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The University of Sydney

School of Civil Engineering


Centre for Advanced Structural Engineering
NSW 2006 Australia













PURLIN4600






Purlin Capacity Tables

According to

AS/NZS 4600:2005


1
Introduction to PURLIN4600
PURLIN4600 is a computer program for generating purlin capacity tables for cold-formed C-
sections subjected to uniformly distributed load. The sections can be designed with or without roof
sheeting attached. Tables for Z-sections with roof sheeting can also be generated by modeling the
section as an equivalent channel section.
The user can select purlin configurations from one to five spans and cantilevers with one span.
Purlin systems with two or more spans can be lapped or unlapped. In addition, up to three rows of
bridging can be included in each span. The effects of load height and restraint caused by roof
sheeting on flexural-torsional buckling are also taken into account.
Strength limit state design load capacities for section capacity, flexural-torsional buckling
capacity, distortional buckling capacity, combined moment and shear capacity, combined moment
and bearing capacity, and connection capacity are calculated for a range of span lengths. The load
capacity calculated by the direct strength method is also displayed. A serviceability limit state
design load capacity is also calculated. Required bolt sizes and grades are given for the governing
design capacity.
The tables are displayed on the screen and can be saved to a file.

How to use PURLIN4600 Help
The program PURLIN4600 has a fully documented on-line help system. This system can be
accessed by either selecting Help Topics or Pop-Up Help from the toolbar or by pressing the F1 key
or the question mark button at the top right corner of a form.
The Help Topics include a table of contents, index, and search facility, all of which are very
similar to help systems in other Windows programs. The help topics act very much like an on-line
users manual.
When the question mark button at the top right corner of a form is clicked, the mouse pointer
changes to the Whats This pointer which allows the user to display Pop-Up Help for a particular
item. Pop-Up Help is also activated by pressing the F1 key when the item has the focus.

Theoretical Basis
The program PURLIN4600 is based on the Australian and New Zealand Cold-Formed Steel
Structures Standard AS/NZS 4600 [1]. A finite element flexural-torsional buckling analysis is used
to calculate the flexural-torsional buckling capacity of the purlins. This analysis is based on the
theory and program described in [2]. The direct strength method is based upon the theory developed
by Schafer and Pekoz [3].

Installing PURLIN4600
1. The setup files for PURLIN4600 are compressed in a file PURLIN4600setup.exe.
2. Before executing PURLIN4600setup.exe, all programs on the target computer should be closed.
3. Select Run from the Start menu and then select Browse to locate the file PURLIN4600setup.exe,
and press the Enter key.
4. Follow the instructions on the screen to install PURLIN4600.
5. The setup program will install the PURLIN4600 program files into a directory name input by
the user. The PURLIN4600 program file name is called PURLIN4600.exe.
6. For Windows NT/2000/XP, the user must have administrator privileges to install PURLIN4600.

Creating an Icon
1. Right click a free area on the Windows desktop.
2. Select New and Shortcut.
3. Select Browse to locate the file PURLIN4600.exe.
4. Type PURLIN4600 or some other name for the icon.
5. Click Finish.

2
Running PURLIN4600
1. Double-click the PURLIN4600 icon on the Windows desktop to start the program.
2. The main screen of PURLIN4600 allows the selection of a section library and the input of other
relevant data.
3. Select an appropriate section type and then select a section library by clicking the Library button
on the toolbar.
4. Edit the other data as required.
5. Click Options to change the design options.
6. Click Calculate to generate the purlin capacity tables in the right window.
7. Click Save to save the tables to a file.
8. Click Help to view the help topics.
9. Click Pop-Up to activate pop-up help.
10. Click About to find information on the program.
11. Click Exit to terminate the program.

MAIN SCREEN



Purlin Diagram
The purlin diagram shows the purlin with the number of spans, bridging positions, roof sheeting
and loading direction.

Section Type
In the basic version of PURLIN4600, the section types available are lipped C- and Z-sections.
Other section types can be added to the program on request.


3
Mixed Gauge
In a mixed gauge purlin configuration, the sections in the end spans have a greater thickness than
the sections in the internal spans. This option is only available for lapped Z sections with three or
more spans.

Section Library
The dimensions of the purlins for which capacity tables are to be generated must be contained in a
text file with the extension .pro. This file can be created with a suitable text editor. Example files
are given in the directory Working which is a subdirectory of the PURLIN4600 program directory.
The format of the files are as follows:-

Lipped C- and Z-Sections
1. Four lines of headings.
2. One line of data for each section as follows:-
Purlin name enclosed in double quotes.
Steel grade enclosed in double quotes.
Overall depth D.
Flange width B for C-sections, or flange widths E and F for Z-sections.
Lip length L.
Material thickness t.
Corner radius between flange and web R
1
.
Corner radius between flange and lip R
2
.
Local buckling stress f
ol
calculated from a rational buckling analysis.
Distortional buckling stress f
od
calculated from a rational buckling analysis.

