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SPACE GASS Reference Manual

Version 10.8
44th Edition, November 2010
Reference Manual SPACE GASS 10.8

Table of Contents

Introduction 9
How to use this manual 10
Legal notice 13
Hardware requirements 16
Product support 17
Hardware locks and insurance 18
New features 19

Installation and configuration 25


Installing SPACE GASS 26
Configuring SPACE GASS 27
Folders and files 28
Text formatting 30
General configuration 32
Graphics scale calibration 35
Graphics colors 36
General colors 37
Problem size limits 38
Steel connection configuration 39

Getting started 45
Starting SPACE GASS 46
Command line options 47
The main SPACE GASS window 49
Using the mouse 51
Dialogue boxes 52
Data entry 54
Managing job files 57
Starting a new job 58
Opening a job 59
Merging jobs 60
Saving a job 61
Deleting a job 62
Cleaning up a job 63
Running a macro 65
Running a script 66
Job status 68
The status line 69
The menu system 71
The file menu 72
The structure menu 74
The loads menu 76
The analysis menu 77
The design menu 78
The output menu 79

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The view menu 80


The query menu 82
The settings menu 83
The config menu 84
The window menu 85
The help menu 86
The toolbars 87
The left side toolbar 88
The top toolbar 89
The 3D renderer 90
Shortcuts 92

Input methods 95

Linking to other programs 98


CIMSteel/2 Step, IFC Step and Revit links 99
Import links 102
Export links 106
Special Revit Structure links 109
DXF links 112
Importing DXF files 114
Exporting DXF files 115

Modelling the structure 119


Coordinate systems 120
Sign conventions 125
Ill-conditioning and instabilities 129

Analysis data 131


Units 132
Headings 134
Node data 135
Member data 136
Plate data 142
Node restraint data 148
Section property data 152
Standard section libraries 155
Shape builder 156
Flipping a section 159
Column and beam Tee sections 160
Angle sections 161
Material property data 162
Master-slave constraint data 164
Member offset data 170
Node load data 173
Prescribed node displacement data 174
Member concentrated load data 175
Member distributed force data 177
Member distributed torsion data 179

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Thermal load data 181


Member prestress data 183
Plate pressure data 185
Self weight data 187
Combination load case data 188
Load case title data 190
Lumped mass data 191
Spectral load data 194
Spectral curve editor 197
Importing a spectral curve 199
Area load data 200
Moving load data 201

Text file input 203


Text file format 204
Initiator 205
Headings text 206
Nodes text 207
Members text 208
Plates text 209
Node restraints text 210
Section properties text 211
Material properties text 212
Master-slave constraints text 213
Member offset text 214
Node loads text 215
Prescribed node displacements text 216
Member concentrated loads text 217
Member distributed forces text 218
Member distributed torsions text 219
Thermal loads text 220
Member prestress loads text 221
Plate pressure loads text 222
Self weight text 223
Combination load cases text 224
Load case titles text 225
Lumped masses text 226
Spectral loads text 227
Steel member design text 228
Steel connection design text 230
Terminator 232
Text file errors 233
Text file example 237

Structure wizard 241

Datasheet input 245


Using datasheets 246

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Graphics 253
Graphics overview 254
Floating menus 257
Graphical input 260
Graphical editing 263
Using the keyboard to position points 265
Multiple viewports 266
Node properties 269
Member properties 272
Plate properties 276
Node restraints 279
Section properties 280
Material properties 281
Master-slave constraints 282
Member offsets 283
Copy node properties 284
Copy member properties 285
Copy plate properties 286
Draw 287
Move 290
Rotate 292
Copy 293
Mirror 295
Delete 296
Stretch 297
Scale nodes 298
Generate arc 299
Subdivide 300
Mesh 302
Connect 304
Intersect 305
Generate taper/haunch 307
Reverse plate direction 309
Align plate axes 311
Renumber 312
Connectivity check 314
Select all 315
Node loads 317
Prescribed node displacements 319
Member concentrated loads 321
Member distributed forces 323
Member distributed torsions 325
Thermal loads 327
Member prestress loads 329
Plate pressure loads 331
Self weight 333
Combination load cases 334
Load case titles 335
Lumped masses 336
Spectral loads 338
Area loads 339

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Moving loads 341


Varying plate pressure loads 348
Copy node loads 351
Copy member loads 352
Copy plate loads 353
Managing load cases 354
View rendered model 355
View nodes / members / plates 358
View node / member / plate properties 359
View global origin 360
View local axes 361
View labelling and annotation 362
View results in local XY or XZ plane 363
View diagrams 364
View plate contours 365
View envelope 367
View dynamic mode shapes 368
View buckling mode shapes 370
View steel member design groups 371
View steel member top flanges 372
View steel member flange restraints 373
View steel member design results 374
View steel connection drawings 377
Redraw 379
Zoom 380
Pan 381
Scales 382
Find 383
Filters 384
Views 387
Viewpoint 389
Query frame 391
Query analysis results 392
Query steel member design results 394
Grid 395
Snap 396
Ortho 397
Attach 398
Plane 400
Coordinates 401
Repeat last command 402

Analysis 403
Static analysis 404
Displacements, actions and reactions 406
P-D effect 407
P-d effect 408
Tension-only and compression-only effects 409
Cable members 410
Non-linear analysis procedure 412

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Static analysis buckling 413


The wavefront optimizer 414
The wavefront analysis method 419
A quick frontwidth calculation method 420
The wavefront method in more detail 421
Running a static analysis 422
Static analysis results 427
Dynamic frequency analysis 429
Modelling considerations 430
Running a dynamic frequency analysis 431
Dynamic frequency analysis results 436
Dynamic response analysis 437
Running a dynamic response analysis 439
Dynamic response procedure 443
Dynamic response analysis results 444
Buckling analysis 446
Buckling effective lengths 448
Special buckling considerations 450
Running a buckling analysis 452
Buckling analysis results 456
Analysis warnings and errors 458

Steel member design 463


Steel member input methods 465
Auto-create steel members 466
Steel member input form 471
Steel member input datasheet 473
Copy steel member properties 474
Steel member design data 475
Steel member design sign conventions 483
Member groups 484
Flange restraints 488
Column and beam Tees 495
Running a steel member design 496
Updating analysis member sizes 503
Serviceability check 504
The steel member design/check process 505
Design groups and intermediate stations 506
Design segments 507
Section check 508
Member check 509
Critical flange 510
Effective flange restraints 511
Twist factor 513
Load height factor 514
Lateral rotation factor 515
End moment ratios and other factors 517
Eccentric effects for compression members 518
Eccentric effects for tension members 519
The code check 520

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Steel member design results 521


Steel member design/check assumptions 523
BS5950-1:2000 code specific items 528
Hong Kong CP2005 code specific items 533
Steel member design/check errors 535

Steel connection design 537


Steel connection input methods 539
Steel connection input form 540
Steel connection input datasheet 543
Steel connection design data 544
Running a steel connection design 550
The steel connection design process 553
Connection geometry 554
Haunches 555
Design actions 556
Minimum design actions 557
Design phase 558
Check phase 559
Bolts 560
Welds 561
Plates and cleats 562
Tension and compression stiffeners 563
Shear stiffeners 565
Clashing and copes 566
Baseplate connections 567
Critical load case 568
Steel connection design results 569
Steel connection design errors 570

Concrete column design 577


Running a concrete column design 578
Concrete column configuration 584
Concrete column design results 586
Concrete column assumptions and notes 587

Output 589
Page setup 593
View text report 596
Print preview 597
Print text report 600
Print graphics 601
The status report 602

Standard libraries 603


The library editor 604
Section libraries 607
Material libraries 610
Bolt libraries 611

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Plate libraries 612


Weld libraries 613
Reinforcing bar libraries 614
Spectral curve libraries 615
Vehicle libraries 616

Portal frame analysis 617


Geometry and loads 618
Method of input 622
Analysis procedure 624
Analysis results 625
Graphical output 626
Analysis input report 630
Static analysis report (itemised) 637
Static analysis report (enveloped) 644
Bill of materials report 648
Dynamic frequency analysis report 649
Dynamic response analysis report 650
Buckling analysis report 651

Portal frame member design 653


Member design results 658
Steel member design report 659

Portal frame connection design 665


Connection design results 667
Steel connection drawings 668
Steel connection design report 670

Cable analysis 675


Method of input 677
Analysis procedure 678
Analysis results 679

Converting old jobs 683

Bibliography 685

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Introduction
SPACE GASS is a general purpose structural analysis and design program for 2D and 3D frames,
trusses, grillages, beams and plates. It includes a full complement of features that make it suitable
for any job from small beams, trusses and portal frames to large high rise buildings, towers and
bridges.

Its emphasis on graphics means that you easily see the status of your model at all times. In fact,
the extensive range of graphical editing tools allow you to input your model or make changes
entirely within the graphical editor. Of course, if you prefer to work with datasheets or other
methods of input then they are available too.

A structure wizard automatically generates the initial data for many typical structures which you
can then manipulate to create the exact model you want.

State of the art solvers for linear and non-linear static analysis, dynamic analysis and buckling
analysis are available. Steel and concrete design modules for various international codes of
practice are also available.

Graphical and text reports can be generated for any parts of the structural model. Comprehensive
filters that can be defined graphically allow you to customize your graphical views and output
reports to include just want you want to see.

Although SPACE GASS is a comprehensive program with many advanced features, its logical
menu structure, toolbars and graphical emphasis makes it easy to learn and use, even for first time
users. If you have questions or need help then you will probably find the answers in this manual.

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How to use this manual


Illustrated as follows is an example of each of the three outline styles used in this manual. These
styles are designed to draw your attention to information in one of three ways: as a hint, an
important note or general note.

Hints are non-essential, but useful, pieces of information which will improve your understanding
of the program. Hints sometimes identify a special way of doing something and are typically
quite specific.

Important notes should be carefully read and understood. They outline information that is vital to
the effective use of the software.

Notes identify articles of information which are meant as an aside to aid your understanding of
SPACE GASS. Some notes are quite general in nature and do not give reference to a specific
procedure. Notes may also serve to draw your attention to specific interpretation.

HINTS

This is an example of the SPACE GASS HINTS style and icon.

IMPORTANT NOTES

! IMPORTANT NOTE !
This is an example of the SPACE GASS important note style and icon.

NOTES

This is an example of the SPACE GASS NOTES style and icon.

Following is a brief overview of each section in the manual.

Chapter 1 "Installation and Configuration"


Deals with the installation and configuration of SPACE GASS. Once the software is installed and
running correctly, you should not have to refer to this chapter again.

Chapter 2 "Getting Started"


If you are new to frame analysis programs or Windows programs in general, then you should read
this chapter before attempting to run a job. It provides very good basic information that you will
need to know about the operation of SPACE GASS.

Chapter 3 "Input Methods"


Explains the four main methods of inputting and editing your model.

Chapter 4 "Linking to Other Programs"


Describes how data can be transferred between SPACE GASS and other structural analysis, CAD
and building management programs.

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Chapter 5 "Modelling the Structure"


Discusses the basics of how you can model a structure with SPACE GASS and includes
information on nodes, members, restraints, coordinate systems, sign conventions, etc.

Chapter 6 "Analysis Data"


Gives a detailed description of each type of data that can be used in the frame analysis part of the
model. Data for steel and concrete design is not included (see later chapters). This chapter deals
only with the data itself, and leaves the discussion of the numerous methods that you can use to
input the data to later chapters.

Chapter 7 "Text File Input"


Describes the format of standard SPACE GASS text files. This is one of the five methods of data
entry. You can type your data into a standard text file and then import it into SPACE GASS.
Standard text files can also be used as an alternative for permanent storage of data.

Chapter 8 "Structure Wizard"


Another method of input involves selecting from a number of standard structures, answering a
few simple questions about the structure selected, and then having the structure wizard generate
all of the frame data for you. Any of the other data entry methods can be used to modify the data
after it has been generated using this method.

Chapter 9 "Datasheet Input"


Is a modified form of spreadsheet input which allows you to input or edit any parts of the frame
data or steel design data. Along with graphical input, this is probably one of the most useful and
versatile methods of data entry.

Chapter 10 "Graphics"
Covers all of the graphics facilities available. This includes graphical structure input, graphical
load input, graphical steel design input, connection drawing detail, graphical output of loading,
displacement, bending moment, shear force, stress, axial force and animated mode shape
diagrams. Full descriptions are also given for the many commands associated with drawing,
moving, copying, rotating, mirroring, erasing, zooming, panning, scaling, coordinate systems,
changing the viewpoint, labelling, querying diagrams, viewing the rendered model, hidden line
removal, renumbering, etc.

Chapter 11 "Analysis"
The static, dynamic and buckling analysis modules, together with their options and control
parameters are fully described here.

Chapter 12 "Steel Member Design"


Details the use of the steel member design module. Please pay particular attention to the
procedures and assumptions listed near the end.

Chapter 13 "Steel Connection Design"


Details the use of the reinforced concrete column design module. Please pay particular attention
to the procedures and assumptions listed near the end.

Chapter 14 "Concrete Column Design"


Details the use of the reinforced concrete column design module.

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Chapter 15 "Output"
Describes the types of output reports and graphics hardcopies that can be obtained and the options
that are available for sorting, formatting, enveloping, positioning on the page, etc.

Chapter 16 "Standard Libraries"


SPACE GASS is supplied with a number of standard section, material, bolt, plate and weld
libraries. This chapter provides a complete guide on how you can customise any of these libraries,
or create your own section libraries.

Appendix A "Portal Frame Analysis"


Presents a detailed report on the analysis of a typical steel portal frame. Full discussions regarding
the input data and the decisions involved in producing it are included, together with complete
printouts of the analysis input and output reports.

Appendix B "Portal Frame Member Design"


Presents a detailed report on the member design for the steel portal frame analysed in appendix B.
It includes a discussion on how the steel members are being modelled, together with complete
printouts of the member design input and output reports.

Appendix C "Portal Frame Connection Design"


Presents a detailed report on the connection design for the steel portal frame analysed in appendix
B. It includes a discussion on how the steel connections are being modelled, together with
complete printouts of the connection design input and output reports.

Appendix D "Cable Analysis"


Presents a worked example demonstrating the input and analysis of a 30m tall, guyed mast. The
catenary cable equations are used to calculate the axial force in a nominal guy member, this is
then compared to the result obtained from SPACE GASS.

Appendix E "Converting Old Jobs"


Explains how you can convert data files that were produced with SPACE GASS v1, v2 or v3 for
loading into the latest version. Note that data files produced with SPACE GASS 4 or later are
automatically converted into the latest format when they are opened.

Appendix F "Bibliography"
A list of references.

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Legal notice
End User License Agreement
Notice to Licensee:
This End User License Agreement (the "Agreement") is a legal agreement between you and I.T.S.
Integrated Technical Software Pty Ltd (ACN 086 605 567) ("ITS"), a registered company under
the Corporations Law of the State of Victoria, Australia. BY USING THIS PRODUCT, YOU
AGREE TO BE BOUND BY THE TERMS AND CONDITIONS OF THIS AGREEMENT. If
you do not agree to all the terms and conditions of this Agreement or if you do not have the
authority to agree to all the terms and conditions of this Agreement on behalf of the licensee then
you MUST NOT USE THE PRODUCT. Provided the Product has not been used and is not a
loan, student or evaluation version, you may return it to your place of purchase for a full refund.

1. Definitions. For the purposes of this Agreement, the following terms shall have the following
meanings:

1.1 "Product" shall mean and include the SPACE GASS software, updates, CDs,
computer disks, Security Devices, help files, reference manual or other instructions,
technical support or any other software, items or information of any kind provided by ITS
or obtained from the www.spacegass.com web site.

1.2 "Software" shall mean all software included in the Product.

1.3 "Security Devices" shall mean and include hardware or software that limits the
number of users that may operate the Software simultaneously, or imposes an Expiry
Date beyond which the Software cannot be used, or prevents certain parts of the Software
from being used.

1.4 "Expiry Date" shall mean the date imposed by any Security Devices beyond which
the Software cannot be used.

1.5 "ITS" includes its employees, agents and suppliers.

2. License. The Product is protected by copyright laws and international copyright treaties, as
well as other intellectual property laws and treaties. The Product is licensed, not sold.

2.1 Grant of License. Subject to the terms and conditions of this Agreement, ITS grants
to you a non-exclusive license to use the Product during the term of this Agreement.

2.2 User Limit. The Software may be installed on an unlimited number of computers,
however the maximum number of users operating it simultaneously may not exceed the
user limit imposed by the Security Devices.

2.3 Reference Manual. You may make such copies of the reference manual as are
reasonably necessary for your use of the Product by the permitted number of
simultaneous users, but you may not make copies of the reference manual for any other
purpose without the prior written consent of ITS.

3. Ownership; Proprietary Rights. ITS shall at all times be the owner of and have all rights to
the Product, and all intellectual property associated therewith, including but not limited to patents,

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Reference Manual SPACE GASS 10.8

copyrights, trade names and marks, domain names, and trade secrets related thereto. The Product
is protected by copyright laws and international treaty provisions. Nothing herein shall cause or
imply a sale, license or transfer of any intellectual property rights of ITS to you or to any third
party, except as expressly set forth herein. You may not reverse engineer, decompile,
disassemble, or otherwise attempt to discover the source code of the Software. You may not
attempt to reverse engineer, duplicate or bypass any Security Devices.

4. Disclaimers. ITS makes no warranties or representations as to the Product to you or to any


other party. To the extent permitted by applicable law, all implied warranties, including, but not
limited to, the implied warranties of merchantability and fitness for a particular purpose, are
hereby disclaimed.

5. Limitation of Liability. To the maximum extent permitted by applicable law, in no event shall
ITS be liable for any punitive, exemplary, consequential, indirect, incidental, or special damages
arising from or related to the use of the Product by any party, including without limitation
damages arising from loss of data, loss of revenue or profits or failure to realize savings or other
benefits, even if ITS has been advised of or should be aware of the possibility of such damages.
In the event of any defect in the Product ITS may, at its option;

(i) replace the Product or supply its equivalent;


(ii) repair the Product;
(iii) pay for the cost of replacing the Product or of acquiring its equivalent; or
(iv) pay for the cost of having the error in the Product rectified.

To the extent that the Product involves providing a service, in the event of any error or defect in
the provision of that service ITS may, at its option;

(i) supply the service again; or


(ii) pay for the cost of having the service supplied again.

Because some states and jurisdictions do not allow the exclusion or limitation of liability, the
above limitation may not apply to you.

6. Indemnification. You, at your sole expense, will defend, indemnify and hold ITS harmless
from and with respect to any loss or damage (including reasonable attorneys’ fees and costs)
incurred in connection with, any suit or proceeding brought by a third party against ITS insofar as
such suit or proceeding shall be based upon (i) any claim arising out of or relating to your use of
the Product except where such claim alleges that the Software infringes or constitutes wrongful
use of any copyright, trade secret, patent or trade mark of any third party; or (ii) any claim arising
out of or relating to any act or omission by you. You will pay any damages and costs assessed
against ITS (or paid or payable by ITS pursuant to a settlement agreement) in connection with
such a suit or proceeding.

7. Changes to the Product. ITS may change the Product from time to time without notice to you
and shall not be under any obligation to provide you with any notification of such change.

8. Non-Transferability. You may not rent, lease, sub-license, lend or transfer the Product to
another person or legal entity without the prior written consent of ITS.

9. Term and Termination. The term of this Agreement shall commence on the date that you
install or use the Product and shall continue (unless earlier terminated as provided herein) until

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the Expiry Date, or in perpetuity if no Expiry Date is imposed. Without prejudice to any other
rights, ITS may terminate this Agreement at any time if you fail to comply with its terms and
conditions.

Upon termination of this Agreement for any reason whatsoever, you shall cease all use of the
Product and remove all copies of the Software from your computers.

10. General.

10.1 Assignment. You may not assign or transfer this Agreement or any of your rights,
duties or obligations hereunder and this Agreement may not be involuntarily assigned or
assigned by operation of law, without the prior written consent of ITS, which consent
may be granted or withheld by ITS in its sole discretion.

10.2 Severability. Each provision of this Agreement is intended to be severable. If any


covenant, condition or other provision contained in this Agreement is held to be invalid
or illegal by any court of competent jurisdiction, such provision shall be deemed
severable from the remainder of the Agreement and shall in no way affect, impair or
invalidate any other covenant, condition or other provision contained in this Agreement.
If such covenant, condition or other provision shall be deemed invalid due to its scope or
breadth, such covenant, condition or other provision shall be deemed valid to the extent
of the scope or breadth permitted by law.

10.3 Governing Law. You agree that the use of the Product by you shall be governed by
the laws of the State of Victoria and the Commonwealth of Australia, and you consent to
the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of that State and the Commonwealth.

10.4 Attorneys’ Fees. If any legal action is brought arising out of or relating to this
Agreement, the prevailing party shall be entitled to receive its reasonable attorneys’ fees
and court costs in addition to any other relief it may be entitled.

10.5 Entire Agreement. This Agreement is the complete and exclusive statement of the
agreement of the parties hereto with respect to the subject matter hereof, and supercedes
all prior and concurrent agreements, promises, proposals, representations and warranties,
oral or written, with respect to the subject matter hereof.

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Hardware requirements
• Intel Pentium/Centrino/Celeron or compatible.
• Windows XP/NT/2000/Vista/7.
• Minimum 512Mb RAM.
• Hard disk with at least 100Mb free space.
• 1024x768 graphics resolution or better running at least 16-bit color.
• Any printer or plotter including postscript devices supported by Windows.
• Microsoft mouse or other Windows pointing device.

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Product support
Product support includes:

• Notification of any program modifications or enhancements as they become available.


• Update facility for those users wishing to upgrade to the latest version.
• Replacement of any software which is found to be defective through no fault of the user or
which does not conform to the general published function of the software.
• Telephone, facsimile and email support by I.T.S. or an authorised dealer.
• Comprehensive Internet web site providing latest information, drivers, updates, libraries,
etc. for all registered SPACE GASS users.

I.T.S. reserves the right to charge for telephone, facsimile or email support.

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Hardware locks and insurance


SPACE GASS is sometimes supplied with a hardware lock that must be inserted into the parallel
or USB port before the software will run. If the hardware lock is faulty or becomes damaged or
destroyed, it can be replaced for a nominal fee provided that a remnant of the lock showing a
valid serial number can be produced proving that it is a genuine SPACE GASS hardware lock.

The hardware lock cannot be replaced for a nominal fee if it is lost or stolen and, for this reason,
it is recommended that the user insure the software package and hardware lock for the full current
market value of the software.

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New features
The key new features added in SPACE GASS since v10.0 are as follows. Note that minor new
features, enhancements and bug fixes are not listed here.

Version 10.8

• SPACE GASS now uses the Titan license manager softlock system instead of hardware
locks, although hardware locks can still be supplied if requested. TitanLM suppports stand-
alone or network installations, and lets users borrow licenses from the network for use off-
site.

Versions 10.6 to 10.7

• A new plate element has been added in v10.7. Plate elements can be quadrilateral or
triangular with bending, shear and membrane stiffness.

• SPACE GASS can now import and export data in CIMSteel/2 (CIS/2) and IFC Step file
formats. This allows it to communicate directly with many other programs such as Tekla
Structures/XSteel, ProSteel, Microstation, Frameworks Plus, AutoCAD, Revit Structure,
StruCAD, etc.

• A new built-in graphics rendering module has been added in v10.7 that allows you to
generate realistic rendered models of your job that show the complete geometry of all
members and plates. This replaces the old internal 3D viewer and the external VRML
viewer. It is expected that this module will gradually be given full input, editing and viewing
functionality until it completely replaces the existing graphics system in SPACE GASS.

• Nodes can now be moved, rotated or deleted directly in v10.7.

• Rotated and/or flipped members can now be located using the find command or filtered in
v10.7.

• In v10.7 graphical envelopes can now be limited to minimums and maximums, just
minimums, just maximums or just absolute maximums.

• The minimum and maximum intermediate values are now shown on displacement, bending
moment, shear force, axial force, torsion and stress diagrams in v10.6.

• A newconnectivity tool has been added that allows you to check what is connected to any
given node, member or plate.

Versions 10.1 to 10.5

• An interface to Autodesk’s Revit Structure program has been added in v10.51b.

• The dynamic response analysis module now supports AS1170.4-2007 and NZS1170.5-2004

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• Dynamic zoom, pan, viewpoint and diagram scale changing have been added in v10.50.
Your current operation stays active and none of your node, member or plate selections are
lost while you are using these tools. Refer to shortcuts for more information.

• SPACE GASS can be run minimized, normal or maximized (the default mode) depending
on the -min, -nml or -max command line options. It can also be controlled by the SHOW
line in a script file. These changes were made in v10.50a.

• The concrete material properties in the standard metric library have been updated in
v10.50a. The new values are based on AS3600-2001 clauses 6.1.5, 6.1.6 and Commentary
Table C6.1.2.

• Importing/exporting MS-Excel, MS-Word or MS-Access data can now be done in script


mode in v10.50.

• "D" restraints are no longer supported in v10.50. Restraints are now just "F", "R" or "S".

• The structure wizard no longer generates general restraints and is less restraining in general
in v10.50.

• Importing of SDNF version 3 files is now supported in v10.50.

• A new steel member design module for the Hong Kong code HK CP2005 has been added in
v10.41.

• A new steel member design module for the British code BS5950:2000 has been added in
v10.41.

• When exporting to DXF, the frame data can now be put into section-specific layers rather
than having the entire frame in one layer.

• A new steel member design module for the LiteSteel beam range of sections from Smorgon
Steel has been added in v10.40. These are designed to AS4600.

• The tool that updates analysis section property data based on the results of a steel member
design has been enhanced considerably so that it allows the update-analysis-design
procedure to be iterated automatically.

• A new dynamic frequency analysis solver has been added in v10.30. It allows you to create
combinations of mass load cases and to combine lumped mass load cases with self weight
load cases. The new solver uses the wavefront optimizer and, as a result, the computer’s
memory requirement is vastly reduced.

• An option for SPACE GASS to check for program updates via the SPACE GASS website
has been added.

• The moving load generator is now able to generate combination load cases that combine the
moving loads with other static loads.

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• Moving load travel path coordinates, when used in conjunction with travel path node
numbers, are now treated as offsets from the path defined by the node numbers.

• The number of moving load wheels per vehicle has been increased to 200.

• Custom libraries are now stored in a separate file to the standard libraries. They can also be
stored in a different folder to the standard libraries.

• Your company logo can now be scaled to an exact height that you specify and can optionally
be included on every page or just the first page. JPG images formats are also now supported.

• Saving of loads after graphical editing, importing of text files and report generation have all
been sped up dramatically.

• Zooming via the mousewheel is now centered on the mouse position.

• Selection of the local XY and/or XZ planes for the display of moments, shears and stresses
can now be made direct from the side toolbar rather than via a filter.

• New members being drawn graphically can now be optionally given the default attributes or
those of the previously accessed member.

• An option for allowing duplicate members to be drawn has been added. Finding and filtering
duplicate members has also been added to the cleanup, find and filter functions.

• Deleting members with zero length has been added to the cleanup function.

• Filters defined in terms of analysis members now also affect steel design reports.

• Options for suppressing automatic re-scaling of load and analysis results diagrams have
been added.

• An option for selecting steel members and connections graphically and then viewing or
editing them in a datasheet has been added.

• The default bolt, plate, weld, rebar, spectral and vehicle library names can now be specified
in the configuration.

