STRUCTURAL ANALYSIS SOFTWARE: THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING POWERFUL

Given the safety-critical nature of structural engineering practice, it is important to recognize those attributes of structural engineering software products that make them a valuable tool for the structural engineer. Several such attributes include:

  • quality,
  • reliability, and
  • powerful computational features such as:
    • 64-bit high-performance linear and nonlinear static and dynamic analysis equation solvers combined with
    • well documented comprehensive and in-depth features for steel and reinforced concrete design pursuant to design code specifications.

However, although such attributes are necessary, they are not sufficient. In particular, an equally important, if not more important attribute, is the ability of a structural engineer, not the software, to control the iterative sequence of analysis and design steps necessary to achieve structural design and behavioral performance goals.

Among the numerous features of GT STRUDL to meet such needs is its ability to enable structural engineers to implement problem-solving strategies and standards they create for solving simple to complex structural engineering analysis and design problems repeatedly. This important, and arguably unique feature of GT STRUDL, ensures that structural analysis and design procedures are consistent with design code specifications, company standards of excellence, and industry standards of practice while assuring conformance to the business needs of productivity and cost.

In GT STRUDL, the structural engineer has the ability to control the following sequence of steps:

  • Computational procedures required for combinations of static and response spectrum seismic analysis
  • AISC's Direct Analysis Method using rigorous nonlinear geometric analysis principles as the analysis basis for steel frame design
  • Sequential construction simulation
  • Analysis of structural systems including frame members, finite elements and cable elements
  • Complex loading conditions based on changing support joint boundary conditions
  • Structure performance evaluations using pushover analysis and nonlinear time history dynamic analysis procedures

Before you purchase structural analysis software, ensure that it is going to meet your needs and has the elasticity to respond to changing business and industry needs.

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Vol.2 | Issue 8 | Sept. 2015

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The GT STRUDL “IPCABLE” cable element:

  • Utilizes an Isoparametric FE formulation -- 2, 3, 4, 5, or 6 node cable elements that incorporate both catenary and parabolic geometric behavior
  • Supports full initial stress, large displacement, and large finite rotation geometric nonlinearity
  • Applies joint loads, variable element edge loads, body forces, joint temperature loads, and automatically generated wind loads
  • Compatible with all other GT STRUDL linear and nonlinear frame members, truss members, and 2D and 3D finite elements
  • Works in nonlinear static, dynamic and pushover analyses
  • Permits the analysis of all cable-supported structures, including:
    • suspension bridges,
    • cable-stayed bridges,
    • guyed towers,
    • cable-suspended roof systems,
    • general cable networks,
    • traffic signal suspension systems,
    • post-tensioned structures, and
    • others.

Cable Pre-Stress Analysis

In conjunction with the IPCABLE element, GT STRUDL also provides a specialized nonlinear cable pre-stress analysis application that can iteratively determine the length of the cable elements needed in order to satisfy a prescribed initial stress or initial geometric constraint condition.

During a Response Spectrum Analysis, the following warning messages may occur:

"One or more specified modal damping ratios lies outside the bounds of the response spectrum curve(s) for response spectrum load _______."

This warning message occurs when specified modal damping values do not lie within the maximum and minimum range of damping values associated with the design response spectrum curves referred to in the RESPONSE SPECTRUM LOADING command. This often occurs when composite modal damping values are calculated.

"One or more structural frequencies may exceed the bounds of the specified response spectrum curve(s).”

This warning message occurs when calculated modal frequencies lie outside the range of frequencies associated with the design response spectrum curves referred to in the RESPONSE SPECTRUM LOADING command.

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Leroy Emkin
GT STRUDL Executive Technical Director