factor (CN)

Columns and other compression members


This part follows the criteria given on section 3.6 of the NDS Specification. The restrictions and
assumptions adopted are:
Members in compression with side loads are checked with the general equation 3.9-3 of the
NDS Specification.
Eccentricity from rigid offsets is included in the analysis of wood members, thus there is no need
to use the general equations of Section 15.4.1.
Two special types of columns are considered in addition to the simple solid wood columns.
These special types are Spaced and Built-up Columns. Spaced Columns are formed of two
individual members with their longitudinal axes parallel, separated at the ends and middle
points of their length by shear blocks, while built up columns are sections with 2 to 5
laminations nailed or bolted. The hypothesis used for these types of columns is described in
Sections 15.2 and 15.3 of the NDS Specification. According to Section 15.2, two end
conditions related to end fixity are possible. Condition 'a' is defined when the shear block
centroid is within L/20 from the column end. Condition 'b' occurs when this distance is
between L/20 and L/10 (L is the distance between lateral supports).

461
Chapter 30: Wood Design (NDS)

Members subject to torsion


The Specification has no special consideration for wood members loaded in such a manner as to
induce torsional stresses. However, the resistance to twisting about a longitudinal axis is estimated
for solid wood members as Two-thirds of the value for shear strength for sawn lumber and equal to
the adjusted radial tension for glulam (see References 5 and 6).
The torsion stress is calculated as: fs=T*(3*a+1.8*b)/(SQR(a)*SQR(b))
Where
fs is the torsional stress at midpoint of long side
T is the applied torque
a is the longest side dimension
b is the shortest side dimension
The capacity of the section is given by fs/F
where
F is the reference torsional stress assumed equal to the minimum shear allowable stress multiplied by
2/3 for sawn lumber and 1/3 for glulam:
F=min(2*Fv2/3,2*Fv3/3) for sawn lumber and F = min(Fv2/3,Fv3/3) for glulam.
This equation is only applicable to rectangular members. It is important to mention that due to
uncertainties in allowable torsional stresses, it is advisable to avoid torsion whenever possible.

Combined stresses
Combined stresses are considered using the interaction equations of Section 3.9 of the NDS
Specification. The following cases are considered:
Axial compression and biaxial bending
Axial tension and biaxial bending

Bearing
The program calculates the maximum reaction that may be resisted with the given bearing length and
the bearing at an angle. The default value for this angle is 90. With this result, the user can quickly
check that no reaction is over the maximum calculated value.

Wood design tables for adjustment factors


Former versions of the program used to work with a design macro for calculating several adjustment
factors. The current version has simplified this procedure and uses a table, which is easier to modify
and maintain.
The table is already with default values that agree to the NDS Specification and it is not necessary to
modify them in order to design wood members. However, the user may edit or modify them to
consider particular design factors adjusted to local codes in a permanent way.
The values may be edited directly opening the working file WoodAdjustmentFactors.itb in the
Others folder using any Word Processor or Excel. Note that each field is separated by tabs.
462
Chapter 30: Wood Design (NDS)

WoodAdjustmentFactors.itb opened with Excel


A back-up of the table is found in the folder Tables: WoodAjustmentFactors.xls. This file is
divided in several sheets (one for each adjustment factor group) and an auxiliary sheet used to
determine the additional size factors. You can use this table to modify the desired factors and copy
the modified part in the working file using the clipboard.
It is always advisable to make a back-up before changes.
The following Adjustment factors groups are found in the table:
1. Duration factor group that includes CD (for ASD) and lambda (for LRFD). Note that each
load combination will use the critical factor of the critical load condition in function of the
Load duration type.
2. Temperature Factor group. It includes the two temperature factors defined in Table 2.3.3.
3. Flat use factor group. It includes the flat use factor Cfu defined in Tables 4A, 4B and 4F for
visually graded dimension lumber. Table 4C for mechanically graded dimension lumber and
Tables 5A and 5B for glulam. Note that each factor will be applied in function of the section
size in a range specified with a maximum depth and width.
4. Size Factor group. It includes the size factors defined in Table 4A valid for dimension lumber.
This factor has special values for Stud, Construction, Standard and Utilities grades. Other
grades are included in the first general category (with no grade). A special category is
included for visually graded Southern Pine (Table 4B). It is important to note that size factors
for timber (5x5 and larger) are calculated internally by the program following the Equation

463
Chapter 30: Wood Design (NDS)

specified in Table 4D and are not included in this table. The values in the table will be applied
in a range specified with a maximum depth and width similar to the former group.
5. Additional size factor group for Visually Graded Southern Pine. These factors are used to
calculate the current strengths for bending (Fb), tension parallel to grain (Ft) and compression
parallel to grain (Fc) based on a 12 wide section. These factors will be applied only for
Southern Pine Species.
6. Wet Service Factors group. They are divided in four categories: dry, wet lumber (Tables 4A,
4B, 4C, 4F), wet timber (Table 4D) and wet glulam (Tables 5A and 5B).
As you have seen, it is very easy to perform changes to the used adjustment factors and customize
them to your requirements.
Always check that the program is using correctly your new adjustment factors values before
design.

References
1. American Forest and Paper Association, National Design Specification for Wood Construction.
2005 Edition, AFPA, 2005.
2. American Forest and Paper Association, Commentary on the National Design Specification for
Wood Construction. AFPA, 2005.
3. Faherty, Keith F & Williamson, Thomas G. , Wood Engineering and Construction Handbook.
Third Edition, McGraw Hill, Inc., 1999.
4. Breyer, Donald E., Fridley Kenneth J., Cobeen Kelly E., Pollock David G., Design of Wood
Structures. Sixth Edition, McGraw Hill, Inc., 2007.
5. AF&PA/ASCE 16-95 Standard for Load and Resistance Factor Design (LRFD) for Engineered
Wood Construction.
6. American Instituite of Timber Construction, Timber Construction Manual, 5th Edition (2005).
Section 4.3 Torsion, pp 113-114

464
Chapter 30: Wood Design (NDS)

465
Chapter 31: Retaining Walls

Chapter 31: Retaining Walls


This chapter describes the options available in the module for the design and detailing of retaining
walls. Similar to the other design modules, the aim of this one is to obtain a fully functional and
economic retaining wall according to the code practice and the office standards of the engineer.

Design steps
1) Data introduction
The user has to enter the required data related to the geometry and characteristics of the desired wall
before performing the analysis and design of the wall.
All data entries as the material properties, geometry, and design parameters can be modified at any
moment before and after the analysis. Review the Chapter related to the general characteristics of the
detailing modules for more details about their management and organization.

2) Verification and Detailing


Once the wall is defined, it is possible to proceed with the analysis and verifications. The report or
the Design Screen will show the different diagrams and strengths of the elements of the wall
according to the adopted codes (BS 8110, ACI 318 or MSJ). The report shows additionally the results
of the global verifications (overturning, sliding and soil pressures).

3) Optimization

The optimization process can be achieved in two phases by two tool buttons: 1) suggest
geometry to comply with global stability requirements starting from the given retained height and

loads and 2) optimize reinforcement, which is automatically performed when the user calls the
detailing window, once the geometry is totally defined.

The optimization of reinforcement design is executed under two criteria in order to obtain a
maximum bar size or a minimum spacing.

467
Chapter 31: Retaining Walls

Flow chart that details the steps for the design of retaining walls.

468
Chapter 31: Retaining Walls

Retaining Wall Design Module


This section describes the available options in the retaining wall design module. As in the other
detailing modules, the design is a trial and error process, where the user enters the geometry,
materials and reinforcement (if required) and the program will check the condition of the wall for any
applied load cases. This module is independent of RAM Elements and it is called selecting the
command Retaining from the Standalone button, Walls group in the Modules tab.

Calling the retaining wall module from the main menu.

Properties area
The first window that is accessed after calling the module is the data window that is used for the
introduction of geometrical data, materials or loads.

469
Chapter 31: Retaining Walls

Initial window of the module: Properties window.


This window is used for introducing all the necessary information related to the retaining walls, this
window may change as data are being entering. Some options will only appear for certain options or
loads.

Graphic window
This window represents the whole information entered in the property window like geometry and
assigned loads. The user can modify all the properties, in red text, through this window, as indicated
below:

470
Chapter 31: Retaining Walls

Click on the red text of the property to modify and edit this value.

Help window
This window shows the information about the selected current item in the property window (A).

Every item in the properties window is included in the help context.

471
Chapter 31: Retaining Walls

Diagrams window

Diagrams window
This window is used to display the demand and capacity diagrams for the retaining wall.
Note that two simple diagrams can be viewed on the screen at the same time, thus allowing a
comparison between the demand (required strength) curve and the capacity (actual strength) curve.
The user can view the combined diagrams too; those show both curves in one graphic as shown
below:
A special option is available that allows to simultaneously check the diagrams for all elements of the
wall. This helps in getting a global picture of the strength status.
Some of the diagrams that can be displayed are dependent on the selected load condition. The
moment or shear diagrams are displayed for the currently selected load condition.
Notice the existence of a traffic lights in the status bar of the detailing module. This is an indicator
of the design status where: the red light indicates that the relationship between stresses is greater than

472
Chapter 31: Retaining Walls

one or the global stability checks are no good, thus it fails. The yellow light indicates that the adopted
reinforcement arrangement is no good (i.e. the reinforcement extends out of the wall). Finally, the
green light indicates that the design status of the wall is OK.

Traffic Lights

Detailing worksheets

Worksheets for defining the bar groups.


These worksheets are used to define the longitudinal and transverse reinforcement. The graphic
window display graphically the reinforcement defined in the worksheets.

473
Chapter 31: Retaining Walls

The detailing graphic window displays the reinforcing bars adopted for the retaining wall. Both
longitudinal and transverse reinforcements are shown on this window
Note that the user can export the figure by pressing the DXF button. A DXF file will be created and
may be edited with any drafting software.
Notice that there are three ways to define the reinforcement in a retaining wall:

Using the Define Continuous or Discontinuous Reinforcement tools ( , ). This


option is used when a particular reinforcement bar group has to be introduced (with a defined
spacing between bars). The program will show a dialog window to define the bar sizes
together with bar spacing. The program will automatically calculate the required bar lengths
to cover the geometry and conditions of the wall.
Using the worksheet. This method allows to define any type of reinforcement. The following
data are required for each group: bar size, spacing, axis of reference, distance to the start
point, distance to the end point and flags to define if the ends are hooked or not. Note that
when the first value of a new group of reinforcement is entered, the rest of the parameters will
adopt initial default values, which may be edited according to the required characteristics of
the new group.

Using the reinforcement optimization button .


Independently on how the reinforcement is defined, is possible to edit the values in the worksheet to
control exactly the lengths and positions of the different bar groups.

474
Chapter 31: Retaining Walls

Note
It is important to define also the free covers to be adopted for the different wall elements.

475
Chapter 31: Retaining Walls

Configuration window

Configuration window
This screen allows the user to establish some calculation methods and office standards for design, and
to have control over the reinforcement design. Note that changed data on this screen are saved with
the model and the defined options may be set as defaults for subsequent new walls with the option Set
these values as default.
These criteria should all be set before the detailing is viewed, but it does not need to be modified for
subsequent walls. The items considered are described in the table below.
Option Description
Calculation method for the It determines the calculation method used for the
active earth Rankine calculation of lateral earth pressures. The program
offers four methods: Rankine, Coulomb, Equivalent
Fluid Pressures (EFP) and at-rest pressures (Ko).
Consider tension zone for the It is used in cohesive soils and the tension zone may or
476
Chapter 31: Retaining Walls

active earth pressures may not be neglected.


Consider resisting pressure for Three options are available: Not consider any resisting
overturning pressure, consider an active pressure or consider a
passive pressure.
Calculation method for lateral Two options are available. The Boussinesq method need
pressures due to adjacent the Poisson coefficient for the backfill and the Spangler-
footings Jarquio method is only available for strip foundations.
More details related to these methods may be found in
Bowles (1997) and Das (1995).
Calculation method for bearing The bearing capacity may be calculated with the
pressures equations given by Hansen, Meyerhof or Vesic. These
methods consider the acting loads in the wall and the
specific surrounding conditions as the backfill slope
angle, water level, etc.
Consider active pressure If Yes, the vertical component of the active pressure
vertical component for will be included in the overturning check.
overturning
Consider active pressure If Yes, the vertical component of the active pressure
vertical component for sliding will be included in the sliding check.
Consider active pressure If Yes, the vertical component of the active pressure
vertical component for earth will be included in the soil pressures check.
pressures
Allowable safety factor for An error will be displayed if the overturning safety
overturning factor is less that the given value. It is recommended a
value between 1.5 and 2.0.
Allowable safety factor for An error will be displayed if the sliding safety factor is
sliding less that the given value. It is recommended a value
between 1.5 and 2.0.
Allowable safety factor for An error will be displayed if the soil bearing safety
bearing capacity factor is less that the given value. It is recommended a
value equal to 3.0. Note that the option to calculate the
bearing capacity should be enabled.
Frost depth Lower depths of the foundation base in relation to this
depth are not allowed.
Undermining depth The program will not consider the resisting pressures of
the soils over the undermining depth for global
verifications. It will not allow a foundation base depth
smaller than the undermining depth.
Concrete type Light and normal concrete.

Strength reduction The safety factor on material strength, takes into


factor for concrete in flexure account the variation in workmanship and quality
control that may normally be expected to occur in the
477
Chapter 31: Retaining Walls

or axial load manufacture of the materials. For concrete submitted to


flexure or axial load this value is taken as: m=1.5.

Strength reduction The safety factor on the material strength for shear
factor for concrete in shear design is equals to m = 1.25.
Maximum aggregate size The maximum aggregate size depends on the
workability and methods of consolidation to avoid the
voids in concrete.
Service load combinations Name of the default template file for the automatic
generation of service load combinations. If no file is
selected, the load combos will not be generated. Refer
to section 3.3.2 ACI 318-05.
Strength design load Name of the default template file for the automatic
combinations generation of strength design load combinations. If no
file is selected, the load combos will not be generated.
Bar series Available bar series: ASTM standard, SI standard.

Strength reduction The reduction factor on reinforcement strength is taken


factor for reinforcement as 1.05.

Maximum The maximum reinforcement ratio to consider must be


reinforcement ratio to consider 0.04.
Epoxy coated Cover for corrosive environments.
Limit tensile strain To provide ductile behavior of the beam, it is applied to
all types of steel. Refer to section 10.3.3 ACI 318-05.
Minimum vertical Section 14.3 (ACI-318) should be considered to define a
reinforcement ratio lower value for the vertical reinforcement ratio.
Minimum horizontal and Section 14.3 (ACI-318) should be considered to define a
transverse reinforcement ratio lower value for the horizontal and transverse
reinforcement ratio.
Minimum distance between It is the free horizontal distance between bars. The user
longitudinal reinforcement shall consider section 7.6 of the Code.
bars
Round bar length to Longitudinal bar lengths can be adjusted up to the
closest increment specified. Thus all the longitudinal
bars can be given to the nearest inch, foot etc.
Round bar spacing to Round distance between bars with a defined value.
Estimated distance to This is the distance, which is added to the clear cover to
mechanical center determine the distance from the edge of wall (tension
fiber) to the center of the longitudinal steel (bar
diameter*0.5). The use should confirm that this
dimension is acceptable for their final design.

478
Chapter 31: Retaining Walls

Reduce Vu near support face Applies the specification given in section 11.1.3.1 of the
Code to reduce the design shear forces at sections
located less that a distance d from face supports.

Include anchorage The anchorage length considers the straight and the
length in hooks bended portion of the bar, (full anchorage length).

Set these values as default Values defined as default will be available in future uses
of the program.

View as RAM Elements Model


This option allows to see the wall as a standard RAM Elements Model. A set of tools is available
with different options to see different data or analysis results in a similar way as in RAM Elements.
The user may access to this window to see the acting loads, rigid offsets, force diagrams and any
other data or result over each wall element (Analytical model tab).
For more details about the available commands, refer to Chapter 1 of this Manual.