The steel grade for galvanised sections is in accordance with AS 1397 [4] as shown in Table 1.5
of AS/NZS 4600 [1]. The yield stress f
y
and tensile strength f
u
for different steel grades are stored in
the file Material.ini located in the program directory. This file can be edited by the user so that new
steel grades can be added.
For a mixed gauge purlin configuration, the libraries of lipped Z-sections contain the dimensions
and buckling stresses for each of the two sections, with the section of smaller thickness shown first.

Edit Library
Allows the user to view and edit the selected library using the Windows Notepad program.

Number of Spans
The number of spans must be in the range 1 to 5.

Start Length
This is the first span length in the capacity tables. The start length must be less than the finish
length.

Finish Length
This is the last span length in the capacity tables. The finish length must be greater than the start
length.

Length Increment
The length increment is the amount by which the span lengths increase in the capacity tables. This
number must be greater than zero.



4
Cantilever Length
The check box is ticked if a cantilever is attached to the end span (Number of Spans must equal 2).
The cantilever length remains fixed while the length of the end span is increased.

Unlapped
Purlin systems with 1 span or with 1 span plus a cantilever must be unlapped.

Lapped
Purlin systems with 2 or more spans can be lapped. Only Z-sections can be lapped. In the finite
element flexural-torsional buckling analysis, lapped regions are modeled by adding the section
properties of the two sections.

Percentage of Span Length
The length of the lapped region over a support can be given as a percentage of the span length. Half
of this value is used on each side of the support. This option will be used if the check box is not
ticked.

Fixed Lap Length
The length of the lapped region over a support can be given as a fixed length for different size
purlins and span lengths. Half of this value is used on each side of the support. This option will be
used if the check box is ticked.



Inwards Loading
Uniformly distributed inwards loading is directed towards the structure when the sheeting is
attached to the outer flange.

Outwards Loading
Uniformly distributed outwards loading is directed away from the structure when the sheeting is
attached to the outer flange.

Bridging in Single or Internal Spans
The positions of up to three rows of bridging can be input. The bridging is assumed to provide a
lateral translational restraint and a torsional restraint at the points of attachment to the purlins.

Bridging in End Spans
The positions of up to three rows of bridging can be input. The bridging is assumed to provide a
lateral translational restraint and a torsional restraint at the points of attachment to the purlins.

5
Bridging Positions
The bridging positions, beginning from the left-hand end, are input as a percentage of the span
length. These percentages must add up to 100 for each span.

Sheeting Restraint
The roof sheeting attached to the top flange of the purlins is assumed to provide a continuous
diaphragm shear restraint against minor axis rotation k
ry
, but no torsional restraint. An appropriate
value for k
ry
is 100,000 Nmm/mm for screw-fastened sheeting. The magnitude of this restraint is
appropriate but not excessive, and it enhances the load carrying capacities of purlins for which
flexural-torsional buckling is the governing mode of failure. This value may not be appropriate for
clip-fastened sheeting.
The check box should be ticked if there is sheeting attached to the purlin and the k
ry
value is to
be included in the flexural-torsional buckling analysis.

Cleat
In a cleat connection, the purlin is connected through the web with two bolts to flat plates called
cleats. The cleats are welded to the rafters of the main frame.

Fixed Flange
In a fixed flange connection, the purlin is connected through the bottom flange with two bolts to the
rafters of the main frame. When this type of connection is used and the loading acts inwards, the
web bearing capacity of the purlin must be checked.

Bearing Length
The bearing length will usually be the width of the flange of the rafter which is attached to the
bottom flange of the purlin.

Number of Bolts
There are usually two bolts in a cleat or fixed flange connection.

Bolt Size
The most common bolt sizes for purlins are M12 and M16. M16 bolts are mainly used for purlins
with depths greater than or equal to 300 mm.

Bolt Grade
Grade 4.6 and Grade 8.8 bolts have tensile strengths of 400 MPa and 830 MPa, respectively.

OPTIONS

AS/NZS 4600:1996
PURLIN4600 is based on the latest edition of AS/NZS 4600 released in 2005. One of the main
changes in this edition was the revision of the design rules for flexural-torsional buckling which
resulted in a significant liberalization of the design capacities of C- and Z-sections where flexural-
torsional buckling is the limit state.
However, if the check box is ticked the program will use the design rules of the 1996 edition of
AS/NZS 4600.


