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STAAD.

Pro Standard Training


STAAD.Pro 2007

TRN011200-1/0002
Copyright Information

Trademarks

AccuDraw, Bentley, the “B” Bentley logo, MDL, MicroStation and SmartLine are registered
trademarks; PopSet and Raster Manager are trademarks; Bentley SELECT is a service mark
of Bentley Systems, Incorporated or Bentley Software, Inc.

Java and all Java-based trademarks and logos are trademarks or registered trademarks of Sun
Microsystems, Inc. in the U.S. and other countries.

Adobe, the Adobe logo, Acrobat, the Acrobat logo, Distiller, Exchange, and PostScript are
trademarks of Adobe Systems Incorporated.

Windows, Microsoft and Visual Basic are registered trademarks of Microsoft Corporation.

AutoCAD is a registered trademark of Autodesk, Inc.

Other brands and product names are the trademarks of their respective owners.

Patents

United States Patent Nos. 5,8.15,415 and 5,784,068 and 6,199,125.

Copyrights

©2000-2008 Bentley Systems, Incorporated.


MicroStation ©1998 Bentley Systems, Incorporated.
IGDS file formats ©1981-1988 Intergraph Corporation.
Intergraph Raster File Formats ©1993 Intergraph Corporation.
Portions ©1992 – 1994 Summit Software Company.
Portions ©1992 – 1997 Spotlight Graphics, Inc.
Portions ©1993 – 1995 Criterion Software Ltd. and its licensors.
Portions ©1992 – 1998 Sun MicroSystems, Inc.
Portions ©Unigraphics Solutions, Inc.
Icc ©1991 – 1995 by AT&T, Christopher W. Fraser, and David R. Hanson. All rights
reserved.
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Portions ©1992 – 1997 STEP Tools, Inc.
Sentry Spelling-Checker Engine ©1993 Wintertree Software Inc.
Unpublished – rights reserved under the copyright laws of the United States and other
countries. All rights reserved.

STAAD.Pro Standard Training Oct-08

Copyright © 2008 Bentley Systems Incorporated


Table of Contents

Table of Contents i

Module 1: Introduction 1-1


1.1 About this STAAD.Pro Training Manual 1-2
1.2 STAAD.Pro Workflow Process 1-3

Module 2: Model Generation 2-1


2.1 Pre Processor: Model Generation 2-2
2.2 The Start Page 2-3
2.3 Starting a New Project 2-7
2.4 Elements of the STAAD.Pro Screen 2-12
2.5 Job Setup 2-15
2.6 STAAD.Pro Structural Elements 2-16
2.7 Working with Grids 2-19
2.8 Entering Structure Geometry 2-27
2.9 Modeling Exercise 1 2-46
2.10 Editing Structure Geometry 2-48
2.11 Viewing Structure Geometry 2-82
2.12 Modeling Exercise 2 2-99

Module 3: Property Assignment 3-1


3.1 Steel Design Model Geometry 3-2
3.2 Working with Groups 3-4
3.3 Assigning Member Properties 3-11
3.4 Member Beta Angle 3-32
3.5 Assigning Member Specifications 3-45
3.6 Assigning Supports 3-60
3.7 Assigning Loads 3-69
3.8 The Material Page 3-85

Oct-08 i Table of Contents

Copyright © 2008 Bentley Systems Incorporated


Table of Contents

Module 4: Analyzing the Model 4-1


4.1 Preparing for the Analysis 4-2
4.2 Performing the Analysis 4-10
4.3 How Does STAAD.Pro Generate Results? 4-11
4.4 Viewing the Output File 4-13

Module 5: The Post Processor 5-1


5.1 Introduction to the Post Processor 5-2
5.2 Coordinate Systems for Reporting Results 5-3
5.3 Sign Conventions for Reporting Member End Forces 5-6
5.4 How to Determine if Results are Available 5-9
5.5 Activating the Post Processor 5-12
5.6 Displaying the Displacement Diagram 5-14
5.7 Displacement and Reactions Tables 5-19
5.8 Beam Analysis Results 5-28
5.9 Verifying the Results 5-44
5.10 Viewing Results with Member Query 5-48
5.11 Using Structural Tool Tips to View Results 5-53
5.12 Labeling the Structure Diagram 5-55
5.13 Individual Control of Labels 5-62
5.14 Animation 5-65
5.15 Plotting Output from STAAD.Pro 5-69
5.16 Simple Query 5-72

Module 6: Steel Design 6-1


6.1 Introduction to STAAD.Pro Steel Design 6-2
6.2 How to Specify Steel Design Parameters 6-4
6.3 How to Use the Check Code Command 6-18
6.4 Checking Steel Design Results 6-25
6.5 Optimizing Steel Designs 6-30
6.6 Statically Indeterminate Structures 6-34
6.7 Finalizing the Design 6-39
6.8 Additional Comments Regarding Design Commands 6-51

Table of Contents ii Oct-08

Copyright © 2008 Bentley Systems Incorporated


Table of Contents

Module 7: Finite Element Modeling 7-1


7.1 Introduction to Finite Element Analysis 7-2
7.2 How to Create Finite Elements 7-12
7.3 How to Create Plates with Nodes Off-Grid 7-18
7.4 Mesh Generation 7-20
7.4.1 Using Structure Wizard to Generate a Mesh 7-21
7.4.2 Creating a Mesh From a “Super-Element” 7-26
7.4.3 How to Use the Mesh Generation Cursor 7-29
7.4.4 Using the Editor to Create a Mesh 7-37

Module 8: Concrete Design 8-1


8.1 Concrete Design Example Problem 8-2
8.2 Defining Model Geometry 8-4
8.3 Defining Element Properties 8-6
8.4 Adding the Supports 8-11
8.5 Defining Beam – Slab Monolithic Action 8-13
8.6 Defining the Slab 8-16
8.7 Tools for Viewing Plates 8-20
8.8 Plate Orientation and Local Coordinate System 8-21
8.9 Defining Plate Properties 8-27
8.10 Plate Element Specifications 8-29
8.11 Assigning the Loads 8-32
8.12 P – Delta Analysis 8-37
8.13 Providing Analysis Instructions 8-43
8.14 Running the Analysis 8-45
8.15 Viewing the Results 8-46
8.16 Reinforced Concrete Design 8-49
8.17 Understanding Concrete Design Results 8-59
8.18 Additional Concrete Modeling Examples 8-65

Oct-08 iii Table of Contents

Copyright © 2008 Bentley Systems Incorporated


Table of Contents

Module 9: Exercise Problems 9-1


9.1 Exercise Problem One 9-2
9.2 Exercise Problem Two 9-4
9.3 Exercise Problem Three 9-6
9.4 Exercise Problem Four 9-11
9.5 Exercise Problem Five 9-17
9.6 Exercise Problem Six 9-23

Table of Contents iv Oct-08

Copyright © 2008 Bentley Systems Incorporated


1-1

Introduction
Module 1
The following topics are included in this module.

1.1 About this STAAD.Pro Training Manual ........................................ 2 


1.2 STAAD.Pro Workflow Process ......................................................... 3 
STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
1-2 Module 1

1.1 About this STAAD.Pro Training Manual

In the portion of this manual that covers the training instructions,


the following conventions are used:
Bold text in a box indicates actions that you are requested to
perform.
Italic text indicates the names of commands, menus, dialog
boxes, edit box titles, etc., and suggestions or actions that are
optional, but not essential.
Underlined text indicates titles of books or reference
documents.
Text in the form of Tools | Orphan Nodes | Highlight
indicates a string of sequential mouse clicks to be chosen from
a menu.
Shaded text indicates information that provides useful
commentary, but is not essential to the flow of the training.
Brackets { } indicate metric units or alternate instructions that
are to be used if working in metric. However, all screenshots
shown in this manual are based on English units.
This STAAD.Pro Training Manual is intended to be used in
conjunction with a Bentley Institute STAAD.Pro Training course.
Depending on the specific course and presentation format,
different Modules may be combined to create the overall course
content.

It is assumed that the reader has access to a working copy of


STAAD.Pro to mirror some of the training steps and to complete
the exercises and tutorials.

In this manual, the first instance of a command is the most


completely documented. Subsequent references to that command
may not be as thorough since some general familiarity is assumed.
STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
Module 1 1-3

1.2 STAAD.Pro Workflow Process

The process of modeling and designing in STAAD.Pro can be


summarized into the following general workflow process, which is
suggested inherently by the on-screen organization of the tabs
within the program:

Modules 1. Basic Geometry: Define the basic geometry of the structure


2 and 7 using beams, columns, plates and/or solid elements.

Modules 2. Section Properties: Define the sizes of members by width,


3 and 11 depth, cross sectional shape, etc.

3. Materials Constants: Specify material such as timber, steel,


concrete, or aluminum to define Poisson’s Ratio, Coefficient
of Thermal Expansion, density, etc.

4. Member Specifications: Define member orientations, member


offsets, member releases where moment transfer is to be
limited or eliminated, and conditions that only allow a partial
transfer of certain types of forces such as tension-only.

5. Supports: Define support locations and boundary conditions


including moment fixity, support stiffness, and support
angle.

6. Loads: Assign loads such as self-weight, dead, live, wind and


seismic, and define load combinations.

Modules 7. Analysis Instructions: Indicate the type of analysis to be


4 and 12 performed (regular analysis, P-delta, Buckling, Pushover,
etc.) and define associated options.

Modules 8. Post Processing Commands: Extract analysis results, review


5 and 13 deflected shapes, prepare shear and moment diagrams,
generate tables to present results, etc.
Modules
6,8,10,14 9. Design Commands: Specify (for steel, concrete, timber, etc.)
STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
1-4 Module 1

-End of Module-
2-1

Model Generation

Module 2
The following topics are included in this module.

2.1 Pre-Processor: Model Generation ...................................................... 2 


2.2 The Start Page .................................................................................... 3 
2.3 Starting a New Project ...................................................................... 7 
2.4 Elements of the STAAD.Pro Screen ............................................. 12 
2.5 Job Setup ........................................................................................... 15 
2.6 STAAD.Pro Structural Elements ..................................................... 16 
2.7 Working with Grids ......................................................................... 19 
2.8 Entering Structure Geometry ........................................................... 27 
2.9 Modeling Exercise 1 ........................................................................ 46 
2.10 Editing Structure Geometry ........................................................... 48 
2.11 Viewing Structure Geometry ......................................................... 82 
2.12 Modeling Exercise 2 ...................................................................... 99 
STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
2-2 Module 2

2.1 Pre-Processor: Model Generation

All structural analysis software generally consists of three parts:

• Pre Processor: Generates the model, assembles and


organizes all data needed for the analysis.

• Analysis Engine: Calculates displacements, member forces,


reactions, stresses, etc.

• Post Processor: Displays the results.

In STAAD.Pro, these features are integrated into a unified graphic


user interface (GUI) or working environment; you do not need to
leave one module to access another.

In this module, we will focus on the model generation aspect of


STAAD.Pro using the Pre Processor’s graphical environment to
define the geometry of our structure.
STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
Module 2 2-3

2.2 The Start Page

Start STAAD.Pro(double-click the STAAD.Pro icon on the


desktop or navigate through the Start menu in the lower-left corner
of the desktop).

The STAAD.Pro Start Page is displayed.

Figure 2. 1
The Start Page is divided into five sections that can be used to
achieve the following:

Project Tasks:

• Start a New Project using the STAAD.Pro wizard.


STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
2-4 Module 2

• Open an existing file using the traditional Windows browse


dialog enhanced with a model preview window.
• Open an existing file from ProjectWise, Bentley’s engineering
project team collaboration system.

• Set the program behavior with the Configuration options.

• Setup the automatic Backup configuration requirements.

• Access the License Management Tool to view and set


configuration variables for the Bentley SELECT license, such
as the server name and site activation key.

Recent Files:

• Access the last 6 models opened.

• See a preview of each model in the list by hovering the cursor


over the model name.

• Data bubbles are populated with the file path and project
information entered in a specific Job Info dialog.

Help Topics:

• Quick access to the online Help document.

• Locate technical support centers and find contact details.

• Find the latest information on the program online from the


Product News link.

• Access the growing STAAD.Pro online knowledge base.

• Determine What’s New in the latest release of STAAD.Pro.


STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
Module 2 2-5

License Configuration:

• Indicates which SELECT licenses are being used by the


current session of STAAD.Pro using the following color
coding scheme:

If the license is available it is marked with a green circle:

Figure 2. 2

Licenses that have not been selected are marked with a grey
circle:

Figure 2. 3

If the selected license cannot be obtained or is not available


from the server, it will be shown with a red circle:

Figure 2. 4

STAAD News:

• Displays the most current information about STAAD and


Bentley, such as program updates, seminars, and training
courses, using an RSS (Really Simple Syndication) reader.

• Each news items is identified with a title that acts as a link to


a website containing more information on that particular item.

Automatic Backup:

• Click Backup Manager… in the Project Tasks area of the


Start Page.
STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
2-6 Module 2

• STAAD.Pro has the ability to perform automatic saves at a


user-specified frequency to protect against loss of data.

• Backup Manager also provides tools to view, compare, open,


and restore backup saves from earlier times.

• Even with powerful backup and restore features, good practice


would dictate executing manual saves after significant
modeling steps by using File | Save from the Menu Bar.

• Under normal conditions this is a user preference item.

• In order to ensure uniformity, this training session is


accompanied by a dataset of standardized STAAD.Pro training
files.

• To avoid frequent messages during training, disable the Auto


Save option by removing the check from the Enable Auto Save
checkbox, and then click OK.
STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
Module 2 2-7

2.3 Starting a New Project

Click New Project in the Project Tasks box on the STAAD.Pro


Start Page. The New dialog provides input for:

• Structure type – See structure type descriptions below.


• File Name
• File Location
• Length Units
• Force Units

Four structure types are available:

Space:

• Acceptable for any configuration of model geometry and


loading.

• Permits three-dimensional structures.

• Permits loading in any direction.

• Permits deformations in all three global axes.

• Coordinate system follows right-hand rule.

• Best practice is to orient Y axis up (so gravity pulls in


negative Y-direction), see “Notes about Coordinate System
Orientation” below.

Plane:

• Acceptable only for two-dimensional models in the XY-


plane with no loading or deformations perpendicular to
this plane.

• All loads and deformations are in the plane of the


structure.
STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
2-8 Module 2

Floor:

• Acceptable for two-dimensional models in the XZ-plane


with loading and deformations perpendicular to this plane.

• All loads and deformations are parallel to the global Y-


axis.

Truss:

• Permits loading in any direction, but members only


provide axial resistance. Members cannot resist bending
or shear loads.

• Permits three-dimensional structures.

• Permits deformations in all three global directions.

• Coordinate system follows right-hand rule.

Structure types Plane, Floor and Truss all conserve system


resources by taking advantage of declared conditions to reduce
the complexity of the stiffness matrix. With today’s
computers, this is no longer necessary, but the program still
provides these options for the convenience of long-time users
who have become accustomed to using them.

• Select Space as the structure type.

Notes about Coordinate System Orientation:

• The location of components of a STAAD.Pro model is


defined with reference to the origin point of the global
coordinate system.

• This coordinate system is a bit different than that used in


CAD programs such as MicroStation.
STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
Module 2 2-9

• In STAAD.Pro, the Y axis points in the vertical direction,


and a plan view is represented by the XZ plane.

• STAAD.Pro provides a Set Z Up option for CAD users, but


you should be aware that many options of the program will
not work with Set Z Up; the wind load generator is one
example.

• STAAD.Pro also provides tools for re-orienting the


coordinate axis when importing or exporting to a CAD
program.

• It is probably a better idea to reorient the coordinate


system when importing or exporting and to use
STAAD.Pro’s default global coordinate system, rather
than using Set Z Up, while working within STAAD.Pro.

• Enter My Dataset 2_1 in the File Name field.

• The Location field provides a default path. To change the

Location click the button, and point to the location where


you wish to save the file.

Notes about the unit system:

• Two base unit systems are available: English and Metric.

• Base unit selection controls the units used to display


results in tables and reports.

• Base unit selection also dictates what type of default


values the program will use when material constants are
assigned based on material types (Modulus of Elasticity,
Density, etc.).

• A default base unit setting was chosen at the time of


installation.
STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
2-10 Module 2

• The default base unit setting can be changed after


installation by following the steps in the commentary
below.

Click File | Configure from the Start Page, or click


Configuration… in the Project Tasks section of the Start
Page.

Select the Base Unit tab in the Configure Program dialog.

Choose the desired unit system from the Select Base Unit
drop-down combo box, and then click Accept.

• The base unit system for a new project is based on the


default base unit setting at the time the new project file is
created, but can be modified on a model by model basis by
selecting the desired units using the radio buttons in the
Length Units and Force Units categories on the New
dialog.

• Select Foot {Meter} for Length Units and KiloPound


{KiloNewton} for Force Units.

• Click the Next button.

A second dialog appears offering quick access to a variety of


common “next steps”, including:

• Add Beam Sets the program up with the Snap Node/Beam


dialog and a snap grid to begin constructing a
structure made of beams and columns.

• Add Plate Sets the program up with the Snap Node/Plate


dialog to construct a structure made of plates.

• Add Solid Sets the program up with the Snap Node/Solid


dialog to construct a structure made of solids.
STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
Module 2 2-11

• Open Opens a library of ready-made structure


Structure templates which can be extracted and modified
Wizard parametrically to generate the model geometry
or some of its parts.
• Open Allows you to build your model using the
STAAD STAAD syntax commands in the STAAD editor
Editor (non-graphical interface).

• Edit Job Automatically opens the Job Information dialog


Information where you can enter information relative to the
job, such as client name, job number, comments,
etc.

• Select the Edit Job Information option and click Finish.


STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
2-12 Module 2

2.4 Elements of the STAAD.Pro Screen

The elements of the STAAD.Pro Graphical User Interface (GUI)


screen are identified in the figure below.

Status Bar

Figure 2. 5
Menu Bar

• Near the top of the screen.

• Gives access to all of the STAAD.Pro menu functions.

• Many of the same functions are also available from the


Toolbar and from the Page Control.

Tool Bar

• Near the top of the screen.

• Gives access to the most frequently used commands.


STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
Module 2 2-13

• Tool Bar is dockable – layout can be reconfigured.

• Customized tool bars can be created.

• Hover the mouse over any icon for Tool Tip Help.

Main Window

• Large central area of screen where the model and graphical


results are displayed.

• Background color can be set to either white or black using


the File | Configure menu on the Start Page.

Status Bar

• Displayed at the bottom of the screen.

• Presents helpful information regarding the status of the


program.

• Displays cursor position, current input units, current


program operating mode, hints for using the program, etc.

Page Control

• A set of tabs to the left of the Main Window.

• Page Control can also be closed from within the Mode


menu to free the screen area for other uses.

• Each tab allows you to perform specific tasks.

• Organization of the Pages, from top to bottom, represents


the logical sequence of operations in STAAD.Pro.

• Generally progress through the pages from top to bottom


and enter all the data that are relevant to your project.
STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
2-14 Module 2

• Page names may or may not appear on Page tabs


depending on screen resolution and size of STAAD.Pro
window, but the icons on the Page Control tabs always
appear.

• Each page has some sub-pages.

• The Pages that display depend on the current Mode of


operation, which can be set from the Mode menu in the
Menu bar.

Data Area

• Generally appears on the right side of the screen.

• Displays dialogs, tables, lists, etc.

• Context-sensitive to the type of operation being


performed.
STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
Module 2 2-15

2.5 Job Setup

• Setup is the top page in the Page Control area when in


Modeling mode.

• When the Job sub-page is selected, the Job Info dialog is


displayed in the Data Area.

• Provides facility for defining job name, client’s name, job


number, engineer’s and checker’s initials and dates,
comments, etc.

• Information entered in the Job Info dialog will be printed


in the output reports and shown in the Recent Files section
of the Start Page.

• The use of this dialog is optional.

• To see how this information appears on output reports, and


on the Start Page, enter the following sample information
now:

• Job: Job

• Client: Client

• Job No.: Job No.

• Rev: Rev

• Part: Part

• Ref: Ref
STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
2-16 Module 2

2.6 STAAD.Pro Structural Elements

STAAD.Pro provides five types of elements to use in modeling


structures:

Beams:

• Linear structural members.

• The terms “member” and “beam” are synonymous.

• Use of the term “beam” should not be taken to imply that the
member cannot take an axial load.

• Selected in STAAD.Pro by either the Beams Cursor or the


Geometry Cursor.

Nodes:

• Points of connectivity between structural entities.

• The terms “joint” and “node” are synonymous.

• Selected in STAAD.Pro by either the Nodes Cursor or the


Geometry Cursor.

Plates:

• Finite element commonly used to model “surface structures”


such as walls, slabs, plates or shells.

• May be either 3-noded (triangular) or 4-noded (quadrilateral).

• Selected in STAAD.Pro by either the Plates Cursor or the


Geometry Cursor.
STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
Module 2 2-17

Solids:

• Finite element enables the solution of structural problems


involving three dimensional stresses.

• Solids are useful for solving problems such as stress


distribution in concrete dams, soil and rock strata, etc.

• Solid elements consist of 8 nodes.

• Solids most commonly take the form of cubes, but, by


collapsing various nodes together, an 8-noded solid element
can be degenerated into forms with 5 to 7 nodes.

• Selected in STAAD.Pro by either the Solids Cursor or the


Geometry Cursor.

Surfaces:

• Useful in the rapid modeling of walls, slabs and planar


surfaces.

• Similar to plate elements in terms of structural behavior, but


faster and easier to model.

• The entire wall or slab can be modeled with just a few


"Surface" entities.

• When the program goes through the analysis phase, it will


automatically subdivide the surface into elements.

• Selected in STAAD.Pro by either the Surface Cursor or the


Geometry Cursor.
STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
2-18 Module 2

Guideline for selection of Plate elements or Solid elements:

If the ratio of the width of the shortest side to the thickness is less
than 10, use solid elements.

t t
>10t <10t

Use Plate Element Use Solid Element

Figure 2. 6
STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
Module 2 2-19

2.7 Working with Grids

• Grids assist with model construction by providing dimensional


control and snap points.

• Multiple grid systems can be created and saved in one model.

• Only one grid system can be displayed at a time.

• Three types of grids can be defined: Linear, Radial and


Irregular.

Types of grid systems:

• Linear

• Two-dimensional system of regularly spaced linear (but


not necessarily orthogonal) construction lines creating a
plane of snap points.

• Plane is defined as being coincident with the global XY,


XZ, or YZ planes, or at an angle skewed with respect to
the global planes.

• Location of the origin can be defined with respect to the


global X, Y, and Z coordinate system.

• Radial

• Two-dimensional system of regularly spaced radial and


circumferential construction lines creating a plane of snap
points.

• Plane is defined as being coincident with the global XY,


XZ, or YZ planes, or at an angle skewed with respect to
the global planes.
STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
2-20 Module 2

• Location of the origin can be defined with respect to the


global X, Y, and Z coordinate system.

• Well-suited for drawing circular models using piece-wise


linear techniques.

• The following diagram shows an example of a radial grid


system defined in the XY plane:

Figure 2. 7

• Irregular

• Two-dimensional system of regularly or irregularly spaced


linear (but not necessarily orthogonal) construction lines
creating a plane of snap points.

• Plane is defined as being coincident with the global XY,


XZ, or YZ planes, or at an angle skewed with respect to
the global planes, or at an arbitrary plane.

An arbitrary plane can be specified by checking the Use


Arbitrary Plane box and entering the two points that
define the normal vectors of the X and Y directions of the
STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
Module 2 2-21

plane. (The other point to establish the X and Y normally


is the origin.)

The following diagram shows an example of defining an


arbitrary plane by defining the X and Y normal vectors.

Figure 2. 8

Spacing of the gridlines can vary in both directions.

Spacing between successive gridlines is specified in the


Relative gridline distances group box as shown below.

Figure 2. 9

Useful in creating openings in shear walls using the


surface element.

To set up grids:

• Ensure that the model named MY Dataset 2_1.std is open.


STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
2-22 Module 2

• Click the Geometry page tab in the Page Control area.

• Click the Beam sub-page tab.

This is the place we would have come if we had chosen the


Add Beam option in the Where do you want to go? dialog when
first starting the model.

• A default grid appears in the Main Window.

• The Snap Node/Beam dialog appears in the Data Area. Grid


layout is controlled by this dialog.

• Close the Snap Node/Beam dialog, and note that it can be


reopened by clicking Geometry | Snap Grid/Node | Beam , or

by clicking on the Snap Node/Beam toolbar button .

• Click Create… in the Snap Node/Beam dialog.

• Note that the list at the top of this secondary dialog is


currently set to Linear, but also offers the Radial, and
Irregular grid type options. Keep it set to Linear for this
example.

• Type Training Grid in the Name field.

• Click the X-Y radio button in the Plane category.

Options are available to coordinate the new grid with any of


the global axis planes.

• Click the X-X radio button in the Angle of Plane ° category


and enter a value of 45 in the field.

• This rotates the grid plane 45° about the X axis.


Note that you will not see any changes taking effect on the
grid system currently displayed on the screen, the active grid
system, because we are editing a different grid system.
STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
Module 2 2-23

• Enter (10, 10, 0) {(3, 3, 0)} in the grid origin fields.

Note that the Grid Origin can also be changed from the default

location of (0, 0, 0) by using the icon to select an existing


node in the model to represent the new origin.

• Set the number of Construction Lines to 12 in both the X and


Y directions by clicking the up arrow in the column labeled
Right.

• Set the Spacing field to 1 {0.25) ft {m} in both the X and Y


directions.

• Keep the Skew ° set to 0 in both the X and Y directions.

A note about skewed grid lines: use caution to set the correct
Spacing value when using skewed grids. The Spacing value is
not measured perpendicular to the grid lines it applies to.

• Click OK.

• Training Grid (Linear) now appears in the list of available grid


systems in the Snap Node/Beam dialog, but Default Grid
(Linear) is still the active grid system.

• Click the checkbox in front of Training Grid (Linear) to


make it the active grid system.

Default Grid (Linear) is automatically deselected, and the


Main Window now displays the new grid.

• The Active Grid Labels Setup category in the Snap Node/Beam


dialog controls how the labels will appear for the currently
selected grid system whenever it is the active grid.

Since these settings are specific to individual grid systems,


they can be set differently for each grid system in the model.
STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
2-24 Module 2

• The End(s) lists offer different options for labeling the ends of
the gridlines.

Keep them set to Start.

• Click the up arrow in the Freq. column corresponding to the


Y grid lines to increase the number to 2.

This reduces the labeling frequency of the Y grids to every


other grid line.

• Click the X and the Z buttons in the row corresponding to the


Y grid lines. (Y should already be selected.)

This displays X, Y, and Z coordinate labels at all Y grid lines.

• The labels are currently showing coordinate values in the


global coordinate system with respect to the global origin
located at (0, 0, 0).

• Click the Local Coordinate checkbox, and note the


difference.

• This alters the display so that coordinates are reported in terms


of a coordinate system that is local to the current grid.

The origin of the local coordinate system is located at the


origin of the grid system (global coordinate (10, 10, 0) {(3, 3,
0)} ), and with X and Y vectors lying in the plane of the grid.

Looking at the Y grid line labels, the X coordinate now reads 0


instead of 10 {3}.

The X-axis labels now read in whole numbers instead of


fractional values in decimal format.

• Click the Local Coordinate checkbox again to deselect.

• Click the Rel.Coords checkbox, and note the difference.


STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
Module 2 2-25

• Coordinates are now shown as relative offsets from the local


origin of the grid system (global coordinate (10, 10, 0) {(3, 3,
0)}) measured in the global X, Y, and Z directions.

Looking at the Y grid line labels, the X coordinate reads 0


instead of 10 {3}.

The X grid line labels read in fractional values in decimal


format, but they start at 0 instead of 10 {3}.

• Click the Rel. Coords checkbox again to deselect.

• Click the X and the Z buttons in the row corresponding to the


Y grids lines, to deselect both.

Now only the Y coordinate labels should be displayed at every


other Y grid line.

• Click the down arrow in the Freq. column corresponding to


the Y grid lines to decrease the number to 1.

This sets the labeling frequency back to labeling every Y grid


line.

• Click the Axis Ids checkbox, and note how it displays an axis
prefix on each grid label.

This can be helpful to establish orientation, especially in


radically rotated grid systems.

• Click the Axis Ids checkbox again to deselect.

• Click Font… and note the options that are available to change
the font and color of the labels.

• Click Cancel to close the Font dialog and return to the Snap
Node/Beam dialog.
STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
2-26 Module 2

• Click the Delete button in the Snap Node/Beam dialog to


delete Training Grid (Linear).

• Click the Default Grid (Linear) checkbox to make it the


active grid system.

Training Grid (Linear) is automatically deselected.

• Click File | Close to return to the Start Page.

• Click No when asked if you want to save the file.


STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
Module 2 2-27

2.8 Entering Structure Geometry

Drawing beams:

• On the Start Page, click Open Project… and point to the


location of the dataset installation.

• Select Dataset 2_2.std and click Open .

• Click on the Geometry page tab in the Page Control area.

The Beam sub-page tab will be active by default.

• Click Geometry | Snap Grid/Node | Beam.

• The default grid appears in the Main Window. If working in


metric, Metric Grid (Linear) should be the active grid.

• Follow the steps outlined below to construct this simple portal


frame:

Figure 2. 10
STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
2-28 Module 2

• The Snap Node/Beam button in the Snap Node/Beam dialog


should be automatically activated, so that the “hot spot”
follows the cursor and snaps to grid intersections. (If not click
the Snap Node/Beam button.)

• Notice the text prompt in the Status Bar at the bottom of the
screen that says, “Add nodes/beams to line intersections using
cursor. Hold CTRL key down to reset.”

• Notice that the cursor only snaps to grid intersections.

• Click at the origin (0, 0, 0) to create the first node.

• The “hot spot” appears and a line will start “rubber-banding”


from the origin.

• Move up the grid and click again at (0, 8, 0) {(0, 2.5, 0)} to
draw the first member.

The starting end of a member is also referred to as End A or


Node A; the other end is called End B or Node B.

• Now the “hot spot” appears at the end of the first member,
indicating that it is the starting point for the next member.

• Move to (7, 8, 0) {(2, 2.5, 0)} and click again.

• Move to (7, 0, 0) {(2, 0, 0)} and click one more time.

The coordinates of the current cursor position are always


provided in the Status Bar at the lower right corner of the
screen.

• Click the Snap Node/Beam button to stop drawing beams.

Note that the grid could have been set up with 7 lines {8 lines}
to the right of the origin, and 8 lines {10 lines} above the
origin. This would eliminate having to constantly check
STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
Module 2 2-29

cursor location by counting grid lines or looking at the


coordinate readout.

Another good way to set the grid for this example would have
been to set the grid to 1 line to the right of the origin in the
positive X direction, and 1 line above the origin in the positive
Y direction, then set the spacing to 7 feet {2 meters} in the X
direction and 8 feet {2.5 meters} in the Y direction.

Use the grid to its best advantage.

• Grids can be adjusted on the fly.

• Nodes that have already been placed will NOT move with the
grid. They maintain their coordinates once they have been
placed.

• To demonstrate this, make sure Default Grid (Linear) {Metric


Grid (Linear)} is still the active grid system, and then click the
Edit… button.

• Edit the Spacing of the X grid lines to 1.5 {0.35} and press the
tab key.

• Note that the grid changed in the Main Window, but the
existing nodes did not move with the grid.

• Edit the Spacing of the X grid lines back to 1 {0.25}, and then
click OK.

• A copy of this model is already saved in this state in the


dataset, and is named Dataset 2_3.std.

• Click File | Close to return to the Start Page.

• Click No when asked if you want to save the changes.


STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
2-30 Module 2

How to move the “Hot Spot”:

• Open the file named Dataset 2_3.std.

• Click on the Geometry page tab in the Page Control area.

• Click on the Beam sub-page tab.

• Click Geometry | Snap/Grid Node | Beam to open the Snap


Node/Beam dialog.

• Ensure that Default Grid (Linear) {Metric Grid (Linear)} is


activated (has a check in the checkbox).

The Snap Node/Beam button in the Snap Node/Beam dialog


should be automatically activated, so that the “hot spot”
follows the cursor and snaps to grid intersections. (If not,
click the Snap Node/Beam button.)

• Click at (7, 0, 0) {(2, 0, 0)} and note that the cursor is “rubber-
banding” from that location.

This is where the cursor was when the last node of the portal
frame was placed.

• Press and hold the Control (Ctrl) key.

• Move the cursor around and notice that the line is no longer
“rubber-banding” from the previous click location. The last
node will no longer be considered the starting point of the next
member.

• While holding the Control (Ctrl) key, click on the node at (7,
8, 0) {(2, 2.5, 0)}.

• Release the Control (Ctrl) key, and note that the cursor is now
“rubber-banding” from the node at (7, 8, 0) {(2, 2.5, 0)}.

• Click on the node at (0, 0, 0) to draw the first diagonal.


STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
Module 2 2-31

The Status Bar in the lower left corner of the screen displays
some instructions for the currently active command or program
mode. Remember to check this area any time you are in doubt
about what response the program expects from you. Right
now, it provides a hint regarding use of the Control (Ctrl) key
to move the “hot spot.”

• Press and hold the Control (Ctrl) key.

• While holding the Control (Ctrl) key, click on the node at


(0, 8, 0) {(0, 2.5, 0)}.

• Release the Control (Ctrl) key, and click on the node at


(7, 0, 0) {(2, 0, 0)} to add the second diagonal.

• Click the Snap Node/Beam button once more to stop drawing


beams.

• Keep this model open for use in the next section.

How to “Undo” an operation:

• Ensure that Dataset 2_3.std is still the active model.

• Assume that the diagonal members were just added in error.

• They could be deleted by methods that will be illustrated in a


later section.

• Or, the Undo command could be used in this case.

• Click the Undo icon twice, or click Edit | Undo Add


Beam twice.

• The diagonals are deleted.

• For demonstration purposes, click the Redo icon twice.


STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
2-32 Module 2

• The diagonals are restored.

• Click the pulldown arrow to the right of the Undo icon .

This function provides the ability to Undo multiple commands


at one time. The Redo icon also has this feature.

• A list of modeling steps is presented with the most recent step


on top. Double click the second Add Beam item in the list to
undo the most recent two steps.

• The diagonal members are deleted.

STAAD.Pro will purge the Undo cache if changes are made in


the command file editor and the Save command is issued.
Nothing that was done before the command file was changed
and saved will be available to Undo.

There is an Undo feature in the command file editor, but once


changes are saved and the editor is closed, that cache is purged
as well.

The Undo command from the Main Window cannot undo


changes made in the command file editor.

• Click the pulldown arrow to the right of the Redo icon .

• Double click the second Add Beam item in the list to restore
the diagonal members.

• A copy of this model is already saved in this state in the


dataset, and is named Dataset 2_4.std.

• Click File | Close to return to the Start Page.

• Click No when asked if you want to save the changes.


STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
Module 2 2-33

Using the “Add Beams” Tool:

• Reopen the file named Dataset 2_3.std.

• This returns us to a version of the portal frame model that does


not already have the cross braces.

• The model automatically opens to the Job sub-page of the


Setup page in the Page Control area.

• Note that no grid is currently displayed.

• The Add Beams tool provides another way to add


members to a model.

• It will automatically snap to existing nodes in the structure and


allow a beam to be added between two existing nodes, without
the use of a grid.

• Only adds one beam at a time.

• Does not use the last node as the beginning for the next beam.

• Click the Add Beams tool on the Geometry toolbar.

• Note that the black triangle in the lower right corner of this
icon indicates that there are additional tools available
“beneath” the visible icon.

• To display the other tools associated with this icon, click and
hold the left mouse button while pointing to one of these
icons.

The Add Beams tool is also accessible from the Menu Bar by
clicking Geometry | Add Beam | Add Beam from Point to
Point.

• The mouse cursor changes to the Add Beams cursor.


STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
2-34 Module 2

• Click at the lower left node in the portal frame, and note that
a line starts “rubber-banding” between that node and the
cursor location.

• Click at the upper right node. A single member has now


been created between those two nodes. Note no “rubber-
banding”.

• Draw the other diagonal in a similar manner.

• Note that these members were drawn without the use of grids.

• The Add Beam tool can also be used to add a beam where there
is no node.

• Click near the middle of the horizontal member.

• Click Yes in response to the prompt asking if you want to add


a node.

The Insert Nodes into Beam dialog offers many ways to


specify the location of new nodes to be added.

• Enter 0.5 in the Proportion field, and click the Add New
Point button. A value of 3.5000 {1.0000} appears in the
Insertion Points box.

• Click OK. A new node is created at the specified location,


and the text prompt in the lower left corner of the screen
indicates “Click on node at start of beam”.

• Click on the node that was just created. A line starts


“rubber-banding” between that node and the cursor location.

• Click near the middle of the vertical member on the right.

• Click Yes to the prompt about adding a new node.


STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
Module 2 2-35

• This time, click the Add Mid Point button, and then click
OK.

Note that this is a faster method of adding a node at the mid-


point than the method used on the horizontal member.

• Click on this new node to finish adding the new member.

• An even faster method would be to use the Add Beam between

Mid-Points tool . This is one of the additional tools


available “beneath” the Add Beams icon.

• Click and hold the left mouse button while pointing to the
Add Beams tool.

• When the sub-toolbar pops up, keep the left mouse button
depressed and point the cursor to the Add Beam between Mid-

Points tool , and then release the mouse button.

• The Add Beam between Mid-Points tool now remains the


visible icon.

• Click the Add Beam between Mid-Points tool. The message


in the Status Bar says “Select First Beam”.

• Click on the vertical member on the left. The message in the


Status Bar now says “Select Second Beam”, and the line starts
“rubber-banding” from the mid-point of the vertical member.

• Click on the left-hand member of the top horizontal beam.

• Another diagonal member is created as shown below:


STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
2-36 Module 2

Figure 2. 11

• Click the Add Beam between Mid-Points toolbar button


again to turn the tool off.

An alternate method to turn the tool off would be to click


Geometry | Add Beam | Add Beam between Mid-Points from
the Menu Bar.

• A copy of this model is already saved in this state in the


dataset, and is named Dataset 2_5.std.

• Click File | Close to return to the Start Page.

• Click No when asked if you want to save the changes.

Creating geometry using the spreadsheet:

• On the Start Page, click Open Project… and point to the


location of the dataset installation.

• Select Dataset 2_2.std and click Open .


STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
Module 2 2-37

• Click the Geometry page tab in the Page Control area.

• Click the Beam sub-page tab.

Grids will intentionally be left off to illustrate that this method


of entering geometry is completely independent of grid
systems.

• Node 1 has already been entered. In the Nodes spreadsheet in


the Data Area, input the following coordinate values, using the
tab or arrow keys to move between cells:

Node (X, Y, Z)
1 (0, 0, 0)
2 (0, 8, 0) {(0, 2.5, 0)}
3 (7, 8, 0) {(2, 2.5,0)}
4 (7, 0, 0) {(2, 0, 0)}

• The nodes appear in the Main Window as their coordinates are


entered in the spreadsheet.

• In the Beams spreadsheet, input the following node numbers,


using the tab key to move between cells:

Beam Node A Node B


1 1 2
2 2 3
3 3 4
4 1 3
5 2 4

• The beams appear in the Main Window as their end nodes are
entered in the spreadsheet.

• Note that this portal frame has been created completely


independently of any grid systems.
STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
2-38 Module 2

• It is not necessary to save this model. The dataset already


contains a file in this state named Dataset 2_4.std.

• Click File | Close to return to the Start Page.

• Click No when asked if you want to save the changes.

How to use the Structure Wizard:

• Structure Wizard is a powerful and useful utility for creating


structures from a built-in library of standard prototype
structures.

• For a demonstration of some of its capabilities, Structure


Wizard will be used to build a model of the structure shown in
the figure below:

Figure 2. 12

• The general procedure will be to create the structure geometry


in three steps:
STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
Module 2 2-39

• Get the basic truss unit from Structure Wizard.

• Add a column.

• Use the Mirror command to create the left side.


This will be demonstrated in a later section.

Creating the Truss:

• Click New Project… from the Project Tasks section of the


Start Page.

• Click Space type structure in the New dialog.

• Enter STRUCTURE WIZARD for the File Name.

STAAD.Pro will automatically append the .std extension.

• Select Foot {meter} for Length Units and KiloPound


{KiloNewton} for Force Units.

• Click the Next button.

• Click the Open Structure Wizard checkbox in the Where do


you want to go? dialog, and then click the Finish button.

The Structure Wizard can also be accessed from within


STAAD.Pro at any time by using the Geometry | Run
Structure Wizard command.

• The STAAD.Pro graphic environment now appears, and the


Structure Wizard window opens.

Note the radio button options to toggle between Prototype


Models and Saved User Models.
STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
2-40 Module 2

STAAD.Pro provides the ability to save user models in a


parametric format that allows them to be recalled and modified
quickly.

• Select Prototype Models.

• Click File | Select Units in the Structure Wizard’s Menu Bar.

The Select Units dialog opens and allows a choice of unit


systems to use in the definition of the prototype structure.
This does not necessarily have to be set to the same units as
the main STAAD.Pro model.

This makes it possible to create a prototype in one unit system


and then merge it into a model with a different unit system.

• Ensure that the units are set to Feet {Meters}, and click OK.

• Click the Model Type list in the upper left corner and note the
built-in categories of structure prototype models that are
already available.

• Select Truss Models in the Model Type list.

Structure Wizard displays six types of truss prototype models


on the left side of the window.

• Double-click the North Light truss icon to create the right


half of the truss structure.

Another option to select the North Light prototype is to drag


and drop the North Light structure type icon over to the right
side of the Structure Wizard window, where the coordinate
axes tripod is displayed.

• The Select Parameters dialog contains fields for entering


parametric dimensions for the structure. Note that the units
are in feet {meters}, as expected.
STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
Module 2 2-41

• Enter values as shown in the figure below:

Figure 2. 133

In this example, the Width is set to 0, because only a planar


model is desired, not multiple units in the third direction.
{For metric units, set the Length dimension to 7.5 meters and
the Height to 3 meters}.

• Click the button with 3 dots in it just to the right of the


No. of bays along length field. A dialog is displayed showing
the current breakdown of bay lengths. By default, the program
sets the bay lengths equal. This dialog permits the individual
bay lengths to be revised manually, but it enforces the
constraint that the sum of the bay lengths must remain the
same as the overall length of the truss.

For this example, leave the bay lengths set to their default
values.

• Click OK or Cancel to dismiss this dialog.

• Click the Apply button in the Select Parameters dialog. The


structure now appears on the right side of the Structure Wizard
window.
STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
2-42 Module 2

• The local origin for the structure is indicated by a colored


coordinate axis tripod. Note the location of the origin and the
orientation of the local coordinate axes. It will be useful to
know where the local origin is when importing the structure
into the STAAD.Pro model. The coordinate axis tripod shows
that the origin is located at the lower left corner of the truss.

• The structure can be viewed from various angles by dragging it


with the mouse. It helps to grab the structure near the top of
the view, and think of it as being encapsulated in a transparent
sphere.

• Press and hold the Control (Ctrl) key, and note how it locks
the structure so that it only rotates about one of the two
orthogonal axes in the plane of the screen.

• Press and hold the Shift key, and note how it locks the
structure so that it only rotates about one of the three local
axes indicated by the tripod. The axis of rotation is controlled
by where the structure is grabbed with respect to the three
reference circles shown on the screen.

• After rotating the structure in either the Shift key or Control


(Ctrl) key modes, just click the mouse anywhere in the right
side of the Structure Wizard window to return to “clear
sphere” rotation mode.

• Now, pull down Structure Wizard’s File menu and select


Merge Model with STAAD.Pro Model.

If you do not see the Merge Model with STAAD.Pro Model


command, check to be sure that you have pulled down
Structure Wizard’s File menu, not the File menu in
STAAD.Pro’s Main Window.

• Click Yes in the next dialog to confirm the intent to transfer


the prototype structure into the STAAD.Pro project.
STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
Module 2 2-43

• Some discussion about units…

• The purpose of the Paste Prototype Model dialog is to


adjust the position of the prototype model when it is
placed in the STAAD.Pro model. Therefore, the units
provided in the Paste Prototype Model dialog are
controlled by the Set Current Display Unit… setting in the
STAAD.Pro main menu. (Tools | Set Current Display
Unit…)

• By contrast, the purpose of the Select Parameters dialog is


to create the geometry of the prototype within the
Structure Wizard. Therefore, the units provided in the
Select Parameters dialog are controlled by the Select Units
setting in the Structure Wizard main menu. (File | Select
Unit).

• For this reason, it is possible that the units that come up in


the Paste Prototype Model dialog could be different than
the units that come up in the Select Parameters dialog.

• By default, a prototype model will be placed into a


STAAD.Pro model so that the origin of the prototype model
coincides with the origin of the STAAD.Pro model.

• The Paste Prototype Model dialog currently provides two


methods to shift the insertion point of the prototype model to a
location other than (0, 0, 0) in the STAAD.Pro model:

• By distance between following two nodes and specifying


two reference nodes, or

• By the following X, Y, and Z values and entering the


desired coordinate location.

If the prototype model were being merged into a STAAD.Pro


model that already contained some elements, a third option to
locate the prototype model would be available. This option
uses a Reference Pt button to allow the prototype model to be
STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
2-44 Module 2

inserted at any existing point on the STAAD.Pro model. This


option will be demonstrated in a later section.

• The truss is to be supported by 15-foot {5-meter} columns. If


the coordinate location of the bottom of the columns is to be at
Y = 0, then the truss should be inserted 15 feet {5 meters} in
the positive Y direction from the origin of the global
coordinate system.

• Select By the following X, Y, and Z values in the Paste


Prototype Model dialog, and enter a value of 15 ft { 5 meters}
in the Y field.

• Click OK.

The structure is transferred into the STAAD.Pro model. The


Structure Wizard is dismissed, and the STAAD.Pro Main
Window is now visible.

• Click the Geometry | Beam page in the Page Control.

• In the Nodes table in the Data Area, note that the Y coordinate
for nodes 1 through 5 is 15 ft. {5 m}, indicating that the truss
was indeed inserted 15 feet {5 meters} above the STAAD.Pro
origin.

Adding the column:

• The next step in creating this model is to add the column at the
shallow end of the truss. But first, the node at the base of the
column must be created.

• In the Nodes table of the Data Area, input the coordinates (25,
0, 0) {7.5, 0, 0} on the line for node 11.

• The newly created node 11 appears in the diagram in the Main


Window.
STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
Module 2 2-45

• Click Geometry | Add Beam | Add Beam from Point to


Point.

The cursor changes to the Add Beams cursor.

• Click the node on the shallow end of the truss and click
again at the new node.

• Click the Add Beams icon to turn the Add Beams tool
off.

This tool remains active until it is turned off.

• The remaining steps for completing this model will be


demonstrated in a later section.

• A copy of this model is already saved in this state in the


dataset, and is named Dataset 2_STRUCTURE WIZARD.std.

• Click File | Close to return to the Start Page.

• Click No when asked if you want to save.


STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
2-46 Module 2

2.9 Modeling Exercise 1

Create this model by applying the modeling techniques that have


been presented up to this point. Some abbreviated notes are
provided below for general guidance if necessary.

Figure 2. 14

Tips:

• New Project… from the Start Page, Project Tasks category.

• Space, My Exercise 1, Foot {Meters}, KiloPound


{KiloNewton}, Add Beam.

• Geometry Page, Beam Sub-page, Snap Node/Beam dialog,


Edit…, adjust grid to suit.
STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
Module 2 2-47

• Note the order of the node numbers in the figure.

• Press and hold Control (Ctrl) to move the “hot spot”.

• Snap Node/Beam to stop adding members.

• Close button to dismiss the Snap Node/Beam dialog.

• File | Close, Yes to save.


STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
2-48 Module 2

2.10 Editing Structure Geometry

How to use the cursors in the STAAD.Pro Selection toolbar:

• In the Project Tasks section of the Start Page, click Open


Project… and open the model called Dataset 2_5.std.

• The Selection toolbar is normally docked vertically on the left


side of your screen.

• Hover the cursor over any of the toolbar buttons and a tooltip
help label pops up with the function of the toolbar button.

• Twelve different cursors are available for selecting the various


types of STAAD.Pro entities.

• Each cursor selects specific types of objects for editing or


manipulation.

• Having specific cursors can be very convenient when assigning


properties where various types of entities are crowded
together.

Cursor Selects

Nodes Cursor Nodes only

Beams Cursor Members only

Plates Cursor Plate elements only

Surface Cursor Surface entities only

Solids Cursor Solid elements only

Geometry Cursor All types of entities


STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
Module 2 2-49

Select Text Text labels only

Load Edit Cursor Loads only

Support Edit Cursor Supports only

Member Release Edit Cursor Member releases only


Multiple types of geometric
Filtered Selection Cursor
entities with specific attributes
Connections defined in the RAM
Select Joints
Connection module

Cursor Facts:

• The Nodes Cursor selects the nearest node when you click
anywhere in the drawing area.

• The Beams Cursor selects/deselects individual members by


clicking on them. Multiple members are selected by pressing
Control (Ctrl) and clicking.

• The Geometry Cursor selects all entities in a certain area, no


matter what type of entities they are.

• The Select Text Cursor is disabled or “grayed out” if there are


no text objects in the model.

• The Filtered Selection Cursor helps quickly identify the


location of entities with certain attributes. (This cursor type
will be easier to demonstrate once the model has properties
assigned to the members.)

• The Select Joints cursor is disabled or “grayed out” unless you


are in the RAM Connection module and at least one connection
has been defined.

• In addition to using the toolbars, you can also choose cursors


from the Select menu on the Menu Bar.
STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
2-50 Module 2

• Another related toolbar, the Labels toolbar, contains more


cursors that are used to turn individual labels on and off. It is
explained in more detail in the Module 5 – The Post Processor.

• Click Select | Selection Mode, and note that three options are
available: Drag Box, Drag Line, and Region. This works
hand-in-hand with the cursor choice.

• The cursor choice controls WHAT items will be selected. The


Selection Mode controls HOW those items will be selected.

Drag Box:

• Creates a rectangular selection box.

• When the Beams Cursor is used in the Drag Box mode, the
rule is that a member will be selected if the box includes the
mid-point of the member. This holds true regardless of which
direction the box is placed (left to right, right to left, top to
bottom, or bottom to top).

Drag Line:

• Creates a selection line.

• When the Beams Cursor is used in the Drag Line mode, any
beam crossed by the Drag Line will be selected.

Region:

• Creates a selection polygon of any shape.

• The polygon is always closed, and left-clicking with the mouse


inserts additional vertices.