Reports and Screen Output


This detailing module allows to generate a report where that detail the input data, the results of the
analysis and the results of the design.
The report includes:
A summary of the data (geometry, materials, loads and reinforcement)
A summary of the global verifications.
A summary of design results for flexure and shear considering the envelopes at evenly spaced
stations along each element (0.1xLength) of the wall for reinforced concrete or masonry.

To enter to the report, press the command and the report will be displayed.

479
Chapter 31: Retaining Walls

Report
For a detailed explanation of the commands used in this report, see the Report section of the chapter
of Printing Graphics and Reports.
The report of retaining walls displays all the detailed information of the wall. At the top the general
information of the wall is displayed, as geometry, materials, soil properties, loads, etc.
Then the user will find the results of the global checks that include resisting forces, destabilizing
forces, and the safety factors for the global checks of each service load combination.
Finally, the report presents the design results for each member of the wall. In this section and
depending on the material, the user will find different design parameters.
The design results are divided in two sections: one for flexural verification and the other for shear
verification.
The results presentation depends on the material, but for reinforced concrete and masonry the results
are presented in tables and graphically as shown below:

480
Chapter 31: Retaining Walls

Design results for a concrete stem


The status of the different stations is graphically shown in a special diagram that shows the design
moments envelope and the nominal moment capacity (multiplied by the factor) simultaneously. If
the strength at some station is not enough to resist the applied moments, this part of the diagram is
displayed in red. In this way, the user can evaluate the flexural design of the beam at a glance. All
diagrams are drawn from column face to column face.
The report also displays all the information required to design shear and torsion reinforcement. The
status of the different stations is showed graphically with a diagram that compares the design shear
forces envelope with the nominal shear strength of each station.
A description of the main variables and the adopted nomenclature is explained in the notes section of
the report.
For masonry design the results are presented in tables as shown in the figure below:

481
Chapter 31: Retaining Walls

Design results for a masonry stem


The program perform verifications for masonry blocks (such as bending moment or shear force), in a
similar manner as concrete blocks. The user should note that in this case, the resistant moments in the
table are the admissible according to the adopted design code (allowable stress ASD). For shear, the
table shows the admissible shear force (Va).

Technical notes
Warning!
It is suggested to read carefully these notes before using the module because they summarize the
scope, hypothesis and methods adopted.

Terminology
The following names have been adopted for the different parts or elements of a wall:
Toe
Heel
Stem
Key
The front face corresponds to the side of the toe and the posterior face to the heel and backfill side.

482
Chapter 31: Retaining Walls

Different parts of a retaining wall.

General
The general characteristics of the module are:
Analysis and design of reinforced or unreinforced concrete masonry retaining walls
Design according with the ACI 318-99, ACI 318-05 and BS-8110 codes
Graphical input of wall loads and geometry
Context sensitive help
Backfill with multiple horizontal soil layers (up to 5 layers)
Sloped backfill (only positive slopes are allowed)
Surcharge (on both sides of the wall)
Options to define cantilever, gravity or restrained retaining walls (with a lateral restraint and
pinned or fixed base)
Tapered stems or stems with several blocks with thickness and reinforcement changes.
Hydrostatic water pressure (no seepage)
Reinforced concrete, unreinforced concrete or masonry materials (only for stem blocks) are
allowed
Axial loads on the stem are considered (with or without eccentricity)
Wind lateral pressures
Includes moment and shear diagrams
Influence of adjacent footings
Different theories for calculating lateral soil pressures (Rankine, Coulomb, EFP (Equivalent
Fluid Method), at rest pressures)

483
Chapter 31: Retaining Walls

Seismic load (with the Mononobe-Okabe method considering a single homogeneous backfill
layer without cohesion).
Wall tilt calculations (deflections)
DXF export of the main graphics
Option to save and retrieve data and results
Detailed report

Limitations
The features not covered by the module are:
Alternate retaining walls or counterfort and buttressed reinforced concrete walls
Walls modeled with springs (possible for next version)
Shear reinforcement
Restrained walls cannot have multiple restraints (multi-level basement walls)
Masonry walls when it is used the BS-8110 code
Walls with the resultant out of middle kern

Design Codes
The currently implemented codes for retaining wall design are:
American Concrete Institute Building Code Requirements for Structural Concrete. ACI 318-
99 (ACI 1999).
American Concrete Institute Building Code Requirements for Structural Concrete ACI 318-05
(ACI 2005).
The 1997 British Standard Code. BS-8110(1997), including Nov 30, 2005 Amendments.
Building Code Requirements for Masonry structures. ACI 530-05 reported by MSJC.

Loads
The module works with surcharges on both sides of the wall, adjacent footing loads, stem axial loads,
stem lateral loads and sloped backfill.

Stem axial loads


Axial loads at the stem are always considered for the global stability of the wall and in the design of
masonry stem blocks. The strength capacities table presented for masonry includes the maximum
allowable axial load and the strength ratio taking into account the compression and flexure
interaction. In concrete retaining walls the axial loads are not considered in the design.
Only positive eccentricities are allowed for axial loads (from the center line to the left) because this is
critical for global stability checks.

Earth pressures
Considering that lateral earth pressures are the most significant load in a retaining wall, the program
has different options for their calculation (see configuration window).
484
Chapter 31: Retaining Walls

Rankine Method: It is used for walls that are allowed to have a lateral displacement big enough to
produce an active earth pressure. This implies to have an amount of lateral translation in the order of
0.001*H to 0.004*H for granular soils and 0.01*H to 0.04*H for cohesive soils. This method does
not consider the wall soil friction.
Coulomb Method: It is used with the same considerations of the Rankine method. The only difference
is that it considers the wall-soil friction (
It is important to remark that lateral earth pressure calculations for the global stability of the wall do
not consider the heel of the wall (see next figure). The section adopted for this verification is
coincident with the back face of the stem instead of the vertical section at the end of the heel:

Lateral earth pressures and their horizontal distances to point O.


At rest pressure: This option is used mostly for restrained walls or walls where the lateral
displacements are negligible. In this case the lateral at-rest soil coefficient (Ko) is adopted. The
program considers a default value equal to (1-sin )*(1+sin ), where is the friction angle, is the
slope angle of the backfill. The user can, however, define any appropriated value for this parameter.
Bowles (1995) gave some suggestions depending on the soil types.
Equivalent Fluid Pressure (EFP): This method assumes that the soil behaves as a fluid with an
equivalent unit weight related to the lateral earth pressure coefficient multiplied by the soil unit
weight (pressure per unit depth). Although this method is common, several references do not
recommend it because it does not take into account the soil properties.
Backfill with cohesive soils: Although this type of backfills are not recommended, the program is able
to consider the cohesion of the soil layers of the backfill. In this case it is suggested to neglect the
tension zone for the active soil pressures where cracks may be formed in the soil-wall interface. This
option is found in the configuration window.
Effect of water in earth pressures: The presence of water is considered as an hydrostatic pressure
without considering any seepage for the calculation of the destabilizing pressures. In this case the
water level should be defined and it has to coincide with any interface between soil layers. The
reason is that any soil beneath the water level will have a different unit weight (saturated) than a

485
Chapter 31: Retaining Walls

similar soil located over the water level. Although the presence of water is considered by the program
it is suggested, whenever is possible, to avoid the presence of water on backfills due to economic
reasons. Drains or any other technical alternative may be used to solve this problem.
Use of vertical component for stability checks: The program allows to choose if the vertical
component of earth pressures will be considered for overturning, sliding or soil pressure checks. This
will depend only on the engineering judgment. It is important to note that the location of the vertical
component will be normally at the heel edge for all earth pressure calculation methods on exception
of the Coulomb method, which has a distance shown in the former figure.
If the EFP method is used, an equivalent lateral soil pressure coefficient will be calculated and the
inclination angle of the resultant force will be coincident with the backfill slope similarly to the
Rankine method.
Resultant out of middle third: The program does not allow this case because it generates large stress
concentrations and this is not recommended in practice (Foundation Engineering, Peck, Hanson and
Thornburn (2nd Edition, p 426)).
Resisting pressures: There are three options to consider the resisting pressures in the case of the
overturning check: Do not consider any pressure, consider an active pressure or consider a passive
pressure. The decision will depend on the engineering judgment. The different options are available
in the configuration window.
The height adopted for the resisting earth pressures will be equal to the depth of the foundation base
minus the undermining depth. This depth is also defined in the configuration window. Water level is
not considered for the resisting forces being on the safe side.
Adjacent footings: The program offers different options to consider the influence of adjacent footings
(rectangular footings, strip footings, lineal loads, and concentrated loads). The two available methods
for the calculation of the lateral pressures are Spangler (1956) and Boussinesq (suggested by Bowles,
1997). Both methods are based on the Theory of Elasticity. The program will automatically calculate
the lateral pressures of the adjacent footing and will add them to the lateral earth pressures. It is
important to note that the Boussinesq method requires the value of the Poisson constant and it will
have a big influence on the calculated pressures. Therefore, the value of this property has to be
selected carefully considering that it will be taken constant for all soil layers independently of the
number of adopted soil layers. Bowles (1997) gives different suggestions for this value.

486
Chapter 31: Retaining Walls

Lateral earth pressures due to adjacent footing load


Weight: It will be calculated based on the unit weights of the different materials of the wall. For the
backfill, the wet soil unit weight will be adopted for all layers over the water level and the submerged
unit weight (saturated unit weight minus water unit weight) for the rest of the layers.
Precision of the lateral earth forces calculation: The pressures will be calculated on a maximum of
20 equally distant points, covering the whole height of the wall. The precision will be limited to the
calculated pressures at those points. The following figure describes the effect of the calculation points
(black squares), the obtained pressure diagram (red line) and the theoretical pressure diagram (gray)
for three soils stratum. It is important to remark that the obtained diagram is closer to the real soil
diagram because it has no abrupt changes.

487
Chapter 31: Retaining Walls

Effect of calculation points over the theoretical pressure diagram.

Seismic Load
The program may consider seismic loads using an extension of the Coulombs active earth pressure
theory using the Mononobe-Okabe equation including the modifications of Seed and Whitman. It
considers the calculation of the increased earth pressures (in walls that may yield laterally) and the
inertial forces of the wall due to self-weight.
The method is limited only for cohesion-less material, no water table and no liquefaction possibility.
It consists in the calculation of the coefficient for combined active and earthquake forces (Kae). The
method uses the ratio of the horizontal earthquake acceleration component and the acceleration due to
gravity (kh). This value is normally tabulated (common values are in the range of 0.05 to 0.40) or can
be calculated as:
kh=Aa*(0.2SQR(Av)/Aa/Delta)0.25
Where Aa, Av are Effective peak acceleration and effective peak velocity
They are dimensionless coefficients representing the Effective Peak Acceleration (EPA) and the
Effective Peak Velocity (EPV). These are normalizing factors for construction of smoothed elastic
response spectra for ground motions of normal duration. The EPA is proportional to spectral
ordinates for periods in the range of 0.1 to 0.5 sec. The EPV is proportional to spectral ordinates at a
period of about 1 sec.
Both factors (Aa and Av) are given by the Applied Technology Council or the local building codes
like the BOCA seismic maps for most regions in the United States.
Delta is the maximum lateral displacement during the earthquake.
The equation used for Kae is:

Where: is the friction angle, is the slope angle, is the internal slope angle of the stem (related to
the horizontal plane), is the soil-wall friction angle and is defined as the arctan (kh/(1-kv)). kv is
the vertical seismic component. The program assumes kv=0.
When Kae is calculated, the active force per unit width of the wall including the seismic effect (Pae)
is calculated and the seismic force (Pae) is obtained by subtracting Pa to Pae. Pae=Pae-Pa.
Finally, it is assumed that Pae acts at 0.6*H. More details of this method may be found in Das
(1995).

Load Combinations
The module has up to three groups of load combinations:
Service load combinations: They are used for global checks and for the deflections calculation. Their
names start with S.

488
Chapter 31: Retaining Walls

Strength design load combinations for concrete design: They are used for the design of the different
(reinforced) concrete elements of the wall. The adopted method for the design of this material is the
limit states design. Their names start with R.
Allowable stress design combinations for masonry design: Note that only the combinations of this set
will be considered in the masonry design. Their names start with A.
It is important to know that the combinations may be automatically generated with the load
combination generator.

Design of the wall components


The different elements of the wall (stem blocks, toe, heel or key) may have reinforcement and should
always be checked for flexure and shear. The program allows to set different materials for stem
blocks: reinforced concrete, plain concrete or masonry, while for the foundation base only concrete
materials are allowed.

Unreinforced Concrete Design


If no reinforcement is defined, the program will consider the element as a plain concrete
member. In this case, Chapter 22 of the ACI-318 specifications will be adopted. The flexure strength
is defined with the tension strength given in Section 22.5.2 of the Code. The shear strength is
determined according to Section 22.5.4. The rest of the design considerations are similar to the ones
adopted for concrete design.

The Code does not included a direct method for the calculation of unreinforced walls. In
order to overcome this drawback, the program uses a tension strength given by Eurocode 2: Part 1,
Section 1A.
fct = a * fctk/c,
Where a = 0.80, c = 1.5 (reduction factor for concrete in bending), fctk = 0.7* fctm, fctm = 0.30*
fck 2/3
fck = cylindrical concrete compression characteristic strength
fck = fcu/1.23 (approximately)
fct = 1.68* (fcu/1.23)2/3 / c

Reinforced Concrete Design


The design of the different elements of reinforced concrete has the following characteristics:
The flexural design of reinforced concrete is based on the simplified rectangular stress assumption as
described in ACI 10.2.7. The design assumptions of ACI 10.2.7 are fully implemented, particularly
the use of the equivalent rectangular stress distribution. The section is compression controlled if the
net tensile strain in the extreme tension steel is equal or less than the strain limit 0.002 when concrete
in compression reaches its assumed strain limit of 0.003 (ACI 10.3.3). The section is tension
controlled if the net tensile strain in the extreme tension steel is equal or greater than 0.005 when the
concrete in compression reaches its assumed strain limit of 0.003.
The program checks the strength along the whole length of each element considering that the
reinforcement may change due to cut offs and it is performed for all load cases and combinations
selected from the print. The program checks the strength along the whole length of each element

489
Chapter 31: Retaining Walls

considering that the reinforcement may change due to cut offs and it is performed for all load cases
and combinations selected from the print reinforced concrete design dialog. For the summary output
in the main program, flexure, shear and torsion design is performed at evenly spaced stations along
the beam (0.1xLength)
The following figure illustrates the critical sections that are normally adopted to check the different
wall components for flexure.

Critical sections for flexure design


The shear design of the different reinforced concrete elements is performed according to Chapter 11
of the ACI code. The program does not consider stirrups or any other shear reinforcement. The wall
is calculated as a slab in one direction.
The critical sections for shear may coincide with the flexure sections or they me be localized at a
distance d (effective depth) from the face of support. This is established according to Section 11.1.3.1
of the code. The option is available in the configuration window.
Warning!
The user is responsible to check that the flexural reinforcement shall not be terminated in a tension
zone unless Vu at the cutoff point does not exceed (2/3)Vn or the continuing reinforcement provides
double the area required for flexure at the cutoff point and Vu does not exceed (3/4)Vn. ACI318
Sec.12.10.5.
The program does not consider any extra reinforcement to resist axial loads (in tension or
compression). It does not consider either any special consideration for the reinforcement in seismic
areas.

The design of the different elements of reinforced concrete has the following characteristics:
The flexure design of reinforced concrete is done with the criterion of strength redistribution and the
analysis described in the section 2.5 of BS-8110 code. The hypothesis of design is based on section
3.4.4.4 BS-8110, for example the use of the equivalent concrete strength block. Each element is
designed at each section for the envelope (max positive and negative) moments from all the
appropriate load conditions. The maximum strain deformation of concrete in flexure is 0.0035 and
the steel deformation in tension varies from 0.002 to 0.0035 depending on the neutral axis position.