• The lowest buckling load factor is now displayed at the end of a buckling analysis.

• The end offset distance for members exported to a DXF drawing file can now be specified.

• The data generated by the structure wizard is now adjusted according to the vertical axis
setting.

• The default gravity direction in the self-weight datasheet is now adjusted according to the
vertical axis setting.

• Auto-created steel members are now terminated at pin-ended members.

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Version 10.0

• A facility for generating moving loads has been added.

• Other jobs can be opened and merged with the current job.

• Steel member design input data can now be generated automatically for the entire model.

• A facility for connecting members that cross over each other has been added.

• Print previews can be produced.

• Your company logo can be included in text and graphical reports.

• The analysis and design output has been combined into a single report.

• Text reports can be exported to PDF, HTML and TXT files.

• Graphical output can be exported to PDF, HTML and BMP files.

• All symbols are now shown correctly in reports.

• A new page setup form gives you full control over the output device, margins, page layout
and formatting.

• You can specify and configure separate graphics and text printers.

• USB network locks are supported.

• If the program is terminated abnormally, any network licences that were active are
recovered immediately and automatically.

• Mouse wheel zooming, panning and viewpoint changing is supported.

• Keyboard zooming, panning and viewpoint changing is supported.

• Keyboard scrolling through filters, views and load cases is supported.

• Temporary job files are now stored on the local workstation for extra speed and much
reduced network traffic.

• Filters, views, etc. in the current job can be retained when data is imported from a text file.

• In order to detect the cause of frame buckling, the nodes at which the maximum translations
and rotations occur are listed in buckling reports.

• Tension/Compression-only effects can be made to revert to "no reversal" mode after a


specified number of iterations.

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• Unrestrained degrees of freedom are now automatically stabilised during the analysis. This
prevents many instabilities due to incorrect modelling.

• Cable members no longer require uniformly distributed loads to be applied to them.

• Nodes connected only to cable members no longer have to be restrained rotationally.

• Error messages can be printed or copied to the clipboard.

• Export files include all input data and are no longer affected by filters or report selections.

• You can print or obtain print previews direct from the datasheets.

• SPACE GASS can now import and export data directly with MS-Excel, MS-Access and
MS-Word.

• Options for springs and compression-only members have been added to the structure wizard
beam and grillage structures.

• Compression effective lengths in the steel member design input data can be fully controlled
separately for each axis.

• The automatic reduction of the minor axis compression effective length due to flange
restraints is now optional.

• Steel members can be nominated as "braced " for either or both axes in order to limit the
compression effective lengths to their actual lengths.

• Double angles are shown as such in the graphical section property legend.

• Steel members that have been offset can now be designed.

• Everything attached to and associated with a member is deleted when the member is deleted.
This includes attributes, offsets, loads and design input data.

• The steel design input data member lists are automatically adjusted when members are
deleted, subdivided or otherwise edited graphically.

• Steel members and connections are now sorted numerically if input or edited graphically.

• Abandoned unnamed jobs can now be recovered automatically.

• Undo for all design input data is supported.

• Undo for node, member and plate renumbering is supported.

• Cleanup for all design input data is supported.

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• The area loader supports subdivided members.

• Single angle sections can be designed as concentrically connected.

• The properties of a node can be copied to a graphical selection of other nodes.

• The properties of a member can be copied to a graphical selection of other members.

• The design input data for a steel member can be copied to a graphical selection of other steel
members.

• Loads can be copied from a node to a graphical selection of other nodes.

• Loads can be copied from a member to a graphical selection of other members.

• You can press the space bar to repeat the last graphics command.

• An external macro such as another program, batch file or MS-Excel/Access macro can be
run from within SPACE GASS.

• SPACE GASS can be controlled externally from another program or batch file using a script
file.

• A backup copy of the job is made just before each save.

• Full 3D geometry displays can be saved in VRML files for later viewing.

• Buttons have been added to the library editor for adding, deleting and editing.

• A large number of minor improvements, bug fixes and adjustments have been incorporated.

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Installation and configuration


Installation and configuration of SPACE GASS is a simple two-stage process that is explained in
the following sections.

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Installing SPACE GASS


For comprehensive installation instructions, refer to www.spacegass.com/install.

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Configuring SPACE GASS


You can run SPACE GASS by double-clicking the SPACE GASS icon which has been created.

When you first start SPACE GASS, or if you make any changes to your system, you will be
prompted for some configuration information.

After the initial configuration, you can change any of the configuration settings by selecting them
from the Config menu. The eight configuration forms are detailed in this chapter.

All configurable data is stored in a file called SG.INI which is stored in the "Start in" folder (view
the SPACE GASS icon’s properties to determine the "Start in" folder).

Note that you can change the location of the SG.INI file by using
the -i command line option. You can also use this option to set up multiple shortcuts, each with its
own SG.INI file for cases where you want to be able to run SPACE GASS with different
configurations. For more information, refer to "Command line options".

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Folders and files

Select "Folders and files" from the Config menu.

This form allows you to set the folder locations for the SPACE GASS program itself and for the
various types of data files.

Main program folder


Contains the SPACE GASS program itself.

Main data folder


Contains the main job data files.

Standard libraries folder


Contains the standard section, material, bolt, plate, weld, spectral curve, reinforcing bar and
vehicle libraries supplied with SPACE GASS. This normally matches the main program folder,
however it can be different if you wish to have the standard libraries in a separate folder. Note

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that all standard libraries are contained in a file called sglibstandard.mdb which cannot be
modified.

Custom libraries folder


Contains the custom section, material, bolt, plate, weld, spectral curve, reinforcing bar and
vehicle libraries that you create. These can be in the same folder as the standard libraries or in
another location. Note that all custom libraries are contained in a file called sglibcustom.mdb
which can be modified via the library editor or the shape builder.

If you wish to have the SPACE GASS program folder write


protected then you must change the custom library folder to a different location.

Text data folder


Contains import/export text data files and print text files.

Backup data folder


Contains import/export backup job data files.

Archive data folder


Contains import/export archive data files.

CAD data folder


Contains import/export CAD data files.

Temporary data folder


Contains temporary files that are created and deleted by SPACE GASS as it operates.

Documents folder
Contains MS-Access, MS-Excel and MS-Word document files.

Text editor program


The name of the SPACE GASS text editor. This can be the standard Windows NOTEPAD or any
other text editor that runs in Windows.

Calculator program
The name of the SPACE GASS calculator. This can be the standard Windows calculator or any
other calculator that runs in Windows.

Default library names


The names of the default libraries.

Note that any folders that do not exist are automatically created as you go.

Copy the Job to the Backup Data Folder Before Saving


If this box is selected, whenever a job is saved, a copy of the previously saved version of the job
is copied to the backup data folder and renamed with an extension of BAK.

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Text formatting

Select "Text formatting" from the Config menu.

This form allows you to set the report and graphics text formats and fonts.

Report text format


The report text format which is initially selected when you create a new job. Note that this setting
does not change the current job. The report text format for the current job can only be changed
from the report form (selected from the Output menu).

Graphics text format


The graphics text format which is initially selected when you create a new job. Note that this
setting does not change the current job. The graphics text format for the current job can only be
changed from the Labelling and Annotation form (selected from the View menu).

Report font
The font for text reports. This must not be a proportional font otherwise the columns of numbers
in reports will not line up properly. The two-column output toggle switches between one-column
and two-column output in the report.

Screen graphics font


The font for screen graphics text. This can be any proportional or fixed font.

After setting the screen graphics font size, if the text on the
SPACE GASS graphics screen looks too big or too small, it may be because the screen graphics
correction factors have not been set correctly. Refer to "Graphics scale calibration" in "Graphics
scale calibration" later in this chapter.

Printer graphics font


The font for printer graphics text. This can be any proportional or fixed font.

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General configuration

Select "General configuration" from the Config menu.

This form allows you to set the general purpose configuration items in SPACE GASS.

Sound on alert
This allows you to suppress or enable the sound that the program makes when it wants to alert
you to something.

Sound on error
This allows you to suppress or enable the sound that the program makes when an error occurs.

Diagram shading
Loading, bending moment, shear force, stress and axial force diagrams are shaded if this item is
checked.

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Shading is normally turned off as it makes multiple superimposed diagrams hard to read.

Check disk space


If this item is checked, SPACE GASS performs a disk space check to ensure that there is enough
free space for a static or dynamic analysis to proceed to completion. If the disk space check has
been disabled and there is not enough space for the analysis data, the program may abort with an
error message. Although this is not a desirable occurrence, it will not result in loss of data.

Vertical axis
The graphics vertical axis which is initially selected when you create a new job. Note that this
setting does not change the current job. The graphics vertical axis for the current job can only be
changed from the Viewpoint form (selected from the View menu).

Changing this setting only affects the graphics display. It doesn’t affect the local axis definitions,
the steel design top flange definitions, or the analysis and design modules in any way.

Aperture size
The size of the aperture circle which appears when nodes and/or members can be selected
graphically.

Crosshair size
The size of the crosshair which appears when snap or ortho modes are on.

Curve resolution
All curved lines drawn with SPACE GASS are actually a series of short straight lines. In most
cases it is very difficult to differentiate between a true curve and a series of ten straight line
segments placed around the curve. SPACE GASS allows you to specify how many straight line
segments per member are used to approximate curved lines in displacement, bending moment,
shear force or axial force diagrams.

Use previous attributes when drawing new members


If this item is checked, any new members that you draw will have the same attributes as the
member that was previously drawn or edited graphically. If unchecked, newly drawn members
will have the default attributes.

Allow duplicates when drawing new members


Check this item if you wish to be able to draw multiple members between the same two nodes.
For example, you may wish to have two members that share the same end nodes but which are
offset away from each other by some distance. This may be applicable for double angle members
that have a gap between them.

If you have drawn duplicate members and wish to locate them, you can do so by using the Find
tool and selecting "Duplicated" in the member type field. You can also use a similar procedure to
create a filter that isolates any duplicated members.

Re-scale load diagrams after load editing


If this item is checked, load diagrams will be re-scaled automatically whenever any distributed
member loads are changed.

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Re-scale result diagrams after analysis


If this item is checked, the analysis diagrams will be re-scaled automatically whenever an analysis
is completed.

Draw positive bending moments on tension/compression side


The convention for drawing bending moment diagrams varies from country to country. SPACE
GASS can be configured to draw bending moments on either the tension or compression side of a
member.

Shorten members in DXF files


When exporting to a DXF file, you can allow the members to be drawn full length or you can
have them shortened at each end by a proportion of the member depth. For example, a member
with a depth of 500mm could be drawn 250mm shorter at each end by using a depth factor of 0.5.

Dashed lines
Dashed (broken) lines are used to differentiate between load cases and between diagram types.
All lines are drawn continuous if dashed lines are not allowed.

DXF layer names


Layer names are only applicable if you have the CAD interface module. These are the layers into
which the drawing will be placed when you transfer it into your CAD program.

It is recommended that you make each layer name different so that it is easy to distinguish
between centrelines, text, members, hidden lines, attributes, bolts, plates and cut-off lines. It is
also recommended that you set the hidden line layer in your CAD software to dashed or dotted
lines.

Automatically check for program updates


SPACE GASS can automatically check its website to see if a newer version is available. If so, a
notification message is displayed and you have the option of downloading and installing the
update.

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Graphics scale calibration

Select "Graphics scale calibration" from the Config menu.

This form allows you to calibrate your monitor so that graphics is properly sized and
proportioned.

Some monitors exaggerate the horizontal and/or vertical scales so that the SPACE GASS
graphical output appears stretched or compressed in either or both directions. SPACE GASS
allows you to apply correction factors which allow for these exaggerations and adjust the
graphical output so that it is correctly sized and proportioned.

You should simply measure the width and height of the two lines on the screen with a ruler, and
SPACE GASS calculates the correction factors for you.

! IMPORTANT NOTE !
Ensure that you measure between the arrow heads rather than measuring the overall form or
screen size, otherwise items on the SPACE GASS graphics screen will appear too small or too
large.

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Graphics colors

Select "Graphics colors" from the Config menu.

This form allows you to select colors for screen, printer and plotter graphics output.

Colors are selected by first clicking the item to be changed and then selecting a color from the
palette at the bottom of the form.

The list of color indexes next to "Section properties" represents section properties 1-25. If you
have more than 25 section properties, the pattern is repeated for properties 26-50, 51-75, etc.

The list of color indexes next to "Load cases" represents the first 25 load cases. If you have more
than 25 load cases, the pattern is repeated for each additional group of 25 load cases.

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General colors

Select "General colors" from the Config menu.

This form allows you to set the Windows color scheme. It controls items such as form colors,
button colors, scroll bar colors, etc.

When you select this option SPACE GASS loads the standard Windows color selection form
which can also be selected from the Windows Control Panel. The appearance of this screen is
dependant upon the version of Windows you are running.

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Problem size limits

Select "Problem size limits" from the Config menu.

This form allows you to set maximum job size limits.

SPACE GASS has been dimensioned dynamically. This allows it to expand into the available
memory of your computer giving you virtually unlimited problem size capacity dependant only
on the memory capacity of your computer.

The size limits you set allow you to reserve space for a job, with space being allocated according
to the size of each component of a job. You should set the limits high enough so that there is
enough capacity for the largest of jobs that you are likely to encounter but small enough that you
don't exceed the memory capacity of your computer.

Keep in mind that the limits can be changed at any time, even when you are halfway through
inputting a job and find that you have run out of capacity. Just select "Problem size limits" from
the Config menu and change the limits to suit your job size. After changing the limits you can
simply return to where you left off, with all previously entered data retained.

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Steel connection configuration

Select "Steel connection configuration" from the Config menu.

This form allows you to change the default steel connection design settings.

Some of the items are purely global settings which apply to all connections during a design. They
can only be changed here and do not form part of the individual data for a connection. The other
items above are also global settings which can be changed here, but which can also be redefined
independently for each connection to be designed. They are, in effect, the default values for the
individual connection design parameters.

The idea is to set the configuration defaults to the most common settings to suit your situation.
This reduces the amount of data required for each connection because, for most connections, the
default data will suffice. Naturally, there are some items such as connection type, bolting
procedure and haunch details, etc. for which defaults are of no use. These must be defined
individually for each connection.

Strength grades
The strength grades for bolts, welds, plates, cleats, seats and members can be set to normal or
high. The actual yield strengths are taken from the standard section, bolt, plate and weld libraries
supplied with SPACE GASS. All of these libraries can be viewed, modified, or appended as
required (see also Standard libraries).

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Bolt, weld, and plate size ranges


The four size ranges for snug bolts, tensioned bolts, fillet welds and plates are limits within which
the connection program will work during the design phase. Note that the weld and plate size
ranges do not apply to stiffener welds or plates. It is possible to partially simulate a connection
check (as opposed to a design where all sizes are unknown) by setting some or all of the range
setting's minimums and maximums to the actual known sizes.

Bolt slip factor


A measure of the friction sliding resistance between two surfaces bolted together. For clean,
rolled sections or plates a slip factor of 0.35 is common. For finished or machined surfaces the
slip factor must be determined by testing.

Bolt prying factor


A coefficient to allow for the additional tensile force in a bolt due to prying. The prying factor is
normally in the range 0.2 to 0.33.

Edge distance factor


The minimum distance from a bolt centreline to the edge of a section or plate. AS4100/NZS3404
recommends edge distance factors of 1.75 for sheared or hand flame cut edges, 1.5 for rolled
plate, machine flame cut, sawn or planed edges, or 1.25 for rolled edges of rolled sections.

Bolt gauge and pitch


The bolt gauge is the centreline distance between adjacent gauge lines (columns of bolts), while
the bolt pitch is the centreline distance between adjacent bolts along a gauge line.

Note that in most connections, the gauge lines run perpendicular to the axis of the supported
member. For the bolts in the seat component of an angle seat connection, however the gauge line
and pitch directions are interchanged.

Connection dimensions

Flange to bolt clearance


The minimum distance from the centreline of an end plate bolt to the edge of the flange to which
the end plate is welded (C4 in the diagram above). It applies to bolted end plate, apex and
moment baseplate connections. For example, for a bolted end plate connection and, considering
the bolts above the top flange of the supported beam, the flange to bolt clearance is the distance
from the top of the beam’s top flange to the centreline of the bolts above it.

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Beam end clearance


The distance from the end of the supported member to the face of the supporting member (C3 in
the diagram above). This setting is ignored when an end plate is involved because the thickness of
the end plate determines the distance between the two members.

Coped flange clearance


The minimum distance from the edge of the flange of the uncoped member to the end of the cope
(C1 in the diagram above).

Minimum cope depth


The minimum depth of the cope, aligned with the axis of the coped member (C2 in the diagram
above).

Stiff seat bearing length


The flange bearing length parallel to the supported member longitudinal axis used for stiff seat
connections. If the connection has a steel supporting member (as opposed to a brick or concrete
support of unknown dimensions), the stiff seat bearing length can be left at zero and it will be
calculated automatically during the design phase based on the dimensions of the supporting
member.

Preferred bolt rows


This is used to control the final number of bolt rows in web side plate, flexible end plate, angle
cleat or pinned baseplate connections. The specified number of bolt rows will be used provided
that they physically fit and provided that the resulting number of bolts are adequate for design
purposes. If you set this variable to zero then the number of bolt rows will be determined
automatically during the design phase.

Bolting procedures
The bolting procedures can be snug, bearing or friction for simple (non-moment resisting)
connections, or bearing or friction for moment resisting connections. Snug and bearing bolting
procedures resist the shear load by direct bearing of the bolt on the connected components, while
friction bolting procedures resist the shear load through friction between the connected surfaces.
Bearing and friction bolting procedures require high strength bolts to be fully tensioned.

Wrench type
This simply controls the amount of clearance required around a bolt to allow the tightening
wrench to fit. The wrench type for bolt tightening can be air or hand. It applies to bolted end
plate, apex and moment baseplate connections only.

Bolt hole type


The bolt hole type can be standard, oversize (or short slotted), or long slotted. It applies to bolted
end plate, apex and moment baseplate connections which use friction bolting procedures only.
Standard holes are allowed to have a diameter not exceeding df+2mm when df≤24mm, or
df+3mm when df>24mm, or df+6mm for baseplates (where df is the bolt diameter). Oversize or
short slotted holes are allowed to have a width not exceeding the greater of 1.25df and df+8mm
and a length not exceeding the greater of 1.33df and df+10mm. Long slotted holes are allowed to
have a width not exceeding the greater of 1.25df and df+8mm and a length not exceeding 2.5df.

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Weld categories
The weld categories for the main connection components and stiffener plates can be GP (general
purpose) or SP (structural purpose). SP welds are stronger than GP welds. It is common to use SP
welds for the main connection components and GP welds for stiffener plates.

Flange weld type


This is used to specify fillet welds or butt welds for the ends of the supported member flanges in
bolted end plate, welded moment, apex or moment baseplate connections. It is common to use
butt welds in this situation, particularly when the supported member flanges are thick.

Member alignment
Controls the relative alignment of members coming into a connection. It can be set to top, centre
or bottom.

For two supported beams coming into either side of a supporting column, the height of the side B
beam is adjusted in accordance with the specified member alignment to match the side A beam.
The member alignment variable has no effect when there is only one beam supported by a
column.

Member alignment variations

Where one or two supported beams connect to the sides of a supporting beam web, the height of
the supported beams is adjusted in accordance with the specified member alignment to match the
supporting beam flanges.

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Threads in shear plane


Affects the bolt shear strength. Bolts designed with the thread in the shear plane have a reduced
cross-section and thus, a reduced strength.

Bolts above top flange


This allows you to specify a top flange plate instead of having bolts above the top flange in bolted
end plate connections. Otherwise SPACE GASS always places two bolts in the tension flange(s).

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Getting started
This chapter explains how to start SPACE GASS and takes you on a guided tour of the main
SPACE GASS window and all of its menus. It also explains how you should interact with SPACE
GASS and respond to its requests for data.

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Starting SPACE GASS


Before proceeding with this section you should have copied and installed SPACE GASS (see also
Installing SPACE GASS).

In order to start SPACE GASS, you can either:

1. Double-click the "SPACE GASS" shortcut on your desktop.


2. Double-click on a SPACE GASS job file (they end with .SG).

If you are running SPACE GASS for the first time, you will be taken through part of the SPACE
GASS configuration program (see also Configuring SPACE GASS).

You can control how SPACE GASS starts by the use of command line options. For example, you
can bypass the splash screen, you can prevent the previous job from loading automatically, you
can control the location of the SPACE GASS configuration file, etc. They are fully explained in
Command line options.

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Command line options


You can control how SPACE GASS starts by adding one or more options to the command line in
the shortcut you use to start SPACE GASS.

To add a command line option, select "Properties" of your SPACE GASS shortcut and append the
contents of the "Target" field with one or more of the following options.

-n Bypasses the automatic loading of the previously used job.

-p Bypasses the splash screen.

-w Bypasses the Internet check for new versions of SPACE GASS.

-c [bbggrr] Allows you to set the datasheet alternate line color, where [bbggrr] is
the 6 character hexadecimal representation of the desired color with
bb=blue component, gg=green component and rr=red component.
For example, 50% blue, 50% green and 20% red could be specified
with a command line option of -c7f7f33.

-i [path] Allows you to specify the location of the SG.INI configuration file,
where [path] is the name of the folder that contains the file. SG.INI
contains all of the settings that you can control via the Config menu.
You may want to use this option so that different users can each have
their own configuration settings. For example, putting SG.INI into
the c:\config1 folder could be achieved with a command line option
of -i "c:\config1". Note that the ""s can be omitted if this option is at
the end of the target field.

-s [file] Allows you to specify a script file that contains a list of menu
commands and other items that SPACE GASS will automatically
execute one-by-one rather than you operating it in the normal way.
For example, a command line option of -s "c:\scripts\myscript.txt"
would load the myscript.txt script file from the c:\scripts folder. Note
that the ""s can be omitted if this option is at the end of the target
field. See "Running a script" for more information and full details of
the script file format.

-min Runs SPACE GASS minimized so that it is not visible except for an
icon on the taskbar. This can be useful when SPACE GASS is
controlled by a script file (see the -s command line option above),
although it may be more convenient to use the "SHOW MIN"
command in the script file to achieve the same effect. See "Running a
script" for more information and full details of the script file format.

-nml Runs SPACE GASS in a normal window that is usually smaller than
the overall screen size.

-max Runs SPACE GASS maximized so that it fills the entire screen area.
This is the default setting and is the same as if none of the -min, -nml

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or -max command line options are specified.

Note that the -min, -nml and -max command line options can be overridden by the SHOW line in
a script file. See "Running a script" for more information and full details of the script file format.

For example, to bypass the splash screen and the automatic loading of the previously used job,
you could have a shortcut target field of:

"C:\Program Files\SPACE GASS\Exe\sgwin.exe" -p -n

If you start SPACE GASS by double-clicking on a job, then the shortcut is bypassed and any
command line options in it are not used. You can, however, apply the command line options
when a job is double-clicked by starting Windows Explorer, selecting Tools –> Folder Options
from the menu, clicking the File Types tab, scrolling down to and clicking the SG file extension,
clicking the Advanced button, clicking the Edit button and then adding the command line option
to the end of the "Application used to perform action" field.

Note that you can use the -i command line option to set up
multiple shortcuts, each with its own SG.INI file for cases where you want to be able to run
SPACE GASS with different configurations. For example, you may have a laptop that is normally
connected to the office network during which SPACE GASS needs to access jobs and libraries
that are stored on the network. However, there may also be times when the laptop is being used
away from the network on-site or at home. It would be convenient if these two scenarios could
each have its own folder settings and other configuration items.

You can set this up by simply making a copy of your SPACE GASS shortcut so that you have a
shortcut for when you are connected to the office network and another for when you are running
SPACE GASS away from the office, each with its own SG.INI file and configuration settings. Edit
the properties of each shortcut and add -i "path" to the end of the target field, where "path" is the
folder containing the SG.INI file. For example, -i "c:\SG\Config\Office" would store the SG.INI
file for that shortcut in the "c:\SG\Config\Office" folder, and -i "c:\SG\Config\Home" would store
the SG.INI file for that shortcut in the "c:\SG\Config\Home" folder. The next time you run SPACE
GASS from either shortcut, it would run through the configuration process and let you set them
up with their own unique configuration settings.

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The main SPACE GASS window


When you start SPACE GASS, the following main window appears with the structural model for
the current job displayed in it.

The title bar


This is the colored band across the top of the window, it contains the SPACE GASS version, the
name of the current job and the scale of the viewport if it is being displayed in full-screen mode.

The menu bar


The second band across the top of the window contains the twelve main menu items. By selecting
one of the main menu items you can gain access to all of the options contained within that menu.
The menu bar allows you to access all of the program’s features (see also The menu system).

The toolbars
The buttons across the top and to the left of the display area form the toolbars. The toolbar
buttons replicate the most commonly used menu items and give you instant access to them (see
also The toolbars). The graphics settings buttons across the bottom of the screen display the
current settings for the drawing tool and allow the settings to be toggled.

The graphics display area


The area in the centre of the main window displays the structural model for the current job. The
global axes are also shown in the top-right corner. You can display up to four viewports in this
area.

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The text display area


The area below the graphics settings buttons forms the text display area. The first line displays the
project heading, job heading and the local axis settings. The second line is a multi-purpose line
which usually contains the status line, but which also periodically displays other prompts and
messages, some of which are purely informative and some of which require you to respond.

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Using the mouse


This section gives basic information about using the mouse. If your mouse has more than one
button, use the left button unless specifically told otherwise.

The right mouse button is generally used by SPACE GASS to replicate the keyboard ESC key.
The ESC key generally enables you to abort from the current operation or form. Note, however
that the right mouse button is not always active, such as when a form is open.

The following definitions explain the basic terms that are associated with using the mouse.

Pointer
The descriptive cursor that appears on the screen and tracks the mouse movement.

Point
Position the pointer on an item.

Click (or Pick)


Point to an item, and then quickly press and release the left mouse button.

Right Click
Point to an item, and then quickly press and release the right mouse button.

Double-click
Point to an item, and then quickly press and release the left mouse button twice.

Drag
Point to an item, press and hold the left mouse button as you move the mouse to a new location,
then release it.

Mousewheel
Rotate the mousewheel to dynamically zoom, pan or change the viewpoint. For more information,
refer to Shortcuts.

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Dialogue boxes
When you choose a command, a form often appears so that you can select options or type in data.
If an option is dimmed, it is not currently available.

Using the keyboard with a form


Although it’s usually easiest to use a mouse while you work in a form, you can also select options
or fill in information with the keyboard. Some of the standard keyboard operations that you can
use in forms are as follows.

TAB Move to the next field in the form.


SHIFT+TAB Move to the previous field in the form.
ENTER Equivalent to selecting the Ok button.
ESC Equivalent to selecting the Cancel button.
ALT If an option, box or button has an underlined letter in its
name, you can choose that item by holding down ALT
while typing the underlined letter.

Moving a form
You can move a form dragging its title bar to the new location. The title bar is the colored band
along the top of the form.

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Closing a form
You can close a form by pressing the Ok or Cancel buttons. Alternatively, if the form has a
control-menu box at the left side of the title bar, you can double-click on it to replicate the cancel
button. If you single click the control-menu box, a control menu appears which also allows you to
close or move the form.

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Data entry
Forms can contain a wide variety of data entry fields, boxes, options and buttons. Some of the
commonly used ones in SPACE GASS are:

Command buttons

You choose a command button to initiate an action, such as carrying out or cancelling a
command. The Ok, Cancel and Help buttons are common command buttons. In SPACE GASS,
they are usually located in the top-right corner of the form. To choose a command button, you can
either click on it or press TAB until the button you want is selected, and then press ENTER.