• Can be used to create very irregular shapes to selectively


include and exclude various items.
STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
Module 2 2-51

• Double-click to stop creating more vertices and execute the


selection.

• Similar to Drag Box, a member will be selected if the region


includes the mid-point of the member.

Additional options for member selection:

• Click Select | By List | Beams… from the Menu Bar.

• The Select Beams dialog will open with a list box listing all
the beams in the model.

• One option is to select from the list of all beams in the


model by clicking individual beam numbers in the list.
Control (Ctrl) + click will select multiple beams. Shift +
click will select a contiguous group of beam numbers.

• Another option is to type the desired beam numbers in the


Enter list field, separated by spaces.

• To demonstrate the use of the “To” command to select a


range of members, enter 1 To 3 in the Enter list field.

• Click the Select Listed Entities button followed by the


Close button.

• Click Select | By All | All Beams from the Menu Bar to


quickly select all beams in a model.

• Click Select | Entity at Node | Beams from the Menu Bar to


select all beams that connect to a particular node to be chosen
from a list.

• Click Select | By Inverse | Inverse Beam Selection from the


Menu Bar to invert the current selection status of all beams in
the model. Selected beams become deselected and vice versa.
STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
2-52 Module 2

• Click Select | Beams Parallel To | (X or Y or Z) from the


Menu Bar to select all beams that are parallel to the selected
axis.

• And others.

How to delete members graphically:

• Ensure that the cursor type is the Beams Cursor.

Check the Selection toolbar in the upper left corner of the


screen or pull down the Select menu to see which cursor is
active.

• Hold Control (Ctrl) and click on the two highlighted


members in the view below.

Figure 2. 155

• Press the Delete key on the keyboard, or click the Delete icon
on the Menu Bar, or click Edit | Delete.

• Click OK to confirm.

• Sometimes deleting members leaves nodes without structural


element attachment, known as Orphan Nodes.
STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
Module 2 2-53

• If Orphan Nodes are created when members are deleted


graphically, STAAD.Pro will prompt for a decision as to
whether to delete these nodes or not.

Using the spreadsheets to delete or modify geometry:

• It is also possible to delete beams (one at a time or many at


once) from the Beams spreadsheet.

This method may be useful if the beams to be deleted are in


sequential numerical order, making them easy to select from a
list.

• Click the Geometry page tab in the Page Control area.

• Click on the Beam sub-page tab.

• Notice the Nodes and Beams tables in the Data Area that
resemble spreadsheets.

If the table names are not visible, make their windows wider.

• These tables are actually compatible with Microsoft Excel


worksheets. They can be copied and pasted into Microsoft
Excel. The structure geometry can also be created in a
spreadsheet and then copied and pasted into STAAD.Pro.

When pasting from Excel, select the first row in the


STAAD.Pro table, right mouse click, and choose Paste. Use
the column mapping table to map the data into the appropriate
columns.

• Table data can also be copied and pasted from RAM Advanse
into STAAD.Pro.

• These tables are completely interactive with the graphics


display.
STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
2-54 Module 2

• Ensure that the Beams Cursor is active, and click on any


member.

• The corresponding member in the table is highlighted.

• Select the Nodes Cursor and fence around any node.

• The line in the Nodes table corresponding to that node


becomes highlighted.

• Click any row in the Beams or Nodes tables and the


corresponding beam or node is highlighted in the graphic
display.

• Change one of the coordinates in the Nodes table and watch


the display change, then change it back to its original value.

• Delete any line from the Beams spreadsheet and note the
effect in the graphic display.

• Click Undo to get the beam back.

If Orphan Nodes are created when members are deleted from


the spreadsheet, STAAD.Pro does not automatically prompt
for a decision as to whether to delete them or not.

However, they can be automatically detected with Tools |


Orphan Nodes | Highlight, or they can be automatically
deleted with Tools | Orphan Nodes | Delete.

• A copy of this model is already saved in the dataset, and is


named Dataset 2_6.std.

• Click File | Close to return to the Start Page.

• Click No when asked if you want to save.


STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
Module 2 2-55

Using the STAAD.Pro Editor to modify structure geometry:

• Click Open Project… in the Project Tasks section of the Start


Page .

• Open Dataset 2_6.std.

• As you create your structure using the graphic interface,


STAAD.Pro converts your actions into a command language
and stores them in a command file, a simple text file in ASCII
format.

• STAAD.Pro appends the command file with the extension .std.

• Experienced STAAD.Pro users often find that if they just want


to make a quick change to a value, it is easier to edit the value
in the command file, rather than modifying it with the graphic
interface.

Early releases of STAAD did not include a graphical user


interface (GUI). All program input had to be performed by
writing statements in a command file.

The STAAD.Pro Examples manual contains twenty-nine


example problems and fourteen verification problems created
using the input file as the primary input method. You can
study these examples if you wish to learn how to write or
interpret STAAD.Pro command files.

You can also issue a command using the graphic interface, and
then open the command file to see what the equivalent
command language is.

• Open the editor by clicking Edit | Edit Input Command File

or by clicking the icon on the File toolbar.

• Any standard text editor can actually be used to create or edit


the STAAD.Pro input file.
STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
2-56 Module 2

• The STAAD.Pro command file editor offers the advantage of


syntax checking.

• In the STAAD.Pro editor, STAAD.Pro keywords, numeric


data, comments, etc., are displayed in distinct colors:

• Red = Commands

• Black = User-defined text labels and names

• Blue = Numerical values

• Green = Remarks and comments

• The command language syntax resembles ordinary English.


From the Joint Coordinates statement, you can see that the
node definitions consist of node numbers followed by the XYZ
coordinates. Node data fields are separated (delimited) by
semicolons (;).

• Find the coordinates of node number 3, and edit the Y


coordinate from 8 to 12 {from 2.5 to 4}.

• Click File | Save and then File | Exit in the STAAD Editor’s
menu bar (not the STAAD.Pro menu bar).

• Click the Geometry tab.

• Note that node number 3 in the graphic display has moved.


The node table in the Data Area now shows a value of 12 {4}
for the Y coordinate of node number 3.

• Go back into the editor and change the Y coordinate for node 3
back to 8 {2.5}.

• Click File | Save and then File | Exit in the STAAD Editor’s
menu bar.
STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
Module 2 2-57

• Remember to never make changes in the command file and in


the graphics input mode simultaneously.

• Always be sure to save and close the command file before


going back to working on the model in the graphic interface.

• Click File | Close to return to the Start Page.

• Click No when asked if you want to save.

How to merge members:

• Open Dataset 2_7.std.

• Click View | Structure Diagrams… from the Menu Bar.

• Click the Labels tab.

• Click the checkboxes to view Beam Numbers and Node


Points, and then click OK.

• Notice that the top horizontal beam is segmented into three


individual members of various lengths, with two intermediate
nodes.

This was caused by the diagonal members that were modeled


and then subsequently deleted.

• Since there is no longer a reason to maintain those particular


intermediate nodes, they can be removed, and the individual
members can be merged into one.

• Ensure that the Beams Cursor is active, and select the three
horizontal members.

• Click Geometry | Merge Selected Members.


STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
2-58 Module 2

• The Merge Selected Beams dialog opens, and the three member
numbers are listed.

• In the Beam No. to Keep list, choose 10.

If materials and properties had already been assigned, this


dialog also provides the ability to specify which to keep as
multiple members are merged into one.

• Click Merge and Close.

• The top horizontal member has been consolidated into one


member with number 10.

How to split a beam into two or more members:

• Ensure that Dataset 2_7.std is still open.

• Assume that the top horizontal member needs to be segmented


into three, equal-length segments.

• Select the top horizontal member.

• Click Geometry | Split Beam.

• The Insert Nodes into Beam dialog displays the member


number and length. It contains three options for specifying
where to insert new nodes along the beam: Add New Point,
Add Mid Point, Add n Points.

Add New Point:

• Distance from the starting node to the new node can be


entered in the Distance field, or

• A ratio can be entered in the Proportion field, where the


value represents distance from the starting end of the
STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
Module 2 2-59

member to the new node divided by the total length,


expressed as a decimal value.

For example, to add a node ¼ the distance from the


starting end to the ending end, type 0.25 in the Proportion
field.

Add Mid Point:

• Creates an insertion point at the midpoint of the member.

Add n Points:

• Enter the number of nodes to insert into a beam in the “n


=” field. The program divides the beam into n+1 equal
segments, separated by n nodes.

• Enter a value of 2 in the n = field.

• Click Add n Points.

• Click OK.

Geometry | Insert Node… and Geometry | Split Beam are


identical commands provided for convenience.

The Insert Node command is also accessible through the menu


that pops up from a right-click of the mouse in the Main
Window.

Note that the Insert Node command will not appear in the pop-
up menu unless at least one member has been selected.
STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
2-60 Module 2

How to create a connection between two intersecting members:

• Ensure that Dataset 2_7.std is still open.

• The two diagonal members form a cross-brace, but there is


currently no connection between them. The cross braces are
independent members, and cannot transfer any load to each
other.

• Assume that the intent is for the bracing members to be


connected and to transfer load at their intersection.

• This condition can be achieved easily in STAAD.Pro by


splitting and connecting these members at their intersection.

• To highlight the two diagonal members, ensure that the Beams


Cursor is active.

• Click on one of the cross-braces, hold down the Control


(Ctrl) key, and then click on the other cross-brace.

• Click Geometry | Intersect Selected Members | Intersect .

The Enter Tolerance field in the Intersect Members dialog is


an option through which to tell the program to find the point of
closest approach between 2 lines even when they do not
intersect each other. It is useful in a case when a mathematical
precision related error in the respective node coordinates
causes the 2 lines to be in different planes.

For lines which truly intersect each other, the tolerance can be
set to zero, and the intersect members command will function
properly.

• Leave the Tolerance set to 0 and click OK.

• Click OK to acknowledge the message box indicating that two


new beams have been created.
STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
Module 2 2-61

• Both diagonal members have been split into two, and a new
node now exists at the intersection point.

• In the Intersect Selected Members sub-menu, there is another


option called Highlight.

• The Highlight function also requests a tolerance value like the


Intersect function.

• The Highlight function then graphically highlights all


intersecting members in the structure that satisfy the tolerance.

This is a useful tool in models with many crossing but


unattached members. The highlighted conditions can be
graphically examined and selectively split or left as-is.

• A copy of this model is already saved in this state in the


dataset, and is named Dataset 2_8.std.

• Click File | Close to return to the Start Page.

• Click No when asked if you want to save.

How to renumber beams and nodes:

• Open Dataset 2_8.std.

• Click on the Geometry page tab in the Page Control area.

• Click on the Beam sub-page tab.

• Click on the Symbols and Labels icon in the Structure


toolbar.

• Click Beam Numbers on the Labels tab, Beams category, and


then click OK.
STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
2-62 Module 2

• Looking at the Beams spreadsheet and Nodes spreadsheet, note


that the member numbers and node numbers are not in
consecutive numerical order due to editing.

Having members and nodes in numerical order can be a


convenience in interpreting results output.

• Click Select | By All | All Beams. All the members in the


model are highlighted.

• Click Geometry | Renumber | Members….

• Click Yes in the next dialog to proceed by confirming that


renumbering is an irreversible operation.

• Keep the value set to 1 in the Start numbering from field of


the Renumber dialog.

This dialog provides multiple criteria for renumbering and


allows the assignment of a hierarchy, or “sorting order”,
during the renumbering process.

• Click Member No. from the Available Sort Criteria column


and move it to the right by clicking so Member No.
appears under Selected Sort Criteria.

• Click the Accept button.

• Click OK to acknowledge.

• The Beams table shows that beam numbers now run from 1 to
11.

• Click Select | By All | All Nodes. All nodes in the model are
highlighted.

• Click Geometry | Renumber | Nodes….


STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
Module 2 2-63

• Click Yes in the next dialog to proceed by confirming that


renumbering is an irreversible operation.

• Keep the value set to 1 in the Start numbering from field of


the Renumber dialog.

• Click Joint No. from the Available Sort Criteria column and
move it to the right by clicking so it appears under
Selected Sort Criteria.

• Click the Accept button.

• Click OK to acknowledge.

• The Nodes table shows that node (joint) numbers now run from
1 to 9.

Note: If the program fails to renumber, or if it leaves gaps in


the numbering sequence, closing the model and reopening it
may reinitialize the renumbering process.

• Beams and nodes can also be renumbered by editing the


command file.

• A copy of this model is already saved in this state in the


dataset, and is named Dataset 2_9.std.

• Click File | Close to return to the Start Page.

• Click No when asked if you want to save.

How to copy and paste nodes:

• Open Dataset 2_9.std.

• Click View | Structure Diagrams .

• Click the Labels tab, select Node Numbers, and click OK.
STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
2-64 Module 2

• Assume that the goal is to add a 2.5 foot {0.75 meter} long
horizontal cantilever on the left side of node 6.

• Click Geometry | Snap/Grid Node | Beam.

• Note that there is no existing grid defined that would help with
this cantilever.

• One option is to create a new grid system.

• Another option is to edit the existing grid system.

• A third option is to edit the Nodes spreadsheet in the Data


Area.

• To demonstrate a fourth option, start by activating the Nodes


Cursor.

• Click node number 6.

• Click Edit | Copy .

Note that next to the Copy command, the corresponding


shortcut key Ctrl+C is shown on the right side of the Edit
menu.

This is a standard Windows shortcut to the Copy command.

Instead of selecting Edit | Copy, you can also hold down the
Control (Ctrl) key and press the C key.

• Click Edit | Paste Nodes.

Another alternative is to right-click and choose Paste Nodes,


or simply use the standard shortcut key, Control (Ctrl)+V.

• Enter a value of -2.5 {-0.75} in the X field of the Paste with


Move dialog, and then click OK.
STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
Module 2 2-65

• A node number 10 is added to the model.

• Press Shift+K to switch on the Node Points option if it is not


clearly visible.

• Click Geometry | Add Beam | Add Beam from Point to


Point.

• Click on node 6 and then click on node 10 to create the


cantilever.

• A copy of this model is already saved in this state in the


dataset, and is named Dataset 2_10.std.

• Click File | Close to return to the Start Page.

• Click No when asked if you want to save.

How to copy and paste members:

• Open Dataset 2_10.std.

• Click View | Structure Diagrams .

• Click the Labels tab, select Node Numbers, and click OK.

• Now assume that a cantilever is to be added at the top of this


portal frame, to align with the cantilever at mid-height.

• Click on the Geometry page tab in the Page Control area.

• Click on the Beam sub-page tab.

• Note that the Nodes spreadsheet indicates that there are


currently 10 nodes in the model.

• Select the cantilever on the left side of the portal frame using
the Beams Cursor.
STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
2-66 Module 2

• Click Edit | Copy .

• Click Edit | Paste Beams .

If the distance between node 6 and node 2 is known, then it


could be entered in the field for the Y move value in the Paste
with Move dialog. In this case, it is easier to use the other
option.

• Check the By distance between following two nodes radio


button.

• Enter 6 for Node 1 and 2 for Node 2, and then click OK.

• A new cantilever is added at the level of the top of the portal


frame.

Note that the Nodes spreadsheet now indicates that there are
11 nodes in the model. The significance of this is that
STAAD.Pro automatically handles the condition at node 2, and
does not allow the Paste with Move command to create a
duplicate node at that location.

• The Copy and Paste Beams commands can also be used to


copy and paste a group of members all at one time.

• A copy of this model is already saved in this state in the


dataset, and is named Dataset 2_11.std.

• Click File | Close to return to the Start Page.

• Click No when asked if you want to save.


STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
Module 2 2-67

Mirroring Structure Geometry:

• The Mirror command will be used to complete the model that


was started earlier in the How to Use the Structure Wizard
section.

• Open the file named Dataset 2_STRUCTURE WIZARD.std.

• With the Beams Cursor active, place a drag box around the
entire structure to select all beams in the model.

• Click Geometry | Mirror….

This command can also be accessed by using the Generate -

Mirror icon, , on the Generate toolbar.

• The Mirror dialog opens. This dialog contains a schematic


diagram to help explain the use of the control options.

• Click the Y-Z radio button in the Mirror Plane category, to


indicate that the mirror plane will be parallel to the Y-Z plane.

• Leave the Plane Position at its present setting of Plane at X =


0.

In this case the mirror plane goes through the origin, so it is


located correctly by the default value.

Note that the Plane Position category also provides the ability
to locate the mirror plane graphically by clicking on a node

that lies in the plane using the Highlight Nodes icon, .

• Click Copy in the Generate Mode category.

In this case the intent is to create the full truss by mirroring


and copying the first half.

• Leave the Mirror Member Orientation option deselected.

This option is discussed in detail in another Module.


STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
2-68 Module 2

• Click OK. The other half of the truss is mirrored, and the
display returns to the Main Window.

• Click inside the Main Window to deselect all members.

• Note that the Mirror command does not create a duplicate


member or duplicate nodes at the center of the truss.
STAAD.Pro will not duplicate any members that lie in the
mirror plane.

• To have STAAD.Pro prove this for you, follow the step-by-


step instructions in the commentary below.

• Click Tools | Check Duplicate | Nodes .

• Leave 0 in the Enter Tolerance field in the Remove


Duplicate Nodes dialog, and click OK.

• A message box appears confirming that no duplicate nodes


were found.

• Click OK to dismiss the message.

• Click Tools | Check Duplicate | Members.

• A message box appears confirming that no duplicate


members were found.

• Click OK to dismiss the message.

• A copy of this model is already saved in this state in the


dataset, and is named Dataset 2_16.std.

• Click File | Close to return to the Start Page.

• Click No when asked if you want to save.


STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
Module 2 2-69

How to use “Translational Repeat”:

• Open Dataset 2_11.std.

• Click Select | By All | All Beams.

• Click Geometry | Translational Repeat…, or click on the

Translational Repeat icon on the Generate toolbar.

• Translational Repeat is another way of copying and pasting a


group of members, and it has some advantages over simply
copying and pasting the members.

Note that a very common mistake in STAAD.Pro is to open a


dialog like the 3D Repeat dialog that acts on a member or
group of members, without first selecting any members.

Always start by selecting the members to be operated on


before selecting Translational Repeat, or any other command
that does something to selected members.

If no members are selected initially, a dialog similar to the


following will be displayed when the OK button is clicked:

Figure 2. 166

STAAD.Pro allows the warning message box to be dismissed,


and the members to be selected without closing the
Translational Repeat dialog.
STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
2-70 Module 2

• Suppose the goal is to model two additional portal frames, 15


feet {4.5 meters} apart, and to link the portal frames with
members connecting the columns, the free ends of the
cantilevers, and the intermediate nodes along the roof member,
but we do not want any grade beams linking the portal frames
at the bases of the columns.

• Click the Z radio button in the Global Direction category of


the 3D Repeat dialog.

• Set the value to 2 in the No. of Steps list.

• Enter 15 {4.5} in the Default Step Spacing field, and press the
Tab key to see the change reflected in the Step/Spacing table.

Note that the spacing values listed in the table could be edited
individually, if variable step spacings were required.

• Toggle on the Link Steps checkbox.

This causes the program to create transverse members in the Z


direction, connecting all nodes on the portal frames.

Notice that the Open Base checkbox becomes active when the
Link Steps checkbox is toggled on.

• Toggle on the Open Base checkbox.

This prevents the generation of members connecting the bases


of the portal frame columns.

• The Generation Flags category controls the items that are


copied when the Translational Repeat command is used.

• There are three options for Generation Flags: All, Geometry


Only, or Geometry and Property Only. The following table
indicates which items do and do not get copied in a
Translational Repeat based on the Generation Flags setting.
STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
Module 2 2-71

Geometry Geometry and


All Only Property Only
Members and Nodes Yes Yes Yes

Materials (ex. Steel) Yes No Yes


Properties (ex. section
Yes No Yes
and beta angle)
Member Specifications
(ex. truss and member Yes No No
releases)
Supports Yes No No

Loads Yes No No

• Keep the default setting of All in the Generation Flags


category.

• Click the Renumber Bay checkbox.

• A new column labeled Number From appears in the table.


This is a way of providing a user-specified starting number for
the members generated in each of the steps.

• Enter a value of 101 in the Number From column for Step 1,


and enter 201 for Step 2.

• Click OK.

• Click Yes to acknowledge the dialog warning that this is an


irreversible operation.

The additional copies are created along with the horizontal


linking members as requested by the Link Steps option. Note
that no linking members were generated at the base due to the
Open Base option.
STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
2-72 Module 2

• Click the Rotate Up icon twice, and note that horizontal


members were generated between the intersections of the
diagonal bracing. Use the Beams Cursor to select and delete
these two members.

• Click View | Structure Diagrams .

• Click the Labels tab, turn on Node Points, and click OK.

• Note that nodes were automatically copied, even though only


beams were selected.

• Click View | Structure Diagrams .

• Click the Labels tab, turn off Node Points, turn on Beam
Numbers, and click OK.

• Note that the member numbers range from 1 through 13 in the


original portal frame, 101 through 113 in the first copy, and
201 through 213 in the second copy as requested by the
renumber bay option.

• Note that Translational Repeat has two advantages over the


simple Copy-Paste Beams technique:

• It allows more than one copy to be created in a single


operation.

• The newly created members can be automatically linked to


each other with new members.

• A copy of this model is already saved in this state in the


dataset, and is named Dataset 2_12.std.

• Click File | Close to return to the Start Page.

• Click No when asked if you want to save.


STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
Module 2 2-73

How to use “Circular Repeat”

• The Circular Repeat command is useful for creating structures


that are radially symmetrical. Its function and usage are
similar to the Translational Repeat command.

• Open Dataset 2_14.std.

• Click View | Structure Diagrams .

• Click the Labels tab, turn on Beam Numbers, and click OK.

• Click member 13 (the tallest column) with the Beams Cursor.

• Click Select | By Inverse | Inverse Beam Selection to select


everything EXCEPT member 13.

• Click Geometry | Circular Repeat….

• Leave the Axis of Rotation set to the (global) Y axis in the 3D


Circular dialog.

• The Through category provides three methods to specify a


point through which the Axis of Rotation must pass: by
clicking on a node, by entering a node number, or by providing
the coordinates.

• Click the Highlight Node icon , then click on node #11


(the node at the bottom of the tallest column).

The number 11 appears in the Node field. The X Coordinate


field reports a value of 20 {6}, and the Z Coordinate field
reports a value of 0.

• Activate the Use this as Reference Point for Beta angle


generation checkbox. This option is explained in the
commentary below.
STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
2-74 Module 2

• Assume that the web of a column (in a structure to be copied


with Circular Repeat) is oriented so that it points through the
Axis of Rotation. If the checkbox for Use this as Reference
Point for Beta angle generation is activated, then the web of
that column will be rotated as copies are generated, so that the
webs of the columns in all of the copies also point through the
Axis of Rotation.

Resulting column orientations when


Use this as Reference Point for Beta angle generation
IS activated
Figure 2. 177

Resulting column orientations when


Use this as Reference Point for Beta angle generation
is NOT activated
Figure 2. 18

• Leave the Total Angle set to its default value of 360 degrees.
STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
Module 2 2-75

Total Angle is the angle subtended by the arc through which


the copies are rotated. A positive angle value rotates the
copies in the positive direction of the chosen axis (right hand
rule).

• Set the No. of Steps to 8.

No. of Steps is the number of copies of the selected geometry


that STAAD.Pro will generate. The program divides the total
angle by the number of steps you specify, and places copies of
the selected geometry at the division points.

• Toggle on the Link Steps and Open Base checkboxes, and


leave the Geometry Only checkbox deselected.

See the section on the Translational Repeat command for


detailed explanations of these options.

• Click OK.

• STAAD.Pro creates eight frames arranged symmetrically


about (20, 0, 0) {(6, 0, 0)}.

• Click View | Structure Diagrams .

• Click the Labels tab, turn off Beam Numbers, and click OK.

• Note that the program does not create duplicate members at the
8 th step of the 360 degree Total Angle we specified, since the
original members are already there. The program actually
created only 7 copies of the selected geometry rather than 8.

• If the Total Angle had been set to 315 degrees and only 7 steps
had been requested, the resulting structure would have been
identical, except that the Link Steps option would not have
linked the 7 th step at 315 degrees to the original frame at 0
degrees.
STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
2-76 Module 2

• The selection to be copied included every member except for


the tallest column at the center of the circular repeat. Note
that even if the entire frame had been selected, including the
tallest column, STAAD.Pro would not have generated
duplicate members at that center column location

• A copy of this model is already saved in this state in the


dataset, and is named Dataset 2_15.std.

• Click File | Close to return to the Start Page.

• Click No when asked if you want to save.

How to identify and remove “Orphan Nodes”:

• Reopen Dataset 2_11.std.

• Click on the Geometry page tab in the Page Control area.

• Click on the Beam sub-page tab.

• Click View | Structure Diagrams .

• Click the Labels tab, turn on Beam Numbers, and click OK.

• Select the line corresponding to member 13 in the Beams


spreadsheet, and press the Delete key.

• Click OK in the dialog confirming the delete.

• Click View | Structure Diagrams .

• Click the Labels tab, turn on Node Numbers and Node


Points. Turn off Beam Numbers, and click OK.

• Note that node 11 is not connected to any member. This node


is referred to as an Orphan Node.
STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
Module 2 2-77

• The presence of orphan nodes may cause the program to fail to


analyze the structure successfully.

In a simple model like this, you could highlight node 11 with


the Nodes Cursor and press the Delete key to delete it. But in
a more complex model, orphan nodes created by modeling
changes might not be so obvious.

• STAAD.Pro provides two options for addressing Orphan


Nodes.

• Click Tools | Orphan Nodes | Highlight.

• This highlights any orphan nodes in the model.

It is possible that this node may be needed for upcoming


modeling steps. The Highlight option makes orphan nodes
stand out graphically, so they are easier to evaluate and act on
individually.

• Click Tools | Orphan Nodes | Remove.

• The Orphan Node 11 is deleted.

• A copy of this model is already saved in this state in the


dataset, and is named Dataset 2_13.std.

• Click File | Close to return to the Start Page.

• Click No when asked if you want to save.

How to combine two STAAD.Pro models by copy and paste:

• STAAD.Pro offers the ability to simultaneously run two


separate instances of the program. This makes it possible to
combine two STAAD.Pro files by copy and paste methods.
STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
2-78 Module 2

• The following steps outline a procedure to combine the two


simple frame models shown below from separate STAAD.Pro
models.

Figure 2. 199

• Ensure that one instance of STAAD.Pro is open.

• Click Open Project… in the Project Tasks section of the Start


Page.

• Open the file named Dataset 2_BOTTOM.std.

• Start a second instance of STAAD.Pro.

• When the second instance of STAAD.Pro opens, note that


there are now two instances of STAAD.Pro running on the
Windows task bar at the bottom of the screen.

• Click Open Project… in the Project Tasks section of the Start


Page.

• Open the file named Dataset 2_TOP.std.

• There are now two separate STAAD.Pro files open


concurrently. They can be differentiated by the filenames
shown in the Title Bars of the two windows.

• Select all the members in the structure titled TOP by dragging


a fence around the structure.
STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
Module 2 2-79

• Click Edit | Copy .

• Switch back to the model titled BOTTOM by clicking the


button for the other instance of STAAD.Pro on the
Windows taskbar.

• Click Edit | Paste Beams to open the Paste with Move dialog.

• To insert the braced structure so that it sits atop the two


columns of the portal frame, the origin of the braced frame
needs to be inserted at the top of the left-hand column, which
is 10 feet {3 meters} in the positive Y-direction from the
origin of the project’s global axis system.

• However, in more complicated situations involving 3-D


structures, it might not be so easy to mentally calculate where
to insert a copied structure into an existing model. This is a
good application for the Reference Pt option in the Paste with
Move dialog.

The procedure described here can also be used for inserting a


Structure Wizard model into an existing STAAD.Pro model.

• With the Reference Pt button, the graphic interface can be


used to tell the program where to insert the copied structure
without needing to know the actual coordinates of the desired
insertion point.

• The process is to pick a Reference Pt on the structure being


copied, and then pick an Insertion Point on the existing model.

• STAAD.Pro will insert the second structure so that the


Reference Pt coincides with the Insertion Point in the model.

• Click Reference Pt in the Paste with Move dialog.

• The Specify Reference Point dialog opens showing a graphic of


the model titled TOP (the model to be copied and pasted).
STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
2-80 Module 2

• A prompt in the dialog indicates “click on the node to act as


the reference point”. The node in the lower left-hand corner is
currently selected, but it is hidden by the coordinate axis
tripod.

• Use the arrow keys on the keyboard to rotate the structure


until the node at the lower left-hand corner of the frame is
visible.

• The current Reference Point is highlighted, and can be


changed by clicking on any node in the view.

• Click on any other node in the frame to see how STAAD.Pro


highlights the selected insertion point. Then click back on the
node in the lower left-hand corner of the frame, and click
OK.

• The STAAD.Pro Main Window now displays the model titled


BOTTOM (the model that will receive the paste). The mouse
cursor changes to the Connection Point Cursor. A prompt in
the lower left-hand corner of the screen indicates, “Click on
node to move reference point to.”

• Click on the top of the left-hand column. The Paste with


Move dialog reappears, confirming the new Y coordinate value
of 10 feet {3 meters}.

• Click OK.

• Click OK again to acknowledge the Duplicate nodes ignored


message.

This message box indicates that STAAD.Pro will not create


duplicate nodes at the tops of the two columns.

• The two models are merged at the defined connection point.


They now both exist in the new model, which could be further
edited, saved, etc…
STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
Module 2 2-81

• A copy of this model is already saved in this state in the


dataset, and is named Dataset 2_COMBINED.std.

• Click File | Close.

• Click No when asked if you want to save.

• Click File | Exit. Allow the program to close without saving


the model.

• Click on the second instance of STAAD.Pro on the Windows


task bar to make it active.

• Click File | Close.

This example obviously uses very simple models to


demonstrate the copy and paste function, but a more realistic
real-world application for this function might be:

• A complex structure or building, where…

• A common grid is established and shared by using Save


As… or by exporting the grid file, so…

• Multiple STAAD.Pro files are generated based on the


original grid, and…

• Multiple engineers work on different areas or different


floors simultaneously in separate files, until…

• Individual files are combined into one single model using


copy and paste methods, and…

• The entire structure is analyzed and designed.


STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
2-82 Module 2

2.11 Viewing Structure Geometry


How to control the display of beam and node numbers:

• Re-open the file named Dataset 2_3.std.

• Make sure the Beams Cursor is active.

• Hover the cursor over the horizontal member. The structural


tool tip help pops up to display the beam number.

• Additional information such as member length, incidences, etc.


may also be displayed.

• Click View | Structural Tool Tip Options….

• Click Beam in the Tool category.

• Note the other options that are available to display for beams.

• Note that Tip Delay can be adjusted to control the delay time
before the tool tip is displayed. The Tip Delay is in units of
milliseconds, so 500 = ½ second delay.

• Make sure that Number and Length are selected in the


Options category, and then click OK.

• Hover the cursor over the horizontal member again, and note
that the tool tip now provides the beam number and the
member length as requested.

• Click View | Structural Tool Tip Options… again.

• Click Node in the Tool category.

• Make sure that Node Number, Coordinate, Displacement,


and Support are all selected in the Options category, and then
click OK.

• Click the Nodes Cursor icon to activate it.


STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
Module 2 2-83

• Hover the cursor over the node in the lower left corner, and
note that only node number and coordinates are displayed.
This is because supports have not yet been assigned in this
model and displacements have not been calculated.

• Another way to display beam or node numbers is with the


Query function.

• Double-click on the horizontal member with the Beams


Cursor.

• A dialog opens providing the beam number and other


information about the beam.

• Right now there is not much information in this dialog because


only member geometry has been defined so far.

• After properties have been defined and an analysis has been


run, this dialog will be filled with information on the member
including properties, analysis results, shear, bending and
deflection diagrams, etc…

• The Query feature can also be used to get a node number or


other information about a node by activating the Nodes Cursor
and double-clicking on the node of interest.

• Double-click various nodes in the model with the Nodes


Cursor. Notice that the node number and coordinates update
in the Node dialog for each node.

• Note that the Tables category in the Node dialog provides


direct access to several tables pertaining to nodes in general:

• The Nodes button opens the Nodes table, which provides


the coordinates of all the nodes in the model. The current
node is highlighted in the table.

• The Loads button opens the Load Values table, which


indicates the magnitudes and directions of any loads
applied to the nodes, if any have been defined. Again, the
current node is shown highlighted in the table.
STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
2-84 Module 2

• The Supports button opens the Supported Nodes table,


which provides information about supports, if any have
been defined.

• The Reactions button leads to the Support Reactions table.

• The Displacements button leads to the Node Displacements


table.

Both the Reactions button and the Displacements button


trigger the Results Setup dialog to open, in order to select
which loads and nodes will be reported on.

Neither table is available for this model in its current state,


because no loads have been applied and the model has not
been analyzed.

• Click the Close button in the Nodes dialog.

• It is also possible to display beam and node number labels, as


well as many other types of labels, directly on the structure
diagram in the Main Window, as explained in the following
section.

How to display structure labels:

• With the file named Dataset 2_3.std still open, right-click in


the Main Window.

• A pop-up menu appears with some of the most frequently used


commands in STAAD.Pro.

• Select the Labels… command. The Diagrams dialog opens


with the Labels page active.

The Labels page can also be accessed quickly from the

Symbols and Labels icon on the Structure toolbar.


STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
Module 2 2-85

• The Labels page is an extremely useful page that is used


frequently.

• It provides options for labeling Nodes, Beams (Members),


Plates, Solids, Surfaces, Physical Members, Loads, Properties,
General display information, etc...

• Click the Node Numbers checkbox in the Nodes category and


the Beam Numbers checkbox in the Beams category.

• Click OK.

• Notice that the node and beam numbers now appear in the
Main Window, next to the corresponding beam or node.

If it is difficult to differentiate between the node labels and the


beam labels, their graphic appearance can be modified
individually. This will be covered in an upcoming section on
“How to control label appearance”.

• Click the Symbols and Labels icon on the Structure


toolbar to return to the Labels page.

• “Hotkeys” are shown in parentheses following the various


label names. These hotkeys are available for most of the
labeling options.

A reminder is shown at the bottom of the Labels page


indicating, “For quick access to the labels using keyboard
hotkeys, press Shift + the letter shown in brackets.”

For example, to display node numbers, simply hold down the


Shift key and press the N key without leaving the Main
Window.

• Click OK to close the Diagrams dialog.

• Hold down the Shift key and press the N key repeatedly. Note
that the node numbers are toggling on and off without having
to leave the Main Window.
STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
2-86 Module 2

• Click the Symbols and Labels icon on the Structure


toolbar again.

• By default, certain labels will only appear when particular


pages are active in the Page Control area.

• For example, items under Loading Display Options will only


appear when the Load sub-page of the General page is active.
To override this default, select the radio button labeled Always
Use Current Label Settings located at the bottom of the Labels
page.

• Another commonly used option on the Labels page is Beam


Ends labeling in the Beams category. It is particularly useful
while modeling and interpreting results, as it establishes the
orientation of Beam members.

• Beam Ends labeling identifies the starting end (also called End
A) and the ending end (End B) of each beam by showing each
end in a characteristic color.

• On the Labels page, two colored squares labeled Start Color


and End Color identify the color used to denote each end of a
beam. By default the starting end is green and the ending end
is blue.

These can be changed by clicking on the colored squares, and


choosing new color(s) from the color selection palette.

• The assignment of starting and ending ends is based on the


direction the beam was originally drawn. For example, if a
column is drawn starting at the bottom, the bottom end will be
the starting end.

• It is often important to know which end is the starting end and


which end is the ending end, for instance, when you are
assigning member releases to only one end of the beam.
STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
Module 2 2-87

• If the Beam Ends checkbox is toggled off, the beam end colors
will be displayed on an individual beam when the Beams
Cursor is hovered over that beam.

• Hover the cursor over the horizontal beam at the top of the
frame to see the Beam Ends colors displayed.

• If the Beam Ends checkbox is toggled on, the beam end colors
will be displayed on all beams in the model, all the time, until
the feature is toggled off again.

• Leave this file open for use in the next section.

How to control label appearance:

• With the file named Dataset 2_3.std still open, press the Shift
+ N “hotkey” to turn on all node numbers if necessary.

• To differentiate between node numbers and beam numbers, the


appearance of these labels can be modified.

• Click View | Options…. The Options dialog opens.

• Select the Node Labels tab.

• Pull down the Style list on the Node Labels page, and note the
various built-in styles that are available for node numbering.

• The alignment (positioning) of the labels can be controlled in


both the vertical and horizontal directions.

• If the Opaque option is selected, any model geometry that


tends to interfere with the node number labels will be “whited-
out” to clarify the labeling.

• Click on the Font… button in the lower left corner of the


dialog.

• Select Arial Black for the Font, Bold for the Font Style,
select Blue for the Color, and click OK.
STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
2-88 Module 2

• Click OK in the Options dialog.

• It should now be very easy to distinguish node numbers from


beam numbers.

• To see another helpful labeling option, click Tools | Options,


and select the Beam Labels page.

• Toggle on the checkbox labeled Angle Text.

• Click OK to dismiss the Options dialog.

• The beam labels will now be oriented parallel to the members


they correspond to, making it even easier to associate the
members and the numbers.

These settings are saved in a text file named


StaadPro20070.ini, which is saved in the Windows (or
WINNT) folder, so the settings affect all STAAD.Pro models
that are opened on a particular computer.

• Click File | Close. It is not necessary to save this version of


the model.

How to display member lengths and the distance between two


nodes:

• Open the file named Dataset 2_9.std. Assume the goal is to


determine the lengths of the diagonal members of the frame.

• One method is to use the Dimension Beams tool.

• Press the Shift + B hotkey to turn on beam numbers.

• Hold Control (Ctrl) and click the four diagonal members,


numbered 3 , 4 , 10, and 11 , with the Beams Cursor.

• Click Tools | Dimension Beams….


STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
Module 2 2-89

• Ensure that the Display radio button is selected in the


Display/Remove Dimension dialog.

• Click Dimension to Selected Beams in the Options category.

Note that the Dimension to Selected Beams option will be


“grayed out” if no members are selected.

• Click Display , and drag the Display/Remove Dimension dialog


out of the way. The dimensions for the four selected members
are displayed.

• Two limitations to this tool should now be obvious:

• First, for structural elements consisting of multiple


segments, the Dimension Beams tool is inconvenient
because it reports the individual member lengths rather
than the overall length.

• Second, the Dimension Beams tool only works on


members. It cannot be used to measure the distance
between two nodes like node 1 and node 4 that do not have
a member modeled between them. (Remember that Shift +
N is the hotkey to show node numbers.)

• For these kinds of conditions, there is a more appropriate tool.

• Click the Remove radio button in the Display/Remove


Dimension dialog to clean up the display.

• Click Dimension to View in the Options category.

• Click Remove. All dimensions in the view are removed.

• Click Close.

• Click Tools | Display Node to Node Distance.

An alternate method of accessing this tool is to click the

Display Node to Node Distance icon in the Structure


toolbar.
STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
2-90 Module 2

• All existing nodes in the model become bold, and the cursor
changes to indicate that STAAD.Pro is in the node to node
distance measuring mode.

• Click node 1, then click node 3.

The dimension 10.63ft {3.20 meters} is displayed for the


overall length of the brace.

• Click node 2, then click node 4.

Both cross braces are now dimensioned, but the labels may be
overlapping and difficult to read.

• Click View | Options…, and choose the Dimension page.

• Click the Angle Text checkbox, and then click OK to clarify


these dimensions.

The dimensions are now rotated parallel to the members they


reference, making the display much easier to interpret.

• To remove one dimension at a time, use the Display Node to


Node Distance tool to click between the two nodes again.

• Click Tools | Display Node to Node Distance again to stop


adding or removing dimensions.

• The command and the icon act as a toggle, so selecting it the


first time turns the mode on; selecting it a second time turns
the mode off.

• To remove one dimension, ensure that the dimensioning mode


is active, and then click the end nodes of the dimension to be
removed.

• Click Tools | Remove Node Dimension to remove all


dimensions at once.

• Click File | Close. It is not necessary to save this version of


the model.
STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
Module 2 2-91

How to control the view:

• Open the file named Dataset 2_15.std to experiment with the


view control tools.

• STAAD.Pro provides a variety of View Management options


for viewing the structure. There are tools for changing the
perspective of the Main Window, and also for creating
separate view windows of all or part of the structure.

• STAAD.Pro provides two toolbars for changing the viewing


aspect: the Rotate toolbar and the View toolbar.

• The Rotate toolbar is docked in the upper left corner of the


STAAD.Pro screen by default, but can be dragged to any
desired location.

• It contains fourteen buttons for changing the viewing angle.


The functions of the Rotate tools are generally evident from
their names. Click on each tool and observe its effect.

• View From +Z
• View From -Z
• View From +X
• View From -X
• View From +Y
• View From -Y
• Isometric View
• Rotate Up
• Rotate Down
• Rotate Left
• Rotate Right
• Spin Left
• Spin Right
• Toggle View Rotation Mode is used to select a node to
serve as the center of view rotation.

• The View toolbar is docked in the top middle of the


STAAD.Pro screen by default. It, too, can be dragged to any
desired location.
STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
2-92 Module 2

• The View toolbar contains twelve buttons for changing the


viewing distance and location:

Display Whole Structure

• Turns on all members in the structure

• Returns structure to the Isometric View orientation

• Resizes the structure to the maximum size that will fit


within the Main Window.

Dynamic Zoom

• Provides a fence to select a portion of the model to be


magnified in a separate Zoom window.

• The extent of the fence remains visible as a heavy


rectangle in the Whole Structure window as long as the
Zoom window remains open.

• The fence can be repositioned by dragging the fence with


the cursor in the Whole Structure window to view
different parts of the structure in the Zoom window.

• Scroll bars are provided to move side to side, and up and


down.

• Plus (+), minus (-) and extents (E) buttons are provided in
the lower right corner of the window to adjust the zoom
level.

• Several Dynamic Zoom windows can be opened at the


same time. Each of their respective fence rectangles
remains visible in the Whole Structure window as long
as the Zoom window remains open.
STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
Module 2 2-93

Zoom Extents

• Performs similar to Display Whole Structure with the


exception that Zoom Extents does not turn on elements
that are not currently displayed.

• For example, if some elements have been turned off in a


view by using View | View Selected Objects Only, those
particular elements will remain invisible when Zoom
Extents is used.

• Returns structure to the Isometric View orientation.

• Resizes the structure to the maximum size that will fit


within the Main Window.

Zoom In

• Zooms in on the model a set amount with each click.

Zoom Out

• Zooms out a set amount with each click.

Zoom Factor

• Zooms in or out based on the factor entered in pop-up


dialog.

• Factors greater than 1 will zoom in.

• Factors less than 1 will zoom out.

Zoom Previous

• Restores the view to the previous zoom level.

• Only retains one previous zoom step set by Zoom Factor


or Zoom Window.
STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
2-94 Module 2

Zoom Window

• Provides a fence to select a portion of the model to be


magnified in the current window.

Previous Selection

• Returns the selection state to the condition it was in one


step prior to the current state.

Pan

• Allows the model to be repositioned within the current


view.

• Zoom level remains unchanged.

• Pan remains active until it is toggled off.

Magnifying Glass

• Provides a quick way to temporarily enlarge a portion of


the structure for closer inspection.

• Click this tool, and then click and hold left mouse button
to see how the magnifying glass works.

3D Rendered View

• Displays the model in a new window with its assigned


sections.

• Provides controls for adjusting lighting.

• Dynamic panning is enabled. Click and rotate with cursor.

• All functions in the View toolbar are available in the View


pull-down menu.
STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
Module 2 2-95

• All functions in the Rotate toolbar are also available in the


View pull-down menu under the Orientation item, although
they are in a slightly different format.

• In addition to these tools, note that often the mouse itself is all
that is necessary.

• Roll the wheel on the mouse to see how it zooms in and out.

• Click and hold the wheel to grab the model and pan.

• Another way to change the view is with the arrow keys. Click
in the Main Window to make it active. Then use the arrow
keys to rotate the model up, down, left or right.

How to display only selected objects in the Main Window:

• With the file named Dataset 2_15.std still open, assume the
goal is to turn off the display of the hip rafters and central
column.

• Click the View From +Z icon.

• Click Select | Selection Mode | Drag Line.

• Drag a horizontal line across all rafters, just below the


vertex. All rafters and the central column are selected.

• Click Select | By Inverse | Inverse Beam Selection. The


selection inverts.

• Click View | View Selected Objects Only .

• All unselected objects become invisible.

• Click the Isometric View icon.

The structure is displayed without the hip rafters and central


column.
STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
2-96 Module 2

• Click View again, and note the check mark next to the View
Selected Objects Only command, indicating that the command
is toggled on.

• Click View | View Selected Objects Only once again to


restore the entire structure to the Main Window.

Another option is to click the Display Whole Structure icon.

How to isolate a portion of the structure into its own view:

• With the file named Dataset 2_15.std still open, assume the
goal is to isolate the framing members in the horizontal plane
at the eave of the hip roof.

• Click the View From +Z icon.

• Click Select | Selection Mode | Drag Box.

• Click and drag a fence around the framing members at the


elevation of the eave. Make the box large enough to
completely include the members in the horizontal plane, but
small enough not to include the mid-points of any of the other
members.

• Click View | New View.

• Choose the option to Create a new window for the view in


the New View dialog, and then click OK.

A new window is created in which only the members in the


horizontal plane at the eave elevation are visible.

• Click the Isometric View icon.

• Click View | View Management | Save View…. The Save


View As dialog opens.
STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
Module 2 2-97

• Enter the name Eave, and click OK. This isometric view has
now been saved.

• Click the View From +Z icon.

• Click View | View Management | Save View…. The Save


View As dialog opens.

• Enter the name Edge, and click OK. This side view has now
been saved.

• Click the View From +Y icon.

• Click View | View Management | Save View…. The Save


View As dialog opens.

• Enter the name Plan, and click OK. This plan view has now
been saved.

• Click Tools | Cut Section…. The Section dialog opens.

• On the Range By Joint tab, click the X-Y Plane radio button.

• Click the arrow on the With Node # list, and select node #10,
which is the node at the peak.

• Click OK, and the Main Window displays a section view of


the structure showing the members that lie on the X-Y plane
that cuts through node #10.

• Click View | View Management | Save View…. The Save


View As dialog opens.

• Enter the name Section, and click OK. This section view has
now been saved.

• To access the saved views, click View | Open View…. The


Open View dialog opens. Select Eave in the Views category,
select Display the view in the active window, and click OK.
STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
2-98 Module 2

• The Main Window and any other views that have been created
can be moved, resized, minimized, maximized, closed, etc.
Three standard window controls (Minimize, Maximize, and
Close) appear in the upper right corner of each window.

• To move a window, hover the mouse over the window’s title


bar, hold down the left mouse button, then drag the window
to the desired location.

• Windows can be resized by dragging the sides or corners in


or out.

• Grids can be displayed in any window, not just in the Main


Window.

• Click Geometry | Snap/Grid Node | Beam and then activate


the desired grid system in the Snap Node/Beam dialog.

• Note that Views are saved in an auxiliary file named


modelname.REI_SPRO_Auxilary_Data and not in the .std file
itself.

• Click File | Close. It is not necessary to save this version of


the model.
STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
Module 2 2-99

2.12 Modeling Exercise 2

Create this model by applying the modeling techniques that have


been presented up to this point.

Figure 2. 200

Tips:

• Open Dataset 2_COMBINED.std.

• Create connection between cross members at intersection.

• Translational Repeat once in the Z direction at Z = 15 feet {4.5


meters}.

• Link steps, open base.

• Delete the horizontal beam that connects the cross-braces at


their intersection points.

• Use arrow keys to rotate model to match the figure above.

• Click File | Save As, and name the model MY EXERCISE 2.

• Click File | Close to return to the Start Page.


STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
2-100 Module 2

-End of Module-
3-1

Property Assignment

Module 3
The following topics are included in this module.

3.1 Steel Design Model Geometry .......................................................... 2 


3.2 Working with Groups ........................................................................ 4 
3.3 Assigning Member Properties .......................................................... 11 
3.4 Member Beta Angle ......................................................................... 32 
3.5 Assigning Member Specifications ................................................... 45 
3.6 Assigning Supports ........................................................................... 60 
3.7 Assigning Loads................................................................................ 69 
3.8 The Material Page ............................................................................ 85 
STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
3-2 Module 3

3.1 Steel Design Model Geometry

This section uses the model shown below to demonstrate the


assignment of member properties, material constants, supports, and
loads to the structure.

Figure 3. 1

• There is one aspect of the model geometry that should be


reviewed before proceeding.

• This model was created using the Mirror command.

• In the Mirror dialog, an option called Mirror Member


Orientation was left unselected.

• If the Mirror Member Orientation feature is turned on, the


program attempts to mirror the member orientation, in addition
to the member geometry, as shown below:
STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
Module 3 3-3

Figure 3. 2

• The implications of this selection will be explained in detail


later in this section.
STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
3-4 Module 3

3.2 Working with Groups

• Open the file named Dataset 3_1.std.

• When working with structural models, it sometimes helps to


cluster a set of entities under a single umbrella for ease of
handling the data associated with those entities.

For example, one may wish to have all the principal rafters of
a warehouse structure made of a common structural section
such as a C10x15 channel.

If there are many rafters, it helps to be able to refer to all of


them as a group, rather than working with all of the rafter
members individually

• This process of clustering is referred to in STAAD.Pro as the


formation of groups.

• This can save a lot of time when assigning attributes to


members of the structure.

STAAD.Pro allows properties to be assigned to a group using


a single instruction, rather than having to repeatedly select the
individual members in order to assign various properties to
them.

For instance, in the STEEL DESIGN example project, the


bottom chord of the truss consists of eight members. If we
cluster these members into a group, we will not have to select
eight members individually in order to assign properties to
them.

Similarly, assigning group names to the members comprising


the top chord, the two columns, and the truss webs will make
the process of assigning data to these members a lot easier.

Creating New Views is another method of filtering STAAD.Pro


entities, as presented in a different module.
STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
Module 3 3-5

However, creating Groups has an advantage over creating a


new view, because groups actually become part of the
STAAD.Pro input file.

• Groups remain part of the model after the current STAAD.Pro


session is closed. So, if you provide your input file to another
STAAD.Pro user, they will be able to use the groups you
created.

• Four groups will be created for the STEEL DESIGN example:

Group name Description

_BOTC Truss bottom chord

_TOPC Truss top chord

_COL Columns

_WEB Truss webs

• Click Tools | Create New Group…. The Define Group Name


dialog opens.

• STAAD.Pro group names must start with an underscore


character (refer to Section 5.16 of the Technical Reference
manual for additional information on forming group names).