490
Chapter 31: Retaining Walls

The minimum flexure reinforcement adopted is in accordance with table 3.25 of the code BS-8110.
The maximum area of vertical reinforcement should not exceed 4% of the gross cross-sectional area
of the concrete. The seismic special requirements are not specified in the BS-8110 code; in this case,
the user has the responsibility to cover all the requirements that are not covered by the program.
The shear design of reinforced concrete with BS-8110 code uses the criteria and requirements that are
provided in the section 3.4.5 of the BS-8110 code referring to design shear resistance. The design
shear force is the maximum value from the envelope generated from all selected load combinations.
It is important to note that when the shear stress does not exceed 0.45 N/mm the shear strength is not
required to be checked and this is used mainly where no reinforcement is provided, normally at the
end of the elements.
The maximum shear force is calculated at a section a distance d from base. The concrete shear
stress vc considers the section and the characteristic concrete strengths. The code provides in the
table 3.8 some values of c design concrete shear stress (3.4.5.4 BS-8110).
The user can define if desired to include an estimated distance to mechanical center. It is not
considered reinforcement for tension and compression axial loads in reinforced concrete. Finally, it is
not considered any special disposition for reinforcement in seismic zones.

Reinforced Masonry Design


The design of the masonry stem blocks are performed with the following specifications:
2005 version of the Building Code Requirements for Masonry reported by the Masonry Standards
Joint Committee, ACI 530-05.
The adopted method is the Allowable Stress Design (ASD) and therefore, the program will request a
special load combination group for the design of these special elements.
The axial, shear and flexure design is performed according to Section 2.3 of the Code. An allowable
axial load (Pa) is calculated, together with an allowable shear stress (Fv) and an allowable
compression stress due to flexure (Fb). Only rectangular sections are considered. The basic equations
assume that the plane sections remain plane after bending, stresses are proportional to strains, the
modulus of elasticity is constant, masonry does not resist tension forces, and completely bonded
reinforcement. The flexure design is performed with a transformed section. The masonry below the
neutral axis is assumed cracked. The resisting moments for masonry and reinforcement (Mrm and
Mrs respectively) are calculated together with the corresponding stresses (fb and fs):
Mrs = Fs*As*j*d
Mrm = Fb*k*j*b*d
Where Fs = allowable tensile or compressive stress in reinforcement, Fb = allowable compressive
stress due to flexure only, j = ratio of the distance between centroid of flexural compressive forces
and centroid of tensile forces to the distance d, k = ratio of the depth of the compressive stress block
to the total depth from compression face to the reinforcing steel (d), b= width of the member effective
in compression.
The smaller of the resisting moments is the allowable moment, Ma = min(Mrm, Mrs). The allowable
shear force (Va) is calculated as: Va = Fv*b*d, where Fv is the allowable shear stress.
The reinforcement development length and the splices are calculated according to Section 2.1.10.
No special consideration is used for seismic loads.

491
Chapter 31: Retaining Walls

Another parameter that must be selected with caution is the reinforcement spacing. This value
depends strictly on the masonry geometry and normally has a fixed value. For more information
about masonry reinforced sections refer to the chapter devoted to masonry walls.

References
Bowles, Joseph E., Foundation Analysis and Design 5th Edition, Mc Graw Hill, New York,
1995
USA Corps of Engineers, Engineering and Design Retaining and Flood Walls (EM 1110-2-
2502), 1989. Free downloadable on /www.usace.army.mil/inet/usace-docs/eng-manuals.
USA Corps of Engineers, Engineering and Design - Bearing Capacity (EM 1110-1-1905),
1992. Free downloadable on /www.usace.army.mil/inet/usace-docs/eng-manuals.
Das, Braja M., "Principles of Foundation Eng.", 3rth Edition, PWS, Boston, 1995

492
Chapter 32: Beam Design

Chapter 32: Beam Design


The Beam Design module allows the user to easily and quickly model a continuous beam
independently of the main program.
This module will allow to model, analyze, and design any continuous beam under a variety loads,
materials, and sections in a practical and simple manner. It is a useful tool dedicated to provide the
user all the tools necessary for inputting data, designing, detailing, and obtaining results through a
specific report for continuous beams.
This section will describe all the available options in the module such as input geometry, materials,
sections, loads, analysis, design, and detailing for continuous beams. The module supports the design
for hot-rolled steel, cold-formed steel, reinforced concrete or wood members subjected to shear and
bending.
The available specifications for the module are: AISC, AS and BS for hot-rolled steel; NDS for
wood; ACI and BS for concrete and AISI for cold-formed steel.

Design steps
1) Entering Data
The user should enter all the necessary data to obtain a new model before the analysis and going to
the diagrams screen.
This input is done through drop-down windows in the case of multiple options or by keypad for
singular options. All input data like material properties, sections, geometry and other design
parameters can be modified at any time during the analysis.

2) Analysis/Design/Detailing
Before proceeding with a beam design, the model should be analyzed completely. The analysis
should consider a moment of inertia reduction (factor Ig) only for reinforced concrete, prescribed by
the design code; the unbraced length Lb and the bending coefficient Cb for steel beams; and different
coefficients and design parameters for wood beams. For more details about these and other
parameters, see the chapters related to the design of each material or the sensitive help context.

3) Verifications
Depending on the selected material and design code, the code verifications are the next step where it
calculates the longitudinal reinforcement for reinforced concrete beams only.
The verifications are completed in the design and detailing module that will be explained further
ahead.

4) Optimization
The last step is the optimization of sections that can be completed for steel and wood beams only.
Optimization involves reducing oversized sections to an optimal section (normally a lighter section)
from a predefined group of sections, or for sections that fail the code check, they will be changed to
larger sections that pass the code check. For more details, see the optimization chapter of the Manual.

493
Chapter 32: Beam Design

Technical Notes
General
The design of beams accounts for all load conditions. The user can see it, by selecting the load case
or load combination required in the diagrams window.
The following items are checked in the design of steel, reinforced concrete and wood beams.
Flexure
Shear
Detailing Requirements (RC Beam Detailer Only)
Important!
No axial load or out-of-plane loading is considered in the design. If this is required, the user can use
the main program.

Limitations
The following limitations currently exist in this program with respect to the analysis and design
beams:
No axial load is considered in the design.
Only in plane bending (about local axis 3-3 of member) is considered.
Torsion is not considered.
No deep member design is considered.

Design Specifications
The following specifications are considered in the present version:
ANSI/AISC - 360-05 ASD/LRFD Methods. Allowable Stress Design/Load and Resistance
Factor Design.
ANSI/AISC - 360-10 ASD/LRFD Methods. Allowable Stress Design/Load and Resistance
Factor Design.
AISI ASD-LRFD. Cold-formed Steel Design Manual Load and Resistance Factor Design
(Edition 2001, including 2004 Supplement).
British Code BS 5950-1:2000.
AS 4100-1998. Steel Structures.
ACI. American Concrete Institute Building Code Requirements for Structural Concrete. ACI
318-99 (ACI 1999).
ACI. American Concrete Institute Building Code Requirements for Structural Concrete. ACI
318-05 (ACI 2005).
BS-8110 British Standard Incorporated. BS-8110-97 (1997).

494
Chapter 32: Beam Design

NDS (ASD/LRFD). National Design Specification. American Forest & Paper Association -
American Wood Council (Edition 2005).
The user should indicate the specifications that will be used for the design according to the material
that will be used.
For a better orientation, see the following conceptual map:

Analysis

Pattern loading
This is a special tool of the module that allows the generation of different conditions considering
pattern loading. The tool works only with live loads. Dead loads are applied permanently and thus are
not subjected to distribution.
To define skip loading, the user needs to generate load combinations and choose the files which
included skip loading. Note that it uses the conjunction OR for live load.
Percentage: This determines the fraction of the live load (between 0 and 100%) that will be
effectively distributed.
The load conditions that will be generated are 2*n, where n is the number of spans of the continuous
beam. The generated loads will be named starting with SK. For example, in a 5 span continuous
beam (*), we will have the following generated load patterns:
Load Span1 (*) Span2 Span3 Span4 Span5 (*)
SK1 - + - + -
SK2 + - + - +
SK3 - - + - +
SK4 + - - + -
SK5 - + - - +
SK6 + - + - -
SK7 + + - + -
SK8 - + + - +

495
Chapter 32: Beam Design

SK9 + - + + -
SK10 - + - + +

(-) Negative load (downward).


(*) The beam may have the two extreme spans as cantilevers.
If the program uses a zero (0) instead of (+) or (-), it means that the upward or downward loads are
zero.

Load combinations
There are two groups of load combinations:
Service Load Combinations that are used for deflection control. These names start with S.
Design Load Combinations that are used for the design of the different beam spans. Depending on the
material and Code, ultimate limit states combinations or unfactored load combinations may be
selected. These names start with D.
Note that only the load combinations of this group will be considered in the design. The user may
automatically generate all the required combinations with the load combination generator. The
number of combinations depends on the Skip loading option.

Design parameters
Next, some beam parameters that the user must keep in mind for input data are described. For more
information about these and other parameters, refer to specific chapters of each material.

Cracked Section Factors


To analyze a concrete structure accurately, it is common to assign a cracked section facto to beams
and columns. These factors reduce the moments of inertia of the members during the analysis.
Recommended factors should be taken from the local concrete design or building code. For example,
the ACI318-05 (Section 10.11.1) recommends 0.35 Ig (gross moment of inertia) for beams.
This value can be entered directly into the Inertia reduction factor Ig option in the design data as
shown in the figure below. Valid values are 0.0 to 1.0. Note that if 0.0 is entered, a value of 1.0 is
used in the analysis.

496
Chapter 32: Beam Design

Enter the 0.35 value (as recommended by ACI 318 05) to consider the cracked section in the
analysis.
Important!
The Inertia reduction factor Ig for reinforced concrete will be considered constant for all the
spans of the beam.

Unbraced length Lb
The unbraced length of the compression flange of the section is needed for the lateral torsional
flexural buckling capacity calculation of the steel members. These parameters are used for the
calculation of the allowable bending stress, Fb, in ASD (AISC, AISI) or for the nominal moment
strength, Mn, in LRFD (AISC, AISI). If LB=0 the program will adopt LB=L (distance between
nodes). For more information, see Chapter F (AISC-ASD or LRFD) in the steel manual.
It should be noted that the unbraced length Lb can in some cases be greater than the total length of
the beam (distance between nodes). If this is the case the program allows to enter these values but it
is responsibility of the user to adopt the value and to use an appropriate approach for it.

Bending coefficient Cb
This bending coefficient is used in steel design and it depends on the moment gradient (AISC-ASD,
LRFD, AISI). If the automatic calculation is adopted, the program will calculate the value according
to the Code. The value depends on the structure type (braced or unbraced) and the moments at the
ends of the spans (according to each load condition). The automatic calculation is recommended.
Important!
When the unbraced length is different from the length of the member, the coefficient Cb should be
calculated manually or the user must assume a value equal to 1.

497
Chapter 32: Beam Design

Design
All the considerations and detailed information about the design procedure, according to the material,
and design Specifications to be used, are presented in this manual. Please review previous chapters
corresponding to the material the user wants to design.

Detailing Requirements
To obtain detailed information for the provisions adopted by the program for the detailing of
reinforced concrete beams, refer to the chapter Reinforced Concrete Beam Design in the Manual.

Beam Design Module


This section describes the available options in the Beam Design module. As in many other detailing
modules, the design is done automatically, where the user enters only the geometry, materials and
design parameters. In addition, the program performs design verification with the existing
reinforcement in the case that the user manually provides a specific reinforcement or changes loads or
material once the design has been done.
This module can be independent of the main program (no data from the main model is required) and
it is called by selecting the command Beams/Continuos Beam from Modules tab, Elements group in
RAM Elements or can be dependent being necessary to select the beams in the model before calling
the module.

Properties area
The first window displayed after entering the module is the data window. In this screen, the user can
modify the material properties, section, geometry, and design parameters.
Note that all beam data and the assigned loads have been entered and generated in the module, not in
the main program.

498
Chapter 32: Beam Design

Edition area in the module: Data window.


This screen allows to modify dimensions, loads, and any other option in an easily way and every time
that the user wants. This advantage allows to model more exactly the beam behavior. If this model is
to be used to generate structural drawings, the user should be careful to enter the exact dimensions.
As it was described in the Design and Detailing Modules chapter, the main window has seven work
areas: the RE button, the quick access toolbar, the ribbon, the properties edition area, the graphic
area, the sensitive help area and the status bar.
After completing the modeling, it is possible to view the diagrams screen:

499
Chapter 32: Beam Design

Diagrams screen

Go to the Diagrams tab to view the diagrams screen. This screen is used to display the demand and
capacity diagrams for the beam. Note that two simple diagrams can be viewed on the screen at the
same time, thus allowing a comparison between the demand (required) curve and the capacity
(supplied) curve. The user can view combined diagrams too. Those show both curves in one graphic
as shown below:

500
Chapter 32: Beam Design

Combine the demand and capacity curves for bending moment and simple shear into one diagram.
Some of the diagrams that can be displayed are dependent on the selected load condition. The
moment or shear diagrams are displayed for the currently selected load condition.
Notice the existence of a Traffic light in the status bar. This traffic light is an indicator of design
status where the red light indicates that the ratio of demand to capacity is greater than one and thus
fails. The yellow light indicates that the ratio between stresses is satisfactory, but another
requirement, such as deflection, is not satisfactory. Finally, the green light indicates that the status of
design of the member is satisfactory for all strength and service requirements.

Traffic light.

501
Chapter 32: Beam Design

Detailing Screen

The detailing screen displays the reinforcing bars designed for the beam.
Both longitudinal reinforcing and vertical stirrups are shown on this screen. The cross section
represents the reinforcing required at the desired points along each span. Note that the user can only
define the reinforcement and the locations of the cross sections in the figure, but by selecting the
Export to DXF option a CAD file can be created and manipulated outside Beam Design. See the
chapter devoted to reinforced concrete beam design for further details.

Optimization screen
Optimization is valid only for steel and wood members. This option allows the user to change the
existing sections with sections that are recommended (based on explicit criteria) from a collection of
sections. In other words, the original section can be replaced with another that resists the imposed
loads.
Fore more details about commands and procedures for section optimization refer to the corresponding
chapter of this Manual.

Reports and Screen Output


This detailing module allows to generate a report that will summarize the input data, the results of the
analysis, and the results of the design.
502
Chapter 32: Beam Design

In the report the following will be found:


A summary of analysis results performed at different stations spaced at equal distances along
the beam.
A summary of design results for flexure and shear is performed for the most critical
combination at evenly spaced stations along the beam (0.1 x Length) for reinforced concrete
only.

To enter the report, press the button in the Home tab and the report will be displayed.
For a detailed explanation of the commands used in this report, see the Report section of the chapter
for Printing Graphics and Reports.

503
Chapter 33: Tilt-Up Walls

Chapter 33: Tilt-Up Walls


This chapter describes the options available in the module for the design and detailing of Tilt-Up
Walls. Similar to the other design modules, the aim is to obtain a fully functional and economic tilt-
up wall according to the code practice and the office standards of the user. This module can be
independent of the main program or can be dependent been necessary to select the tilt-up wall in the
RE model.

Design steps
1) Data introduction
The user has to enter the required data related to the geometry and characteristics of the desired wall
before performing the analysis and design of the wall.
The data input is performed through drop-down windows and multiple options in the pad. All data
entries as the material properties, geometry, and design parameters may be modified at any moment
before and after the analysis.

2) Detailing
Once the wall is defined, the user can proceed with the analysis and design. The Diagram window or
Report will show the different forces and strengths of the strips of the wall according to the codes
(ACI 318 and ACI 551R-92). Then the user can go to the detailing window and see the reinforcement
obtained in the design or see its verification if it was an existing one. The report additionally shows
the results of global stability verifications for overturning.