Scroll bars

Some windows and forms have scroll bars which you can use to view information that does not fit
inside the window. If you can view all of the contents of a window or form without having to
scroll, the scroll bars may be absent or dimmed to indicate that they cannot be used.

Scroll bars have a scroll arrow at each end with a moveable scroll box in between. To scroll
through information displayed in a window or form, drag the scroll box to the desired position.
To scroll one line at a time, click the scroll arrows, or to scroll continuously, hold a scroll arrow
down. To scroll one page at a time, click the scroll bar on either side of the scroll box.

Text boxes

You can type appropriate information directly into text boxes. Text boxes are generally sideways
scrollable so that they can hold more data than can be displayed in the box.

Sometimes numeric text boxes have arrow buttons attached to them. These are called "spin
buttons" and you can change the number in the text box, without actually having to type anything,
by clicking the arrows or holding them down.

When entering data into a text box, you will find that quite often a default value is already
displayed there. If a default value is highlighted then as soon as you start typing it will be erased.
To edit a default value without causing it to be erased, you can simply click somewhere in the text
box or press one of the keyboard ARROW keys before you begin typing. The point where you
clicked becomes the insertion point for the new text.

If you want to highlight text in a text box, you can simply drag the pointer across the text, or
double-click on a word to select one word at a time. Any text that you type will then replace the
highlighted text. You can also delete highlighted text by pressing "DEL" or "BACKSPACE".

Generally, when you select a text box by clicking on it, its default value does not become
highlighted, however if you use the TAB key to get to the text box, its default value does become
highlighted.

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List boxes

Display a list of items in a scrollable window from which you can make a selection. In special
circumstances, you can sometimes select more than one item from a list box.

Combo boxes

Appear initially as a rectangular box containing the current selection. When you select the down
arrow in the square box at the right of the selection, a list of available choices appears. If there are
more items than can fit in the box, scroll bars are provided.

Radio buttons

Represent a group of mutually exclusive options. You can select only one option at a time. If you
already have one option selected, your current selection replaces it. The selected radio button
contains a black dot.

Check boxes

Represent non-exclusive options. You can select as many check box options as needed. When a
check box is selected, it contains an X.

Lists
Sometimes SPACE GASS will ask you to provide a list of items such as nodes, members or load
cases. Lists can be typed in as integers separated by commas or dashes. If, for example, your list
was to contain the items 1,2,6,7,8,9,13,14,15 and 20, you could type it in as
1,2,6,7,8,9,13,14,15,20 or as 1,2,6-9,13-15,20. Dashes simply allow you to list a range of
numbers.

A special type of list is used to input flange restraint positions in the steel member design
modules. This list accepts @’s (AT symbol) instead of dashes and can be used to quickly input a
number of equally spaced flange restraints. For example, a list containing the following numbers
1.2,2.4,3.6,4.8,6.0,6.6,7.2,7.8,8.4 could be replaced with 5@1.2,4@0.6.

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When using a file selection form in which you have to scroll to


get to the file you want, you can simply type in the first couple of characters of the file name to
automatically scroll it into view.

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Managing job files


SPACE GASS jobs end with ".SG". Whenever you run SPACE GASS, it loads and displays the
job that you previously had open. The procedures for starting new jobs, opening previously saved
jobs, merging jobs, saving jobs, deleting jobs and cleaning up jobs are explained in the following
sections.

SPACE GASS jobs are actually ZIP files renamed from {Job}.ZIP to {Job}.SG. You can
manually open and view their contents with WinZip, however be careful not to make any changes
or SPACE GASS may no longer be able to open them.

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Starting a new job

You can start a new job by clicking the toolbar button or selecting "New" from the File
menu.

If you have unsaved changes to the current job file then SPACE GASS will ask you if you wish to
save these changes.

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Opening a job

You can open a previously saved job by clicking the toolbar button or selecting "Open" from
the File menu.

You will be prompted for the name of the file you wish to open. SPACE GASS, by default, looks
in the most recently accessed folder when opening a job.

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Merging jobs

You can open another previously saved job and merge it with the current job by selecting
"Merge" from the File menu. It is a good idea to save the current job first so that you can recover
it if required.

For the job being merged with the current job, you can specify whether you want to include its
structural data (required), load data and/or design data.

The insertion point is the location at which the (0,0,0) origin of the merged job will be located.
The default insertion point will guarantee that no overlapping with the current job occurs.

In order to prevent clashing of numbered items, the merged job will be adjusted so that its
numbering starts after the highest numbers in the current job. This might prevent some jobs from
being merged if there is not enough room between the highest numbers in the current job and the
maximum numbers specified in the problem size limits. If this occurs, you could renumber the
current job and/or the merged job before attempting the merge, or you could increase the problem
size limits if they are not already at their maximum settings.

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Saving a job

You can save the current job by clicking the toolbar button or selecting "Save" from the File
menu.

Saves all changes made to the job. If you have not already created a name for the job (ie. if it is
previously unsaved) then you will be prompted for a file name and a location (performs the same
function as selecting "save as" from the file menu).

"Save As" is similar to "Save", except that the job is saved under a new name that you specify.
For example, if you open Job1, make changes to it and then use Save As to save it as Job2, Job1
will be left unchanged while Job2 will be the changed version of Job1.

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Deleting a job

You can delete a previously saved job by selecting "Delete Job" from the File menu.

Deletes the entire job. Use it with care because the job cannot be recovered after it has been
deleted.

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Cleaning up a job

You can clean up the current job by clicking the toolbar button or selecting "Clean-up Job"
from the File menu or the floating menu.

Cleans up your model by deleting obsolete items or items that are no longer connected to
anything. For example, it will remove loads that are applied to non-existent nodes, members or
plates, or section properties that are not being used by any members. It is very useful for quickly
removing the causes of many analysis errors.

The clean-up tool can also merge nodes that are within a specified distance of one another,
transferring members, plates, restraints, loads, etc. from the deleted nodes to the retained nodes. If
this action results in a change to the way the structure responds to the applied loads then an error
message will be displayed and the clean-up will not proceed. Any pairs of nodes close together
that are linked with master-slave constraints will not be merged.

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Dummy nodes can be removed provided they are not used as direction nodes for members or
plates.

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Running a macro

You can run a macro by clicking the toolbar button or selecting "Run a Macro" from the File
menu or the floating menu.

Macros are simply programs external to SPACE GASS that you can run from within SPACE
GASS using this tool. They can be MS-Excel or MS-Access programs, DLLs, ActiveX programs,
EXE programs or batch files.

To run a macro, simply double-click the macro name in the form shown below.

To add a new macro or edit an existing macro, just click the "Add" or "Edit" buttons in the above
form and then fill in the details in the following form.

Macro Title is the name of the macro that will appear in the "Run a Macro" form.
Macro Type specifies the type of macro that is involved.
Macro File gives the location of the external program that will be executed when you run the
macro. This is not required for ActiveX macros.
Class Name is the name of the class in an ActiveX macro.
Macro Name is the name of the macro in an MS-Excel or MS-Access macro.
Parameter is a list of extra parameters that are passed to the macro.

Examples of each type of macro are supplied with SPACE GASS and are located in the main
program folder.

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Running a script
Scripts allow you to run and control SPACE GASS from another program external to SPACE
GASS.

A script is simply a text file that contains a list of commands that SPACE GASS will
automatically execute one-by-one. The script file can be located anywhere, and its name and
location must be specified in the command line when SPACE GASS is started.

For example, a command line option of -s "c:\scripts\myscript.txt" would load the myscript.txt
script file from the c:\scripts folder. Note that the ""s can be omitted if this option is at the end of
the target field. If you don’t want SPACE GASS to be visible when running in script mode then
you can use a "SHOW MIN" line in the script file as described below.

You can create a script file manually using a text editor or you can write a program that will
create the script file and hence be able to control SPACE GASS automatically.

The commands in the script file allow you to select any of the SPACE GASS menu items,
however currently only the text import, text export, analysis and exit functions will bypass their
input dialogs when in script mode. All of the other functions will display their normal dialogs and
messages and then continue with the script when you have responded to them.

Any error messages will be displayed and cause the script mode to be terminated.

If you want to run SPACE GASS normally, ensure that the -s script file option does not exist in
the target field of the SPACE GASS shortcut that you use to start SPACE GASS, otherwise
SPACE GASS will go into script mode and will execute all the script commands rather than
allowing you to control it normally.

The structure of a script file is as follows:

1. A header line containing "SPACE GASS Script File" must appear before any other
command lines.

2. An optional LOGFILE line can be included between the header line and the first command
line. It lets you generate a log file that contains a list of all the menu commands executed
from the script file, plus any messages, warnings or errors that might occur while SPACE
GASS is running in script mode. It’s format is "LOGFILE Filespec", where Filespec is the
path and name of the log file you want to create.

3. An optional SHOW line can be included between the header line and the first command line.
You can use it to specify whether SPACE GASS runs in a minimized, normal or maximized
window when in script mode. It’s format is "SHOW MIN", "SHOW NML" or "SHOW
MAX". "SHOW MIN" runs SPACE GASS minimized so that it is not visible except for an
icon on the taskbar. This is probably the most useful setting for running SPACE GASS in
script mode. "SHOW NML" runs SPACE GASS in a window that is usually smaller than
the overall screen size. "SHOW MAX" runs SPACE GASS maximized so that it fills the
entire screen area. This is the default setting and is the same as having no SHOW line in the
script file.

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Note that the SHOW line overrides any -min, -nml or -max command line options that
might have been specified. See "Command line options" for more information.

4. Command lines must appear exactly as "MENU MM SS [Extra]", where MM is a required 2


digit main-menu number, SS is a required 2 digit sub-menu number, and Extra is an optional
list of parameters depending on the command.

Extra can be up to 128 characters long and is used only as:

(a) the file name when importing or exporting files.

(b) the optimization method when analysing, where G=General, N=None, LX=Linear-X,
LY=Linear-Y, LZ=Linear-Z, AX=Angular-X, AY=Angular-Y or AZ=Angular-Z.

(c) the tension/compression-only effects activation, where TON=Activated,


TOFF=Deactivated, TNRn=No reversal after n iterations.

5. Comment lines are permitted anywhere in the file provided that they have a "#" before the
first non-blank character.

6. Blank lines are permitted anywhere in the file.

A sample script file follows:

SPACE GASS Script File

# Create a log file (optional)


LOGFILE C:\Space Gass Data\Text\Logfile.txt

# Import a text file (Textin.txt)


MENU 01 15 C:\Space Gass Data\Text\Textin.txt

# Perform a non-linear analysis with Linear-X optimization and


tension/compression-only effects activated
MENU 04 02 LX TON

# Export a text file (Textout.txt)


MENU 01 26 C:\Space Gass Data\Text\Textout.txt

# Exit SPACE GASS


MENU 01 40

Note that when you exit SPACE GASS via a script file, any changes to the current job will be
abandoned. If you wish to save the changes then you should include a Save or Save-As command
before the Exit command.

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Job status
You can display the current status of the job as shown below by selecting "Job Status" from the
File menu.

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The status line

The status line appears in the second line of the text display area of the main SPACE GASS
window. It indicates which data is present for the various parts of the current job.

The presence (or absence) of data is indicated by sequences of characters shown as follows. In all
cases, unless otherwise indicated, "Y" represents "data exists", while "N" represents "no data
exists".

If, for example, you have performed a static analysis, a dynamic frequency analysis and an elastic
buckling analysis (but no dynamic response analysis), the "Analysis" part of the status line would
appear as "Analysis:YYNY".

You can use the status line as a check to ensure you have entered sufficient data before
performing another operation. For instance, you cannot perform a static analysis until you have
applied some type of load to the structure (in addition to which, sufficient data must be present on
the structure itself). Check for the appropriate code in the status line window before proceeding
with the operation.

Headings
1. Project name, Job name, Designer’s initials and Notes
(Y/N)

Structure
1. Nodes
2. Members
3. Plates
4. Restraints
5. Sections
6. Materials
7. Master-slave constraints
8. Member offsets
(Y/N)(Y/N)(Y/N)(Y/N)(Y/N)(Y/N)(Y/N)(Y/N)

Loads
1. Node loads
2. Prescribed node displacements
3. Member concentrated loads
4. Member distributed forces
5. Member distributed torsions
6. Thermal loads
7. Member prestress loads
8. Plate pressure loads
9. Self weight
10. Combination load cases

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11. Load case titles


12. Lumped masses
13. Spectral load data
(Y/N)(Y/N)(Y/N)(Y/N)(Y/N)(Y/N)(Y/N)(Y/N)(Y/N)(Y/N)(Y/N)(Y/N)(Y/N)

Analysis
1. Static analysis, where
"N"=not analysed,
"Y"=analysed,
"U"=desired convergence not obtained,
"I"=ill-conditioned
2. Dynamic frequency analysis, where
"N"=not analysed,
"Y"=analysed
3. Dynamic response spectrum analysis, where
"N"=not analysed,
"Y"=analysed
4. Buckling analysis, where
"N"=not analysed,
"Y"=analysed
(Y/N/U/I)(Y/N)(Y/N)(Y/N)

Steel
1. Steel member design data
2. Steel Member design/check results, where
"N"=not designed or checked,
"D"=designed,
"C"=checked
3. Connection design data
4. Connection design results, where
"N"=not designed,
"D"=designed
(Y/N)(D/C/N)(Y/N)(D/N)

Concrete
1. Concrete column design data
2. Concrete beam design data
(Y/N)(Y/N)

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The menu system


The menu bar appears immediately below the title bar in the main SPACE GASS window.

To open a menu, click on it with the mouse, or press Alt and then use the Arrow keys to move
across to the desired menu, and then press Enter. Alternatively, you could hold down the Alt key
while typing the underlined letter in the menu name.

To choose an item from a menu, click the item with the mouse or drag the selection cursor down
the menu until the desired item is highlighted, and then release the mouse button. Alternatively,
you could use the Arrow keys to move down the menu to the desired item, and then press E.

Any of the menu items can also be accessed using keyboard shortcuts.

Each of the menus in the menu bar is explained briefly as follows.

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The file menu

This menu controls most of the program’s job and file operations, including exiting from SPACE
GASS.

The file menu lets you create a new job, open an existing job, merge jobs, save the current job
under its own name or under a different name, display a job status window, delete a job, etc.

It also allows you to start the text editor or calculator linked into SPACE GASS. The default text
editor and calculator are the standard Windows ones, however you can link in any other Windows
compatible text editor or calculator by choosing "Folders and Files" from the Config menu.

SPACE GASS is able to import and export data files in standard ASCII text format, CIMSteel/2
(CIS/2) STEP format, IFC STEP format, DXF drawing format, CSV format, SDNF steel detailing
format, Microstran ARC format, ZIP archive format, Microsoft Access format, Microsoft Excel
format and Microsoft Word format. The File menu gives you access to all of these facilities as
well as the ability to import or export backup copies of jobs in their native SPACE GASS format.
For more information, refer to "Linking to other programs".

The File menu also gives access to the library editor which allows you to edit any of the standard
section, material, bolt, plate, weld, reinforcing bar and spectral curve libraries supplied with
SPACE GASS. You can also use the library editor to create your own custom libraries.

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The Copy to Clipboard item allows you to copy the current graphics display area into the
Windows clipboard, ready for pasting into other Windows programs.

You can exit from SPACE GASS by choosing "Exit" from the File menu, and you can open one
of the four most recently used jobs by choosing one of the numbered items (with job path) from
the bottom of the File menu.

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The structure menu

This menu lets you input and edit the model’s structural geometry.

The Structure menu allows you to change the units system for the current job and input the
project and job headings.

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The structure wizard offers a very fast method of inputting a structure provided that it conforms
loosely to one of the standard structures included in SPACE GASS.

Each of the "Nodes", "Members", "Plates", "Node restraints", "Section properties", "Material
properties", "Master-slave constraints" and "Member offsets" items in the Structure menu have
two alternative methods of input.

If you choose a datasheet item, a display window appears with the data layed out in rows and
columns, much like a spreadsheet.

If you choose a graphical item, SPACE GASS allows you to operate directly on the graphics
display area. You can draw new members, change their attributes, or highlight nodes, members or
plates and then change their restraints, properties or constraints.

The remainder of the items in the Structure menu are purely graphical. They offer various
graphical means of inputting and manipulating the structural geometry to suit your exact
requirements.

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The loads menu

This menu lets you input and edit loads on the structure.

Like the Structure menu, the Loads menu offers datasheet and graphical alternatives for most of
its items.

The datasheet items operate in similar fashion to the Structure datasheet items, while the
graphical items allow you to highlight nodes, members or plates graphically and then input or edit
loads for them.

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The analysis menu

This menu gives you access to the five types of structural analysis available in SPACE GASS.

The order of the Analysis menu suggests the order in which you will most probably perform the
various types of analysis. For instance, before determining the dynamic response of a structure
you must have performed a dynamic frequency analysis.

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The design menu

This menu allows you to perform steel or concrete designs and checks.

For a steel member design/check, the items in the Design menu allow you to input/edit the design
data with a datasheet or graphically, and then perform a design or check to one of the listed steel
structures codes. After a steel member design you can then use the "Update analysis member
sizes" item to transfer the new designed member sizes into the analysis model.

For a steel connection design, the Design menu has items for datasheet or graphical input of the
design data. You can then perform a connection design.

The "Concrete Column Design" and "Concrete Beam Design" items allow you to design or check
reinforced concrete columns and beams. You can graphically select the desired member(s) and
then open the concrete design form to perform the design or check phase.

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The output menu

This menu gives you access to the program’s reporting and printing facilities.

The frame analysis and steel design text reports can be previewed on the screen or directed
straight to the printer or to a file.

The "Print graphics" item sends a copy of the graphics display area to the printer or to a file.

To output concrete column design data and reports you must first enter the concrete
design module and then click on its "Print" toolbar button.

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The view menu

This menu controls the graphics display area and allows you to select the content and format of
what is displayed there.

Most of the items in this menu are viewport specific. That is, you can have different settings and
items activated for each viewport. You can tell if a toggle item has been selected as there will be a

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tick beside it. Greyed-out items indicate that the command is inappropriate to the specific
circumstance, or there is not enough data (eg. if you have not done a static analysis you cannot
display a bending moment diagram).

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The query menu

This menu allows you to query the frame and its superimposed diagrams.

Selecting "Frame" allows you to click on any node, member or plate to obtain a form full of
information about its geometry and attributes, including the material and section properties.

Selecting "Analysis Results" is similar to "Frame" except that you can obtain a tabulated display
of analysis results for any node, member or plate that you click on.

The remaining menu items allow you to move a crosshair along any member and obtain a readout
of the diagram values at the crosshair point (ie. the "Station") on the member.

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The settings menu

This menu controls various settings that affect how the graphics functions operate.

The items in this menu are specific to each viewport, allowing you to specify different
settings for each.

The "Grid" and "Snap" items control a rectangular grid of dots which provide a visual aid and a
positioning aid when you are locating points in the graphics display area. The "Ortho" and
"Attach" items are also positioning aids which let you draw truly horizontal, vertical lines and
inclined lines, and attach lines and points to nodes, members and plates.

The "Operating plane" item can be used to set any of the three global planes as the working plane,
while the "Coordinates display" tells you the location of the mouse pointer and lets you switch
between Cartesian/polar and absolute/relative coordinate systems.

The items in the settings menu can also be changed using the graphics settings buttons located at
the bottom of the screen. You can also toggle these settings using the keyboard, during graphics
operations, making it very easy to change settings while you are editing a job. The keyboard keys
that correspond with each command are as follows:

G Grid
S Snap
O Ortho Mode
A Attach
P Operating Plane
C Coordinates Display

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The config menu

This menu allows you to configure SPACE GASS to suit your exact requirements.

For a full explanation of the Config menu items, see also Configuring SPACE GASS.

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The window menu

This menu controls the display and configuration of multiple viewports.

This menu has items that are typical to most Windows programs with multiple viewports.

Only one viewport is opened by default, however you can use this menu to open up to four
viewports. Once you have opened a viewport it can be arranged using one or more of the items in
this menu.

The "Viewports" item allows you to select from a variety of pre-defined arrangements for your
open viewports (in addition to opening additional viewports). This item also has an option that
allows you to enable or disable active viewports under the cursor. If activated then any viewport
that is under the cursor when you have selected a graphics command (among others) will become
active.

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The help menu

This menu gives you access to the on-line SPACE GASS reference manual.

The "Contents" item allows access to the manual via a table of contents, while the "Search for
help on..." item allows access via an index.

The other items provide useful information about using the help facilities, about SPACE GASS
and also information about your system.

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The toolbars
The toolbars consist of buttons that provide quick and easy access to commonly used features.
When you point to a toolbar button, SPACE GASS displays its name in a yellow tooltip. Each of
the toolbars is explained in the following sections.

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The left side toolbar

This toolbar controls most of the graphics display options that can be toggled on or off.

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The top toolbar

This toolbar controls a mixture of file, editing, viewing and settings options.

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The 3D renderer

Clicking the button near the top of the side toolbar displays the 3D renderer. This shows
the model fully rendered in 3D. There is also a sidebar containing checkboxes that you can use to
turn on or off various labelling and other options.

You can zoom, pan and rotate the rendered model using the following shortcuts:

Zoom in or out by scrolling the mousewheel or, alternatively, hold down the mousewheel while
moving the mouse. You can also click the "Zoom Extents" button at the top of the sidebar to
zoom out so that the entire model is shown.

Pan by holding down the right mouse button while moving the mouse.

Rotate by holding down the left mouse button while moving the mouse. You can also click one
of the camera position buttons at the top of the sidebar to rotate to a common viewpoint.

Note that in future versions of SPACE GASS you will also be able to select nodes,
members or plates in the 3D renderer and view or edit their properties and loads. Eventually the
3D renderer will incorporate all of the graphical input, editing and display tools of SPACE GASS
until it completely replaces the traditional graphics screen.

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For more information, see View rendered model.

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Shortcuts
Many of the menu items can also be accessed using a keyboard or mouse shortcut.

Ctrl key shortcuts


They are shown in the menus with Ctrl+K or Shift+Ctrl+K after them, where K represents the
shortcut key. For example, to operate the Edit Libraries tool you must hold down the Ctrl key and
then hit the L key (Ctrl+L). Alternatively, to access the Renumber facility you must hold down
the Shift and Ctrl keys together and then hit the R key (Shift+Ctrl+R).

Alt key shortcuts


Every menu item also has an Alt key shortcut that is represented by an underlined character in the
menu item names. If you hold down the Alt key, the underlining appears in the menus and you
can then hit the underlined character on the keyboard to select the desired menu item. If there are
more than one of the same underlined character in a menu, you can simply hit the underlined
character multiple times until the desired menu item is selected. For example, to access the Units
form you must hold down the Alt key and then hit the S key followed by the U key (Alt+SU).
Alternatively, to access the Connect tool, you must hold down the Alt key and then hit the S key,
followed by the C key three times (Alt+SCCC).

Special shortcuts
The following list shows a number of special mouse and keyboard shortcuts that operate some of
the most useful and commonly used tools.

Operation Keyboard shortcut Mouse shortcut


Zoom in Up arrow Mousewheel forwards
Zoom out Down arrow Mousewheel backwards
Zoom full Right arrow
Zoom previous Left arrow

Pan down Ctrl+Up arrow Ctrl+Mousewheel forwards


Pan up Ctrl+Down arrow Ctrl+Mousewheel backwards
Pan left Ctrl+Right arrow Shift+Mousewheel forwards
Pan right Ctrl+Left arrow Shift+Mousewheel backwards
Pan in 3D renderer Hold the right mouse button
down and move the mouse

Rotate down Shift+Up arrow "V"+Mousewheel forwards


Rotate up Shift+Down arrow "V"+Mousewheel backwards
Rotate left Shift+Right arrow "H"+Mousewheel forwards
Rotate right Shift+Left arrow "H"+Mousewheel backwards
Rotate in 3D renderer Hold the left mouse button
down and move the mouse

Enlarge load diagram "L"+Up arrow "L"+Mousewheel forwards


Reduce load diagram "L"+Down arrow "L"+Mousewheel backwards

Enlarge deflection diagram "D"+Up arrow "D"+Mousewheel forwards


Reduce deflection diagram "D"+Down arrow "D"+Mousewheel backwards

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Enlarge moment diagram "M"+Up arrow "M"+Mousewheel forwards


Reduce moment diagram "M"+Down arrow "M"+Mousewheel backwards

Enlarge shear force diagram "S"+Up arrow "S"+Mousewheel forwards


Reduce shear force diagram "S"+Down arrow "S"+Mousewheel backwards

Enlarge axial force diagram "A"+Up arrow "A"+Mousewheel forwards


Reduce axial force diagram "A"+Down arrow "A"+Mousewheel backwards

Enlarge torsion diagram "T"+Up arrow "T"+Mousewheel forwards


Reduce torsion diagram "T"+Down arrow "T"+Mousewheel backwards

Enlarge buckling diagram "B"+Up arrow "B"+Mousewheel forwards


Reduce buckling diagram "B"+Down arrow "B"+Mousewheel backwards

Enlarge stress diagram "E"+Up arrow "E"+Mousewheel forwards


Reduce stress diagram "E"+Down arrow "E"+Mousewheel backwards

Previous load case Page up


Next load case Page down
First load case Home
Last load case End

Previous filter Ctrl+Page up


Next filter Ctrl+Page down
No filter Ctrl+Home
Last filter Ctrl+End

Previous saved view Shift+Page up


Next saved view Shift+Page down
First saved view Shift+Home
Last saved view Shift+End

Repeat last command Spacebar

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Input methods
There are four main ways in which data can be input into SPACE GASS.

Structure Wizard
If your model resembles one of the standard structures available in the Structure Wizard then it is
the easiest way to quickly generate your model in SPACE GASS. Even if it isn’t exactly what
you want, you can then use the other graphical or datasheet tools to modify the generated model
to your exact requirements.

Datasheet Input
Each component of the SPACE GASS model can be input, edited or viewed in a Datasheet. For
example, there are datasheets for nodes, members, plates, section properties, member loads,
masses, etc. Datasheets are an invaluable tool for viewing data or making changes, particularly
using the multi-row editing tool.

Graphical Input
You can use Graphical Input to input or edit any parts of the structural data or load data in your
model. This is a very powerful tool that has the advantages of allowing you to make large
changes quickly and see your changes visually as you make them.

Importing from Other Programs


SPACE GASS is able to link to other programs and import the structural model in a wide variety
of formats.

Some of the commonly used CAD and BIM (building information management) programs that
can be linked to SPACE GASS include Tekla Structures (XSteel), ProSteel, Microstation,
Frameworks Plus, StruCAD, Revit Structure, Bentley Structural and AutoCAD.

You can also import from SPACE GASS text files, CSV (comma separated value) files, DXF
files, SDNF files, Microstran ARC files, MS-Excel files and MS-Access files.

If you have your own program that generates the SPACE GASS data, if it can write the
data into a SPACE GASS text file, CSV file, MS-Excel file or MS-Access file in the correct format
then it can be imported into SPACE GASS.

If you wish to know the format of a CSV, MS-Excel or MS-Access file that is suitable for
importing into SPACE GASS, the best way is to generate a small model in SPACE GASS using
the structure wizard or some other method and then export it into a CSV, MS-Excel or MS-
Access file and use resulting file as a pattern. The SPACE GASS text file format is fully
explained in Text file format, but you can also generate a text file from SPACE GASS and use it
as a pattern.