6


Local Buckling Stress
AS/NZS 4600 [1] allows the plate buckling coefficient k for an unstiffened element or edge
stiffener with stress gradient to be determined from a rational elastic buckling analysis of the whole
section as a plate assemblage subjected to the longitudinal stress distribution in the section prior to
buckling. This type of analysis can be performed by the computer program THIN-WALL [5].

Distortional Buckling Stress
The elastic distortional buckling stress f
od
is used in Clause 3.3.3.3 of AS/NZS 4600 [1] to calculate
the member moment capacity of sections subject to distortional buckling. The value of this stress
may be calculated from a rational elastic buckling analysis. This type of analysis can be performed
by the computer program THIN-WALL [5]. This option only applies to lipped C- and Z-sections. If
the box is unticked, the value of f
od
for lipped C- and Z-sections is calculated by the program from
Appendix D of AS/NZS 4600 [1].

Minor Axis Rotation at Internal Supports
The rotation about the minor axis of the section (ie the rotation in a plane perpendicular to the
loading) can either be free or restrained at a continuous or lapped support.

Minor Axis Rotation at Ends
The rotation about the minor axis of the section (ie the rotation in a plane perpendicular to the
loading) can either be free or restrained at a simple support or at the end of a cantilever.

Direct Strength Method
The direct strength method is an alternative to the effective width method in calculating the design
capacity of a thin-walled member. The method uses the elastic buckling stresses calculated by
THIN-WALL [5] with an appropriate strength curve to calculate the member design capacity. The
direct strength method has the advantage that design calculations for complex sections are very
simple, provided elastic buckling solutions are available. If the check box is ticked, the direct
strength method is used to determine the section and member capacity of the purlin.

Connection Capacity
If the check box is ticked, the design load capacity for connection failure is included in determining
the strength limit state capacity of the purlin.


7
Serviceability Design
Although AS/NZS 4600 [1] does not suggest deflection limits for purlins, most purlin capacity
tables give loads which cause a span/deflection ratio of 150.
The deflections can be calculated by using either the gross or effective second moment of area,
or the average of these.

Purlin Capacity Tables
The purlin capacity tables display the design load for a range of span lengths for each purlin in the
section library. The design loads for section capacity, flexural-torsional buckling capacity,
distortional buckling capacity, combined moment and shear capacity, connection capacity and the
load capacity calculated by the direct strength method are also displayed. The strength limit state
design load is the minimum of these. A serviceability limit state design load which causes a
maximum deflection of L/(span/deflection ratio), where L is the span length, is also displayed. Also
displayed is the bolt size and grade required for the specified number of bolts to avoid a connection
failure in the purlin system when the design load is applied.

Save Tables
The purlin tables can be saved to a text file.

Help Topics
The help topics for PURLIN4600 include a table of contents, an index and a search facility.



Pop-Up Help
Pop-up help is activated by clicking the question mark button at the top right of the form and then
clicking the appropriate item for which help is sought. Pop-Up Help is also activated by pressing
the F1 key when the item has the focus.

About PURLIN4600
Displays information about the program, version number and copyright notice.

Exit PURLIN4600
Terminates the PURLIN4600 program. The data values are saved in the file PURLIN4600.ini for
use when the program is next accessed.

8


References
1. Standards Australia / Standards New Zealand, AS/NZS 4600 - Cold-Formed Steel Structures,
2005.
2. Papangelis J P, Trahair NS and Hancock GJ , Elastic Flexural-Torsional Buckling of Structures
by Computer, Computers and Structures, Vol 68, Nos 1-3, 1998, pp 125-137.
3. Schafer BW and Pekoz T, Direct Strength Prediction of Cold-Formed Steel Members using
Numerical Elastic Buckling Solutions, Thin-Walled Structures, Research and Development,
Edited by NE Shanmugan, J YR Liew and V Thevendran, Elsevier, 1998, pp 137-144.
4. Standards Australia, AS 1397 - Steel Sheet and Strip - Hot-Dip Zinc Coated or Aluminium/Zinc
Coated, 2001.
5. THIN-WALL, Cross-Section Analysis and Finite Strip Buckling Analysis of Thin-Walled
Structures, Centre for Advanced Structural Engineering, University of Sydney, 2001.

Internet
www.civil.usyd.edu.au/case/software.shtml

Price
AUD$10,000. Program supplied with a hardware lock.

Contact
Dr J ohn Papangelis Phone: 61 2 9351 3837
Fax: 61 2 9351 3343
Email: jpp@civil.usyd.edu.au