3) Optimize/Verify design
The design results will be automatically calculated when the Diagram, Detailing or Report window
are selected. The results are according to the parameters defined in the Data window. If a value that
affects the design is modified afterwards such as geometry data, design or configuration parameters,
the user will have the option to lose the actual reinforcement data and perform a new optimization or
to keep the same reinforcement.
If a specific reinforcement is required to be checked, the user can enter it manually and then see the
results in the Report window.
Note.
The program will ask the user to lose the reinforcement when any of these parameters had changed:
Number of level, same height levels, panel height, panel heights, panel length, openings,
reinforcement layers, design criterion by, spacing values, bar sizes, or bar series in the configuration
window.
If the user makes changes in the reinforcement and wants to see quickly the effects of his changes in

the wall, is possible is possible use the command to perform a Verify Design and see the
results reflected in the traffic light, which indicates the status of the whole wall.

505
Chapter 33: Tilt-Up Walls

The user can also realize an Optimize Design by using the command to obtain a new design
if any initial data was changed, or to let the program return the first suggested reinforcement.

506
Chapter 33: Tilt-Up Walls

General Design Steps for Tilt-Up Walls

Steps for the design of tilt-up walls

507
Chapter 33: Tilt-Up Walls

Technical notes

Warning!
It is suggested to read carefully these notes before using the module because they summarize the
scope, hypothesis and methods assumed.

Terminology
The following names have been assumed for the different parts or elements of a wall:
Parapet
Wall or panel
Bottom of panel

Different parts of a Tilt-Up Wall

General
The general characteristics of the module are:
Graphical input of wall geometry and loads.
Options to define the bottom restraint at the foundation level according to the selected
analysis method (Bottom restraint: fixed, pinned, compression only springs)
Graphical input of openings in accordance with one of the four corners of the wall taking it as
a reference corner.
Consideration of 2 types of foundation: isolated footing or continuous footing.
Analysis of the wall with two methods: Simplified (method considering linear elements) and
FEM (finite elements method).

508
Chapter 33: Tilt-Up Walls

Automatic design according to the ACI 318 and ACI 551R-92 Codes.
Consideration of reveals in the design.
Consideration of a single or double layer of reinforcement.
Context sensitive help.
Easy handle of wall dimensions and reinforcement.
Consideration of self weight.
Consideration of vertical load concentrated or distributed, with or without eccentricity at any
position along the existing levels.
Consideration of lateral in-plane concentrated, distributed or seismic loads.
Consideration of lateral out of plane pressure or seismic loads.
Presentation of moment, shear and axial diagrams.
Presentation of FEM diagrams with forces, stresses and deformation scale of values.
Option to verify the wall quickly and update the results at any moment.
Option to optimize the design of the wall.
DXF export of the main graphics of several windows.
Option to save and retrieve data, reinforcement and results
Detailed report

Limitations
The features not covered by the module are:
Openings other than rectangular.
Walls other than rectangular.
Design of (flush) columns or pilasters when vertical stresses exceed 0.06*fc.
Separately design of parapet and bottom of panel. Both will present a reinforcement obtained
of the extension of the lower and upper wall reinforcement, respectively.
Lifting design.

Design Codes
The currently implemented codes for tilt-up wall design are:
American Concrete Institute. Building Code Requirements for Structural Concrete. ACI 318-
05 (ACI 2005).
American Concrete Institute. Tilt-Up Concrete Structures. ACI 551R-92.

Geometry
In accordance with the code ACI 551R-92 Section 2.2 the height-to-thickness ratio (lu/h) should be
greater than or equal to 30 to apply the slender wall method. Tilt-up walls exceed often this limitation

509
Chapter 33: Tilt-Up Walls

with lu/h ratios of 40 to 50 or more, therefore, the minimum thickness to be used will be 5.0 in
according to the code and construction reasons.
In the module, it is possible to enter openings at any position considering a minimum distance of at
least 18 in or two times the thickness between them according to The Tilt-Up Design and
Construction Manual page 9.30. In the case of openings with less spacing, it is recommended to use
the FEM analysis method. The only limitation in this case is to avoid openings at the corners or edges
of the wall.

Restraints
The user would choose the following restraints for the bottom restraint, according to the analysis
method:
Pinned: Restrains translation movement along the three axes (X, Y, Z), and allows the
rotation around any of them.
Fixed: Restrains translation and rotation movement for the three axes (X, Y, Z).
Compression only spring: this option is enable only for FEM Method. It restrains translation
movement along axes: X and Z and has a compression only spring in the Y axis, with a
translational stiffness equal to 1E08 [Kip/in].
It is necessary to use a compression only spring, when the wall rests against the foundation
and does not make a whole unique monolithic structure with it, so that the wall will separate
from the foundation because of the lateral in-plane loads.
The rest of the nodes will be restrained to the translation movement along axis Z.

Loads
The flowing loads are included in the module: vertical in-plane loads, lateral out-of-plane loads and
lateral in-plane loads.

Vertical in-plane loads:


The vertical loads or axial loads are divided in two groups:
Concentrated loads: are defined from the extreme left side of the wall and are located at X
distance along each level. These loads can be dead or live and may have an eccentricity
measured from the longitudinal axis of the wall; in this case it will be shown as concentrated
moment around X axis in the graphic.
The module lets the user enter positive and negative eccentricities considering an unfavorable
case for all load directions.
Distributed loads: are defined per level. These loads can be dead or live and can have an
eccentricity measure from the longitudinal axis of the wall, too; in this case the user will enter
a distributed moment along the X direction and around X axis.

Lateral in-plane loads:


These loads are applied to the perpendicular direction of the centerline of the wall and could be due
to wind or seismic shear force.

510
Chapter 33: Tilt-Up Walls

Lateral out-of-plane loads:


These loads are the most significant loads in the design of Tilt-Up walls. They are applied as a
pressure load, perpendicular to the centerline of the wall and can be due to wind pressures or seismic
accelerations.

Concentrated load distribution


In order to use the Simplified Analysis Method, concentrated loads should be considered as uniform
loads, therefore they shall be distributed according to the following Code criteria:
ACI 318: The effective width for each concentrated load shall not exceed center-to-center
distance between loads, nor width of bearing plus four times the wall thickness. (Section
14.2.4).
ACI 551R-92: The effective width for each concentrated load should not exceed the width of
bearing plus a width described by sloping lines of one horizontal to two vertical on each side
of the bearing to the critical design section, without exceeding the limits of the wall or the
spacing between loads. (Section 2.7.5).

Load Combinations
The module has up to two groups of load combinations:
Service load combinations: They are used for global checks and for deflection calculations.
Strength design load combinations: They are used for the design of reinforced concrete of the wall.
The used method for the design of this material is the limit states design.
It is important to know that the combinations may be automatically generated with the load
combination generator. These coefficient values are obtained from the ACI 551R-92 Section 2.3.5,
ACI 318-05 Section 9.2.1, ASCE 7-05 or UBC 97 Section 1612.2.1 according to the selected combo
generator file.

Wall design optimization


The module does an automatic design optimization according to the criterion and values defined at
the beginning by the user.
It is possible to choose between the next criteria:
By Spacing: the user should enter spacing values to be considered in the design. The program
will find the bar size that complies with strength and Code requirements for such spacing in
optimum way. The module will always take into account the values entered by the user even
though they are greater than the maximum spacing allowed by ACI 318 Section 14.3.5. In this
case, the program will report warnings in the design and they should be corrected to obtain a
satisfactory design.
By Bar Size: the user should select the bar sizes to be considered in the design and the
program will find the spacing that complies with strength and Code requirements in an
optimum way. If none bar size satisfies the requirements, the program will display warnings
in the design, so these bar sizes should be modified. Then the wall should be optimized.
By Reinforcement area: the user should select the bar sizes and enter the spacing. The
program will find the total area of reinforcement, for each bar size, that complies the strength
and Code requirements and it will select the minimum area as optimum.

511
Chapter 33: Tilt-Up Walls

Once the wall is analyzed, the program divides it into horizontal and vertical strips forming segments;
each of them will be designed with the envelope of the maximum positive and negative flexural
moments, as well as with the envelope of the shear forces. The envelope will consider all load
combinations initially defined.

Segment division per strip


In order to obtain a continuous reinforcement, the program will determine the critical segment per
vertical and horizontal strip and then it will assign the required reinforcement to the whole vertical or
horizontal strip.
For all design criteria, the steel reinforcement area will be determined by the minimum reinforcement
defined by the standards for horizontal and vertical reinforcement and by flexural out-of-plane and
shear in-plane strength for vertical and horizontal reinforcement, taking into account the worst case
for both directions.

Hypotheses
The designed method considered by the program is the Alternative Design of Slender Walls (ACI
14.8). This method takes into account the secondary bending due panel deflection (P-effects), in
function to the cracking moment of inertia.

Where:
Mu = Factored moment
Mua = Moment at the midheight section of the wall due to factored lateral and eccentric vertical loads
Pu = Factored axial force
u = Deflection at the midheight of the wall due to factored loads

Where:
lc = Clear distance between supports
512
Chapter 33: Tilt-Up Walls

Ec = Modulus of elasticity of concrete


Icr = Cracking moment of inertia
This is an approximation method to compute the bending stiffness by iterations of the concrete
section from which maximum deflection and thus, P-moments can be obtained. This method is
used for slender walls (height-to-thickness ratio > 40) axially loaded, with out-of-plane loads, which
cracking moment does not exceed times the nominal moment
And which deflection does not exceed h/150.

Characteristics
According to ACI Code, the design has the following characteristics:
The flexural design is based on the simplified rectangular stress assumption as described in ACI
10.2.7. The design assumptions of ACI 10.2.7 are fully implemented, particularly the use of the
equivalent rectangular stress distribution. The wall shall be tensin-controlled (ACI 14.8.2.4)
conform to general principles and requeriments in the section 10.3.

Equilibrium of wall cross-section with two layers of reinforcement


Hence, the nominal moment for one layer of reinforcement located at the center of the section will
be:

For two layers of reinforcement and ignoring the compression reinforcement, the nominal moment
will be:

Where:

Ase = effective steel area

513
Chapter 33: Tilt-Up Walls

d = distance from extreme compression fiber to centroid of longitudinal tension reinforcement


a = depth of equivalent rectangular stress block
As = area of longitudinal tension reinforcement
h = wall thickness
b = width of considered wall section
Shear design is performed according to Sections 11.10 and 21.7 of the ACI Code,
when .
Where: Vu = factored shear force, Acv = gross area of concrete section parallel to the direction of
shear force, fc = specified compressive strength of concrete.
The critical sections for shear may coincide with the flexure sections.

Minimum and maximum reinforcement


A certain quantity of steel reinforcement should be used in the wall for controlling cracks because of
changes in temperature and shrinkage.
The user is free to enter any positive value of minimum and maximum reinforcement ratios, the
program will consider in the design, the used default comply with Section 14.3 of ACI Code, as
follows:
o For grade 60:
0.0020 vertical
0.0012 horizontal
o For grade 40:
0.0024 vertical
0.0020 horizontal
o For shear wall:
0.0025 in both directions
These reinforcement ratios were interchanged, that is, the lesser ratio can be horizontal and the
greater vertical considering that the wall will span vertically (The Tilt-Up Design and Construction
Manual, page 9.29). In the opposite case the wall will span horizontally and will require a greater
amount of horizontal reinforcement. Therefore the program will use the main reinforcement ratio for
any of vertical or horizontal direction with the greater requirement and secondary reinforcement ratio
for the other direction.
In very high walls with thickness greater than 10 in, reinforcement should be placed in two layers to
increase the strength and stiffness, taking advantage of the large moment arm that results when the
bars are placed closer to the exterior wall
In no case, the spacing between vertical or horizontal bars shall exceed 18 in (457 mm) or 3 times the
wall thickness according to the Section 14.3.5.
Additionally, it would be necessary to add steel reinforcement around each opening in accordance
with ACI 551R-92 Section 2.7.3 or ACI 318 Section 14.3.7. At least each opening at its corners

514
Chapter 33: Tilt-Up Walls

should have 2 bars #5 as diagonals extending two feet and a #5 perimetry bar extending two feet
beyond the limits of the opening.
Tilt-Up Wall Design Module
This section describes the available options in the tilt-up wall design/detailing module. As in many
other detailing modules, the design is done automatically, where the user enters only the geometry,
materials and design parameters. In addition, the program performs design verification with the
existing reinforcement in the case that the user manually provides a specific reinforcement or changes
loads, material or wall thickness once the design has been done.
This module can be independent of the main program (no data from the main model is required) or
can be dependent been necessary to select a tilt-up wall in the RE model. The model is executed by
the command Tilt-up from the Standalone button, Walls group in the Modules tab. To work with the
integrated design mode is explained later in this manual.

The command Tilt-up is located into the Walls group in the Modules tab.

515
Chapter 33: Tilt-Up Walls

Main window

Tilt-up wall module main window.


As it was described in the Design and Detailing Modules chapter, the main window has seven work
areas: the RE button, the quick access toolbar, the ribbon, the properties edition area, the graphic
area, the sensitive help area and the status bar.

Diagram window
Depending on the selected method for the design the user will have available one or more of the next
diagrams.

516
Chapter 33: Tilt-Up Walls

Diagram for the simplified analysis method and strip selected

Diagram for the FEM analysis method

517
Chapter 33: Tilt-Up Walls

The simplified method is used to display the forces, stresses and deflections in the wall per strip and
the FEM method is used to display stresses and displacements in the wall obtained through finite
elements.
Note that for the simplified method, it is possible to view two simple diagrams on the window at the
same time, thus allowing a comparison between different forces, stresses or deflections.

Deflection and combined moments out of plane diagram


Note that the window has a traffic light in the status bar. This is an indicator of the design status
where: the red light indicates that the relationship between stresses is greater than one, so the design
is not satisfactory and the wall fails. The yellow light indicates that the assumed reinforcement
arrangement is no good. These failures occur generally when the reinforcement does not comply with
some Code requirements or when the user changes the wall thickness or load magnitudes as a
previous reinforcement is defined, so the program does only a verification that can or cannot comply
with the relationship between stresses less than the unity or some Code requirement. All these
warnings can be viewed in the report. Finally, the green light indicates that the design status of the
wall is OK.

Traffic Light

518
Chapter 33: Tilt-Up Walls

Detailing window

The detailing window displays the reinforcing bars assumed for the tilt-up wall.
The spreadsheet has three tabs, the first one called Vertical Bars, contains all data required to define
vertical reinforcement, the second one called Horizontal Bars, has all information to define horizontal
reinforcement and the third one called additional reinforcement, contains all data of the bars that go
around the openings. They can be diagonal or perimetry. Diagonal and perimetry reinforcement are
not considered in the design, but are necessary to avoid cracks for changes in temperature and
shrinking.
In addition, the user must take in mind that the reinforcement defined in the worksheet and showed in
the graphic area (frontal view) is per reinforcement layer, that is to say, if the wall has two layers of
reinforcement, the wall will have an equal number of bars in the other face, as it is shown in the wall
cross-section.
Notice that there are two ways to manually define the reinforcement (without considering the design
optimization of the reinforcement):
Using the next tools:

519
Chapter 33: Tilt-Up Walls

o Vertical Bars (continuous reinforcement), (discontinuous reinforcement)

o Horizontal bars (continuous reinforcement), (discontinuous


reinforcement)

o Additional reinforcement (perimetry reinforcement), (diagonal


reinforcement)
This option is used when the user wants to define a particular reinforcement bar group (with a
specific bar size). Each button will display a dialog window to enter a specific reinforcement
per strip. For continuous bars, the user should select the bar data entry by spacing or by bar
quantity. If the choice by spacing is selected, the dialog window requests the spacing value
and the program will obtain automatically the number of bars required to comply with the
spacing; if the choice by quantity is selected, the number of bars for the selected strips should
be enter, so the program will obtain the spacing that corresponds to this quantity.
The program will automatically calculate the required bar lengths to cover the geometry and
conditions of the wall.

Dialog window for continuous reinforcement


For discontinuous bars, it is necessary to enter in the dialog window all data mentioned above.
It is also necessary to enter the distances to the initial and final points of the bars from the
reference level or axis selected in the dialog window.