The other formats are quite complex and are simply generated by the programs that you are
importing your SPACE GASS model from.

For more information, refer to "Linking to other programs".

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Common Database
Each of the above data input methods operates on the same common database, therefore you can
use any combination of methods to input your data. For example, you can use the structure wizard
to generate the basic frame geometry, then graphically edit the geometry and apply some loads,
followed by opening up some datasheets to view the data and make further modifications to the
structure or loads.

When some data has been input, regardless of the amount or type, you can produce an output
report on the screen or printer. In addition, regardless of which input method you use, the
graphics display area displays the current state of the structural model graphically. A graphics
hardcopy can also be produced at any time.

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Linking to other programs


SPACE GASS can link to many other engineering, CAD and BIM (building information
management) programs using a wide variety of links and file formats.

Some of the commonly used CAD and BIM programs that can be linked to SPACE GASS
include Tekla Structures (XSteel), ProSteel, Microstation, Frameworks Plus, StruCAD, Revit
Structure, Bentley Structural and AutoCAD.

Other programs that can import and/or export CIMSteel/2 (CIS/2) or IFC Step files can also be
linked to SPACE GASS. These include STAAD, Risa-3D, SAP2000 ETABS, ROBOT,
SmartPlant4D Structural and others

Programs that can import and/or export DXF or SDNF files can also be linked to SPACE GASS,
however only the basic geometry can be included in these formats.

Details of the files that SPACE GASS can import/export are as follows.

SPACE GASS Text File This format is ideal for people who wish
to write their own programs to generate
the SPACE GASS data and then import
it into SPACE GASS. The format of
SPACE GASS text files is fully
explained in "Text file input ".
ZIP File This format is still available but is
essentially obsolete because the native
SPACE GASS job files are actually ZIP
files renamed from .ZIP to .SG.
CSV File This format is also ideal for people who
wish to write their own programs to
generate the SPACE GASS data and
then import it into SPACE GASS. It is a
text file with the values separated by
commas that can be written by many
programs including MS-Excel and MS-
Access.
CIMSteel/2 (CIS/2) Step File Useful for transferring models with
many other CAD and building
management programs such as Tekla
Structures (XSteel), ProSteel,
Microstation, Frameworks Plus,
StruCAD, Revit Structure, Bentley
Structural, AutoCAD, etc. This is a very
comprehensive format that includes the
structural and load data.
IFC Step File Useful for transferring models with
many other CAD and building
management programs such as Tekla
Structures (XSteel), ProSteel,

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Microstation, Frameworks Plus,


StruCAD, Revit Structure, Bentley
Structural, AutoCAD, etc. This is a very
comprehensive format that includes the
structural and load data.
DXF File A drawing format text file invented for
AutoCAD that many programs can
import and export. It is a very good
means of transferring drawings from
SPACE GASS in the form of plans,
elevations, cross sections and
connection drawings into a CAD
program.

Because DXF is a drawing format,


when transferring a structural model to
another program, it is better to use the
more comprehensive and specialized
CIMSteel/2 and IFC Step file formats
described above.
SDNF File This is a steel detailing neutral file
format that has now been made obsolete
by the much more advanced CIMSteel/2
and IFC Step file formats described
above. It can contain the structural
geometry and section property data and
is still used by many programs.
MS-Excel Microsoft Excel is a very powerful tool
for generating data and can be used to
quickly generate a structural model for
importing into SPACE GASS. SPACE
GASS can also export to Microsoft
Excel.
MS-Access A complete SPACE GASS model can
be stored in Microsoft Access format
and imported into SPACE GASS. This
format is mainly used by people who
have generated their SPACE GASS
model in MS-Access using a program or
macro. SPACE GASS can also export to
Microsoft Access.
MS-Word The data from a SPACE GASS model
can be exported to a Microsoft Word
document file.
Microstran ARC A format for importing Microstran
models into SPACE GASS.

In order to import from or export to a SPACE GASS text file, CSV file, SDNF file, Microstran
ARC file, MS-Excel file, MS-Access file or MS-Word file, the procedure simply involves
selecting the desired format from the Import or Export options in the File menu and then choosing
a file name.

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Linking to other programs using the very comprehensive CIMSteel/2 (CIS/2) Step, IFC Step or
Revit Structure transfer options are fully explained in the following sections.

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CIMSteel/2 Step, IFC Step and Revit links


Complete structural models can be imported into SPACE GASS or exported to other programs
using the very comprehensive CIMSteel/2 (CIS/2) Step, IFC Step or Revit Structure transfer
options. Each of these formats can contain the complete structural model, including loads and
design data.

They can be used to link SPACE GASS with programs such as Tekla Structures (XSteel),
ProSteel, Microstation, Frameworks Plus, StruCAD, Revit Structure, Bentley Structural,
AutoCAD and many others that use the CIMSteel/2 (CIS/2) Step or IFC Step formats.

Revit Structure is slightly different to the other programs because in addition to communicating
with SPACE GASS via the CIMSteel/2 or IFC links, it can also communicate via special import
and export menu items that can be added to the Revit Structure "Tools" menu.

The physical and analytical models


The "physical" model includes all of the "visible" information such as the geometry of the beams,
columns, braces, cables, trusses, struts, ties, walls, slabs and connections. It includes all the
components that make up the model’s physical attributes.

The "analytical" model includes the "visible" information too, but it also contains "hidden"
information such as support conditions, member end releases, offset data, section and material
properties, loads, load combinations, design data and analysis results.

The other main difference with the analytical model is that, depending on the program you are
importing from, the geometry may be somewhat idealised so that the centroids of members line
up with the members they are connected to. For example, bracing members that connect to a
beam-column connection do not often line up with the centroid of the beam-column connection in
the real structure and in the "physical" model, however they may be adjusted to line up in the
"analytical" model.

Section name conversion files


One of the major obstacles to successfully transferring data between programs is that there is no
standard naming convention for section property names and hence every program uses slightly
different names. To solve this problem, conversion files are used to convert the section names
used by SPACE GASS to the names used by other programs. Conversion files are supplied with
SPACE GASS for converting section names to Tekla Structures, Prosteel, Revit Structure and
others. You can also make your own section name conversion files quite easily.

A conversion file is simply a text file that contains a list of the SPACE GASS section names
together with the library each section comes from and the name of the section that is used by the
program SPACE GASS is communicating with. An extract from a typical conversion file is as
follows:

SG Name, SG library, Other name


W21x101, US, W 21*101
W21x111, US, W 21*111
W21x122, US, W 21*122

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You can see from the above example that the SPACE GASS name and the "Other name" are
often very similar and sometimes only involve adding or removing spaces or changing from "x"
to "*" or vice versa.

Standard section name conversion files are supplied with SPACE GASS for each of the SPACE
GASS section libraries and each of the well-known programs that you may want SPACE GASS
to communicate with. For example, Tekla Structures conversion files are supplied for each of the
SPACE GASS section libraries. Similar sets of conversion files are also supplied for Revit
Structure, Prosteel, etc.

Creating custom section name conversion files


You must first initiate a CIS/2 or IFC import or export from the File menu to display the
following form.

Custom section name conversion files can then be created in either of two ways.

1. You can create a custom conversion file that is a combination of some of the standard
conversion files supplied with SPACE GASS.

To do this you must first select a program name in the “Convert section names for” list box
and then click the “Libraries” branch of the menu tree on the left and ensure that the SPACE
GASS libraries from which the sections will be taken are listed in the “Library search order”
box.

You can then create the custom conversion file by clicking the “Create a custom section name
conversion file” button.

2. You can create a template for a custom conversion file that contains just the SPACE GASS
section names and the libraries they come from, but not the “other program” names.

To do this you must click the “Libraries” branch of the menu tree on the left and then ensure
that the SPACE GASS libraries from which the sections will be taken are listed in the

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“Library search order” box.

You can then create the template conversion file by clicking the “Create a template section
name conversion file” button.

To convert the template conversion file into a complete custom conversion file, you should
edit the template file with a text editor such as Notepad and manually enter the “other
program” names at the end of each line. You could also use MS-Excel, however when opening
the file, you must specify that the file is comma delimited, otherwise each line will appear in
just one cell.

Section name conversion files are stored in the SPACE GASS program folder (usually
"c:\Program files\SPACE GASS\Exe").

Details of how to import and export using these links are explained in the following sections.

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Import links

You can import a CIS/2 or IFC Step file by selecting "Import - from CIMSteel/2 Step" or "Import
- from IFC Step" from the File menu.

When importing from Revit Structure, you can import a CIS/2 or IFC Step file created by it or you
can select the "Send Model to SPACE GASS" item from the Revit Structure "Tools > External
Tools" menu as explained in "Special Revit Structure Links".

Even though the internal structure of CIS/2 step files and IFC step files are quite different, the
importing procedure is the same and hence the following instructions apply to both.

The name of the file being imported is displayed in the "Data Filename" field and you can select
another file by clicking on the button to the right of the input field.

When importing, to ensure that the section names used by the source program are converted
properly to SPACE GASS names, you should do the following:

1. If you are linking with a standard program for which a section name conversion file exists,
select it in the "Convert section names for" list box.

If the name of the program you are linking with does not appear in the list, it simply means
that there is currently no standard conversion file for that program. If so, you should select
"Other". You can then create and use a custom conversion file or use one that you
previously created as explained in "Creating custom section name conversion files" in the
previous section. Alternatively, you can just skip the custom conversion file option and the
section names will be imported or exported with no conversion.

2. Click the "Libraries" branch of the menu tree on the left to display the section libraries form
as shown below.

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If you selected a program name in the "Convert section names for" list box in step 1 above,
ensure that the "Use a standard section name conversion file" option is ticked. This will
activate the section name conversion using the standard conversion files supplied with
SPACE GASS.

If you selected "Other" in the "Convert section names for" list box in step 1 above, and you
have a custom conversion file that you want to use, ensure that the "Use a custom section
name conversion file" option is ticked and that the name of the custom conversion file is in
the "Conversion filename" field. If you wish to create a custom conversion file, follow the
procedure in "Creating custom section name conversion files" in the previous section.

If you wish to use a mixture of custom and standard conversion files, you can tick both the
"Use a custom section name conversion file" and "Use a standard section name conversion
file" options. In this case, SPACE GASS will try to convert the section name using the
custom conversion file first and, if the name can’t be found there, the standard conversion
files will be used.

3. You also need to check that the appropriate SPACE GASS libraries are listed in the "Library
search order" box.

The "Library search order" box controls which SPACE GASS libraries will be used when
the section names being imported are converted. If the name of a section being imported
does not appear in one of the libraries listed in this box then it will not be converted. It is
therefore important that you include enough libraries in the "Library search order" box to
ensure that all the sections being imported have their names converted.

You can include all libraries in the box, however this may slow down the import process
slightly due to the increased number of libraries that have to be scanned.

If a section name appears in more than one SPACE GASS library then the libraries higher
up in the list will have priority.

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You can choose which components of the model to import by expanding the "Import" branch of
the menu tree on the left and then clicking "Nodes" or "Members" as shown below.

You can specify the starting node number or, if you leave it at zero, the imported nodes will be
automatically numbered starting from the first available number.

Nodes that are very close together can be merged into one, and the connecting members and
plates adjusted to suit.

If you select the "Adjust lower limits of node coordinates by" checkbox, SPACE GASS will find
the node with the lowest coordinates and move it to the coordinates that you specify. The rest of
the model will also be moved by the same amount.

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You can specify the starting member and plate numbers or, if you leave them at zero, the
imported members and plates will be automatically numbered starting from the first available
number.

Members that have an end very close to another member can be connected together. Similarly,
members that cross each other within a specified distance can be subdivided and connected at the
intersection point.

A number of programs that generate CIS/2 and IFC Step files incorrectly mix radians and degrees
when specifying member direction angles. If you are importing one of these non-standard files
and find that some members are rotated incorrectly, you can select the "Assume radians for all
angular measurements" checkbox to correct the problem.

For more information about the "Physical" and "Analytical" models, refer to "The physical and
analytical models" in the previous section.

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Export links

You can export a CIS/2 or IFC Step file by selecting "Export - to CIMSteel/2 Step" or "Export -
to IFC Step" from the File menu.

When exporting to Revit Structure, you can export a CIS/2 or IFC Step file or you can select the
"Update Model from SPACE GASS" item from the Revit Structure "Tools > External Tools" menu
as explained in "Special Revit Structure Links".

Even though the internal structure of CIS/2 step files and IFC step files are quite different, the
exporting procedure is the same and hence the following instructions apply to both.

The name of the file being exported to is displayed in the "Data Filename" field and you can
select another file by clicking on the button to the right of the input field.

When exporting, to ensure that the section names used by SPACE GASS are converted properly
to the names used by the destination program, you should do the following:

1. If you are linking with a standard program for which a section name conversion file exists,
select it in the "Convert section names for" list box.

If the name of the program you are linking with does not appear in the list, it simply means
that there is currently no standard conversion file for that program. If so, you should select
"Other". You can then create and use a custom conversion file or use one that you
previously created as explained in "Creating custom section name conversion files" in the
previous section. Alternatively, you can just skip the custom conversion file option and the
section names will be imported or exported with no conversion.

2. Click the "Libraries" branch of the menu tree on the left to display the section libraries form
as shown below.

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If you selected a program name in the "Convert section names for" list box in step 1 above,
ensure that the "Use a standard section name conversion file" option is ticked. This will
activate the section name conversion using the standard conversion files supplied with
SPACE GASS.

If you selected "Other" in the "Convert section names for" list box in step 1 above, and you
have a custom conversion file that you want to use, ensure that the "Use a custom section
name conversion file" option is ticked and that the name of the custom conversion file is in
the "Conversion filename" field. If you wish to create a custom conversion file, follow the
procedure in "Creating custom section name conversion files" in the previous section.

If you wish to use a mixture of custom and standard conversion files, you can tick both the
"Use a custom section name conversion file" and "Use a standard section name conversion
file" options. In this case, SPACE GASS will try to convert the section name using the
custom conversion file first and, if the name can’t be found there, the standard conversion
files will be used.

You can choose which components of the model to export by clicking the "Export" branch of the
menu tree on the left.

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The normal procedure is to export the analytical model because, as well as the geometric
information, it contains "hidden" information such as support conditions, member end releases,
offset data, section and material properties, loads, load combinations, design data and analysis
results. However, if you are exporting to a program that requires the physical model then you
should select it. Note that when exporting from SPACE GASS, the geometric information in the
physical and analytical models is the same.

For more information about the "Physical" and "Analytical" models, refer to "The physical and
analytical models" in the previous section.

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Special Revit Structure links

Revit Structure is slightly different to the other programs because there are two ways to link it to
SPACE GASS. In addition to being able to communicate with SPACE GASS via the CIMSteel/2
and IFC Step file links, Revit Structure can be configured to create SPACE GASS jobs directly
and also update the Revit model from them.

The advantage of using the direct Revit Structure link over the CIMSteel/2 and IFC links is that
after you have transferred the model to SPACE GASS, you can import the section property and
steel design changes back into Revit Structure without completely replacing the Revit Structure
model.

The advantage of the CIMSteel/2 and IFC Step file links is that you can start with a SPACE
GASS model and transfer it into Revit Structure to create a Revit model from scratch. You can’t
do this with the direct Revit Structure link.

Of course, you can use a combination of methods. You could start with a SPACE GASS model,
export it using CIMSteel/2 or IFC to create a new Revit Structure model, add to the model in
Revit Structure and then export it back to SPACE GASS using the direct Revit Structure link.

Setting up the direct link between SPACE GASS and Revit Structure
You can add the special SPACE GASS items to the Revit Structure "Tools" menu by running the
RevitSpaceGassLink.exe file in the SPACE GASS program folder (usually "c:\Program
files\SPACE GASS\Exe").

The program will attempt to find the SPACE GASS and Revit Structure program folders and then
display them in the following form.

If either field doesn’t display a folder name with "(file found)" at the end, you will have to click
the appropriate browse button at the right of the field to select the program folder manually. Once
both folders have been identified correctly you can click the Ok button and the SPACE GASS
items will be automatically added to the Revit Structure "Tools" menu.

Transferring from Revit Structure


To create a complete SPACE GASS model from Revit Structure, click the "Send Model to
SPACE GASS" item from the Revit Structure "Tools" menu.

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When exporting to SPACE GASS, you have full control over units, connections between beams
and columns, loads, member offsets, specification of tension-only members, section names, etc.

If the names of sections in your Revit Structure model are different to the names used in the
SPACE GASS section libraries, you can use (or set up your own) section name conversion file
that converts the Revit Structure names to the SPACE GASS names. For more information, refer
to "Creating custom section name conversion files" in "CIMSteel/2 Step, IFC Step and Revit
links".

Transferring to Revit Structure


When the SPACE GASS analysis and/or design is complete, you can update the Revit Structure
model by clicking the "Update Model from SPACE GASS" item from the Revit Structure "Tools"
menu.

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When importing from SPACE GASS you can elect to incorporate steel design data into the Revit
Structure model. This is then retained in Revit Structure and returned to SPACE GASS the next
time you export a model to SPACE GASS from Revit Structure.

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DXF links
The DXF file format is a text format invented for AutoCAD that many programs can import and
export. Because DXF is essentially a drawing format rather than for engineering models, it is
limited to the basic structural geometry when used to transfer a structural model. For this reason,
transferring a structural model is best done using the CIMSteel/2 (CIS/2) Step or IFC Step file
formats or the Revit links which are very comprehensive and can include loads.

The DXF format is, however, a very good means of creating drawings in the form of plans,
elevations, cross sections and connection drawings for transferring into a CAD program.

Details of how to import and export DXF files are explained in the following sections.

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Importing DXF files

You can import a DXF file by selecting "Import - from DXF" from the File menu.

When importing, SPACE GASS interprets each discrete line in a CAD drawing as a member.
This has two ramifications that you will need to consider.

1. CAD programs do not know that intersecting lines need to be segmented into sub-members
with nodes at the intersection points. For example, if you drew the top and bottom chords of
a truss with just two lines adding the struts and braces as separate lines, SPACE GASS
would consider that the chords are not connected to the web members except at the chord
ends.

You must ensure every member that you want in the SPACE GASS model is drawn as a
separate line in the CAD program. If you draw a line in the CAD program which continues
past a node then the member will not be connected to that node in the SPACE GASS model.

2. You shouldn’t read a DXF file, created with full member geometry, back into SPACE
GASS (it interprets each member flange and web line as an individual member).

It is usually much quicker and more efficient to draw the


structure directly in SPACE GASS rather than drawing it in your CAD program and importing it
into SPACE GASS. This is because SPACE GASS knows it is dealing with a structure and not just
lines in a drawing.

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Exporting DXF files

There are two types of DXF files that can be exported from SPACE GASS.

1. Elevations, plans, cross sections and member schedules.

2. Steel connection drawings.

Exporting elevations, plans, cross sections and member schedules


You can export elevations, plans, cross sections and member schedules by selecting "Export – to
DXF" from the File menu.

Full geometry
You can elect to simply export a wireframe drawing that consists of lines along the centrelines of
each member, or you can also include the full member geometry which shows the actual member
shapes including flanges and webs, etc.

Drawings that include the full member geometry can have the geometry lines shortened by a
distance factor that you specify in the General Configuration form at each end of the member so
that intersecting members do not run into one another.

Member schedule
Selecting this check box causes a member schedule to be included in the drawing.

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Z axis vertical
AutoCAD and some other 3D CAD programs assume that the Y-axis is vertical for 2D drawings,
while the Z-axis is vertical for 3D drawings.

If this check box is selected then the global Z-axis is made vertical in the drawing, otherwise the
Y-axis is vertical.

Label members
Members can be unlabelled, or labelled with the member names, member marks or both.

Draw with
By choosing 3DLINEs or FACES you can generate a full 3D drawing, or by choosing 2DLINEs
you can limit the drawing to just 2D views, elevations, plans or cross sections of the structure.
Note that FACEs support hidden line removal and shading while 3DLINEs do not.

A 3D drawing complete with full member geometry is very useful for visualizing how the
structure fits together and for checking whether members clash with each other or not.

Similar 3D drawings with hidden line removal can also be viewed directly in SPACE GASS
without having to go to a CAD program (see also View rendered model).

Because almost all structural drawings are made up


predominantly of 2D plans, elevations and details, the ability of SPACE GASS to produce 2D
drawings of the frame is one of the most useful aspects of being able to export DXF files. SPACE
GASS allows you to create a series of 2D vertical or horizontal "slices" at any position through a
3D frame and have them exported to CAD as cross sections, elevations or plans.

These 2D drawings can contain the full member geometry complete with dashed and dotted
hidden lines. It is then a simple matter for a draftsperson to use a CAD package, such as
AutoCAD, to add connections, notation, etc. and complete the structural drawing.

2D drawing plane
If you have specified a 2D drawing by choosing 2DLINEs in the "Draw with" combo box, you
must choose a 2D drawing plane here.

2D drawing limits
If you have specified a 2D drawing, then you must nominate upper and lower drawing plane
limits. The limits will be along the global axis at right angles to the 2D drawing plane. Any
members that lie between the two limits will be included in the drawing.

Scale
You can scale the drawing up or down with this field. For example, a scale of 10 causes the
drawing dimensions to be reduced by a factor of 10. Units for the DXF drawing file are the same
as those used in SPACE GASS.

Title
Typing a title into this field causes it to appear at the bottom of the drawing.

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DXF layer names


Layer names can be any names of up to 8 characters. AutoSKETCH requires layer names to be
integers from 1 to 10 in all cases. It is recommended that you configure your CAD software so
that the hidden line layer uses dashed or dotted lines. This ensures that they can be easily
distinguished from visible geometry lines.

You can specify that the layers should be section-specific for centerlines, full geometry and/or
text. This means that each member type will have its own layer rather than the entire frame just
going into a single layer. You can then set your CAD software so that each layer has a different
color, making identification of the various section types very easy.

Exporting steel connection drawings


During or after a steel connection design, you can create fully detailed and annotated drawings of
the connections and export them to DXF drawing files in either of two ways.

1. Enable the "Generate drawings for a CAD system" option at the beginning of the connection
design phase (see also Running a steel connection design). This causes a DXF drawing file
to be created for every connection designed.

2. Click the toolbar button after the connection design phase to view the connection
drawings graphically and then selectively produce DXF files from there (see also View steel
connection drawings).

Using either method, the final result is the same. You can control the drawing layer names by
setting them in the SPACE GASS configuration data. An example of a steel connection drawing
produced automatically by SPACE GASS is shown as follows.

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SPACE GASS connection detail

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Modelling the structure


Before a frame can be modelled and analysed with a program such as SPACE GASS, it must first
be idealised and modelled mathematically. The most popular mathematical model uses the
concept of nodes connected by elements of a finite size (finite elements).

SPACE GASS requires that frames are represented by nodes connected by members, cables or
plates. Such nodes are generally free to move and rotate in space. Practical structures, however,
are connected to a footing in some way, and so node restraints must be applied which limit the
movement of selected nodes.

The relative movement between nodes connected by a member, cable or plate is a function of the
section and material properties of that element. Loads can be mathematically represented in the
model and can be applied elements. Such loads include all of the normal force and moment type
loads, in addition to load inducers such as prescribed displacements and temperature differentials.
A single analysis can consider numerous load cases, each of which may contain many different
load types.

During the analysis phase, all unrestrained node displacements (degrees of freedom) are
calculated for each load case. Element forces and moments are then determined from the relative
movement of the nodes they are connected to and, finally, reactions are calculated by equating
element reactions at each restrained node.

If the analysis selected is non-linear, SPACE GASS does an initial linear analysis and then
modifies the stiffness matrix for each member based on the previous analysis node displacements
and member axial forces. It then re-analyses the structure for the modified member stiffness and
continues iterating the analysis phase in this way until convergence is achieved. Note that because
the plate elements are linear elements at this stage, their stiffness is not modified during the non-
linear analysis iterations.

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Coordinate systems
The geometry of a structural model is referenced by a set of global XYZ axes. Each member and
plate element also has its own set of local xyz axes so that items such as section properties and
local loads can be more easily referenced.

All axes are right hand orthogonal. This means that if you are looking at the XY plane with the Y-
axis pointing upwards and the X-axis pointing to the right, the Z-axis points towards you as
shown below.

Global Axes
The shape and position of a structure in space is defined by a set of global axes (X,Y,Z). All node
coordinates, for example, are input relative to the global axes system. The global XZ plane is
assumed to be horizontal, while the global Y-axis points vertically upwards.

Note that although SPACE GASS assumes that the Y-axis is vertical by default, it can be
configured to set the Z-axis to vertical. This is done via the Viewpoint tool.

Global Axes

Member Axes
The local axes for a member have their origin at node A and are defined as follows:

1. The x-axis lies along the axis of the member and points from node A to node B.

2. The local y-axis is normal to the local x-axis and points in the same general direction as the
global Y-axis. It is orientated such that the local xy-plane is parallel to the global Y-axis.

3. The local z-axis is orthogonal with x and y.

For members that have their longitudinal axis parallel to the global Y-axis, rule 2 is
undefined and hence, for these members, the local z-axis points in the same direction as the
global Z-axis.

4. If a direction angle, node or axis is defined then the member is rolled about it’s longitudinal
x-axis by the direction angle or, if a direction node or axis is defined, by an amount such that

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the local y-axis is aligned with the direction node or axis as shown below.

Member Local Axes

Member Direction Angle

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Member Direction Node

Member Direction Axis

If you are unsure of the orientation of the local axes for a particular member, you can display
them graphically (see also View local axes).

Plate Axes
The local axes for a plate have their origin at the centre of the plate and are defined as follows:

1. The x-axis is in the plane of the plate and is parallel to the line joining node A and node B.

2. The local y-axis is also in the plane of the plate and is normal to the local x-axis.

3. The local z-axis is normal to the plane of the plate and is orthogonal with x and y.

4. If a direction angle, node or axis is defined then the local axes are rotated about the plate’s
normal z-axis by the direction angle or, if a direction node or axis is defined, by an amount
such that the local y-axis is aligned with the direction node or axis as shown below.

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Note that defining a direction angle, node or axis affects the orientation of the plate’s axes
but not the orientation of the plate itself.

Plate Local Axes

Plate Direction Angle

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Plate Direction Node

Plate Direction Axis

If you are unsure of the orientation of the local axes for a particular plate, you can display them
graphically (see also View local axes).

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Sign conventions
Items which act along or about an axis are considered to be positive when they act along or about
the positive axis direction. Positive rotations conform to the right hand screw rule shown as
follows.

Right Hand Screw Rule

Applied loads have their sign determined by the axes system in which they are referred. Most
types of member and plate loads can be specified in either the global or local system, however
node loads and self weight are always referenced by the global system.

Node displacements are positive if they displace along or around the positive global axis
directions. External reactions are positive if they act along or around the positive global axis
directions.

Member Actions
Member actions follow the sign conventions as follows.

Member Forces and Moments

Positive axial forces cause compression in the member.

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Positive moments cause compression on the positive axis side of the member.

Channel and angle sections have their flange toes pointing in the direction of the local z-
axis. Positive y-axis moments therefore cause the flange toes to go into compression.

Positive shears cause the node A end of the member to translate in the direction of the positive
axis with respect to the node B end.

Positive torsions cause the node A end of the member to rotate anti-clockwise with respect to the
node B end when observed from the node B end.

Plate Actions
Plate actions follow the sign conventions as follows.