• However, if the underscore is not entered manually in the


Define Group Name dialog, STAAD.Pro will add it
automatically when the dialog is closed.

• Choose the Beam option in the Select Type list.

A common mistake is to leave the Select Type option set to


Node, when the intent is to group beams.

• Enter _BOTC in the Group Name field, and click OK.


STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
3-6 Module 3

• The Create Group dialog lists the group names that are
currently available to assign to (or associate to) members in
the model. Currently, the only available group name is
_BOTC.

• In the Assign methods category, there are three options


available to associate group names with members. See the
commentary below for a description of each option:

• Associate to View – associates the highlighted group name


with all of the members in the view.

• Associate to Selected Geometry – associates the


highlighted group name with all of the currently selected
members. (Currently “grayed out” because no members
are selected.)

• Associate to List – associates the highlighted group name


with all of the members whose numbers are entered in the
List field.

• The goal is now to associate the group name _BOTC with the
bottom chord members of the truss.

• Leave the Create Group dialog open, then click Select |


Beams Parallel To | X from the main menu.

The bottom chord members (and only the bottom chord


members) will be selected.

• Notice that the Associate to Selected Geometry radio button in


the Create Group dialog is now active.

• Click the Associate button at the bottom of the Create Group


dialog.

STAAD.Pro associates the bottom chord members with the


group named _BOTC.

It also displays the member numbers in the List field and


changes the 1:_BOTC listing in the Create Group dialog to say
STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
Module 3 3-7

(Beam Assigned), implying that the group name has been


assigned to at least some beams in the model.

• Click the Create button in the Create Group dialog again.

• Choose the Beam option in the Select Type list.

• Enter TOPC (this time, without the leading underscore) in the


Group Name field, and click OK.

• Note that STAAD.Pro automatically inserted the required


leading underscore in _TOPC in the Create Group dialog.

• Click inside the Main Window to deselect all members.

• Hold the Control (Ctrl) key and click the top chord members
one at a time using the Beams Cursor to select them.

Due to the inclined orientation of these members, there is no


easier method to select them.

2:_TOPC (Beam Unassigned) is currently highlighted in the


Create Group dialog by default.

The Assignment Method is set to Associate to Selected


Geometry by default.

• Click the Associate button.

The top chord members are assigned to the _TOPC group, and
their member numbers appear in the List field.

• Click the Create button.

• Choose the Beam option in the Select Type list.

• Enter _COL in the Group Name field.

• Click OK.

• Click the Create button.

• Choose the Beam option in the Select Type list.


STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
3-8 Module 3

• Enter _WEB in the Group Name field.

• Click OK.

Note that the list of group names in the Create Group dialog
provides an indication as to which type of elements can be
included in each group. (All four of our groups can only be
assigned to beams.)

Also note that the list of group names in the Create Group
dialog provides an indication as to which of the group names
have been assigned to at least some members in the model and
which group names are currently unassigned.

The group names _COL and _WEB remain unassigned at this


time.

• Click on _COL.

• Click on the column at the left side of the model, then press
and hold Control (Ctrl) and click on the column at the right
side of the model.

• Choose the Associate to Selected Geometry Assign Method,


and then click Associate.

The remaining members are the truss webs.

They could be selected using the tedious method of clicking on


them one at a time. A more efficient method would be to use
the groups we have created to select all of the members in the
three existing groups, and then use an Inverse Selection
command to select the remaining members not included in the
three existing groups.

• Click Select | By Group Name….

• Click on all three group names in the Select Groups dialog.

Note that STAAD.Pro allows more than one group to be


selected without having to hold down any keys.
STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
Module 3 3-9

• Click Close.

The top chord, bottom chord and columns will be highlighted


in the Main Window indicating that they are all selected.

• Click Select | By Inverse | Inverse Beam Selection.

The selection is inverted so only the truss web members are


selected.

• Click the _WEB group in the Create Group dialog.

• The Assign Method defaults to Associate to Selected Geometry.

• Click Associate.

The webs are now assigned to the _WEB group.

• Select _BOTC and click on the Highlight button. The


members of the selected group should be highlighted in the
Main Window.

• Verify by selecting each group name one at a time and


clicking Highlight.

If no members are highlighted after selecting a group name


and clicking the Highlight button, check to make sure that the
group is indicated as a Beam group type in the list of groups in
the Create Group dialog.

If any of the groups accidentally got created as Node type


groups, they will need to be deleted and recreated as Beam
type groups, before the members of this model can be correctly
assigned their group name.

• If any members were unintentionally omitted from a group,


they can be added to the group using the Create Group dialog,
or they can be added to the list in the Input File using the
STAAD.Pro Editor.
STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
3-10 Module 3

• If, later on, a member is removed from the model, and if that
member was part of one of the defined groups, STAAD.Pro
will remove the member number from the group automatically.

Note that STAAD.Pro also allows groups of plate or solid


elements to be created. However, these options weren’t
offered in the list box of the Define Group Name dialog,
because they only appear if the model contains plates or
solids.

• Click the Close button to dismiss the Create Group dialog.

• A copy of this model is already saved in this state in the


dataset, and is named Dataset 3_2.std.

• Click File | Close to return to the Start Page.

• Click No when asked if you want to save.


STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
Module 3 3-11

3.3 Assigning Member Properties

• Open the file named Dataset 3_2.std.

• Click the General page tab in the Page Control area.

Note that the general progression is to work from top to


bottom of the Page Control area to complete the steel design
example.

• The General page has five sub-pages:

• Property
• Spec
• Support
• Load & Definition
• Material

• The Property sub-page will be active or “in focus,” when the


General tab is selected.

• The Data Area on the right side now contains a dialog labeled
Properties - Whole Structure (referred to from here on as the
Properties dialog).

Note: if the Properties dialog is ever closed, it can be recalled


by clicking on the Property sub-page of the General page.

• The Properties dialog is used to assign properties: cross


section, modulus of elasticity, Poisson’s ratio, density, and
thermal coefficient for steel, concrete or aluminum members.

• Standard cross sections can be chosen from tables or custom


sections can be defined.

• The following standard sections from the American steel table


database will be used in the current model:
STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
3-12 Module 3

Columns Wide flange: W 18 x 35

Bottom chord Channel: C 12 x 30

Top chord Rectangular HSS: 7 in. x 4 in. x


3/16 in.

Webs Angle: 3 in. x 3 in. x ½ in.

• Assigning properties is a two-step process. First, pick the


sections/materials to assign to the structure. The program
maintains the list of these sections in the Properties dialog.
Then, use the list to assign the sections/materials to selected
members.

• Click the Section Database button in the Properties dialog.

• Note the tabs across the top of the Section Profile Tables
dialog for access to section tables for different materials.

• Steel - provides access to a list of steel tables of more than


fifteen different countries.

• Coldformed Steel - provides access to a list of tables from


various manufacturers of cold-formed steel products.

• Timber - provides access to an extensive list of wood


sections comprised of various combinations of species,
grades, and sawn lumber sizes. Also includes properties
for Glued-Laminated material.

• Aluminum - provides access to the American Aluminum


table.

The American - W Shape table from the Steel tab is active by


default.

• Click American Steel Joist, and note that many common joist
designations are available.
STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
Module 3 3-13

Click on any of the other country names to see the libraries


that are available for use with international codes.

• Click American | W Shape.

• Scroll down through the shapes listed in the Select Beam


category, and click on W18x35.

• Note the radio buttons on the right side of the dialog under the
Type Specification heading.

• ST specifies a single section from the standard table.

• T is used to indicate a T-shaped section formed by cutting


through the middle of the web of a standard W section.

• CM is used to specify a composite section comprised of a


concrete slab on top of a wide flange steel shape. When
this radio button is selected, the CT, FC and CW edit
boxes become active.

• CT is the thickness of the concrete

• FC is the strength of the concrete

• CW is the width of the concrete (as defined by code,


not the width of the beam – see Technical Reference
manual Section 5.20.1, Note 1, p. 5-64).

• Three more radio buttons allow the specification of top and/or


bottom cover plates.

• Information on all these specifications is available in Section


5.20.1 of the Technical Reference manual.

• Make sure the ST radio button is selected.

• Below the Select Beam list is the View Table button. This
button accesses a section properties table for the section type
selected (in this case, the American W-Shapes).
STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
3-14 Module 3

• Below the View Table button is the Material checkbox. This


checkbox is toggled on by default. When it is on, default
material constants such as the Modulus of Elasticity (E),
density, Poisson’s ratio and the coefficient of thermal
expansion (alpha) are also assigned to the members, in
addition to the selected section properties.

• Material constants are determined based on the material


selected in the Material list. The Material list is currently set
to STEEL based on the selection of a W18x35 from the Steel
tab.

• Section 5.26.2 of the Technical Reference manual provides


standard values assigned if the Material checkbox is toggled
on.

• If the Material checkbox is toggled off, the material constant


values can be assigned later using Commands | Material
Constants.

• Leave the Material checkbox toggled on and the material set to


STEEL. This will associate steel material properties with the
W18x35 once it is added to the list of available sections.

• Click Add.

W18x35 appears as an available section in the Properties


dialog.

• Click on the Channel tab.

• Scroll down to the C12 sections, and click on C12X30.

• Leave the Type Specification set to ST (Single Section from


Table).

• There are also options to specify Double Channels in the Back-


to-Back and Front-to-Front configuration.

The Material checkbox is checked by default, and the material


list is set to STEEL.
STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
Module 3 3-15

• Click the Add button. The C12X30 section is added to the list
of sections in the Properties dialog.

• Click on the HSS Rectangle tab.

This example problem requires a 7 in. x 4 in. x 3/16 in.


rectangular hollow structural section (HSS7x4x3/16). In
STAAD.Pro nomenclature, this will be listed as
HSST7x4x0.188, with the wall thickness being a decimal value
instead of a fraction.

• Scroll through the list of HSS sections and click on


HSST7X4X0.188 .

The Material checkbox should remain checked, and the


material list should be set to STEEL.

• Click the Add button. The section is added to the list in the
Properties dialog.

• Click the Angle tab.

• The following figure, from the Technical Reference manual


(Section 2.2.1) illustrates how angles are specified in
STAAD.Pro

Figure 3. 3

• The angle code L is followed by numbers representing the


length of the longer leg in tenths of an inch, the length of the
shorter leg in tenths of an inch, and the thickness of the steel
in sixteenths of an inch.
STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
3-16 Module 3

• Therefore, the 3 in. x 3 in. x ½ in. angle section for the truss
webs would be specified as L30308.

• Click on L30308 to highlight it.

• Leave the Type Specification set to ST (Single Section from


Table).

The Material checkbox should remain checked, and the


material list should be set to STEEL.

• Click the Add button. The L30308 section is added to the list
of sections in the Properties dialog.

• Click the Close button to dismiss the Section Profile Tables


dialog.

• The Values button in the Properties dialog accesses a table


listing only the sections that appear in the Properties dialog
and their properties.

This table is provided for quick reference only. Properties


may not be edited in this table.

• Click the Define button in the Properties dialog.

• The Property dialog includes various types of cross sections,


including:

• Circle
• Rectangle
• Tee
• Trapezoidal
• General
• Tapered I
• Tapered Tube
• Assign Profile

• Each page contains a schematic representation of the cross


section and fields to parametrically define the cross section
dimensions.
STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
Module 3 3-17

• The General tab can be used to define the cross section


dimensions of any irregular-shaped section.

• Tapered I and Tapered Tubes are for creating sections whose


dimensions vary from one end of the member to the other.

• The Assign Profile tab provides a way to specify only a


category of cross section, either Angle, Double Angle, Beam,
Column or Channel.

Based on the profile that is selected, STAAD.Pro assigns a


hard-coded section size without any attempt to design or
optimize the section. It just provides a starting point for
analysis.

• The Material checkbox and associated list provide a


connection between section properties and materials.

• Click Close to dismiss the Property dialog.

• Click the Materials… button in the Properties dialog.

• The Materials dialog lists the currently defined materials and


their values for modulus of elasticity E, Poisson’s ratio,
density, and alpha coefficient.

Materials are defined in another area of the program. The


values cannot be edited in this table, but the dialog provides
access to the table for convenient viewing.

• Click the X in the upper right corner of the Materials window


to close it.

• The Thickness button can be used to assign thickness to


surfaces or plates if the model contains any.

• Click the User Table… button.

The User Table button provides access to user-defined section


properties tables, if any exist.
STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
3-18 Module 3

• A warning box pops up indicating that no user tables were


found, and offering to create one.

• Click Yes to the warning box.

• Click the New Table button on the Create User Provided


Table dialog.

• The Select Section Type list is used to define the section type:
wide flange, channel, angle, etc…

• The External Table checkbox is unchecked, so the new table


will be specific to (and contained within) the current model. If
it is checked, the new table will be available for use on future
models.

If the intent is to reuse the table in other projects, toggle on


the External Table checkbox, and provide a file name and path
in the File Name field.

An example of an application for user tables would be pre-


manufactured building design where steel sections of I-shapes
are used, but they may be fabricated out of plates to optimize a
design, and therefore are not standard sections listed in the
steel tables.

• Section 5.19 of the Technical Reference manual provides


instructions for specifying a user steel table.

• A sample project illustrating the application of user tables is


provided in Example Problem 17 of the STAAD.Pro Examples
manual.

• We will not actually create a new user table at this time.

• Click the Cancel button to return to the Create User Provided


Table dialog.

• Click the Close button to return to the Main Window.


STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
Module 3 3-19

• The Modify Section Database command provides another way


to access and modify the steel tables. It is accessible from the
Tools pull-down menu. It opens the SectionDBManager
window, which provides an interface for editing the existing
section tables if necessary.

Figure 3. 4

For example, the American steel table provided with


STAAD.Pro is based on current AISC tables. Older steel
sections many not be listed, and some of the sections that are
listed may not be available from local steel mills.

Editing the American steel table with the SectionDBManager


is a way to introduce an older section in order to analyze an
existing structure, or to delete sections that are not in
production.

Note that if the standard section table is edited, and if the


STAAD.Pro model is later sent to another STAAD.Pro user,
the modified steel table database file will also need to be
provided to run the model correctly. For the American steel
table, the file you need to include is AISCSections.mdb, and it
is typically located in \SPro2007\STAAD\Sections\.

• We are now ready to assign the selected sections to members


of the structure.
STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
3-20 Module 3

Note: if the model was saved and closed at this point, without
actually assigning sections to any of the members, ALL OF
THE SECTIONS (W18X35, C12X30, HSST7X4X0.188 and
L30308) WOULD BE REMOVED from the list in the
Properties dialog when the model is reopened.

• Click on the W18X35 section from the list in the Properties


dialog.

• In the Assignment Method area, select the Use Cursor To


Assign option.

• Click the Assign button in the lower left corner of the


Properties dialog.

Note that the name of this button changes to Assigning,


indicating that we are now in an active assignment mode.

• The cursor changes to a steel beam shape with a triangle in the


upper left corner. Click on each of the two columns with the
cursor to assign the W18x35 section to the columns.

• Click the Assigning button in lower left corner of the


Properties dialog to exit the active assignment mode.

• The label “R1” appears near the center of both columns. This
is a reference number that corresponds to the W18X35 section,
and it appears just to the left of the section name in the
Properties dialog, in a column labeled “Ref”.

• To display the full section name on the members instead of the


reference number, follow the steps below:

• Right-click in the Main Window.

• Select Labels from the pop-up menu.

• Click the Sections radio button under the Properties


category on the Labels page of the Diagrams dialog.

• Click OK.
STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
Module 3 3-21

• Select the C12X30 section from the list in the Properties


dialog.

• Click Select | By Group Name…. The Select Groups dialog


opens.

• Click the line that says G1: _BOTC and leave the dialog open.

The bottom chord is highlighted in the Main Window and the


Assignment Method automatically changes to Assign To
Selected Beams.

• Click the Assign button, and click Yes in the pop-up message
box to confirm.

The label “C12X30” appears near each bottom chord segment.

During this process of assigning member properties, take care


to:

• Check that only the intended members have been selected.

• Check that the Assignment Method option in the Properties


dialog is properly set to Assign To Selected Beams.

• Always use extra care when assigning member properties.

• If properties get mistakenly assigned, it can be very difficult to


detect.

• Take the time to review the settings in the dialogs and to


carefully note which members have been selected before
assigning properties.

• Click on the HSST7X4X0.188 section in the Properties dialog


to highlight it.

• Click G2: _TOPC in the Select Groups dialog.

The top chord of the structure is highlighted in the Main


Window.
STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
3-22 Module 3

• Again, leave this dialog open.

The Assignment Method defaults to Assign To Selected Beams.

• Click the Assign button, and then click Yes to confirm.

The label “HSST7X4X0.188” appears near each top chord


segment.

• Click on the L30308 section in the Properties dialog.

• Click G4: _WEB in the Select Groups dialog.

The webs are highlighted in the Main Window.

• Click the Close button.

The Assignment Method defaults to Assign To Selected Beams.

• Click the Assign button, and then click Yes to confirm.

The label “L30308” appears near each web member.

• Right-click in the Main Window, and click Labels… from the


pop-up menu.

• Click References in the Properties category on the Labels


page of the Diagrams dialog, and then click OK.

The display is neatened up by removing the section labels and


replacing them with references to the sections.

• Note that all members in the model are labeled with a


reference number, confirming that all the members now have
section properties assigned to them.

• A quick comparison of the reference numbers in the model to


the corresponding sections listed in the Properties dialog
confirms that the W section (R1) is assigned to the columns,
the channel (R2) to the bottom chord members, the rectangular
HSS (R3) to the top chord members and the angle (R4) to the
webs.
STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
Module 3 3-23

• In a more complicated model, or in a three-dimensional model,


it may not be so easy to observe that all members have been
assigned a section.

• STAAD.Pro provides a tool to confirm that every member in


the structure has been assigned member properties.

• Click in the Main Window to ensure that no members are


currently selected.

• Click Select | By Missing Attributes | Missing Property.


The pop-up dialog indicates that there are no entities with
missing properties in this model.

• Click OK.

If any member in the structure did not have a cross section


assigned to it, this command would have highlighted those
members in the Main Window.

• Double-click on the column at the right end of the structure.


This launches the Query function as demonstrated previously.

• Click on the Property tab in the dialog that appears, and note
that the dialog is now fully populated with the member
properties.

The Member Query screens are gradually able to present more


and more useful information as additional parameters are
assigned to the members.

• Click Close to dismiss the Member Query screen.

• A copy of this model is already saved in this state in the


dataset, and is named Dataset 3_3.std.

• Click File | Close to return to the Start Page.

• Click No when asked if you want to save.


STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
3-24 Module 3

Local Axis System:

• Open the file named Dataset 3_3.std.

• Up to this point, we have been considering the components of


the model with respect to a global axis system.

• The location of the nodes was defined with reference to a


single point of origin in three-dimensional space.

• STAAD.Pro also contains a local axis system for each member


of the model.

• Why have a local axis system?

• First consider a cylindrical structure, such as a tank, with wide


flange column sections around the perimeter to provide
support for the sides of the tank. In this case, the local axis
system is required in order to define the radial orientation of
the columns as shown in the figure below.

Figure 3. 5
STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
Module 3 3-25

• Without a local axis system, there would be no way to describe


the orientation of the columns, and STAAD.Pro would have no
choice but to assume they are all oriented in the same direction
as shown in the figure below.

Figure 3. 6

• Next, consider modeling wind load on the roof of the structure


in the diagram below:

Figure 3. 7

• To express the wind load on the inclined roof with respect to


the global coordinate system, the load would have to be broken
down into its X, Y and Z components in the global directions.

• On the other hand, it would be very easy and convenient to


express the wind load on the inclined members with respect to
STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
3-26 Module 3

a local coordinate system oriented along one of the axes of the


members.

• The STAAD.Pro Technical Reference manual, Section 1.5.2,


explains the orientation of the local coordinate system for an
individual member.

• The online version of the Technical Reference manual is


accessible from Help menu. For demonstration purposes, click
Help | Contents… | Technical Reference | General
Description | Structure Geometry and Coordinate Systems |
Local Coordinate System to see Section 1.5.2, Local
Coordinate System.

• Click the X in the upper right corner of the Help window titled
STAAD.Pro 2007 to close it.

• Refer to the figure below. It is a reprint of Figure 1.6a from


the Technical Reference manual.

• The figure shows the default orientations of the local axes


when the global Y-axis is oriented in the vertical (gravity)
direction (which is the default in STAAD.Pro).
STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
Module 3 3-27

Figure 3. 8
STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
3-28 Module 3

• The note at the bottom of the figure says, “The local x-axis of
the above sections is going into the paper.”

• The local x-axis is a line defined by the two ends of the


member.

• The positive direction of the local x-axis is defined by a line


going from the starting end (node A) to the ending end (node
B) of the member.

• To display the axes for the local coordinate system of all the
members in the structure, follow the steps below:

• Right-click in the Main Window and select Labels…


from the pop-up menu.

• Toggle on the Beam Orientation checkbox in the Beams


category.

• Toggle on the Show Axes At Org checkbox in the General


category, then click OK.

• Symbols indicating the orientation of the local coordinate


system and showing the cross section shape will appear in the
Main Window.

• A labeled, color-coded local coordinate axis system also


appears in the Main Window. Its purpose is to provide a key
to the colors of the local coordinate axis symbols.

• Local y = red Local x = blue Local z = green

• The blue arrow representing the local x-axis always points


along the axis of each member in the structure.

• Notice that the blue arrow (local x-axis) points downwards in


the case of the two columns. This is because the columns were
drawn from top to bottom.

• For a refresher on how to confirm the direction that the


columns were drawn, see the commentary below:
STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
Module 3 3-29

Click on the left-hand column with the Beams Cursor.

Click the Geometry page. The Beam sub-page should


automatically be active.

Note that the line corresponding to the selected column (Beam


35) is highlighted in the Beams table, and that Node A is node
15, and Node B is node 20. This means member 35 starts at
node 15 and ends at node 20.

The Nodes table indicates that the Y-coordinate of node 15 is


15.000 ft {5.000 meters} and the Y-coordinate of node 20 is
0.000 ft, confirming that the column starts at the top and ends
at the bottom.

This was a good review, but remember that in practice the


member direction can be confirmed much more easily.

Hover the Beams Cursor over the left-hand column until the
Beam Ends colors appear.

By knowing that green signifies the Node A or starting end and


blue signifies Node B or the ending end, this method provides
instant confirmation of the member direction.

• Note that the local x-axis for the channels along the bottom
chord point to the right on the right side of the structure, and
to the left on the left side of the structure.

• This orientation is due to the fact that the Mirror command


was used to create the second half of the structure.

A consequence of this situation is that the flanges of the


channels are pointing out of the screen on the right side, and
into the screen on the left side.

• We will make use of this mirrored orientation later in the


training, but if the intent was to orient all of the segments of
the bottom chord the same way, there are at least two different
ways to accomplish this is STAAD.Pro.
STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
3-30 Module 3

Method 1:

• Hold down Control (Ctrl) and click the four members of


the bottom chord on the left half of the truss.

• Click Tools | Redefine Incidence.

• Select the option to Switch Incidence of Selected Beams


in the Redefine Incidence dialog, and then click OK.

• Note that the four selected members are reoriented so that


their x-axis direction and their flanges coordinate with the
other bottom chord members.

• Click Tools | Redefine Incidence again, while the four


members are still selected.

• Choose Switch Incidence of Selected Beams and click


OK.

This will return the four members to their original


“mirrored” orientation.

Method 2:

• The second method to orient all of the segments of the


bottom chord the same way is to use a parameter called the
beta angle.

• Beta angle is explained thoroughly in the next section.

• For now… a few more aspects of the local axis system.

• In addition to the local x-axis, there is also a local y-axis and a


local z-axis. These enable us to obtain results such as major
axis bending moment, shear force along the local y-axis, etc...
STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
Module 3 3-31

• The local y-axis is the one that is normally parallel to the web,
and the local z-axis is normally the major axis.

• The statement above says “normally”, because there is a


variant to the local axis system. It occurs when the “SET Z
UP” command is specified. The main use for this command
would be to adopt a global axis system akin to that used by
CAD programs such as MicroStation.

• Note that when using “SET Z UP”, many of STAAD.Pro’s


advanced program options will not be available.

• The “SET Z UP” option will not be used in this training


exercise, and because of the limitations it puts on other
program options, it is generally recommended to avoid using
“SET Z UP” unless absolutely necessary.

• The only other cross section in the steel design model that
requires consideration in terms of the orientation of its local
axis system is the single angle section used in the webs.

• Angles have local axes that point in awkward directions.

• By default, STAAD.Pro orients angle members so that the beta


angle is equal to zero. The next section provides a better
understanding of what this means.

• Keep this model open for use in the next section.


STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
3-32 Module 3

3.4 Member Beta Angle

• Ensure that the file named Dataset 3_3.std is still open.

• Click the General page. The Property sub-page should be


active.

• Click View | 3D Rendering. A rendered 3D view opens.

• Pan and zoom in to observe the orientations of the channel


flanges and the angle legs.

• Stretch the Beams spreadsheet far enough to be able to see that


the Beta column has all zero values at this time.

Members have a beta angle of zero by default, unless and until


it is set differently.

• The beta angle is just a term that indicates how the member is
oriented about its local x-axis with respect to the global
coordinate system.

• In the absence of any explicit instruction from the user,


STAAD.Pro orients a member according to a set of
mathematical rules which are best described using the name
the “beta equals zero condition”.

• A member’s beta angle is the angle through which the cross


section must be rotated about its local x-axis from its beta = 0
position to arrive at the desired orientation.

• Section 1.5.3 of the STAAD.Pro Technical Reference manual


describes the relationship between the local and global
coordinate systems.

• Figures are provided in Section 1.5.3 of the Technical


Reference manual to quickly determine the beta angle to apply
for commonly encountered cases.
STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
Module 3 3-33

• In the case of a channel, the following figure from the


Technical Reference manual shows the member orientation for
various beta angles.

Figure 3. 9

• The upper left corner of the figure above shows the local axis
system for a channel member.

• The lower portion of the figure shows member orientation of


the channel for beta angles of 0, 90, 180 and 270 degrees for
members whose longitudinal axes are aligned with the positive
and negative global axis directions.

• Notice that when the member incidence (direction from end A


to end B) is defined in the positive global X direction, for beta
= 0, the flanges of the channel point in the positive global Z
direction, and when the member incidence is defined along the
negative global X direction, the channel flanges point in the
negative Z direction.
STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
3-34 Module 3

• This situation corresponds exactly to the condition of the


bottom chord in the current model.

• Press and hold the Shift key and click inside the Rendered
View window.

• The “orbit paths” appear representing a path of travel for


rotating about each of the three global axes.

• Press and hold the Shift key again. Place the cursor near one
of the orbit paths. Click near the orbit path and hold the
mouse button to rotate the Rendered View about one particular
axis at a time.

• Rotate the model and zoom in to the location where the bottom
chord member orientations change.

• Note that the orientations of the channels in the bottom chord


of the model coordinate with the orientations shown in the
figure below.

Figure 3. 10
STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
Module 3 3-35

• Close the Rendered View window.

• Another way to confirm a member’s beta angle is through the


use of Query.

• Double-click on the column at the left end of the truss. The


Query dialog opens.

• The Geometry page is active by default. The beta angle is


listed in the lower left corner of the dialog under the
Additional Info category.

• Close the Query dialog.

• Right-click in the Main Window, and select Labels… from


the pop-up menu.

• Select Beam Numbers in the Beams category, and then click


OK.

Remember that the “hotkey” for turning on beam numbers


without having to open the Labels… dialog is Shift + B.

• Click the Beta Angle tab on the Properties dialog.

• Click the Create Beta Angle button.

• Ensure that the Angle in Degrees option is selected in the Beta


Angle dialog.

• Enter 90 in the input field, and click OK.

Note that “Beta 90” now appears in the Beta Angle window
indicating that it is an available definition that can be assigned
to members.

Other Beta Angle definitions can be defined now if they are


required.

• Click on Beta 90 on the Beta Angle tab in the Properties


dialog.
STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
3-36 Module 3

• Click Use Cursor To Assign in the Assignment Method


category.

• Click the Assign button.

The cursor changes to the special Assign Beta Angle Cursor

• Click on beam number 1, in the bottom chord, just to the


right of center. The beam label indicates β 90.00.

Figure 3. 11

• Click the Assign button again to exit the assignment mode.

• Click View | 3D Rendering.

• Zoom in to observe the orientation of the channel flanges for


beam number 1. They now point straight down.

In a real structure, there would be no reason to orient one


member of a chord differently from the others, but it was done
here because it will be instructive when we look at analysis
results later on.

• While the 3D Rendering window is still open, note that the


angle sections used for the truss web members are also not
oriented in a realistic direction.
STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
Module 3 3-37

• The beta equals zero condition for the web members orients
the local z-axis parallel to the global Z-axis.

• For fabrication reasons, it is preferable that one of the angle


legs be oriented in the XY plane in the real structure.

• STAAD.Pro provides two built in commands to automatically


orient one angle leg parallel to the global Y-axis.

• Close the 3D Rendering window.

• Click the Beta Angle tab on the Properties dialog.

• Click the Create Beta Angle button.

• The options labeled Angle and RAngle in the Beta Angle dialog
both result in an angle orientation with the legs parallel to the
global axis.

• Each steel angle section has a characteristic parameter, α, that


relates the section’s principal axis system and geometric axis
system.

• The Angle option rotates a section (90 - α).

• The RAngle option rotates a section (180 - α).

• With both commands, the direction of the resulting rotation


about the local x-axis is in the positive direction with respect
to the right-hand rule. In other words, when the thumb of the
right hand points in the positive direction of the member’s
local x-axis, the fingers of the right hand curl in the direction
of the resulting rotation. (See figure below.)
STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
3-38 Module 3

Figure 3. 12
STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
Module 3 3-39

• Click the Angle option, and click OK.

• A new line of text, “Beta Angle”, now appears in the Beta


Angle window.

• Click on that Beta Angle line of text.

• Click Select | By Group Name….

• Click on the _WEB group, and then click Close.

The Assignment Method in the Properties dialog will now


default to Assign To Selected Beams.

• Click the Assign button, and click Yes in the pop-up dialog to
confirm.

• Click in the Main Window to deselect the web members.

Note that STAAD.Pro places a new entry in the Beta Angle


tab: “Beta 45”. This corresponds to 90° - 45° = 45° for equal-
leg angles.

• Click on any web member to select it. The line in the Beam
Table corresponding to the selected member is highlighted.

• Drag the Beams table open wide enough to view the column
labeled “Beta”. Notice that the Beta Angle for the selected
web member is indicated to be 45°.

The beta angle for this web member could also be verified by
double-clicking it to use the Query function.

• Click in the Main Window to deselect all members.

• Click Select | By Group Name….

• Click on the _WEB group, and then click Close.

• Click View | 3D Rendering.

• Zoom in to observe the orientation of the angle legs. Note


how the legs are now aligned with the XY plane.
STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
3-40 Module 3

• Click the X in the upper right corner of the Rendered View


window to close it.

An alternate method of assigning a beta angle is to select the


member in the Main Window.

Then from the Main Menu, click Commands | Geometric


Constants | Beta Angle….

The Beta Angle dialog opens.

If the To Selection radio button is “grayed out,” it probably


means that no members have been selected in the Main
Window. If this is the case click the Cancel button and try
again.

Note that assigning beta angles by this method does not


populate the Beta Angle tab with the values that are assigned.
This is something to keep in mind if it is important to have the
value available to assign easily at a later stage.

• Sometimes it is not obvious what beta angle is necessary to


orient a member in a certain direction.

• The rules stated in Section 1.5.3 of the Technical Reference


manual can be used.

• But here is an alternative method that involves two steps:

1. Determine the orientation of the member that corresponds


to the “beta equals zero condition”.

2. Remember that the beta angle will rotate the member in a


positive direction with respect to the right-hand rule.

Determine the orientation of the member that corresponds to the


“beta equals zero condition”:

• Either use the diagrams in the Technical Reference


manual, or apply the following method.
STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
Module 3 3-41

• Establish the local x-axis by knowing the starting and


ending nodes of the member.

• Establish the local z-axis by applying the rule that the


cross product of the local x-axis and the global Y-axis will
result in the local z-axis as shown in the figure below.

Figure 3. 13

• The only time that this rule cannot be used is when the
local x-axis is parallel to the global Y-axis, as in the case
of a vertical member such as a column or truss vertical,
because it is not possible to obtain a cross product of two
vectors that are parallel. In this case, STAAD.Pro adopts
the convention that the local z-axis will be oriented
parallel to the global Z-axis.

• Finally, establish the local y-axis by applying the rule that


the cross product of the local z-axis and the local x-axis
results in the local y-axis.

See the figure below for a refresher on cross product rules


of operation.
STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
3-42 Module 3

Cross Product Rules of Operation:

Cross product rules of operation are cyclical in nature:

XxY=Z YxZ=X ZxX=Y


and
Y x X = -Z X x Z = -Y Z x Y = -X

The following figure is a graphical representation of the cross


product relationships among the three axes; X, Y, and Z.

To use the graphic given a cross product in generic format A x B:


• Find A on the graphic.
• Move around the circle toward B.
• Note the direction of movement with respect to the sign
convention arrows indicated on the graphic. Clockwise
movement indicates that the result will have a positive
algebraic sign.
• Continue in the same direction past B and read the next value
as the result, say C.
• Thus A x B = C in its generic form.
• Example 1: X x Y = Z
• Example 2: Y x X = -Z

Figure 3. 14
STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
Module 3 3-43

• Now apply this procedure to the channel sections assigned to


the bottom chord of the model.

• Place the cursor on the bottom chord member just to the


left of the truss centerline.

• The Beam Ends colors light up, showing green at the right-
hand end of the member and blue at the left-hand end.

• Based on the Beam Ends colors, the member local x-axis is


established as pointing to the left (in the negative global
X-direction).

• Cross the local x-axis with the global Y-axis to establish


that the local z-axis points into the page (in the negative
global Z-direction).

• Cross the local z-axis with the local x-axis to establish that
the local y-axis points straight up (in the positive global
Y-direction).

• The member orientation has now been completely


determined by nothing more than knowing the A and B
ends and applying the rules discussed above.

• Now graphically verify what has just been determined.

• Click the Spec sub-page of the General page. (This


clarifies the view by eliminating the beta angle labels.)

• Right-click in the Main Window, and click Labels… in


the pop-up menu.

• Click Beam Orientation in the Beams category.

• Click Show Axes At Org, in the General category, and


then click OK.

• Zoom in on the bottom chord member just to the left of the


truss centerline.
STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
3-44 Module 3

• Compare the local axes of the member with the colored


axis system key at the origin to confirm that the member’s
x points left, z points into the page (in the negative global
Z-direction), and y points up, as determined above.

• Now that the full orientation of the member is understood


and confirmed, it is easy to determine appropriate beta
angles for the member.

• Remember that the beta angle rotates the member in a


positive direction with respect to the right-hand rule.

• With your right hand, point your thumb in the direction of


the member’s x-axis. The natural curl of your fingers
indicates the direction of rotation for a positive beta angle.

• Therefore, to orient the member with flanges pointing


down to coordinate with its adjoining neighbor on the right
side of the truss centerline, a beta angle of 90° is
appropriate.

• To orient the member with flanges pointing in the positive


global Z-direction, a beta angle of 180° is appropriate.

• For the purposes of this exercise, we will leave the bottom


chord members oriented as-is, because it sets the model up to
observe some interesting results later when an analysis is
performed.

• A copy of this model is already saved in this state in the


dataset, and is named Dataset 3_4.std.

• Click File | Close to return to the Start Page.

• Click No when asked if you want to save.


STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
Module 3 3-45

3.5 Assigning Member Specifications

• Open the file named Dataset 3_4.std.

Now that we have defined member cross sections and member


orientation, we are ready to move to the next item in the Page
Control.

• Click the General page, and then click the Spec sub-page.

• The Specifications – Whole Structure dialog is used to define


member conditions such as:

• Released or partially-released degrees of freedom at either


end of the member

• Member offsets

• Truss member, cable member, tension-only member or


compression-only member

• Inactive member

• Reduced section properties due to cracking in concrete


members.

• Click on the Beam button in the Specifications-Whole


Structure dialog (from here on we will refer to it simply as the
Specifications dialog).

• The Member Specification dialog opens, and the Release tab is


active by default.

• The operation of the Member Specification dialog remains


consistent regardless of which page is being displayed.

• Clicking the Add button adds the specification to the


model.
STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
3-46 Module 3

• Clicking the Assign button adds the specification to the


model AND assigns the specification to the selected
members.

• Unless one or more members is selected before opening


the Member Specification dialog, the Assign button
remains inactive or “grayed out.”

How to specify member releases:

• There are six degrees of freedom in a structural connection or


support:

• Three translational degrees of freedom - (δx, δy and δz),


and

• Three rotational degrees of freedom - (θx, θy, and θz).

• Member releases are specified about the local axis system.

• FX = axial force

• FY = shear force along the local y-axis

• FZ = shear force along the local z-axis

• MX = torsion

• MY = moment about the local y-axis (the weak axis of a


wide flange beam)

• MZ = moment about the local z-axis (the strong axis of a


wide flange beam)
STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
Module 3 3-47

Figure 3. 15

• By default, all six degrees of freedom are fixed, so initially all


connections are considered to be moment-resisting
connections.

• If one or more of those forces or moments cannot be


transferred by a connection, the force or moment can be
released at the appropriate end of the member in the model.

• Any of the six degrees of freedom at either end of the beam


can be fully or partially-released using the Release page.

• The first step in setting a release is to select either Partial


Moment Release or Release in the Release Type category.

• Based on the setting in the Release Type category, the options


become active in either the Partial Moment Release category
or the Release category, and the options in the other category
are grayed out.

• To specify a full release, set the Release Type category to


Release, and toggle the checkboxes labeled FX, FY, FZ, MX,
MY and MZ in the Release category.

• To specify a spring release, set the Release Type category to


Release, toggle the checkboxes labeled KFX, KFY, KFZ, KMX,
KMY and KMZ in the Release category, and enter the spring
constants for the selected degrees of freedom.

• To specify a Partial Moment Release, set the Release Type


category to Partial Moment Release. Then estimate what
STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
3-48 Module 3

percentage of the full-moment capacity can be resisted by the


connection.

• Enter a decimal value between 0.0 and 1.0 in the MPX, MPY,
and/or MPZ fields to specify the fraction of the full moment
capacity on the connection that is to be released for the
indicated rotational degrees of freedom.

• Alternatively, the MP option is a means of specifying a partial


release for all the 3 moment degrees of freedom (MX, MY and
MZ). Using this option, a single factor is applicable to all
three.

Note that a Partial Moment Release specifies the percentage to


be released, not the percentage to be resisted.

For example, a value of zero means no release, i.e. full


moment restraint. A value of 1.0 means a full release, i.e. no
moment restraint.

A note to this extent has been placed on the Release tab as a


reminder.

• Note that at any end of a member, for any particular degree of


freedom, STAAD.Pro only allows one of the following: full
release, partial release, or spring release. It is not permitted to
apply more than one simultaneously for a given degree of
freedom at a given member end.

How to specify member offsets:

• Click the Offset tab.

• Offset conditions at the ends of members are specified on the


Offset tab in the Member Specification dialog.

In the mathematical model, assumptions are made about the


structure that do not necessarily reflect the actual conditions
on the physical structure. One of these assumptions is
STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
Module 3 3-49

regarding where the START and END locations of members


are.

Beams and columns, modeled as lines, are assumed to meet at


a point in space, whereas in the physical structure, a beam
might be attached at the outer surface of the column flange.

• In the figure below, a beam is shown framing into a column.


If both are wide flange members, the beam stops at the column
flange. This may create a rigid zone at the connection where
very little relative deflection will occur between the beam and
the column within this zone.

Figure 3. 16

• Therefore in the physical structure, the beam will behave more


nearly as though it spans to the column face as opposed to the
column centerline.

• However, in the mathematical model the length of the beam is


treated as though it spans to the centerline of the column.
STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
3-50 Module 3

• The difference between these span lengths (the one in the


mathematical model versus the one in the physical structure)
can be substantial, particularly if the columns have large
sections.

• If the difference in lengths is small, this effect may be able to


be ignored, since the results will only be marginally affected.

• But in the case of a large difference in lengths, the calculated


moment at the midspan of the beam may be significantly
higher than what will actually occur.

• One way to avoid over-designing the beam is by using the


concept of member offsets.

• A member offset is a way to declare that the beam Start and/or


End faces are a certain distance away from the column
centerline.

• It is another way of saying that the region shown shaded in the


figure above is a rigid zone.

• The length of this offset is equal to the distance from the face
of the column flange to the centerline of the column.

• The offset is in the direction of the local x-axis of the beam.

• Member offsets may be modeled in any direction relative to


either the local or the global coordinate system.

• Another example of an offset connection is a situation where


the centerlines of the connected members do not intersect at a
common working point.

• The figure below shows an example where there is an offset of


9 inches {225 mm} between the beam working point and the
brace working point, measured along the column flange.
STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
Module 3 3-51

Figure 3. 17

• In this case the offset could be modeled several ways, but the
easiest would probably be to model the brace with an offset of
9 inches {225 mm} in the negative global Y direction.

• The member offset dimensions shown in the figure above could


be represented in the input file by the following commands:

MEMBER OFFSET

1 START 7.0 0.0 0.0

1 END -6.0 0.0 0.0

2 END -6.0 -9.0 0.0

Figure 3. 18
STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
3-52 Module 3

• Another example that could be modeled using the member


offset option is a beam supporting a slab as shown in the figure
below.

Figure 3. 19

• This arrangement might be modeled as plates and beams that


connect at the same nodal points, with the center of gravity of
the beam offset to accurately model the true geometry.

• Additional information on the Member Offset specification


may be found in Section 5.25 of the STAAD.Pro Technical
Reference manual and in Example 7 in the STAAD.Pro
Examples manual.

• Click the Property Reduction Factors tab.

• This tab provides a method to apply reduced effective section


properties to concrete sections to represent the loss of stiffness
due to cracking.

• The approach follows recommendations in ACI 318-05,


which suggests the use of reduction factors for individual
members.

• Section 10.11.1 of ACI 318-05 provides a list of suggested


reduction factors dependent upon the nature of stresses the
member is subjected to.
STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
Module 3 3-53

• Click the Cable tab.

• This tab is used to declare a member as being a cable.

• Cable members can carry no shear, bending, or torsional


forces,

• This specification requires the user to input either an


Initial TENSION or an Unstressed LENGTH.

Note that the Cable specification does not imply tension-


only. If members are to be considered tension-only, they
must be explicitly defined as such.

• Click the Truss tab.

• This tab can be used to declare a member as being a truss


member.

• The Truss specification has the effect of stating that the


member has no ability to transmit loads through shear,
bending or torsion.

• The Truss specification requires no additional parameters.

• Click the Tension tab or the Compression tab.

• These tabs can be used to create tension-only and


compression-only members, respectively.

• A Compression-only specification has the effect of making


a member inactive under conditions where it would tend to
experience tensile forces.

• A Tension-only specification makes a member inactive


under conditions where it would tend to experience
compressive forces.

These specifications are usually used to overcome certain


design-related code restrictions.
STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
3-54 Module 3

Generally, codes are quite stringent about the KL/r limits


of members subjected to compressive forces. If members
which potentially might fail this requirement are present in
the model, they may be “switched off” with the Tension-
only command to accurately portray their failed status
under such compressive loads.

• A compression-only member will be switched off if it


starts to experience tensile axial forces.

• The tension-only and compression-only specifications


require no additional parameters.

• Click the Inactive tab.

• This tab provides a way to inactivate selected members.

• The Inactive Member specification is ideal for modeling


stages of construction of a structure.

• The full structure is first defined, and members may be


selectively inactivated to account for their “absence” at
particular stages of construction.

• Example 4 in the Examples Manual illustrates the usage of


this option.

• The Inactive specification requires no additional


parameters.

• Click the Fire Proofing tab.

• This tab provides a method to automatically consider the


weight of fireproofing material applied to structural steel.

• Two types of fireproofing configurations are currently


supported – Block Fire Proofing and Contour Fire
Proofing.
STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
Module 3 3-55

• Click the Imperfection tab.

• This tab provides a method to apply a camber or drift value to


a member to be considered for secondary effects.

• Used to compute an additional loading on the selected


imperfect members that are in compression.

• Works in conjunction with an Imperfection Analysis.

Respect is a non dimensional constant used to skip the


camber imperfection calculation if the compressive load is
small or EI is great or length is short. A combination of
these terms is calculated and called EPSILON. If
EPSILON is less than the specified value of RESPECT,
then the imperfection calculation is skipped for that local
direction, for that case, for that member.

EPSILONy = Length * SQRT[ (abs(axial load)) / EIz]

EPSILONz = Length * SQRT[ (abs(axial load)) / EIy]

Member imperfection modifications are only applied to


members that are in compression.

• Close the Member Specification dialog.

• Assume that the goal is to specify a moment release at the left


end of the bottom chord of the truss in the model, where it
joins the column (left end of beam number 22).

• Determine whether the node attached to the column is at the


starting end or the ending end of the beam. See the
commentary below for four ways to do it:

Hover cursor over member and observe green for start at right
node and blue for end at left node at column, or

Click View | Structure Diagrams | Labels , select Beam Ends


in the Beams category, and click Apply,or
STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
3-56 Module 3

Right-click in Main Window, click Labels…, select Beam


Orientation in the Beams category, and click Apply,or

Click on member number 22 to select it. Click the


Geometry tab. The line for member number 22 is highlighted
in the Beams spreadsheet. Note that Node A is indicated as
node 14 and Node B is node 15. Compare the X coordinates of
nodes 14 and 15 in the Nodes spreadsheet to see that member
number 22 starts on the left and ends on the right.

• Double-click member number 22 to activate the member


query. Note that the node numbers are listed in the table in the
center of the Geometry page. They are listed in order; starting
node on top, ending node below it. By observing the X
coordinates, it is easy to see that the member spans from left to
right in the view where the global X-axis points to the right.

• With the Beams dialog still open, note that there is a Releases
category in the lower right corner.

• Click Change Releases At End.

• Make sure that the End radio button is selected in the


Location category of the Member Specification dialog.

• Make sure that the Release radio button is selected under the
Release Type category.

• Click the MX , MY and MZ checkboxes under the Release


category, and then click the Assign button.

• Note that now under the Releases category, MX, MY and MZ


appear next to the End label.

• Click Close.

• If you changed to the Geometry page to check the beam and


node numbers, return to the Spec page by clicking on the
STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
Module 3 3-57

General tab in the Page Control, then click on the Spec sub-
page tab.

• Click in the Main Window to deselect all members.

• Note that a small circle now appears at the ending end of


member number 22. This symbol is a graphic cue to let you
know that there is a release of some type defined there.

• A common problem at this stage is that the blue circle


representing the release appears on top of more than one
member.

• STAAD.Pro has some tools on the View toolbar to help clarify


the release:

• Click the Magnifying Glass icon and then press and hold
the left mouse button to see an enlarged view of an area on the
Main Window.

• Click the Zoom Window icon and then use the left mouse
button to click and drag a rectangular fence around the area to
window in on.

• Note that after windowing in with the Zoom Window tool, the
Magnifying Glass tool remains active.

• By using a combination of Zoom Window and Magnifying


Glass, it should now be possible to verify that the release
indicator circle is on the correct member.

• Click the Magnifying Glass icon again to turn it off, and then

click the Display Whole Structure icon .

• Assume that the webs of the truss are to be modeled as truss


members.

• Click Select | By Group Name…. The Select Groups dialog


opens.
STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
3-58 Module 3

• Click the _WEB group, and then click the Close button.

• Click the Beam… button on the Specifications dialog.

• Click the Truss tab.

Note that the Assign button is active, because the webs were
already selected.

• Click the Assign button.

The truss specification is assigned to all web members.

Also, Member Truss now appears in the Specification – Whole


Structure dialog. This makes the truss specification available
to assign to any other members of the model if necessary.

• Note the checkbox labeled Toggle Specification in the


Specifications dialog.

• When the Toggle Specification checkbox is activated, the


Assignment Method works as a toggle to alternately apply and
remove the assignment of the selected specification.

• This makes it possible to remove a specification from a


member, that is, to alternately toggle the specification on and
off the member by clicking it with the mouse.

• When Toggle Specification is enabled and a specification in


the list is highlighted, clicking on a member the first time
assigns the specification to the member; clicking on it again
removes the specification.

• It is recommended to generally work with the Toggle


Specification option turned off, and to only turn it on when the
function is required. This helps to avoid making unintended
specification changes if a member is clicked for some other
purpose while the Toggle Specification option is still active.

• Select Toggle Specification.


STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
Module 3 3-59

• Ensure that MEMBER TRUSS is selected in the Specification


category of the Specification – Whole Structure dialog.

• Click Use Cursor To Assign in the Assignment Method


category.

• Click the Assign button.

The cursor changes to the special Assign Specification cursor


that looks like the letters “SP” in a circle.

• Click the central vertical web member. Note that the


“Truss” label disappears from the member.

• Click on the Highlight Assigned Geometry checkbox in the


Specification – Whole Structure dialog.

• Note that the central vertical web member is no longer


highlighted, confirming that its truss specification has been
removed.

• Now click on the central vertical web member once more


with the special Assign Specification cursor to restore its truss
specification.

• Turn off the Toggle Specification checkbox when finished


using it.

• A copy of this model is already saved in this state in the


dataset, and is named Dataset 3_5.std.

• Click File | Close to return to the Start Page.

• Click No when asked if you want to save.


STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
3-60 Module 3

3.6 Assigning Supports

• Open the file named Dataset 3_5.std.

• Click the General page, and then click the Support sub-page.

• The Supports – Whole Structure dialog (we will refer to it


from here on as simply the Supports dialog) is used to define
support or boundary conditions for a structure.

• Click the Create button in the Supports dialog.

• The Create Support dialog offers separate tabs for each type of
support that is available.

Types of Supports:

Fixed:

• Click the Fixed tab.

• At a fixed support, all degrees of freedom are restrained to


prevent any translation or any rotation.

• On the Fixed page of the Create Support dialog, the


controls for the six degrees of freedom are “grayed out.”

Pinned:

• Click the Pinned tab.

• At a pinned support, the three translational degrees of


freedom are restrained, but the three rotational degrees of
freedom are not.

Fixed But:

• Click the Fixed But tab.


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Module 3 3-61

• A Fixed But support provides checkboxes to individually


control the fixity or release of the 3 translational and 3
rotational degree of freedom.

• In this dialog, F stands for “force”, corresponding to


translation and M stands for “moment” corresponding to
rotation.

• A Fixed But support provides the ability to assign a spring


constant to any of the six degrees of freedom in lieu of full
fixity or full release.