520
Chapter 33: Tilt-Up Walls

Dialog window for discontinuous reinforcement


For additional reinforcement:
Perimetry reinforcement, it is necessary to select the openings for which the user wants to
place the reinforcement and define the bar size. There is also an option to extend vertical and
horizontal bars, in the opposite case, the program will extend the bars 2 ft beyond the limits of
the opening, according to the code.
Diagonal reinforcement, it is necessary to enter the angle and length for these bars.

Dialog window for additional perimetry reinforcement

521
Chapter 33: Tilt-Up Walls

Dialog window for additional diagonal reinforcement


Using the worksheet. This method allows the definition of any type of reinforcement. The
following data are required for each group: bar size, spacing, level or axis of reference,
distance to the start point and distance to the end point. Note that when the first value of a
new group of reinforcement is entered, the rest of the parameters will take initial default
values, which may be edited according to the required characteristics of the new group, taking
into account that the values of spacing and quantity are dependent and will change according
to the dimension of the wall section.
Independently on how the reinforcement is defined, is possible to edit the values in the spreadsheet to
control exactly the lengths and positions of the different bar groups.
Note
The user can export the figure by pressing the DXF button. A CAD file will be created and may be
edited with any drafting software.

522
Chapter 33: Tilt-Up Walls

Configuration window

Configuration window
This window allows the user to establish some calculation methods and office standards for design,
and have control over the design of reinforcement. Note that changed data on this window are saved
with the model and the defined options may be set as defaults for subsequent new walls with the
option Set these values as default.
These criteria should all be set before the detailing is viewed, but it does not need to be modified for
subsequent walls. The items considered are described in the table below.
Option Description
Foundation type Two options are available. Isolated footing or
Continuous footing. It determines the type of foundation
used for modeling the wall (ACI 551R-92 Section
2.7.4).
Foundation width Option available for Isolated footing. It defines the
distance of the foundation measured from the edge of
the panel. If this distance is greater than the midlength
of the wall it will be considered as a continuous footing.
In the case of a height-to-width ratio greater than the
unity, the effective width will be equal to users width
value plus two times wall thickness; on the other hand it
will be equal to users defined width value.
Minimum distance between Minimum distance between edges to avoid extremely
523
Chapter 33: Tilt-Up Walls

edges thin strips


Parapet load equal to the last Option that allows to consider the loads at the parapet
level equal to the ones of the last level.
Consider reveals If affirmative, optimization and verification will take
into account the influence of a reveal, as a reduction in
wall thickness.
Reveal size Option available for Consider reveals. It determines the
reveal size to deduct of the wall thickness.
Concentrated load distribution Two options are available for distributing concentrated
criterion loads: ACI 318 Section 14.2.4 or ACI 551R-92 Section
2.7.5
Distribute pressure load to the If affirmative, the pressures applied to the openings are
opening sides. distributed at their sides.
Mesh size (FEM Model) Two options are available: Manual and Automatic. It
determines the mesh size to be used in the segmentation
for the analysis method FEM.
Custom mesh size Option available for Manual mesh size. It lets enter any
positive mesh size according to users criterion.
Number of increments It determines the number of increments to be considered
for the solution. Usually, it will be increased when
analysis solution does not converge.
Number of iterations per It determines the number of iterations to be used to find
increment the solution in one increment. This value can be
increased if any difficulty is found during the solution
convergence.
Convergence tolerance It determines the maximum value of convergence
during the iterations for the analysis solution.
Free cover It determines the value of the free cover to be used for
the whole wall and openings.
Position of the horizontal Two option available: Exterior and Interior and
reinforcement represent the location of the horizontal reinforcement
respect to the vertical.
Ignore the compression If affirmative, during the design with two reinforcement
reinforcement layer layers, the compression layer will be ignored; on the
contrary, this layer will be considered when it is not in
the zone of compression.
Inertia moment for the design Selection of the Cracking or Effective inertia moment
moment calculation for the design moment calculation
Maximum deflection ratio Allows to the user to enter the maximum deflection
limit ratio to obtain the allowable deflection. Commonly the

524
Chapter 33: Tilt-Up Walls

ratio used is 150.


Allowable safety factor for Value to be considered in the verification of global
overturning stability for overturning of the wall. An error will be
displayed if the overturning safety factor is less than the
given value. It is recommended to use a value between
1.5 and 2.0.
Round bar spacing to Bar spacing can be adjusted up to the closest increment
specified. Thus, all bar spacing can be given to the
nearest tenth inch, inch, foot etc.
Bar series Two options are available: ASTM Standard and SI
Standard. It determines the bar series to be used during
the whole optimization/verification process of the wall.

Reports and screen Output


This detailing module allows generating a report that includes the input data, the results of the
analysis and the results of the design.
The report includes:
A summary of the data (wall global status, geometry, materials, number of stories, openings
and loads).
A summary of design results for tilt up wall (status, segment design division, geometry,
vertical reinforcement, combined flexure, interaction diagrams P vs. M, axial compression,
axial tension, shear and deflection).
A summary of design results for shear walls (status, segment design division, geometry,
reinforcement, combined axial flexure, interaction diagrams P vs. M, axial compression, axial
tension and shear).
A summary of overturning global stability checks (status, resisting moments, overturning
moments and the safety factor).

To preview the report, use the command and the report will be displayed, as shown in the
figure below:

525
Chapter 33: Tilt-Up Walls

Design report for Tilt-up Wall module


For a detailed explanation of the commands used in this report, see the Report section of the chapter
of Printing Graphics and Reports.
The report of tilt-up walls displays all the detailed information of the wall and its design. At the top,
the general information of the wall is displayed, as geometry, materials, type of foundation, loads,
etc.
Then, the report presents the results that include the tilt up wall and shear wall design for each
segment of wall. For each design a figure with the segment division is presented followed by all the
items considered during the design and the results for all the segments.

526
Chapter 33: Tilt-Up Walls

Tilt Up walls design results


The status is graphically shown in a special diagram that simultaneously shows the maximum value
between the ratio of the factored design moment and the nominal moment capacity multiplied by the
factor ( ) and the ratio of the cracking moment and the nominal moment capacity
multiplied by the factor ( ). If the strength is not enough to resist the applied moments,
this part of the diagram will be displayed in red. In this manner, the user can evaluate the flexural
design of the wall at a glance.
The report also displays all the information required to design shear reinforcement, as the ratio
between factored shear forces and nominal shear strength, and the ratio between required steel area
and provided area. It also displays the maximum allowed deflection value, the computed deflection
and the deflection ratio.
Finally, the user will find the results of global check for overturning, which includes a summary of
the resisting and overturning moments and the safety factor, showing the respective status as it is
shown in the next figure:

527
Chapter 33: Tilt-Up Walls

Results of stability check


A description of the main variables and the assumed nomenclature is explained at the end of the
report.

Explanatory notes
References
TCA (Tilt-UP Concrete Association), The Tilt-Up Design and Construction Manual, Hugh
Brooks, 5th Edition HBA Publications, USA, 2002 (English version), 2005 (Spanish version).
PCA (Portland Cement Association), Tilt-Up Load-Bearing Walls, 3rth Edition, USA,
1994.
SEAOSC (Structural Engineers Association OF Southern California), Recommended Tilt-Up
Wall Design, LA California USA, 1979.
CAC (Cement Association of Canada), Tilt-Up Concrete Wall Panels, 2nd Edition, Canada,
2003.

528
Chapter 34: Concrete Walls

Chapter 34: Concrete Walls


This chapter describes the options available in the module for the design and detailing of Concrete
Walls. Similar to the other design modules, the aim is to obtain a fully functional and economic
concrete wall according to the code practice and the office standards of the user. This module can be
used as standalone, independently of the main program or may be related to a specific Concrete Wall
in the RAM Elements model.

Design steps
1) Data introduction
The user has to enter the required data related to the geometry and characteristics of the desired wall
before performing its analysis and design. The data input use drop-down windows and multiple
options in the pad. The user can modify all data entries, as the material properties, geometry, and
design parameters at any moment before and after the analysis. It is advisable to review the Chapter
related to the general characteristics of the detailing modules for more details about their
management and organization.

2) Detailing
Once the wall is defined, the user can proceed with the analysis and design. The Diagram Screens
will show the different forces and strengths of the whole wall and its sections according to the code
(ACI 318-05). Then the user can go to the detailing screen and see the reinforcement obtained in the
optimization or see its verification if the reinforcement was previously defined. Additionally, the user
has the possibility to see the Interaction Diagrams, which shows the combined axial flexure surface
of the complete wall cross-section. The report shows these diagrams printings selected by the user.

3) Optimization/Verification design
The design results will be automatically calculated when the Diagram, Detailing or Report Screen are
selected. The results are according to the parameters defined in the Data Screen and configuration
screen. If the user modifies a value that affects the design (e.g. geometry data, design data or
configuration parameters), the user will have the option to lose the actual reinforcement data and
perform a new design or to keep the same reinforcement.
Note. The program will ask the user to lose the reinforcement when any of these parameters had
changed: number of levels, same height levels, panel height, panel heights, panel length, openings,
rigidity elements, design criterion by, spacing values, bar sizes, or any parameter of the configuration
screen.
If the user makes changes in the reinforcement and wants to see quickly the effects of these changes
in the wall, the user can press the button to perform a Verify Design and see the results
reflected in the traffic light, which indicates the status of the whole wall.

The user can also realize an Optimize Design by pressing the button to obtain a new design
with new reinforcement if any initial data was changed, or to let the program return the first
suggested reinforcement.

529
Chapter 34: Concrete Walls

General Design Steps for Concrete Walls

Steps for the design of concrete walls

530
Chapter 34: Concrete Walls

Technical notes

Warning!
It is suggested to read carefully these notes before using the module because they summarize the
scope, hypothesis and methods assumed.

Terminology
The following names are used for the different parts or elements of a wall:
Wall
Rigidity elements
Flanges
Boundary elements

Different parts of a Concrete Wall

General
The general characteristics of the module are:
Graphical input of wall geometry and loads.
Graphical input of openings and additional vertical strips.
Consideration of rigidity elements as boundary elements or flanges.
Consideration of two types of connections at the wall base: isolated or continuous.
Analysis of the wall with FEM (finite elements method).
Automatic design according to the ACI 318-05 Code.
Consideration of a single or double layer of reinforcement.
Context sensitive help.

531
Chapter 34: Concrete Walls

Consideration of self weight.


Consideration of vertical loads: dead and live or others loads defined in the manage load
conditions button, concentrated with or without eccentricity at any position along the existing
levels, and distributed with or without eccentricity.
Consideration of lateral in-plane loads: Concentrated at any position along the existing levels,
distributed at all or any of the existing levels and seismic weight.
Consideration of lateral out-of-plane loads: pressure at all or any of the existing levels and
seismic weight.
Consideration of global forces: Forces at any direction at any position on the wall.
Introduction of FEM diagrams with forces, stresses and deformation scale of values.
Introduction of Interaction Diagram for the whole cross section of the wall including rigidity
elements.
Option to verify the wall quickly and update the results at any moment.
Option to optimize the design of the wall.
DXF export of the main graphics of several screens.
Option to save and retrieve data, reinforcement and results.
Detailed report.

Limitations
The features not covered by the module are:
Openings other than rectangular or square.
Optimization of flanges.
Consideration of coupling beams.

Design Codes
The currently implemented code for design is:
American Concrete Institute. Building Code Requirements for Structural Concrete. ACI 318-
05 (ACI 2005).

Geometry

Wall
The module allows the user entering openings at any position of the wall considering a minimum
distance of at least 18 in (value by default found in the Configuration Screen that can be edited by the
user) between them. Therefore, there are no limitations for openings at corners or edges of the wall.
In accordance with ACI - Essential Requirements for R/C Buildings, the minimum thickness of
walls permitted in the module is determinate by the minimum of these three criteria:
bw >= 6 in
height-to-thickness ratio >= 20
532
Chapter 34: Concrete Walls

length-to thickness ratio >= 25

Rigidity elements
The user has the possibility to include rigidity elements at the edges to increase the stiffness of the
Concrete Wall, such as column sections (boundary elements) or intersecting walls (flanges).
In walls with flanges, the influence of the flange on the behavior of the wall should be considered by
selecting appropriate flange widths. According to ACI design code, effective flange widths or flanges
sections shall extend from the face of the web a distance equal to the smaller of one-half the distance
to an adjacent wall and 25 percent of the total wall height. (ACI 318-05 Section 21.7.5.2). The
module calculates the effective width with the second criteria (0.25 lw) while the user shall assign the
flanges width according to the first one.

Effective flange width.


When the Concrete Wall module is used with RAM Elements, the interacting forces transmitted to
the module are already considering the effect of the intersecting walls (flanges). Therefore, the user
does not need to estimate the flange width because the forces that he/she will receive from RAM
Elements are already reduced due to those intersecting walls. ACI 318-05 Section 21.7.5.2 agrees to
use a more detailed analysis, such as RAM Elements, instead of considering effective flange widths.
Boundary elements are defined as column section. According to ACI - Essential Requirements for
R/C Buildings and construction reasons, the thickness of the boundary elements shall not be less than
hn/16 nor bw, where hn is the clear vertical distance between lateral supports of columns and walls
and bw is the wall thickness. Besides, this section shall not have a horizontal length in the direction
of the wall less than 12 in.

533
Chapter 34: Concrete Walls

Restraints
The restraints can be modified in the Configuration Screen. The user would choose the following
restraints for the wall bottom restraint, according to his requirements:
Pinned: Restrains translation movement along the three axes (X, Y, Z), and allows the
rotation around any of them.
Fixed: Restrains translation and rotation movement for the three axes (X, Y, Z).

Loads
The module considers four types of loads for the design: vertical loads, lateral in-plane loads, lateral
out-of-plane loads, and Global forces.

Vertical loads:
The vertical loads or axial loads are divided in three groups:
Self weight loads: are defined by the characteristics of the wall to analysis. These loads can be

any of the loads defined in the load conditions manager button, by default the dead load
exists like self weight.
Concentrated loads: are defined from the left side of the wall and are located at a specified
distance (X) along each level. These loads can be any of the loads defined in the in the load
conditions manager, and may have an out-of-plane eccentricity measured from the axis of the
wall, which generates a moment around X axis. The module accepts positive and negative
eccentricities.
Distributed loads: are defined per level. These loads can be any of the loads defined in the
load conditions manager, with or without an out-of-plane eccentricity.

Lateral in-plane loads:


These loads are applied to the perpendicular direction of the centerline of the wall and are due to
wind, seismic or other forces defined by de user in the load conditions manager. The vertical loads or
axial loads are divided in three groups defined as following:
Concentrated loads: located at X distance along each level; these loads may have an
eccentricity measured along Y axis; in this case it will be shown as concentrated moment
around Z axis.
Distributed loads: located along any level in the direction of the X axis, the user can assign
different values per level.
Seismic weight: Is considered like a factored force of the wall weight over in-plane direction.

Lateral out-of-plane loads:


Concrete walls are plate structures. Thus, a concrete wall loaded perpendicular to its plane will
experience strain along its length and its height. They are defined in the load conditions manager as
following:

534
Chapter 34: Concrete Walls

Pressure load: This pressure is the result from the wind and/or any of the loads defined in the
load conditions manager. The lateral pressure is applied perpendicular to the wall.
Seismic weight: It is considered like a factored force of the wall weight in the out-of-plane
direction.

Global forces:
These loads are applied at any direction and position on the wall. Forces defined by the user in the
load conditions manager.

Load Combinations
The module has up to one group of load combinations:
Strength design load combinations: They are used for the design of reinforced concrete of the wall.
The used method for the design of this material is the limit states design.
It is important to know that the combinations may be automatically generated with the load
combination generator. These coefficient values are obtained from the ACI 318-05 Section 9.2.1.