Plate Forces

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Plate Moments

Plate Stresses

Note that plate elements have no rotational stiffness about their local z-axis. This means
that there is effectively a rotational pin connection between the plate and its corner nodes about
the axis normal to the plate.

Positive moments cause compression in the top (positive z-axis) face of the plate.

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Plane Stress
Three dimensional objects subjected to loads generally have three principal stresses, however in
structural elements where one dimension is very small compared to the other two (ie. plate
elements), one of the three principal stresses is zero and a state of "plane stress" is said to exist. In
this case, the stresses are negligible with respect to the smaller dimension as they are not able to
develop within the material and are small compared to the in-plane stresses.

Principal Stress
For plates subjected to plane stress, there are two principal stresses acting in the principal axis
directions. The angle between the principal axes and the local x and y axes is called the principal
angle. The principal stresses can be calculated from σx, σy and τxy using Mohr circle theory as
follows.

σ1 (σmax) = (σx + σy)/2 + SQRT((σx - σy)2/4 + τxy2)


σ2 (σmin) = (σx + σy)/2 - SQRT((σx - σy)2/4 + τxy2)
τxymax = (σ1 - σ2)/2
φ = Tan-1(2τxy/(σx - σy))/2

where σx, σy and τxy are the membrane and shear stresses in the local axis directions (as per the
above diagrams), σ1 and σ2 are the principal stresses, τxymax is the maximum shear stress and φ
is the principal angle.

von Mises Stress


Richard von Mises (an eminent Austrian scientist who worked on solid mechanics, fluid
mechanics, aerodynamics, aeronautics, statistics and probability theory) found that, even though
none of the principal stresses exceeds the yield stress of the material, it is possible for yielding to
result from the combination of stresses. The von Mises criteria is a formula for combining these
principal stresses into an equivalent stress, which is then compared to the yield stress of the
material. The yield stress is a known property of the material and is usually considered to be the
failure stress.

The equivalent stress is often called the "von Mises Stress" as a shorthand description. It is not
really a stress, but a number that is used as an index. If the von Mises stress exceeds the yield
stress, then the material is considered to be at the failure condition.

The von Mises stress can be calculated from the principal stresses according to:

σvm = SQRT(((σ1 – σ2)2 + σ12 + σ22)/2)

where σ1 and σ2 are the principal stresses and σvm is the equivalent or "von Mises" stress.

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Ill-conditioning and instabilities


The most common analysis errors are caused by structures that are not correctly conditioned or
stabilised.

Ill-conditioning commonly occurs when frames contain members of widely varying stiffness’s.
When a very stiff member is connected to a very flexible member and their stiffness matrices are
assembled into the structure stiffness matrix, some of the stiffness terms of the flexible member
can be completely lost due to their insignificance in comparison with the stiffness terms of the
stiff member. Hence, the flexible member is not completely represented and ill-conditioning
occurs.

SPACE GASS contains an algorithm which checks for possible ill-conditioning and displays
warning messages if appropriate. Generally, these messages appear well before ill-conditioning
actually occurs. They do, however serve to highlight structures which are close to being ill-
conditioned. If after the analysis, the sum of the reactions equals the sum of the applied loads then
it can be assumed that the frame is well conditioned.

Instabilities occur when one or more nodes are free to translate or rotate without resistance from
the frame. Sometimes unstable structures are very easy to detect, such as when restraints have not
been applied or when an obvious collapse mechanism is possible.

Instabilities are often very subtle and difficult to isolate. For example, if an unrestrained node has
a pinned connection to each of its connecting members then it would be free to rotate and an
instability would result. This type of instability can be hard to detect because it only affects one
node in the structure. True trusses must therefore have every rotational degree of freedom
restrained.

Sometimes highly ill-conditioned frames can also be interpreted


as being unstable by the program.

Another common type of instability occurs when a group of members connected end-to-end in a
straight line are free to rotate about their longitudinal axis. The instability occurs because during
the analysis the program is unable to determine the amount of rotation of the intermediate nodes.

Some instabilities cannot be detected by a static analysis, and you should therefore be wary of
results that contain very large deflections or deflections that occur in the wrong direction.
However most instabilities can be detected by a buckling analysis and are identified by very low
buckling load factors. If you get buckling load factors that are below the minimum allowable
value (eg. shown as "<0.001" when the minimum allowable value is 0.001), this could indicate
an instability problem rather than a buckling problem. It is even more likely to be an instability
problem if the low buckling load factors occur in every load case.

If the model contains instabilities, the buckling analysis may, in some cases, give invalid
results. In the absence of instability or buckling messages from the static analysis, you should
always check the deflections to see if they are excessive or not. Excessive deflections are
sometimes the only indicator of instabilities.

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There are no hard and fast rules to follow in the detection of conditioning and stability problems,
however if the structure is clearly drawn and examined, the problem usually becomes evident to
any moderately experienced user.

SPACE GASS is now able to automatically rectify some instabilities caused by nodes that are
free to rotate or translate in one or more directions without resistance from interconnecting
members, restraints or constraints. For more information, refer to "Stabilize unrestrained nodes"
in Running a static analysis.

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Analysis data
This chapter describes in detail each type of data that can be included in the analysis model.

This chapter does not include design data (see also "Steel member design", "Steel
connection design" and "Concrete column design").

See also Input methods.


See also Output.
See also Print graphics.

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Units

SPACE GASS can handle a variety of different unit sets. The units do not need to be consistent or
even belong to the same system (ie. you can mix units from Metric and Imperial). You can
quickly select standard Imperial or Metric by clicking the "Imperial" or "Metric" buttons and then
make further individual changes as required.

If the "Convert the current job for any unit changes" box is checked then all of the data in the
current job will be converted in accordance with the units changes you made. If the box is not
checked then the units will change but none of the job data will be converted.

If the "Save the above units as the default for new jobs" box is checked then SPACE GASS will
use the selected units as the default every time you start a new job in the future.

If you are entering data and are not sure what the correct units are for that particular type
of data, you should either (a) select the datasheet (from the datasheets button on the top toolbar)
for the particular type of data you are entering and observe the units displayed at the bottom-
right of the datasheet or, (b) produce an output report and observe the units displayed next to
each section heading.

! IMPORTANT NOTE !
Before accepting any output from SPACE GASS, please check that all of the input and output
data conforms to the units you have selected. You can do this most conveniently by producing a
full output report and observing the units that are shown next to the heading in each section of
the report.

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! IMPORTANT NOTE !
If you change units for any or all data types after having input some data and you want the
data to be converted, then you must ensure that the option to "Convert the current job for any
unit changes" is checked. Otherwise the data will not be converted automatically.

See also The structure menu.


See also Initiator.

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Headings

Headings are a desirable feature which allow you to clearly label the output for each job with a
project heading, job heading, designer’s initials and descriptive notes.

Project heading
Allows you to describe the project.

Job heading
Allows you to describe the job.

Designer
Identifies you as the designer.

Notes
Allows you to describe the job in more detail.

See also The structure menu.


See also Headings text.

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Node data

Nodes are used to define the geometry of the structure in 3D space, and to mark the start and end
points of members in the model.

There are six possible displacements (degrees of freedom) per node in a 3D frame. They are
translation along, and rotation about, X,Y, Z.

Node
The node numbering order is of no consequence and successive node numbers do not have to be
sequential. For example, a straight beam with five nodes could just as easily be numbered
24,8,2,13,99 as 1,2,3,4,5. It is possible to leave gaps in the numbering sequence to allow for
nodes which might be inserted later.

While the node numbering sequence doesn’t effect the results it is easier to interpret the
results of an analysis if a logical numbering sequence has been used.

You can renumber nodes at any stage by using the graphics renumbering facility (see
also Renumber).

X, Y and Z coordinates
Global coordinates of the node that may be positive or negative.

Dummy nodes
These are nodes that are not connected to any members. They are useful as direction nodes or
reference points.

See also Node restraints.


See also Master-slave constraints.
See also Members.
See also Nodes text.
See also Datasheet Input.
See also Node properties.
See also Draw.

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Member data

Members represent the actual beams, columns, ties, struts, cables, braces, etc. in the real structure.
They must be prismatic and must be connected to a node at each end.

Member
The member numbering order affects the analysis frontwidth, however this is of no consequence
if the wavefront optimiser is used. The graphical renumbering tool also means that the initial
member numbering order is unimportant because it can be easily changed at any time. Successive
member numbers do not have to be sequential.

Type
Choices are: Normal,
Tension-only,
Compression-only,
Cable.

While in tension, tension-only members act identically to normal members with axial, flexural,
torsional and shear capacity. However, if they go into compression then they are automatically
disabled and act as if they have been removed from the model. Members such as tension bracing
and slender ties fall into this category.

Slender members that rely on axial tension to resist lateral loads applied to them should
be modelled as cables rather than as tension-only members!

While in compression, compression-only members act identically to normal members with axial,
flexural, torsional and shear capacity. However, if they go into tension then they are automatically
disabled and act as if they have been removed from the model. This type of member is useful in
situations such as where a support member resists download loads by bearing on a footing but is
unable to resist any uplift.

In both tension-only and compression-only cases, the program does an initial analysis and then
scans for tension-only members that have gone into compression, and compression-only members
that have gone into tension. If any of these are found they are disabled and the structure is re-
analysed. This process continues until all tension-only members are in tension and all
compression-only members are in compression. Note that disabled members are sometimes re-
enabled if their axial force reverses sign during the iteration process.

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During a dynamic analysis, tension-only and compression-only members are treated as


normal members that can take tension and compression.

See also Tension-only and compression-only effects.

Cable members use axial tension only to resist lateral loads. They have no flexural, torsional or
shear capacity, and so to avoid instabilities you must restrain all rotational degrees of freedom for
nodes connected to cable members which are not rotationally fixed to other members. Cable end
fixities of FFFFFF, FFFFFR, FFFFRR, FFFRRR all give the same results.

Cables that aren’t laterally loaded are treated as tension-only members which become disabled if
they go into compression. Laterally loaded cables sag instead of taking compression.

Cable members cannot be included in a dynamic analysis.

See also Cable members.

Cable length
If the member type is "Cable" then an unstrained cable length can be specified to allow for cable
sag when the cable length is different to the chord length (as follows). A zero cable length
indicates that the unstrained cable length is equal to the chord length.

Chord length
The chord length is the straight line distance between the member ends Note that a member’s
chord length may not be equal to the distance between it’s end nodes if offsets exist for that
member.

Using a direction angle, node or axis


If a direction angle, node or axis is defined then the member is rolled about it’s longitudinal x-
axis by the direction angle or, if a direction node or axis is defined, by an amount such that the
local y-axis is aligned with the direction node or axis as shown below.

Note that the three member orientation members are mutually exclusive. Hence, setting one of
them to a desired value causes the other two to be disabled.

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Member Local Axes

Direction angle
The direction angle (degrees), also called the skew angle, allows you to roll the member (with its
local axes) about it’s longitudinal axis. It is normally set to zero so that the member local y-axis
lies in a vertical plane.

Member Direction Angle

Direction node
Selecting a direction node aligns the local xy-plane with the nominated node.

A direction node can be a normal node or a dummy node (one which is not connected to any
members).

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Direction Node

Direction axis
Choices are: X axis,
Y axis,
Z axis,
-X axis,
-Y axis,
-Z axis,
N/A.

Selecting a direction axis aligns the local xy-plane with the nominated axis (eg. -Z axis selected in
the diagram as follows).

Direction Axis

If you are unsure of the orientation of the local axes for a particular plate, you can display them
graphically (see also View local axes).

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Node A and B
The two end nodes connected to each member are referred to as node A and node B. Node A is
considered to be at the start of the member and any external loads applied to the member are
located by their distance from node A.

Node A cannot be equal to node B, however there are no restrictions relating to node A being
numerically bigger than node B or vice-versa.

End fixity
A member may be released or fixed to its end nodes with varying degrees of fixity. Member end
fixity is referenced by the local axes system and there are six possible components at each end
which may be fixed or released. These components are specified by a six character code
corresponding to translational fixity along x, y and z and rotational fixity about x, y and z
respectively.

The letter "F" represents fixed and "R" represents released. Thus, as an example, a pin ended truss
member with no rotational end fixity in a 3D frame could be modelled using a fixity of
"FFFRRR" at each end, while a pin ended truss member in a 2D frame could have fixities of
"FFFFFR". Members with fully fixed ends would have fixities of "FFFFFF".

You can also specify a spring stiffness, allowing you to model a semi-rigid joint. The letter "S"
represents a spring stiffness, applicable to rotation about the local y or z axes of the member. If
you specify a spring stiffness in the fixity code you will also need to enter a corresponding
stiffness in the y/z stiffness fields.

! IMPORTANT NOTE !
Member end fixities should not be confused with node restraints. Member end fixities specify
how members are connected to their end nodes, while node restraints specify how nodes are
connected to the footings or other supports. Note that completely rigid frame members should
have member end fixities of "FFFFFF" regardless of whether the frame has pin based
supports or not.

Section
The section property number references a particular member cross section from the section
property data. Thus, members with identical section properties would have the same section
property numbers.

The current section property for the members selected is displayed in this field. If no section
property has been chosen, or if more than one section property applies to the selection, this field
will be blank. The source is displayed along with an indication of whether the section has been
flipped and what type of angle section was chosen (if appropriate).

You can change the section property by entering another section property number. If this number
corresponds with a section which has already been defined, the corresponding properties will be
displayed. All of the members selected will have this property applied to them.

Material
The material property number references a particular material from the material property data.
Thus, members with identical materials would have the same material property numbers.

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For full details of the forces and moments in members, refer to "Sign conventions".

See also Section properties.


See also Material properties.
See also Member offsets.
See also Members text.
See also Datasheet Input.
See also Member properties.
See also Draw.

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Plate data

A mesh of plate elements can be used to represent walls, slabs, plates, etc. in the real structure.
Plate elements can be triangular or quadrilateral with a node at each vertex. They can be
connected at their nodes to other non-plate elements such as beams, columns, cables, etc.

Plate
The plate numbering order affects the analysis frontwidth, however this is of no consequence if
the wavefront optimiser is used. The graphical renumbering tool also means that the initial plate
numbering order is unimportant because it can be easily changed at any time. Successive plate
numbers do not have to be sequential.

Type
Each plate can be specified as thick (using Mindlin plate theory – Ref. 19,20,21) or thin (using
Kirchoff plate theory – Ref. 22,23). Transverse shear is not considered for Kirchoff plate theory
and for the vast majority of applications in structural engineering we would recommend that
Mindlin plate theory be used.

Direction angle, node, axis


By default, a plate’s local axes are such that x and y are in the plane of the plate and z is normal
to the plate. The x-axis is aligned with a line joining nodes A and B and the y-axis is orthogonal
with respect to x and z. The direction fields allow you to rotate the x and y axes about the plate’s
normal z axis. The purpose for this is to control the axes for which the output results apply.

Plate Axes

It is recommended that for the plate elements in a surface, you align all their in-plane axes in the
same direction rather than having them orientated randomly. For circular plates, you may elect to

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have all of the axes aligned in the same direction or, alternatively, you could align them radially
or tangentially depending on which type of output you require.

If the plate axes are orientated randomly then the results will be for different axis directions and
they will be difficult to compare. It will also be difficult to produce meaningful contour diagrams
if the plate axes are not aligned.

The Align plate axes tool can be used to quickly align the axes for a selection of plate elements. It
will also optionally reverse the normal z-axis of some plate elements if they are not all pointing in
the same direction. You can also use the Reverse plate direction tool as an alternative way of
reversing the normal z-axis.

Direction Angle

Direction Node

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Direction Axis

If you are unsure of the orientation of the local axes for a particular plate, you can display them
graphically (see also View local axes).

Actual thickness
This is the actual thickness of the plate and is used to calculate it’s self weight and self-mass if
they have been specified.

The thickness should be limited to around 15% of the in-plane plate dimensions for Mindlin
plates and around 5% for Kirchoff plates. The plate dimensions relate to the overall plate size and
not the element size.

Membrane thickness
This is used to calculate the membrane stiffness of the plate and is usually the same as the actual
thickness. The membrane stiffness terms are the ones that affect Fx, Fy and Fxy as shown below.

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Bending thickness
This is used to calculate the bending stiffness of the plate and is usually the same as the actual
thickness. The moment of inertia per unit length of the plate is taken as Tb3/12, where Tb is the
bending thickness. The bending stiffness terms are the ones that affect Mx, My and Mxy as
shown below.

Shear thickness
This is used to calculate the transverse shear stiffness of the plate and is only used for Mindlin
(thick) plate theory. For a uniform plate the shear thickness should be approximately Ta*(5/6) to
be consistent with Mindlin thick plate theory, where Ta is the actual plate thickness. The
transverse shear stiffness terms are the ones that affect Vxz and Vyz as shown below.

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Offset
Plates can be offset along their normal z-axis. This may be required to line them up with other
interconnecting elements such as other plates or members.

Material
Material property number references a particular material from the material property data. Thus,
plates with identical materials would have the same material property numbers.

For an accurate analysis, plates must be properly meshed into elements that are a
suitable size, shape and pattern. For more information, refer to the Mesh tool.

For full details of the forces, moments and stresses in plates, refer to "Sign conventions".

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See also Material properties.


See also Plates text.
See also Datasheet Input.
See also Plate properties.
See also Draw.

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Node restraint data

Node restraints are used to model the structure’s supports. They are sometimes referred to as
boundary conditions.

Unrestrained nodes are generally free to move along or about any axis direction, however
practical structures must be restrained to a footing in some way, otherwise instabilities would
occur.

Nodes can be restrained about one or all of their six degrees of freedom and such a restraint may
take the form of a fixed restraint or a flexible restraint. If a degree of freedom is given a flexible
restraint then a spring stiffness must also be input. Fixing a degree of freedom has the effect of
immobilizing that node movement, while specifying a flexible restraint causes the node
movement to be a function of the spring stiffness.

Node restraints are specified by a six character code corresponding to restraints along X, Y and Z
and about X, Y and Z respectively. "F" represents fixed, "R" represents released and "S"
represents spring (or flexible). "D" restraints are no longer supported and "F" should be used
instead.

For example, a pin-based support that prevents all translations but allows the node to rotate about
X, Y or Z would have a restraint code of FFFRRR. Alternatively, a roller support that allows the
node to move in the X direction only and rotate about X, Y or Z would have a restraint code of
RFFRRR. A fully built-in (encastre) support would have a restraint code of FFFFFF. A restraint
that prevents movement in the Z direction while allowing all other movements and rotations
would have a restraint code of RRFRRR.

! IMPORTANT NOTE !
Member end fixities should not be confused with node restraints. Member end fixities specify
how members are connected to their end nodes, while node restraints specify how nodes are
connected to the footings or other supports. Note that completely rigid frame members should
have member end fixities of "FFFFFF" regardless of whether the frame has pin based
supports or not.

General restraint
The general restraint facility allows you to apply a restraint to all otherwise unrestrained nodes.

For example, if you have a frame with two pin based supports and you want to prevent all
translations in the Z direction for all of its other nodes, you could apply restraints of FFFRRR to
the two support nodes and specify a general restraint of RRFRRR.

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In order to input a general restraint, you simply apply the desired restraint to any unrestrained
node and then tick the "General" box (or select "Yes" in the General Restraint column if you are
using a datasheet).

Using a general restraint saves data entry time and reduces the quantity of printed output. Note
that output reports only show the general restraint code on one node, even though the analysis has
assumed that it applies to all unrestrained nodes.

! IMPORTANT NOTE !
The general restraint facility should be used with great care and only if you are absolutely sure
of the affect it has on your model! If you apply a general restraint early in the development of
your model and then forget that it exists at some later stage when it is no longer appropriate,
you could be over-restraining your model. This could happen if nodes are added that shouldn’t
get the general restraint. It could also happen if you initially use a general restraint to prevent
all out-of-plane movements in a 2D frame for example and then extend the frame to 3D and
forget to remove the general restraint.

X, Y and Z axial stiffnesses


Axial spring stiffness for degrees of freedom restrained with "S". Axial spring stiffnesses must
always be greater than zero.

When modelling the elastic properties of soil as a spring support, the spring stiffness is based on
the modulus of subgrade reaction of the soil. This is a notoriously difficult parameter to get an
accurate figure for. The following typical values of the modulus of subgrade reaction (to be used
as a guide) are extracted from J. E. Bowles, "Foundation analysis and design", McGraw Hill 4th
Edition, 1988.

Soil Type Modulus of Subgrade Reaction


Loose sand: 4800 - 16000 kN/m3
Medium dense sand: 9600 – 80000 kN/m3
Dense sand: 64000 – 128000 kN/m3
Clayey medium dense sand: 32000 – 80000 kN/m3
Silty medium dense sand: 24000 – 48000 kN/m3
Clayey soil with qu < 200 kPa: 12000 – 24000 kN/m3
Clayey soil with qu in range 200 to 400 kPa: 24000 – 48000 kN/m3
Clayey soil with qu > 800 kPa: > 48000 kN/m3

The spring stiffness to be input into SPACE GASS is simply equal to the modulus of subgrade
reaction multiplied by the area of the footing that the spring is modelling. For example, if you
have a 600mm wide strip footing supported on soil with a modulus of subgrade reaction of 80000
kN/m3 and the soil is modelled as springs spaced 500mm apart, the axial stiffness of each spring
would be 80000 x 0.600 x 0.500 = 24000 kN/m. Units for the spring stiffness are shown in the
headings of the node restraints datasheet.

X, Y and Z rotational stiffnesses


Rotational spring stiffness spring stiffnesses for degrees of freedom restrained with "S".
Rotational spring stiffnesses must always be greater than zero.

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Important note about restraining 2D frames


It is common practice amongst some engineers to restrain all out-of-plane movements in 2D
frames. While this is generally appropriate for static analyses (provided there are no out-of-plane
loads), it may not be appropriate for buckling and dynamic frequency analyses. This is because
the frame may buckle or vibrate in an out-of-plane direction even though there are no loads in that
direction. Of course, nodes that are braced in the out-of-plane direction should be restrained in
that direction, however nodes that can move out-of-plane in the real structure should not be
restrained in that direction in the model. Failure to do this could affect the buckling load factors,
effective lengths and dynamic natural frequencies and mode shapes, and could result in unsafe
designs.

For example, if a 2D frame rafter is sub-divided, the intermediate nodes should not be restrained
in the out-of-plane direction unless they are braced in that direction in the real structure.
Restraining them would prevent any out-of-plane buckling or vibration modes that could occur if
the rafter member hadn’t been sub-divided.

Another example is a pin support for a 2D XY-plane frame column base which could be modelled
with the standard 2D pin base restraint code of FFFFFR, however this would prevent rotations
about the global X-axis. In reality, a column pin support would probably allow rotations about
both horizontal axes and hence a restraint code of FFFRFR would be more appropriate.
Restraining the rotation about the X-axis would affect the out-of-plane buckling and vibration
modes of the column and could result in incorrect results.

The general rule to follow is that if a node is free to move or rotate in the real structure then it
should not be restrained in that direction in the model. Be careful with the general restraint, as it
is applied to all nodes that don’t have their own restraint, and for some nodes this may not be
appropriate.

If you have applied a general restraint and require some nodes to not have a restraint at
all, you can prevent them from getting the general restraint by restraining them with a code of
RRRRRR.

See also Node restraints text.


See also Datasheet Input.
See also Node properties.
See also View node / member / plate properties.

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Section property data

You can display the section property data for a member by clicking the button in the Member
Properties form.

Section properties must be input for each type of member cross section in the model. Each section
property describes the geometric properties of a single cross section relative to the local member
axes.

Section
There are two fields, one for the section property number and the other for the section name.
Section property numbers do not have to be sequential or in any particular order. The section
property name is used as a description for the section, and as a reference for sections which have
been read from a library.

Source
This indicates the source of the section. There are four different sources:

Manual: User defined properties.


Library: A shape taken from a library.
The source will be the library name (eg. AUST300).
Shp Bldr: Section defined in the Shape Builder.
Std Shps: Section defined in Standard Shapes.

See also Standard sections libraries.


See also Shape builder.

If you create a section in the shape builder by importing it from the library, and you don’t
make any changes to it, the source will be the name of the library the section was taken from.
However, you can still edit the shape via the shape builder. You can also edit other library
sections in the shape builder, even if the section wasn’t input via the shape builder.

Flipped
"YES" if the section has been flipped (see also Flipping a section).

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Angle Type
Indicates the angle configuration.

Choices are: Single,


Short-Short,
Long-Long,
Starred.

See also Angle sections.

Area of section
Cross sectional area of the section.

Torsion constant
Torsional stiffness of the cross section. Calculating the torsion constant for arbitrary cross
sections can be quite complex, particularly if the cross section changes shape (warps) under
torsion. For example, a circular tube has a relatively high torsion constant because it doesn’t warp
under torsion. However, if a saw cut is made through the tube wall the torsion constant is
drastically reduced because the cross section can change shape under very small torsion loads.
Thus two shapes with very similar geometric properties can have substantially different torsion
constants.

The torsion constant for shapes which cannot warp is equal to the polar moment of
inertia.

The torsion constants for various common shapes can be calculated using the following formulae.

πD 4
J=
Solid circle: 32

π [ Do4 − Di4 ]
J=
Circular tube: 32

Solid square: J = 01406


. D4

AB 3 ⎡ ⎛ B⎞ ⎤
5
B
J= ⎢1 − 0.63 + 0.0525⎜⎝ ⎟⎠ ⎥
3 ⎣ A A ⎦
Solid rectangle:
where A & B are length and breadth (or vice-
versa)
and A>B
I, H, T, L and angle J is equal to the sum of the torsion constants of the
sections: composite sections which constitute the total
cross-section.

Y and Z moments of inertia


Principal moments of inertia of the cross section.

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Y and Z shear areas


Principal shear areas of the cross section, where a value of zero represents an "Infinite" shear
area.

The shear area is the effective cross sectional area which is used in the calculation of shear
deformations. In general, the shear area depends upon the shearing stress distribution, which in
turn depends upon the shape of the cross section.

For rolled steel sections, the major axis shear area is approximately equal to the area of the
web(s). For rectangular cross sections, the shear area is equal to A/1.2, where A is the gross area.
Values for other shapes are given in standard textbooks on strength of materials.

For most cross sections and materials, the shear deformations are negligible compared
to the flexural deformations. Therefore, the shear area can often be specified as infinite.

Principal angle
Angle (degrees) from principal axes to geometric axes in anti-clockwise direction. For example,
the principal angle is positive for single angle sections that have their horizontal leg pointing to
the left.

Section mark
Member mark used in connection detail drawings, marking plans, etc.

Member cross sections are always shown as if you are looking along the member from
the node B end to the node A end.

See also Section properties text.


See also Datasheet Input.
See also Member properties.
See also Plate properties.
See also View rendered model.

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Standard section libraries

Standard sections libraries are available for most countries and they include all I sections, H
sections, T sections, channels, angles, square tubes, rectangular tubes and circular tubes.

See also Standard library.

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Shape builder

You can open the shape builder by clicking the button in the Member Properties form.

The shape builder allows you to modify library shapes, combine library, standard and custom
shapes into built-up sections, and create standard and custom shapes. Standard shapes are easily
created by clicking on one of the standard shapes buttons and entering the desired dimensions.
For a custom shape, you are required to enter three or more coordinates and the shape builder will
display the shape and calculate the section properties.

You can add any shapes you create, including modified library sections, standard and custom
shapes, to a sections library at the click of a button. The shape builder displays the appearance of
the shape you have specified as well as calculating the section properties.