• Note that if a degree of freedom is fully released by


toggling the checkbox on, the associated Define Spring
field becomes inactive, or “grayed out.”

One example of the use of the Fixed But support type


would be to model a roller support that slides in the X
direction but does not rotate. This type of support is
modeled by toggling on the FX checkbox. This has the
effect of fixing rotation in all directions and fixing
translation in all directions except X, i.e. it is released for
translation in the X direction.

• Any combination of fully or partially released translational


and/or rotational degrees of freedom is permitted.

Enforced and Enforced But:

• Click the Enforced But tab.

• Perform the same basic functions as the Fixed and Fixed


But supports.

• Different from Fixed and Fixed But in the following ways:

• First, the Fixed and Fixed But supports cannot handle


Support Displacement loading if plates and/or solids are
present in the model. The Enforced and Enforced But
supports were introduced to handle these conditions.
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3-62 Module 3

• Second, the Fixed and Fixed But supports restrain certain


degrees of freedom when the global stiffness matrix is
assembled. By contrast, the Enforced and Enforced But
supports actually maintain all degrees of freedom as active
in the global stiffness matrix. It just assigns springs with
infinitely high stiffness to the supports that are supposed
to be restrained in certain directions.

• If a model does not include any support displacement


loads for plates or solids, a Fixed or Fixed But support
offers faster calculation speed.

• Since the program needs to include only those degrees of


freedom that are unrestrained, (restrained d.o.f is known to
have zero displacement, and hence need not be
considered), the stiffness matrix will be smaller.

• If the model is large, there may be significant reduction in


time required to perform the analysis.

Multilinear Spring:

• Click the Multilinear Spring tab.

• Provides the ability to model situations where the spring


constant varies, depending on the magnitude of the
deflection.

• As an example, consider a cantilever beam that can deflect


only a limited distance before it encounters an obstruction,
such as another structure or a slab or plate.

Figure 3. 20
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Module 3 3-63

• As load is applied to the end of the cantilever in the


negative Y direction, it deflects downward.

• For a deflection between 0 and δ, the magnitude of the


displacement is equal to the applied force divided by some
spring stiffness constant K1, where K1 represents the
amount of force required to displace the “spring” a given
unit of length.

• Once the deflection exceeds δ, the displacement is dictated


by some new spring constant K2, where K2 represents the
higher stiffness of the supporting material.

• In other words, once the displacement exceeds δ, it takes a


much larger force to achieve an additional unit of
deflection of the beam.

Another example of a situation that can be modeled


effectively with the Multilinear Spring option is a pile,
where the resistance varies in a manner that is not linear
with displacement.

• The Multilinear Spring is defined by entering values of


displacement versus spring constant in the Multilinear
Spring page of the Create Support dialog.

• Up to 10 values of δ vs. K can be entered in the dialog.

Foundation:

• Click the Foundation tab.

• A Foundation type of support is also available to model


the effect of soil acting as a spring.

• An example of where it would be useful is in modeling the


behavior of a slab on grade where the support for the
structure is the soil itself.

Foundation Analysis and Design by Joseph E. Bowles


(McGraw Hill, Inc.), includes a discussion of the Modulus
STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
3-64 Module 3

of Subgrade Reaction, a quantity that specifies the amount


of force required to displace a unit area of soil by a unit
distance.

• Modulus of Subgrade Reaction has units of


(Force/Area)/Displacement, e.g. kip/ft 2 /ft {kN/m 2 /m}.

• In other words, the behavior of the soil is analogous to that


of a spring.

• In a model, the spring constant for the soil at a particular


node can be determined by multiplying the subgrade
modulus by the influence area of the node in question.

Figure 3. 21

• For irregularly-shaped or large slabs with many nodes,


computing the influence area by hand for each node can
become quite tedious and time-consuming.

• This is where the Foundation support can be useful.


STAAD.Pro can calculate all the tributary areas and derive
the spring constants automatically.

• The Foundation support can also be used to manually


apply spring constants to discrete spread footings by
entering the dimensions of the footing and the Subgrade
Modulus.
STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
Module 3 3-65

• STAAD.Pro provides the ability to have Elastic Mat and


Plate Mat foundations behave as compression only
springs.

• Also, there is an option to include in the output file the


area that has been used in the calculation of the spring
stiffness of each joint used when defining a Plate Mat or
Elastic Mat foundation.

• For more information, see examples 23 and 27 in the


STAAD.Pro Examples Manual.

Inclined:

• Click the Inclined tab.

• The Inclined Support resists displacements along user-


defined directions that are not constrained to be parallel to
the global axes.

• An example of the application of an Inclined Support


would be the cooling tower shown below.

When the cooling tower experiences temperature loads, the


force at the supports is radial and circumferential, and not
along a global direction. The inclined support is well
suited for this situation.
STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
3-66 Module 3

Figure 3. 22

• In all other respects, the inclined support is the same as


any other support.

Tension/Compression Only Springs:

• Click the Tension/Compression Only Springs tab.

• As the name suggests, the assignment of this type of


support permits only one type of reaction force to develop,
either tension or compression, in the selected global
direction(s).

• The note in the dialog is a reminder that “This support


requires the earlier assignment of a spring support to the
node to which this support would be assigned.”

• In other words, the Tension/Compression Only Springs


support assignment can be thought of as a modification to
an existing Fixed But support where a spring constant has
been defined.

• Note that the assignment of Tension/Compression Only


Springs triggers an iterative solution if, after any of the
cycles of analysis, the direction of the force in the spring
is in the “wrong” direction. If this is detected, then the
STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
Module 3 3-67

support will be removed from that direction and a new


analysis will be performed.

Additional information on the use of the Supports dialog


can be found in the STAAD Graphical Environment
section of the online help. Clicking on the Help button in
the Supports dialog takes you to the appropriate section in
the online help manual. This feature is known as context-
sensitive help.

The method of assigning supports to the structure is very


similar to the method used to assign member properties and
specifications. Add the supports to the Supports dialog, and
then assign them to the structure.

• Assume that the support on the left side of the model is to


receive a Fixed support, and the support on the right is to
receive a Pinned support.

• Click the Fixed tab again.

Note that an alternate way to access the Support dialogs is to


click Commands | Support Specifications | Fixed… from the
Menu Bar.

• Click the Add button.

The Fixed support now appears as “Support 2” in the list of


supports at the top of the Supports dialog.

• Click the Create button in the Supports dialog.

• Click the Pinned tab, and then click the Add button.

The Pinned support will now be included as “Support 3” in the


list of supports in the Supports dialog.

• Click the Fixed Support (S2) in the Supports dialog.

• Click the Use Cursor to Assign radio button under the


Assignment Method category.
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3-68 Module 3

• Click the Assign button, and then click on the bottom of the
left column.

The fixed support symbol appears at the bottom of the column.

• Click the Pinned support (S3) in the Supports dialog.

• Click the bottom of the right column in the model.

The pinned support symbol appears at the bottom of the


column.

• Click the Assigning button to turn off the assign mode.

It is good practice to turn off assign modes like this to avoid


assigning properties to the model unintentionally.

• In addition to the Fixed and Pinned supports, there is another


item called No support in the Supports dialog.

• This option is used to remove a support that has already been


assigned.

• Unlike the Toggle Specification option discussed earlier, or the


Toggle Load option coming up in the next section, there is no
Toggle Support command.

• To remove a support from the model, the No support option is


assigned to a particular node by any of the available
Assignment Methods.

• A copy of this model is already saved in this state in the


dataset, and is named Dataset 3_6.std.

• Click File | Close to return to the Start Page.

• Click No when asked if you want to save.


STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
Module 3 3-69

3.7 Assigning Loads

• Open the file named Dataset 3_6.std.

• Click the General page and then click the Load & Definition
sub-page.

• The following separate load cases are to be created:

1. Member load (self-weight).

2. Uniformly distributed live load of 2.0 kip/ft {30 kN/m}


acting downward on the bottom chord.

3. Transverse load due to wind forces in the X direction.

4. Load combination: dead load plus live load plus wind load
(LC1 + LC2 + LC3)

• Click on the New button in the Load & Definition dialog.

• The Create New Definitions/Load Cases/Load Items dialog


opens. This will hereafter be referred to simply as the Create
New Definitions dialog.

• The Create New Definitions dialog contains 4 tabs –


Definitions, Load Case, Load Items, and Load Envelopes.

Definitions:

• Click the Definitions tab.

• This tab contains the options used to generate the


“DEFINE” block of data in the input file.

• The “DEFINE” block is required to create Code-specified


load cases such as wind, seismic, and snow.
STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
3-70 Module 3

• It is also required to generate moving load cases, time


history load cases, and pushover loads.

• The command syntax for these cases is explained in


section 5.31 of the STAAD.Pro Technical Reference
manual.

Load Case:

• Click the Load Case tab.

• This tab contains the dialog used to initiate a new load


case (primary load, moving load, or load combination) and
assign it a case number.

Load Items:

• Click the Load Items tab.

• This tab contains the dialogs used to add loading data to


load cases.

Load Envelopes:

• Click the Load Envelopes tab.

• This tab contains the dialog used to create load envelopes.

• These envelopes can later be used for Post Processing.

Creating the First Load Case:

• Click the Load Case tab once again.

• Leave the Number field set to 1 on the Primary page.


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Module 3 3-71

• Enter Dead Load, in the Title field.

• The Loading Type list is used to associate the load case with
one of the Building Code definitions of Dead, Live, Wind,
etc., for the purpose of automatically generating load
combinations.

• The following Loading Types are available:

• Dead • Traffic
• Live • Temperature
• Roof Live • Imperfection
• Wind • Accidental
• Seismic • Flood
• Snow • Ice
• Fluids • Wind on Ice
• Soil • Crane Hook
• Rain Water/Ice • Mass
• Ponding • Gravity
• Dust • Push

• Select Dead from the Loading Type list.

For this exercise, the automatic load combination generator


will not be used. So, there is no need to associate the load
case with any of these Loading Types. However, there is no
harm in doing so, either.

• Click Add followed by the Close button.

• Note that the load case number and name now appear in the
list at the right end of the View toolbar at the top of the screen.
Up until now, this field has been empty.
STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
3-72 Module 3

Figure 3. 23

• Note also that the Dead Load case now appears in the Load
Cases Details category of the Load & Definition dialog at the
right side of the screen.

• Now that the Dead Load case has been created, loads can be
applied to the model and assigned to this case.

• The only load that will be applied to the Dead Load case is the
self-weight of all of the members.

• At this point, all of the parameters necessary to calculate the


self-weight have already been defined (density, cross-sectional
area and the length of each member).

• Click on 1:Dead Load in the Loads & Definition dialog to


select it.
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Module 3 3-73

Figure 3. 24

• Click the Add button.

• The Add New: Load Items dialog contains all of the available
load types that can be defined. The Selfweight Load item is
automatically selected.

• The default Direction parameter is Y and the default Factor is


-1. These parameters indicate an unfactored load acting in
the negative global Y direction.

• Click the Add button.

• Click the Close button to dismiss this dialog.


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3-74 Module 3

• The Command Tree at the top right hand side should now show
the “SELFWEIGHT Y -1” entry under the Dead Load case.

• Currently, the small graphic in front of the SELFWEIGHT Y -


1 expression includes a question mark. This is an indication
that STAAD.Pro is expecting this load to be assigned to
specific members.

• Click on SELFWEIGHT Y -1 in the load list in the Load &


Definition dialog.

• Click the Assign To View option in the Assignment Method


category of the Load & Definition dialog, and then click the
Assign button.

• Click Yes in the pop-up dialog confirming the assignment.

• Click the mouse anywhere in the Main Window to deselect all


of the members.

Note that the small graphic in front of the SELFWEIGHT Y -1


expression no longer includes a question mark. This indicates
that the load has been applied to at least one member.

Creating the Second Load Case:

• The second load case will consist of a distributed live load of


1.5 kips per foot {20 kN/m} applied to the bottom chord of the
truss.

• Click on Load Cases Details in the Load & Definition dialog,


and then click the Add… button.

• The load case number automatically increments to 2 in the Add


New: Load Cases dialog.

• Select Live as the Loading Type.

• Note that the checkbox below the Loading Type becomes


active when the Loading Type is set to Live. This controls
STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
Module 3 3-75

whether or not STAAD.Pro is to consider the live load


reduction permitted by the Building Code.

Some things to remember about Live Load Reduction in


STAAD.Pro:

• Only the rules for live load reduction on Floors have been
implemented; not the rules for Roofs.

• Only the rules for live load reduction on Beams have been
implemented; not the rules for Columns.

• Some codes prevent live load reduction for buildings in


Group A occupancies. In STAAD.Pro, there is no direct
method for conveying to the program that the occupancy
type is Group A. So, it is the user’s responsibility to
decide when it is or is not appropriate to use the live load
reduction feature based on this code provision.
STAAD.Pro does not check this condition by itself.

• Some codes place limits on the amount of reduction that


may be applied to structures of certain other use groups
such as garages. Again, in STAAD.Pro, there is no direct
method for conveying the occupancy of the structure to the
program. The user responsibility to decide when it is or is
not appropriate to use the live load reduction feature based
on this code provision. STAAD.Pro does not check this
condition by itself.

• Live Load Reduction is only applied to the FLOOR LOAD


or ONEWAY LOAD types.

• Leave the live load reduction checkbox unselected for the


purposes of this exercise.

• Enter Live Load in the Title field.

• Click the Add button, and then click Close.

• Click on 2:Live Load in the Load & Definition dialog, and


then click Add….
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3-76 Module 3

• Click the Member Load option in the Add New:Load Items


dialog, and then select the Uniform Force option.

A diagram is provided within the dialog to graphically


describe the meanings of the parameters available to define a
Uniform Force.

• The W1 parameter is the load intensity.

• The parameters d1 and d2 allow the load to be applied only on


a portion of the beam (d1 and d2 are both distances measured
from the starting end of the member).

• The parameter d3 can be used to specify a load that is offset


from the shear center.

• The Direction category is used to specify the direction of the


load. X, Y, Z indicate the direction in local coordinates; GX,
GY, GZ indicate the loads in global coordinates; PX, PY, PZ
indicate the loads along the projected length of the member in
the corresponding global direction.

• Note that when loads are indicated to be along the projected


length of the member, the parameters d1, d2 and d3 are still
measured along the length of the member and not along the
projected length.

• If parameters d1 and d2 are left at their default value of zero,


the load will be applied along the full length of the member.

• Additional information is available in Section 5.32.2 of the


STAAD.Pro Technical Reference manual.

• Enter -2{-30} in the W1 field.

The value is negative because the load should act downward,


that is, in the negative global Y direction.

• Leave the parameters d1, d2 and d3 set to their default values


of 0 so the load will act at the shear center along the entire
length of the beam.
STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
Module 3 3-77

• Click the GY radio button under the Direction category.

• Click the Add button followed by the Close button.

• The expression UNI GY -2 kip/ft {UNI GY -30 kN/m} is listed


in the Load & Definition dialog.

• As with the selfweight load earlier, the small graphic in front


of the UNI GY -2 kip/f t {UNI GY -30 kN/m} expression
includes a question mark indicating that STAAD.Pro is
expecting this load to be assigned to specific members.

• Click on UNI GY -2 {UNI GY -30} in the load list in the Load


& Definition dialog.

• Click Select | By Group Name….

• Click _BOTC, and then click Close.

• Click the Assign to Selected Beams option in the Assignment


Method category of the Load & Definition dialog, and then
click the Assign button.

• Click Yes in the pop-up dialog confirming the assignment.

• Click the Loads icon on the Structure toolbar to view the


uniformly distributed load on the bottom chord.

Creating the Third Load Case:

The third load case represents transverse loads caused by


wind.

• Click the New button in the Load & Definition dialog. The
Create New Definitions dialog appears.

• Click the Load Case tab, and ensure that the Primary type is
selected in the left-hand portion of the dialog.

The load case number automatically increments to 3.


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3-78 Module 3

• Select Wind as the Loading Type.

• Enter Transverse Wind Load along GX in the Title field.

• Click the Add button, and then click Close.

• Click on 3: Transverse Wind Load along GX in the Load &


Definition dialog, and then click Add….

• Click the Nodal Load option in the Add New:Load Items


dialog, and ensure that the Node option is selected.

• Enter 1.2 kips {5 kN} in the Fx field, then click Add followed
by the Close button.

FX 1.2 kip {FX 5 kN} now appears in the Load & Definition
dialog.

• Click on the FX 1.2 kip {FX 5 kN} expression in the Load &
Definition dialog.

• Click Use Cursor to Assign in the Assignment Method.

• Click the Assign button.

The text in the button will change to “Assigning” as before,


and the cursor graphic will change to the special assign nodal
loads cursor.

• Click on each of the six nodes on the left (windward) top


chord of the truss, from eave to ridge.

• Click the Assigning button to toggle the Assign mode off


when finished.

• Click the New… button in the Load & Definition dialog.

• Note that there is a Wind item on the Definitions tab of the


Create New Definitions dialog. We did not use this item when
we created the “Transverse Wind Load along GX” load case.
STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
Module 3 3-79

• To clarify, the Wind item on the Definitions tab is used to


enter the parameters necessary to calculate code-specified
wind pressures.

• This method of generating wind loads on a structure would be


useful in a situation where there are influence areas such as
glass panels taking wind pressure and transferring it to the
building frame.

• When this is the case, the Wind item can be used to instruct
STAAD.Pro to automatically calculate wind pressures
according to code, and to create the loading condition by
applying the pressures to the influence areas on the structure
(see Example 15 in the STAAD.Pro Examples manual).

• In the case of the current example, the wind loads were applied
as nodal loads, assuming that the appropriate load magnitudes
had already been calculated by other methods.

• Click Close to dismiss the Create New Definitions dialog.

• Load icons should be visible on the screen because the Load


sub-page of the General page is currently active.

• Temporarily click to the Support sub-page, and note that the


load icons disappear.

• It is possible to view loads while on other pages like this.

• To see the load icons on the screen:

• Right-click the mouse inside the Main Window and select


the Labels… command from the pop-up menu.

• Click the Loads and Results tab in the Diagrams dialog.

• Click OK to acknowledge the warning box that Force


results are not available.

• Click the Loads checkbox, and ensure that the Show Load
Arrow checkbox is also selected in the Loads category,
and then click Apply.
STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
3-80 Module 3

The load arrows for each of the nodal loads should now be
displayed.

• To see the load values:

• Click back to the Labels tab.

• Click the Load Values checkbox in the Loading Display


Options category, and then click OK.

The load values will be displayed on the structure.

• Click back to the Load sub-page in the Page Control.

• Note the Toggle Load checkbox in the Load & Definition


dialog just above the Assignment Method area.

• This checkbox enables an option to toggle any of the loads on


or off.

• To see this effect:

• Double-click Load Case Details to expand the tree.

• Click the + symbol in front of 3:Transverse Wind Load


along GX.

• Click FX 1.2 kip {FX 5 kN}.

• Click the Toggle Load checkbox.

• Click Use Cursor To Assign in the Assignment Method area,


and then click the Assign button.

• Click on the node at the ridge of the truss, and note that the
load is removed from that one node.

• Click the node again to restore the load.

• When Toggle Load is turned on, clicking on an entity will


alternately assign and remove the load.
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Module 3 3-81

• Click the Toggle Load checkbox again to deselect this option.

• Click the Assigning button to exit assignment mode.

• With the expression FX 1.2 kip {FX 5 kN} still selected, click
the Edit… button on the Load & Definition dialog.

• The Edit dialog opens, providing the ability to edit the


magnitudes of the components in that particular load.

• The column headed with the check symbol provides a


checkbox for every node in the model that has been assigned
the particular load. All of these checkboxes are checked by
default.

• Removing the check from one of these checkboxes will remove


the particular load from the corresponding node.

• The column headed with the light bulb symbol also provides a
checkbox for every node in the model that has been assigned
the particular load. All of these checkboxes are unchecked by
default.

• Placing a check in any of the “light bulb” checkboxes will


highlight the corresponding node in the Main Window. This
helps to establish which node is which without having to relate
to node numbers.

• Click the Close button.

• The Delete… button can be used to delete a selected load.


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3-82 Module 3

Creating the Combination Load Case:

The next load case is a combination of the three existing


primary load cases.

This will create a load case that combines the analysis results
for the dead, live and wind loads.

• Click the New… button in the Load & Definition dialog.

• Click the Load Case tab, and then click the Combination
option.

The Define Combinations item is selected by default.

The Load Number is automatically incremented to 4.

• Enter LC1 + LC2 + LC3 in the Name field.

• Ensure that the Type category is set to Normal.

• The General Format category shows how the individual


components will be combined. For the Normal Type, the
combination will consist of the sum of the individual load
components, each multiplied by a factor.

• The Default factor is currently set to 1, which will be


acceptable for the purposes of this example.

• All three of the existing load cases are currently listed in the
Available Load Cases box.

• Click the double-right arrow button to include each of them


with the Default load factor of 1.

All three load cases get moved from the Available Load Cases
box to the Load Combination Definition box, with factors of 1.

Note that load factors could be varied by load case.

To apply different load factors for each load case, enter the
appropriate factor in the Default field, select the corresponding
STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
Module 3 3-83

load case, and then click the single-right arrow. Then repeat
the process for the remaining load cases in the combination.

• Click the Add button, and slide the Create New Definitions
dialog out of the way to see that the load combination now
appears in the Load & Definition dialog with the reference
number 4.

• It has a blue graphic with the letter “C” for “combination” to


differentiate it from the load cases, which have a graphic of
the letter “L” in a box in the Load Case Details list.

• Note also that this fourth load case (the newly created load
combination) is also available in the load case list on the View
toolbar.

• Refer back to the Create New Definitions dialog for some


additional information on load combination options.

• Normally the analysis results of individual load cases are


combined algebraically. However, there are instances where it
may be necessary to use other combination methods.

• One example of another combination method is the SRSS, or


Square Root of the Sum of Squares method. This method of
combining loads is often used in the nuclear power industry.

• STAAD.Pro provides the SRSS combination type for these


applications. In fact, STAAD.Pro actually provides the ability
to combine loads in a mixed algebraic and SRSS combination.

• The mixed combination could be created by selecting the SRSS


combination type, and then activating and deactivating the
checkbox labeled “SRSS Component” as necessary.

• When the “SRSS Component” checkbox is activated, the


selected load cases are added to the load combination in the
Square Root of the Sum of Squares method. When the “SRSS
Component” checkbox is deactivated, the selected load cases
are added to the load combination in the basic algebraic
format.
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• The last form of Load Combination is the Absolute Value


method. When ABS is the selected combination method, the
absolute values of the individual load components are
multiplied by the factor in the Default field and then combined
algebraically.

• These tools allow load combinations such as:

or

or

• The SRSS or ABS options will not be used for this example
problem.

• More information on combining load case analysis results is


provided in Section 5.35 of the Technical Reference manual.

• Click Close to dismiss the Create New Definitions dialog.

• Keep the current model open for reference in the next section.
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3.8 The Material Page

• Click the Material sub-page of the General page.

• The Material – Whole Structure dialog opens and lists the


common materials that are available to assign to members.

• All of the members in the Main Window indicate that they are
of the Steel material.

• The Create button in the Material – Whole Structure dialog is


available to create a new custom material such as plastic,
fiberglass, or a composite material when necessary.

• It won’t be necessary to create any new materials for this


example exercise, but it is good to note that it is there in case
it is needed in the future.

• A copy of this model is already saved in this state in the


dataset, and is named Dataset 3_7.std.

• Click File | Close to return to the Start Page.

• Click No when asked if you want to save.


STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
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-End of Module-
4-1

Analyzing the Model

Module 4
The following topics are included in this module.

4.1 Preparing for the Analysis................................................................. 2 


4.2 Performing the Analysis................................................................... 10 
4.3 How Does STAAD.Pro Generate Results?.................................... 11 
4.4 Viewing the Output File.................................................................. 13 
STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
4-2 Module 4

4.1 Preparing for the Analysis

• Open the file named Dataset 4_1.std.

This Module begins at the point where all of the steps needed
to create and load a complete model have been performed.

The next step is to perform the analysis, in order to obtain the


forces, moments, displacements, support reactions, etc.

STAAD.Pro offers various types of analysis methods. The


basic type of analysis, known as a linear-elastic analysis, will
be performed on this model.

This Module demonstrates how to instruct STAAD.Pro to


perform a specific type of analysis, and to provide certain
types of output.

The general workflow process continues to move from top to


bottom in the Page Control area. The Analysis/Print page is
the next page below the General page.

• Click the Analysis/Print tab.

Three sub-page tabs are displayed in the Page Control area:


Pre-Print, Analysis and Post-Print. The Analysis sub-page is
active by default.

A dialog labeled Analysis-Whole Structure appears in the Data


Area and the Analysis/Print Commands dialog pops up on the
screen.

• The Analysis/Print Commands dialog contains the following


tabs:

• Perform Analysis – active by default

• P-Delta Analysis

• Perform Cable Analysis


STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
Module 4 4-3

• Perform Pushover Analysis

• Change

• Perform Direct Analysis

• Perform Imperfection Analysis

• Perform Buckling Analysis

• The Perform Analysis tab provides access to the standard


linear-elastic analysis method.

• The other analysis methods are advanced topics that are not
covered in this Module.

• The Perform Analysis page contains various print options.

• No Print – none of the Print Options will be included in


the output file.

• Load Data – includes an interpretation of all the load data


in the output file.

• Statics Check –includes a report in the output file that will


provide, for each load case:

• The total load acting on the structure.

• The forces in the X, Y, and Z directions.

• The moments about the X, Y and Z axes acting at the


origin.

• A support reaction summary.

• The maximum displacements in the model.

• The maximum translation in the X, Y and Z directions.

• The maximum rotations about the X, Y and Z axes.


STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
4-4 Module 4

In a concise form the Statics Check provides an


equilibrium check and a maximum displacement summary.

The Statics Check output can be used to compare the total


loading to the total reactions. These two quantities should
be equal in magnitude and opposite in sense. If they are
not, there is a problem in the analysis.

Do not confuse the Statics Check option with the Statics


Load option directly below it.

• Statics Load –includes an equilibrium check at every joint


in the structure, instead of the concise check for only
support reactions versus applied loading.

• Mode Shapes – includes a report of frequencies and modes


when a dynamic analysis is performed.

• Both – equivalent to selecting Load Data and Statics


Check.

• All –includes all available Print Options in the output file.

• Click the Statics Check option, and then click the Add
button.

This adds a line at the end of the STAAD.Pro input file that
instructs the program to perform an analysis and to include in
the output file the information listed above in the description
of the Statics Check option.

• The order of commands in the STAAD.Pro input file is very


important.

• Note the checkbox labeled After Current in the lower left-hand


corner of the Analysis/Print Commands dialog.

• This checkbox influences the location where a new command


will be inserted into the STAAD.Pro input file.
STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
Module 4 4-5

• It refers to the currently selected line in the Command Tree


shown in the Analysis – Whole Structure dialog in the Data
Area.

• If left unchecked, a new command will always be added to the


end of the STAAD.Pro input file.

For instance, a Perform Analysis command must precede a


Check Code command in the input file.

Assume a Check Code command was inadvertently placed in


the input file without a preceding Perform Analysis command.

If STAAD.Pro adds new commands to the end of the input file


by default, how could a Perform Analysis command be inserted
above the line containing the Check Code command?

This is where the After Current checkbox is useful.

• To demonstrate, click the Load Data radio button on the


Perform Analysis page of the Analysis/Print Commands dialog,
and then click Add.

• Note that the new command PERFORM ANALYSIS PRINT


LOAD DATA is inserted just above the FINISH line in the
input file by default.

• Now click the Close button to dismiss the dialog.

• Double-click the line that starts with LOAD 2... in the


Analysis – Whole Structure dialog.

That folder expands to reveal its contents.

• Double-click the line that says MEMBER LOAD.

• Click on the line that says UNI GY -2{UNI GY -30}. It


becomes highlighted to indicate that this is now the “current”
line.

• Click the Define Commands button.


STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
4-6 Module 4

• Click the Both radio button.

• This time, click the After Current checkbox to activate it,


and then click Add, followed by Close.

• The new command, PERFORM ANALYSIS PRINT BOTH, is


inserted after the currently selected line in the input file.

• These commands were only added to demonstrate the function


of the After Current option. They should not be left in the
input file.

• Right-click the line that says PERFORM ANALYSIS PRINT


BOTH.

• Click Delete Command in the pop-up menu, and then confirm


by clicking Yes.

Note that the command disappears from the input file.

• Right-click the line that says PERFORM ANALYSIS PRINT


LOAD DATA, and delete that line, too.

• Leave the command that says PERFORM ANALYSIS PRINT


STATICS CHECK.

• Click the Pre-Print sub-page tab in the Page Control on the


left side of the screen, and then click the Define Commands…
button in the Pre Analysis Print – Whole Structure dialog.

The Analysis/Print Commands dialog opens. Note the


Analysis/Print Commands dialog has different options when it
is accessed from the Pre-Print sub-page than when it is
accessed from the Analysis sub-page.

• This dialog is used to include in the output file certain items


related to the input data.

• Click the Material Properties tab, click the Add button, and
then click Close.
STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
Module 4 4-7

This places a command in the input file requesting


STAAD.Pro to print the material properties of members in the
output file.

• Note that the command appears in the Pre Analysis Print –


Whole Structure dialog, and that it has a question mark graphic
in front of the command. This indicates that the command has
not yet been assigned to any members.

• Click the PRINT MATERIAL PROPERTIES command in


the Pre Analysis Print – Whole Structure dialog.

• Click the Assign To View radio button in the Assignment


Method category, and then click the Assign button.

• Click Yes in the pop-up dialog to confirm the assignment.

• All members in the Main Window become highlighted,


indicating that the command was applied to every member in
the model.

Note that even if no Pre Analysis Print commands were issued,


STAAD.Pro will still echo the input data in the output file.

The Pre Analysis Print commands are provided to access


information in a nice tabular format.

• Now, click the Post-Print sub-page tab in the Page Control on


the left side of the screen, and then click the Define
Commands button.

Another Analysis/Print Commands dialog opens with a large


number of post-analysis printing options available.

• Some of the available options to place in the output file


include analysis results, joint displacements, support reactions,
member forces, member section forces (all 6 forces at 1/8th
intervals along the member length), member stresses, etc.

• Click the Analysis Results tab, and then click Add followed
by Close.
STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
4-8 Module 4

The Print Analysis Results command does not need to be


assigned to any specific member. It automatically is assigned
to every member in the structure. By adding this command, all
displacements, forces, and reactions will now be included in
the output file.

• The PRINT ANALYSIS RESULTS command now appears in


the input file in the Post Analysis Print – Whole Structure
dialog.

• Note that it is always possible to come back later, add more


analysis/print commands, and re-run the analysis.

In addition, there are other methods of obtaining analysis


results beside the output file.

For example, the Post Processor, which is covered in detail in


another module, offers a variety of ways to view results
graphically.

It is also used to create customized reports that can include


information in both tabular and graphical format.

• The commands in the Post Analysis-Whole Structure dialog


now include:

PERFORM ANALYSIS PRINT STATICS CHECK


PRINT MATERIAL PROPERTIES
PRINT ANALYSIS RESULTS
FINISH

• Note that when the command list is viewed from the Post
Analysis-Whole Structure dialog, most of the commands are
“grayed out”, and only the PRINT ANALYSIS RESULTS
command is in bold text with a green checkmark.

• The other items are grayed out to indicate that they cannot be
modified from the current location in the Page Control. Edits
to those items require moving to a different page in the Page
Control first.
STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
Module 4 4-9

For example, if it is necessary to modify the edit list of


members for the PRINT MATERIAL PROPERTIES command,
it requires clicking on the Pre-Print sub-page first. Then the
PRINT MATERIAL PROPERTIES command would be in bold
text, indicating that it is accessible to modify.

• A copy of this model is already saved in this state in the


dataset, and is named Dataset 4_2.std.

• Click File | Close to return to the Start Page.

• Click No when asked if you want to save.


STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
4-10 Module 4

4.2 Performing the Analysis

• Open the file named Dataset 4_2.std.

Now it is time to actually perform the analysis.

• Click Analyze | Run Analysis….

• A dialog labeled STAAD Analysis and Design displays a series


of messages as the analysis proceeds.

While the analysis is in progress, a button labeled Abort is


provided in the lower right corner. It can be used to stop the
processing and abort the run.

In the case of this example model, the processing time is so


short, that it may be difficult to see the Abort button before it
changes to the Done button.

• When the analysis is complete, STAAD.Pro displays the


message: “End STAAD.Pro Run…” and reports the total
processing time.

• Three options are presented in the lower left corner of the


dialog:

• View Output File

• Go to Post Processing Mode

• Stay in Modeling Mode

• Click the View Output File radio button, and then click
Done.

• The STAAD Analysis and Design dialog is dismissed and the


output file opens in the STAAD Output Viewer.

• Keep the STAAD Output Viewer window open for reference in


the next section.
STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
Module 4 4-11

4.3 How Does STAAD.Pro Generate Results?

• In a linear elastic analysis, a fundamental equation is used to


generate the results:

[K] {u} = {P}

• It states that the stiffness K of the structure multiplied by the


displacement vector u must be equal to the applied loading
vector P in order to satisfy the requirement that the structure is
in a state of equilibrium.

• The stiffness of a structure is a composition of the individual


stiffnesses of each member and each degree of freedom in the
structure.

The simplest case of this concept, a single member with a


single degree of freedom, can be illustrated by considering a
weight suspended at the end of a spring of stiffness K.

Figure 4. 1

The weight applies a load to the spring, causing it to deflect a


distance δ as shown in the figure above.

In this particular example, it is easy to solve for the deflection


delta. However, even when looking at only a single beam in a
STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
4-12 Module 4

three-dimensional structure model, the problem immediately


becomes more complicated.

Each beam has six degrees of freedom at each end of the beam;
three translational degrees of freedom and three rotational
degrees of freedom.

So there are twelve degrees of freedom for each beam element,


and each degree of freedom has its own stiffness associated
with it.

There are also coupling effects which have to be taken into


account. For instance, when one portion of the structure
pushes on another portion, the second portion pushes back, and
when one end of a beam moves, the other end moves too, etc…

• All of these stiffnesses must be assembled into a stiffness


matrix.

• The magnitudes of the stiffness factors are known.

The stiffnesses are a function of member properties, material


properties, member orientation, beta angles, etc.

• The load values are also known.

• The only unknown values are the displacements.


STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
Module 4 4-13

4.4 Viewing the Output File

• During the analysis, an output file is produced containing


results, warnings and messages associated with errors if any.

• The output file has the extension .ANL and may be viewed
using the STAAD Output Viewer.

• Use the scroll bar to scroll down through the report.

• The first section displays any job information that was entered
in the Job Info dialog, followed by the input data in a format
very similar to the way it appears in the input file.

• Below that is a list of PROBLEM STATISTICS: number of


joints, members and elements, supports, load cases, etc.

• Following the statistics is information associated with the


Statics Check requested with the PRINT STATICS CHECK
command.

• The Statics Check was requested in order to verify that the


structure is in equilibrium for the various load cases.

• For each primary load case, the Statics Check report provides:

• Summary of total applied loads for all 6 degrees of


freedom, with moments calculated about the origin of the
coordinate system (0, 0, 0).

• Summary of total reactions from the supports of the


structure, with moments calculated about the origin of the
coordinate system (0, 0, 0).

• Maximum displacements (3 translations and 3 rotations) in


the structure induced by this load case.

• To check equilibrium for a given load case, verify that each of


the 3 applied forces and 3 applied moments is equal in
STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
4-14 Module 4

magnitude and opposite in sign to the 3 reaction forces and 3


reaction moments.

• A failure to achieve equilibrium could imply that the analysis


results (for a linear elastic analysis) were erroneous.

Factors such as instability conditions or improperly applied


loads can cause the equilibrium check to fail.

• It is also important to examine the maximum displacements for


two reasons:

• First, to verify that the displacements seem reasonable and


do not indicate extreme deflections that could indicate a
modeling error, an instability, or a drastically
disproportionate member stiffness somewhere in the
model.

• Second, to simply verify that the deformations are within


tolerable limits.

• Following the statics check is the material properties


information for members 1 through 35.

• The next block of data is the analysis results, which includes:

• Joint displacements for every joint

• Support reactions for every support

• Member end forces for every member

• Finally, a message is printed indicating the end of the


STAAD.Pro run.

The output report for this very simple structure is 18 pages


long. This underscores the need to be judicious when
choosing analysis/print commands.

It would be very easy to end up with an output report that is


hundreds of pages in length, making it difficult to find the
desired results.
STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
Module 4 4-15

Bear in mind that the output file is just one method of


obtaining output results from STAAD.Pro. The Post
Processor, which is covered in detail in a different Module, is
specifically for the purpose of observing and reporting
analysis results.

• Close the STAAD Output Viewer window by clicking File |


Exit. Be careful to select the STAAD Output Viewer’s File
menu, not the File menu in the STAAD.Pro main menu.

• A copy of this model is already saved in this state in the


dataset, and is named Dataset 4_3.std.

• Click File | Close to return to the Start Page.


STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
4-16 Module 4

-End of Module-
5-1

The Post Processor

Module 5
The following topics are included in this module.

5.1 Introduction to the Post Processor.................................................... 2 


5.2 Coordinate Systems for Reporting Results ...................................... 3 
5.3 Sign Conventions for Reporting Member End Forces ................... 6 
5.4 How to Determine if Results are Available ................................... 9 
5.5 Activating the Post Processor ......................................................... 12 
5.6 Displaying the Displacement Diagram ........................................... 14 
5.7 Displacement and Reactions Tables................................................ 19 
5.8 Beam Analysis Results .................................................................... 28 
5.9 Verifying the Results ....................................................................... 44 
5.10 Viewing Results with Member Query.......................................... 48 
5.11 Using Structural Tool Tips to View Results .............................. 53 
5.12 Labeling the Structure Diagram .................................................... 55 
5.13 Individual Control of Labels ......................................................... 62 
5.14 Animation ........................................................................................ 65 
5.15 Plotting Output from STAAD.Pro ................................................ 69 
5.16 Simple Query .................................................................................. 72 
STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
5-2 Module 5

5.1 Introduction to the Post Processor

• This module begins at the point where all of the major


modeling has been completed using STAAD.Pro’s Pre
Processor, analysis instructions have been issued, and the
analysis has been performed.

• The next step is to view the results of the analysis.

• Structural analysis software can generate hundreds of pages of


output results, even for relatively small structures.

• The STAAD Post Processor is designed to assist in


interpreting analysis results and creating well organized
reports, complete with tables and supporting graphics.

• An awareness of coordinate systems and sign conventions used


by the program is fundamental to understanding the output.

• STAAD.Pro incorporates a coordinate system and sign


conventions typical to structural engineering and they are
presented in the next two sections.
STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
Module 5 5-3

5.2 Coordinate Systems for Reporting Results

• STAAD.Pro produces three major types of output results:

• nodal displacements
• support reactions
• member end forces

Other types of results involving stresses on plate and solid


elements will be discussed later.

• STAAD.Pro’s stiffness matrix is a global stiffness matrix.


Member loads that are skewed with respect to the global axis
system are resolved into their global components for the
purpose of analysis.

• However, as shown in the table below, when viewing the


results of the analysis, member end forces are reported with
respect to the member’s local coordinate system.

• The following convention is used:

Result Reference
Nodal displacements Global coordinate system
Support reactions Global coordinate system
Member end forces Local coordinate system

It is logical and convenient to express nodal displacements and


support reactions in terms of the global coordinate system.

It is usually logical and convenient to express member end


forces with respect to a member’s local coordinate system.

• The following is a brief refresher on establishing the starting


end and ending end of a member, and the orientation of a
member’s local axis system. Additional information is
available in Chapter 1 of the Technical Reference manual.
STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
5-4 Module 5

Refresher on Local Coordinate System:

• The local x-axis is a line defined by the two ends of the


member.

• The positive direction of the local x-axis is defined by a line


going from the starting end (node A) to the ending end (node
B) of the member.

• Each member also has a local y- and local z-axis.

• The local x, local y, and local z axes are always mutually


perpendicular, and conform to the right-hand rule; so local x
cross local y equals local z.

• The local y-axis is normally parallel to the web of a wide


flange beam section, and the local z-axis is normally the major
axis.

• The actual orientation of each member’s local coordinate


system (within the global coordinate system of the model) is
defined by the order in which the member’s end nodes were
selected and by any beta angle that may have been assigned to
the member.

The axes for the local coordinate systems of all members in


model can be displayed as follows: Right-click in the Main
Window and select Labels… from the pop-up menu, then
toggle on the Beam Orientation checkbox in the Beams
category and the Show Axes At Org checkbox in the General
category, then click OK.

Symbols indicating the orientation of the local coordinate


system and showing the cross section shape will appear in the
Main Window.

A labeled, color-coded local coordinate axis system also


appears in the Main Window. Its purpose is to provide a key
to the colors of the local coordinate axis symbols, where local
x = blue, local y = red, and local z = green.
STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
Module 5 5-5

The STAAD.Pro Technical Reference manual contains


thorough explanations for the orientation of the local
coordinate system for an individual member.
STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
5-6 Module 5

5.3 Sign Conventions for Reporting Member End


Forces

• Results for member end forces are reported with respect to the
member’s local coordinate system, as mentioned above.

• The following statement establishes the sign convention used


by STAAD.Pro for reporting axial member end forces:

An axial force (F x ) at the starting end of a member acting in


the positive direction of the local x-axis is considered to be a
positive force. Such a force would be pushing into the
member, so therefore it would be a compressive force.

An axial force (F x ) at the starting end of a member acting in


the negative direction of the local x-axis is considered to be a
negative force. This would be a tensile force.

An axial force (F x ) at the ending end of a member acting in the


positive direction of the local x-axis is considered to be a
positive force. This would also be a tensile force.

Finally, an axial force (F x ) at the ending end of a member


acting in the negative direction of the local x-axis is
considered to be a negative force. This would also be a
compressive force.

• The following figure and chart summarize the sign convention


for axial member end forces:

Figure 5. 1
STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
Module 5 5-7

Axial Member End Forces:

At Starting End of At Ending End of


Member Member
Force In Positive Positive Sign Positive Sign
Local x Direction Compressive Force Tensile Force
Force In Negative Negative Sign Negative Sign
Local x Direction Tensile Force Compressive Force

Figure 5. 2

• Shear forces also conform to the rule that a force in the


positive direction of the local axis system is considered to be a
positive force, as shown in the figure below.

Figure 5. 3

• The moments at each end of a member are treated in a similar


way in terms of the sign convention.

• The right-hand rule is used to dictate the positive sense of


rotation about each of the local axes.

For example, M x , the moment about the local x-axis, is


considered a positive torsion if the rotation produces a vector
having the same sense as the positive local x direction, and
similarly for the other moments.
STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
5-8 Module 5

• The following figure from Section 1.19 of the Technical


Reference manual illustrates the sign convention for moments
about a member’s local axis system.

Figure 5. 4

The moments shown in the figure above all represent positive


bending or torsion, since they all coincide with the positive
directions of the axes based on the right-hand rule.
STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
Module 5 5-9

5.4 How to Determine if Results are Available

• Open the file named Dataset 5_1.std.

• There are two ways to quickly determine if analysis results are


available in a model.

• STAAD Output toolbar button on the File toolbar:

• Opens the output file in the STAAD.Pro Viewer when current


results are available.

• If toolbar button is “grayed out,” current results are not


available.

No Results Available Results Available

Figure 5. 5

If toolbar button is “grayed out,” it could either be because an


analysis has not been performed yet, or because something has
changed since the last analysis was run, making the previous
results invalid.

• Another way to tell whether results are available is to look at


the selections in the Mode pull-down menu.

• Click Mode in the Main Menu, and note that the Post
Processing menu option is “grayed out,” meaning it cannot be
activated.
STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
5-10 Module 5

No Results Available Results Available


Figure 5. 6

Again, if the toolbar button is “grayed out,” it could either be


because an analysis has not been performed yet, or because
something has changed since the last analysis was run, making
the previous results invalid.

• Press the esc key twice to close the Mode menu.

• Even if an analysis has been run on a model, there are


conditions that can cause the Post Processing mode to be
unavailable. These include:

• Errors encountered during the analysis,

• Discrepancies between the input file and the output results.

STAAD will try to protect the integrity of the results by


deleting the results if any change is made to the input file.

For example, suppose an analysis is run, and then changes are


made to the model. The program will offer a warning that if
changes are made, the Post Processing results will no longer
be available.

If you confirm that you want to make a change, the program


will delete the existing analysis results, and the Post
Processing mode will not be available.

Even seemingly insignificant things such as opening the input


file editor to add a carriage return or a comment will be
interpreted as changes to the input file and will cause the
output results to be deleted.
STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
Module 5 5-11

Hint: to add a comment to the input file without causing the


results file to be deleted, open the input file outside of
STAAD.Pro with an external text editor program such as
Notepad or WordPad instead of using the STAAD editor.

This can be especially helpful on a very large model that


would require a large amount of time to re-analyze.

• STAAD.Pro will ignore anything on a line preceded by an


asterisk (*) in the input file. This can be useful for:

• Creating comments within the input file for record or to


help with interpretation.

• Formatting the input file to offset or draw visual attention


to a section of the file.

• Temporarily disabling portions of the input file that may


need to be added back in later.

• A STAAD.Pro output file can be identified by the .ANL


extension. The output file is just a text file, so it can be
viewed with any text editor.

If you want to make changes to a model after running the


analysis, but you think you might want to keep the original
analysis results, there are two options. Either:

1. Create a backup copy of the original output file, and then


make revisions as necessary in the original model file,

Or,

2. Create a copy of the model using File | Save As, and then
make changes to the new model and let STAAD.Pro delete
the associated results file created by the Save As operation.
(The original model and its results file remain intact.)

• Keep the current model open for use in the next section.
STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
5-12 Module 5

5.5 Activating the Post Processor

• With Dataset 5_1.std still open, select Analyze | Run


Analysis from the main menu. When the analysis is complete,
select the Go to Post Processing Mode radio button in the
STAAD Analysis and Design dialog, and then click Done.

• The Loads page of the Results Setup dialog is used to select


the load cases for which analysis results are to be viewed.

By default, all the load cases in the project are selected.


However, in a large structure with many load cases, it might
be very cumbersome to view the results for all load cases at
the same time. The Loads page provides a convenient way to
work with results from only selected load cases at one time.

• Regardless of which load cases are initially selected, it is


always possible to change the selection later by using the
Select Load Case command in the Results menu of the Post
Processor.

• Click the Range tab in the Results Setup dialog. This page
can be used to specify particular nodes, members and elements
for which analysis results are desired.

By default, all members are selected. However, results can be


displayed for just the members of a certain group, for the
members with a given cross sectional property, or for nodes
and beam numbers that fall within a given range.

• The Increments option is used to specify the number of


segments into which a member is divided for printing section
forces, displacements, etc.

• Click the Result View Options tab. This page provides


access to STAAD.Pro’s automatic scaling controls.
STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
Module 5 5-13

• Scale is the relationship between the magnitude of forces and


displacements in the real structure and the units used to
represent them on graphs and diagrams.

Depending on the type of forces, moments, load intensities and


displacements represented, the magnitude of the units will
vary greatly from member to member.

Scaling units are chosen to make diagrams and graphs convey


the desired information concisely and in a way that is visually
attractive. (More to come on this topic.)

• STAAD.Pro has the ability to set the scaling controls


automatically.

• Remember that this option is available, but for training


purposes, leave the Enable Automatic Scaling checkbox turned
off.

• It is instructional to set the scaling manually in order to


demonstrate how to use the scaling commands.

• Leave all selections in the Results Setup dialog at their default


values.

• Click OK to dismiss the dialog and enter the Post Processing


mode.

• To return to the Results Setup dialog at a later time, pull down


the Results menu and click Select Load Case.

• Keep the current model open for use in the next section.
STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
5-14 Module 5

5.6 Displaying the Displacement Diagram

• Ensure that the file named Dataset 5_1.std is still open.

The Post Processing mode presents a new set of page and sub-
page tabs in the Page Control.

• The Displacement sub-page of the Node page should currently


be active.

• When the Displacement page is active, a displacement diagram


is shown by colored lines superimposed on the structure.

• It may not be possible to see any actual displacement of the


structure at this time. Instead, the displacement diagram may
appear to be superimposed directly on top of the structure
without any apparent deflection.

• The appearance of the displacement diagram depends on which


load case is active, and on how the diagram is scaled.

• The current Load Case is 1:DEAD LOAD as shown in the


Load Case list in the View toolbar.

Figure 5. 7

• The current Load Case is also reported in the Status Bar at the
bottom right corner of the screen.

Figure 5. 8
STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
Module 5 5-15

This load case was automatically selected by default.

The only force that was applied under this load case was the
structure’s own self weight.

• The diagram should be re-scaled to be able to see an


exaggerated deflected shape of the structure due to the self
weight loading.

• Right-click the mouse in the Main Window.

• Click Structure Diagrams… in the pop-up menu.

• Click the Scales tab in the Diagrams dialog.

Note: another way to display the Scales page is by selecting

the Scale button on the Structure toolbar (the toolbar


names are visible only when the toolbars are floating, not
when they are docked).

A third way to display the Scales page is by pulling down the


Results menu and clicking on the Scales command.

• Toggle on the Apply Immediately checkbox to view changes


immediately.

Drag the Diagrams dialog to one side if it is blocking the view


of the structure diagram.

• The Displacement scaling parameter field (under the Result


Scales category) is labeled with units of “in per ft {mm per
m}.”

• A setting of 12 means that for every 12 inches {12 mm} of


calculated displacement due to the current load case,
STAAD.Pro will plot it as a scale 1 foot {1 meter} on the
diagram.
STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
5-16 Module 5

• It may be that no deflection is visible on the displacement


diagram at the current scale.

• To make the deflection more apparent, click the down arrow


to decrease the number in this field.

• If the scale is reduced far enough, it will be possible to find a


scale that makes the deflected shape apparent on the scale of
the diagram.

The concept here is that in order to increase the exaggeration


of the deflected shape relative to the scale of the entire
structure, the scale value should be decreased.

Remember that the units on the Displacement scale can be


thought of as “inches of deflection per scale foot on the
diagram”.

When thought of this way, it may be more intuitive to decrease


the scale to emphasize the deflection.

For a given deflection, the deflection diagram shows a larger


apparent deflection when the scale is “1 inch of deflection per
scale foot on the diagram” than when the scale is “12 inches of
deflection per scale foot on the diagram”.

Another way of looking at it would be to say if a structure


actually deflects 0.01 inch, it can be made to look like a foot
of deflection relative to the scale of the diagram by setting the
scale value to 0.01; to make 0.001 inches of deflection look
like a scale foot on the drawing set the scale value to 0.001,
and so on.

