Example 11: Cross sectional properties of a built-up steel section

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Data for Cross Section Analysis & Design application

In this example, we will create a built-up steel section and calculate its properties.

Steel grade: A36 Gr.36

Built-up steel section

Solution with Cross Section Analysis & Design

Setting Reinforced Concrete Code to None

Since the cross section does not have a concrete part, we can optionally set the Reinforced Concrete code to “None”, in order to hide all data related to reinforced concrete analysis. We click on Project -> Reinforced Concrete code menu item and select “None” as below.

Setting reinforced concrete regulation to None, as the cross section does not contain any concrete part

Definition of material properties

Next, we are going to specify the material properties.

The A36 Gr.36 steel grade can be imported from the library of the program by clicking on the Materials -> Import from Library menu item. From the top list we select “Hot Rolled Steel – US (no hardening)” in order to view the materials belonging to this collection.

Choosing the US Hot Rolled Steel collectionof steel grades

Then, we can select the first row (A36 Gr.36) and click on “Insert selected only” button to use this material in our project.

The US steel grade A36 Grade 36 is imported from the library

A36 Gr.36 steel has been imported in our project. We can view/change its properties by clicking on it from the list of the main form, as shown in the picture below.

Steel grade A36 Gr.36 is now available

Drawing the geometry

First we will insert a standard wide flange section from the library by clicking the Draw -> Standard Section menu item. We select the AISC13 library in the form below.

Selecting the AISC database to import a standard steel section

After selecting AISC13 shape family, all sections belonging to it, appear in the list below.

A wide flange section W360X64 from the AISC database is imported

We select a W360X64 cross section.

Specifying the insertion point of the steel section

The insertion point of the shape is selected to coincide with its centroid.

We should not forget to check that the assigned material is A36 Gr.36.

We click OK and see that the steel shape is shown in the main drawing area.

Imported steel section on drawing area

Next, we will insert a Tee section. We click again on the Draw -> Standard Section menu item and select the AISC13 library. We click on Tee section type, select WT155X26 and change the “Place at point” y value to 0.2 m.

Importing a WT155X26 tee section from the AISC database

Finally we click on “Insert section” button.

Imported tee section on drawing area

Now we need to rotate the Tee 90o clockwise. This can be done by right clicking on it and then selecting “Rotate”.

Rotating the tee section

The program asks for the center point of rotation, as the status bar shows.

Specifying the center point of rotation

So we click on point (0.2,-0.15). Then, in order to enter the base point for rotation, we click on point (0.2,0.1). No we can move the mouse to rotate the cross section interactively.

The rotated tee section on drawing area

After aligning it horizontally, we can click anywhere with the mouse to fix the shape in this position. Following this action, we delete the initial section by right-clicking on it and selecting “Delete”.

Deleting initial tee section

Now we are about to move the Tee section next to the W section.

First, we uncheck the “Snap to grid” option, from the toolbar at the bottom of the screen.

Disabling snap to grid option

In this way, we disable the “Snap to nodes” function during editing geometry. On the other hand, the “Snap to points” option should be checked in order to enable snapping to the remaining characteristic points of the section parts except for the grid points.

In order to move the T section, we right-click on right and select “Move”.

Placing tee section next to W section web

Then we click at the middle point of the Tee web and move it to the middle web point of the W section, as shown below.

Tee section is positioned next to the wide section

By left-clicking on that point, the T section is fixed in this position.

Next we will mirror the T section about a vertical axis. This can be accomplished by right clicking on it and choosing “Mirror”.

The program asks for the starting point of the mirror axis (see Status bar). We enable the snap option again by clicking on the “Snap to grid” item in the lower toolbar and successively click on points (0,-0.25) and (0,0.25).

The geometry is now defined and the drawing screen should look like this.

Cross section geometry after mirroring the right tee section part

Calculate sectional properties

We just click Analysis -> Inertia Data -> Analyze, to have the sectional properties computed.


The calculated data can be found by clicking on Analysis -> Inertia Data -> Show results menu item.

Calculated sectional properties. The inertia ellipse is shown on the cross section.

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