To operate the shape builder:

1. In the member properties form click the "Shape builder" button after entering a section
number and name.

2. To input a new shape, select the library button and choose a section or select the custom
shape button or a standard shape button.

3. To edit a shape, modify any of the dimensions for library or standard shapes, or modify the
perimeter coordinates for a custom shape.

4. Move or rotate the shape by entering an X, Y or β value.

5. Mirror the shape by clicking either of the mirror buttons.

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6. If you wish to create a built-up section then select another library, custom or standard shape.

To save your section for use in the current job click the Ok button.

To add your section to a custom library, click the button and then fill out the form that
appears below.

If a custom section library doesn’t yet exist or if you wish to create a new custom library, click
the button at the right of the "Library" field and then fill out the custom library’s details.
Similarly, if the library doesn’t yet contain any groups or if you wish to create a new group within
a custom library, click the button at the right of the "Group" field and then fill out the
group’s details.

Section properties input via the shape builder will be stored in your job as library or standard
shapes if possible. If this is not possible, such as when multiple shapes are combined or shapes
are rotated or mirrored, then they will be stored in your job as shape builder shapes. Library and
standard shapes can be shown in 3D when you turn on the rendered model, however shape builder
shapes can not.

Furthermore, the geometric data for non-standard or built-up shapes is not saved in SPACE
GASS text files or section library files. Therefore, if you save these types of sections into a library
via the shape builder, or if you export your job containing these types of sections to a text file,
you will be able to retrieve their section properties (ie. A, Ix, Iy, etc.) but not their cross section
shape.

The shape builder always shows the cross section as if you are looking along the member
from node B towards node A.

The section properties displayed apply to the whole section (ie. the sum of the composite
shapes in the display window).

See also Member properties.

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See also View rendered model.

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Flipping a section

If the properties of a section have been read from a library, SPACE GASS then asks if the section
has been flipped. This simply causes the section to have its major and minor section properties
transposed and allows the section to be used in the frame with its major axis parallel to the local
y-axis instead of the z-axis. In most cases, the major axis of a member is parallel to its local z-axis
(see also Coordinate systems).

When a section is flipped, the orientation of the local y and z axes are not affected. This
information is not required for sections with equal major and minor axis section properties.

Flipped section orientation

You can see from the diagram above that when the section is flipped, the y and z axes remain
unchanged. This method of flipping a section is different to applying a 90° direction angle to a
member. A direction angle rotates the local axes together with the section, while the above
method simply transposes the section properties. Note that the transposed properties apply to
every member which references the flipped section property number, while a direction angle
rotation affects only the member(s) to which it is applied.

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Column and beam Tee sections

Column Tees have the major axis parallel to the web and are therefore assumed to be lying on
their side with their flange vertical (assuming a zero direction angle and no flipping). They are
orientated at right angles to normal beam Tees which have the major axis parallel to the flange.

Tee section orientation

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Angle sections

For angle sections, you can specify single or double angle sections.

Choices are: Single angle,


Double angle with short legs connected,
Double angle with long legs connected,
Double angle starred (equal angles only).

Angle section orientation

The diagrams above show the orientation of a single angle section and the available double angle
sections. Note that the z-axis is the major axis in all cases.

For equal angles, specifying a double angle section with either short or long legs
connected has the same effect and always results in a section as shown at the top-right above.

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Material property data

You can display the material property data for a member by clicking the button in the
Member Properties form. The material property data for a plate is always shown in the Plate
Properties form.

Material properties must be input for each type of member or plate material in the model. Each
material property describes the properties of a single isotropic material.

Material
There are two fields, one for the material property number and the other for the material name.
Material property numbers do not have to be sequential or in any particular order. The material
name is used as a description for the material, and as a reference for materials which have been
read from a library.

E
Value of Young’s Modulus for the material.

Poisson’s
Value of Poisson’s Ratio for the material.

Mass Dens
Mass density, required only for self weight calculations.

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Temp Coeff
The coefficient of thermal expansion, required only for thermal loads. You must ensure that this
is appropriate for the temperature units you have selected (see also Units).

F’c
Characteristic concrete strength, required only for concrete materials. Is used only in the SPACE
GASS concrete design modules.

See also Material properties text.


See also Datasheet Input.
See also Member properties.
See also Plate properties.

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Master-slave constraint data

You can display the master-slave constraints data for a node by clicking the button in the
Node Properties form.

Master-slave constraints allow you to connect nodes together with imaginary links so that they
translate and/or rotate together. The degree of constraint can be varied so that any or all of the six
degrees of freedom of a node can be linked to another node. For example, it is possible to connect
two nodes together with a 3D rigid link, a 2D rigid link, a 2D translational link, a 2D rotational
link, a 1D translational link, a 1D rotational link or any other combination of the six degrees of
freedom.

A node which is linked to another node is termed a "slave node" and the node to which it
is linked is termed its "master node". A master node can have many slave nodes, however a slave
node can have only one master node. A typical frame can have many slave nodes and many
master nodes. A master node cannot be the slave of another master node. A slave node
constrained DOF cannot be a support (restraint).

A constraint link between a slave node and its master node not only affects the movements of the
slave but also the master.

Node
Slave node to be constrained.

Master node
The node to which the slave node is to be constrained. You can select a master node by clicking
the "Select" button and then choosing a node.

Constraint code
Master-slave constraints are controlled by a six character constraint code which specifies the
exact constraint relationship between a slave node and its master. The six characters of the
constraint code correspond to translational constraint along X, Y and Z and rotational constraint
about X, Y and Z respectively. "F" represents fixed (constrained) and "R" represents released
(unconstrained).

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In order to illustrate how the constraint code works, we will consider some typical examples of
constraints in the global XY plane. Please note that the following examples apply equally to the
XZ and YZ planes also.

When considering the XY plane, the only significant characters in the constraint code are the first,
second and sixth. These correspond to translation along X and Y, and rotation about Z. When
considering the XZ plane, only the first, third and fifth characters apply, and when considering
the YZ plane, only the second, third and fourth characters apply.

If a slave node has a constraint code of "RFxxxR" (where xxx could be any combination of F’s
and R’s) then its Y-axis translation will be the same as its master node. Note that the X-axis
translation and the Z-axis rotation of the slave node will be completely independent and in no
way affected by its master node. This can be represented by the simple constraint equation Dys =
Dym, where Dys is the slave Y-axis translation and Dym is the master Y-axis translation.
Similarly, if a slave node has a constraint code of "RRxxxF" then its Z-axis rotation will be the
same as its master node and the X-axis and Y-axis translations will be independent. The
constraint equation in this case is Rzs = Rzm, where Rzs is the slave Z-axis rotation and Rzm is
the master Z-axis rotation.
A slightly different situation occurs if both a translational degree of freedom and a rotational
degree of freedom are constrained. An example of this is a constraint code of "FFxxxF". In this
case, the constraint code effectively places a 2D imaginary rigid member between the slave node
and its master so that the translations of the slave node are a function of both the translations and
the rotation of the master node. The constraint equations in this case are

Dxs = Dxm-Ly*Rzm
Dys = Dym+Lx*Rzm
Rzs = Rzm

where Lx and Ly are the horizontal and vertical components of the distance between the slave and
master nodes.

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Constraint movements

The following list shows some common constraint codes.

FRRRRR X translation constrained (Dxs=Dxm)


RFRRRR Y translation constrained (Dys=Dym)
RRFRRR Z translation constrained (Dzs=Dzm)
RRRFRR X rotation constrained (Rxs=Rxm)
RRRRFR Y rotation constrained (Rys=Rym)
RRRRRF Z rotation constrained (Rzs=Rzm)
FFFRRR X, Y and Z translations constrained (Dxs=Dxm)
(Dys=Dym)
(Dzs=Dzm)
RRRFFF X, Y and Z rotations constrained (Rxs=Rxm)
(Rys=Rym)
(Rzs=Rzm)
FFRRRF Rigid link in XY plane (Dxs=Dxm-Ly*Rzm)
(Dys=Dym+Lx*Rzm)
(Rzs=Rzm)
FRFRFR Rigid link in XZ plane (Dzs=Dzm-Lx*Rym)
(Dxs=Dxm+Lz*Rym)
(Rys=Rym)
RFFFRR Rigid link in YZ plane (Dys=Dym-Lz*Rxm)
(Dzs=Dzm+Ly*Rxm)
(Rxs=Rxm)
FFFFFF Rigid link in all planes (Dxs=Dxm-
Ly*Rzm+Lz*Rym)

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(Dys=Dym+Lx*Rzm-
Lz*Rxm)
(Dzs=Dzm-
Lx*Rym+Ly*Rxm)
(Rxs=Rxm)
(Rys=Rym)
(Rzs=Rzm)

Any further combinations of the six character constraint code can also be specified.

The following diagrams show the effect that each of the XY plane constraints have. The effects
shown apply equally to the XZ and YZ planes also. Note that constraint codes for any of the three
planes can be combined together as can be seen in the examples above.

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Typical constraint links

Master-slave constraints can be used to great advantage in many structures. They are particularly
useful for modelling floor slabs in three dimensional frames. A typical floor slab may displace
and rotate in plan as a unit but its plan dimensions do not change due to its large in-plane rigidity.
This could be modelled in SPACE GASS by using one of the perimeter nodes in a typical floor
slab as the master node for that floor and specifying all of the other perimeter nodes in that floor
to be slaves of the master node in the in-plane (XZ plane) directions using a constraint code of
"FRFRFR". Thus all nodes in the floor would move as a unit in the in-plane (horizontal plane in
this case) directions. They would still, however be free to move independently in the out-of-plane
(vertical) direction.

Rigid diaphragm modelled with constraints

Another example is the case of wind bracing or a scissor lift where two continuous members
cross each other and are connected to each other with a bolt or pin. The pin transfers shear from
one member to the other but not moment so that the members are free to rotate about the pin
independently.

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Scissor lift modelled with constraints

This situation is very difficult to model in a frame analysis program unless a constraint facility is
available. Using a master-slave constraint, it is a simple matter to locate two nodes on the same
point where the two members cross. One of the members would be connected to the first node
and the other member would be connected to the second node. Assuming that the frame was in
the XY plane, a constraint code of "FFRRRR" could then be used to force the two nodes to
translate together but rotate independently.

A third example of a common master-slave constraints application is in the modelling of a shear


wall. A column of nodes consisting of one master and the rest slaves could be used to form the
wall itself. Any other nodes connected directly to the wall could also be slaves of the master.
Assuming that the wall was in the XY plane, a constraint code of "FFRRRF" could be used.

Another situation which is difficult to model without using a master-slave constraint occurs when
two members of different depths are connected together end-to-end such that their centrelines do
not line up. In such cases a node could be placed at the end of each member and then a master-
slave constraint could be used to join the two nodes together with a rigid link.

In some situations, short stiff members could be used as an alternative to constraint links,
however they would be susceptible to ill-conditioning problems, particularly if they were very
stiff in comparison to other members in the structure.

Master-slave constraints do not suffer from ill-conditioning problems, regardless of how


short the links are.

See also Master-slave constraints text.


See also Datasheet Input.
See also Node properties.
See also View node / member / plate properties.

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Member offset data

You can display the offsets data for a member by clicking the button in the Member
Properties form.

Choices are: Local,


Global.

It is possible to specify a rigid member segment that doesn’t deform under bending at each end of
a member. These rigid segments have infinite stiffness for bending, shear and axial deformations.
Member offsets are very useful for modelling the very stiff area at the interconnection of
members (especially stiff members such as large steel members or concrete members).

Member offsets

For example, the rectangular reinforced concrete frame shown above on the left could be
modelled quite accurately with SPACE GASS using a model similar to the one shown on the
right. Each member in the model has short member offsets at each end where intersecting
members overlap.

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Y
Rigid end offsets
yb

zb xb
B
ya

za xa
A

X
Z

Specifying 3D member offsets

Member offsets are also very useful in situations where the centrelines of connected members do
not intersect at a node. For example, the diagonal brace members of a plane truss may intersect
below the top chord centreline. Member offsets could be used to allow for this.

Member offsets could also be used to model the centreline mismatch when members of different
depths are connected end-to-end with "top-of-steel" alignment.

The ends of a member with "local" offsets are offset relative to an axis connecting the end
nodes of the member rather than being relative to the axis of the member in its final position.

! IMPORTANT NOTE !
Be careful when sub-dividing members that have local offsets because the direction of the axis
that the offsets are relative to will change when any intermediate nodes are added.

See also Member offset text.


See also Datasheet Input.
See also Member properties.
See also View node / member / plate properties.

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Node load data

Concentrated forces and moments may be applied to any node along or about the global X, Y and
Z axis directions. If a load is applied to a restrained degree of freedom then that load is simply
added to the final reaction.

Node loads may be applied in any number of load cases and may be combined with other load
types within the same load case.

Case
Load case to contain node loads.

Node
Node to be loaded.

X, Y and Z forces
Node forces (global axes).

X, Y and Z moments
Node moments (global axes).

See also Node loads text.


See also Datasheet Input.
See also Node loads.
See also View diagrams.

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Prescribed node displacement data

Prescribed node displacements allow you to specify known displacements and/or rotations to
nodes. They can be very useful for situations where a frame deflects by a fixed and known
amount such as settlement of a support for example.

Prescribed displacements may only be applied to restrained (fixed or deleted) degrees of


freedom, otherwise they are ignored.

Prescribed node displacements may be applied in any number of load cases and may be combined
with other load types within the same load case. It is important to note that like all other load
types, prescribed node displacements do not have any effect on load cases other than the ones in
which they are input.

Case
Load case to contain prescribed displacements.

Node
Node to be displaced.

X, Y and Z translations
Node translations (global axes).

X, Y and Z rotations
Node rotations (global axes).

See also Prescribed node displacements text.


See also Datasheet Input.
See also Prescribed node displacements.
See also View diagrams.

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Member concentrated load data

Concentrated forces and moments may be applied to members in either the global or the local
axes systems. Such loads can act along or about any of the three axis directions and can be
located at any point along the member.

Member concentrated loads may be applied in any number of load cases and may be combined
with other load types within the same load case.

Case
Load case to contain concentrated member loads.

Member
Member to be loaded.

Sub load
This allows you to reference multiple concentrated loads on a member in the same load case.
Each load is given a sub load number (different to a load case number). For example five
concentrated loads applied to a member within the same load case would have sub load numbers
of 1,2,3,4 and 5 respectively. Unless there are multiple loads applied to a single member within
the same load case, the sub load number should be 1.

Axes
Axes system in which loads are referenced.

Choices are: Local,


Global.

Units
Units system in which load positions are referenced.

Choices are: Actual,


Percentage.

Position
The load position is defined as the distance from node A to the load. Depending on the "Units
system" selected, this distance may be expressed as an absolute length or as a percentage of the
member length. Thus, a member 600mm long with a load at midspan could have the load position
specified as 300mm or as 50%.

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X, Y and Z forces
Member concentrated forces.

X, Y and Z moments
Member concentrated moments.

See also Member concentrated loads text.


See also Datasheet Input.
See also Member concentrated loads.
See also View diagrams.

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Member distributed force data

Member distributed forces can be input in the local or global axes systems and can act along any
of the three axis directions.

Distributed forces may start and finish at any point along the member length and may vary in
intensity from start to finish. Thus, it is possible to apply uniform, trapezoidal, or triangular
distributed loads.

Member distributed forces may be applied in any load case and may be combined with other load
types within the same load case.

! IMPORTANT NOTE !
For "Local" or "Global Inclined" loads, the total load is equal to the load per unit length
multiplied by the actual distance between the load start and finish positions. For "Global
Projected" loads, the total load is equal to the load per unit length multiplied by the projected
distance between the load start and finish positions.

! IMPORTANT NOTE !
For cable members, distributed forces must be uniform and extend over the entire length of the
cable. For "Global Inclined" UDLs applied to cable members, the total load is equal to the
load per unit length multiplied by the unstrained cable length (which may not be equal to the
distance between the cable’s end nodes). For "Global Projected" UDLs applied to cable
members, the total load is equal to the load per unit length multiplied by the projected distance
between the cable’s end nodes.

Case
Load case to contain distributed member forces.

Member
Member to be loaded.

Sub load
This allows you to reference multiple distributed loads on a member in the same load case. Each
load is given a sub load number (different to a load case number). For example two distributed
loads applied to a member within the same load case would have sub load numbers of 1 and 2
respectively. Unless there are multiple loads applied to a single member within the same load
case, the sub load number should be 1.

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Axes
Axes system in which loads are referenced. There are two global axes systems which may be
used. When the axes are designated as "Global projected" the load acts over the projected length
of the member, while a "Global inclined" load acts over the actual length of the member.

Choices are: Local,


Global projected,
Global inclined.

Units
Units system in which load positions are referenced.

Choices are: Actual,


Percentage.

Start and finish positions


The load start and finish positions are taken relative to node A. Depending on the "Units system"
selected, this distance may be expressed as an absolute length or percentage of the member
length. Thus, a member 600mm long with a load that extends from the 150mm mark to the end
could have the load start position specified as 150mm or as 25%, and the load finish position
specified as 600mm or as 100%. The finish position must always be greater than start.

X, Y and Z start and finish forces


Start and finish member distributed forces.

See also Member distributed forces text.


See also Datasheet Input.
See also Member distributed forces.
See also View diagrams.
See also Cable members.

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Member distributed torsion data

Member distributed torsion loads are similar to member distributed forces except they may only
be applied about the local x-axis. The load intensity may be varied between the start and finish
positions. Member distributed torsions may be applied in any load case and may be combined
with other load types within the same load case.

Case
Load case to contain distributed member torsions.

Member
Member to be loaded.

Sub load
This allows you to reference multiple distributed torsions on a member in the same load case.
Each load is given a sub load number (different to a load case number). For example two
distributed torsions applied to a member within the same load case would have sub load numbers
of 1 and 2 respectively. Unless there are multiple loads applied to a single member within the
same load case, the sub load number should be 1.

Units
Units system in which load positions are referenced.

Choices are: Actual,


Percentage.

Start and finish positions


The load start and finish positions are taken relative to node A. Depending on the "Units system"
selected, this distance may be expressed as an absolute length or percentage of the member
length. Thus, a member 600mm long with a load that extends from the 150mm mark to the end
could have the load start position specified as 150mm or as 25%, and the load finish position
specified as 600mm or as 100%. The finish position must always be greater than start.

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Start and finish torsion load


Start and finish member distributed torsion load.

See also Member distributed torsions text.


See also Datasheet Input.
See also Member distributed torsions.
See also View diagrams.

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Thermal load data

A thermal load can be applied to a member by specifying a temperature change, while a thermal
load can be applied to a plate in the form of a temperature change or a thermal gradient across its
thickness. Thermal loads act over the entire length of the members or area of the plates to which
they are applied.

Thermal loads may be applied in any load case and may be combined with other load types within
the same load case.

Case
Load case to contain thermal loads.

Element
Member or plate to be loaded.

Thermal load
Uniform temperature change.

Thermal gradient (plates only)


Thermal gradient across plate thickness. A positive thermal gradient causes the top (positive z-
axis) face of the plate to expand and the bottom face to contract.

Unlike other load types, you can apply thermal loads to non-
existent members or plates without causing an analysis error. Such loads are simply ignored
during the analysis phase. For example, in order to apply a uniform 10° temperature change to
an entire structure with a highest member number of less than 100, you could simply generate
10° thermal loads on members 1-100 without concerning yourself about possible gaps in the
member numbering sequence.

See also Thermal loads text.


See also Datasheet Input.

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See also Thermal loads.


See also View diagrams.

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Member prestress data

A prestress can be applied to a member by specifying a tensile or compressive force. Prestress


loads act over the entire length of the members on which they are applied.

It is possible to model prestress loads with equivalent thermal loads and vice-versa, however this
is generally unnecessary because they can both be applied directly in SPACE GASS.

Prestress loads may be applied in any load case and may be combined with other load types
within the same load case.

Case
Load case to contain prestress loads.

Member
Member to be loaded.

Prestress force
The prestress force is positive for compression or negative for tension.

In some instances, you may wish to apply a prestress load to a


cable member instead of specifying a non-zero unstrained cable length. The prestress load P that
is equivalent to an unstrained cable length L is given by the equation:

where D = chord length,


A = cross sectional area,
E = Young’s modulus of elasticity.

See also Member prestress loads text.

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See also Datasheet Input.


See also Member prestress loads.
See also Cable members.
See also View diagrams.

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Plate pressure data

Pressure loads may be applied to plates in either the global or the local axes systems. Such loads
can act along or about any of the three axis directions and always extend over the entire plate
surface.

Plate pressure loads may be applied in any number of load cases and may be combined with other
load types within the same load case.

Case
Load case to contain plate pressure loads.

Plate
Plate to be loaded.

Axes
Axes system in which loads are referenced.

Choices are: Local,


Global.

X, Y and Z pressure
Plate pressure loads.

Plate pressure loads can be input graphically as explained in Plate pressure loads or, for variable
pressure loads such as hydrostatic or wind loads, the Varying plate pressure loads tool can be
used.

See also Plate pressure loads text.


See also Datasheet Input.
See also Plate pressure loads.
See also Varying plate pressure loads.
See also View diagrams.

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Self weight data

Self weight loads are considered as forces and moments in a static analysis and as masses in a
dynamic analysis.

Self weight can be automatically generated by the program if an acceleration (such as gravity) is
specified. Acceleration may be specified along any of the three global axis directions. Note that
self weight will only be considered if non-zero mass densities are specified in the material
property data.

When self weight loads are used as masses in a dynamic analysis, the direction and magnitude of
the X, Y and Z accelerations are ignored. The process simply involves calculating the mass of
each member and then applying half of it as translational lumped masses to each of the member
end nodes in each of the unrestrained X, Y and Z global axis directions.

Self weight may be applied in any load case and may be combined with other load types within
the same load case.

Case
Load case to contain self weight.

X, Y and Z acceleration
Acceleration applied to the entire structure. See Units for the appropriate acceleration units that
apply.

See also Self weight text.


See also Datasheet Input.
See also Self weight.
See also Cable members.

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Combination load case data

All loads applied to a structure are always input via primary load cases. Further load cases can be
created by combining the various primary load cases into combination load cases.

Combination load cases can be combined into further combination load cases.

Combination case
Load case to be formed. Cannot be equal to a primary load case.

Case
Load case to be factored and combined into the combination. This can be a primary load case or a
combination load case.

Multiplying factor
The multiplying factor applied to the primary load case when it is combined.

Consider for example a structure that is to be analysed for the following combination load cases
10, 11 and 12.

Load case 1: Self weight (SW)


Load case 2: Floor load (LL1)
Load case 3: Roof traffic (LL2)
Load case 4: Cladding (CL)
Load case 5: Wind load (WL)
Load case 20: 1.25*DL + 1.50*LL
Load case 21: 0.80*DL + 1.50*LL
Load case 22: 0.80*DL + 1.00*WL,
where DL = SW + CL
LL = LL1 + LL2

The desired combination load cases could then be made up as follows.

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Load case 10 (DL): 1.00*Load case 1 + 1.00*Load case 4


Load case 11 (LL): 1.00*Load case 2 + 1.00*Load case 3
Load case 20: 1.25*Load case 10 + 1.50*Load case 11
Load case 21: 0.80*Load case 10 + 1.50*Load case 11
Load case 22: 0.80*Load case 10 + 1.00*Load case 5

Note that for a linear analysis, it is not necessary to analyse the combination load cases. They can
be calculated by simple linear superposition of the primary load case results during the output
phase. For a non-linear (2nd order) analysis, however the simple linear superposition rules don’t
apply and combination load cases have to be fully analysed and treated in the same way as
primary load cases.

For this reason, SPACE GASS allows you to decide whether or not to analyse the combination
load cases and treat them the same as primary load cases or to not analyse them and have them
calculated by simple linear superposition during the output phase. You can specify the load cases
that you want analysed by listing them at the start of the analysis phase. For example, if you have
primary load cases 1,2,3 and 4, and combination load cases 10,11 and 12, you could analyse just
the primaries by entering 1-4 for the load cases list.

If you are doing a dynamic response analysis, you should create a reverse combination
load case for each spectral load case. You may also have to create further combinations to
combine the spectral load cases with different direction vectors. For more information refer to
“Spectral load data”.

SPACE GASS will not allow a combination load case to be a simple linear combination
of analysed primary load cases if any of the primaries have been analysed non-linearly or if the
frame contains tension-only or compression-only members. In this case the combination load
case must be analysed.

You can modify the combination load case data and obtain new
results without re-analysing the structure, however this only applies to linear superposition
combinations. Results for analysed combinations are deleted if the combination load case data is
changed.

See also Combination load cases text.


See also Datasheet Input.
See also Combination load cases.

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Load case title data

Load case titles serve the purpose of creating clearer, more understandable output. Primary or
combination load cases may be given titles.

Case
Load case to have title defined.

Title
A description of the load case.

Notes
Notes that allow you to describe the load case in more detail.

See also Load case titles text.


See also Datasheet Input.

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Lumped mass data

Lumped masses are considered in a dynamic analysis and are ignored in a static analysis.
Translational or rotational masses can be applied to any node along or about the global X, Y and
Z axis directions. If a mass is applied to a restrained degree of freedom then that mass is simply
ignored during the dynamic frequency analysis.

Masses may be applied in any load cases and may be combined with static loads within the same
load case, although it is often a good idea to put masses in load cases of their own (ie. not in with
static loads) so that they can be isolated in graphics displays or output reports.

Self mass can be added to the lumped masses by either by adding self-weight to a load case that
contains lumped masses or by combining lumped mass and self-weight load cases into a
combination load case.

Case
Load case to contain lumped masses.

Node
Node to have masses applied.

X, Y and Z translational masses


Translational masses (global axes).

X, Y and Z rotational masses


Rotational masses (global axes).

The application of lumped masses


A mass that affects the natural frequencies of a structure must be applied in each of the
unrestrained directions of the node to which it is attached. For example, a 0.5 tonne machine
which is attached to a point on a building rafter has an inertia in each of the X, Y and Z directions
and effects the natural frequencies of the building in all three directions. It must therefore be
applied as 0.5 tonne X, Y and Z translational masses.

! IMPORTANT NOTE !

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Lumped masses are not the same as loads and therefore cannot be calculated by simply
converting loads to mass units. Masses represent the structure and/or attachments to the
structure which move and rotate with it and which effect its natural frequencies. Some types of
loads would have to be input as lumped masses while others would not. For example, dead
loads and 30-100% of live loads would normally affect the natural frequencies of a structure,
however wind loads would not.

The inertia of the structure could be modelled in one of the following two ways:

Translational masses
Consider a rigid floor slab. You could model the distribution of mass by placing a small
translational mass at each node in the slab (the sum of all node masses equalling the total mass of
the slab).

Translational and rotational masses


You could also model the rigid floor slab by lumping all of the translational mass and a rotational
mass at the centroid of the slab.

In the first approach, the rotational inertia would be provided by the action of each of the small
translational masses being a distance away from the centroid of the slab. In the second approach,
the rotational inertia would be provided directly by the rotational mass at the centroid of the slab.
It is usually more convenient and just as accurate to use the second approach.

The rotational mass for a point at the centroid of a rectangle is

where m is the mass of the rectangle, and a and b are the dimensions of the rectangle.

The concept of rotational mass, together with formulae for calculating rotational masses at
various locations on rectangles and other shapes, is given in Clough and Penzien (10).