• Set the Displacement scale value to 0.01 in per foot {0.8 mm


per m}.

As the scale value is reduced, the exaggeration of the deflected


shape increases with each click of the scale arrow buttons,
because the Apply Immediately option is turned on.
STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
Module 5 5-17

At a scale value of 0.01 inch per foot {0.8 mm per m}, the
deflected shape is definitely apparent.

• Scaling works the same for all the different types of diagrams:
moments, shears, axial forces, etc.

The choice of a scale value is arbitrary. Choose whatever


scale value produces a good looking diagram.

• For any given type of diagram (deflection, axial, moment, etc.)


the “ideal” scale value will almost certainly be different,
depending on which load case is active.

• Click on the Loads and Results tab within the Diagrams


dialog. Select 2:LIVE LOAD from the Load Case list, and
click Apply.

A second method of changing to Load Case 2 would be to


select 2:LIVE LOAD from the list in the View toolbar, but
this method requires the Diagrams dialog be closed first.

Changing the load case from the Loads and Results page
within the Diagrams dialog makes it convenient to quickly
return to the Scales page to rescale the view for the new load
case.

• With the Deflection scale still set at 0.01 inches of deflection


per scale foot {0.8 mm per m} on the drawing, the deflected
shape is wildly exaggerated.

This is because the displacement due to Load Case 2 is so


much greater than that for Load Case 1. The scale value will
have to be increased to make the deflected shape more
reasonable.

• Click back to the Scales tab in the Diagrams dialog.


STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
5-18 Module 5

• Click the up arrow for the Displacement scale to increase the


value to 0.2 in per foot {20 mm per m} to adjust the scale for
better viewing.

• See the following commentary to explore the scaling concept a


little further.

Click back to the Loads and Results tab of the Diagrams


dialog.

Select 3:TRANSVERSE WIND LOAD ALONG GX from the


Load Case list, and click Apply.

Click back to the Scales tab in the Diagrams dialog.

Click the up arrow for the Displacement scale to increase the


value from 0.2 in per foot to 1.0 in per foot {from 20 mm per
m to 100 mm per m}, and watch the change in the deflected
shape with each click.

The point to note here is that the change in deflected shape


between a scale of 0.5 and 1.0 {50 and 100} is not nearly as
much as the change from 0.2 to 0.5 {20 to 50}. This is
because the deflection is really proportional to the inverse of
the scale.

Scale Inverse
0.2 {20} 5 {0.05}
0.5 {50} 2 {0.02}
1.0 {100} 1 {0.01}

• Click the OK button to close the Diagrams dialog.

• Note that scaling controls only change the appearance of the


structure diagram by scaling the way the results are drawn on
the diagram. They do not change the results themselves in any
way.

• Keep the current model open for use in the next section.
STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
Module 5 5-19

5.7 Displacement and Reactions Tables

• Ensure that the file named Dataset 5_1.std is still open.

• Click the Post Processing tab at the top of the Main Window.

• Click OK to accept the default settings in the Results Setup


dialog.

• The Node Displacements table appears in the Data Area on the


right-hand side of the screen.

• Note that displacements for all the nodes in the model are
shown for all four load cases.

This is a result of leaving the settings in the Loads page and


the Range page of the Results Setup dialog set to All when first
entering the Post Processing mode.

The alternative would have been to specify a limited number


of nodes and/or load cases to display, since, even with only 20
nodes and 4 load cases, the Node Displacements table is quite
extensive.

For even a moderately sized structure, the ability to limit the


range of nodes, beams and load cases for which results are
displayed at any given time can be very useful.

This function is provided by the Results Setup dialog.

• Click Results | Select Load Case…, and view the Loads tab.

• Modify the load list so that only 2 LIVE LOAD remains in the
Selected category. (See commentary below for step-by-step
instructions.)

In the Selected category, select

1 DEAD LOAD,

3 TRANSVERSE WIND LOAD ALONG GX , and


STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
5-20 Module 5

4 LC1+LC2+LC3

by holding down the Control (Ctrl) key and clicking on each


load case.

Click the < button to remove the selected load cases. Now,
only the 2 LIVE LOAD case remains in the Selected category.

• Click OK.

• The Node Displacements table now only reports displacements


for the 2 LIVE LOAD case.

• Note that there are two tabs, All and Summary in the Node
Displacements table. Each presents node displacement results
in a different format, but in both tables, the results presented
depend upon the selections made in Results | Select Load
Case… | Range, and in Results | Select Load Case… | Loads.

• The All tab of the Node Displacements table reports


translations and rotations for all nodes.

The first column grid table gives the node number.

The second column lists the load case(s).

The following three columns provide the translational


displacements in each of the global X, Y and Z directions.

The next column gives the magnitude of the resultant


displacement. This magnitude is the square root of the sum of
the squares of the X, Y and Z displacements.

To the right of the Resultant column are three more columns


listing the rotational displacements for the three rotational
degrees of freedom.
STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
Module 5 5-21

• By default, the translational displacements are shown to a


precision of three units to the right of the decimal place. See
the commentary below for instructions to revise the precision
and to change the units used in the Node Displacements table.

To change the number of decimal places shown in the Node


Displacements table, click View | Options.

The Options dialog contains many tabs that provide access to


pages of controls used to customize the appearance of the
program.

Click the Structure Units tab.

Under the Dimensions category, note that Displacement units


can be set to a variety of common unit systems, and note that
the precision used to report displacements can be adjusted by
varying the number of digits to the right of the decimal place.

Click OK to dismiss the Options dialog. If any changes were


made to units or precision, they should now be visible in the
Node Displacements table.

An alternate method of changing the units of the displayed


numbers is to click Tools | Set Current Display Unit…, and
then click the Structure Units tab.

• Modify the load list again so that all load cases appear in the
Selected category. (See commentary below for step-by-step
instructions.)

Click Results | Select Load Case…, and view the Loads tab.

Click the >> button to move all load cases to the Selected
category.

Click OK.

• Click the Summary tab at the top of the Node Displacements


table.
STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
5-22 Module 5

• The Summary page reports maximum and minimum


translational and rotational displacements.

Subject to the selections made in Results | Select Load Case…


| Range and in Results | Select Load Case… | Loads, the
Summary page reports maximum and minimum translations
and rotations for each degree of freedom, the node where each
maximum value occurred, the Load Case that produced each
maximum value and the other displacements associated with
that particular node and load case.

For visual clarity, the extreme values are shown in bold font
on the Summary page. The other values in normal font are
“associated values”.

• Note that this table is compatible with Microsoft Excel, as are


all the grid tables in STAAD.Pro. Values can be copied and
pasted from this table directly into an Excel spreadsheet to
work with the data in Excel.

To select data to copy to a spreadsheet, either:

Click on the top left corner of the table to highlight its entire
contents,

or

Click and drag in the first column to select a subset of the


entire table.

Note that the usual Windows selection methods are supported;


i.e. Shift + click can be used to select multiple contiguous
rows, Control (Ctrl) + click can be used to select multiple
rows, even if noncontiguous.

After the selection is made, right-click, select Copy, go to


Excel, right-click and select Paste.

• There is a second table below the Node Displacements table,


labeled Beam Relative Displacement Detail.
STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
Module 5 5-23

• This table has two tabs used to view relative displacements of


beams in different formats. But in both tables, the results
presented depend upon the selections made in Results | Select
Load Case… | Range, and in Results | Select Load Case… |
Loads.

Relative displacements are reported in terms of the member’s


local coordinate system. They are measured with respect to a
chord through the member endpoints, so the relative
displacement at the starting end and ending end will always be
zero by definition.

• The All Relative Displacements tab shows relative


displacements for all beams.

The All Relative Displacements tab shows x, y, z and Resultant


relative displacements at the beam’s starting end, ending end,
and at a number of intermediate points along the beam’s
length.

The number of intermediate points to be reported is dictated by


the Increments setting, which can be found at Results | Select
Load Case…, Range tab, Detail Tables category.

When the Increments setting is set to 4, displacements are


reported at the beam’s starting end, ¼ point, midpoint, ¾
point, and ending end.

• Click the Max Relative Displacements tab.

• This table lists maximum relative displacement values and


distances from the starting end of the beam to the locations
where the maximum displacements occur.

Subject to the selections made in Results | Select Load Case…


| Range and in Results | Select Load Case… | Loads, the Max
Relative Displacements table provides results for
displacements in the local x, y, and z directions as well as a
resultant value. In the far right-hand column it reports the
ratio of member span length to maximum displacement.
STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
5-24 Module 5

• Click the Reactions tab in the Page Control.

• The Main Window should now show reactions at the two


supports, for the current load case.

• By default, reactions for all six degrees of freedom are plotted


on the screen, but the display of reactions can be customized if
desired.

• Click Results | View Value… | Reactions tab.

• Checkboxes allow individual control over the force and


moment reactions to be displayed.

• Click the Show Line checkbox and click Annotate to toggle


the display of the support reactions from tabular to graphical
format.

• Click the Show Line checkbox again to deselect it, and click
Annotate, and then click Close.

• Click Select | Text Cursor.

The cursor graphic changes to the special Select Text cursor.

• Click and drag one of the reaction text boxes on the structure
diagram to see how it can be relocated.

• Click the Beams Cursor on the Selection toolbar to


return to the normal cursor.

• Note that the reactions for the moments on the right-hand


support are listed as “Free.” This is a result of having a
pinned support at the base of the right-hand column.

STAAD.Pro uses this “Free” annotation to specifically


indicate that that degree of freedom has been released, whereas
a 0 value would indicate that the degree of freedom is
restrained, but the moment or force for that particular degree
of freedom happens to be 0.
STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
Module 5 5-25

In other words, at the right-hand support, the moments are


listed as “Free” to indicate that there cannot be any moment at
that support, as opposed to simply indicating that there is no
moment at that support.

• The Support Reactions table in the Data Area has three tabs,
All, Summary, and Envelope, that allow support reactions to be
viewed in different forms. In all three tables, the results
presented depend upon the selections made in Results | Select
Load Case… | Range, and in Results | Select Load Case… |
Loads.

• The All tab displays reactions for all six degrees of freedom, at
all nodes, for all load cases.

• Click the Summary tab. The Summary tab displays the


extreme reactions (max and min) for all six degrees of
freedom, along with the load case that caused the extreme
value, and the other reactions that are associated with that load
case.

The Summary table will always have twelve lines of data


corresponding to max and min of Fx, Fy, Fz, Mx, My, and Mz,
regardless of how many nodes or load cases exist in the model
or how many nodes are selected in Results | Select Load
Case… | Range or in Results | Select Load Case… | Loads.

• For structures with multiple supports, the Summary table may


never report the reactions for some of the supports, if they do
not represent extreme values based on the selections made in
Results | Select Load Case… | Range, and/or Results | Select
Load Case… | Loads.

• On the Summary table, the column labeled “L/C” indicates the


controlling load case for each extreme. The extreme value is
shown in bold font, and the associated values are shown in
regular font.

• Click the Envelope tab on the Support Reactions table.

• The Envelope tab displays results for each node in the model.
STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
5-26 Module 5

• For each reported node, the Envelope tab reports the maximum
positive and maximum negative reactions for all six degrees of
freedom. In addition, it reports the load case that causes the
extreme.

The Envelope view and the Summary view differ in two ways:

First, the Envelope view reports values for all nodes, where
the Summary view only reports on the maxima and minima
considering all nodes.

Second, the Summary view reports the associated reactions


from the other degrees of freedom, where the Envelope view
does not provide the associated values.

• Note that the units used to report results such as reactions,


displacements, etc. can be changed on the fly. See the
commentary below for a step-by-step description.

To see how results could be viewed in different unit systems:

Click the All tab on the Support Reactions table.

Click Tools | Set Current Display Unit….

Click the Force Units page. The Force Units page contains
controls for the units used to report the various types of force
results.

Change the units in the Force category to lb {N}, and adjust


the precision to show 0 decimal places.

Change the units in the Moment category to lb·ft {N-m}, and


adjust the precision to show 0 decimal places.

Click OK, and observe the change in the Support Reactions


table.

• The Statics Check Results table provides a tabular presentation


of the equilibrium check on the structure.
STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
Module 5 5-27

This is the same information that can be viewed in the Output


File by including PRINT STATICS CHECK in the PERFORM
ANALYSIS command. However, this table just presents the
information in a more concise format.

• Keep the current model open for use in the next section.
STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
5-28 Module 5

5.8 Beam Analysis Results

• Dataset 5_1.std should still be the current file.

• Click the Post Processing tab at the top of the Main Window.

• Click OK to accept the default settings in the Results Setup


dialog.

• Click the Beam page.

• The Forces sub-page is used to plot force and moment


diagrams on the structure and work with the Beam End Forces
grid tables.

• The tables and the structure diagrams are interactive.

• Click on the left-hand column in the structure diagram. Note


that the corresponding member information becomes
highlighted in the Beam End Forces table and the Beam Force
Detail table.

• Click on any other line in either of the two current tables in


the Data Area and note that the corresponding member
becomes highlighted in the structure diagram.

• Let’s explore the distinction between the Beam End Forces


table and the Beam Force Detail table.

• To illustrate the difference:

• Make 2 LIVE LOAD the only selected load case. (See


commentary below for step-by-step instructions.)

Click Results | Select Load Case….

Click the double left arrow to remove all load cases, then
click on 2 LIVE LOAD to highlight it, and click the
single right arrow to move it to the Selected list.

Click OK.
STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
Module 5 5-29

• Set force units to display zero decimal places. (See


commentary below for step-by-step instructions.)

Click Tools | Set Current Display Unit…

Click Force Units tab.

Set the Force item to kip {kN} and the Show dec places
value to 0.

Click OK.

• Click the top chord member just to the left of the ridge
(member #23).

• Beam End Forces table:

• Member end force Fx (axial force) at the starting end


(node #6) is positive 61 kips {276 kN}.

• Member end force Fx at the ending end (node #16) is


negative 61 kips {276 kN}.

• Therefore the member is in compression, which makes


sense for a top chord member under this type of
loading, and the magnitude of the compression is 61
kips {276 kN}.

• Beam Force Detail table:

• The value of Fx (axial force) for member #23 is


consistently positive 61 kips {276 kN} at all five
stations cut along the length of the member.

• The magnitude of the force is consistent between the two


tables. This is as expected.

• This comparison establishes the sign convention used in


the Beam Force Detail table for axial forces: Compressive
axial forces are considered positive forces in the Beam
Force Detail table.
STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
5-30 Module 5

• The Beam End Forces table reports the forces at member


ends.

Therefore, for a simple truss member, the axial member


end forces in the Beam End Forces table at opposite ends
of the member should be equal in magnitude and opposite
in algebraic sign.

• The Beam Force Detail table reports beam forces at


sections, rather than member end forces.

Therefore, for a simple truss member, the axial member


forces reported in the Beam Force Detail table are all
expected to be of a consistent algebraic sign.

• Reselect all load cases. (See commentary below for step-by-


step instructions.)

Click Results | Select Load Case….

Click the double right arrow to re-select all load cases.

Click OK.

• There are three tabs in the Beam End Forces grid table:

• The results presented on each of the tabs in the Beam End


Forces grid tables depend upon the selections made in
Results | Select Load Case… | Range, and in Results |
Select Load Case… | Loads.

• The All tab displays beam end forces for both ends of all
members.

• Click the Summary tab. This tab reports exactly twelve


different conditions consisting of the maximum and
minimum beam end forces for all six degrees of freedom,
in addition to the load condition that generated the
controlling values, and the associated member end forces
for all of the other 5 degrees of freedom for that particular
loading condition.
STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
Module 5 5-31

• Click the Envelope tab. This tab reports the envelope of


member end forces by providing the maximum positive
and maximum negative member end forces for all member
ends, along with the name of the loading condition that
causes the envelope value.

• The units used to display results in the Beam End Forces and
Beam Force Detail tables can be modified if desired. (See
commentary below for step-by-step instructions.)

Click Tools | Set Current Display Unit….

Click the Force Units tab in the Options dialog.

Use the list boxes to select the desired units for the different
types of forces.

Adjust the associated precisions as necessary.

Click OK, and note the change in the Data Area.

• The Main Window is currently showing a bending moment


diagram for the entire structure, although it may not be
obvious.

• As was demonstrated earlier with the Displacement diagrams,


the issue here is one of selecting an appropriate scale.

• Click View | Structure Diagrams… , then select the Labels


tab.

• In the General category, note the options to Show Axes


Window and Show Diagram Info. Ensure that both options are
selected and click OK.

The equivalent keyboard “hotkey” to Show Diagram Info


without leaving the Main Window is Shift + G.

• Note that these settings provide:

• A coordinate axis system for reference in the lower left


corner of the Main Window, and
STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
5-32 Module 5

• A line of text in the lower right-hand corner that indicates


the Active Load case and the force currently being plotted
on the Structure Diagram.

• Click View | Structure Diagrams… , then Loads and Results


tab.

• Select 2: LIVE LOAD in the Load Case category.

• Select Bending zz in the Beam Forces category.

Note the other forces that are available to be plotted as well.

• Click the Scales tab, and activate the Apply Immediately


checkbox in the upper right-hand corner of the dialog.

• Set the Bending Z scale to 150 kip·in per ft {50 kN·m per m},
and click OK. (If it is necessary to change the current units
system, see the commentary below.)

Click Tools | Set Current Display Unit….

Click the Force Units tab in the Options dialog.

Use the list boxes to select the desired units for the different
types of forces.

Adjust the associated precisions as necessary.

Click OK.

The Structure Diagram should now display a diagram of the


bending moments about the local z axis at a scale that makes
the diagram clearly readable.

• To properly interpret a bending moment diagram in


STAAD.Pro : STAAD.Pro always draws the bending moment
diagram on the tension side of the member.

• To change the type of diagram that is being displayed:


STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
Module 5 5-33

• Right-click anywhere in the Main Window and select


Structure Diagrams… from the pop-up menu.

• Click on the Loads and Results tab.

• Choose the desired type of diagram by placing a check in


any of the options for the common types of force diagrams
listed in the Beam Forces category.

Note that more than one type of diagram can be displayed


at one time, and that each diagram can be displayed in a
characteristic color on the structure.

The colored boxes to the right of each item in the Beam


Forces category indicate the color that will be used for
each type of diagram.

To change any of these colors, just click on the box. A


standard Windows color palette opens to offer a variety of
color options.

• To demonstrate, select the Axial forces checkbox in addition


to Bending zz .

• Click the Diagram radio button.

• Click the color palette box labeled “C” for Compression,


select a blue color and click OK.

• Click the color palette box labeled “T” for Tension, select a
green color and click OK.

• Click OK to dismiss the Diagrams dialog.

• The Structure Diagram should now show a diagram of Axial


forces superimposed on Bending Z moments.

• Click on the Stresses sub-tab of the Beam page in the Page


Control.
STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
5-34 Module 5

• The view window will be split into four parts. The topmost
window is referred to as a “splitter window”, because it has a
“splitter” or separator bar that can be moved from side to side.

• The window in the lower left-hand corner displays the Whole


Structure diagram.

• Click on beam number 1, the bottom chord member


immediately to the right of midspan.

Figure 5. 9

• The Select Section Plane dialog opens.

• The left side of the splitter window displays the selected


member in 3D.

• The right side of the splitter window shows the combined


stress of the selected member on a cross section view.

Combined stress is the algebraic combination of the stresses


resulting from FX, MY and MZ.

Positive values represent compression, and negative values


represent tension.

• The location of the section is indicated by the yellow rectangle


in the left side of the splitter window, and can be adjusted by
dragging the slider in the Select Section Plane dialog.
STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
Module 5 5-35

• Click the Display Corner Stress checkbox in the Select


Section Plane dialog.

• Click and drag the slider in the Select Section Plane dialog,
and note that the corner stress values change continually as the
slider is moved along the length of the member.

The splitter window can show the stress distribution for only
one member at a time.

The Display Legend checkbox in the Select Section Plane


dialog can be used to display the combined stress range and
associated color gradient.

• The Select Profile Point category in the Select Section Plane


dialog provides tools to determine combined stresses at
specific points on the cross section and to record those values
in a table if desired.

A Profile Point is defined by its local y-axis coordinate and


local z-axis coordinate, and must fall within the outline of the
cross section to be valid.

Profile Points can either be defined by keying in coordinate


values in the Y Point and Z Point fields, or by clicking on the
section with the cursor.

Once a valid Profile Point has been defined, it appears as a


small green dot on the cross section in the right side of the
splitter window. The coordinates of the Profile Point and the
combined stress value are displayed in the lower left corner of
the right side of the splitter window.

To save the data for a Profile Point, click the Add Stress to
Table button in the lower right corner of the Select Section
Plane dialog. The data for all saved points is accessible from
the Profile Stress Points tab of the Beam Combined Axial and
Bending Stresses table.
STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
5-36 Module 5

For each Profile Point added to the table, a new line is created
in the table, and the following data is saved:
• Beam number
• Load case number
• Location of section along length of member
• Location of point of interest in y-z plane of section
• Magnitude of axial force
• Magnitude of both bending moments
• Combined stress value at point of interest

• When the Stresses sub-page is active, the Whole Structure


diagram in the lower left corner displays the structure with the
Beam Stress diagram superimposed on it.

• If the current scale is not set to view the diagram clearly, see
the following commentary.

To adjust the scale of the Beam Stress diagram, right-click in


the Whole Structure diagram, and click Structure
Diagrams… in the pop-up menu.

Click the Scales tab, and check the Apply Immediately


checkbox in the upper right-hand corner.

Verify that the units for the Beam Stress category are currently
set to psi {kPa}.

(If the current unit system is not displaying Beam Stress in


units of psi {kPa}, close the Diagrams dialog temporarily.
Click Tools | Set Current Display Unit…. Click the Force
Units tab in the Options dialog. Use the Stress list to set the
units to psi {kPa}. Click OK. Then return to the Scales tab
of the Diagrams dialog as described above.)
Set the Beam Stress scale value to 8000 psi per ft {100000
kPa per m}in the Results Scales category.

Click OK.
STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
Module 5 5-37

Recall that in order to increase the size of the stress diagram


with respect to the structure, the value of the scaling parameter
should be decreased.

• Note that the Beam Stress diagram is displayed in two colors


to distinguish compressive stress from tensile stress.

• By default, the compressive stress is shown in red and the


tensile stress is shown in blue, but these colors can be
modified if desired. See the commentary below for step-by-
step instructions.

To change the colors used to display compressive stress and


tensile stress:

Right-click in the Whole Structure diagram, and click


Structure Diagrams… in the pop-up menu.

Click the Loads and Results tab in the Diagrams dialog.

Locate the Stress option in the Beam Forces category.

Click the color palette box labeled “C” for Compression,


select the desired color and click OK.

Click the color palette box labeled “T” for Tension, select the
desired color and click OK.

Click OK to dismiss the Diagrams dialog.

• Shifting focus to the Data Area, note the table labeled Beam
Combined Axial and Bending Stresses.

• This table reports combined axial and bending stresses as the


algebraic combination of the stresses resulting from FX, MY
and MZ.

• The layout of this table is similar to other results tables in


that:
STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
5-38 Module 5

• It has different pages to display the combined axial and


bending stresses in different formats, and

• The results presented on the different tabs depend upon the


selections made in Results | Select Load Case… | Range,
and in Results | Select Load Case… | Loads.

• The All page shows the stresses for all members in the model,
for all load cases.

• Cross sectional stresses are reported at both ends as well as at


multiple intermediate points along the length of each beam.

The number of increments used for determining the


intermediate data points can be adjusted as follows:

Click Results | Select Load Case... .

Click the Range tab.

Enter the desired number in the Increments field in the Detail


Tables category. (Valid range is 2 to 12.)

Click OK.

• The stresses are reported at the four corners of the cross


section. The corner numbers STAAD.Pro uses to identify the
corners of various typical cross sections are shown in the
following figure.
STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
Module 5 5-39

Figure 5. 10

• The maximum compressive and tensile stresses at each cross


section are also reported.

• Tensile stresses are reported as negative values, and


compressive stresses are considered positive. This is
consistent with the sign convention for axial forces discussed
earlier.

For more information on the sign conventions used for


reporting member stresses, please see Section 1.19 of the
STAAD.Pro Technical Reference manual.

• Click the Max Stresses tab.

• The Max Stresses page reports the magnitude and locations of


the maximum tensile and compressive stresses for each load
case on every member in the model.
STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
5-40 Module 5

• The third tab called Profile Stress Points reports stresses at


user-defined points on the cross-section as demonstrated
earlier.

• Click the Graphs sub-page.

• Ensure that 2: LIVE LOAD is still selected in the Active Load


list in the View toolbar.

• Select member number 1 . This is the bottom chord member


immediately to the right of mid-span.

Figure 5. 11

• The corresponding bending moment diagram, shear diagram


and axial force graphs for the selected member are displayed
in the Data Area on the right side of the screen.

• The bottom graph is labeled “Fx”, implying axial load. The


graph indicates a constant value of -57.3 kips {-261 kN},
which implies tension.

Tension makes sense for the bottom chord of a truss subject to


2: LIVE LOAD.

• The top and middle graphs are currently blank.

• To interpret why they are blank, display Beam Orientation and


the key to the local axis colors. For step-by-step instructions
see the commentary below.
STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
Module 5 5-41

Right-click in the blank portion of the Main Window and


click Labels… from the pop-up menu.

Click Beam Orientation in the Beams category. (Note the


keyboard “hotkey” for this option is Shift + O.)

Click Show Axes At Org in the General category. (Note the


keyboard “hotkey” for this option is Shift + I.)

Click OK.

• Note the orientation of the local axes of member number 1.

• (Blue) Local x points to the right on the screen.

• (Red) Local y points out of the screen.

• (Green) Local z points down.

• These orientations are the result of the beta angle of 90°


that was applied to this member in the modeling stage.

• Now note that the top graph is labeled “Mz”, moment about
the local z-axis, implying moment about an axis that points
straight down.

• 2: LIVE LOAD is a downward-acting load due to gravity, so


there should be no moment about a vertical axis in member
number 1 as a result of this load case.

• Therefore a blank “Mz” graph makes sense.

• Right-click inside the “Mz” graph and click Diagrams…


from the pop-up menu.

Note that Bending zz is currently selected, corresponding to


the display of the “Mz” graph.

• Click the Bending yy checkbox to view the bending moment


in this member due to the applied live load.
STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
5-42 Module 5

• Note that it is not necessary to deselect the Bending zz


checkbox in order to select Bending yy. This makes it
possible to superimpose the graphs of multiple forces at one
time. More to come on this topic…

• Click OK.

• The top graph is now labeled “My” and “Mz” as a result of


having both options selected.

The horizontal scale is graduated in units of feet {meters}, and


the x-coordinate of the point of maximum moment is
automatically indicated for convenience, along with
magnitudes of maximum moments.

The vertical scale is automatically set to maximize the graph.

• Right-click inside the “Fy” graph in the middle window, and


click Diagrams… from the pop-up menu.

• To view a more appropriate shear diagram for this member and


its current loading, note that the member’s (green) local z-axis
is oriented in the direction of the applied load (downward).

• Click Shear zz, deselect Shear yy, and click OK.

• The middle graph now displays a shear force diagram labeled


“Fz”, which makes sense for the applied loading.

• Back to the concept of superimposing more than one force on a


graph at one time.

• Assume that the goal is to view the shear force “Fz”


superimposed on the bending moment “My” in the graph in the
top window.

• Right-click on the graph in the top window and click


Diagrams… from the pop-up window.

• Leave Bending yy selected, but deselect Bending zz and click


Shear zz.
STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
Module 5 5-43

Note that the color swatches indicate the colors that will be
used to plot the selected graphs. To change the colors that will
be used, click on the swatches to open color palettes for each
of the two selected forces, and choose colors from the palettes
as demonstrated earlier.

• Click OK.

• Although both the shear and moment diagrams are being


graphed, it is immediately obvious that the inconsistency in
the unit scales makes for a very flat shear diagram.

• Sometimes the appearance of a graph can be improved by


changing the force units used to plot the diagram.

• Change the units for the moment graph to kip·ft {N·m} and
note the difference. See the commentary below for step-by-
step instructions.

Click in the Main Window, so that the Tools option will


become available in the Main Menu.

Click Tools | Set Current Display Unit….

Click the Force Units tab in the Options dialog.

Set the units for Moment to kip·ft {N·m } then click OK.

• Now both the shear and the moment diagrams are clearly
visible on the same graph.

• Keep the current model open for use in the next section.
STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
5-44 Module 5

5.9 Verifying the Results

• Ensure that the file named Dataset 5_1.std is still active.

• Click the Post Processing tab at the top of the Main Window.

• Click OK to accept the default settings in the Results Setup


dialog.

• Before exploring any more features for displaying tables,


diagrams, etc., let’s take a few minutes to examine some of the
results from the steel design project to verify that they make
sense.

• This is an opportunity to confirm that the output from the


program is as expected, based on the input provided:
geometry, member properties, beta angles, member
specifications, etc.

• Click the Beam page.

• Click the left-hand column of the structure (member #35).

The corresponding row in the Beam End Forces table is


highlighted.

• Set the units for Force to kips {kN} with three decimal places,
in order to validate the results. See the commentary below for
step-by-step instructions.

Click Tools | Set Current Display Unit….

Click the Force Units tab.

Ensure that the Force list is set to units of kip {kN}, and use
the up and down arrows to show 3 decimal places.

Ensure that the Moment list is set to units of kip·ft {kN·m},


and use the up and down arrows to show 3 decimal place.

Click OK.
STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
Module 5 5-45

• Refer to the Beam End Forces table, and look at the results for
member 35, for Fx, Load Case 1 DEAD LOAD.

• Notice that the forces at nodes 15 and 20 are not equal and
opposite.

• This relates back to that fact that the load case under
consideration is the self-weight of the structure, and also that
the force under consideration is the axial force in a vertically-
oriented member.

• The difference between the two forces is due to the self-weight


of the column.

• Now click the right-hand column with the Beams Cursor.

• Using only the Beam End Forces table, determine which node
is at the top of the column and which is at the bottom.

• Recall that the support at the bottom of the right-hand column


is a pinned support. The node at the bottom of the column will
be the one at which there is no moment.

• Therefore node 11 must be the bottom node.

Another way to distinguish the top node from the bottom using
only the Beam End Forces table would be to compare the Fx
(axial) forces for the self-weight case as described above.

• Now click the left-most member of the bottom chord of the


truss.

• Again, using only the Beam End Forces table, determine which
node is at the left end of the member and which is at the right.

• Recall that all bending moments were released at the left end
of this member.

• Node 14 indicates at least some non-zero moments, therefore


node 15, for which the moment is always zero, must be the
node at the left end of the member.
STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
5-46 Module 5

Verify by double-clicking this member (beam number 22) to


open the Member Query dialog.

The Releases category indicates releases for MX, MY, and MZ


for the End node (which we already know to be the node at the
left end).

The table of coordinates in the center of the dialog always lists


beam nodes in order; starting node in the first line, ending
node in the second line.

Therefore the ending node is node 15. Therefore node 15 is


the left node.

This could also be confirmed just by observing that node 15 is


the left-hand node based on the X-Coord values in the table,
too.

• This is a good way to verify that the program is giving the


results we expect.

• Notice also that the Beam End Forces in the Fx direction do


add up to 0 for this member. That is because the self-weight
does not act in the Fx direction for this member.

• Now click member number 1, which is just to the right of


mid-span in the bottom chord of the truss.

• Notice in the Beam End Forces table that this member has
moments acting about its Y-axis, where other nearby members
have moments acting about their Z-axis.

• The reason relates back to the fact that member number 1 was
assigned a beta angle of 90° for the purpose of seeing how it
affected the results.

• Press Shift + O to turn on Beam Orientation.

• Press Shift + I to Show Axes At Org (Origin).


STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
Module 5 5-47

• Most of the bottom chord members are oriented such that their
(green) local z-axes are parallel to the global Z-axis.
However, member number 1 is unique, because its (red) local
y-axis is parallel to the global Z-axis.

• It now makes sense that vertical forces caused by member self-


weight or applied live load would cause bending about the
local y-axis of member number 1 due to its beta angle.

The results are consistent. The bending forces in this planar


structure are all about the same global axis, but since member
forces are reported in terms of the members’ local axis system,
the program reports bending about a different local axis for the
one bottom chord member that has been oriented differently
from the others.

• Keep the current model open for use in the next section.
STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
5-48 Module 5

5.10 Viewing Results with Member Query

• Ensure that Dataset 5_1.std is still the active file.

• Click the Post Processing tab at the top of the Main Window.

• Click OK to accept the default settings in the Results Setup


dialog.

• Press Shift + O to turn on Beam Orientation.

• Press Shift + I to Show Axes At Org (Origin).

• The Member Query function provides a powerful way to view


results for individual members.

• Member Query is accessed by double-clicking on a member of


interest.

An alternate way to access Member Query is to click on the


member of interest, and then click Tools | Query | Member.

• Double-click on member number 1, the bottom chord member


just to the right of mid-span.

The dialog that pops up is the same Member Query that is


available in the Pre Processing (Modeling) mode.

• Now that an analysis has been performed, the Member Query


dialog is populated with more information than just the
original geometry and property data.

• In addition, analysis results are now available in the Member


Query dialog through two new tabs that were not present
before: Shear Bending and Deflection.

The Shear Bending tab doesn’t literally mean “shear bending”.


It is just written that way to save “screen real estate”.
STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
Module 5 5-49

• Click the Shear Bending tab. This tab provides access to


shear and bending results.

• The top half of the dialog contains a diagram for the selected
beam.

• The type of diagram displayed is controlled with the Selection


Type category in the lower right corner of the dialog.

• Select 2:LIVE LOAD in the Load Case list.

• Four types of diagrams are available from the radio buttons:

• Bending about local z axis

• Bending about local y axis

• Shear force along the local y axis

• Shear force along the local z axis

• Click the Bending-Y radio button.

Based on the beta angle of member number 1, the diagram for


bending about the local y-axis should be interesting.

• The bending moment diagram is now displayed.

Note that the bending moment diagram indicates values of


bending moment at each end, and it provides x coordinates for
the two points of inflection.

• The Dist field directly above the Selection Type category is


linked to the slider bar below the beam diagram. Both provide
a method to enter the distance from the starting end to a point
of interest on the beam.

• The value of the shear and bending moment at the location of


interest is displayed in the boxes labeled Fz and My.
STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
5-50 Module 5

Note that the labels of these boxes changes based on the


selection made with the radio buttons in the Selection Type
category.

• A table of distances vs. member forces is provided in the


category labeled Section Forces.

13 distance values divide the beam into 12 equal-length


segments. The corresponding shear and bending moment at
each location is given in the table.

The distance values can be edited within this table, and


STAAD.Pro will calculate the shear and bending at the
distances entered.

• Click on the Deflection tab in the Member Query dialog.

• The Deflection page provides access to deflection diagrams


and data, and the operation is very similar to the Shear
Bending page.

• Select 2:LIVE LOAD in the Load Case list.

• The Selection Type category offers radio buttons to specify the


direction of interest and to differentiate between Global
Deflection or Local Deflection.

• Select Global Deflection and Y Dir.

• The diagram indicates downward deflection at each endpoint


of the member.

• This makes sense based on the uniform distributed Live Load


in the global –Y direction that causes deflection of the truss as
a whole.

• The diagram also indicates some additional downward


deflection near the mid-span of the member.

• This represents the deflection of this individual member with


respect to its own endpoints.
STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
Module 5 5-51

• Now select Local Deflection. The deflection diagram


disappears.

This makes sense, because the direction is still set to Y Dir.


Due to the beta angle applied to this member, its local y-axis is
perpendicular to the gravity direction, so 2:LIVE LOAD
causes no deflection about the member’s local y-axis.

• Click the Z Dir radio button.

• The deflection diagram now indicates a deflected shape that


has zero deflection at the endpoints.

• This makes sense, because it is specifically a Local Deflection


diagram, meaning that it reports deflections of the selected
member as if the member endpoints had no translation.

In other words the horizontal line in the diagram can be


thought of as the straight-line chord that connects the two
endpoints of the member, and the deflected shape is shown
with respect to that straight line.

• The deflected shape also implies tangents with nearly zero


slope at the two endpoints.

• This is logical due to the assumed continuity of member


number 1 with the adjacent bottom chord members.

• The diagram lies entirely above the horizontal line. Is this


contrary to the shape of the Global Deflection diagram?

• The answer lies in the fact that this diagram is not literally a
physical representation of the deflected member, but rather it
is a graph of the deflection in the local z direction.

• When interpreted this way, the positive values in the graph


imply deflection in the positive local z direction, which is
downward in the model, so the results are consistent.

• The Deflection tab provides the ability to select the load and to
specify a point of interest by its distance from the starting end.
STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
5-52 Module 5

• A table of displacement results is provided in the form of


displacement versus distance from the starting end.

A steel design has not yet been performed for this structure, so
at present, the results are based on an analysis of members
whose properties have been explicitly specified.

If the program had been requested to perform a steel design, a


tab labeled Steel Design would be displayed in the Member
Query dialog.

The Steel Design tab provides access to a page of information


on steel design results for the member including critical load,
Pass/Fail status, design ratio, design code, governing clause,
etc.

Similarly, after performing a concrete design, a Concrete


Design tab would appear in the Member Query dialog.

• Finally, the Member Query dialog is modeless, meaning that it


can be left open and its focus can be shifted by double-
clicking on another member, at which time it will display the
properties and results of the newly selected member.

• Click Close to dismiss the Member Query dialog.

• Press Shift + O and Shift + I to turn off the Beam Orientation


indicators and the reference axis at the origin.

• Keep the current model open for use in the next section.
STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
Module 5 5-53

5.11 Using Structural Tool Tips to View Results

• Ensure that the file named Dataset 5_1.std is the currently


active model.

• The model should still be in the Post Processing mode from


the previous section.

• Ensure that the Graphs sub-page of the Beam page is currently


active.

• With the Beams Cursor active, hover the cursor over the
column at the left end of the model to see an example of
Structural Tool Tip.

• The Structural Tool Tip, or Bubble Help as it is also called,


displays some information about that member.

• Now that an analysis has been performed on the model,


Structural Tool Tips can be used to display certain analysis
results.

• Click View | Structural Tool Tip Options….

• Assume the goal is to have member end forces displayed in the


Structural Tool Tips.

• To do this, click the Beam item under the Tool list in the Tool
Tip Options dialog.

• Click the + (plus) symbol beside the End Forces option in the
Options category to display all of the End Forces options.

• Click the End Forces checkbox to get a check mark in the End
Forces box, the Starting box, and all of the options within the
Starting category.

Note that toggling the End Forces checkbox automatically


toggles the Starting and Ending checkboxes as well.
STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
5-54 Module 5

• Click OK.

• Now, hover the Beams Cursor over any member.

• Structural Tool Tips now include the member end forces for
the currently active load case.

• Keep the current model open for use in the next section.
STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
Module 5 5-55

5.12 Labeling the Structure Diagram

• Dataset 5_1.std should be the currently active model.

• Post Processing mode should be active.

• 2:LIVE LOAD should be the active load case.

• Assume the goal is to display the nodal displacements on the


structure diagram.

• Click the Node page, and then click the Displacement sub-
page in the Page Control.

• Click Results | Scale….

• Click the Apply Immediately checkbox in the upper right


corner of the Scales page.

• Set the Displacement scale to 0.2 inches per foot {20 mm per
m} in the Results Scales category, and then click OK.

The deflected shape of the model should be more apparent at


this scale.

• Click Results | View Value….

• This Annotation dialog contains 4 tabs: Ranges, Beam Results,


Node and Reactions.

• The Ranges tab is used to select which beams and nodes will
have their results displayed.

By default, all the members are selected. However, the


Ranges tab can be used to display results for only:

• Members of a certain group,

• Members with a given cross sectional property, or


STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
5-56 Module 5

• Nodes and beams with numbers that fall within a given


range.

Notice the “grayed out” option labeled View.

If saved views existed in this model (using View | View


Management | Save View…), the View option would be active,
offering the ability to select all members in a given view for
annotation simply by selecting the name of the saved view.

The Ranges page is almost identical to the Range page in the


Results Setup dialog.

• Click the Beam Results tab.

• If beam results are desired, this tab can be used to select which
types of results will be displayed.

• Click the Reactions tab.

• This tab is used to select the degrees of freedom for which


reactions will be displayed.

The Diagram category provides the option to view reactions in


tabular or graphical format. If graphical format is chosen,
then scaling controls are available to adjust the appearance of
the graphics.

• Click the Node tab.

• This tab is used to select the global directions for which nodal
displacements will be displayed.

• Click the Global Y checkbox on the Node page, and then click
the Annotate button.

• Click Close to dismiss the Annotation dialog.

If annotation is not displayed:

• Verify that a Node Displacement diagram is currently


being shown.
STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
Module 5 5-57

• Verify that the None radio button has not been selected on
the Ranges page of the Annotation dialog.

• Press Shift + N to turn on node numbers.

• Press Shift + B to turn on beam numbers.

• Now that we have decided what to display, let’s explore the


options we have to control how things are displayed.

• Right-click the mouse in the Main Window, and click


Labels… from the pop-up menu.

We have already seen many examples of how the Labels page


can be used to affect how things are displayed on the screen.

• Click the Loads and Results tab of the Diagrams dialog.

• This tab can be used to change any of the colors on the


diagrams by clicking the color swatch for the function.

• By specifying characteristic colors for each type of results


available, the user can establish at-a-glance recognition of
what type of results are being displayed.

For example:

• Shear and bending forces can be assigned their own


individual colors for each degree of freedom.

• Tension and compression can be differentiated by colors.

• Loads, deflections and mode shapes can also be assigned


distinctive colors.

• Options are available to specify whether the beam forces


diagrams are to be hatched, filled with a solid color, or
outlined.
STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
5-58 Module 5

• Settings such as color options, current display units and


precision are saved in an INI file and in the Windows Registry.

Therefore:

• When one model is closed and another model is opened,


the same settings will be applied to the new file.

• The display settings on one engineer’s workstation can be


completely different from the settings on another
engineer’s workstation, even for the same STAAD.Pro
model.

• Click the Cancel button to dismiss the Diagrams dialog.

• Click View | Options.

• The Options dialog is used to control the appearance of


annotation on the structure diagram such as font, size,
position, etc.

The use of this dialog to set the appearance of node and beam
labels is covered in depth in a different Module.

• Click the Node Labels tab.

• This page offers controls that affect the style, alignment, and
font used to display node numbers.

For example:

Click Font.

Choose Blue in the Color list.

Click OK in the Font dialog.

Click Apply in the Options dialog.


STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
Module 5 5-59

Note that the effect is to change the color used to display the
node number labels.

• Click the Beam Labels tab.

• This page offers controls that affect the style, alignment, and
font used to display beam numbers and section references.

For example:

Click Font.

Choose Bold Italic in the Font Style category.

Click OK in the Font dialog.

Click Apply in the Options dialog.

Note that the effect is to change the font style used to display
the beam number labels.

• Click the Annotation tab.

• This page offers controls that affect the style, alignment, and
font used to display all of the different types of results
annotation that are available.

In this sense, “results annotation” pertains to the options


offered in the tabs of the Annotation dialog as described
above. It includes things like reactions, beam shears and
moments, and nodal displacements.

There may be a tendency to try to use the Beam Labels and


Node Labels tabs to control the annotation of beam and node
results.

Instead, remember that results annotation settings are


controlled from this separate page within the Options dialog,
called the Annotation page.
STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
5-60 Module 5

The separation of these controls was provided so that font (and


related display settings) could be used to distinguish between
results annotation and other labels on the diagrams.

For example:

Click Font.

Choose 18 in the Size category.

Click OK in the Font dialog.

Click Apply in the Options dialog.

Note that the effect is to change the font size used to display
the annotation text, which is currently set to display nodal
displacement in the Global Y direction.

• In the upper left corner of the Annotation page is a list box


labeled Style.

• The effect of the two Style settings is to either append a units


indicator to the end of every results value, or to not display the
units.

If the Diagram Info label was turned off in the Labels page, it
might be helpful to append the units indicator to all results on
the screen.

On the other hand, including the units label in the annotation


can sometimes cause the structure diagram to become cluttered
with too much annotation.

In this case it might be preferable to turn the Diagram Info


label on, and annotate the structure with the result values only,
since the Diagram Info reports the units.

• Set the Style to 123.4, and then click OK.


STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
Module 5 5-61

• The structure diagram now shows nodal displacement values


for deflection in the global Y direction, and the Diagram Info
label indicates that the units are inches.

• Keep the current model open for use in the next section.
STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
5-62 Module 5

5.13 Individual Control of Labels

• Ensure that the file named Dataset 5_1.std is the currently


active model.

• Click the Post Processing tab at the top of the Main Window.

• Click OK to accept the default settings in the Results Setup


dialog.

• The Displacement sub-page of the Node page will be active by


default.

• With the various types of annotation that can be added to the


structure diagram, the display can become very cluttered.

• To neaten up the display, certain types of labels can be


individually turned on or off.

• The program allows individual control for:

• beam numbers,

• node numbers,

• plate numbers and

• solid numbers.

• Four cursors are provided for the purpose of selecting


individual labels to turn on or off.

• These cursors are located on a small toolbar on the left side of


the screen called the Labels toolbar.
STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
Module 5 5-63

Figure 5. 12

• In order to use the Labels Cursors, at least some labels must


be turned on, and the program has to be instructed to “Use
partial labeling mode.”

• To turn labels on, right-click in the Main Window, and then


click Labels… from the pop-up menu.

• Click the checkbox to display Beam Numbers in the Beams


category.

• Instructing STAAD.Pro to “Use partial labeling mode” is a


two-step process:

• Click the Always Use Current Label Settings radio


button near the bottom of the Diagrams dialog.

• Click the Use partial labeling mode checkbox even


further down on the Diagrams dialog.

Note that this option is grayed out until Always Use


Current Label Settings is selected.

• Click OK.

• Click the second cursor on the Labels toolbar, the Turn


ON/OFF Individual Beam Label cursor.

• Now click on any individual beam in the model. Clicking once


turns the beam label off, and clicking again turns the label
back on.
STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
5-64 Module 5

• The normal operation of the Labels cursors may sometimes


require redrawing the screen to completely remove a label.

• If this happens (most notable on vertical members) a shortcut


is to roll the wheel on the mouse forward and then backward.
This forces a quick redraw of the screen by zooming in and
back out.

• Press the esc key to turn the Labels Cursor off.

• Keep the current model open for use in the next section.
STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
Module 5 5-65

5.14 Animation

• Ensure that the file named Dataset 5_1.std is the currently


active model.

• Post Processing mode should be active.

• Select 1:DEAD LOAD as the active load case.

• Animation can be used to dynamically display the movement


of the structure due to forces acting upon it.

• It can be a very effective way of displaying and checking the


results of an analysis.

• Animation can often reveal problems with the model. For


example if there is no connection between members at a
location where a connection was intended, this will become
immediately apparent when animation of the deflections is
viewed.

• Click the Animation tab in the Page Control. The Diagrams


dialog opens with the Animation page active.

• Click the Deflection radio button in the Diagram Type


category, and then click the Apply button.

• The structure diagram is now moving, but the deflection may


not be visible due to the current scale.

• Click the Scales tab in the Diagrams dialog.

• Click the Apply Immediately checkbox in the upper right


corner of the dialog.
STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
5-66 Module 5

• In the Result Scales category, set the value of the


Displacement field to 0.01 inches per foot {0.8 mm per m}
using the arrows beside the field.

The deflection should be easily visible at this scale.

• Click the Loads and Results tab.

• Select 3:TRANSVERSE WIND LOAD ALONG GX in the


Load Case list, and then click Apply.

The deflection is dramatic at this scale.

• Click the Scales tab again.

• Increase the value in the Displacement field to 0.1 inches per


foot {8 mm per m}.

To review: the concept with scaling in STAAD.Pro is that the


scale can be thought of as “number of force units or deflection
units per scale unit of length measure on the screen.”

Therefore larger scale values result in smaller graphical


deflections on the screen, and vice versa.

The deflection should be more reasonable at this scale, but the


animation may be moving too fast to interpret easily.

• Click the Animation tab in the Diagrams dialog, and adjust


the Target FPS to 5 frames per second.

• Click Apply and observe the animation.

The structure should now deflect and return to its original


shape more slowly, but the animation is not smooth.

• Set the value of the Extra Frames parameter to 20, and then
click the Apply button.
STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
Module 5 5-67

This should make the animation appear more fluid and smooth,
but slow to complete a full deflection cycle.

• Increase the Target FPS setting to 40 and click Apply.

• Now set the Extra Frames parameter to its maximum value of


99, and the Target FPS to its maximum value of 99 frames per
second.

At these settings, the animation will be very smooth, but at the


expense of processing time. Not much of an issue for a model
of this size.

• Note that in the current animation, both columns are rotating


as rigid bodies, showing no deformation along their lengths.

• Click the Section Displacement radio button in the Diagram


Type category, and then click OK.

• Now note the difference in the appearance of the deformed


columns.

The column on the left displays reverse curvature due to the


fact that it was modeled as being fixed at the support, and
because there is continuity between the top of the column and
the top chord member.

The column on the right displays single curvature because it is


pinned at the support but there is continuity between the top of
the column and the top and bottom chord members.

• To stop the animation, press the esc key twice.

To reopen the Animation page, click again on the Animation


tab in the Page Control.

Another way to access the Animation page is to right-click in


the Main Window, select Structure Diagrams… from the pop-
STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
5-68 Module 5

up menu, and then click on the Animation tab in the Diagrams


dialog.

A third way to access the Animation page is to pull down the


Results menu and select the Animation… command.

Using this method, note the icon that looks like a television set
to the left of the Animation command in the pull-down menu.

When an icon is displayed next to a menu item in a


STAAD.Pro menu, it indicates that there is a corresponding
toolbar button on one of the STAAD.Pro toolbars that
performs the same function as selecting the command from the
menu.

The Animation toolbar button is located on the Results toolbar,


and it provides another convenient way to quickly open the
Animation page.

Note that the toolbar names are not visible when the toolbars
are docked.

To find the name of a toolbar, place the cursor over the toolbar
at a location where it does not have any buttons, click and hold
the left mouse button, and then drag the toolbar out into the
Main Window and release the left mouse button.

The toolbar will float in the Main Window, and the toolbar
name will be displayed.

To dock the toolbar again, place the cursor over the toolbar’s
title bar, click and hold down the left mouse button, drag the
toolbar back to the location where it was originally docked,
and then release the left mouse button.

• Keep the current model open for use in the next section.
STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
Module 5 5-69

5.15 Plotting Output from STAAD.Pro

• STAAD.Pro offers a variety of options for plotting output.