Wall design optimization


The module does an automatic design according to the criterion and values defined at the beginning
by the user.
It gives three criteria to choose:
By Spacing: the user should enter spacing values to be considered in the design. The program
will find the reinforcement that complies with strength and Code requirements for such
spacing. The module will take into account the values entered by the user, however if some of
them are greater than the maximum spacing allowed by ACI 318 Sections 14.3.5, 11.10.9.5
and 11.10.9.3, the module will only consider those spacing less than or equal to the
maximum. If there were no values lesser than the maximum, the program will do the
Optimization with the maximum allowed spacing. In this case, the program will report a
satisfactory design; even though, the user has defined no-good values for spacing.
By Bar Size: the user should select the bar sizes to be considered in the design and the
program will find the reinforcement that complies with strength and Code requirements. If
none bar size satisfies the requirements, the program will display warnings in the design, so
these bar sizes should be modified. Then the wall should be optimized again.
By Reinforced Area: the user should select the bar sizes and introduce the spacing list. The
module will determine for each bar size, the reinforced area required, and it will select as
optimum the minimum from all of them.
Once the wall is analyzed, the program divides it into horizontal strips forming segments. A segment
is defined as a horizontal strip limited by edges or openings. The optimization finds the required
vertical and horizontal reinforcement according to the following criteria: (1) by the minimum
reinforcement ratios given by the Code (vertical and horizontal), and (2) by shear in-plane strength.
Therefore, the program will calculate the required reinforcement for each segment.

535
Chapter 34: Concrete Walls

Segment division per horizontal strips


For the boundary element design, the module initially verifies if boundary elements are needed
according to ACI 318-05 Section 21.7.6.3 and calculates the required vertical and horizontal extent of
transverse reinforcement according to ACI 318-05 Sections 21.7.6.3 and 21.7.6.4. Afterward, the
module assigns a calculated longitudinal and transversal reinforcement for the boundary elements
according to the range given by ACI 318 section 21.4.3.1. Besides, between height zero and vertical
extent height, the module assigns special transverse reinforcement: #4 bars on every leg of the
boundary element with spacing according to the following criteria: (1) ACI Section 21.4.4.2.c y (2)
equation 21.4 section 21.4.4.1.
Finally, the module will provide to the openings a minimum reinforcement according to ACI 318
Section 14.3.7 for temperature and shrinkage

Hypotheses
The hypotheses considered for the concrete wall designs are presented below:
o Each element is designed as a bearing wall and shear wall and the critical of both is
shown in the detailing.
o The bearing wall design is performed according to the provisions described in Chapter
14 in ACI 318-05 for walls subjected to axial load with or without flexure. The
module design the wall for combined axial flexure, axial compression, axial tension
and shear as concrete columns but with wall provisions, for more details about the
considerations refer to the chapter of Design and Detailing of Reinforced Concrete
Columns in this manual.
o The Shear wall design is done according to the special provision described in section
11.10 of the ACI 318-05 when the wall is subjected to shear forces considering
combined axial flexure, axial compression, axial tension and shear.
o For the combined axial-flexure design, the interaction is determined for out of plane
moments in bearing walls design, and for in plane moments for shear walls design.
o Boundary columns are designed as flexural members including the provision of
Chapter 17 Composite concrete flexural members ACI 318-05. Boundary elements
reinforced are given by the following figure:
536
Chapter 34: Concrete Walls

Additionally, it would be necessary to add steel reinforcement around each opening in


accordance with ACI 318 Section 14.3.7. At least each opening at its corners should have two
bars #5 as diagonals extending two feet and a #5 perimetry bar extending two feet beyond the
limits of the opening.
Concrete Wall Design/Detailing Module
This section describes the available options in the Concrete Wall design/detailing module. As in the
other detailing modules, the design of walls and boundary elements is done automatically, where the
user enters only the geometry, materials and design parameters. In addition, the program performs a
verification with the existing reinforcement in the case that reinforcement is provided manually, or
there are changes in loads, material or wall thickness once the optimization has been done.
This module can be used as standalone independently of the main program (no data from the main
model is required). It is called by selecting the command Concrete with the Standalone button on the
Walls group, Modules tab. To work with the integrated design mode is explained later in this manual.

537
Chapter 34: Concrete Walls

Calling the Concrete Wall module from the Walls group, Modules tab in RAM Elements.

538
Chapter 34: Concrete Walls

Main window

Concrete wall module main window.


As it was described in the Design and Detailing Modules chapter, the main window has seven work
areas: the RE button, the quick access toolbar, the ribbon, the properties edition area, the graphic
area, the sensitive help area and the status bar.

539
Chapter 34: Concrete Walls

Diagram Screen

FEM Diagram Screen


To see the FEM Diagram Screen go to the FEM tab. This screen displays stresses, forces and
displacements in the wall.
Note that the Concrete Wall module uses the boundary elements and flanges for the model analysis
and for the interaction diagrams as well. It is possible to see the rigidity elements (boundary elements
or flanges) diagrams.
To change the diagram, the user should only drop-down the window and select the desired option to
be displayed in the screen:

540
Chapter 34: Concrete Walls

Drop-down the window and select an option


This screen has several options to give the user an easy handling of the values, which are explained in
the help context. These options are placed at the top right corner in the toolbar.
Notice the existence of a traffic light in the status bar. This is an indicator of the design status
where: the red light indicates that the relationship between stresses is greater than one; therefore, the
wall fails. The yellow light indicates that the assumed reinforcement arrangement is no good. These
failures occur generally when the reinforcement does not comply with some Code requirements. All
these warnings are presented in the report. Finally, the green light indicates that the design status of
the wall is OK.

Traffic Light

Detailing window
The detailing window presents the reinforcement assumed in the concrete wall. It has different tabs
containing the different parts of the detailing.

541
Chapter 34: Concrete Walls

The detailing screen displays the reinforcing bars assumed for the Concrete Wall.
The spreadsheet has five tabs:
The first one called Vertical. which contains all data required to define vertical reinforcement
of the wall
The second one called Horizontal, has all information to define horizontal reinforcement of
the wall;
The third one called Columns, which contains quantity, level and bar size for longitudinal and
transversal reinforcement in columns.
The fourth one called Hoops, which contains the hoops for the strips that need them.
The last one called Openings, which contains all data of the bars that go around the openings,
if they exist. They can be diagonal or perimeter. Diagonal and perimeter reinforcement are not
considered in the design, but are necessary to avoid cracks for changes in temperature and
shrinking.
In addition, the user must take in mind that the reinforcement defined in the spreadsheet and showed
in the graphic area (frontal view) is per reinforcement layer; therefore, if the wall has two layers of
reinforcement, the wall will have an equal number of bars in the other face, as it is shown in the wall
cross-section.
542
Chapter 34: Concrete Walls

Notice that there are two ways to define manually the reinforcement (without considering the design
optimization of the reinforcement):
Using buttons that enter:

o Wall vertical bars (continuous reinforcement), (discontinuous


reinforcement)

o Wall horizontal bars (continuous reinforcement), (discontinuous


reinforcement)

o Columns reinforcement (longitudinal and transversal)

o Hoops (for each level), make hoops uniform (all levels).

o Opening reinforcement (perimeter reinforcement), (diagonal


reinforcement)
This option is used when the user wants to define a particular reinforcement bar group (with a
specific bar size). Each button will display a dialog window to enter a specific reinforcement
per strip and boundary element.
For continuous bars, the user should select the bar data entry by spacing or by bar quantity. By
spacing, the dialog window requests the spacing value and the program and obtains
automatically the number of bars required to comply with the spacing. By quantity, the user
should enter the number of bars for the selected strips, so the program will obtain the spacing
that corresponds to this quantity.
The program will automatically calculate the required bar lengths to cover the geometry and
conditions of the wall.

Dialog window for continuous reinforcement


543
Chapter 34: Concrete Walls

For discontinuous bars, it is necessary to enter in the dialog window all data above mentioned.
It is also necessary to enter the distances to the initial and final points of the bars from the
reference level or axis selected in the dialog window.

Dialog window for discontinuous reinforcement


The columns need longitudinal and transversal reinforcement. For longitudinal reinforcement,
it is necessary to select a bar size and the quantities of bars to be placed along X and Z
directions. For transversal reinforcement, the user should enter initial and final heights for the
reinforcement to be placed and the horizontal extension measured from the edge of the
column to inside of the wall. It is also necessary define the bar size, spacing for ties and if legs
were placed alternated or for each bar.

Dialog window for column reinforcement.


The reinforcement in opening can be defined as Perimetry or Diagonal reinforcement. For
perimetry reinforcement, it is necessary to select the openings for which the user wants to
544
Chapter 34: Concrete Walls

place the reinforcement and define the bar size. There is also an option to extend vertical and
horizontal bars, in the opposite case, the program will extend the bars 2 ft beyond the limits of
the opening, according to the code. For Diagonal reinforcement, it is necessary to enter the
angle and length for these bars.

Dialog window for additional perimetry reinforcement

Dialog window for additional diagonal reinforcement


Using the spreadsheet. This method allows the definition of any type of reinforcement. The
following data are required for each group: bar size, spacing, level or axis of reference,
distance to the start point and distance to the end point. Note that when the first value of a
new group of reinforcement is entered, the rest of the parameters will take initial default
values, which can be edited according to the required characteristics of the new group, taking
into account that the values of spacing and quantity are dependent and will change according
to the dimension of the wall section.
Independently on how the reinforcement is defined, the values can be edited in the spreadsheet to
control exactly the lengths and positions of the different bar groups.

545
Chapter 34: Concrete Walls

Remark.- Note that the user can export the figure by pressing the DXF button. A CAD file will
be created and may be edited with any drafting software.

Configuration Screen
This screen allows the user to have control over the calculation methods and adopted design
considerations. Note that changed data on this screen are saved with the model and could be defined
as default values for subsequent new walls with the option Set these values as default.

Configuration Screen
These criteria should all be set before the detailing, but it does not need to be modified for subsequent
walls. The items considered are described in the table below.
Option Description
Foundation type Two options are available. Isolated or Continuous. It
determines the type of restriction used for modeling the
wall in the base.
Minimum distance between Distance used to avoid openings overlapping
edges
Distribute the pressure to the Distribute the pressures applied on the opening to its
546
Chapter 34: Concrete Walls

side of the opening sides.


Mesh size (FEM Model) Two options are available: Manual and Automatic. It
determines the mesh size to be used in the segmentation
for the analysis method FEM.
Custom mesh size Option available for Manual mesh size. It lets enter any
positive mesh size according to users criterion.
Number of increments It determines the number of increments to be considered
for the solution. Usually, it will be increased when
analysis solution does not converge.
Number of iterations per It determines the number of iterations to be used to find
increment the solution in one increment. This value can be
increased if any difficulty is found during the solution
convergence.
Convergence tolerance It determines the maximum value of convergence
during the iterations for the analysis solution.
Consider seismic provisions This option allows the program to verify the special
seismic provisions of chapter 21 of ACI 318-05.
Horizontal bar position Two options are available: Exterior and Interior. They
describe the position of the horizontal bars respect to the
vertical.
Wall Free cover It determines the value of the free cover to be used for
the whole wall and openings.
Column Free cover It determines the value of the free cover to be used for
columns.
Round bar spacing to Bar spacing can be adjusted up to the closest increment
specified. Thus, all bar spacing can be given to the
nearest tenth inch, inch, foot etc.
Bar series Two options are available: ASTM Standard and SI
Standard. It determines the bar series to be used during
the whole optimization/verification process of the wall.

Reports and Screen Output


This detailing module allows generating a report where the input data can be found as well as the
results of the analysis and the results of the design.
The report contains:
A summary of the data (wall global status, geometry, materials, number of stories, openings
and loads).
A summary of results for bearing wall design (status, segment design division, geometry,
vertical reinforcement, combined flexure, interaction diagrams P vs. M, axial compression,
axial tension, shear and deflection).
547
Chapter 34: Concrete Walls

A summary of results for shear walls design (status, segment design division, geometry,
reinforcement, combined axial flexure, interaction diagrams P vs. M, axial compression, axial
tension and shear).
A summary of results for boundary columns design (status, column location, geometry,
longitudinal and transversal reinforcement, combined biaxial flexure, interaction diagrams P
vs. M, axial compression, axial tension, shear in x direction, shear in z direction).

To check the report, press the button and the report will be displayed, as shown in the next
figure.

Report screen.
For a detailed explanation of the commands used in this report, see the Report section of the chapter
of Printing Graphics and Reports.
The report of concrete walls displays all the detailed information of the wall and its design. At the
top, the general information of the wall is displayed, as geometry, materials, type of foundation,
loads, etc. Then, the report presents the results that include the tilt up wall and shear wall design for
each segment of wall. For each design, a figure with the segment division is presented followed by all
the items considered during the design and the results for all the segments.
The status is graphically shown in a special diagram that simultaneously shows the maximum value
between the ratio of the factored design moment and the nominal moment capacity multiplied by the
factor and the ratio of the cracking moment and the nominal moment capacity multiplied by the
factor. If the strength is not enough to resist the applied moments, this part of the diagram will be
displayed in red. In this manner, the user can evaluate the flexural design of the wall at a glance.

548
Chapter 34: Concrete Walls

Result of the design of bearing walls.


The report also displays all the information required to design shear reinforcement, as the ratio
between factored shear forces and nominal shear strength, and the ratio between required steel area
and provided area. It also displays the maximum allowed deflection value, the computed deflection
and the deflection ratio.

Result of the design of shear walls.


Next, the boundary column design is presented where the ratio of applied and resisting stresses is
shown for each column considering biaxial flexure, axial compression, axial tension and shear in x
and z axis.

549
Chapter 34: Concrete Walls

Result of the design of boundary columns.


A description of the main variables and the assumed nomenclature is explained at the end of the
report.

Explanatory notes
References
ACI (American Concrete Institute). Essential Requirements for Reinforced Concrete
Buildings, for buildings of limited size and height, based on ACI 318-02, ACI International
Publication Series IPS-1, 1st Edition, USA, 2002.
Alsamsam, I.M. and Kamara, M.E. Simplified Design, Reinforcement Concrete Buildings of
Moderate Size and Height, Engineering bulletin EB104, PCA (Portland Cement
Association), 3rd Edition, Skokie, IL USA, 2004.
MacLeod, Shear Wall-Frame Interaction a Design Aid, PCA (Portland Cement
Association), Skokie, IL - USA, 1998.
PCA (Portland Cement Association), Seismic Detailing of Concrete Buildings, PCA,
Skokie, IL USA, 2000.
Brick Industry Association. The contemporary bearing wall - Introduction to shear wall
design. Technical Notes on Brick Construction 24C, 1988.

550
Chapter 35: Masonry Walls

Chapter 35: Masonry Walls


This chapter describes the options available in the module for the design and detailing of Masonry
Walls. Similar to the other design modules, the aim is to obtain a fully functional and economic
masonry wall according to the design code. This module can be used to perform a design of a wall
that has been modeled as a shell(s) in the main RAM Elements program or it can be used as a Stand
Alone program.

Design steps
1) Data introduction
The user has to enter the required data related to the geometry and characteristics of the desired wall
before performing the analysis and design of the wall. All data entries such as the material properties,
geometry, and design parameters may be modified at any time before and after the analysis. The user
can review the Chapter related to the general characteristics of the detailing modules for more details
about their management and organization.

2) Detailing
Once the masonry wall is defined, the user can continue with the analysis and design. The FEM
Diagrams, diagrams and the Report windows will show the different forces and strengths of the
whole wall and sections according to the chosen code: ACI 530-05, TMS 402-08 ASD, TMS 402-08
SD, TMS 402-11 ASD. The user can then goes to the detailing window and see a suggested
reinforcement or a previously defined reinforcement for the design check.

3) Optimization/Verification design
By selecting the Detailing or Report commands, the design results will be calculated. If a value that
affects the design is subsequently modified, such as geometry data, design or configuration
parameters, the user will have the option to lose the actual reinforcement data and perform a new
design or to keep the same reinforcement. The user can enter a specific reinforcement manually in the
Detailing window and then check the results in the Report and verify the design status.
Note
The program will ask the user to keep or lose the reinforcement when any of the following
parameters are changed: Number of levels, same height levels, panel height, parapet heights, panel
length, openings, rigidity elements, and design criterion by, spacing values, bars sizes or any
parameter of the configuration window. If the reinforcement is changed and a quick verification is

wanted, use the command to Verify Design and check the results reflected in the traffic light,
which indicates the status of the whole masonry wall.