Self mass
It is not necessary to manually input lumped masses for the self mass of the structure because self
mass can automatically be considered by simply adding self-weight to one or more load cases.
However, automatic self mass generation does not calculate rotational masses because of the
large number of extra masses that would be generated for a fairly insignificant improvement in
results accuracy. If required, rotational self mass must be manually applied as rotational lumped
masses.

In order to adequately define the distribution of mass along members for which local vibrations
are important, it is sometimes necessary to add intermediate nodes (with masses applied) to such
members.

See also Lumped masses text.


See also Self-weight.
See also Datasheet Input.
See also Lumped masses.
See also View diagrams.

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See also Dynamic frequency analysis.


See also Running a dynamic frequency analysis.

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Spectral load data

In order to perform a response spectrum analysis, you must first create one or more spectral load
cases. A spectral load case contains the number of a mass load case, a direction vector and a list
of mode shapes, each with its associated spectral curve and damping factor. Spectral load cases
can be combined and multiple spectral load cases can be analysed simultaneously.

The mode shapes must have been calculated from a dynamic frequency analysis before
the response spectrum analysis can proceed.

Case
The spectral load case being created.

Mode
A mode shape being included in the spectral load case. Multiple mode shapes can be included in a
single spectral load case by simply inputting multiple entries (lines) with the same spectral load
case number. A particular mode shape can appear only once in each spectral load case.

In the spectral analysis, it is important to consider a sufficient number of mode shapes. SPACE
GASS provides a very efficient means of measuring the contribution of each mode shape in the
overall dynamic response. This is known as the mass participation factor. For example, for an
earthquake acting in the X direction, the total X-axis mass participation factor should be greater
than 90% (AS1170.4 clause 7.4.2). If it is less than 90% then a few more mode shapes should be
included in the analysis. A small mass participation factor will indicate inaccurate results. For
more information, refer to “Dynamic response analysis results”.

Spectral curve
The name of the spectral curve to be used with the specified mode shape. Within a spectral load
case, each mode shape can have a different spectral curve if required.

Damping
The damping factor associated with the nominated spectral curve. This value is built into each
spectral curve when it was derived and cannot be changed. It is included in the datasheet for
display purposes only.

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Mass case
The mass load case for which the specified mode shapes have been (or will be) calculated from a
dynamic frequency analysis.

Direction vector
Defines the direction of the ground vibration. For example, an earthquake acting in the X
direction would have a direction vector of Dx=1.0, Dy=0.0 and Dz=0.0.

Note that for AS1170.4 and NZS4203, if auto-scaling of the base shear is activated, the direction
vector should be parallel to one of the horizontal global axes. For these codes, to model a
direction vector that is at an angle to the horizontal global axes, you should create a separate
spectral load case for each of the horizontal global axis directions and then combine them into a
combination load case using multiplying factors that are proportional to the projected lengths of
the desired direction vector.

Load cases
For building structures, it is common to input two spectral load cases per mass load case, one for
each of the orthogonal horizontal directions. Furthermore, if the loading code requires you to
consider a combination of the two orthogonal directions (ie. AS1170.4-2007 5.4.2.1 or
NZS1170.5-2004 5.3.1) then further load cases may also be required. Finally, because the
dynamic vibrations oscillate from one side to the other, it is also necessary to consider the reverse
of all of the above load cases.

For example, consider two basic spectral load cases defined for a particular mass load case as
follows:

Load case 21 = Direction vector 1,0,0 (ie. earthquake in X-axis direction)


Load case 22 = Direction vector 0,0,1 (ie. earthquake in Z-axis direction)

If the loading code requires further combinations of the above load cases in the form of 100% of
the actions in one direction plus 30% of the actions in the perpendicular direction then further
load cases are required. These are most conveniently input as combination load cases as follows:

Load case 23 = 1.0 x case 21 + 0.3 x case 22


Load case 24 = 1.0 x case 21 - 0.3 x case 22
Load case 25 = 1.0 x case 22 + 0.3 x case 21
Load case 26 = 1.0 x case 22 - 0.3 x case 21

Finally, the reverse of the all the above load cases must be defined as further combination load
cases as follows:

Load case 31 = -1.0 x Load case 21


Load case 32 = -1.0 x Load case 22
Load case 33 = -1.0 x Load case 23
Load case 34 = -1.0 x Load case 24
Load case 35 = -1.0 x Load case 25
Load case 36 = -1.0 x Load case 26

Thus, each pair of basic spectral load cases can spawn up to a further ten combination load cases.

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The structure should be designed to resist the envelope of all load cases.

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Spectral curve editor

You can open the spectral curve editor by opening the "Spectral Load Data" datasheet from the
Loads menu and then clicking the button.

You can select the desired spectral curve from the tree in the left-hand window and observe its
data values in the right-hand window. You can also click the spectral curve editor button (next to
the Ok button) to load and display the spectral curve editor as shown below.

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The spectral curve editor can be used to input or edit curves in the spectral curve library. Note,
however, that the standard curves supplied with SPACE GASS can’t be changed. The editor
allows you to create a spectral curve that will result in the most accurate analysis possible.

Operation of the spectral curve editor is self-explanatory and simply involves selecting a curve
name and then inputting or modifying its properties. Each curve contains a set of period versus
acceleration pairs, a description and a damping factor.

You can go to a specific point in a curve by clicking near it in the graphics window or by
scrolling to and selecting it in the list box. The currently selected point in the list box is
highlighted by a small circle in the graphics window. You can add (or delete) points by clicking
the buttons below the list box.

See also Standard Libraries for general information about the operation of the library editor.

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Importing a spectral curve

You can import a spectral curve directly into the spectral curve editor by clicking the "Import
curve" button in the spectral curve editor. When activated a form appears prompting you for the
desired spectral curves text file. Select the appropriate file to continue with the import.

In order to successfully import a spectral curve into the spectral curve editor you must ensure that
you use the correct format in the text file.

The correct format is as follows:

Line 1 Description:Damping factor


Line 2 period,acceleration {for point 1}
Line 3 period,acceleration {for point 2}
Line 4 period,acceleration {for point 3}
…etc.
…etc.
Line n period,acceleration {for point n-1}
Line n+1 period,acceleration {for point n}

For example:

AS1170.4 S=1.0:5%
0.00,2.5
0.01,2.5
0.02,2.5


2.99,0.602276
3.00,0.600937

See also Spectral loads text.


See also Datasheet Input.
See also Dynamic response analysis.
See also Running a dynamic response analysis.

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Area load data

The area loads tool generates member distributed forces based on pressure loads applied to areas
defined by members that you have selected. For more information see Area loads and Member
distributed forces.

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Moving load data

The moving loads tool generates node loads and member concentrated loads based on one or
more moving vehicles. For more information refer to "Moving loads", "Node load data" and
"Member concentrated load data".

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Text file input


Select "Import from text" or "Export to text" from the File menu

Inputting data into SPACE GASS via a text file is sometimes faster than using datasheet input,
however it is not as user friendly and is not recommended for first time users of SPACE GASS.

You can use Windows Notepad to edit or create text files. The text editor linked to SPACE GASS
can be started by choosing "Text editor" from the File menu.

SPACE GASS text file names have the form <name>.TXT, where <name> is any name. The text
file should be located in the text data folder as created during the installation procedure.

If a large proportion of the data for a job has to be modified and


you do not wish to use the normal editing facilities, the data can be put into a text file which can
then be edited using a word processor or text editor, and then imported back into SPACE GASS.

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Text file format


Each data group in a SPACE GASS text file must be preceded by a title line. The title line
describes the type of data in the lines to follow. For example, the node data would be preceded by
"NODES". When reading text files the program uses only the first six characters of each title line,
therefore when creating text files you can abbreviate title lines to their first six characters.

It is possible to repeat data throughout the data file. Single items or whole groups can be repeated.
In such cases the last entry overrides any previous entries. For example, if node coordinates were
entered at the top of the file and then updated at the end, the last group would override the first.
This practice, however is not recommended.

Groups of data do not have to be input in any particular order. The program recognises the data
types by their title lines rather than their order of appearance.

• Items within a line must be separated by commas.


• Lines can be continued on the next line if they end with the "&" character.
• The maximum length of a single line is 1024 characters.
• The maximum length of a set of continued lines is 2048 characters.
• Comment lines must begin with the "#" character.
• Blank lines are permitted anywhere in the file.
• Non-numeric items that contain commas must be enclosed in "quotes".

Real numbers in SPACE GASS text files no longer need to contain a decimal point.
Furthermore, all numbers in SPACE GASS text files can now be up to 15 digits long (they were
previously limited to 10 digits).

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Initiator

Line 1: SPACE GASS Text File - Version 900


Line 2: UNITS LENGTH:Len, SECTION:SecProp,
STRENGTH:MatStr, DENSITY:Dens, TEMP:Temp,
FORCE:Force, MOMENT:Mom, MASS:Mass,
ACC:Acc, TRANS:Trans, STRESS:Stress

Len Length units (ft, in, m, cm or mm) (Chars)


SecProp Section property units (ft, in, m, cm or mm) (Chars)
MatStr Material strength units (Ksf, Psf, Ksi, Psi, MPa, kPa, (Chars)
Pa, kg/m^2, kg/cm^2, kg/mm^2)
Dens Mass density units (K/ft^3, K/in^3, lb/ft^3, lb/in^3, (Chars)
T/m^3, T/cm^3, T/mm^3, kg/m^3, kg/cm^3, kg/mm^3)
Temp Temperature units (Fahrenheit, Celsius) (Chars)
Force Force units (K, lb, kN, N, kg) (Chars)
Mom Moment units (Kft, Kin, lbft, lbin, kNm, kNcm, (Chars)
kNmm,
Nm, Ncm, Nmm, kgm, kgcm, kgmm)
Mass Mass units (K, lb, T, kg) (Chars)
Acc Acceleration units (g's, ft/sec^2, in/sec^2, m/sec^2, (Chars)
cm/sec^2, mm/sec^2, kN/kg)
Trans Translation units (ft, in, m, cm, mm) (Chars)
Stress Stress units (Ksf, Psf, Ksi, Psi, MPa, kPa, Pa, (Chars)
kg/m^2, kg/cm^2, kg/mm^2)

See also Units.

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Reference Manual SPACE GASS 10.8

Headings text

Line 1: HEADINGS
Line 2: Project
Line 3: Job
Line 4: Designer
Line 5: Notes

Project Project description (50 Char)


Job Job description (50 Char)
Designer Designer’s initials (3 Char)
Notes Job notes (1024 Char)

If any of the heading lines have no data then they should be entered as just a pair of quotes (eg.
"") rather than just being a blank line.

See also Headings.

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Nodes text

Line 1: NODES
Next n lines: Node,X,Y,Z,Gen1,Ndi1,Rot,Ai,Xi1,Yi1,Zi1,
Gen2,Ndi2,Xi2,Yi2,Zi2

Node Node number (Integer)


X X coordinate (Real)
Y Y coordinate (Real)
Z Z coordinate (Real)
Gen1 # of 1st order nodes to be generated (Integer)
Ndi1 1st order node number increment (Integer)
Rot Axis of rot. for arc or helix generation (X/Y/Z) (1 Char)
Ai Angle increment for arc or helix generation (Real)
Xi1 1st order X increment (Real)
Yi1 1st order Y increment (Real)
Zi1 1st order Z increment (Real)
Gen2 # of 2nd order nodes to be generated (Integer)
Ndi2 2nd order node number increment (Integer)
Xi2 2nd order X increment (Real)
Yi2 2nd order Y increment (Real)
Zi2 2nd order Z increment (Real)

For straight line generation, Ai should be zero. For arc or helix generation, Rot is the axis of
rotation, Ai is the angle increment and Xi1, Yi1, Zi1 are the centre of rotation and the helix length
increment. For example, if a helix is generated about the Y-axis, then Yi1 is the helix length
increment. For arc generation the helix length increment is 0.

Rot choices are "X"=X-axis, "Y"=Y-axis, "Z"=Z-axis.

See also Nodes.

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Members text

Line 1: MEMBERS
Next n lines: Mem,DirAng,DirNode,DirAxis,Type,Na,Nb,Sp,Mp,
Fa,Fb,Ya,SZa,SYb,SZb,Cab,Gen1,Mbi1,Nai1,Nbi1,
Gen2,Mbi2,Nai2,Nbi2

Mem Member number (Integer)


DirAng Direction angle (Real)
DirNode Direction node (Integer)
DirAxis Direction axis (2 Char)
Type Member type (N/T/C/A) (1 Char)
Na Node number A (Integer)
Nb Node number B (Integer)
Sp Section property number (Integer)
Mp Material property number (Integer)
Fa Node A fixity (F/R/S) (6 Char)
Fb Node B fixity (F/R/S) (6 Char)
SYa Y rotational stiffness at node A (Real)
SZa Z rotational stiffness at node A (Real)
Syb Y rotational stiffness at node B (Real)
SZb Y rotational stiffness at node B (Real)
Cab Cable length (Real)
Gen1 # of 1st order members to be generated (Integer)
Mbil 1st order member number increment (Integer)
Nail 1st order node A increment (Integer)
Nbil 1st order node B increment (Integer)
Gen2 # of 2nd order members to be generated (Integer)
Mbi2 2nd order member number increment (Integer)
Nai2 2nd order node A increment (Integer)
Nbi2 2nd order node B increment (Integer)

Type choices are "N"=Normal, "T"=Tension-only, "C"=Compression-only, "A"=Cable.

Fa, Fb choices are "F"=Fixed, "R"=Released. "S"=Spring can also be used for the y and z
rotational fixities.

See also Members.

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Plates text
Line 1: PLATES
Next n lines: Plate,DirAng,DirNode,DirAxis,Type,Na,Nb,Nc,Nd,
TA,TM,TB,TS,Mat,Offset,Gen,PInc,NInc

Plate Plate number (Integer)


DirAng Direction angle (Real)
DirNode Direction node (Integer)
DirAxis Direction axis (2 Char)
Type Plate type (K/M) (1 Char)
Na Node number A (Integer)
Nb Node number B (Integer)
Nc Node number C (Integer)
Nd Node number D (Integer)
TA Actual thickness (Real)
TM Membrane thickness (Real)
TB Bending thickness (Real)
TS Shear thickness (Real)
Mat Material property number (Integer)
Offset Plate offset (Real)
Gen # of plates to be generated (Integer)
PInc Plate number increment (Integer)
NInc Node number increment (Integer)

Type choices are "K"=Kirchoff (thin), "M"=Mindlin (thick).

See also Plates.

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Node restraints text

Line 1: RESTRAINTS
Next n lines: Node,Rest,Gr,Gen,NInc,Ax,Ay,Az,Rx,Ry,Rz

Node Node number (Integer)


Rest Restraint code (F/R/D/S) (6 Char)
Gr General restraint (Y/N) (1 Char)
Gen # of restrained nodes (Integer)
NInc Node number increment (Integer)
Ax X axial spring stiffness (Real)
Ay Y axial spring stiffness (Real)
Az Z axial spring stiffness (Real)
Rx X rotational spring stiffness (Real)
Ry Y rotational spring stiffness (Real)
Rz Z rotational spring stiffness (Real)

Rs choices are "F"=Fixed, "R"=Released, "D"=Deleted, "S"=Spring.

Gr choices are "Y"=General restraint, " " or "N"=Normal restraint.

See also Node restraints.

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Reference Manual SPACE GASS 10.8

Section properties text

Line 1: SECTIONS
Next n lines: Sec,Secn,Lib,Ast,Mark,Flip,Ar,Ix,Iy,Iz,Ay,Az,Pa,
Scs,Dpth,Wdth,Fw,Ft,Hf

Note that Dpth,Wdth,Fw,Ft and Hf are only required if Scs is R,C,T,L or I

Sec Section property number (Integer)


Secn Section name (15 Char)
Lib Section library name (8 Char)
Ast Angle section type (A/S/L/X) (1 Char)
Mark Section mark (5 Char)
Flip Section flipped (Y/N) (1 Char)
Ar Area of section (Real)
Ix Torsion constant (Real)
Iy Y moment of inertia (Real)
Iz Z moment of inertia (Real)
Ay Y shear area (Real)
Az Z shear area (Real)
Pa Principal angle (Real)
Scs Standard shape (R/C/T/L/I) (1 Char)
Dpth Overall depth or diameter (Real)
Wdth Overall width or web width (Real)
Fw Flange width if T-beam or L-beam (Real)
Ft Flange thickness if T-beam or L-beam (Real)
Hf Height to bot. of flange if T-beam or L-beam (Real)

Ast choices are " "=Not an angle section, "A"=Single angle, "S"=Double angle with short legs
connected, "L"=Double angle with long legs connected, "X"=Double starred angle.

Flip choices are "Y"=Flipped, " " or "N"=Not flipped.

Scs choices are " "=Not a standard shape, "R"=Rectangle, "C"=Circle, "T"=T-beam, "L"=Left L-
beam, "I"=Right L-beam. If Scs is blank, the section is assumed to come from Ar, Ix, Iy, Iz, Ay,
Az and Pa.

See also Section properties.

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Material properties text

Line 1: MATERIALS
Next n lines: Mat,Matl,E,Pr,D,T,Fc

Mat Material property number (Integer)


Matl Material name (15 Char)
Lib Material library name (8 Char)
E Young’s modulus (Real)
Pr Poisson’s ratio (Real)
D Mass density (Real)
T Coefficient of thermal expansion (Real)
Fc Characteristic concrete strength (Real)

See also Material properties.

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Master-slave constraints text

Line 1: CONSTRAINTS
Next n lines: SNode,MNode,Cnst,Gen,SInc,MInc

SNode Slave node number (Integer)


MNode Master node number (Integer)
Cnst Constraint code (F/R) (6 Char)
Gen # of slave nodes to be generated (Integer)
SInc Slave node number increment (Integer)
MInc Master node number increment (Integer)

Cc choices are "F"=Fixed, "R"=Released.

See also Master-slave constraints.

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Reference Manual SPACE GASS 10.8

Member offset text

Line 1: OFFSETS
Next n lines: Mem,Ax,Dxa,Dya,Dza,Dxb,Dyb,Dzb

Mem Member number (Integer)


Ax Axes system (L/G) (1 Char)
Dxa Member offset from A along x-axis (Real)
Dya Member offset from A along y-axis (Real)
Dza Member offset from A along z-axis (Real)
Dxb Member offset from B along x-axis (Real)
Dyb Member offset from B along y-axis (Real)
Dzb Member offset from B along z-axis (Real)

Ax choices are "L"=Local, "G"=Global.

See also Member offsets.

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Node loads text

Line 1: NODELOADS
Next n lines: Case,Node,Fx,Fy,Fz,Mx,My,Mz,Gen,NInc

Case Load case number (Integer)


Node Node number (Integer)
Fx X force (Real)
Fy Y force (Real)
Fz Z force (Real)
Mx X moment (Real)
My Y moment (Real)
Mz Z moment (Real)
Gen # of loaded nodes to be generated (Integer)
NInc Node number increment (Integer)

See also Node loads.

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Prescribed node displacements text

Line 1: NODEDISPS
Next n lines: Case,Node,Tx,Ty,Tz,Rx,Ry,Rz,Gen,NInc

Case Load case number (Integer)


Node Node number (Integer)
Tx X translation (Real)
Ty Y translation (Real)
Tz Z translation (Real)
Rx X rotation (Real)
Ry Y rotation (Real)
Rz Z rotation (Real)
Gen # of displaced nodes to be generated (Integer)
NInc Node number increment (Integer)

See also Prescribed node displacements.

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Reference Manual SPACE GASS 10.8

Member concentrated loads text

Line 1: MEMBCONC
Next n lines: Case,Mem,Sl,Ax,Un,Ps,Fx,Fy,Fz,Mx,My,Mz,
Gen1,MInc,Gen2,SInc,PInc

Case Load case number (Integer)


Mem Member number (Integer)
Sl Sub load number (Integer)
Ax Axes system (L/G) (1 Char)
Un Units system (A/%) (1 Char)
Ps Load position (Real)
Fx X force (Real)
Fy Y force (Real)
Fz Z force (Real)
Mx X moment (Real)
My Y moment (Real)
Mz Z moment (Real)
Gen1 # of loaded members to be generated (Integer)
MInc Member number increment (Integer)
Gen2 # of loads per member to be generated (Integer)
SInc Sub load number increment (Integer)
PInc Load position increment (Real)

Ax choices are "L"=Local, "G"=Global.

Un choices are "A"=Actual, "%"=Percentage.

See also Member concentrated loads.

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Reference Manual SPACE GASS 10.8

Member distributed forces text

Line 1: MEMBFORCES
Next n lines: Case,Mem,Sl,Ax,Un,St,Fi,Xs,Xf,Ys,Yf,Zs,Zf,
Gen,MInc

Case Load case number (Integer)


Mem Member number (Integer)
Sl Sub load number (Integer)
Ax Axes system (L/G/A) (1 Char)
Un Units system (A/%) (1 Char)
St Start position (Real)
Fi Finish position (Real)
Xs X start force (Real)
Xf X finish force (Real)
Ys Y start force (Real)
Yf Y finish force (Real)
Zs Z start force (Real)
Zf Z finish force (Real)
Gen # of loaded members to be generated (Integer)
MInc Member number increment (Integer)

Ax choices are "L"=Local, "G"=Global-projected, "A"=Global-inclined.

Un choices are "A"=Actual, "%"=Percentage.

See also Member distributed forces.

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Reference Manual SPACE GASS 10.8

Member distributed torsions text

Line 1: MEMBTORSION
Next n lines: Case,Mem,Sl,Un,St,Fi,Ts,Tf,Gen,MInc

Case Load case number (Integer)


Mem Member number (Integer)
Sl Sub load number (Integer)
Un Units system (A/%) (1 Char)
St Start position (Real)
Fi Finish position (Real)
Ts Start torsion (Real)
Tf Finish torsion (Real)
Gen # of torsion loads to be generated (Integer)
MInc Member # increment (Integer)

Un choices are "A"=Actual, "%"=Percentage.

See also Member distributed torsions.

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Reference Manual SPACE GASS 10.8

Thermal loads text

Line 1: THERMAL
Next n lines: Case,Elem,Type,Temp,GradY,GradZ,Gen,EInc

Case Load case number (Integer)


Elem Element number (Integer)
Type Element type (M/P) (1 Char)
Temp Temperature change (Real)
GradY Reserved (must be set to 0.0) (Real)
GradZ Plate thermal gradient (Real)
Gen # of thermal loads to be generated (Integer)
EInc Element # increment (Integer)

Type choices are "M"=Member, "P"=Plate.

See also Thermal loads.

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Reference Manual SPACE GASS 10.8

Member prestress loads text


Line 1: PRESTRESS
Next n lines: Case,Mem,Force,Gen,MInc

Case Load case number (Integer)


Mem Member number (Integer)
Force Prestress force (Real)
Gen # of prestress loads to be generated (Integer)
MInc Member # increment (Integer)

See also Member prestress.

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Plate pressure loads text


Line 1: PRESSURE
Next n lines: Case,Plate,Px,Py,Pz,Gen,PInc

Case Load case number (Integer)


Plate Plate number (Integer)
Ax Axes system (L/G/A) (1 Char)
Px X pressure (Real)
Py Y pressure (Real)
Pz Z pressure (Real)
Gen # of loaded plates to be generated (Integer)
PInc Plate number increment (Integer)

Ax choices are "L"=Local, "G"=Global-projected, "A"=Global-inclined.

See also Plate pressure.

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Self weight text

Line 1: SELFWEIGHT
Next n lines: Case,Ax,Ay,Az

Case Load case number (Integer)


Ax X acceleration (Real)
Ay Y acceleration (Real)
Az Z acceleration (Real)

See also Self weight.

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Reference Manual SPACE GASS 10.8

Combination load cases text

Line 1: COMBINATIONS
Next n lines: Comb,Case,Fact

Comb Combination load case number (Integer)


Case Load case number (primary or combination) (Integer)
Fact Multiplying factor (Real)

See also Combination load cases.

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Reference Manual SPACE GASS 10.8

Load case titles text

Line 1: TITLES
Next n lines: Case,Title,Notes

Case Load case number (Integer)


Title Load case title (50 Char)
Notes Load case notes (255 Char)

See also Load case titles.

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Reference Manual SPACE GASS 10.8

Lumped masses text

Line 1: LUMPEDMASS
Next n lines: Case,Node,Tx,Ty,Tz,Rx,Ry,Rz,Gen,NInc

Case Load case number (Integer)


Node Node number (Integer)
Tx X translational mass (Real)
Ty Y translational mass (Real)
Tz Z translational mass (Real)
Rx X rotational mass (Real)
Ry Y rotational mass (Real)
Rz Z rotational mass (Real)
Gen # of loaded nodes to be generated (Integer)
NInc Node number increment (Integer)

See also Lumped masses.

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Spectral loads text

Line 1: SPECTRAL
Next n lines: Case,Mode,Curve,MCase,Dx,Dy,Dz

Case Load case number (Integer)


Mode Mode shape (Integer)
Curve Spectral curve name (50 Char)
MCase Mass case (Integer)
Dx X direction vector (Real)
Dy Y direction vector (Real)
Dz Z direction vector (Real)

See also Spectral loads.

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Steel member design text

Line 1: STEELMEMBERS
Next n lines: Group,Title,MList,SGrade,Units,LoadHeight,
ScanCode,CalcLcMjr,LcMjr,BraceMjr,CalcLcMnr
,
LcMnr,BraceMnr, CalcLb,Lb+,Lb-,TopPos,
TopRest,BotPos,BotRest, Ast,EndCon,
EccEffect,Criteria,Bolts,Dia,Gen,GInc,MInc

Group Group number (Integer)


Title Group title (50 Char)
MList List of analysis members in the group (50 Int)
SGrade Strength grade (N/H) (1 Char)
Units Units system (A/R) (1 Char)
LoadHeightLoad height position (C/T) (1 Char)
ScanCode Library scan code (4 Char)
CalcLcMjr Calculate LcMjr from a buckling analysis (Y/N) (1 Char)
LcMjr Major axis compression effective length (Real)
BraceMjr Major axis braced in position at both ends of group (1 Char)
(Y/N)
CalcLcMnr Calculate LcMnr from a buckling analysis (Y/N) (1 Char)
LcMnr Minor axis compression effective length (Real)
BraceMnr Minor axis braced in position at both ends of group (1 Char)
(Y/N)
CalcLb Calculate Lb+ and Lb- (Y/N) (1 Char)
Lb+ Positive bending effective length (Real)
Lb- Negative bending effective length (Real)
TopPos List of restraint positions (intermediate only) on top (50 Real)
flange
TopRest List of restraint types (end and intermediate) on top (52 Char)
flange
BotPos List of restraint positions (intermediate only) on (50 Real)
bottom flange
BotRest List of restraint types (end and intermediate) on bottom (52 Char)
flange
Ast Angle section type (A/S/L/X) (1 Char)
EndCon End connection type (C/F/W/S/L) (1 Char)
EccEffect Consider eccentric effects (Y/N) (1 Char)
Criteria Design criteria (W/D) (1 Char)
Bolts Maximum number of bolts in cross section (0=Welded) (Integer)
Dia Bolt diameter (Real)
Gen Number of groups to be generated (Integer)
GInc Group number increment (Integer)
MInc Member number increment (Integer)

SGrade choices are "N"=Normal strength, "H"=High strength.

Units choices are "A"=Actual, "R"=Ratio.

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Reference Manual SPACE GASS 10.8

LoadHeight choices are "C"=Shear centre or below, "T"=Top flange.