These different options are explored in detail in a different
module, but the following is a brief list of the plotting options
that are available.

• The Print Current View option is available from the Print


toolbar.

• Print Preview Current View is also available from the


Print toolbar.

• The Take Picture option is available from the Print


toolbar.

When images are captured with the Take Picture option,


they then get incorporated into printed output through the
Report Setup tool, which is accessible from the Print
toolbar as shown below.
STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
5-70 Module 5

• The Export View option, also available on the Print


toolbar, provides the ability to export a view or the screen
to a graphic image file.

• The Copy Picture option is available from the Edit item in


the Menu Bar.

Graphic images captured using the Copy Picture option


can be pasted into a program capable of handling graphics
such as Microsoft Paint, Adobe Photoshop, etc.
STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
Module 5 5-71

• Finally, it is possible to capture the display on the screen


by pressing the "Print Screen" key or “Shift-Print Screen"
depending on the keyboard configuration.

Images captured this way will be copied to the Windows


clipboard, where they can then be pasted into another
graphics program.
STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
5-72 Module 5

5.16 Simple Query

• Ensure that the file named Dataset 5_1.std is still the active
model.

• Click the Post Processing tab at the top of the Main Window.

• Click OK to accept the default settings in the Results Setup


dialog.

• STAAD.Pro has a tool called Simple Query that can be used to


search the results for very specific information, such as results
that meet a combination of specified criteria.

The search results can also be saved so they will be available


later if the Report Setup facility is used to prepare a report.

• To demonstrate the use of the Simple Query feature, let’s


assume that the goal is to study vertical deflections of the truss
in Dataset 5_1, and to identify any nodes along the bottom
chord that deflect 1/2 inch {12 mm} or more under load
condition 4, the combination of dead, live, and wind loads.

• Select the nodes along the bottom chord. See the


commentary below for some options.

One option would be to choose the Nodes Cursor, and to use


the point and click method to select each node individually
while holding down the Control (Ctrl) key.

Another option would be to view the model from the +Z or –Z


direction, and then drag a fence around the bottom chord with
the Nodes Cursor.

• Click Tools | SQL Query | Simple Query .

• Click the New Query button.

• Queries consist of logical or conditional statements that filter


for desired information.
STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
Module 5 5-73

• Click on the arrow in the Select Table Type box to see the
different types of tables that can be searched with the Simple
Query tool.

• Select Node Tables from the list.

This controls what tables will be available to choose from


when developing the conditional statement.

• Click the Node Displacements checkbox.

This identifies the specific table that will be used to develop


the conditional statement. The checkboxes listed below Node
Displacements represent the individual fields that are in the
Node Displacements table.

• Click the checkboxes to select Node No., Load Case, and Y


Displacement.

This identifies which fields will be included in the results of


the query. By default, if no checkboxes are selected, all fields
in the table will be included in the results.

• Click the radio button labeled Where, under the Select


Condition category.

Several more options will become activated in the Select


Condition category.

• Choose the Load Case option in the Select Field list.

• Choose the = (equals) symbol in the Operator list.


• Enter a value of 4 in the Value field.

• Click the double-right-arrow button to the right of the


Value field.

• Select the AND command from the small pop-up sub-menu.


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5-74 Module 5

• The Select Field, Operator and Value options will be cleared


to allow another conditional statement to be entered.

• Select the Y Displacement option in the Select Field list.

• Choose the <= (less than or equal to) symbol in the Operator
list.

• Enter a value of -0.5 {-0.012} in the Value field, and then click
the Done button.

Note the need to use the negative value here, because of the
sign convention used on downward displacements in the
model. Also note that when metric units are used, the default
units for displacement in the Simple Query are meters, thus a
value of -0.012 must be entered.

• The Select Table and Fields and the Select Condition


categories will become gray, indicating that they are now
inactive.

• Click the radio button for Selected Node No. in the Query for
category.

This indicates that STAAD.Pro is only to consider the


currently selected nodes as it processes the query. Currently,
the only nodes that are selected are those in the bottom chord
of the truss.

• Click the OK button.

• The query now appears under the Query Statement category in


what is known as SEQUEL syntax.

• The Query Statement could be edited manually at this point if


necessary.

Even without knowing SEQUEL syntax, it is easy to modify


the query by changing the node numbers, displacement values,
logical operators, etc….
STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
Module 5 5-75

• Click the Execute Query button.

• STAAD.Pro runs the query and displays the results in a table


in the Query Result section.

The results indicate that seven nodes (1, 2, 3, 4, 12, 13 and 14)
all experienced downward vertical deflections of 1/2 inch {12
mm} or more under load condition 4.

• There is an obvious difference between a Query and the results


of a query. STAAD.Pro allows both to be saved.

Depending on the stage of design, if there is reason to think


that analysis results are likely to change, it might be wise to
save the query, so it could be rerun at a later date.

• Click the Save Query button.

• Edit the title to read Deflections One-Half Inch or Greater


{Deflections 12 mm or Greater}, and then click OK.

• The saved query name now appears in the Query List on the
left side of the Simple Query dialog. It will be available to
rerun at any time in the future.

• To save a copy of the results just produced by this query, click


the Save Query Result button.

• Enter Bottom Chord Deflections in the Title field.

The text entered in the Title field will appear as a title at the
top of the query results if the results are printed in a report.

• The Save Report checkbox will be toggled on by default.

If it is toggled off, the query results will not be available after


the program is closed and reopened at a later date.

• Revise the Id to read Bot Chord.

The Id is used to assist in identifying the query results if they


are to be incorporated into a report.
STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
5-76 Module 5

• Click the OK button.

• The program will save the query result, and it will appear in a
list of available report items if the Report Setup facility is used
to prepare and print a report.

• Note that in order to save query results, the query itself must
be saved first.

• Click the Close button to dismiss the Simple Query dialog.

• Click File | Close to return to the Start Page.

• Click No when asked if you want to save.

-End of Module-
6-1

Steel Design

Module 6
The following topics are included in this module.

6.1 Introduction to STAAD.Pro Steel Design ....................................... 2 


6.2 How to Specify Steel Design Parameters ........................................ 4 
6.3 How to Use the Check Code Command....................................... 18 
6.4 Checking Steel Design Results ....................................................... 25 
6.5 Optimizing Steel Designs................................................................. 30 
6.6 Statically Indeterminate Structures .................................................. 34 
6.7 Finalizing the Design ....................................................................... 39 
6.8 Additional Comments Regarding Design Commands ................... 51 
STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
6-2 Module 6

6.1 Introduction to STAAD.Pro Steel Design

• Steel design in STAAD.Pro involves two basic kinds of


activities: Code Checking and Member Selection.

Code Checking:

• Check Code is a request to determine if the member properties


that the user has provided are adequate to carry the forces that
are applied to the members.

• Used when the user has provided member properties and


presumes that those properties are fairly close to what they
should be.

• If members are found to be inadequate in a code check, the


user is responsible for finding a new set of members to replace
the inadequate ones.

Member Selection

• By contrast, Member Selection is a request to provide an


optimum set of members, that is, to indicate what minimum
weight cross sections are sufficient to safely carry the design
loads.

• In a Member Selection the program finds the lightest


acceptable section, incorporating the specified constraints,
such as minimum depth, or sections of a particular profile.

For example, if STAAD.Pro is restricted to choose from


among W12 sections, it will not look for any W8 sections that
might be sufficient.

• The actual optimization process is to start with the lightest


possible section within the specified constraints, and verify
whether or not that section is adequate.
STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
Module 6 6-3

• If it is not adequate, the program goes to the next heavier


section and keeps going until it finds the first one that satisfies
the code requirements and the specified constraints.

• If it is unable to find any section that satisfies both the


specified constraints and the code requirements, the program
will report the last section it tried, and the results of that
check, including why that section failed the code check.

The sequence of commands for performing a Check Code and


those for performing a Member Selection are similar.
STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
6-4 Module 6

6.2 How to Specify Steel Design Parameters

• Open the file named Dataset 6_1.std.

• This model has been constructed and loaded using the


STAAD.Pro Pre Processor.

• Preliminary member sizes have been assigned, and the model


is prepared for the design/code checking process.

• The commands related to design and code checking are added


to the input file in the modeling mode of the program.

• Before adding these commands, let’s first introduce an


additional command that is quite useful in certain situations:
the Load List command.

• In the Main Menu bar, select Commands | Loading | Load


List.

• In the Load List dialog, note that the four load cases that are
present in this model are listed.

• The load cases consist of the three primary load cases: Dead,
Live, and Wind. The fourth load case is the load combination
case: LC1 + LC2 + LC3.

• It is common to only consider the load combinations, instead


of the primary load cases, when performing member design or
code checking operations.

• We can instruct STAAD.Pro to only consider Load Case 4


when performing the design and code check operations by
using the Load List command.

As another example, assume that we have a model containing


both unfactored and factored load combinations.
STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
Module 6 6-5

We could use the Load List command to select the unfactored


load combinations, then issue a PRINT SUPPORT REACTIONS
command to view the unfactored reactions for foundation
design.

Then, we could use a second Load List command to select the


factored load combinations, and then issue all of the
commands related to member design or code checking using
LRFD procedures.

• In the Load Cases window of the Load List dialog, select 4:


LC1 + LC2 + LC3 .

• Move this load to the Load List window by selecting the

single right arrow button, . Click OK .

• Load Case 4 will now be the only load case considered for any
commands that are issued hereafter, until another Load List
command is issued.

View the Input file, and note that the command LOAD LIST 4
has been added at the end of the file, just above the FINISH
command.

• Next, click on the Design tab at the bottom of the Page


Control. The Design page is activated.

• Note that the Design tab logically follows the Analysis/Print


tab.

This follows the program methodology of suggesting a logical


workflow process by the order in which the Page Control tabs
are organized.

• Five sub-page tabs labeled Steel, Concrete, Timber, Aluminum,


and Shearwall appear beneath the Design page.
STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
6-6 Module 6

The Steel page is active by default. In the Data Area on the


right, a dialog with the title Steel Design – Whole Structure is
displayed.

This dialog will be referred to from here on as simply the Steel


Design dialog.

• STAAD.Pro offers the choice of designing using many


different codes from numerous countries.

• Access to the different codes depends on which codes were


requested when the software was purchased.

• Click the Current Code list at the top of the Steel Design
dialog to view the available codes for steel design.

• Select the AISC 360-05 code.

Some general discussion about parameters:

• In the lower portion of the Steel Design dialog note the three
buttons labeled Select Parameters, Define Parameters and
Commands.

• Click the Define Parameters button.

• The category window on the left side of the Design


Parameters dialog lists all of the available parameters from
which to choose.

• The parameters listed in this dialog are those that are


referenced in the various sections of the currently selected
design codes.

• This dialog is used to control the variables and to set values


for the different design parameters.
STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
Module 6 6-7

• All the parameters displayed in this dialog are initially set to


default values.

• In the absence of any other instruction, STAAD.Pro will use


the default parameter values shown.

• One common example of the use of parameters is to correctly


set the yield strength of the different members in the model.

For instance, in the steel design example, the structure has


tubes as the top chord members. Many tubes come in 46 ksi
{320 N/mm 2 or MPa} steel, while the majority of wide flanges
are 50 ksi {345 N/mm 2 or MPa}.

• The yield strength affects many of the design equations when


solving for section capacities.

• The FYLD parameter can be used to specify different values of


yield strengths for different members.

• Scroll down through the list of parameters on the left side of


the Design Parameters dialog to find the FYLD parameter.

• Click on FYLD . The right side of the dialog indicates that


FYLD is the current parameter, and that it represents the Yield
strength of steel, and it provides the default value for the
variable.

• If the Yield strength of steel is shown in some units other than


kip/in 2 {N/mm 2 }, change the Length Units to Inch {
Millimeter}, and set the Force Units to KiloPound {Newton}.
See the step-by-step instructions in the following commentary.

Click Close to dismiss the Design Parameters dialog.

Click Tools | Set Current Input Units.

Click Inch {Millimeter} in the Length Units category.


STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
6-8 Module 6

Click KiloPound {Newton} in the Force Units category, and


then click OK.

Click the Define Parameters button once again.

Scroll down the list of parameters on the left and find the
FYLD parameter.

Click FYLD , and note that the value is now reported in units
of kip/in 2 {N/mm 2 } with a default value of 36 {248.213}.

• Some other commonly used parameters are the ones which


affect slenderness checking; i.e. Kl/r ratio.

Effective length factor, K, addresses the end conditions of the


columns.

The unsupported length, l, represents the distance between two


points at which the member is braced against lateral buckling.

The radius of gyration, r, is a property of the cross section,


expressed as the square root of the moment of inertia divided
by the area.

Since r is a function of the member cross section, STAAD.Pro


has this value already, and r is not a user-input value.

The user does have influence over the values used for K and l.

• For the Y-axis the parameter names are K y and l y ; for the Z-
axis, they are called K z and l z .

• In the absence of any user input, the K values are assigned a


default value of 1.0 and the l values are assigned to be equal to
the node-to-node member length.
STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
Module 6 6-9

• It is up to the user to assign the correct K and l values to the


members.

For example, the columns supporting the truss in the current


model might be braced by wall girts at intermediate points, in
which case, the value for l could be smaller than the overall
length of the member.

It is important that the user understand the system of bracing


in the model.
For example, a member that is braced at a point against
buckling in one plane may not necessarily be braced for
buckling in the orthogonal plane at that point.

Under these conditions, it may be necessary to modify the


default value of 1.0 for K in one of the directions.

• STAAD.Pro has a third parameter called Kx which affects the


slenderness calculation for Flexural Torsional Buckling
(failure by twisting).

• A similar set of parameters affects the capacities in bending by


specifying unbraced lengths for bending members.

Under normal conditions, when a beam bends, one flange is in


tension, the other in compression.

Compression flanges can buckle, either local buckling or


lateral torsional buckling, between points of bracing.

• Two parameters called UNT and UNB are used to define these
unbraced lengths for bending.

• UNT is the unbraced length for the top flange of the beam, and
UNB is the unbraced length for the bottom flange.

• “Top flange” and “bottom flange” are defined with reference


to the orientation of the local axis system.
STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
6-10 Module 6

• The flange on the positive side of the major (local x) axis, i.e.,
in the direction in which the local y-axis points, is the top
flange; the flange on the negative side is the bottom flange.

Figure 6. 1

There may be instances where the top flange of a wide flange


beam is braced by a deck or slab of some type, precluding any
kind of buckling of the top flange; whereas, the bottom flange
may be supported at discrete distances.

Under this condition, the unsupported length for the top flange
will be one value, and the unsupported length for the bottom
flange will be another value.

These parameters require the application of engineering


judgment on the part of the user.

• Parameters can also be applied to assist with deflection


checking.

• The deflection limits in most codes are considered


serviceability requirements as opposed to strength or life
safety requirements.

• For this reason, deflections are not automatically investigated


when the Check Code command is used, and are not considered
when the Member Selection is used.
STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
Module 6 6-11

• To specifically instruct STAAD.Pro to perform deflection


checking, the variables Dff, Dj1 and Dj2 can be specified.

In the case of the current steel design example, STAAD.Pro


would need input from the user as to what to consider as the
“length” of the top and bottom chords of the truss, if a
deflection check were to be performed. It can’t determine the
length automatically, because those structural elements are
represented by a series of individual member segments
connected at nodes.

The details of all of these parameters are explained in Chapter


2 of the Technical Reference manual. There are also several
examples in the Examples manual that illustrate the use of
parameters to control the design.

• Click Close to dismiss the Design Parameters dialog for now.

• Click the Select Parameters button.

• Select Parameters is really just a convenience feature, to help


configure the display to individual preferences. It does not
control any type of program function. It simply offers control
over which parameters will be displayed in the Design
Parameters dialog.

• The Parameter Selection dialog is divided into two sides:


Available Parameters and Selected Parameters.

• Items can be moved back and forth between the two sides by
using the left and right arrow and double-arrow buttons that
are familiar from other similar selection dialogs in
STAAD.Pro.

• To reduce the clutter in the Design Parameters dialog, the


Parameter Selection dialog can be used to remove any
parameters that will not be used.
STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
6-12 Module 6

• Only parameters that are in the Selected Parameters list will


be listed in the Design Parameters dialog and will be
accessible for use in the model.

• This makes it more convenient to locate the parameters that


will be used on a regular basis.

Selecting specific parameters for the steel design model:

The example problem will make use of just a few parameters


for illustration purposes.

• Click the double-left arrow to move all parameters from


the Selected side to the Available side.

• Scroll down through the Available list, click on FYLD , and

click the single-right arrow to move it to the Selected


side.

• Repeat for the Ky , Method , and Track parameters, then


click OK.

Defining specific parameters for the steel design model:

• Click the Define Parameters button once again.

The list of available parameters is now reduced to just the four


we specifically selected in the step above.

• Click FYLD in the short list of parameters.


STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
Module 6 6-13

The model contains wide flanges, channels, angles, and tubes


with yield strengths shown in the following table.

Member Section Fy
Columns Wide flange: W 18 x 35 50 ksi {350}
Bottom chord Channel: C 12 x 30 36 ksi {250}
Top chord HSS: 7 in. x 4 in. x 3/16 in. 46 ksi {320}
Webs Angle: 3 in. x 3 in. x ½ in. 36 ksi {250}

• Enter 50 {350} in the Yield strength of steel field and click


Add.

Some new lines are added to the input file, and can be seen in
the Command Tree in the Steel Design dialog.

The new lines include the units change to UNIT INCHES KIP
{UNIT MILLIMETER NEWTON}, the reference to the
selected AISC code, and a line referring to FYLD 50 {FYLD
350} with a question mark icon.

The question mark icon indicates that this particular parameter


has not yet been assigned to any members.

• Enter 46 {320} in the Yield strength of steel field and click


Add.

It is not necessary to add a value of 36 {250} in the Yield


strength of steel field for the channel and angle sections, since
this is the default STAAD.Pro value that will be assigned to
those members automatically absent any instructions to the
contrary.

• Click the KY parameter tab. (Assume that we have already


determined that a value of Ky = 1.2 is appropriate for the
columns in this model.)

• Enter a value of 1.2 in this field, and click Add.

• Click the METHOD parameter.


STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
6-14 Module 6

For steel design using the American AISC 360-05 code, it is


necessary to specify the design method to be used, LRFD or
ASD. The default value is LRFD.

• For this example, select ASD from the list, and click Add.

• Click on the Track parameter tab.

The Track parameter is used to control the amount of detail


that is printed in the design output.

• Click the radio button corresponding to level 1, i.e. maximum


detail level, then click Add.

• Click the Close button.

• Note that all of these new lines have been added to the end of
the input file by default.

• If there is ever a need to insert a parameter at a location other


than the default end-of-file location, this can be done using the
After Current checkbox as described in the commentary below.

First, click on the line in the Command Tree that immediately


precedes the desired insertion point of the new command.

Next, use the Design Parameters dialog to select the new


parameter and set its value.

Finally, click the After Current checkbox in the Design


Parameters dialog and click Add or Assign.

The newly added parameter should appear in the Command


Tree immediately after the currently selected command.
STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
Module 6 6-15

Assigning specific parameters for the steel design model:

• The question marks displayed to the left of some of the


parameters in the Command Tree indicate that those
parameters have not yet been assigned to any members in the
model.

If the model was analyzed at this point, the parameters with


the question marks would have no influence on the model. In
fact, those lines get skipped, and don’t even get echoed in the
output file.

• In order to make use of these parameters, they must be


Assigned to the members to which they apply.

• FYLD 50 {FYLD 350} applies to wide flange members, which


are the columns in the model.

• In the Steel Design dialog, click FYLD 50 {FYLD 350}.

• Click Select | By Group Name… | _COL, and then click


Close to dismiss the Select Groups dialog.

• Back in the Steel Design dialog, confirm that the Assignment


Method has automatically changed to Assign To Selected
Beams, and then click Assign.

• Click Yes in the pop-up dialog confirming the assignment.

• Note that the question mark corresponding to the FYLD 50


{FYLD 350} parameter has been replaced with a green check
mark in the Command Tree, indicating that this parameter has
been assigned to at least one member.

• FYLD 46 {FYLD 320} applies to tube members, which are the


top chord members in the model.

• In the Steel Design dialog, click FYLD 46 {FYLD 320}.


STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
6-16 Module 6

• Click Select | By Group Name… | _TOPC, and then click


Close to dismiss the Select Groups dialog.

• Back in the Steel Design dialog, confirm that the Assignment


Method has automatically changed to Assign To Selected
Beams, and then click Assign.

• Click Yes in the pop-up dialog confirming the assignment.

• The KY factor will be assigned to the two columns.

• Click in a blank area of the Main Window to deselect all


members.

• Click on KY 1.2 in the Command Tree.

• Click on one of the columns.

• Press and hold down the Control (Ctrl) key, and then click on
the other column .

• Release the Control (Ctrl) key. Both columns should now be


selected.

• Confirm that the Assignment Method has automatically


changed to Assign To Selected Beams, and then click Assign.

• Click Yes in the pop-up dialog confirming the assignment.

• The yellow question mark to the left of KY 1.2 in the


Command Tree changes to a green check mark.

• Note that the METHOD ASD item already has a green check
mark. This indicates that this parameter was automatically
assigned to every member of the model and no further
assignment is necessary for this parameter.

• Finally, the Track parameter will be assigned to all members


in the structure.
STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
Module 6 6-17

• Click on the TRACK 1 item in the Command Tree list.

• Click the Assign To View radio button in the Assignment


Method category. Click the Assign button.

• Click Yes in the pop-up dialog confirming the assignment.

• All the members in the structure are highlighted and the


yellow question mark to the left of the TRACK 1 item changes
to a green check mark, indicating that the TRACK 1 design
parameter has been assigned.

• Notice the checkbox labeled Highlight Assigned Geometry


immediately below the Command Tree in the Steel Design
dialog.

• This is a useful option for checking that items like parameters,


properties, etc. have actually been assigned to the intended
members.

• To demonstrate, make sure the Highlight Assigned Geometry


checkbox is toggled on, and then click on FYLD 50 {FYLD
350} and FYLD 46 {FYLD 320} in succession.

• The member geometry will be highlighted appropriately as the


different parameters are selected in the Command Tree.

• A copy of this model is already saved in this state in the


dataset, and is named Dataset 6_2.std.

• Click File | Close to return to the Start Page.

• Click No when asked if you want to save.


STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
6-18 Module 6

6.3 How to Use the Check Code Command

• Open the file named Dataset 6_2.std.

• Click the Design tab in the Page Control.

• Assume the intent is to do a code check for all of the members


in the structure.

• Click Select | By All | All Beams.

• Click the Commands… button in the lower portion of the


Steel Design dialog.

• The CHECK CODE tab is currently the active tab in the


Design Commands dialog.

The Assign button will be available, because members are


presently selected in the Main Window.

The Assign button is convenient because it adds the command


of the currently active page to the command list, and it
simultaneously assigns the command to all of the currently
selected members.

This is more convenient than the two-step process


demonstrated in the previous section where design parameters
were first added to the input file and then assigned to specific
members in a separate step.

Note that the Assign button would not have been available if
the members had not been selected first.

This behavior is typical of many dialogs in STAAD.Pro.

For these reasons, it is good practice to select the members to


be operated on first, and then perform the operation.
STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
Module 6 6-19

• Click the Assign button to add the Check Code command to


the command list and simultaneously assign it to all the
members in the model.

• Click the Close button to dismiss the Design Commands


dialog.

• Click Analyze | Run Analysis….

• Click the Save button.

• The STAAD Analysis and Design dialog opens, and a series of


messages scroll down the screen as the program runs the
analysis.

While the analysis is running, the button in the lower right-


hand corner of the STAAD Analysis and Design dialog is
labeled Abort.

After the analysis is complete, the label on that button changes


to Done.

There will now be some new messages in the STAAD Analysis


and Design dialog that were not present the first time the
analysis was run. These indicate additional operations that
were performed, like Performing Steel Design, Finished
Design, Creating Design Information File (DGN), etc.

• The indications that the run was successful are:

• The message **Output Written to File.

• The presence of an option to Go to Post Processing Mode.

• The absence of any error messages at the bottom of the


STAAD Analysis and Design dialog.

If the program is ever unsuccessful in analyzing the input file


and generating results, the Post Processing mode will not be
available, as shown in Figure 6. 2 below.
STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
6-20 Module 6

Figure 6. 2

The program might also display a message like ERROR in


Analysis, check Output (ANL) File, if the analysis concludes
prematurely, without generating any results.

If this ever occurs, open the output file and look for error
and/or warning messages that will help to locate the problem.

Figure 6. 3
STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
Module 6 6-21

The STAAD Output Viewer has two panes. If there is any kind
of problem in the file, the left pane will display horizontal bars
labeled Error or Warning.

There may also be a Results bar if the program was able to


proceed through the analysis far enough to generate some
results.

What is the difference between an error message and a warning


message?

An Error message indicates a condition which must be


corrected in order for a successful analysis to be performed. A
Warning message indicates that the program encountered an
unexpected or abnormal condition, but it was still able to
perform an analysis while warning that the output results
should be checked carefully.

• Click the View Output File radio button in the lower left
corner of the STAAD Analysis and Design dialog, then click
the Done button.

• The Results bar will appear at the top of the left pane of the
STAAD Output Viewer.

• Click on the STEEL DESIGN item under the RESULTS bar in


the left pane. It is a link directly to the beginning of the steel
design results in the output file.

• STAAD.Pro CODE CHECKING – (UNIFIED ASD) – indicates


the design code selected.

• The next line indicates the units that are being used to report
the results.

• The results of the code check are reported in this table for each
member in the model.

• The level of detail shown in this table is a function of the


Track parameter, which was set to a value of 1.
STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
6-22 Module 6

• Note the asterisk beside member 1. This is actually a


graphical flag used to denote members that fail the code check.

• The column headed MEMBER displays the member number.

• The ST notation indicates that it is a standard section, as


opposed to a user-defined section.

• The column headed TABLE lists the name of the cross section
(a C12 x 30 channel in this case).

• Each of the remaining columns reports two pieces of data. The


column headings provide the key to determining what the data
represents.

• First read the top line from left to right.

• The column headed RESULT provides the overall design result


for the member in PASS/FAIL format. In this case the
member fails.

• The column headed CRITICAL COND reports the code


reference to the expression that produces the highest ratio for
the member. In this example, the CRITICAL CONDITION is
created by Clause H1 (axial force plus bending) in AISC 360-
05.

• The column headed RATIO provides the controlling utilization


ratio for the member (this is essentially a demand/capacity
ratio). In this case, RATIO is the term on the left-hand side of
AISC 360-05 equation H1-1a or H1-1b.

• The column headed LOADING indicates the Load Case that


produced the controlling ratio.

• The column headed FX (directly beneath RESULT) indicates


the axial force in the member under the controlling Load Case.
In this case, it is a tensile force, indicated by the “T” after the
force magnitude.
STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
Module 6 6-23

• Note that this is not necessarily the largest axial force, just the
axial force associated with the load case indicated in the
LOADING column.

• The columns headed MY and MZ indicate the bending


moments about the local y- and local z-axes, respectively, that
are associated with the load case indicated in the LOADING
column.

• The last column headed LOCATION provides the location


along the beam where the RATIO is the highest. In this case
the value is 0.00, indicating that the critical loading takes
place at the starting node of the member.

• Recall that Member 1 is the only member in the model with a


beta angle equal to 90 degrees.

• The model is a planar structure with no out-of-plane forces


acting on it.

• For Member 1, the local y-axis is oriented parallel to the


global Z-axis, because the beta angle is 90 degrees. Based on
the applied gravity loading, we would expect bending to take
place about this member’s local y-axis.

• We would expect no bending about Member 1’s local z-axis,


since no out-of-plane forces are acting on the structure.

• For the remaining members, we would expect that bending will


take place about their local z-axes since their local z-axes are
oriented parallel to the global Z-axis, and we expect no out-of-
plane bending to take place about their local y-axes.

• The box below the table data provides some additional


information regarding member slenderness checks and
capacities.

• Click File | Exit in the STAAD Output Viewer window to


return to the STAAD.Pro environment.
STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
6-24 Module 6

• A copy of this model is already saved in this state in the


dataset, and is named Dataset 6_3.std.

• Click File | Close to return to the Start Page.

• Click No when asked if you want to save.


STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
Module 6 6-25

6.4 Checking Steel Design Results

• Open the file named Dataset 6_3.std.

• In addition to reviewing the output file, there are other


facilities available for checking steel design results.

• Click Analyze | Run Analysis… to be sure analysis results are


available and current.

• When the analysis is complete, click the Stay in Modeling


Mode radio button, and then click Done.

Searching for Failed members in Modeling Mode:

• Click Select | By Specification | All Failed Beams. All of the


members that are highlighted failed the code check.

• This command warrants a bit of caution.

• If the input file does not include any steel design commands,
no steel design will be performed and no steel design results
will be generated. So, no beams will fail!

• If that is the case, then executing the command Select | By


Specification | All Failed Beams may produce a message
indicating that no beams failed.

• This message can be misleading. If no Check Code command


was included in the input file, or if an analysis has not yet
been run, the program will not be able to correctly identify
failed members.
STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
6-26 Module 6

Observing Design Results on the Unity Check page in the Post


Processor:

• Click Mode | Post Processing .

• Click OK in the Results Setup dialog to display results for all


load cases.

• Click the Beam tab in the Page Control.

• Click the Unity Check tab.

The Unity Check sub-page was not present until the Check
Code command was added.

• The members in the structure diagram will be color coded and


annotated with their controlling ratio values, and the ratios
will also appear in the Design Results table.

Any member with a ratio value less than or equal to 1 is


considered to have passed the code check; a member with a
ratio greater than 1 is considered to have failed, hence the term
Unity Check.

• Right-click the mouse in the Main Window, and then click


Structure Diagrams… from the pop-up menu.

• Click the Design Results tab in the Diagrams dialog.

• The Design Results page provides a way to adjust the color-


coding of members based on the value of their design ratio.

• Radio buttons allow the user to choose between basing the


diagram on Actual Ratios or Normalized Ratios. (The
Normalized Ratio is calculated by dividing the Actual Ratio by
the specified value of the RATIO parameter.)

• Click the Show Diagram (Based on Actual Ratio) radio


button.

• The next set of radio buttons allows a choice between a Basic


Diagram and a Detailed Diagram.
STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
Module 6 6-27

• Click the Basic Diagram radio button.

• In the Basic Diagram option:

• Members are displayed in 4 distinct colors to indicate Not


Designed, Pass, Fail, or Extreme Failure.

• Colors can be changed if desired by double-clicking on


them.

• The default values define Pass as a ratio less than 1, Fail


if the ratio is between 1 and 1.5, and Extreme Fail if the
ratio is greater than 1.5.

• These ranges can be customized as desired.

• It is important to understand that the categories of Pass


and Fail on this diagram can be set to have different
ranges of values than those used in the calculation engine
during the steel design process.

• In the calculation engine, a Fail status will be reported on


any member whose Unity Check value exceeds 1.0
multiplied by the value of the RATIO parameter and
multiplied by the OVR parameter (both of whose default
values are 1.0).

• Click the Detailed Diagram radio button.

• In the Detailed Diagram option:

• Ranges of values can be created for interpreting the design


status.

• By default, the range consists of an equally distributed set


of values between the lowest ratio and the highest ratio.

• The Use Custom Limits checkbox provides a way to create


an equally distributed set of values between a user-defined
minimum and maximum ratio limit.
STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
6-28 Module 6

• The Use Custom Divisions checkbox makes it possible to


specify ranges that are not necessarily equally distributed.

• The colors used to represent the different ranges can be


changed as desired by double-clicking on them.

• In all cases, the scroll box is available for increasing or


decreasing the No. of values (number of color-coded value
ranges) that are displayed.

• The Show Values checkbox controls whether or not ratio


values appear on the diagram.

• Click Cancel in the Diagrams dialog to return to the Unity


Check page.

Observing Design Results using the member query feature:

• Double-click on Member No. 1 (bottom chord member just to


the right of midspan).

• This dialog continues to get populated with more information


as the model is constructed, properties get assigned, and as
analysis and design results become available.

• Now that the analysis has been re-run using some steel design
commands, a new page is present.

• Click the Steel Design tab in the Beam dialog.

• This Steel Design page displays the same information that was
just reviewed in the output file in the previous section.

• This is an easy way to obtain basic design results for a


particular member.

• The Steel Design page presents the design strength, critical


loads, pass / fail status, unity ratio, governing clause of the
design code, Kl/r ratio, etc.
STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
Module 6 6-29

• Click the Close button to dismiss the member query dialog.

Searching the Output File for Failed Members:

• Click the STAAD Output icon on the File toolbar.

• Click the Find toolbar button in the upper left corner of


the STAAD Output Viewer (it looks like a pair of binoculars).

Another way to open the Search dialog is to pull down the


viewer’s Edit menu and select the Find command, or use the
shortcut key method of pressing the F key while holding down
the Control (Ctrl) key.

• Type the word Fail into the field labeled Find What at the top
of the dialog, then click on the Find Next button.

• The viewer moves to the first instance of the word “Fail” in


the output file and highlights it.

• If the search does not find any instance of the word “Fail” in
the output file, the message, “SproView has finished
searching” is displayed.

• Continue to click the Find Next button to find successive


occurrences of the word “Fail”.

• From the current cursor location, the direction of the search


can be specified in the Direction category as either Up or
Down.

• Click Cancel to dismiss the Search dialog.

• Click File | Exit in the STAAD Output Viewer.

• Keep the current model open for use in the next section.
STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
6-30 Module 6

6.5 Optimizing Steel Designs

• The next logical step after obtaining the results of the code
check is to have STAAD.Pro optimize the design.

• STAAD.Pro has the ability to select the most economical


section in terms of weight that will satisfy the code
requirements.

• Ensure that the file named Dataset 6_3.std is still the active
model.

• Click the Design page tab in the Page Control.

• The Check Code command that appears in the Steel Design


dialog is no longer appropriate, since the goal is now to allow
STAAD.Pro to select members that satisfy the code
requirements, rather than to just check and report on the
assigned sizes.

• Right-click on the CHECK CODE command, then select


Delete Command from the pop-up menu. Click Yes to
confirm.

• Select all members using any preferred method. See


commentary below for options.

Drag a rubber band line around the entire model with the
Beams Cursor, or choose Select | By All | All Beams.

• Click the Commands button at the bottom of the Steel Design


dialog.

• Click the Select option in the Design Commands dialog.

• Click the Assign button to simultaneously add the SELECT


command to the command list and assign it to all members in
the model.

• Click the Close button.


STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
Module 6 6-31

• The green check mark to the left of the SELECT command


indicates that the command has been assigned to members in
the model.

The icon would appear as a yellow question mark instead of a


green check mark if the Add button was clicked instead of the
Assign button. If this was the case, the Assign To View option
could be used to assign the SELECT command to all members
in the model.

• Click File | Save and then click Save in the pop-up warning
dialog box to confirm the intent to save the input file with the
recent changes.

• Click Edit | Edit Input Command File.

• Scroll down through the input file in the STAAD.Pro Editor.


Note that the CHECK CODE ALL command has been replaced
by the SELECT ALL command.

• Click File | Exit in the editor’s menu bar to return to the Main
Window.

• Click Analyze | Run Analysis….

• A dialog pops up with the warning message shown below.

Figure 6. 4

• Click Yes. The meaning of this warning will be discussed in


detail in an upcoming section titled “Statically Indeterminate
Structures”.
STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
6-32 Module 6

• When the analysis concludes, click the View Output File


radio button, and then click the Done button at the bottom of
the STAAD Analysis and Design dialog.

• Click the words STEEL DESIGN under the RESULTS bar.


This is a link to go straight to the steel design pages in the
output file.

• Scroll through the steel design results, and note that every
member has passed.

• Note also that nearly every member now has a unique cross
section, because no control was provided for the program as it
optimized individual members.

• A more sophisticated optimization technique will be presented


in an upcoming section titled “Finalizing the Design”.

• Click File | Exit in the STAAD Output Viewer.

• In the Steel Design dialog, note that the MEMBER


PROPERTIES AMERICAN folder icon has been expanded in
the Command Tree.

• The new entries in the list (the ones with the question marks)
represent the sections that were determined to be the optimized
sizes by the SELECT command.

• The question mark icon is used to indicate that they have not
yet been assigned to the model.

• Don’t be deceived by the fact that the optimized member sizes


were just viewed in the STEEL DESIGN section of the output
file.

• Press Shift + X , the hotkey to show member sections on the


structure diagram.

• Note that the sections shown on the structure diagram are still
the original sizes that were assigned to the members.
STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
Module 6 6-33

• There is one additional step to instruct STAAD.Pro to update


the model with the optimized member sections. It is
accessible from the Post Processing mode, and the command is
Results | Update Properties. This command will not be used
here, but it will be covered in the upcoming section titled
“Statically Indeterminate Structures”.

• A copy of this model is already saved in this state in the


dataset, and is named Dataset 6_4.std.

• Click File | Close to return to the Start Page.

• Click No when asked if you want to save.


STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
6-34 Module 6

6.6 Statically Indeterminate Structures

• In a previous section titled “Optimizing Steel Designs,” a


warning message was encountered in the beginning of the
analysis.

• The message indicated that the model contained instructions


for Member Selection/Optimization and/or Grouping but that
these commands were not followed by an instruction to
reanalyze the model.

• It goes on to say in effect that the analysis results will not be


consistent with the new member properties.

• Open the file named Dataset 6_4.std.

• Click Analyze | Run Analysis….

• Click Yes to acknowledge the warning dialog and allow the


analysis to run.

• When the analysis concludes, click the Go To Post Processing


radio button, and then click the Done button.

• Click OK in the Results Setup dialog to select all four load


cases.

• Click the Beam tab in the Page Control, and then click the
Unity Check tab.

• The Design Results table shows the Analysis Property cross


sections that were used in the analysis to obtain the member
forces. These are the member sections that we initially
assigned to the members of the model.

• This table also shows the Design Property sections, which are
the member sizes chosen using the Select command, and the
ratios for each of the Design Property sections.
STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
Module 6 6-35

• Most of the Actual Ratio values are all less than but very close
to 1.0. This is an indication of the efficiency of the selection
process.

If many members were far below, say, 0.9, it would not be


considered to be an efficient, economical design.

Occasionally there might be a member with a very low ratio.


For example, one of the angles, an L20202 (2 in. x 2 in. x 1/8
in.) has a ratio of approximately 0.52 {0.63}. This is because
that angle size is the smallest angle available.

In other cases, the efficiency of the design might be governed


by the slenderness ratio Kl/r.

In that case, the member might appear to be underutilized in


terms of its ultimate strength, but that larger cross section is
needed to resist buckling effects.

Note: there is a provision in some codes that permits members


to be designated as secondary members that are not subject to
slenderness limits. An example might be a member that is
designed to perform in tension, but which might also
experience some compression loading. In such cases, the
parameter called Main can be used to designate certain
members as secondary members, and waive the slenderness
check.

• To understand the warning message that appeared when the


Analyze | Run Analysis command was issued, first consider the
difference between a determinate structure and an
indeterminate structure.

• A determinate structure is one in which all the forces and


reactions in the structure can be found using equations of
static equilibrium.

• Simply by setting the sum of the forces and moments equal to


zero, all of the internal forces in a determinate structure can be
solved.
STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
6-36 Module 6

• In an indeterminate structure on the other hand, there are more


unknowns than there are equations of static equilibrium.

• In order to have a sufficient number of equations to solve for


the unknown quantities, additional equations known as
Equations of Compatibility must be relied upon.

• For example, it could be said that, at a point of connection


between a vertical column and a horizontal beam, the
displacement of the vertical member must be equal to that of
the horizontal member.

• These Equations of Compatibility use relationships between


the forces and the displacements, and they depend upon the
section properties of the members.

Moment Distribution methods for solving indeterminate


structures rely on equations that involve the fixed end
moments and quantities like E, I, and L.

• Consider the portal frames shown in the figure below. Both


frames have identical geometry, support conditions and
external loading, but the member properties are different.
STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
Module 6 6-37

Figure 6. 5

• These two frames would not be expected to have the same


distribution of forces and reactions, due to their differences in
stiffness.

• This points up the other difference between determinate and


indeterminate structures; the nature of force distribution and
redistribution in an indeterminate structure depends on the
section properties of the members.

• What does all this have to do with the member selection


process and the warning message that appeared during the
analysis?
STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
6-38 Module 6

• When the model was first analyzed, STAAD.Pro used the


section properties of the members that were initially specified.

• From that analysis, it obtained a set of forces and


displacements.

• Those forces and displacements were then used to select some


new members that satisfied Code requirements.

• However, we have not yet given STAAD.Pro the command to


reanalyze the model to incorporate the effects of the changes
in stiffness as a result of the newly-selected member sizes.

• If the intent is to use these new members in the final design,


the forces that were used to select the members will no longer
be valid, because those forces were based upon a completely
different set of member properties.

• In a statically indeterminate model, once the properties are


changed, it must be reanalyzed, in order to make the loading
consistent with the properties.

• In the case of this particular model, it also needs to be


reanalyzed for another reason. Load Case 1 is based on the
self-weight of the members. Since the self-weight of the new
members is likely to be different than the self-weight of the
original members, the analysis must be re-run to incorporate
this change as well.

• Keep the current model open for use in the next section.
STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
Module 6 6-39

6.7 Finalizing the Design

• Ensure that Dataset 6_4.std is still the current file.

• To make this design more realistic, the member sizes should


be fairly uniform.

• At present, the Select command has optimized the size of each


member individually, so practically every member in the
model has a unique cross section.

• It is obviously not practical to construct a real-world structure


this way.

• Instead, certain parts of the structure should be comprised of


members of a uniform cross section.

• For example, the bottom chord members should probably have


a uniform cross section, the top chord members should have a
uniform cross section, and similarly for the two columns and
the webs.

• The other issue we have to address is the consistency of the


analysis results and the member section properties.

• Based on the discussion in the previous section, once the


program has selected optimum members of a uniform size, the
model should be re-analyzed.

• The forces found in the first analysis will not be valid anymore
because of the differences in stiffness and self-weight
associated with the member size changes.

• A second analysis will determine the distribution of the forces


in the new members.

• With the new force values, one more code check can be
performed, to confirm that the new members are able to safely
bear the forces on the structure.
STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
6-40 Module 6

• In other words, to meet these objectives, the program needs to


perform multiple analyses. So, the general procedure is:

• Analyze the structure using the initial properties.

• Perform a Member Selection to optimize the design.

• Make the sizes uniform – the command to do this must


always be preceded by a member selection.

• Re-analyze the structure for the new member sizes.

• Perform a Code Check.

• The commands to perform the analysis and the member


selection have already been defined.

• The next step will be to go back to the Modeling mode, Design


page, to tell the program to make the sizes uniform, re-analyze
the structure and perform a code check.

• The command to make the member sizes uniform is called the


Group command (see Section 5.48 in the Technical Reference
manual).

• This command should not be confused with commands used in


other Modules to create groups, select by group, etc. (see
Section 5.16 in the Technical Reference manual).

• The steel design Group command tells the program to use the
same cross section for a given set of members.

• As noted above, the command to make the member sizes


uniform must always be preceded by a member selection.

• Ensure that the program is in Modeling mode. If not, switch to


Modeling mode by clicking Mode | Modeling.

• Click the Design tab in the Page Control.


STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
Module 6 6-41

• Highlight the Select command in the Command Tree of the


Steel Design dialog, and then click the Commands button in
the Steel Design dialog.

• Toggle on the After Current checkbox at the bottom of the


Design Commands dialog.

The use of After Current ensures that the next command will
be added immediately beneath the command that is currently
selected in the Command Tree, instead of defaulting to the
position at the very end of the Command Tree.

• Click the Group item.

• STAAD.Pro needs direction as to what parameter to use when


evaluating a list of members and identifying a “controlling”
section.

Normally members would be grouped according to the member


in the group with the highest weight (i.e. largest cross
sectional area).

But members can be grouped using other criteria as well.

The section with the highest weight may not be the one with
the largest section modulus.

• The Property Specification list on the Group page offers


control over what property to use in identifying the controlling
member. Options include Ax, Sy or Sz (area or section moduli
about the y- or z- axes).

For some codes, there is a fourth option called None.


Selecting None is the same as selecting Ax as the controlling
parameter.

Another modifying option is to toggle on the Same As Beam #


checkbox. If this option is used, the selected Property
STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
6-42 Module 6

Specification from the selected beam will be used as the


governing property for the group.

• If no selection is made in the Property Specification list the


default group method will be used, which is to determine the
cross sectional area of the largest member in the group and
then assign that size to all members in the group.

• Select Ax in the Property Specification list.

• The current model lends itself to four groups: top chord,


bottom chord, columns and webs.

• Ensure that the After Current checkbox is toggled on, click the
Add button four times, and then click the Close button to
dismiss the Design Commands dialog.

• Click anywhere in the Main Window to deselect all members.

The first GROUP MEMB command will be assigned to the


columns.

• Click on the first Group Memb command in the Command


Tree.

• Toggle on the Use Cursor To Assign radio button in the


Assignment Method category.

• Click the Assign button to activate the Assign mode.

• Click on one column, then the other.

• Click on the Assigning button to turn the Assign mode off.

• Again, click anywhere in the Main Window to deselect all


members.

The second GROUP MEMB command will be assigned to the


truss bottom chord.
STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
Module 6 6-43

• Click on the second Group Memb command in the list.

• Click Select | Beams Parallel To | X .

The Assignment Method in the Steel Design dialog is now


automatically set to Assign To Selected Beams.

• Click the Assign button, and then click Yes to confirm.

• Again, click anywhere in the Main Window to deselect all


members.

The third GROUP MEMB command will be assigned to the top


chord.

• Click on the third Group Memb command in the list.

• Click Select | By Group Name.

• Select G2:_TOPC from the Select Groups dialog, and then


click the Close button.

The Assignment Method in the Steel Design dialog is now


automatically set to Assign To Selected Beams.

• Click the Assign button, and then click Yes to confirm.

• Again, click anywhere in the Main Window to deselect all


members.

• Assign the fourth GROUP MEMB command to the _WEBS


group using this same procedure.

• Click the Analysis/Print page in the Page Control area.

• The Analysis/Print Commands dialog opens, with the Perform


Analysis tab active.

• Click Add, then Close.


STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
6-44 Module 6

• This adds a second PERFORM ANALYSIS command in the


Command Tree of the Analysis dialog.

• Click the Design page in the Page Control.

• Click the Commands button in the Steel Design dialog.

• The Design Commands dialog opens with the CHECK CODE


page active.

• Click Add, then Close.

• Select the CHECK CODE line in the Command Tree of the


Steel Design dialog.

• In the Assignment Method category, select the Assign to View


radio button.

• Click the Assign button.

Note that it is not necessary to re-specify the design


parameters. The parameters that were specified previously will
remain valid until they are re-specified.

The program will continue to use the ASD provisions of the


AISC 360-05 code, the K values, FYLD values, the Track
parameter, etc., until they are re-specified or until the program
reaches the FINISH command.

• Click Analyze | Run Analysis….

• Click Save in the Warning dialog that pops up.

• Check for any error messages in the STAAD Analysis and


Design dialog.

• If the analysis ran successfully, click the Go to Post


Processing Mode radio button, and then click the Done
button.
STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
Module 6 6-45

• Click OK in the Results Setup dialog.

• Now click the Beam page tab, and then click the Unity Check
page tab.

• Look in the Design Results table and note that all of the
channels now have the same cross section specified in the
Design Property column. The same is true for all of the tube
sections, angle sections, etc.

• Also note that Member 27 failed the Unity Check, with an


Actual Ratio value of 1.110. (Note: This is only true if the
English dataset is being used. There are no failed members at
this point if the Metric dataset is used. For the Metric
example, the largest Actual Ratio value is 0.940).

• As discussed above, this is due to the fact that the member


selection process causes significant changes in relative
stiffness, and the member forces get completely redistributed
when the model is re-analyzed.

• What options are available in situations where some members


have failed after the Check Code command?

• One option is to perform another design iteration: reselect,


regroup, and reanalyze.

• This process can be iterated over and over until STAAD.Pro


converges on a solution.

• In larger and more complex models, more design iterations


may be required in order to converge on a solution.

• There is a quick way to reduce the number of iterations that


may be required by using a STAAD.Pro design parameter
called the Ratio parameter.

• Click Mode | Modeling to return to Modeling mode.


STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
6-46 Module 6

• Click the Design page tab.

• Select all of the members in the model.

One quick way to select all members is to click inside the


Main Window and use the standard Windows shortcut key
combination of Control (Ctrl) + A.

• Click on the “+” sign to the left of the Parameter 1 folder in


the Command Tree.

• Click the TRACK 1 parameter to make it the current location.

• Click the Define Parameters button.

• Scroll down through the list of available parameters, and click


on the Ratio tab.

• The Ratio parameter can be used to specify an upper limit for


the ratio of the applied forces to the capacity of the section.

Setting this value to something less than 1.0 directs


STAAD.Pro to select members with some additional capacity
with respect to the code design (or allowable) strength.

This builds in a margin of additional strength in the structure


that allows it to tolerate the inevitable redistribution of loads
that occurs when member stiffnesses change.

The resulting design is less sensitive to subtle shifts in load.

In this way, an acceptable design will be found with fewer


design iterations required.

• Enter a value of 0.75 in the field labeled Permissible ratio of


actual load to section capacity.

• Toggle on the After Current checkbox.

• Click the Assign button.


STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
Module 6 6-47

• Click the Close button.

• Scroll down through the list of commands in the Steel Design


dialog. Locate the PARAMETER 2 command, just before the
CHECK CODE command at the very bottom of the list.

• Click on the + symbol adjacent to the PARAMETER 2 item to


expand the tree.

• Select the CODE AISC UNIFIED command to highlight it.

• Re-select all members in the model.

• Click the Define Parameters button.

• Click the Ratio item.

• The value in the edit box labeled Permissible ratio of actual


load to section capacity should have defaulted back to 1. This
time, leave it at its default value.

• Toggle on the After Current checkbox.

• Click the Assign button.

• Click the Close button.

Now when an analysis is run, the Select command will use a


ratio of 0.75 and the Check Code command will use a ratio of
1.0.

• If any member still fails, the analysis could be run again to see
if STAAD.Pro will correct the failure based on the
redistribution of forces.

• Another approach would be to go back and change the value


used in the Ratio command to something slightly more
conservative.
STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
6-48 Module 6

The Ratio command can also be applied selectively. Several


different Ratio commands could be used to specify different
ratio values for different members.
For example, the ratio for member selection of channels could
be set to 0.7, and for selection of angles it could be set to 0.6.

STAAD.Pro offers quite a bit of flexibility in this regard. Of


primary importance is that the parameters must be set and
other operations must be performed in the correct sequence.