The user can also use the Optimize Design command to obtain a new design if any initial
data is changed, or to get back the initially suggested reinforcement.

551
Chapter 35: Masonry Walls

General Design Steps for Masonry Wall

Steps for the design of masonry walls

Technical notes

Warning!
It is suggested to read carefully these notes before using the module because they summarize the
scope of the program, and methods assumed.

552
Chapter 35: Masonry Walls

Terminology
The following names have been used for the different parts or elements of a masonry wall:
1) Parapet zone
2) Lintels
3) Rigidity elements:
Columns (a)
Flanges (b)
4) Wall or Panel

Different parts of a Masonry Wall

General
The general characteristics of the module are:
Graphical input of wall geometry and loads.
Graphical input of openings and additional vertical strips.
An integrated design of four different elements of masonry: bearing walls, shear walls,
columns and lintels.
Consideration of unreinforced and reinforced bearing and shear walls.
Consideration of rigidity elements such as columns or flanges.
Consideration of two types of support restraints: Fixed or Pinned
Consideration of two types of column restraints: Fixed or Pinned.
Consideration of two types of level restraints: Pinned or free.
FEM analysis of the wall.
Automatic design according to one of the following codes: ACI 530-05, TMS 402-08 ASD,
TMS 402-08 SD, TMS 402-11 ASD.
Consideration of single or double layers of reinforcement.

553
Chapter 35: Masonry Walls

Context sensitive help.


Easy modification of wall dimensions and reinforcement.
Easy manage of load conditions.
Consideration of self weight.
Consideration of vertical loads: dead and live or others loads defined in the load conditions
manager button, concentrated with or without eccentricity at any position along the existing
levels, and distributed with or without eccentricity.
Consideration of lateral in-plane loads: Concentrated at any position along the existing levels,
distributed at all or any of the existing levels and seismic weight.
Consideration of lateral out-of-plane loads: pressure at all or any of the existing levels and
seismic weight.
Consideration of global forces: Forces at any direction at any position on the wall.
FEM diagrams for forces, stresses and deformations with graphic scales.
Option to verify the wall quickly and update the results at any moment.
Option to optimize reinforcement.
DXF exportation.
Option to save and recover data, reinforcement and results.
Detailed report of the general data, reinforcement provided, design results of the masonry
wall.

Limitations
The features not covered by the module are:
Openings other than rectangular or square shapes.
Reinforcement design of flanges.
Buckling for bearing and shear wall.
The implemented codes for masonry walls design are:
Building Code Requirement for Masonry Structures (ACI 530-05).
The Masonry Society TMS 402-08 ASD,
The Masonry Society TMS 402-08 SD,
The Masonry Society TMS 402-11 ASD
For the TMS 402-08 code the seismic design requirements are included.

554
Chapter 35: Masonry Walls

Geometry

Wall
The module allows openings at any position of the wall considering a minimum spacing of at least 16
in (value by default in the Configuration window that can be edited by the user). According to the
position of the opening, it is possible to analyze any shape of masonry walls.
The minimum thickness of masonry bearing walls of more than one story high shall be 8in, while
bearing walls of one story buildings shall not be less than 6in. The minimum thickness requirements
shall be based on the nominal dimensions of the masonry unit.

Rigidity elements
The user has the chance to include columns sections or intersecting masonry walls (flanges) to
increase the stiffness of the masonry wall.
In masonry walls with flanges, the influence of the flange on the behavior of the wall should be
considered by selecting appropriate flange widths. The wall intersection shall meet the following
requirements:
The masonry shall be in running bond.
Flanges shall be considered effective in resisting applied loads.
The width of the flange considered effective on each side of the web shall be the lesser of 6
times the flange thickness or the actual flange or either side of the web wall.
Connections of webs to flanges of shear masonry walls may be accomplished by the running
bond, metal connectors, or bond beams.

Effective flange width.


However, when the Masonry Wall module is used with RAM Elements, the interaction forces
transmitted to the module are already considering the effect of the intersecting walls (flanges).
Therefore, the user does not need to estimate the flange width because the forces that will be received
from RAM Elements are already reduced due to those intersecting walls.
The minimum side dimension of columns shall be 8in, and must provide a ratio between the effective
height and least nominal dimension that shall not exceed 25.

555
Chapter 35: Masonry Walls

(1) Columns

Restraints
The restraints can be modified in the Configuration window. The user would choose the following
restraints for the wall or the column bottom restraint, according to his requirements:
Pinned: Restrains translational movement along the three axes (X, Y, Z), and allows the
rotation around any of them.
Fixed: Restrains translational and rotational movement for the three axes (X, Y, and Z).
Besides, the user may choose the following restraints at the level heights:
None: Allows the translation and the rotation along the three axes (X, Y, and Z).
Pinned: Restrains translation movement along the Z-axes, and allows the rotation around any
of them.

Loads
The module considers four types of loads for the design: vertical loads, lateral in-plane loads, lateral
out-of-plane loads and global forces.

Vertical loads:
The vertical loads or axial loads are divided in three groups:
Self weight loads: are defined by the characteristics of the wall to analysis. These loads can be
any of the loads defined in the load conditions manager ( command), by default the dead
load exists like self weight.
Concentrated loads: are defined from the left side of the wall and are located at a specified
distance (X) along each level. These loads can be any of the loads defined in the in the load
conditions manager, and may have an out-of-plane eccentricity measured from the axis of the
wall, which generates a moment around X axis. The module accepts positive and negative
eccentricities.
Distributed loads: are defined per level. These loads can be any of the loads defined in the in
the load conditions manager, with or without an out-of-plane eccentricity.

Lateral in-plane loads:


These loads are applied to the perpendicular direction of the centerline of the wall and are due to
wind, seismic or other forces defined by de user in the load conditions manager, defined as following:
Concentrated loads: located at (X) distance along each level; these loads may have an
eccentricity measured along Y axis; in this case it will be shown as concentrated moment
around Z axis.

556
Chapter 35: Masonry Walls

Distributed loads: located along any level in the direction of the X axis, the user can assign
different values per level.
Seismic weight: Is considered like a factored force of the wall weight over in-plane direction.

Lateral out-of-plane loads:


Masonry walls are plate structures. Thus, a masonry wall loaded perpendicular to its plane will
experience strain along its length and its height. They are loads defined in the load conditions
manager, as following:
Pressure load: This pressure is the result from the wind and/or any of the loads defined in the
load conditions manager. The lateral pressure is applied perpendicular to the wall.
Seismic weight: Is considered like a factored force of the wall weight over out-of-plane
direction.

Global forces:
These loads are applied at any direction and position on the wall. Forces defined by the user in the
load conditions manager.

Load Combinations
The module provides the solution of masonry walls for allowable stress load combinations, which are
used to design bearing walls, shear walls, columns and lintels by the allowable stress method.
It is important to note that the combinations may be automatically generated with the load
combination generator and/or the user can define the combination, in the load conditions manager
( command).
Note: The deflections in the lintel design are calculated with all load combinations.

Wall design optimization.

Bearing walls
There are two possible criteria for the design of vertical and horizontal reinforcement for bearing and
shear walls:
By Bar Size: the user should select the bar sizes to be considered in the design and the
program will find the reinforcement that complies with strength and code requirements.
By Spacing: the user should enter spacing values to be considered in the design. The program
will find the reinforcement that complies with the strength and code requirements for such
spacing
By Reinforcement area: the user should enter spacing and bar sizes values to be considered in
the design. The program will find the reinforcement that complies with the strength and code
requirements for each bar size, and it will select the minimum as optimum.
Once the masonry wall is analyzed, the program divides it into strips, (all of them are additional to
the vertical strips defined by the user), forming segments; each of them will be designed with the
corresponding envelope of the positive or negative forces at the top, bottom and the maximum value
according to the load combinations initially defined.

557
Chapter 35: Masonry Walls

Segment division for bearing walls


For bearing walls there are separate checks for reinforced and unreinforced walls. For reinforced
walls, the program checks:
o Combined axial flexure
o Axial compression
o Axial tension
o Shear
And for unreinforced walls, the program checks:
o Combined compressive stress
o Flexural tension
o Axial tension

Shear walls
There are two possible criteria for the design of vertical and horizontal reinforcement for bearing and
shear walls:
By Spacing: the user should enter spacing values to be considered in the design. The program
will find the reinforcement that complies with the strength and code requirements for such
spacing
By Bar Size: the user should select the bar sizes to be considered in the design and the
program will find the reinforcement that complies with strength and code requirements.
By Reinforcement area: the user should enter spacing and bar sizes values to be considered in
the design. The program will find the reinforcement that complies with the strength and code
requirements for each bar size, and it will select the minimum as optimum.
Once the masonry wall is analyzed, the program divides it into strips forming segments; each of them
will be designed with the corresponding envelope of the positive or negative forces at the top, bottom
and the maximum value according to the load combinations initially defined.

558
Chapter 35: Masonry Walls

Segment division for shear walls


For Shear Walls there are separate checks for reinforced and unreinforced walls. For reinforced
walls, the program checks:
o Vertical and horizontal spacing
o Vertical bar area
o Combined axial flexure
o Axial compression
o Axial tension
o Shear
And for unreinforced walls, the program checks:
o Combined compressive stress
o Shear
o Flexural tension
o Axial tension.

Columns
The module designs each column with the envelope of the positive or negative forces at the top,
bottom and the maximum value according to the load combinations initially defined. The following
verifications are done:
o Minimum and maximum reinforcement
o Minimum tie diameter
o Maximum tie spacing
o Minimum column side dimensions
o Height/width ratio
o Axial compression
o Axial tension
o Shear along the X-direction
o Shear along the Z-direction
o Combined axial flexure along the X direction
o Combined axial flexure along the Z direction
559
Chapter 35: Masonry Walls

Lintels
The loads considered for the lintel design are the weight of the wall over the opening and the
resultant loads given by a triangle of 45 over the openings.

Load distribution
The checks performed for the lintels are the following:
o Bar clear spacing
o Bar cover
o Flexure
o Shear
o Deflection

Hypotheses
A masonry wall is a vertical element that resists applied in-plane and out-of-plane forces. The design
of masonry walls must consider the axial-flexural loads that produce axial and bending stresses, shear
forces, compressive axial stresses caused by dead and live loads from roof, and flexural stresses
caused by moments from lateral forces. Therefore, the masonry wall could be considered a shear and
bearing wall.
Masonry Wall Design/Detailing Module
This section has a brief description of the available options in the masonry wall design/detailing
module. As in the other modules, the design is done automatically, where the user enters only the
geometry, materials and design parameters. In addition, the program performs a design check with
the existing reinforcement in the case that the user manually provides a specific reinforcement or
changes loads, material or wall thickness once the design has been done.
This module can be used to perform a design on a wall that has been modeled as a shell(s) in the main
RAM Elements program, or it can be used as a Standalone program, where no data from the main
model is required. To use as a Stand Alone program, select the command Masonry from the
Standalone button, Walls group in the Modules Tab. To work with the integrated design mode is
explained later in this manual.

560
Chapter 35: Masonry Walls

The command Masonry is located into the Walls group in the Modules tab.

Main window

Masonry wall module main window.

561
Chapter 35: Masonry Walls

As it was described in the Design and Detailing Modules chapter, the main window has seven work
areas: the RE button, the quick access toolbar, the ribbon, the properties edition area, the graphic
area, the sensitive help area and the status bar.

Diagram window
This window displays stresses, forces and displacements in the wall.
This window has several options to bring the user an easy handling of the values, which are explained
in the help context. These options are placed at the top right corner in the toolbar.

FEM Diagram Screen


Note that the window has a traffic light in the status bar. This is an indicator of the design status
where: the red light indicates that the relationship between stresses is greater than one, so the design
is not satisfactory and the wall fails. The yellow light indicates that the assumed reinforcement
arrangement is no good. These failures occur generally when the reinforcement does not comply with
some Code requirements or when the user changes the wall thickness or load magnitudes as a
previous reinforcement is defined, so the program does only a verification that can or cannot comply
with the relationship between stresses less than the unity or some Code requirement. All these
warnings can be viewed in the report. Finally, the green light indicates that the design status of the
wall is OK.

Traffic Light
562
Chapter 35: Masonry Walls

Detailing window
This window is used to enter vertical wall reinforcement (A), horizontal wall reinforcement (B),
longitudinal and transversal lintel reinforcement (C) longitudinal and transversal column
reinforcement (D), as shown in the figure below:

Wall reinforcement: A) and B); lintels C) and rigidity elements D)


The worksheet has four tabs:
The first one called vertical, which contains all the data required to define vertical
reinforcement of the wall.
The second one called the horizontal, has all information to define horizontal reinforcement
of the wall;
The third one called Lintels, which contains all data of the bars that are provided for lintels.
Lintels are horizontal beams that support the loads over the opening; therefore, the
reinforcement must be longitudinal and transversal.
The fourth one called Columns, which contains the longitudinal and transverse reinforcement.
The user must define the bar size, the quantity of bars, ties and the spacing of transverse
reinforcement.
A fifth one called Openings, which contains the perimetry and diagonal reinforcement around
an opening.
In addition, the reinforcement defined in the spreadsheet and showed in the graphic area (frontal
view) is per reinforcement layer, that is to say, if the wall has two layers of reinforcement, the wall
will have an equal number of bars in the other face, as it is shown in the wall cross-section.

563
Chapter 35: Masonry Walls

Worksheet to enter vertical or horizontal reinforcement


There are two ways to manually define the reinforcement (without considering the design
optimization of the reinforcement):
Using the next tools:

o Vertical bars (continuous reinforcement), (discontinuous reinforcement)

o Horizontal bars (continuous reinforcement), (discontinuous


reinforcement)

o Lintel reinforcement (longitudinal reinforcement), (transverse reinforcement)

o Column reinforcement (longitudinal reinforcement), (transverse reinforcement)


This option is used when the user wants to define a particular reinforcement bar group (with a
specific bar size).
Each button will display a dialog window to enter a specific reinforcement per strip, lintels
and columns.
For continuous bars, the dialog window requests the spacing value and then the program will
obtain automatically the number of bars required to comply with the spacing. The program
will automatically calculate the required bar lengths to cover the geometry and conditions of
the wall.

564
Chapter 35: Masonry Walls

Dialog window for continuous reinforcement


For discontinuous bars, it is necessary to enter the distances to the initial and final points of
the bars from the reference level or axis selected in the dialog window.
Note
The reinforcement strength is computed by strip. Therefore, only the bars that are provided
over the total length of the strip are considered to calculate the resistant strength.

Dialog window for discontinuous reinforcement


For lintel reinforcement:
Longitudinal reinforcement, it is necessary to select the openings for which the user wants to
provide the lintel reinforcement. There is also an option to extend the longitudinal
reinforcement, by default and according to the design code, the bar shall extend not less than
24in.

565
Chapter 35: Masonry Walls

Transverse reinforcement, the user must define the stirrups size and the spacing for transverse
reinforcement.

Dialog window for lintel reinforcement


For columns, it is necessary to select a bar size and quantities of bars to be placed along X and
Z directions. In the section for transverse reinforcement the user must define the tie size and
the spacing of transverse reinforcement.

Dialog window for column reinforcement


Using the worksheet. This method allows the definition of any type of reinforcement. Note
that when the first value of a new group of reinforcement is entered, the rest of the parameters
will take initial default values, which may be edited according to the required characteristics
of the new group. Independently, the user can edit the values in the worksheet to control
exactly the lengths and positions of the different bar groups.

566
Chapter 35: Masonry Walls

Note
The user can export the figure by pressing the DXF button. A CAD file will be created and may be
edited with any drafting software.

Reports and Screen Output


This detailing module allows generating a report that includes the input data, the results of the
analysis and the results of the design.
The report includes:
A summary of the data (wall and rigidity elements geometry, materials, and loads)
A summary of design results, such as status, required and provided reinforcement area for the
masonry wall elements.

