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Concrete Beam Design Module Walk-through

Starting Out

To start a concrete beam design first click on the concrete beam design module icon located in the design module dropdown in the upper right of the screen next to your username.

This will load the concrete beam design module, which loads with a preset template.

The following steps do not have to be completed in this order and are designed to work dynamically with each other, so don't worry if you realized later you clicked the wrong thing or made a mistake, just change that item and the rest will follow suit accordingly.


Set the Properties

On the left side of the screen is the Properties tab, work progressively from top to bottom to specify the desired properties. The template is used to set predetermined properties.

At the top of the properties tab is there is no LRFD/ASD design options. Concrete beams are only designed using LRFD analysis.


Concrete Beam

  • (Template) Select a template or leave as is.
  • (Beam Type) Select the beam type:  T-Beam, L-Beam, or Rectangle

 T-Beam

  • (Right Side Length) Input the right side length of the flange measured from the face of the web.
  • (Left Side Length) Input the left side length of the flange measured from the face of the web.
  • (Depth of Flange) Input the depth of the flange.
  • (Beam Width) Input the width of the beam.
  • (Beam Depth) Input the depth of the beam.

 L-Beam

  • (Left Side Length) Input the left side length of the flange measured from the face of the web.
  • (Depth of Flange) Input the depth of the flange.
  • (Beam Width) Input the width of the beam.
  • (Beam Depth) Input the depth of the beam.

 Rectangle-Beam

  • (Beam Width) Input the width of the beam.
  • (Beam Depth) Input the depth of the beam.

Concrete

  • (Fc') Input the concrete compressive strength.
  • (Concrete Density) Input the concrete density.
  • (Aggregate Diameter) Input the maximum aggregate size for determine the rebar spacing requirements.

Rebar

  • (Fy-rebar) Select the reinforcement bar material grade.
  • (Fy-Stirrups) Select the shear reinforcement bar (stirrups) material grade.
  • (Reinforcement Bar Size)  Select the reinforcement bar size number.
  • (Reinforcement Cover) Input the reinforcement cover dimensions.
  • (Stirrup Legs in Shear) Input the number of stirrup legs in shear.
  • (Stirrup Spacing Increment) Input the stirrup spacing increment.



Adding and Deleting Spans

After the material and properties of the beam are chosen move to the middle panel of the screen to edit the beam span, reactions, and start the loading process.

To add or remove a span use the plus and X icons shown by the image below to add or delete a span on either side.

When the plus button is selected, it will bring up the New Span input box. Type in the span distance you would like to add, specify the top and bottom unbraced lengths, and click save to add the new span. Clicking exit will not add a span and will return to the exact spot before the add span was selected.

To delete a span simply click the X icon below the plus. Additionally spans can be edited and deleted using the span cards on the lower toolbar across the bottom of the screen.

Edit Reactions 

In the middle panel of the screen, the reactions of the beam are buttons therefore clicking the reaction itself will bring up the edit reactions input box. Here the available reactions can be selected to be changed based on the desired design. Each reaction icon will update the boundary conditions to correspond with the reaction type.

Adding Loads

After the materials, properties, spans, and reactions of the beam are chosen move to the middle panel of the screen to start the loading process. 

Here you can add any type of load listed on the left hand side of the middle panel as shown in the image below (Distributed, Trapezoidal, Point, Axial, Moment, and Linked). 

Once a load icon is selected an input box will appear where you can enter the loading data. As shown in the example "Add Uniform Load" input box, the load end will automatically populate with the span length, the end can be edited to be any distance shorter than the total length.

After load input click "Add" and the load will be added to the beam.

Once the load is added it can be manipulated in two different ways.  You can change the load by clicking on it which will bring back the load input box or you can change the load by locating the loads tab on the bottom of the screen.   

To add an out of plane load simply change the axis on the load input box or in the load cards. Select the axis icon in the upper left corner of the load screen to switch the view and see the out of plane loads.

Another useful tool is the toolbar located between the location name and the loading screen.

Each icon corresponds to a load type, the furthest left icon shows all load types. Clicking any of the others will only show loads of that specific type.

Calculators

The toolbar on the right side of the loading screen is where the calculators are located. These are some handy tools used to facilitate a faster design process, and save you time!

From top to bottom the calculators are as follows:

Dead Load Calculator

Coming Soon!

Tributary Width Calculator

Use the input boxes to enter the load type, load axis, and load psf value for each side of the beam. In the tributary width section enter the distance from each side of the beam. The location section is the same as the load start and load end. The resulting distributed load will be added to the beam accordingly.

Floor Beam Calculator

The floor beam calculator is used for quick and easy loading of a typical floor beam design.

Combination Beam Calculator

The combination beam calculator is similar to the floor beam calculator but includes the the roof information as well.

Concrete Rebar Wizard

Coming Soon!


Calculate

Once the beam is loaded you can hit enter to calculate or click the calculate icon located above the properties tab on the right hand side.

From left to right the buttons are Calculate, Autosize, and Save. After calculating the Print Preview icon will appear.


Auto Size

Using the autosize function for the concrete beam is slightly different than the other modules. It is located in the right panel under the "AutoSize" tab.

  1. Choose the reinforcing bar size for the bottom bars.
  2. Choose the reinforcing bar size for the top bars.
  3. Click the calculate button to see the design results.

Results

After calculation the adequacy cards will appear in the lower toolbar across the bottom of the screen.

If any of the calculations fail, the percentages will turn red. The load envelope is used when showing the adequacy cards.  The corresponding shear, moment and deflection diagrams on the right side of the screen. The dropdown showing the load combo can be switched to any of the load combinations used in the calculations. The quick view can be switched to any of the loaded axis as well.

Section Views

A section view showing the reinforcement detailing will be created for each unique section. These will appear on the right side panel in the "Section Views" tab.

After successfully calculating, the print preview icon will appear in the top toolbar and clicking it will bring up the pdf report generated for the design.

B
Brian is the author of this solution article.

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