• Click Analyze | Run Analysis….

• Click Save to acknowledge that the model has changed.

• When the analysis is complete, click the radio button to Go to


Post Processing Mode, and then click Done.

• Click OK to select all load cases if the Results Setup dialog is


displayed.

• Click the Beam page tab followed by the Unity Check sub-tab
in the Page Control.

• Click the Actual Ratio column heading to sort all members


by their ratio values. Note that the highest ratio is now 0.895
{0.901}.

• The recent changes to the input file have corrected the fact that
some members were actually very slightly overstressed.

• It is interesting to note that not all of the members ended up


with a ratio less than 0.75, which was the limit used in the
SELECT command.

• This is a good demonstration of how stresses can “creep” after


member sizes change and forces redistribute.
STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
Module 6 6-49

• It is also a good demonstration of wise use of the Ratio values


(0.75 to select, 1.0 to check), to eliminate the need to run
multiple iterations.

• A few notes on the use of the RATIO parameter:

• Good practice is to use values between zero and 1.0 with


the RATIO parameter.

• Resist the temptation to use RATIO to account for


increases in allowable stresses that may be permitted in
some codes.

• In addition to modifying the allowable stresses, RATIO


has the effect of acting as a multiplier on allowable KL/r
slenderness ratios. This makes RATIO very effective in
building some conservatism into a design when it is used
with values less than 1.0, but makes it technically
incorrect if used with values greater than 1.

• If there is a need to acknowledge allowable overstresses


(other than what is already built into modern load
combinations), then STAAD.Pro provides the OVR
parameter.

• Good practice would be to use the OVR parameter with


values greater than 1.0 to account for allowable stress
increases.

• Select the STAAD Output icon, , from the toolbar to view


the output file.

• Click the first STEEL DESIGN line under the RESULTS bar
to go straight to the steel design pages in the output file.

• Note that members 1 and 4 fail during the member selection


routine.
STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
6-50 Module 6

• They “fail” because their unity check values exceed the 0.75
limit placed by the RATIO command.

• The warning message, “TRIAL FAILS FOR MEMBER x.


FOLLOWING IS LAST RESULT OF TRIAL”, indicates that
STAAD.Pro performed a code check for all channel sections in
the database, and none were satisfactory. The results that are
reported are for the last section that was tried. In this case, the
last section tried (i.e. the heaviest channel section) is a
C15x50.

• A copy of this model is already saved in this state in the


dataset, and is named Dataset 6_5.std.

• Click File | Close to return to the Start Page.

• Click No when asked if you want to save.


STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
Module 6 6-51

6.8 Additional Comments Regarding Design


Commands

Additional design commands available:

• Open the file named Dataset 6_5.std.

• Click the Design tab, followed by the Steel sub-tab in the


Page Control.

• Click the Commands button in the Steel Design dialog.

• Note the option labeled Select Optimized.

• “Optimized” in this context means that the program will


automatically iterate twice, without the need for the user to
manually specify the repetitions with Select and Perform
Analysis commands.

• The commentary below describes the Select Optimized


command in greater detail. It is good to be aware that the
command exists, as it may have an application under special
circumstances. However, good practice generally dictates
manually specifying an iterative “analyze-design-reanalyze-
check” process as described above.

When the Select Optimized command is issued the following steps are
taken: CHECK CODE ALL, then modify ratios, then SELECT ALL,
then PERFORM ANALYSIS, then SELECT ALL.

There are some limitations to what the Select Optimized


command can handle.

In a file with a lot of difficult conditions, for example a file


that includes specifications such as Member Tension, Member
Cable, Multilinear springs, Tension-only springs, etc.,
STAAD.Pro may report that it is unable to optimize the model.

Also, the Select Optimized command only executes one


additional iteration. It does not cause the program to iterate
STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
6-52 Module 6

endlessly, until it converges to a solution to some n th degree of


precision.

• The Select Weld command instructs STAAD.Pro to pick a


weld size for moment resisting connections (frame
connections).

• The Select Weld Truss command should be used for pure axial
conditions where STAAD.Pro does not have to design for
shears and moments.

• Take Off and Member Take Off commands can be used to


generate a Bill of Materials for a model, including a report of
the weight of each member. Both commands perform the same
basic function, but the Member Take Off command provides a
higher level of detail in the output file.

• The Fixed Group command is an alternate to the Group


command. Fixed Group is used with the Select Optimized
command, in the same way that Group is used with the Select
command.

• No changes have been made to the model named Dataset


6_5.std.

• Click File | Close to return to the Start Page.

• Click No when asked if you want to save.

-End of Module-
7-1

Finite Element Modeling

Module 7
The following topics are included in this module.

7.1 Introduction to Finite Element Analysis .......................................... 2 


7.2 How to Create Finite Elements ....................................................... 12 
7.3 How to Create Plates with Nodes Off-Grid ................................. 18 
7.4 Mesh Generation ............................................................................... 20 
7.4.1 Using Structure Wizard to Generate a Mesh ............................. 21 
7.4.2 Creating a Mesh From a “Super-Element” ................................ 26 
7.4.3 How to Use the Mesh Generation Cursor ................................. 29 
7.4.4 Using the Editor to Create a Mesh ............................................ 37 
STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
7-2 Module 7

7.1 Introduction to Finite Element Analysis

• Beams and columns are modeled with line-type entities.

• Modeling walls, roofs, slabs and other surface components


requires an area-type entity capable of distributing load in
more than one direction.

• This entity is known as a finite element.

• In a finite element analysis, a wall or a slab is modeled by an


assemblage of small parts consisting of triangles or
quadrilaterals.

• STAAD.Pro documentation uses the terms “finite elements”


and “plates” interchangeably.

• The difference between a beam and a plate relates to their


abilities to distribute loads.

• A load that is applied to a beam can really go in only two


directions, towards one end, or the other as indicated
graphically in Figure 7. 1 below.

Figure 7. 1
• By contrast, in a plate, there is more than one path for the load
to flow as indicated graphically in Figure 7. 2 below.
STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
Module 7 7-3

Figure 7. 2
• A plate can be 3-noded (triangular) or 4-noded (quadrilateral).

• The thickness of a plate may be different from one node to


another.

• All nodes of a 4-noded plate must lie in the same plane. If


four nodes do not lie on one plane, use two triangular
elements.

• STAAD.Pro includes another type of entity called a Surface


element, which inherently is a mesh of plate elements. Surface
elements are not covered in detail in this Module.

• Another finite element available in STAAD.Pro is a solid


element, or cube. Solid elements will not be used in this
training.

The eight-noded solid element, or cube, is shown in Figure 7. 3


below.

Figure 7. 3
STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
7-4 Module 7

Solid elements are normally used only in situations where the


thickness of the object being modeled is large in proportion to
the lateral dimensions.

By collapsing various nodes together, an eight-noded solid


element can be degenerated to forms with four to seven nodes,
as shown in Figure 7. 4 below.

Figure 7. 4
• In a structure where the ratio of the smallest lateral dimension
to the thickness is less than 10, it is generally advisable to
model that structure using solid elements, as indicated
graphically in Figure 7. 5 below.

Figure 7. 5

Why Use a Mesh?

• When analyzing a beam, if the displacements at the ends are


known, the displacements at intermediate points can be
determined using secondary analysis techniques like the
moment-area method.
STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
Module 7 7-5

Figure 7. 6
• In a plate, there are no equations to determine the
displacement at some arbitrary point within the 3 or 4 corners
of the element.

• It is impossible to accurately model the behavior of a slab


using just a single element.

• Displacements can only be determined at the nodes (corners)


of finite elements, and stresses can only be accurately
determined at the center of an element.

• So, to solve for displacements at interior points of a slab, or to


determine the deformed shape along the edges of a slab, the
slab must be modeled using a series of plate elements, such
that the points of interest become nodes of the elements.

• To determine stresses at points of interest, one must


interpolate values between the centers of adjacent elements.

• Consider a slab supported by a frame, and assume that under


load it had a deflected shape similar to the shape shown in
Figure 7. 7 below.

Figure 7. 7
STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
7-6 Module 7

• In order to obtain deflection information along the indicated


edge, it would be necessary to know the deflections at the
points of maximum deflection, at the end points, and at a few
intermediate points, as shown by the X’s in the figure.

• The more data points there are, the more accurately the
deflected shape can be modeled.

• On the other hand, it would be undesirable to have too many


points, since it would make the structure too cumbersome to
analyze.

• Judgment must be exercised in selecting the number of


elements used to model a slab in order to balance accuracy
with modeling efficiency.

• Another situation in which more than one plate element would


be needed to model a slab would be when the stresses are to be
determined in a slab subject to some type of point loading.

• At points of application of concentrated loads, it is typically


desirable to model many elements in order to determine the
stress distribution in the slab caused by the concentrated load.

• So, rather than just a single element or a few elements, a series


or matrix of finite elements is often needed to accurately
model the behavior of a wall or slab.

• This series of elements is commonly referred to as a mesh.

• Once a mesh has been created, incorporated into a model and


used as a basis for further developing the model, it can be
difficult to go back later and change the size (i.e. the
‘density’) of the mesh.

Some suggestions that may help determine required mesh size:

• Try to predict the approximate deflected shape of the structure,


and envision the number of nodes that would be required to
STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
Module 7 7-7

provide a reasonably accurate indication of that deflected


shape.

For example, a simply supported plate deflects like a bowl.


Envision the deflected shape that would be revealed if
longitudinal and transverse sections were cut through the
point of maximum deflection. The shape would be parabolic,
similar to the deflected shape of a beam.

How many points does it take to accurately represent a


deflected shape of that type? Probably a total of seven points
would be a minimum.

Seven points would imply six elements along the length of the
beam. Thus a six-by-six grid of elements seems like a
minimum for this plate.

If the edges of the element are fixed or monolithic with a


concrete beam, the deflected shape is more like an inverted
hat. In this case, nine or more points may be required to
accurately represent the deflected shape. That would imply
eight or more elements in that direction.

• Finer meshes may be needed in the vicinity of any


concentrated forces in order to visualize the deflected shape or
the stresses at that location.

One rule of thumb for determining the number of nodes to be


modeled around a point load is to start by envisioning a
circular area around the concentrated load. Divide that circle
into 30° pie-shaped segments. This implies 12 triangular
elements around a circle whose center is the location of the
point load.

• A finer mesh should be considered around any holes in a plate,


based on engineering judgment.

• Again, there are no hard-and-fast rules for how many elements


to use.
STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
7-8 Module 7

Guidelines for Element Shape:

• The shape of the individual elements is important in order to


obtain good results from the finite element analysis.

• Optimum shape for a quadrilateral element is a square.

• The more a quad plate deviates from a square towards a


rectangular shape, the less accurate the results become.

• The same effect holds true as the corner angles of a


quadrilateral plate deviate from 90 degrees.

• The best results are obtained when the ratio of the


element’s longest side to its shortest side is no greater than
2:1. In no case should the ratio exceed 4:1.

• As a general rule for quadrilateral plates, internal angles


of plate elements should be kept between 60 and 120
degrees. Internal angles in excess of 180 degrees are not
allowed.

• In the case of triangular elements, the ideal shape is an


equilateral triangle.

• As a general rule for triangular plates, internal angles


should be kept as close to 60 degrees as possible.

• Figure 7. 8 below, taken from Section 1.6 of the STAAD.Pro


Technical Reference manual, shows examples of well-formed
and poorly-formed plates.
STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
Module 7 7-9

Figure 7. 8

How to address poorly shaped plates in a model:

• The problem can usually be solved by breaking a badly shaped


plate into two or more plates that have a better shape.

• For example, a badly shaped quadrilateral plate can often be


broken into two triangular plates that will have better shapes.

Figure 7. 9

• Since plates cannot have curved sides in STAAD.Pro, circular


structures must be modeled using a series (i.e. mesh) of
triangles or quadrilaterals.

• One way to model circular plates in STAAD.Pro is to draw


them using a radial grid.

• Because the distance between grid points gets larger toward


the outside of a radial grid, it is possible to end up with
elements near the outer edges that are very long and narrow as
shown in the figure below.
STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
7-10 Module 7

Figure 7. 10
• When the ratio of the element’s longest side to its shortest side
exceeds 4:1, the results of a finite element analysis become
questionable, or even impossible to obtain.

• The figure below shows a method of creating elements so they


get smaller towards the center but retain the same approximate
proportions between the sides. This is a recommended
procedure to avoid receiving error messages or inaccurate
results when performing an analysis on a radial structure.

Figure 7. 11
STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
Module 7 7-11

• Consider all of these things when estimating how many


divisions a mesh should have to generate a successful finite
element model.
STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
7-12 Module 7

7.2 How to Create Finite Elements

• Click File | New from the Start Page.

• Use the following settings in the New dialog:


Space frame
Length Units: Foot {Meter}
Force Units: KiloPound {KiloNewton}
File Name: My Dataset 7_0

In the Location field, STAAD.Pro indicates the location


where a new file is to be saved. To change the location, click
the button with three dots in it, browse to the desired location,
and click OK.

• Click Next.

• Select Add Plate, and then click Finish.

STAAD.Pro opens the Main Window with a grid and the Snap
Node/Plate dialog active. This environment looks similar to
the grid used earlier to draw beams. The controls for the grid
are identical. The only difference is that the Plates Cursor is
active, and drawing on the grid produces plates instead of
beams.

• Click the cursor at 4 successive points in a clockwise or


counterclockwise direction to experiment with drawing a
quadrilateral plate.

• Toggle off the Snap Node/Plate button in the Snap


Node/Plate dialog.

• STAAD.Pro draws a 4-noded element, automatically closing


the polygon from the last node you picked back to the first
node.
STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
Module 7 7-13

• The hot spot concept is the same for plates as it is for drawing
beams. The ending node for the last plate becomes the
beginning node for the next plate, unless the Control (Ctrl) key
is pressed to move the hot spot.

• It is essential to draw the nodes of a plate element in either a


clockwise or counterclockwise sequence.

• Although STAAD.Pro will allow a plate to be drawn in a


sequence that is not clockwise or counterclockwise, a plate
defined in this manner will be “warped” and will cause errors
when the analysis is run.

• The geometry shown in Figure 7. 12 below represents an


attempt to draw a plate without drawing the nodes in
consecutive order, clockwise or counterclockwise. The figure
shown below is not two triangular plates, because there is no
node where the diagonal lines cross. Instead it is a folded or
“warped” rectangular plate.

Figure 7. 12
• Plates should not be defined in this manner, even though the
program does not prohibit nodes from being selected this way.

Notice that the Plates Cursor is now automatically


activated by STAAD.Pro, based on our decision to Add a
Plate.

• Double-click on the plate just drawn.


STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
7-14 Module 7

• An element query dialog opens, just as it does for beams and


nodes. It provides:
• Node coordinates

• Lengths of the sides

• Plate area

• The Property Constants page does not contain any information


at this point, because properties have not yet been defined.

• More information will appear in the element query dialog as


the model is constructed.

• When the model is completed and the analysis has been run,
additional tabs will appear in this dialog for displaying results
such as stresses, displacements, etc.

• Click Close to dismiss the dialog.

• The Plates Cursor can be used to select plates, copy and paste
them, etc.

Sometimes there is a noticeable delay when trying to select a


plate. This can be caused by the amount of calculation
required by the program, to determine if the click point is a
point on the surface of a particular element. If this happens,
try clicking another location within the same plate.

• Tool tip help, or “bubble help”, is also available for plates.


Hover the Plates Cursor over the plate. A window displaying
some information about the plate will pop up next to the Plates
Cursor.

The amount and type of information displayed by the tool tip


help is controlled by selecting the Structural Tool Tip Options
command from the View pull-down menu.

• Click Geometry | Plate in the Page Control.


STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
Module 7 7-15

• Two tables labeled Nodes and Plates are displayed in the Data
Area on the right side of the screen.

These tables are analogous to the Nodes and Beams tables for
structures composed of linear elements.

• The Nodes table provides the XYZ coordinates for each node
in the model.

• The Plates table contains a listing of the plates in the model,


and their incidences, that is, the nodes at their corners A, B, C
and D.

• The order in which the nodes are listed follows the order in
which they were added to the grid.

• The significance of this order is that it establishes the local


coordinate system for the plate.

• This local coordinate system makes it possible to discuss the


stresses on an individual element without having to resolve
those stresses with respect to the global coordinate system.

• Consider the plates with nodes at the corners labeled A, B, C


and C as shown in Figure 7. 13 below. The orientation of the
local coordinate system axes for plates is determined as
follows:

1) The local x-axis is defined to be parallel to the vector


pointing from node A to node B.

2) The cross-product of vectors AB and AC defines a vector


parallel to the local z-axis of the plate, i.e., Z = AB x AC.
The local z-axis is always normal to the plate surface.

3) The cross-product of vectors Z and X defines a vector


parallel to the local y-axis, i.e., Y = Z x X. (Both the X
and Y axes lie in the plane of the plate.)
STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
7-16 Module 7

4) The origin of the axes is at the center (average) of the 4


node locations (3 node locations for a triangle).

Figure 7. 13
• The side of the plate from which the z-axis points in the
positive direction is considered to be the “top” of the plate.

• The locations of nodes A, B, C and D are dependent solely on


the order they are picked (or typed in the editor) when
defining the plate element. Therefore, the orientation of the
local axis system is also solely dependent on the order in
which the plate corners are selected.

• Orientation of the plate’s local z-axis determines which


surface of the plate is considered the “top” and which is the
“bottom.”

Note that in the normal process of modeling with plates, it is


common to end up with plates in various orientations. To
address this, and provide some consistency to the orientation
of logical groups of plates, STAAD.Pro provides a tool called
Commands | Geometric Constants | Plate Reference Point…
This tool can be used to reorient plates as desired.

• Additional information on creating plate elements, and details


on the theoretical basis of STAAD.Pro finite elements are
STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
Module 7 7-17

provided in Section 1.6.1 of the STAAD.Pro Technical


Reference manual.

Creating Triangular Plates:

• Click Geometry | Snap Grid/Node | Plate | Triangle.

• Click at three locations on the grid to create a three-noded


plate element.

• Click Snap Node/Plate to toggle it off.

• Using the Plates Cursor , click on the triangular plate


just drawn.

• Notice that triangular plates can be selected just like


rectangular plates.

• Keep the current model open for use in the next section.
STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
7-18 Module 7

7.3 How to Create Plates with Nodes Off-Grid

Suppose the goal is to create a plate with a node that is not


located at a grid point. Suppose for example that one of the
plate corners must be 0.7 feet {0.7 meters} to the right (i.e. in
the positive X direction) of an existing grid point. How can
this be done?

• Ensure that the Snap Node/Plate button is toggled on.

If the Snap Node/Plate dialog is not still open, click Geometry


| Snap Grid/Node | Plate | Quad.

• Press and hold the Control (Ctrl) key.

This method allows nodes to be placed without connecting


them with plate edges.

• Click at the four corners of a new plate using the grid.

• Release the Control (Ctrl) key.

• Click the Snap Node/Plate button to toggle it off.

• Select the Nodes Cursor, and then click on the node in the
upper right corner to select it.

• Click Geometry | Move… | Joint.

• Enter 0.7 in the X field, and then click OK.

• Click Yes in the pop-up dialog offering the option to split


members if the moved node happens to fall on an existing
member.

• Click Geometry | Snap Grid/Node | Plate | Quad.

• Click the checkbox to Snap to existing nodes too in the Snap


Node/Plate dialog.
STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
Module 7 7-19

This is necessary in order to snap to the node that was just


shifted off the grid.

• Click on the four newly added nodes to draw the plate.

• Click the Snap Node/Plate button to toggle it off.

• Keep the current model open for use in the next section.
STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
7-20 Module 7

7.4 Mesh Generation

• Suppose a model contains some nodes that define the corners


of a wall that is to be represented with a series of finite
elements.

• Such a series or matrix of coplanar finite elements is often


referred to as a mesh, and the process of creating a series or
matrix of elements is known as mesh generation or meshing.

• An earlier section demonstrated how to create additional nodes


between existing grid points, then draw in the plates from node
to node. That is what one might call a “brute force” method
for generating a mesh.

• Fortunately STAAD.Pro offers four alternative methods that


are much more convenient and much less labor-intensive.
• Structure Wizard method
• Super-element method
• Mesh Generator method
• STAAD.Pro Input Editor method.

• These methods will be discussed in detail in the following


sections to illustrate four different methods to create a 20 ft x
40 ft {6 m x 12 m} rectangular mesh.
STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
Module 7 7-21

7.4.1 Using Structure Wizard to Generate a Mesh

• The Structure Wizard offers a library of numerous prototype


models whose dimensions can be specified parametrically to
quickly create a variety of structures.

The Structure Wizard can be used to generate plate elements


by selecting from several available prototypes, including:
• Polygonal Plate With Holes
• Circular Plate With Holes
• Quad Plate
• Cylindrical Surface
• Spherical Surface
• Cooling Tower
• Hyperbolic Paraboloid Shell

• Delete any elements in the current model by using the


following sequence:

Plates Cursor
Control (Ctrl) + A to select all members.
Delete key to delete all selected members.
OK to confirm intent to delete all members.
Yes to confirm intent to delete all orphan nodes.

• Click Geometry | Run Structure Wizard.

• Verify that the Prototype Models option is selected.

• Select Surface/Plate Models in the Model Type list. Icons


representing the available prototype models for plate-type
structures appear in the left pane of the Structure Wizard
window.

Three prototype structures at the top of the left pane may be


used for generating a planar mesh:
• Polygonal Plate With Holes
STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
7-22 Module 7

• Circular Plate With Holes


• Quad Plate

The Quad Plate prototype is well-suited to parametrically


define a mesh for a 4-sided plate.

• Double-click the Quad Plate icon.

• The Select Meshing Parameters dialog provides the following


parameters to control the mesh generation:
• Corners category: to input the X, Y, and Z coordinates of
the four corners A, B, C and D of the plate.

Quadrilateral elements would probably be preferred if the


plate takes the form of a square or rectangle.

If the internal angles of the plate or the length of its


opposite sides varies significantly, then triangular elements
would probably be the best choice to obtain plates that are
properly shaped for the best finite element analysis results.

• Element Type category: to choose whether to mesh the


quadrilateral surface using triangular elements or
quadrilateral elements.

• Divn. column: to specify the number of divisions to create


along the AB, BC, CD and DA sides.

The minimum and maximum limits of number of divisions


on each side are 1 and 100 respectively.

Two opposite sides may have a different number of


divisions. However, if the number of divisions for two
opposite sides is different, and if Quadrilateral elements
are being used, then the sum of all divisions must be an
even number.

• Bias column: to create divisions of varying lengths if


desired.
STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
Module 7 7-23

If the goal is to create equal divisions along the length of a


side, keep the Bias parameter set to its default value of 1.

Figure 7. 14 below shows an example with 5 divisions along


line BC. Moving from B toward C, the divisions vary from
1 unit long to 5 units long. A mesh with this spacing could
be created by specifying the Bias for that side as 5.

Figure 7. 14
Note that the Bias value may also be negative. When
negative biasing is specified, the side is divided so that the
first division length is the value of the biasing times the last
division length.

• The current example is to create a 20 ft x 40 ft {6 m x 12 m}


rectangular mesh as shown in Figure 7. 15 below.

• The geometry must be defined either in clockwise or


counterclockwise order to avoid a warped plate.

Figure 7. 15
STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
7-24 Module 7

• Enter the values in the Select Meshing Parameters dialog as


shown below to produce a 10 x 20 mesh of 2-foot {0.6-meter}
square plate elements.

Figure 7. 16

• Leave the Element Type category set to Quadrilateral.

• Click Apply. A graphical representation of the plate appears


in the right pane of the Structure Wizard window.

Note that any of the parameters can be revised by double-


clicking on the graphic to re-open the Select Meshing
Parameters dialog, or by right-clicking on the graphic and
selecting Change Property from the pop-up menu.

The effect of changing various parameters can quickly be


viewed and evaluated by observing the resulting prototype
model in the right pane of the Structure Wizard.

• Select File | Merge Model with STAAD.Pro Model, click


Yes to confirm and OK to finish.

By using any combination of the available prototype models, a


wide range of structure geometry can quickly be modeled and
transferred into the main STAAD.Pro model.
STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
Module 7 7-25

Additional information on using the Structure Wizard to model


slabs may be found in Section 2.3.6.16 of the STAAD.Pro
Graphical Environment manual.

• Keep the current model open for use in the next section.
STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
7-26 Module 7

7.4.2 Creating a Mesh From a “Super-Element”

• Delete any elements in the current model by using the


following sequence:

Plates Cursor
Control (Ctrl) + A to select all members.
Delete key to delete all selected members.
OK to confirm intent to delete all members.
Yes to confirm intent to delete all orphan nodes.

• Click Geometry | Snap/Grid Node | Plate | Quad. The grid


and the Snap Node/Plate dialog are displayed, and the Plates
Cursor is activated.

• Click the Edit… button in the Snap Node/Plate dialog to


modify the settings for the Default Grid.

• In the Plane category of the Default Grid pop-up dialog, select


the X-Y radio button. The grid changes to the orientation of
the X-Y plane, which will be appropriate for modeling a wall.

• In the Construction Lines category, set the parameters as


follows:
X lines: 20 on the Right with 2 ft. {0.6 meter} spacing.
Y lines: 10 on the Right with 2 ft. {0.6 meter} spacing.

• Click OK. The Default Grid dialog is dismissed, and the grid
is displayed in the Main Window.

• Check to be sure that the Snap Node/Plate button is still turned


on, that is, that the Snap mode is active.

• Click on grid locations in the following order:


0, 0, 0, 20, 40, 20, 40, 0 {0, 0 , 0, 6 , 12, 6 , 12, 0}

• Snap Node/Plate button to toggle it off.


STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
Module 7 7-27

• The resulting 20 ft. by 40 ft. {6 m x 12 m} plate is a “super-


element” that represents the overall size of the mesh.

• Click the plate with the Plates Cursor to select it. When
the edges highlight to confirm that it is selected, click the right
mouse button anywhere in the Main Window. A pop-up menu
is displayed.

• Click on Generate Plate Mesh.

• Choose the Quadrilateral Meshing option and click OK.

• The coordinates for the corners automatically appear in the


Select Meshing Parameters dialog.

• Node A is the first node that was clicked to define the plate,
Node B is the second one, etc.

• Leave the Bias parameter in all four fields set to its default
value of 1, so that each side will be divided into equal
proportions creating equal length elements.

• Set the Division parameters as follows to produce a 10 x 20


mesh of 2 ft. by 2 ft. {0.6 m x 0.6 m} elements:
AB: 10
BC: 20
CD: 10
DA: 20

• Apply to mesh the plate.

Click on the toolbar button that looks like a question mark as


shown in the figure below.
STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
7-28 Module 7

Figure 7. 17

The Structural Diagram Info dialog opens and displays


statistical information about the model. In this case, it is
useful to confirm that a total of 200 plates exist in the model.

• The Generate Mesh command is an excellent way to generate a


mesh from a triangular or quadrilateral surface, but it cannot
be used for figures with five or more sides.

• The next section presents another method for generating


meshes that allows a mesh to be created from a super-element
of any shape.

• Keep the current model open for use in the next section.
STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
Module 7 7-29

7.4.3 How to Use the Mesh Generation Cursor

• Delete any elements in the current model by using the


following sequence:
Plates Cursor
Control (Ctrl) + A to select all members.
Delete key to delete all selected members.
OK to confirm intent to delete all members.
Yes to confirm intent to delete all orphan nodes.

• First we will demonstrate how the Mesh Generation Cursor


can be used to create exactly the same 20 ft. by 40 ft. {6 m x
12 m} mesh as we created above. Then we will explore how
the Mesh Generation Cursor can be used to generate meshes in
figures with five or more sides.

• Select Geometry | Snap/Grid Node | Plate | Quad

• Select Edit… in the Snap Node/Plate dialog to modify settings


for Default Grid as follows:

X-Y plane
X Constr. Lines: 20 on the Right with 2 ft. {0.6 m} spacing.
Y Constr. Lines: 10 on the Right with 2 ft. {0.6 m} spacing.
OK.

• Be sure that the Snap Node/Plate button is still turned on, i.e.
snap mode is active.

• Press and hold Control (Ctrl) key while clicking on grid


locations in the following order: 0, 0, 0, 20, 40, 20, 40, 0 {0, 0
, 0, 6 , 12, 6 , 12, 0} to create nodes only. Then release the Control
(Ctrl) key.

• Snap Node/Plate button to toggle off snap mode.

• Click back in the Main Window and then press Shift + K to


highlight nodes.
STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
7-30 Module 7

As an alternative to the SHIFT + K “hotkey”, nodes can also


be highlighted by the following sequence:

Right-click on the screen,


Select the Labels command from the pop-up menu,
Toggle on the Node Points checkbox from the Labels page of
the Diagrams dialog,
Then click OK.

• Geometry | Generate Surface Meshing to activate the Mesh


Generation Cursor.

• Click the cursor on nodes in the following order: 0, 0, 0, 20,


40, 20, 40, 0, 0, 0 {0, 0 , 0, 6 , 12, 6 , 12, 0 , 0, 0}.

Clicking back on the starting node instructs STAAD.Pro to


close the figure designating the boundary of the mesh.
Another option is to click the four nodes at the corners of the
plate and then right-click the mouse instead of clicking back
on the starting node.

• Quadrilateral Meshing , OK

The Select Meshing Parameters dialog opens with the


coordinates for the corners already filled in. Node A is the
first node that was clicked to define the plate, Node B is the
second one, etc.

The Bias parameter is available if the divisions to be created


are NOT all equal. See the example in section 7.7.1 above. A
bias value of 1 results in equal-length divisions.

• Set the Division parameters as follows to produce a 10 x 20


mesh of 2 ft. by 2 ft. {0.6 m x 0.6 m} elements:
AB: 10
BC: 20
CD: 10
DA: 20
STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
Module 7 7-31

• Set Element Type to Quadrilateral, and then click Apply to


mesh the plate.

• The result is a 10 x 20 mesh of 2 ft. by 2 ft. {0.6 m x 0.6 m}


elements identical to the mesh created in the previous section.

• Now let’s explore STAAD.Pro’s ability to generate meshes in


figures with five or more sides using the Mesh Generation
Cursor.

• Delete any elements in the current model by using the


following sequence:
Plates Cursor
Control (Ctrl) + A to select all members.
Delete key to delete all selected members.
OK to confirm intent to delete all members.
Yes to confirm intent to delete all orphan nodes.

• Ensure that the Snap Node/Plate dialog is still open and that
the Snap Node/Plate mode is active.

• Hold down Control (Ctrl) and click on 6 different grid


locations to place 6 unconnected nodes to serve as the vertices
for a new plate.

• Release Control (Ctrl) and toggle off Snap Node/Plate button.

• Click back in the Main Window and then press Shift + K to


highlight nodes.

• Select Geometry | Generate Surface Meshing to activate the


Mesh Generation Cursor.

• Click each of the 6 nodes in a clockwise or counterclockwise


order.

• Right-click the mouse after the 6 th node to close the polygon.


STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
7-32 Module 7

Notice that the Define Mesh Region dialog is similar to the


dialog that Structure Wizard displays when the Polygonal
Plate With Holes option is selected.

The Boundary item in the tree view shows the corner nodes
and associated XYZ coordinates of the super-element. It also
shows the number of divisions, that is, the number of elements
to be created along each side of the polygon, as well as the
Bias value as described in section 7.7.1. These numbers can
be edited directly in this table.

• Note the HOLES item in the tree in the Define Mesh Region
dialog. This is used to enter the data to create holes in the
plate. For this exercise, no holes will be added, but if holes
were required, the process would be as outlined in the
following commentary.

If holes are to be added, the procedure is as follows:

Click on the item labeled HOLES beneath Boundary item in


the tree view.

Two new icons appear just above the tree view.

Click the Add New Hole icon .

A new item labeled Hole 1 appears beneath the HOLES item in


the tree view. Additional tabs will appear for each new hole
that is added.

The upper right cell of the Define Mesh Region dialog contains
a list to select the Region Type, i.e. the shape of the hole to
add.
STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
Module 7 7-33

Figure 7. 18

The input cells change based on the selected Region Type, to


offer context-appropriate options for defining holes with
different geometries.

For the purposes of the example, leave the Region Type set to
its default of Polygon.

Each row in the table is used to enter the coordinates of one


vertex of the current hole.

To add new rows to the table, click on the Add New Row icon

.
STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
7-34 Module 7

Figure 7. 19
If it becomes necessary to delete a row, use the Delete Row

icon .

Enter coordinates for each vertex of the hole, moving around


the hole in a clockwise or counterclockwise order. Finish the
hole definition by reentering the starting vertex coordinate to
form a closed boundary for the hole.

Once all of the vertices of a given hole have been entered in


coordinate form, click back on the item in the tree view
labeled HOLES. The Add New Hole tool becomes available if
it is necessary to enter data for additional holes.

There is also a tool to Delete Holes as shown below, in case it


becomes necessary.
STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
Module 7 7-35

Figure 7. 20
Once the data for all of the holes has been entered, the
workflow process continues as described below this
commentary.

Note that holes can also be created in the mesh simply by


selecting elements with the Plates Cursor and deleting them,
but this method can only be used after the elements have
actually been generated.

• Click OK.

With this 6-sided shape the program did not display an option
to generate either a polygonal mesh or a quadrilateral mesh.
That is because STAAD.Pro automatically determined that this
6-sided shape was not a good candidate for quadrilateral
meshing, therefore it did not offer that option.
However, if only 4 nodes had been picked with the Mesh
Generation Cursor before clicking back on the starting node,
even if those 4 nodes did not define a rectangular shape,
STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
7-36 Module 7

STAAD.Pro would have offered the option of either a


polygonal mesh or a quadrilateral mesh.

Suppose that the current mesh represents a mat foundation, and


that the next step is to generate spring supports for all nodes.
Imagine how tedious it would be to calculate the spring
constant for each one of these! In that situation, the Elastic
Mat or Plate Mat Support command comes in very handy. All
that is required is to provide the Modulus of Subgrade
Reaction. STAAD.Pro calculates the tributary areas and K
values automatically.

• Keep the current model open for use in the next section.
STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
Module 7 7-37

7.4.4 Using the Editor to Create a Mesh

• Actions performed in the GUI to build a model have the effect


of adding new commands to the STAAD.Pro input file.

• Click Edit | Edit Input Command File and then click Save.

• Notice the JOINT COORDINATES and ELEMENT


INCIDENCES SHELL sections that have been automatically
generated by the use of the Mesh Generation Cursor in the
previous section.

• It is also possible to modify the input file directly, rather than


doing it indirectly through the GUI.

• In some situations, this may be the easiest and most efficient


way to add commands or geometry to the input file. This
concept holds true for meshes also.

• Users who are familiar with the command syntax may find that
this is the fastest and easiest way to create meshes.

• The STAAD.Pro Technical Reference manual, Section 5.14


contains a complete description of the commands available for
generating meshes.

• Several examples illustrating how to create meshes using the


Input File Editor are presented in the STAAD.Pro Examples
manual. See Example Problem No. 9, No. 19 and No. 20.

• Click File | Exit in the STAAD Editor window to return to


STAAD.Pro.

• Click File | Close to return to the new Start Page.

• Click No when asked if you want to save.


STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
7-38 Module 7

-End of Module-
8-1

Concrete Design

Module 8
The following topics are included in this module.

8.1 Concrete Design Example Problem .................................................. 2 


8.2 Defining Model Geometry ................................................................. 4 
8.3 Defining Element Properties .............................................................. 6 
8.4 Adding the Supports ........................................................................ 11 
8.5 Defining Beam – Slab Monolithic Action....................................... 13 
8.6 Defining the Slab ............................................................................. 16 
8.7 Tools for Viewing Plates................................................................. 20 
8.8 Plate Orientation and Local Coordinate System ............................ 21 
8.9 Defining Plate Properties ................................................................. 27 
8.10 Plate Element Specifications .......................................................... 29 
8.11 Assigning the Loads ....................................................................... 32 
8.12 P – Delta Analysis ........................................................................... 37 
8.13 Providing Analysis Instructions ..................................................... 43 
8.14 Running the Analysis ..................................................................... 45 
8.15 Viewing the Results ....................................................................... 46 
8.16 Reinforced Concrete Design .......................................................... 49 
8.17 Understanding Concrete Design Results ....................................... 59 
8.18 Additional Concrete Modeling Examples ..................................... 65 
STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
8-2 Module 8

8.1 Concrete Design Example Problem

• The kind of entity used to model a beam or a column is a line-


type entity that cannot be used to model a slab.

• STAAD.Pro offers an array of tools for creating plate


elements. This module will explore how these tools can be
used to effectively model the behavior of a real-world
structure.

• A simple table-like concrete structure will be modeled, such as


one that might be used for a bus shelter, for example.

Figure 8. 1

• This structure will consist of a combination of beams, columns


and a slab. For illustration purposes, various types of cross
sections will be used for the columns to show how different
concrete cross sections can be created.

• The structure will be a 16-foot by 20-foot {5-meter by 6-


meter} rectangular slab supported by beams on all four sides.
The beams are in turn supported by four 12-foot {4-meter} tall
columns at each corner.
STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
Module 8 8-3

Figure 8. 2

• Two columns will be 18-inch {450 mm} diameter circular


sections, and two will be 16-inch {400 mm} deep by 20-inch
{500 mm} wide rectangular sections.

• The beams will be 20 inches {500 mm} square, and the slab
will be 8 inches {200 mm} thick.
STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
8-4 Module 8

8.2 Defining Model Geometry

• Click New Project in the Project Tasks area on the Start Page.

• Select Space frame.

• Name the file My Concrete Example.

• Set Length Units to Foot {Meter} and Force Units to


KiloPound {KiloNewton}.

• Click the Next button.

• Click the Open Structure Wizard checkbox.

• Click the Finish button.

• Click File | Select Units in the Structure Wizard main menu.


Ensure that the units are set to Feet {Meters}, and click OK.

• Select Frame Models from the Model Type list.

• Double-click on the Bay Frame icon.

• In the Select Parameters dialog, enter the values as shown in


the following figure {For metric units, Length = 5 m, Height =
4 m, and Width = 6 m}:

Figure 8. 3
STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
Module 8 8-5

• Click the Apply button.

• Note the location of the coordinate axis tripod in the right-


hand pane of the Structure Wizard window. This is the
reference location on the prototype model.

• When the prototype is merged with the STAAD.Pro model, if


nothing is done to change this location, the prototype will be
placed in the STAAD.Pro model such that this reference
location coincides with the origin of the global coordinate
system.

• Click File | Merge Model with STAAD.Pro Model in


Structure Wizard’s main menu.

• Click Yes to confirm the intent to merge.

The Paste Prototype Model dialog is used to specify the


location in the global coordinate system at which the prototype
model is to be inserted into the STAAD.Pro model.

For this exercise, leave the values in this dialog set to 0 to


insert the reference point of the prototype model at the origin
of the global coordinate system.

• Click the OK button to complete the merge.

• A copy of this model is already saved in this state in the


dataset, and is named Dataset 8_1.std.

• Click File | Close to return to the Start Page.

• Click No when asked if you want to save.


STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
8-6 Module 8

8.3 Defining Element Properties

• Open the file named Dataset 8_1.std.

The next step is to assign properties to the beam and column


elements in the model.

All beams in this model will have square cross sections with
the depth and width equal to 20 inches {500 mm}.

Two of the columns will be rectangular in cross section, 16


inches {400 mm} wide by 20 inches {500 mm} deep. The
other two columns will be of circular cross section, 18 inches
{450 mm} in diameter.

• Since the dimensions of all beam and column properties are


defined in units of inches {millimeters}, it is more convenient
to set the input units to inches {millimeters}. See
commentary below for step-by-step instructions.

Click Tools | Set Current Input Unit….

Click the Inch {Millimeter} radio button in the Length Units


category.

Click OK.

• Click the General page tab in the Page Control. The Property
sub-page is active by default.

• Click the Define button in the Properties-Whole Structure


dialog.

The diagram on the Circle page indicates that the value YD


represents the diameter of the circular section.

Since the current input units are set to inches {millimeters},


the label “in {mm}” is shown just to the right of the YD field.

• Enter 18 {450} in the YD field.

• Leave the Material checkbox toggled on, and leave the


Material list item set to Concrete.
STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
Module 8 8-7

This will ensure that STAAD.Pro assigns default material


constants for concrete to these members.

• Click the Add button.

The 18-inch {450 mm} circular concrete section is added to


the list in the Properties-Whole Structure dialog.

• Click the Rectangle tab.

The diagram shows that YD represents the depth of the


member, and ZD is the width.

• Enter 20 {500} in the YD field and 16 {400} in the ZD field.

• Keep the Material checkbox toggled on, and leave the


Material list item set to Concrete.

• Click the Add button.

A Rect 20.00x16.00 Concrete {Rect 0.50x0.40 Concrete}


section is added to the list in the Properties-Whole Structure
dialog.

The last section to be added is for the beams.

• Enter 20 {500} in the YD field and 20 {500} in the ZD field on


the Rectangular page to define the section for the beams.

• Keep the Material checkbox checked, and keep the Material


list item set to Concrete.

• Click the Add button.

A Rect 20.00x20.00 Concrete {Rect 0.50x0.50 Concrete}


section is added to the list in the Properties-Whole Structure
dialog.

• Click the Close button.

• Click in the Main Window, and then press Shift + B to turn


on the Beam Numbers.

The circular cross-section applies to the two columns in the


rear of the structure; that is, members number 2 and 3.
STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
8-8 Module 8

• Click the Cir 18.00 CONCRETE {Cir 0.45 CONCRETE}


item in the section list in the Properties - Whole Structure
dialog.

• Using the Beams Cursor , press and hold the Control


(Ctrl) key, and then click on members number 2 and 3 to
select both rear columns.

Note that the Assignment Method in the Properties – Whole


Structure dialog automatically changes to Assign To Selected
Beams.

• Click the Assign button.

• Click Yes in the pop-up dialog to confirm the assignment.

• Click the Rect 20.00x16.00 CONCRETE {Rect 0.50x0.40


CONCRETE} item in the section list.

• Using the Beams Cursor , press and hold the Control


(Ctrl) key and then click on members 5 and 6 to select both
front columns.

• Click the Assign button.

• Click Yes to confirm the assignment of the column section to


the selected members.

• Reference numbers should now be visible on all four columns.


They correspond to the cross section property reference
numbers listed in the Ref column in the Properties – Whole
Structure dialog.

• If reference numbers are not visible on the columns, they can


be turned on by following the steps in the commentary below.

Right-click in the Main Window.

Select the Labels command from the pop-up menu.

Locate the Properties category on the Labels page of the


Diagrams dialog.
STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
Module 8 8-9

Toggle on the References checkbox, and then click OK.

• Click on 1 Cir 18.00 {1 Cir 0.45} in the first line of the


Section list on the Properties - Whole Structure dialog.

• The member numbers of the members to which that property is


assigned are shown in the field at the bottom of the dialog.

• Ensure that the Highlight Assigned Geometry checkbox is


checked.

It is located just beneath the Properties list in the Properties –


Whole Structure dialog.

• When this checkbox is toggled on, and a property is selected in


the Properties list, the members that have been assigned that
property are highlighted in the Main Window.

The next step is to assign the square cross section to the


perimeter beams.

• Click the Rect 20.00x20.00 CONCRETE {Rect 0.50x0.50


CONCRETE item in the properties list.

• Set the view to the Front view to make it easy to select all
beams at once. See step-by-step-instructions in the
commentary below.

Click View | Orientation… .

Click the Front button, and then click Apply.

The main view changes to the Front view.

Click Close.

A quick alternative way of switching to the Front view is to

click the View from +Z toolbar button on the Rotate


toolbar.

• Click and drag a rubber band line around the horizontal


members in the Front view using the Beams Cursor.
STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
8-10 Module 8

• Click the Isometric View button to switch back to the


isometric view and confirm that all beams are selected.

Note that the Assignment Method in the Properties – Whole


Structure dialog has automatically set itself to Assign To
Selected Beams.

• Click the Assign button, and then click Yes to confirm.

The square concrete cross section property is assigned to all


beams.

Now all beams and columns have properties assigned to them.

• A copy of this model is already saved in this state in the


dataset, and is named Dataset 8_2.std.

• Click File | Close to return to the Start Page.

• Click No when asked if you want to save.


STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
Module 8 8-11

8.4 Adding the Supports

• Open the file named Dataset 8_2.std.

All four columns in the model are to have fixed supports at


their bases.

The general process here is to create, or Add, a fixed support


to the model, and then Assign it to the bases of each of the
columns.

• Click on the Support sub-page tab of the General page in the


Page Control.

• Click the Create button in the Supports – Whole Structure


dialog.

• The Fixed page is active by default.

• Click the Add button.

• The fixed support is added to the list in the Supports-Whole


Structure dialog.

• Click on Support 2 in the Supports-Whole Structure dialog to


highlight it.

The Assign button in the dialog changes from an inactive


(“grayed-out”) status to an active status.

• Confirm that the Assignment Method category is automatically


set to Use Cursor To Assign.

• Click the Assign button.

It turns white and changes to say Assigning, and the Support


Cursor is activated.

• Click at the bases of the four columns to assign the fixed


support to each one.

• Click the Assigning button once again to turn off the support
assigning mode and deactivate the Support Cursor.
STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
8-12 Module 8

• A copy of this model is already saved in this state in the


dataset, and is named Dataset 8_3.std.

• Click File | Close to return to the Start Page.

• Click No when asked if you want to save.


STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
Module 8 8-13

8.5 Defining Beam – Slab Monolithic Action

• This example raises an important aspect of modeling with


plates. When a plate shares a boundary with a beam, how can
the condition be modeled to ensure that the beam and the plate
behave monolithically in the model?

• If the beams were defined as going between the columns, and


the slab was meshed on top of them, then the beams and the
slab would only be connected at the four corners.

• In order to guarantee monolithic behavior, the beams must be


subdivided at exactly the same points as the slab, and those
nodes must be common to the incidences of the beams and the
slab elements. If this is done correctly, then there will be
sharing of loads and stiffness at those points.

• This will ensure that a load from the slab will be transmitted
from the slab into the beams, and through the beams into the
columns.

• STAAD.Pro has a feature that will facilitate this process. It


appears in the View | Options… | Tolerance menu in the form
of the checkbox titled Split member if new node is added on
the member as shown in the figure below.
STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
8-14 Module 8

Figure 8. 4

• When this checkbox is selected, if a meshed slab is modeled


on top of a beam model, STAAD.Pro will automatically split
the beam and create a node at any location where a slab node
falls directly on the beam.

This feature can save a considerable amount of work, since it


relieves the user of having to perform these repetitive steps.

• Similarly, if a super-element is created and meshed on top of


an existing beam element, the beam will automatically be split
when the meshing takes place.

• Note that the beam must be created first, and then the mesh
dropped onto it in order for STAAD.Pro to be able to split the
member and coordinate the nodes.

• If a plate mesh is created first, and then the beam is added


afterwards, the beam will not be split automatically.

• In this instance, another feature called Break Beams at


Selected Nodes can be used.
STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
Module 8 8-15

• While not as powerful as the method described above, the


Break Beams at Selected Nodes feature can still significantly
reduce the effort involved in manually breaking up beams
when the intent is to model beam – slab composite action.

• It can be located by clicking Geometry | Break Beams at


Selected Nodes.
STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
8-16 Module 8

8.6 Defining the Slab

• Open the file named Dataset 8_3.std.

The instructions in this section will add the plate elements to


the model.

The sequence of operations presented in this Module does not


necessarily follow the recommended workflow process in
STAAD.Pro. In reality, the creation of the plate elements
would typically occur immediately after the creation of the
beam and column elements, and before the assignment of
section properties.

However, for training purposes, it is more convenient to


present the material in the order outlined in this Module.

• Note in the lower right-hand corner of the Status Bar that the
current input units are set to kip-in {kN-mm}. For the
following exercise, it may be more convenient to set the input
units to Foot {Meter}. See commentary below for step-by-
step instructions.

Click Tools | Set Current Input Unit….

Click the Foot {Meter} radio button in the Length Units


category.

Click OK.

• Since the four corner points along the top are already defined,
the mesh generation cursor can be used to define the slab.

• Click Geometry | Generate Surface meshing.


STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
Module 8 8-17

Figure 8. 3

• Click on the first corner point A, and then click on the other
three corner points B, C and D with the Mesh Generation
Cursor. Select the nodes in clockwise order around the
perimeter of the slab to stay consistent with the dataset model.

• Finally, click again on the starting point A.

When the starting point is clicked the second time, it indicates


to STAAD.Pro that the “loop has been closed” and that the
area to be meshed has been completely defined.

An alternative would be to right-click the mouse to signify that


the boundary is complete.

• STAAD.Pro opens a dialog labeled Choose Meshing Type.

STAAD.Pro recognizes that a figure with four sides has been


defined, so it offers the choice of either Polygonal or
Quadrilateral meshing.

Since the figure is rectangular, it is a good candidate for a


quadrilateral mesh.

• Click the Quadrilateral Meshing radio button, and then click


the OK button.
STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
8-18 Module 8

• The corner labels A, B, C and D in the Select Meshing


Parameters dialog correspond to the successive points used to
define the extent of the slab.

• Corner A is the first corner that was clicked when the mesh
was defined. B is the second corner clicked, etc…

• Set the Divn. parameters as indicated in the figure below:

Figure 8. 4

• Click the Apply button.

• The mesh is automatically generated and displayed in the Main


Window.

• Press the escape key to deactivate the Mesh Generation


Cursor.

• Press Shift + K to turn on node point labels.

• Press SHIFT + N to turn on node numbers.

By specifying only 4 divisions for the 16-foot {5 meter} sides


and 5 divisions for the 20-foot {6 meter} sides, the resulting
mesh consists of 4-foot square {1.25 meter by 1.2 meter
rectangular} elements.

For more accurate results, the model would probably warrant


more divisions. It is hard to obtain an accurate picture of the
STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
Module 8 8-19

deflected shape of the model with only 5 or six data points on


a side.

However, as a learning exercise, this simple model will


suffice. It will keep the screen from getting cluttered and
make the model easy to work with.

• Click on one of the beams with the Beams Cursor .

• The beam segments can be selected in individual 4-foot {1.25


or 1.2 meter} lengths, and the beam segments start and end at
the plate corners. This confirms that they have been meshed,
that is, that they have been broken into segments that coincide
with the nodes of the plate elements.

• A copy of this model is already saved in this state in the


dataset, and is named Dataset 8_4.std.

• Click File | Close to return to the Start Page.

• Click No when asked if you want to save.


STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
8-20 Module 8

8.7 Tools for Viewing Plates

• Open the file named Dataset 8_4.std.