To preview the report, use the command and the report will be displayed, as shown in the
figure below:

General Data
For a detailed explanation of the commands used in this report, see the Report section of the chapter
of Printing Graphics and Reports.
The report of masonry walls displays all the detailed information of the wall and its design. At the
top, the general information of the wall is displayed, as geometry, materials, type of rigidity elements,
loads, etc.

567
Chapter 35: Masonry Walls

Then, the report presents the design results for bearing walls, shear walls, columns and lintels, as
shown below.

Design Results
These design results are displayed in tables and are divided by elements:
Bearing wall design: this section details all data and status referent to the optimization of
bearing walls, the strength results of combined axial flexure, tension, axial compression and
shear.
Shear wall design: this section details all the data and status referent to the optimization and
design of shear walls, the strength results of combined axial flexure, tension, axial
compression and shear.
Column design: this section details all the data and design results of columns in axial
compression, shear and combined axial flexure in both directions.
Lintels design: this section of the report details the data and design results of lintels for shear,
flexure and deflection.
Finally, a description of the main variables and the assumed nomenclature is explained at the end of
the report.

568
Chapter 35: Masonry Walls

Explanatory notes

Configuration window

Configuration window
This window allows the user to define some parameters and office standards for design, and have
control over the design of reinforcement. Note that changed data on this window are saved with the
model and the defined options may be set as defaults for subsequent new models of masonry walls
with the option Set these values as default.

569
Chapter 35: Masonry Walls

These criteria should all be set before the detailing is viewed, but it does not need to be modified for
subsequent walls. The items considered are described in the table below.
Option Description
Minimum distance between Minimum distance used to avoid openings overlap
edges
Parapet load equal to the last Allows to consider load at the parapet equal to the last
level level
Distribute pressure load to the If affirmative, the pressures applied to the openings will
opening sides be distributed to their sides
Mesh size (FEM Model) Two options are available: Manual and Automatic. It
determines the mesh size to be used in the segmentation
for the analysis method FEM.
Number of increments It determines the number of increments to be considered
for the solution. Usually, it will be increased when
analysis solution does not converge.
Number of iterations per It determines the number of iterations to be used to find
increment the solution in one increment. This value can be
increased if any difficulty is found during the solution
convergence.
Convergence tolerance It determines the maximum value of convergence
during the iterations for the analysis solution.
Free cover It determines the value of the free cover to be used for
the whole wall and openings.
Round bars spacing to Bar spacing can be adjusted up to the closest increment
specified. Thus, all bar spacing can be given to the
nearest tenth inch, inch, foot etc.
Bar series Two options are available: ASTM Standard and SI
Standard. It determines the bar series to be used during
the whole optimization/verification process of the wall.
Set these values as default The defined options may be set as default for
subsequent new models of masonry walls.

ACI, SEI, TMS, Building Code Requirements for Masonry Structures (2005).
TMS, ACI, SEI, Building Code Requirements and Specification for Masonry Structures
(2008).
TMS, ACI, SEI, Building Code Requirements and Specification for Masonry Structures
(2011).

570
Chapter 36:Truss Design

Chapter 36: Truss Design


The Truss Design module allows the user to easily and quickly create model trusses independently of
the main program.
This module will allow to model, analyze, and design any truss under a variety of loads, materials,
and sections in a practical and simple manner. It is a useful application dedicated to provide the user
all the tools necessary for inputting data, designing, detailing, and obtaining results through a specific
report for trusses.
This section will describe the available options in the module such as input geometry, materials,
sections, loads, analysis, and design. The module supports hot-rolled steel design, cold-formed steel
design or wood members design, all subjected to axial, shear and bending forces.
The available specifications for the module are: AISC, BS and AS for hot-rolled steel, NDS for wood
and AISI for cold formed steel.

Design steps
1) Entering Data
The user should enter all the necessary data to obtain a new model before the analysis and going to
the design screen.
This input is done through drop-down windows in the case of multiple options or by keypad for
singular options. All input data like material properties, sections, geometry and other design
parameters can be modified at any time during the analysis.

2) Analysis/Design/Detailing
Before proceeding with a truss design, the model should be analyzed completely. The design should
consider different parameters depending on the type of material, for example the unbraced length Lb
and the bending coefficient Cb for steel and different coefficients and design parameters for wood
members. For more details about these and other parameters, see the chapters related to the design of
each material or the sensitive context help.

3) Verifications
Depending on the selected material and design Specifications, the verifications are the next step.
These tasks are completed in the design and detailing module that will be explained further ahead.

4) Optimization
The last step is the optimization of sections that involves reducing oversized sections to an optimal
section (normally a lighter section) from a predefined group of sections, or for sections that fail the
design check; they will be changed to larger sections that pass the code check. It is important to
mention that this process may take several iterations mainly due to the big influence of self weight,
which is being affected by the section area. For more details, see the optimization chapter of the
Manual.

571
Chapter 36:Truss Design

Technical Notes
General
The truss design accounts for all load combinations (design or service) defined for the material.
The following items are checked in the design of steel and wood trusses.
Axial
Flexure
Shear

Limitations
The following limitations currently exist in this program with respect to the analysis and design:
Only in plane bending (about local axis 3-3 of member) is considered.
Torsion is not considered.

Design Specifications
The following codes are considered in the present version:
ANSI/AISC- 360-05 ASD/LRFD Methods. Allowable Stress Design/Load and Resistance
Factor Design.
ANSI/AISC- 360-10 ASD/LRFD Methods. Allowable Stress Design/Load and Resistance
Factor Design.
AISI ASD-LRFD. Cold-formed Steel Design Manual Load and Resistance Factor Design
(Edition 2001, including 2004 Supplement).
British Code BS 5950-1:2000.
AS 4100-1998. Steel Structures.
NDS (ASD/LRFD). National Design Specification. American Forest & Paper Association -
American Wood Council (Edition 2005).
The user should indicate the Specifications that will be used for the design according to the material
that will be used.

Geometry
The application is using RAM Elements templates in order to generate the truss with a few key
strokes by selecting the standard option with the desired truss type.
With simple data as the truss length, height, number of segments, etc., the truss is defined. With the
special options of parametric geometry and out-to-out dimensions, the user can easily perform
important changes that otherwise will take much time.

Analysis
The analysis is performed previous to the design. It requires the definition of the geometry and loads.

572
Chapter 36:Truss Design

Load combinations
The user can define any number of load combinations classified in two groups:
Service Load Combinations that are used for deflection control. These names usually start with S.
Design Load Combinations that are used for the design of the different members. Depending on the
material and Specifications, ultimate limit states combinations or unfactored load combinations may
be selected. These names normally start with D.
Note that only the load combinations of the last group will be considered in the design. It is possible
to automatically generate all the required combinations with the load combination generator. The
number of combinations depends on the number and type of the previously defined load cases.

Design parameters
Next, some design parameters that the user must keep in mind for input data are described. For more
information about these and other parameters, refer to specific chapters of each material.

General parameters
The unbraced member, unbraced length and the automatic effective length are parameters that may
define the conditions of the whole set of members. If one of these options is unchecked, the user has
to define each member condition in the general data spreadsheet.

Steel design parameters


The steel design for AISC or AISI requires the definition of the distance between braces and the
bending coefficients (Cb and/or Cm). If the option to automatically calculate the coefficients is
enabled, the last parameters are not required.
Important!
When the unbraced length is different from the length of the member, the coefficient Cb should be
calculated manually or the user must assume a value equal to 1.

Wood design parameters


Wood design requires many design parameters. However, most of them as the wet service conditions,
temperature, etc are general for all elements of the truss.
Only the unsupported length and the notch information are required for individual elements.

Design
All the considerations and detailed information about the design procedure, according to the material,
and design Specifications to be used, are presented in this Manual. For that, the user can refer to
previous chapters corresponding to the material the user wants to design.

Truss Design Module


This section describes the available options in the Truss Design module. As in many other design
modules, the design is done automatically, where the user enters only the geometry, materials and
design parameters.
This module is independent of the main program (no data from the main model is required) and it is
called by selecting the command Trusses in the Components group, Modules tab.

573
Chapter 36:Truss Design

Data Screen
The first screen displayed after entering the module is the data screen. In this screen, the user should
define the type of truss, the geometry, material properties, section, loads and design parameters.
This screen allows to modify dimensions, loads, and any other option in an easily way and every time
that the user wants.
The Data screen has 3 different windows as shown below:

Data Screen with 3 different windows


1. Properties (A)
2. Graphic (B)
3. Help (C)
The property window (A) is used for introducing all the necessary information about the truss. This
window will be changed interactively as data is being entered. Some options will appear only for
certain materials due to the design Specifications requirements for that material.
The graphic window (B) represents the summary of information that is entered in the property
window, such as the geometry and assigned loads. The user can modify all the properties in red text
as indicated below:

574
Chapter 36:Truss Design

Click on the red text of the property to modify and select another from the drop-down window or type
a new value.
The help window (C) shows the information about the currently selected item in the property window
(A).
After completing the modeling, the user can view the diagram screen:

Diagram Screen

Go to the Diagrams tab to see the diagrams for the truss. This screen is used to display the demand
diagrams and strength ratios for the truss.
Notice the existence of a Traffic light in status bar. This traffic light is an indicator of design status
where the red light indicates that the ratio of demand to capacity is greater than one and thus fails.
The yellow light indicates that the ratio between stresses is satisfactory, but another requirement,
such as deflection, is not satisfactory. Finally, the green light indicates that the status of design of the
member is satisfactory for all strength and service requirements.

Traffic light.

Optimization screen
This option allows the user to change the existing sections with sections that are recommended (based
on explicit criteria) from a collection of sections. In other words, the original section can be replaced
with another that resists the imposed loads. Optimization may require several iterations.

575
Chapter 36:Truss Design

Fore more details about commands and procedures for section optimization refer to the corresponding
chapter of this Manual.

Reports and Screen Output


This detailing module allows to generate a report that will summarize the input data, the results of the
analysis, and the results of the design.
In the report the following can be found:
A summary of analysis results performed for all physical members.
A summary of design results by elements (not by physical members) is performed for the
most critical load combination.

To enter the report, press the button and the report will be displayed.
For a detailed explanation of the commands used in this report, see the Report section of the chapter
for Printing Graphics and Reports.

576
Chapter 37: RAM Elements integration with design modules

Chapter 37: RAM ELEMENTS INTEGRATION WITH


DESIGN MODULES
RAM Elements allows assigning an integrated design for different structural elements through its
connection with the following design modules:
Footing design module.
Masonry wall design module.
Concrete wall design module.
Tilt-up wall design module.
During the integration procedure, RAM elements provides, to the design modules, the data needed to
perform the design like: geometry, material properties and design forces. Once the design is
performed, the results are stored in the main model file (*.etz), providing the option of saving
reinforcement and verification or optimization results.

Main features
The main features of the integrated design method are summarized as follows:
The user may select one or several elements for assigning a design. This operation is
performed using the tools from the Modules tab, located in the ribbon.

Assigning tools from the Modules tab.

The user can assign a footing design using the tool from the Foundations group. The
available options are: Spread footing and Combined footing.

577
Chapter 37: RAM Elements integration with design modules

The user can assign a wall design using the tool from the Wall group. The available options
are: Concrete walls, Masonry walls and Tilt-up walls.
As soon as the previous operation is performed, a design is assigned to the selected
member(s), the design module is opened and the user may edit data, verify the design or
optimize it.

Assigning a spread footing design to the selected node. The assignment is achieved using the
tools in the Modules tab.

578
Chapter 37: RAM Elements integration with design modules

As can be seen by opening the module, the appearance of the ribbon changes for the
integrated work mode. This example shows the footing design module main window.

Assigning a wall design to the selected shells. The assignment

579
Chapter 37: RAM Elements integration with design modules

Similarly, the appearance of the ribbon of the module main window changes to the integrated
work mode. Note that the spreadsheet data also behave differently for the integrated mode as
explained below. This example shows the masonry wall design module main window.
To carry out the design assignment, the program runs several validations throwing error
messages in the information panel located at the bottom of the main window.
It is also possible to select multiple elements to assign a single design. For example, if several
nodes are selected to assign a spread footing, the design will include the loads for all nodes.
This also works for combined footings; however, the user should take into account that some
validations between the pairs of nodes should be met. As an example, to assign a combined
footing design to two pair nodes, the following conditions should be met: column 1 with
section A and column 2 with section B, with a distance between them equal to L; to
assign the same design to the second pair of nodes the following should be: column 3 with
section A, column 4 with section B and a distance between them equal to L inch.
In the case of walls, the user can select a stack of shells in RAM Elements and assign a wall
design to this set of shells.
The user can edit the data marked with the icon which corresponds to the specific
information for the element design that is not defined in the main application. The data with
the icon are editable within the module in order to allow verification of the results by the
user but the changes will not be stored with other information and data that are imposed by
the structure information in RAM Elements. The data with the icon are read-only; these

580
Chapter 37: RAM Elements integration with design modules

are exported to the module as RAM Elements imposed information from the main model and
cannot be edited.
Once the verification or optimization of the element is performed, the user can save the data
and design information in the main model file of RAM Elements by saving it with the Save
button located on the Module ribbon. It is possible to exit the module without saving data or
making checks or optimizations of the element. In such cases, the edited data is not stored
with the main model and the design results will not be generated but the design will have been
integrated to the main model.
After closing the module, a schematic wireframe rectangle is drawn over the structure which
represents the integrated design element, whether this is a footing design on the selected
nodes, or a wall design on the selected shells.

Spread footing Combined footing

581
Chapter 37: RAM Elements integration with design modules

Integrated design of wall for four shells from the model of RAM Elements.
When it is desired to edit the integrated design, a double click on the schematic wireframe
rectangle that represents the design will open the module to perform the desired changes.
Another way to Access the edition will be through the Edit button located in the Modules tab
of the ribbon of the main program.

Design edition buttons for walls and footings


For editing, the user can select the nodes with the same footing design and the changed will
affect all the selected footings, but if the editing is for just one footing design independently,
the changes will not alter the design for the other footings of the previously selected group of
nodes.
Unlike the case of footing that can be designed as a group but individually edited, for walls a
shell of the group cannot be edited independently because the design is integrated with the
selected shells. Whenever it is desired to make changes to the design by selecting different
shells for the assignment (affecting the previously selected stack of shells), the user should
delete the integrated design beforehand.
For the removal of the integrated design of an element, simply select the schematic wireframe
and press the Delete key.
It is possible to reassign an integrated design for a previously assigned design item. For this,
select the item and run the command Assign. Once the module is closed, the program will ask
the user to overwrite the previous design.
Below is a summary of options to access design modules:
Through the Assign button on the Modules Tab. (integrated mode).
Through the Standalone button on the Modules Tab, selecting the element from the model no
matter if it is analyzed (non-integrated mode). Under this scheme and for the case of footings,
the user may export only the geometry of the column. For the case of walls, the user can
export only the geometry of the shell(s).
Through the Standalone without selecting any element from the model (non-integrated mode).

Import of internal forces in the integrated design of walls


The forces in the integrated mode of design of walls are the result of the analysis of the complete
structure in RAM Elements. These internal forces are sent as information to the design modules for
the subsequent design. This means that all imposed loads and 3D geometry of the model influence the
design forces of a particular wall.
RAM Elements is capable of maintaining integration between the program and the wall modules.
Previous versions imported internal forces from the main RAM Elements finite element analysis as
global forces in the wall modules. The link to the main model was then severed. It is no longer a
necessity to reanalyze in the wall modules and the detailing information can be retained with the
582
Chapter 37: RAM Elements integration with design modules

main RAM Elements file. However, due to this enhancement, it is no longer possible to make
modifications to the imported internal forces or add additional loading in the module with an
integrated wall model. Therefore, all loading should be created in the main RAM Elements model.
Alternatively, one could create two separate models, one integrated and one standalone, if necessary.

Results with the integrated design of walls


As described in the last paragraph, previous versions of the program used to reanalyze the wall model
using the global forces imported from RAM Elements that simulated the interaction between the wall
and other elements of the structure. This procedure used to lead to approximate results. With the
current ve