• Right-click anywhere in the Main Window and select


Structure Diagrams… from the pop-up menu. The Diagrams
dialog opens with the Structure page active.

• Toggle on the checkbox labeled Fill Plates/Solids/Surface


under the View category.

This will “paint over” the surface of the plate elements,


making them easier to read graphically.

• In addition, toggle on the checkbox labeled Shrink, and verify


that the value in the associated field is 10%.

This will reduce the size of the plates and beams with respect
to the nodes to which they connect. Doing this distinguishes
the plates from the beams, and makes it easier to view the
connectivity more clearly.

• Click OK.

• Click the Geometry page tab, and then click the Plate sub-
page tab.

• Click on any one of the rows in the Plates table and notice
that the corresponding element becomes highlighted.

• Right-click in the Main Window, and then select New View…


from the pop-up menu.

• Select the Create a new window for the view radio button,
and then click OK.

• The single element that was highlighted in the Plates table is


displayed in the new window.

This can be a handy way to clearly display just one element.

• Keep the current model open for use in the next section.
STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
Module 8 8-21

8.8 Plate Orientation and Local Coordinate System

• With the model named Dataset 8_4.std still open, right-click


inside the new view window showing the single plate
element.

• Select the Labels command from the pop-up menu.

• Under the Plates category on the Labels page, toggle on the


Plate Orientation checkbox, and then click OK.

• The local x, y and z axes are drawn on the plate.

• Why is the local axis system oriented with the z-axis pointing
downward? The answer relates to STAAD.Pro’s convention
for orienting the axes of a plate element as reviewed in the
commentary below. (See also Section 1.6.1 of the STAAD.Pro
Technical Reference manual.)

Consider the plates as shown in the figure below with nodes at


the corners labeled A, B, C and D. The orientation of the local
coordinate system axes for plates is determined as follows:

1) The local x-axis is defined to be parallel to the vector


pointing from A to B.

2) The cross-product of vectors AB and AC defines a vector


parallel to the local z-axis, i.e., Z = AB x AC. The z-axis
is normal to the plate surface.

3) The cross-product of vectors Z and X defines a vector


parallel to the local y-axis, i.e., Y = Z x X. (Both the X
and the Y axes lie in the plane of the plate.)

4) The origin of the axes is at the center (average) of the 4


node locations (3 node locations for a triangle).
STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
8-22 Module 8

Figure 8. 5

• The orientation of a plate’s local axis system is dictated solely


by the order in which the corner nodes for the plate are
specified.

For the single plate currently being displayed in the new view,
the incidence order of the nodes can be determined by looking
at the corresponding row in the Plates table.

In the example below, the nodes are specified in the order 10,
13, 19 and 17.

Figure 8. 6

Consider nodes 10, 13, 19 and 17 to be A, B, C and D


respectively. It is now easy to confirm that STAAD.Pro has
drawn the local x-axis parallel to vector AB.

The vector AC points from node 10 to node 19.


STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
Module 8 8-23

Use the right-hand rule to take the cross product of vector AB


and vector AC to define a vector parallel to the local z-axis.

The z-axis is normal to the plate surface. Envision a screw with


right-hand threads, oriented perpendicular to the plane defined
by the vectors AB and AC.

If the screw was rotated in the direction from vector AB to AC,


it would move downwards. Therefore, vector z, the local z-axis
for this plate, points downward.

Alternatively, consider closing vector AB into vector AC with


the fingers of the right hand. The right thumb will point
downward, confirming the direction of the resulting cross-
product vector, z.

Figure 8. 7

• In STAAD.Pro, the side of the plate from which the z-axis


points in the positive direction is considered to be the “top” of
the plate.
STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
8-24 Module 8

The “top” surface of the plate in the figure above is actually


facing downward, and the “bottom” surface is facing up.

This situation could lead to a lot of confusion if a reinforced


concrete design was being performed, as STAAD.Pro reports
the steel reinforcement required with respect to the local top
and local bottom of the element.

With an “upside-down” orientation of a plate like this, it would


be very easy to lose track of the actual orientation, and place
reinforcing steel on the wrong face.

• To avoid confusion, many people find it desirable to coordinate


the local top with a global top. In other words, to have the
local z-axis for all (horizontal) plates pointing upward (parallel
to global Y-axis).

• That way, when a vertical loading is applied, it is easy to


understand which direction the load is acting with respect to the
plates’ local coordinate system.

• There is a simple way to do this in STAAD.Pro.

• Click the X in the upper right corner of the window with the
single plate to close that window and return to the Main
Window with the entire structure.

• Right-click in the Main Window. Select Structure


Diagrams… from the pop-up menu. The Diagrams dialog
opens with the Structure page active.

• Toggle off the Fill Plates/Solids/Surface and Shrink


checkboxes.

• Click the Labels tab.

• Toggle on the Plate Orientation checkbox, and then click OK.

• It is now clear that the local z-axis is oriented downward for all
plates in the current model.
STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
Module 8 8-25

• Activate the Plates Cursor if it is not already active.


Select all plates in the structure.

• Click Commands | Geometric Constants | Plate Reference


Point….

The Plate Reference Point tool can be used to rearrange the


incidences of plates such that their local z-axes point in the
general direction of some point above the top of the structure.

This can be done by entering the coordinates of a reference


point and then specifying whether the local z-axes are to point
toward or away from the reference point.

• Enter a value of 1000 in the Y field of the Point category.

• Select Towards Ref. Point in the Local Z Axis category.

Since the plates were selected before entering this dialog, the
Assign category defaults to the To Selection option.

• Click OK.

• STAAD.Pro revises the incidences in the Plates table. The


plate orientation symbols now indicate that the local z-axis of
all plates is pointing up.

A new view was created earlier with just a single plate. It is


worth noting that if the same plate was viewed again, the node
numbers and orientations would be no different. The change in
the “top” orientation of the plate is affected by altering the
order in which the nodes are listed in the Plates table.

To see this effect, compare the figure below with Figure 8. 6


above.
STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
8-26 Module 8

Figure 8. 8

Before the Plate Reference Point command was used, the nodes
were listed in clockwise order from Node A to Node D. Now
they are listed in counterclockwise order. As a result, the z-
axis points upward instead of downward.

• A copy of this model is already saved in this state in the


dataset, and is named Dataset 8_5.std.

• Click File | Close to return to the Start Page.

• Click No when asked if you want to save.


STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
Module 8 8-27

8.9 Defining Plate Properties

• Open the file named Dataset 8_5.std.

The next step is to assign properties to the plate elements in


the model.

The slab will be 8 inches {200 mm} thick.

• Since the plate thickness is defined in units of inches


{millimeters}, it is more convenient to set the input units to
inches {millimeters}. See commentary below for step-by-step
instructions.

Click Tools | Set Current Input Unit….

Click the Inch {Millimeter} radio button in the Length Units


category.

Click OK.

• Click the General page tab in the Page Control. The Property
sub-page is active by default.

• Click the Thickness button in the Properties – Whole


Structure dialog.

The Plate Element Thickness page allows the flexibility of


defining a different thickness at each node, if necessary.

• Enter a value of 8 inches {200 mm} in the Node 1 field.

Note that STAAD.Pro automatically populates the other three


node thickness fields with the same value.

• Leave the Material checkbox toggled on, and leave the


Material list item set to Concrete.

This will ensure that STAAD.Pro’s default material constants


for concrete are assigned to the plate elements.

• Click the Add button, and then click Close.


STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
8-28 Module 8

• Highlight the Plate Thickness CONCRETE property in the


structure properties list.

Since every plate in the model is going to receive the 8-inch


{200 mm} plate thickness, there is no need to use a cursor to
assign the thickness property to the plates.

• Toggle on the Assign To View radio button in the Assignment


Method category, and then click Assign .

• Click Yes in the pop-up dialog to confirm.

The reference number shown on all plates confirms that the 8-


inch {200 mm} thickness property has been assigned.

• A copy of this model is already saved in this state in the


dataset, and is named Dataset 8_6.std.

• Click File | Close to return to the Start Page.

• Click No when asked if you want to save.


STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
Module 8 8-29

8.10 Plate Element Specifications

• Open the file named Dataset 8_6.std.

• Click the General page tab, and then click the Spec sub-page
tab.

• Click the Plate button in the Specifications – Whole Structure


dialog.

• The Release tab (active by default) can be used to specify


releases for nodes that define plates in the same way that
releases can be assigned to beams.

Releases can be applied to one or more of the six degrees of


freedom at any node.

This is not a feature that is needed very often, but it is there in


case it is needed.

• Click the Ignore Inplane Rotation tab. This tab can be used
to add the specification called Ignore Inplane Rotation.

• STAAD.Pro normally takes into consideration in-plane


rotation of plate elements. In other words, plates are
assumed to have some inherent flexibility.

• This means that the length of the diagonals connecting


opposite corners of a wall would change slightly as a force
is applied to the corner of the wall as shown in the figure
below.

Figure 8. 9
STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
8-30 Module 8

• If the wall was considered a rigid body, however, the


length of the diagonals connecting opposite corners of the
wall would remain the same.

• If the goal is to model the wall to behave as a rigid body,


the Ignore Inplane Rotation specification can be used.

This feature is not used very often. One potential use


would be to compare STAAD.Pro’s analysis results with
those of another structural analysis program that ignores
in-plane rotation by default.

• Click the Plane Stress tab. This tab can be used to add
another specification called Plane Stress.

• A Plane Stress specification means that a plate can only


carry an axial force. It cannot resist any component of
force acting perpendicular to the plane of the plate.

• Normally a steel or concrete plate has some amount of


stiffness to carry bending loads. However, STAAD.Pro
can be instructed to completely ignore the bending
stiffness by specifying the plate as a Plane Stress element.

• Bear in mind that using the Plane Stress specification on a


structure like the slab in the current model can lead to
“loss” of loads such as self-weight, because, for “Plane
Stress” elements, the out-of-plane shear action and the
bending degrees of freedom are switched off.

One application of this specification is for modeling some


soft material like cloth or a balloon skin.

• Click the Ignore Stiffness tab. This tab can be used to add
another specification called Ignore Stiffness.

• The Ignore Stiffness specification is provided to handle


special types of load situations such as pressures over
zones.

• The Ignore Stiffness specification enables entities to be


modeled purely for the purpose of transmitting loads, but
not for any contribution of stiffness to the model.
STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
Module 8 8-31

One application of this specification is for the facade of a


building. Glass panels are usually present over such
regions, and bear the brunt of wind forces. The stiffness
of such panels is typically ignored in a structural analysis.
The Ignore Stiffness specification makes it possible to
model plates that represent the facade, and to use them as
a convenience for applying wind loads to the structural
frame, without considering any stiffness from those
particular plates when the analysis is run.

• None of these additional specifications will be used in the


current model.

• Click Close to dismiss the Plate Specs dialog.

• Keep the current model open for use in the next section.
STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
8-32 Module 8

8.11 Assigning the Loads

• Ensure that the file named Dataset 8_6.std is the active


model.

The next step is to assign loads to the structure.

• Look at the right end of the Status Bar at the bottom of the
STAAD.Pro window, and note that the current input units are
set to kip-in {kN-mm}.

Input units of inches {millimeters} are not very convenient for


specifying loads.

• Set the length input units back to feet {meter}. Step-by-step


instructions are provided in the commentary below.

Click Tools | Set Current Input Unit….

Click the Foot {Meter} radio button in the Length Units


category of the Set Current Input Units dialog.

Click OK.

• Click the General page tab, and then click the Load &
Definition sub-page tab in the Page Control.

• Click the New button in the Load & Definition dialog.

• The Create New Definitions/Load Cases/Load Items dialog


contains 4 tabs – Definitions, Load Case, Load Items, and
Load Envelopes.

• The commentary below presents some review on terms related


to loads in STAAD.Pro.

Definitions:

• Click the Definitions tab.


STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
Module 8 8-33

• This tab contains the options used to generate the


“DEFINE” block of data in the input file.

• The “DEFINE” block is required to create Code-specified


load cases such as wind, seismic, and snow.

• It is also required to generate moving load cases, time


history load cases, and pushover loads.

• The command syntax for these cases is explained in


section 5.31 of the STAAD.Pro Technical Reference
manual.

Load Case:

• Click the Load Case tab.

• This tab contains the dialog used to initiate a new load


case (primary load, moving load, or load combination) and
assign it a case number.

Load Items:

• Click the Load Items tab.

• This tab contains the dialogs used to add loading data to


load cases.

Load Envelopes:

• Click the Load Envelopes tab.

• This tab contains the dialog used to create load envelopes.

• These envelopes can later be used for Post Processing.


STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
8-34 Module 8

Load Case 1

Load Case 1 consists of a vertical load over the full surface of


the slab. The magnitude of the load is 400 lb. per square foot
{20 kiloNewtons per square meter}, acting downward.

• Click the Load Case tab.

• Type the name Pressure Load in the Title field.

• The Loading Type category can be left at the default value of


None for this exercise, because the automatic load combination
generation facility will not be used. There is no need to
associate this load case with any load types.

• Click the Add button, but do not close this dialog yet.

• Click on 1: Pressure Load in the Load & Definition dialog.

This is the way to tell STAAD.Pro that the next load item will
be added to the load case entitled 1: Pressure Load.

• Click the Load Items tab in the Create New Definitions/Load


Cases/Load Items dialog.

All the available load types are displayed here.

• Click the Plate Loads category tab. The Pressure on Full


Plate tab is selected by default.

• Enter a value of -0.4 kip/ft 2 {-20 kN/m 2 } in the Load category.


(Note the minus sign.)

• The Local Z radio button is selected by default in the


Direction category.

In this particular case, choosing Local Z or GY (global Y) has


the same effect, since Local Z points in the global Y-direction.

• Click the Add button.


STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
Module 8 8-35

• The expression PR –0.4 kip/ft2 {PR -20 kN/m2} appears under


1: Pressure Load in the Load & Definition dialog. The
question mark in front of the expression indicates that it has
not been assigned to any elements yet.

• This load case will be assigned to specific entities after all the
load cases have been created.

Load Case 2

Load Case 2 consists of a 600 pound {3 kN} horizontal load


that might cause the structure to sway.

• Click the Load Case tab in the Create New Definitions/Load


Cases/Load Items dialog.

Note that STAAD.Pro automatically increments the Number of


the load case.

• Type the name Lateral Load in the Title field.

• Leave the Loading Type box set to None since there is no need
to associate this load case with any code-based load types.

• Click the Add button.

• Click on 2: Lateral Load in the Load & Definition dialog.

• Click the Load Items tab in the Create New Definitions/Load


Cases/Load Items dialog.

• Click the Nodal Load category tab. The Node tab is selected
by default.

• Enter a value of 0.6 kips {3 kN} in the Fx field, and then click
the Add button.

The expression FX 0.6 kip,ft {FX 3 kN,m} appears under 2:


Lateral Load in the Load & Definition dialog.

• Click the Close button to dismiss the Create New


Definitions/Load Cases/Load Items dialog.
STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
8-36 Module 8

The next step will be to assign the two new load cases with
specific entities.

• Click the expression PR -0.4 kip/ft2 {PR -20 kN/m2} in the


Load & Definition dialog.

• Click the Assign To View radio button, and then click Assign.

• Click Yes in the pop-up dialog to confirm.

The next step is to assign the second load case to just a single
node on the structure, so that the load will create a torsional
deflection pattern, and the structure will twist in plan view.

• Click the expression FX 0.6 kip,ft {FX 3 kN,m} in the Load


& Definition dialog.

• Click the Use Cursor To Assign radio button followed by the


Assign button.

The Assign button becomes active, and the label changes to


say Assigning, indicating that the Loads Assignment Cursor
has been activated.

• Press Shift + N to display node numbers.

• Click on node 3 to assign the 0.6 kip {3 kN} load to the top of
the column.

• Click the Assigning button to toggle off the Loads Cursor.

It is important to remember to turn off the Assigning mode


after assigning loads, to avoid unintentionally assigning loads
by clicking in the structure for some other purpose later on.

• Keep the current model open for use in the next section.
STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
Module 8 8-37

8.12 P – Delta Analysis

• Consider a column of length L that has two concentrated loads


applied at the top of the column: a vertical load P and a
horizontal load H.

• According to a linear elastic analysis, the reactions at the base


of the column for these two loads will be a vertical reaction of
magnitude P, a horizontal reaction of magnitude H and a
moment equal to H*L as shown in the figure below.

Figure 8. 10
STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
8-38 Module 8

• This is to say that the result of Loads A and B acting


simultaneously is equivalent to the result of Load A plus the
result of Load B.

• This logic represents a linear combination, which can be


created in STAAD.Pro using the Define Combinations tab.

• This method of load combination could be more accurately


termed “result combination”, because it does not truly analyze
a combined load case. It simply instructs the program to
combine the results of multiple load cases.

• The implicit assumption with this type of load combination is


that the effect of the combined loading is equivalent to the
sum of the effects of the individual loads.

• This may or may not be a valid assumption, and it warrants


consideration on the part of the design professional.

• The linear-elastic type of analysis is not permitted with some


design codes, including the ACI code. There is an extra effect
called the P – Delta effect which must be taken into account
when designing according to the ACI code.

• In a real structure, the horizontal force H might be caused by a


wind load or earthquake load, causing the column to deflect a
distance Δ.

The taller the column, the greater the distance Δ for a given
force H.

• The vertical force P might represent a dead load or a live load.


So, in reality, these load cases would act simultaneously, not
independent of each other.

• During this simultaneous action of the two loads, while the


column is deflecting due to the action of the horizontal load,
the position of the vertical load P shifts a distance Δ so that
the vertical load, instead of acting axially along the column,
now induces a moment reaction at the base of the column
equal to P * Δ.
STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
Module 8 8-39

• The total moment reaction at the base of the column is now (H


* L) + (P * Δ) as shown in the figure below. However, the
additional component of moment, P * Δ, is not apparent in a
linear –elastic analysis.

Figure 8. 11

• When considering the equations of static equilibrium, the


quantity (P * Δ) is not actually seen in the “applied load” side
of the equation, but appears in the reaction side of the
equation.

• This is a linear – inelastic analysis. In this type of analysis, it


is not correct to simply take the combination of the results of
Load A plus the results of Load B.

• The results of Load A just give a reaction P.

• The results of Load B just gives a reaction H * L.

• Looking at these two load cases in isolation, the P – Delta


effect never becomes apparent.

• It is only when these two load cases act simultaneously that


the P – Delta effect is produced. Consequently, the traditional
STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
8-40 Module 8

linear-elastic load combination, where results are just added


up, is not going to reveal the P – Delta value.

• The ACI code indicates that in the design of a column, the


slenderness effect can be accounted for using two different
methods.

• One method is called the moment magnifier approach, which


uses some code-based equations to approximate these second
order effects.

• The other method is to perform a P – Delta Analysis.

• The next step in the example model will be to create a third


load case that is a combination of the first two load cases.

• In this example, an alternate method of combining loads will


be used, one that correctly accounts for the P-Delta effect by
applying the horizontal and vertical loads simultaneously.

• There are actually a couple of ways to achieve this in


STAAD.Pro.

• One way would be to put both loads in a single load case,


instead of creating separate load cases for the horizontal and
vertical loads, as was done in this model.

• Although it is possible, this is not a very convenient method,


because of all the different load cases that would be required
to correctly model all of the required load combinations.

• This method would also be undesirable from the standpoint


that it is often necessary to evaluate a structure for individual
load cases as part of the overall structural evaluation/design.
Combining multiple forces into each load case would make
this evaluation impossible.

• Instead of requiring all the loads on the structure to be jumbled


into a single load case in order to carry out a P – Delta
Analysis, STAAD.Pro provides another type of primary load
that “looks like” a load combination.
STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
Module 8 8-41

• It is called a Repeat Load, and it is a primary load where the


program is instructed to create a new load case whose
constituents are derived from the various existing load cases
with any necessary load factors applied to them.

• Using the Repeat Load command is a two-step process. First,


a new Repeat load case must be created, and then the
constituent load cases and their respective factors must be
identified and associated with the new Repeat Load case.

• Click on Load Cases Details in the Load & Definition dialog,


and then click the Add button.

• A Repeat Load is actually a primary load, and the Primary tab


is active by default in the Add New:Load Cases dialog.

• Type the name Loads 1 + 2 in the Title field.

• Leave the Loading Type set to None by default, since this new
load case will not be associated with any code-based load
types.

• Click the Add button, but do not close this dialog yet.

• Click on the expression 3: Loads 1 + 2 in the Load &


Definition dialog.

This is the way to tell STAAD.Pro that the next component is


to be added to this load case.

Note that the Add New:Load Cases dialog automatically


changes to the Add New:Load Items dialog.

• Click the Repeat Load tab in the Add New:Load Items dialog.

The Repeat Load tab contains two items: Repeat Load and
Reference Load. The Repeat Load item is active by default.

The left side of this dialog lists the existing Available Load
Cases.

The right side displays the Repeated Load Definition.


STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
8-42 Module 8

Loads can be moved back and forth between the Available


Load Cases on the left and the Repeated Load Definition on
the right using the arrow buttons.

The Factor field is available to apply factors to individual load


cases that comprise the Repeated Load Definition.

• Click on 1: Pressure Load in the Available Load Cases list.

• Click the single right arrow button to move the load to


the Repeated Load Definition list.

• Since the design will be based on the ACI code, the loads
should be factored.

• Apply a dead load factor of 1.2 in the Factor field.

• Click on 2: Lateral Load in the Available Load Cases list.

• Click the single right arrow button.

• Enter a Factor of 1.6, and click the Add button.

• Click the Close button.

The new Repeat Load case is shown in the Load & Defintions
dialog. The syntax is load case 1 with a factor of 1.2 load
case 2 with a factor of 1.6.

• Remember to always use the Repeat Load specification, rather


than the Load Combination specification, any time a P – Delta
analysis is to be performed.

• A copy of this model is already saved in this state in the


dataset, and is named Dataset 8_7.std.

• Click File | Close to return to the Start Page.

• Click No when asked if you want to save.


STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
Module 8 8-43

8.13 Providing Analysis Instructions

• Open the file named Dataset 8_7.std.

The next step is to issue the analysis instructions.

• Click on the Analysis/Print tab in the Page Control.

• Click on the PDelta Analysis tab in the Analysis/Print


Commands dialog.

• The PDelta Analysis page includes a field labeled Number of


Iterations, and a field labeled Converge.

• If a Number of Iterations, n is specified, STAAD.Pro will


iterate n times.

• An alternative to specifying a Number of Iterations is to use


the Converge option. See the following commentary for
additional information about the Converge option, but take
special note of the “word of caution” below.

When the Converge checkbox is selected, STAAD.Pro will


continue to iterate and compare joint displacements with a
convergence displacement tolerance.

The default convergence displacement tolerance is equal to the


maximum span of the structure divided by 120. Note that this
default value was not intended to suggest an “optimum” value.
It was merely put in place to allow the engineer to apply his or
her own value based on engineering judgment.

To specify a different value for the convergence displacement


tolerance, use the SET DISPLACEMENT f command in the
input file. Refer to section 5.5 of the Technical Reference
manual.

The Converge command has the option of specifying a


maximum number of iterations, “m”. If “m” is specified, the
analysis will stop after that iteration even if convergence has
STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
8-44 Module 8

not been achieved. If convergence is achieved in less than “m”


iterations, the analysis is terminated.

• A word of caution about the use of the CONVERGE option: it


is possible that a model using the CONVERGE option may
have 2 early iterations with results close enough to be deemed
converged. However, if the same analysis was changed to not
use CONVERGE but instead to specify many more iterations,
occasionally buckling would be detected. Experience shows
that it generally takes 5 to 35 iterations to reach buckling
failure. So in this day and age where computing power and
speed is so abundant, good practice dictates avoiding the use
of the CONVERGE feature and instead using the option to set
the Number of Iterations high enough to prove that the
structure is stable for a given load case.

• Enter 35 in the Number of Iterations field.

• Leave all other options at their default settings, and click the
Add button to add the P – Delta Analysis command to the
input instructions.

• Click the Close button to dismiss the Analysis/Print


Commands dialog.

• A copy of this model is already saved in this state in the


dataset, and is named Dataset 8_8.std.

• Click File | Close to return to the Start Page.

• Click No when asked if you want to save.


STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
Module 8 8-45

8.14 Running the Analysis

• Open the file named Dataset 8_8.std.

• The model is now ready to analyze.

• Click Analyze | Run Analysis….

• The program should be able to run the analysis and generate


results. The message Analysis Successfully Completed should
appear in the lower portion of the STAAD Analysis and Design
dialog, followed by some messages indicating that the program
created some results files.

• Click the Go to Post Processing Mode radio button, and then


click Done.

• Click OK to accept the three load cases shown in the Selected


list on the Results Setup dialog.

• Keep the current model open for use in the next section.
STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
8-46 Module 8

8.15 Viewing the Results

• Ensure that the file named Dataset 8_8.std is the active model.

• Click on the Plate page tab in the Page Control.

This tab is only present in models that contain plates. It


provides options for viewing various types of stress results for
plates.

• Plate stress results tables are displayed in the Data Area.

• The Diagrams dialog opens with the Plate Stress Contour page
active.

• This dialog is used to display a plate stress contour diagram on


the structure.

A stress contour is a diagram which shows the variation of


stress – for a selected stress type – over the selected set of
elements.

• The Load Case list can be used to select the load case for the
stress contour.

• Set the Load Case field to 1: PRESSURE LOAD.

• The Stress Type list can be used to select the type of stress
contour to display.

A description of the different types of plate stresses reported


by STAAD.Pro appears in Section 1.6.1 of the STAAD.Pro
Technical Reference manual.

Stress Type Description

Max Absolute Larger of the absolute values of


SMAX & SMIN (Force/unit area)

SQX, SQY Shear stresses


(Force/unit length/thickness)
STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
Module 8 8-47

SX, SY, SXY Membrane stresses


(Force/unit length/thickness)

MX, MY, MXY Bending moments per unit width


(Moment/unit length)

SMAX, SMIN In-plane principal stresses


(Force/unit area)

TMAX Maximum in-plane shear stress


(Force/unit area)

VON Von Mises stress

TRESCA Tresca stress, where:

TRESCA = MAX[ |(Smax-Smin)| , |(Smax)| , |(Smin)| ]

Global Moment Moment (or stress) about a


(or Stress) specified global axis

Base Pressure Base pressure for a mat-type


foundation (Force/unit area)

The in-plane Principal stresses (SMAX and SMIN), the


maximum in-plane shear stress (TMAX), the Von Mises stress
(VON), and the Tresca stress (TRESCA) are available for the
top and bottom surfaces of the elements. Also, the maximum
Von Mises stresses and Tresca stresses can be plotted.

Please refer to Section 1 of the STAAD.Pro Technical


Reference manual for additional information.

• Click the Stress Type list, then select Max Absolute stress
and click OK.

This is the larger of the absolute values of SMAX and SMIN.


STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
8-48 Module 8

• The stress contour is plotted on the structure.

• The various types of plate stress values are also available in


tabular format in the Plate Centre Stress table and the Plate
Corner Stress table in the Data Area.

• The tables contain a list of stresses, element by element, for


each load case.

• A summary page lists the maximum stresses for each load


case. There is also a page for Global Moments.

• Keep the current model open for use in the next section.
STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
Module 8 8-49

8.16 Reinforced Concrete Design

• Ensure that the file named Dataset 8_8.std is the active model.

• Click Mode | Modeling to return to STAAD.Pro’s Modeling


mode.

• Click the Design page tab in the Page Control.

Note that the Design tab logically follows the Analysis/Print


tab. This follows the program methodology of suggesting a
logical workflow process by the order in which the Page
Control tabs are organized.

• Click on the Concrete sub-page in the Page Control.

• Note the Current Code list in the top right corner of the
Concrete Design – Whole Structure dialog. It offers the
choice of designing using many different codes.

• Make sure that Current Code is set to ACI.

• Click the Select Parameters button.

Note that all of the concrete design parameters currently


appear in the Selected Parameters list on the right-hand side of
the Parameter Selection dialog.

These are all of the parameters associated with a standard


reinforced concrete design, such as: compressive strength of
concrete, yield strength of reinforcing steel, clear cover along
the bottom, sides and top of beams, etc.

• The Parameter Selection dialog is a convenience to control


which concrete design parameters will be listed and available
for use when the Define Parameters button is used.

• Since we will only need a small subset of the available


parameters, we can reduce the length of the list of parameters
in the Design Parameters list.
STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
8-50 Module 8

• Click the double-left arrow to temporarily move all


parameters to the Available Parameters list.

• Press and hold the Control (Ctrl) key, and then click on the
following parameters in the Available Parameters list: Depth,
Maxmain, Reinf, and Track.

• Release the Control (Ctrl) key, click the single-right arrow


to move all four selected parameters to the Selected
Parameters list, and then click OK.

Note that Fc – Compressive strength of concrete was not one


of the selected parameters. The STAAD.Pro default value of
4,000 psi {27.58 MPa} will be used for this example.
Likewise, the yield strength parameters for main and
secondary reinforcing were not selected. The default value of
60 ksi {413.69 MPa} will be used for these parameters. It is
only necessary to assign a parameter to a member(s) if the
value of the parameter differs from the default value.
Otherwise, STAAD.Pro will just use the default value.

• Click the Define Parameters button.

• The Design Parameters dialog lists only the four parameters


we selected in the previous step.

The general procedure is to select a tab to define the desired


parameter, enter the appropriate value in the field, Add that
parameter to the model, and then Assign the parameter to the
appropriate elements.

• The DEPTH tab is active by default. This is the tab that is


used to specify the Depth of cross section to be used in beam
design.

• Note that the units are currently set to ft {m}. It would be


preferable to use units of inches {mm} when specifying
parameters of this type.
STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
Module 8 8-51

• Change the length input units to inches {millimeters}. Refer


to the following commentary for step-by-step instructions.

Click the Close button to dismiss the Design Parameters sub-


dialog.

Click Tools | Set Current Input Unit….

Click the Inch {Millimeter} radio button, and then click OK.

• Click the Define Parameters button once again, and note that
the units for the DEPTH parameter are now in inches {mm}.

• The DEPTH parameter can be used to specify the rebar


location in a beam, if the rebar is not in the default location
assumed by the program.

For instance, a beam may be deeper than structurally necessary


due to architectural or detailing reasons. In this case, it is
convenient to specify the actual beam dimensions so that the
self-weight is calculated correctly, but the actual dimensions
may not be representative of the actual rebar location for a
beam like this.

The Depth command could be used in a case like this to


indicate to STAAD.Pro that it should consider the depth to be
shallower than the overall dimensions when the design is
performed.

Note that this parameter specifies the value that is traditionally


referred to as “h” in concrete design, not “d”. The “d” value
will be calculated by deducting the clear cover (and stirrup
rebar size if applicable) from the YD dimension of a concrete
beam, or from the depth specified by the Depth command, if it
is used.

• Enter a value of 16 inches {400 millimeters} in the DEPTH


field, and then click Add.

• Click MAXMAIN.
STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
8-52 Module 8

• This parameter defines the maximum permissible rebar size for


main reinforcement.

• Enter a value of 8 {25} in this field to limit the maximum bar


size to #8 {25 mm}, and then click Add.

• Click the REINF tab.

• This parameter is used to distinguish between Tied and Spiral


column reinforcing.

The default is Tied, but the current model has both rectangular
(tied) and round (spirally reinforced) columns.

• Click the Spiral Column radio button, and then click Add.

• Click the TRACK tab.

• This parameter is used to select the level of detail to be


provided in the output.

• Click the (2) radio button corresponding to the highest level of


output detail, and then click Add, followed by Close.

• The newly added parameters appear in the Concrete Design –


Whole Structure dialog (simply referred to as the Concrete
Design dialog from this point forward). They are preceded by
question marks in the list, implying that they have been Added,
but not yet Assigned.

• Click the DEPTH 16 {DEPTH 400} parameter. This is


intended to apply to all beams around the perimeter of the
slab.

• Click Select | Beams Parallel to | X . The beam segments on


two sides of the model are selected.

• Click Select | Beams Parallel to | Z. The beam segments on


the other two sides of the model are added to the selection.

Note that the Assignment Method is automatically set to Assign


To Selected Beams.
STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
Module 8 8-53

• Click the Assign button.

• Click Yes to confirm the assignment.

The parameter is assigned to the four perimeter beams.

Note that the Edit List in the Concrete Design dialog contains
more than just four beam numbers, because the perimeter
beams were segmented into many elements.

Note also that the DEPTH 16 {DEPTH 400} parameter no


longer has a question mark in the Concrete Design dialog,
because the parameter has now been Assigned to some
members in the model.

• Click the MAXMAIN 8 {MAXMAIN 25} parameter. This is


intended to apply to all members in the model.

• Click the Assign To View radio button, and then click Assign.

• Click Yes to confirm the assignment.

All beam and column elements in the model are highlighted,


indicating that all have been assigned the MAXMAIN 8
{MAXMAIN 25} parameter.

• Click the REINF 1 parameter, and then click inside the Main
Window.

• Press Shift + X , the hotkey to turn on member sections. This


helps to identify the two circular columns in the rear of the
structure.

• Verify that the Assignment Method is set to Use Cursor To


Assign by default, and then click Assign .

The cursor changes to the special “SP” in a circle to indicate


that it is in ready to assign the parameter.

• Click on the two circular columns with the Cir 18.00 {Cir
0.45} labels.
STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
8-54 Module 8

They become highlighted as they are clicked, and the member


numbers 2 and 3 should appear in the Edit List at the bottom of
the Concrete Design dialog.

• Click the TRACK 2 parameter. This is intended to apply to


all members in the model.

• Click the Assign To View radio button, and then click Assign.

• Click Yes to confirm the assignment.

All beam and column elements in the model are highlighted


again, indicating that all have been assigned the TRACK 2
parameter.

This completes the assignment of Design Parameters.

The next step is to add the actual concrete design commands to


the model.

• Click the Commands button in the Concrete Design dialog.

• The Design Commands sub-dialog contains tabs labeled


Design Beam, Design Column, Design Slab/Element and Take
Off.

• The Design Beam tab is active by default.

The Design Beam tab is used to add the command for


performing reinforcement calculations for flexure, shear and
torsion (Mz, Fy and Mx).

• Click the Add button.

• Click the Design Column tab.

The Design Column tab is used to add the command for


designing for biaxial bending moments and axial force (My,
Mz and Fx). The output will consist of the reinforcing steel
requirement and bar arrangement where applicable.

• Click the Add button.


STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
Module 8 8-55

• Click the Design Slab/Element tab.

The Design Slab/Element tab is used to add the command for


designing individual plate elements for two-way flexural
moments (Mx and My).

• Click the Add button.

• Click the TAKE OFF tab.

The TAKE OFF tab is used to add the command to tabulate and
print the total volume of concrete and weight of reinforcing
steel for beams, columns and elements that are designed.

• Click the Add button.

• Click Close to dismiss the Design Commands dialog.

• Note that the four new commands appear in the Command Tree
in the Concrete Design dialog.

The next step is to Assign the appropriate design commands to


the appropriate members/elements. For the purposes of this
example, and to limit the quantity of output, the Design
commands will only be Assigned to one representative beam,
column, and slab element.

• Click the DESIGN BEAM command in the Concrete Design


dialog.

• Click the Assign To Edit List radio button in the Assignment


Method category.

• Enter beam number 4 in the Edit List, and then click Assign.
This selects the beam segment highlighted in the figure below
for design.
STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
8-56 Module 8

Figure 8. 12

• Click the DESIGN COLUMN command.

• Verify that the Assignment Method category is set to Use


Cursor To Assign.

• Click Assign , and then click on member number 2 as shown


in the figure below.

Figure 8. 13

Member number 2 is highlighted, and the question mark


changes to a checkmark in front of the DESIGN COLUMN
command.
STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
Module 8 8-57

• Click the Assigning button once again to turn it off.

This button says Assigning when it is active and Assign when


it is inactive.

• Click the DESIGN ELEMENT command in the Concrete


Design dialog.

• Verify that the Assignment Method category is set to Use


Cursor To Assign.

• Click Assign , and then click on plate number 37, the element
in the front corner as shown in the figure below.

Figure 8. 14

Plate number 37 is highlighted, indicating that the Design


Element command has been Assigned to it.

• Click the Assigning button once again to turn it off.

• Verify that the Highlight Assigned Geometry checkbox is


checked on the Concrete Design dialog.

When this checkbox is selected, STAAD.Pro highlights all


members/elements that have been assigned the currently
selected parameter.
STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
8-58 Module 8

This provides a quick visual way to verify that the recent


assignments have been made correctly.

• Click on DESIGN BEAM, DESIGN COLUMN, and


DESIGN ELEMENT commands in the Concrete Design
dialog one at a time. As each command is highlighted in the
list, the corresponding members in the model are highlighted
in the Main Window.

The CONCRETE TAKE command is a little different. It had a


checkmark in the Command Tree as soon as it was Added,
because it automatically applies to all concrete members. It
cannot be Assigned to specific members.

Because it is not explicitly Assigned, no members are


highlighted in the Main Window if the CONCRETE TAKE
command is clicked.

• A copy of this model is already saved in this state in the


dataset, and is named Dataset 8_9.std.

• Click File | Close to return to the Start Page.

• Click No when asked if you want to save.


STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
Module 8 8-59

8.17 Understanding Concrete Design Results

• Open the file named Dataset 8_9.std.

• Click Analyze | Run Analysis….

The STAAD Analysis and Design dialog appears, and scrolls


through several messages indicating the status of the analysis.

One of the last lines in the list of messages indicates “Creating


Design information File (DGN)…” This is the indication that
STAAD.Pro has actually performed design calculations as
requested by the recently added DESIGN commands.

• Click the View Output File radio button, and then click
Done.

• Scroll down in the Output File and locate the line that says,
“PROBLEM STATISTICS”.

• Just below this is a block of 35 lines of text that say, “++


Adjusting Displacements”. This is evidence of the 35
iterations requested by the PDELTA 35 ANALYSIS command.

• Continue to scroll down in the Output File and locate the line
that says, “BEAM NO. 4 DESIGN RESULTS – FLEXURE
PER CODE ACI 318-05.” The design of beam number 4 starts
on this page and continues to the next.
STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
8-60 Module 8

• The first line of data in the beam design output echoes the
beam dimensions and material properties.

Figure 8. 15

• The next section provides geometric information about the


layer of rebar that occurs near the bottom of the beam. See the
itemized descriptions corresponding to the numbered items in
the figure below.

Figure 8. 16

1 – Rebar Level number – starting with bottom layer first.

2 – Height from the bottom of the beam to the centroid of the


rebar at this level.

3 – Number and size of rebar required by design.

4 – Starting location of the rebar at this level, measured from


the starting node of the beam.
STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
Module 8 8-61

5 – Ending location of the rebar at this level, measured from


the starting node of the beam.

6 – Indication as to whether or not the rebar at this level is


considered to be fully-developed (as with a standard hook
or full development length projection) at the start (STA)
and end (END) of the rebar.

• Below the line of geometric data pertaining to the first layer of


rebar is a dashed box. It contains the design information for
the first layer or rebar including:

• Magnitude and location of design moment

• Critical load case

• Rebar area requirements

• Rebar spacing data

• Development length

• A single line of text below the dashed box reports the cracked
moment of inertia at the location of the design moment.

• Subsequent levels of rebar are described in the same manner.


In this beam, there is negative moment at the starting end, so
there is a second level of rebar required near the top of the
beam as shown in the figure below.

Figure 8. 17

Note that this second level of rebar is being designed for a


critical negative moment of 24.18 kip-ft {34.99 Kn-m}, which
STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
8-62 Module 8

occurs at 0.00 ft {0 mm} from the starting end. This negative


moment drops off quickly, because the rebar is terminated
approximately 3’-7” {1113 mm} from the starting end of this
segment of the beam.

• The next section of output presents the shear design for the
starting end and the ending end, followed by diagrams of the
elevation view and three sections through the beam.

• The diagrams schematically show the top and bottom


longitudinal reinforcement and the stirrups.

• The next section provides design output for the column.

• Material and geometric properties are listed first.

Figure 8. 18

• This is followed by bar configuration details.

Figure 8. 19

• And finally the interaction diagram and data.


STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
Module 8 8-63

Figure 8. 20

• The design summary for the plate element follows next.

Figure 8. 21
STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
8-64 Module 8

• And the final piece of output is the concrete take-off.

Figure 8. 22

• Click File | Exit in the STAAD Output Viewer main menu to


return to the Main Window.

• No changes have been made to the current file in this section,


so it can be closed without saving.

• Click File | Close to return to the Start Page.

• Click No when asked if you want to save.


STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
Module 8 8-65

8.18 Additional Concrete Modeling Examples

• Click Help | Contents in the Menu Bar.

• Double-click Getting Started on the Contents tab.

• Double-click Tutorial 2.

• Tutorial problem 2 provides step by step instructions on


creating, analyzing and performing concrete design for a portal
frame.

• Double-click Application Examples on the Contents tab.

• Double-click American Examples.

• The STAAD.Pro Examples manual contains several example


models that illustrate finite element analysis applied to various
real-world reinforced concrete structures.

• Example No. 8 illustrates concrete design performed on a


space frame structure, including computation of reinforcement
for the beams and columns. Secondary moments on the
columns are obtained through the means of a P – Delta
analysis.

• Example No. 9 is another space frame structure that includes


frame members and finite elements (plates). The plates are
used to model floor slabs and a shear wall. Concrete design is
performed on one of the elements.

• Example No. 10 shows how to model a water tank which is


subjected to hydrostatic pressure as the tank is filled.

• Example No. 18 demonstrates the calculation of principal


stresses on a finite element.

• Example No. 23 illustrates how to generate spring supports for


a slab on grade.
STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
8-66 Module 8

• Example No. 27 deals with a mat foundation subjected to loads


that cause a partial uplift.

• The STAAD.Pro Examples manual is written in a very concise


format. Its purpose is not to illustrate the use of the graphic
interface. Instead, each example explains, line by line, the
input file commands that are needed to correctly model the
proposed scenario.

• This format thoroughly explains the purpose for each


command, step by step, while presenting the entire example
scenario in only a few pages of text.

• These examples also illustrate the most economical, efficient


use of the input command language. They provide an in-depth
understanding of how the program operates.

• Many times in this training course, actions that took many


pages of text and numerous pictures and diagrams to describe
could very easily be replicated with two or three lines of input
command language.

• The graphic interface is STAAD.Pro’s “front end.” The input


command file is its “backbone.” Developing an understanding
of the relationship between these two aspects of the program
will lead to a real mastery of STAAD.Pro.

-End of Module-
9-1

Exercise Problems

Module 9
The following topics are included in this module.

9.1 Exercise Problem One........................................................................ 2 


9.2 Exercise Problem Two ....................................................................... 4 
9.3 Exercise Problem Three ..................................................................... 6 
9.4 Exercise Problem Four ..................................................................... 11 
9.5 Exercise Problem Five ..................................................................... 17 
9.6 Exercise Problem Six ....................................................................... 23 
STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
9-2 Module 9

9.1 Exercise Problem One

Create the geometry of the structure shown in the figures below.

Isometric View of entire structure

The supports and dimension lines are shown for information only.
STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
Module 9 9-3

Dimensions of one of the side trusses

Hints:

• In the Run Structure Wizard option of the Geometry menu,


create a Pratt Truss with the overall dimensions shown above.

• Bring it into the main drawing.

• Delete the unwanted members.

• Split the cross members at the bottom, and connect them at the
split points.
STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
9-4 Module 9

9.2 Exercise Problem Two

Create the geometry of the structure shown in the figure below.

Isometric View of entire structure

The supports and dimension lines are shown for information only.

Hints:

Method 1:

• In the Geometry menu, select Snap/Grid Node – Beam. Set the


plane of the grid to XZ.

• Draw the outer triangle of the bottom level. Split the 2


members at their midpoints, and add a beam between the 2 new
points.
STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
Module 9 9-5

• Use Geometry | Translational Repeat to create the upper


triangle. Remember to switch on Link Steps to connect the 2
levels using vertical members.

• Using Geometry | Add Beam, draw the diagonals.

• Split the diagonals and connect them at the split points.

• Using Geometry | Add Beam, draw the remaining members.

Method 2:

• In the Geometry menu, select Snap/Grid Node – Beam. Set the


plane of the grid to XY. Calculate the angle of the vertex of
the bottom triangle, and set the angle of the plane to be half
that value about YY.

• Draw one of the vertical side faces of the structure. Use


Geometry | Circular Repeat – Copy mode to create the other
face. Remember to switch on Link steps while circular
repeating.

• Add the rest of the members, and split and connect as


necessary.
STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
9-6 Module 9

9.3 Exercise Problem Three

Create the model of the structure shown in the figures below, and
assign the following data.

BASIC DATA FOR THE STRUCTURE

ATTRIBUTE DATA
Member Properties W12x26 for all members
Material Constants E, Density, Poisson – Default value for steel
Supports Fixed supports as shown
Loads 2 primary load cases as shown. Load case 3
should combine 1 & 2, with a factor of 1.
Analysis Type Linear Static (PERFORM ANALYSIS)
Results Produce a report containing the following
items.
• Support Reactions for load 3.
• Bending Moment Diagram for load 3
with the maximum values annotated.
• Node deflection diagram for load 3
with the resultant values annotated.
STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
Module 9 9-7

5.50m 3.00m
4.50m

6.00m

5.50m

5.00m 4.50m

5.50m

5.50m
3.00m

5.50m

5.00m 5.00m Y

5.00m 5.50m
X

Isometric View of structure


STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
9-8 Module 9

Connection data: Moments MY and MZ released

Note: At junction points where horizontals, verticals and bracing


members meet, it is sufficient for this exercise to apply the
releases only on the horizontal members.
STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
Module 9 9-9

1.6 kN/m

3.19 kN/m

3.05 kN/m

3.05 kN/m

1.6 kN/m

Load 1: Distributed Member Loads


STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
9-10 Module 9

3.00 kN/m 1.50 kN/m


1.50 kN/m

1.50 kN/m X

3.00 kN/m
Z
1.50 kN/m

Load 2: Lateral forces along global X


STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
Module 9 9-11

9.4 Exercise Problem Four

Create the model of the steel tower shown in the figures below.
Perform the analysis, followed by a member selection, re-analysis,
and a code check on the members to determine if they pass the
AISC ASD code requirements.
STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
9-12 Module 9

Components of the structure in detached views


STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
Module 9 9-13

BASIC DATA FOR THE STRUCTURE

ATTRIBUTE DATA
Groups 3 groups to be formed.
_VERTICAL, _HORIZONTAL, _BRACING
Member properties Vertical Members: W10x49
Horizontal Members: W8x28
Bracing Members: L3x3x1/4 Single Angle
Material Constants Modulus of Elasticity: 30 000 ksi {207 000
MPa}
Density, Poisson : Default value for steel
Additional Member Bracing members to be declared TRUSS
Specifications type.
Supports Pinned Supports as shown in earlier figure
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9-14 Module 9

ATTRIBUTE DATA
Load Case 1 Equipment Load
2 kips {9 kN} concentrated force at midpoint of roof-level
beams. Use the Member Load – Concentrated force option to
do this.
STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
Module 9 9-15

ATTRIBUTE DATA
Load Case 2 Walkway Live Load
300 pounds/ft {4.4 kN/m} distributed load on intermediate
level beams
STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
9-16 Module 9

ATTRIBUTE DATA
Load Case 3 Load in X direction on windward face
1.2 kips {5 kN} as shown

Load Case 4 Case 1 + Case 2 + Case 3 (LOAD COMBINATION type)


Analysis Type Linear Elastic (PERFORM ANALYSIS)
Steel Design Yield strength of steel : 40 ksi {275 MPa}
Parameters
Steel Design Perform a member selection for the entire structure
Operation
Grouping Group members after selection according to their group
names
Reanalyze
Check Code Perform a code check for the entire structure
STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
Module 9 9-17

9.5 Exercise Problem Five

The concrete frame shown in the figures below should be modeled


and analyzed. Following the analysis, perform a concrete design
for the beams, columns and slab per the ACI 318 code as explained
below.

Isometric View
STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
9-18 Module 9

Beams and Columns in the Structure (Dark lines)


STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
Module 9 9-19

Roof slab as 5ft X 5ft {1.5m x 1.5m} finite elements


(shaded region)
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9-20 Module 9

BASIC DATA FOR THE STRUCTURE

ATTRIBUTE DATA
Cross Section Interior Columns (30 ft {9 m} tall): Circular, 28
Properties in {700 mm} diameter
Exterior Columns (20 ft {6 m} tall): Rectangular,
36 inch {900 mm} (YD) x 30 inch {750 mm}
(ZD)
Beams: Rectangular, 36 inch {900 mm} (YD) x
24 inch {600 mm} (ZD)
Plate Thickness: 8 inches {200 mm}
Material Constants Modulus of Elasticity, Density, Poisson : Default
value for concrete
Additional Member None (Program defaults)
Specifications
(Releases, Offsets,
etc.)
Supports Fixed Supports as shown in earlier figure
Loads Load Case 1: Dead Load – Selfweight
Load Case 2: Live Load – Pressure load on
plates, 200 lbs/sq.ft {9.5 kN/m 2 }acting globally
downward
Load Case 3: Wind Load in X direction on roof –
200 lbs/sq.ft {9.5 kN/m 2 } acting in positive
global X direction (on both slopes)
Load Case 4: Combination Case – Case 1 + Case
2 + Case 3 (Use REPEAT LOAD)
Analysis Type PDelta
STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
Module 9 9-21

Concrete Design:

• Design the beam shown

• Design the columns shown


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9-22 Module 9

• Design the element shown


STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
Module 9 9-23

9.6 Exercise Problem Six

The tower shown below is supported by six cables. Analyze the


structure for 3 load cases, as explained.

Isometric View
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9-24 Module 9

Cable Connection levels


STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
Module 9 9-25

Typical segment in elevation

Typical segment in isometric view


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9-26 Module 9

Plan view of typical level

Details of typical level


STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
Module 9 9-27

BASIC DATA FOR THE STRUCTURE

ATTRIBUTE DATA
Member Properties All components of tower : Pipe section 24 in
{600 mm} OD, 22 in {550 mm} ID
Cables : 1 sq.in {650 mm 2 } cross section area
Material Properties Default values for steel
Cable Initial 3000 lbs {13.3 kN}
Tension
Loads Load Case 1: Wind Load – 100 lbs {445 N} at
each node on windward face
Load Case 2: Ice Load – 50 lbs per foot {730
N/m} on each horizontal member
Load Case 3: Load 1 + Load 2
Analysis Type Linear Static
STAAD.Pro Standard Training Manual
9-28 Module 9

-End of Module-