CalcLcMjr choices are "Y"=Calculate LcMjr from a buckling analysis, "N"=Use the input value
of LcMjr.

BraceMjr choices are "Y"=Both ends of the design group are braced in position for buckling
about the major axis, "N"=Either or both ends of the design group are not braced in position for
buckling about the major axis.

CalcLcMnr choices are "Y"=Calculate LcMnr from a buckling analysis, "N"=Use the input
value of LcMnr.

BraceMnr choices are "Y"=Both ends of the design group are braced in position for buckling
about the minor axis, "N"=Either or both ends of the design group are not braced in position for
buckling about the minor axis.

CalcLb choices are "Y"=Calculate Lb+ and Lb- from the flange restraints, "N"=Use the input
values of Lb+ and Lb-.

TopPos and BotPos are lists of the intermediate flange restraint positions which can include @
multipliers but not dashes. For example, restraint positions 1.2,3.0,4.8,6.6,8.4,10.2,11.4 could be
listed as 1.2,5@1.8,1@1.2 or 1.2,5@1.8,11.4.

TopRest and BotRest must be a string of characters without commas, dashes or @’s. For
example FLLPLR.

Ast choices are "A"=Single angle, "S"=Double angle with short legs connected, "L"=Double
angle with long legs connected, "X"=Double starred angle. Ast is only considered if the section is
an angle section.

EndCon choices are "C"=Centroid, "F"=Flange, "W"=Web, "S"=Angle short leg, "L"=Angle
long leg.

EccEffect choices are "Y"=Consider end connection eccentric effects, "N"=Ignore eccentric
effects.

Criteria choices are "W"=Use weight design criteria, "D"=Use depth design criteria.

See also Steel member design data.

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Steel connection design text

Line 1: STEELCONNECT
Next n lines: CNum,Title,Supporting,SupportedA,SupportedB,
CTypeA,CTypeB,BProcA,BProcB,HLenA,
HDepthA, HLenB,HDepthB,SGBolt,SGWeld,
SGPlate,SGCleat,SGMember, Gauge,Pitch,
BLen,Wrench,HType,BRows,Threads,BATF,
WCatC,WCatS,WType,Align

Cnum Connection number (Integer)


Title Connection title (50 Char)
Supporting Supporting member number (Integer)
Supported A Side A supported member number (Integer)
Supported B Side B supported member number (Integer)
CTypeA Side A connection type (Integer)
CTypeB Side B connection type (Integer)
BProcA Side A procedure (F/B/S) (1 Char)
BProcB Side B procedure (F/B/S) (1 Char)
HLenA Side A haunch length (0=No haunch) (Real)
HDepthA Side A haunch depth (0=Maximum depth) (Real)
HLenB Side B haunch length (0=No haunch) (Real)
HDepthB Side B haunch depth (0=Maximum depth) (Real)
SGBolt Bolt strength grade (N/H) (1 Char)
SGWeld Weld strength grade (N/H) (1 Char)
SGPlate Plate strength grade (N/H) (1 Char)
SGCleat Cleat/seat strength grade (N/H) (1 Char)
SGMember Member strength grade (N/H) (1 Char)
Gauge Bolt gauge (Real)
Pitch Bolt pitch (Real)
BLen Stiff seat bearing length (0=Calculate) (Real)
Wrench Wrench type (A/H) (1 Char)
HType Hole type (S/O/L) (1 Char)
BRows Preferred number of bolt rows (0=Calculate) (Integer)
Threads Include threads in shear plane (Y/N) (1 Char)
BATF Allow bolts above top flange (Y/N) (1 Char)
WCatC Weld category for connection (G/S) (1 Char)
WCatS Weld category for stiffeners (G/S) (1 Char)
WType Weld type for flanges (F/B) (1 Char)
Align Member alignment (T/C/B) (1 Char)

CtypeA and CtypeB can be selected from the following list.

1. Bolted end plate


2. Bolted apex
3. Welded moment
4. Flexible end plate
5. Web side plate
6. Bearing pad (Top)

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Reference Manual SPACE GASS 10.8

7. Bearing pad (Bottom)


8. Pinned baseplate
9. Angle seat (Bolted)
10. Stiff seat (End)
11. Stiff seat (Internal)
12. Single angle cleat
13. Double angle cleat
14. Angle seat (Welded)
15. Moment baseplate
16. Welded apex

BProcA and BProcB choices are "F"=Friction, "B"=Bearing, "S"=Snug.

SGBolt, SGWeld, SGPlate, SGCleat, SGMember choices are "N"=Normal, "H"=High.

Wrench choices are "A"=Air, "H"=Hand.

HType choices are "S"=Standard, "O"=Oversize or short slotted, "L"=Long slotted.

Threads choices are "Y"=Threads in shear plane, "N"=Threads not in shear plane.

BATF choices are "Y"=Bolts allowed above top flange, "N"=Bolts not allowed above top flange.

WCatC, WCatS choices are "G"=General purpose, "S"=Structural purpose.

WType choices are "F"=Fillet, "B"=Butt.

Align choices are "T"=Top, "C"=Centre, "B"=Bottom.

See also Steel connection design data.

231.
Reference Manual SPACE GASS 10.8

Terminator

Line 1: END

232.
Reference Manual SPACE GASS 10.8

Text file errors


Error messages which may occur while a text file is being read by SPACE GASS are as follows.

Illegal or missing numeric value


Essential real or integer numeric value has been omitted or is beyond the problem size limits.

Illegal data encountered


Unexpected data type was encountered (eg. integer instead of real).

Title line not recognised


Incorrect data group title has been detected (eg. NEDES instead of NODES).

Generation data out of limits


Items to be generated would exceed the problem size limits. Change the generation data or choose
"Problem size limits" from the Config menu and increase the limits.

Illegal or missing character


Illegal character detected or expected character not found.

Maximum limit exceeded


One of the problem size limits has been exceeded. Choose "Problem size limits" from the Config
menu and increase the limits.

Library not found


The standard sections or materials library cannot be found.

Wrong format library


The standard sections or materials library is in an invalid or old format and cannot be read.

Section or material not found


Specified section or material name cannot be found in specified library.

Demonstration version limit exceeded


The demonstration version of the program allows only 1 section property, 1 material property, 5
steel design groups, and 1 steel design connection.

Not a valid SPACE GASS text file


The file does not have a valid SPACE GASS text file format or the first line does not indicate that
it is SPACE GASS data.

Restraint positions are not in ascending order


The intermediate flange restraint positions must be in ascending order.

Restraint positions do not match types


The number of intermediate flange restraint positions must match the number of restraint types
less the two end restraint types. Each use of an @ multiplier in a restraint positions list must have
only one corresponding restraint type.

L or C restraint is ineffective

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Reference Manual SPACE GASS 10.8

A Lateral restraint type must have Full or Partial restraint types between it and the end of the
design group on both sides to be effective. A Continuous restraint type must be between Full,
Partial or Lateral restraint types to be effective.

Ignored segments must be at ends


You have specified an ignored segment at an intermediate position along the group. Segments to
be ignored must be at either or both ends of the group only.

Require intermediate restraint positions only


Restraint positions should be specified for the intermediate restraints only. SPACE GASS already
knows the positions of the restraints at the ends of the group.

100 members per design group limit exceeded


A steel member design group cannot contain more than 100 members.

100 cases per combination limit exceeded


A combination load case cannot contain more than 100 primary load cases.

100 flange restraints limit exceeded


A steel member design group cannot contain more than 100 flange restraints per flange.

No members in steel design group


A steel member design group must consist of at least one analysis member.

Restraint position exceeds maximum distance


A flange restraint has been positioned beyond the length of the steel member design group.

Illegal or missing restraint type


An illegal character has been detected in the steel member design restraint types field or the
restraint type is missing.

Comma is missing
A list of numbers is missing a comma.

There must be a value between separators


A list of values has two adjacent commas, dashes or @’s.

Too many values in list


A list of numbers contains too many values.

Cannot use "-" range in this data field


You are not permitted to use dashes in this list of integers.

Cannot use "@" multiplier in this data field


You are not permitted to use @’s in this list of numbers.

Multiplier must be an integer


The number before an @ in a list of numbers must be an integer.

Cannot have a repeated member


The same member has been referenced twice in a single connection.

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Must have at least one supported member


All connection types require at least one supported member.

An apex connection must be the same on both sides


If you have specified one side of a connection to be an apex then you must use exactly the same
connection type for the other side.

An internal stiff seat must be the same on both sides


If you have specified one side of a connection to be an internal stiff seat then you must use
exactly the same connection type for the other side.

This connection requires two supported members


Apex and internal stiff seat connections require two supported members.

This connection requires only one supported member


Baseplate connections must have only one supported member. It doesn’t matter whether the
supported member is specified as side A or side B.

This connection requires a supporting member


A supporting member is always required (except for apex, stiff seat or baseplate).

This connection requires no supporting member


Apex and baseplate connections cannot have a supporting member.

No connection type specified


You have not specified a valid connection type for one of the supported members.

Supported member not specified


You have not specified a supported member for one of the connection types.

Invalid bolting procedure for connection type


A snug bolting procedure cannot be used in bolted end plate, apex or moment baseplate
connections, use bearing or friction bolting procedures.

Haunches are only for B.E.P, welded moment or apex


Haunches are supported only in bolted end plate, apex and welded moment connections.

Invalid bolt strength for bolting procedure specified


Normal strength bolts cannot be tensioned for bearing or friction bolting procedures. Use high
strength bolts.

Stiff seat bearing length required


Because you have not specified a supporting member for the stiff seat connection, the bearing
length cannot be calculated by SPACE GASS. Specify a supporting member or a stiff seat
bearing length (or both).

Cannot have fillet weld for welded apex connection


Welded apex connections require butt welds for the flanges.

Must have the same bolting procedure on each side

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You must specify the same bolting procedure on both sides of an apex or internal stiff seat
connection.

Cannot have a haunch on only one side of an apex


If you have specified a haunch on one side of an apex connection then you must also specify a
haunch on the other side.

Must have the same haunch depth on each side of an apex


Apex connections require the same haunch depth on both sides.

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Text file example


The following sample text file contains all of the data for the worked example used in the
appendices at the end of this manual.
SPACE GASS Text File - Version 900

UNITS LENGTH:m, SECTION:m, STRENGTH:kPa, DENSITY:T/m^3, TEMP:Celsius, &


FORCE:kN, MOMENT:kNm, MASS:T, ACC:m/sec^2, TRANS:m, STRESS:kPa

HEADINGS
"SPACE GASS Worked Example"
"25m Single Span Portal Frame"
"PS"
""

NODES
1,0.000,0.000
2,0.000,3.750
3,0.000,7.500
4,1.630,7.585
5,3.260,7.671
6,6.250,7.828
7,12.500,8.155
8,18.750,7.828
9,21.740,7.671
10,23.370,7.585
11,25.000,7.500
12,25.000,3.750
13,25.000,0.000

MEMBERS
1,0.00,0, ,N,1, 2,1,1,FFFFFF,FFFFFF
2,0.00,0, ,N,2, 3,1,1,FFFFFF,FFFFFF
3,0.00,0, ,N,3, 4,3,1,FFFFFF,FFFFFF
4,0.00,0, ,N,4, 5,4,1,FFFFFF,FFFFFF
5,0.00,0, ,N,5, 6,2,1,FFFFFF,FFFFFF
6,0.00,0, ,N,6, 7,2,1,FFFFFF,FFFFFF
7,0.00,0, ,N,7, 8,2,1,FFFFFF,FFFFFF
8,0.00,0, ,N,8, 9,2,1,FFFFFF,FFFFFF
9,0.00,0, ,N,9,10,4,1,FFFFFF,FFFFFF
10,0.00,0, ,N,10,11,3,1,FFFFFF,FFFFFF
11,0.00,0, ,N,11,12,1,1,FFFFFF,FFFFFF
12,0.00,0, ,N,12,13,1,1,FFFFFF,FFFFFF

RESTRAINTS
1,FFFFFR
2,RRFFFR,Y
13,FFFFFR

SECTIONS
1,"530 UB 92","AUST250", ,"C1"
2,"360 UB 51","AUST250", ,"R1"
3,"360 UB 51-A","", ,"HNCH ",N,0.10773E-01,0.472E-06,0.14524E-04,0.63586E-03
4,"360 UB 51-B","", ,"S4 ",N,0.96446E-02,0.472E-06,0.14519E-04,0.36376E-03

MATERIALS
1,"STEEL","METRIC"

NODELOADS
2,7,0.0,-4.5

MEMBFORCES
1,3,1,A,%,0.0,100.0,0.0,0.0,-0.9,-0.9
1,4,1,A,%,0.0,100.0,0.0,0.0,-0.9,-0.9
1,5,1,A,%,0.0,100.0,0.0,0.0,-0.9,-0.9
1,6,1,A,%,0.0,100.0,0.0,0.0,-0.9,-0.9
1,7,1,A,%,0.0,100.0,0.0,0.0,-0.9,-0.9
1,8,1,A,%,0.0,100.0,0.0,0.0,-0.9,-0.9
1,9,1,A,%,0.0,100.0,0.0,0.0,-0.9,-0.9
1,10,1,A,%,0.0,100.0,0.0,0.0,-0.9,-0.9
2,3,1,G,%,0.0,100.0,0.0,0.0,-2.250,-2.250
2,4,1,G,%,0.0,100.0,0.0,0.0,-2.250,-2.250
2,5,1,G,%,0.0,100.0,0.0,0.0,-2.250,-2.250
2,6,1,G,%,0.0,100.0,0.0,0.0,-2.250,-2.250
2,7,1,G,%,0.0,100.0,0.0,0.0,-2.250,-2.250

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2,8,1,G,%,0.0,100.0,0.0,0.0,-2.250,-2.250
2,9,1,G,%,0.0,100.0,0.0,0.0,-2.250,-2.250
2,10,1,G,%,0.0,100.0,0.0,0.0,-2.250,-2.250
3,1,1,G,%,0.0,100.0,6.300,6.300,0.0,0.0
3,2,1,G,%,0.0,100.0,6.300,6.300,0.0,0.0
3,3,1,L,%,0.0,100.0,0.0,0.0,6.480,6.480
3,4,1,L,%,0.0,100.0,0.0,0.0,6.480,6.480
3,5,1,L,%,0.0,100.0,0.0,0.0,6.480,6.480
3,6,1,L,A,0.0,1.7410,0.0,0.0,6.480,6.480
3,6,2,L,A,1.7410,6.2590,0.0,0.0,3.600,3.600
3,7,1,L,A,0.0,3.4820,0.0,0.0,3.600,3.600
3,7,2,L,A,3.4820,6.2590,0.0,0.0,2.160,2.160
3,8,1,L,%,0.0,100.0,0.0,0.0,2.160,2.160
3,9,1,L,%,0.0,100.0,0.0,0.0,2.160,2.160
3,10,1,L,%,0.0,100.0,0.0,0.0,2.160,2.160
3,11,1,G,%,0.0,100.0,4.500,4.500,0.0,0.0
3,12,1,G,%,0.0,100.0,4.500,4.500,0.0,0.0
4,1,1,L,%,0.0,100.0,0.0,0.0,4.140,4.140
4,2,1,L,%,0.0,100.0,0.0,0.0,4.140,4.140
4,3,1,L,%,0.0,100.0,0.0,0.0,5.040,5.040
4,4,1,L,%,0.0,100.0,0.0,0.0,5.040,5.040
4,5,1,L,%,0.0,100.0,0.0,0.0,5.040,5.040
4,6,1,L,%,0.0,100.0,0.0,0.0,5.040,5.040
4,7,1,L,%,0.0,100.0,0.0,0.0,5.040,5.040
4,8,1,L,%,0.0,100.0,0.0,0.0,5.040,5.040
4,9,1,L,%,0.0,100.0,0.0,0.0,5.040,5.040
4,10,1,L,%,0.0,100.0,0.0,0.0,5.040,5.040
4,11,1,L,%,0.0,100.0,0.0,0.0,4.140,4.140
4,12,1,L,%,0.0,100.0,0.0,0.0,4.140,4.140
5,1,1,L,%,0.0,100.0,0.0,0.0,1.440,1.440
5,2,1,L,%,0.0,100.0,0.0,0.0,1.440,1.440
5,3,1,L,%,0.0,100.0,0.0,0.0,1.440,1.440
5,4,1,L,%,0.0,100.0,0.0,0.0,1.440,1.440
5,5,1,L,%,0.0,100.0,0.0,0.0,1.440,1.440
5,6,1,L,%,0.0,100.0,0.0,0.0,1.440,1.440
5,7,1,L,%,0.0,100.0,0.0,0.0,1.440,1.440
5,8,1,L,%,0.0,100.0,0.0,0.0,1.440,1.440
5,9,1,L,%,0.0,100.0,0.0,0.0,1.440,1.440
5,10,1,L,%,0.0,100.0,0.0,0.0,1.440,1.440
5,11,1,L,%,0.0,100.0,0.0,0.0,1.440,1.440
5,12,1,L,%,0.0,100.0,0.0,0.0,1.440,1.440
6,1,1,L,%,0.0,100.0,0.0,0.0,4.680,4.680
6,2,1,L,%,0.0,100.0,0.0,0.0,4.680,4.680
6,3,1,L,%,0.0,100.0,0.0,0.0,4.680,4.680
6,4,1,L,%,0.0,100.0,0.0,0.0,4.680,4.680
6,5,1,L,%,0.0,100.0,0.0,0.0,4.680,4.680
6,6,1,L,%,0.0,100.0,0.0,0.0,4.680,4.680
6,7,1,L,%,0.0,100.0,0.0,0.0,4.680,4.680
6,8,1,L,%,0.0,100.0,0.0,0.0,4.680,4.680
6,9,1,L,%,0.0,100.0,0.0,0.0,4.680,4.680
6,10,1,L,%,0.0,100.0,0.0,0.0,4.680,4.680
6,11,1,L,%,0.0,100.0,0.0,0.0,4.680,4.680
6,12,1,L,%,0.0,100.0,0.0,0.0,4.680,4.680
7,1,1,L,%,0.0,100.0,0.0,0.0,0.9,0.9
7,2,1,L,%,0.0,100.0,0.0,0.0,0.9,0.9
7,3,1,L,%,0.0,100.0,0.0,0.0,0.9,0.9
7,4,1,L,%,0.0,100.0,0.0,0.0,0.9,0.9
7,5,1,L,%,0.0,100.0,0.0,0.0,0.9,0.9
7,6,1,L,%,0.0,100.0,0.0,0.0,0.9,0.9
7,7,1,L,%,0.0,100.0,0.0,0.0,0.9,0.9
7,8,1,L,%,0.0,100.0,0.0,0.0,0.9,0.9
7,9,1,L,%,0.0,100.0,0.0,0.0,0.9,0.9
7,10,1,L,%,0.0,100.0,0.0,0.0,0.9,0.9
7,11,1,L,%,0.0,100.0,0.0,0.0,0.9,0.9
7,12,1,L,%,0.0,100.0,0.0,0.0,0.9,0.9

SELFWEIGHT
1,0.0,-9.807E-03,0.0

COMBINATIONS
10,1,1.25
10,2,1.50
11,1,0.80
11,3,1.00
11,6,1.00
12,1,1.25
12,3,1.00
12,6,-0.96
13,1,0.80
13,4,1.00
13,7,1.00

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14,1,1.25
14,5,1.00
14,7,-6.50

TITLES
1,Dead load (DL)
2,Live load including 4.5kN at ridge (LL)
3,Cross wind (CW)
4,Longitudinal wind at first internal frame (LW1)
5,Longitudinal wind with 0.2 external suction (LW2)
6,Cross wind internal pressure (IPCW)
7,Longitudinal wind internal pressure (IPLW)
10,1.25DL+1.5LL
11,0.8DL+CW+IPCW
12,1.25DL+CW+ISCW
13,0.8DL+LW1+IPLW
14,1.25DL+LW2+ISLW

STEELMEMBERS
1,"","1,2",N,A,C,A ,N,20.0,1.7,Y,1.0,1.0, &
"1.2,2.4,3.6,5.3,7",RLLLLFIF,"",RF,N,N,A,C,Y,W,0,0.02
2,"","5,6",N,A,C,A ,N,12.517,1.2,Y,1.0,1.0, &
"1.3,2.5,3.7,4.9,6.1,7.3,8.1",RLLLLLLLF,"4.9",RLF,N,N,A,C,Y,W,0,0.02
3,"","8,7",N,A,C,A ,N,12.517,1.2,Y,1.0,1.0, &
"1.3,2.5,3.7,4.9,6.1,7.3,8.1",RLLLLLLLF,"4.9",RLF,N,N,A,C,Y,W,0,0.02
4,"","12,11",N,A,C,A ,N,20.0,1.7,Y,1.0,1.0, &
"1.2,2.4,3.6,5.3,7",RLLLLFIF,"",RF,N,N,A,C,Y,W,0,0.02

STEELCONNECT
1,"Left baseplate",0,1,0,8,0,S,S,0.0,0.0,0.0,0.0, &
H,N,N,N,N,0.07,0.07,0.0,H,S,0,Y,Y,S,G,B,T
2,"Left eave",2,0,3,0,1,S,B,0.0,0.0,3.0,0.0, &
H,N,N,N,N,0.07,0.07,0.0,H,S,0,Y,Y,S,G,B,T
6,"Bolted apex",0,6,7,2,2,B,B,0.0,0.0,0.0,0.0, &
H,N,N,N,N,0.07,0.07,0.0,H,S,0,Y,Y,S,G,B,T
11,"Right eave",11,10,0,3,0,S,S,3.0,0.0,0.0,0.0, &
H,N,N,N,N,0.07,0.07,0.0,H,S,0,Y,Y,S,G,B,T
12,"Right baseplate",0,0,12,0,8,S,S,0.0,0.0,0.0,0.0, &
H,N,N,N,N,0.07,0.07,0.0,H,S,0,Y,Y,S,G,B,T
END

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Structure wizard
You can open the structure wizard by clicking the toolbar button or selecting "Structure
wizard" from the Structure menu.

Structure wizard input provides a very fast means of inputting data into SPACE GASS for
structures that conform generally to one of the standard structures shown above.

The structure wizard input method can still be used for


structures which don’t conform exactly to the structures shown above. In such cases it can be
used to input the basic structure and then modified by one of the other data entry methods. For
example, a portal frame with its apex off centre could be initially input as a symmetrical portal
frame using the structure wizard and then modified graphically by moving the apex node to its
correct location.

Once a structure has been selected, a structure specific form is opened which allows you to input
basic data relating to the frame geometry, supports, pattern loads, etc. SPACE GASS will then
generate the structure, and apply any pattern loading, automatically.

The input form for a single bay portal frame is shown below.

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All of the structure wizard forms are similar to each other in their operation and are quite self-
explanatory, however the input of section and material properties may require some further
explanation. You can see from the following form that the current selections for material, rafter
section, column section, etc. are shown on the left-hand side. They can be changed by clicking the
appropriate radio button and then making the necessary changes in the selection boxes on the
right-hand side.

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Important note regarding restraints applied to wizard generated models


For all 2D frames generated by the structure wizard, out-of-plane translations on some non-
support nodes are restrained. This has two major implications that you should be aware of.

1. If you extend the frame to 3D after it has been generated then the 2D restraints may no
longer be appropriate. If this is the case, you should modify or delete them.

2. Even though a frame is 2D, it may often be appropriate to allow some nodes to move and/or
rotate in the out-of-plane direction. This is especially the case if a buckling or dynamic
frequency analysis is to be performed where out-of-plane movements can occur even when
there are no loads in that direction. Because of this, you may have to modify the restraints
generated by the structure wizard to allow these movements. Conversely, you may have to
apply more out-of-plane restraints if those movements are prevented in your real structure.

For more information, refer to Node restraint data and, in particular, the section entitled
"Important note about restraining 2D frames".

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Datasheet input
You can open a datasheet by clicking the toolbar button and then selecting from the datasheet
menu that appears. Alternatively, you can select one of the datasheet items from the Structure,
Loads or Design menus.

Datasheet input is the one of the most useful methods of entering data into SPACE GASS. All
types of frame and steel design data can be input or edited via a datasheet.

For more information about operating the datasheets, refer to Using datasheets.

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Using datasheets
All datasheets have the same format, appearing in a grid format like a spreadsheet. The members
datasheet is shown below.

Common datasheet operations

Sorting the data on any click the column heading to sort on. Further
column clicks cause the sorting to alternate between
ascending and descending order.

Frozen key columns Allows you to scroll the main data sideways
without scrolling the key columns so that you can
always see which row you are working on. In the
members datasheet, the "Member" column is the
key column.

Multi-row editing Possibly one of the most useful datasheet editing


tools! It allows you to edit multiple rows of data
simultaneously. The procedure is as follows:
1. Select the rows to be edited by clicking the
buttons at the left end of the rows, using the
CTRL or SHIFT keys to highlight multiple
rows (see "Selecting rows" below).
2. Move in any highlighted row to the column
you want to edit.
3. Click the right mouse button.
4. Enter your data, select between replacing,

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multiplying, dividing, adding or subtracting


and then click the Ok button.
5. All the highlighted rows will be updated.
6. Go back to step 2 above to edit another
column.

Split screen Move to the small black bar just to the left of the
horizontal scroll arrow, click and drag it to the
right to introduce and position a vertical split
screen division.

Editing existing data Move to the desired cell using the keyboard or
mouse and then type in or select the desired data.

Entering new data Move to the bottom (blank) row and then type in
or select the desired data.

Combo boxes To edit combo box cells, either click the arrow
and then make your selection or just use the
keyboard arrow keys to move to the combo box
cell and then type the first character of the desired
selection. For example, to change a Yes/No
combo box to Yes, just move to the cell and then
type Y.

Selecting rows Click the button to the left of the row to be


selected.
You can select multiple rows by:
1. Dragging up or down the selection buttons.
2. Selecting one row, holding down the CTRL
key and then selecting additional rows.
3. Selecting one row, holding down the SHIFT
key and then clicking on another selection
button to select all the rows in between.
Alternatively, you can click the blank button at
the top-left corner of the datasheet to select all the
rows.

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Cutting, copying and pasting Cut or copy selected rows from a datasheet to any
other Windows program or paste from another
Windows program into a datasheet.

Duplicating rows Rows of data can be duplicated using the normal


copy and paste methods, however some
datasheets such as section properties contain
hidden fields that would not be duplicated using
these methods. For example, all the geometric
data for shape builder sections is stored in hidden
fields. To ensure that the hidden fields are
duplicated the following procedure can be used:
1. Select the rows to be duplicated and then
click the right mouse button on one of the
buttons at the left end of the selected rows.
2. Select "Duplicate Rows" from the menu that
appears.
3. Change the numbers of the duplicates via
the "Paste Overwrite Error" form that
appears so that the duplicates do not simply
overwrite the selected rows.
The duplicate rows will be inserted into the
datasheet.

Deleting rows Select the rows to be deleted and then press the
Delete key or click the datasheet’s delete button
or click the right mouse button and select Delete
from the menu that appears.

Special buttons Special buttons on some of the datasheets allow


you to quickly change specific data in the current
row. For example, the special fixity buttons in the
members datasheet (shown left) let you choose
commonly used fixity codes without having to
type them in.

Counter A counter at the bottom-right corner of the


datasheet tells you how many rows of data are in
the datasheet.

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Generation The generate button on some datasheets allows


you to generate a number of extra items
(members, nodes, etc.).

When you click the generate button you will be


presented with a generation form which varies for
each type of input. Most of the generation forms
are self-explanatory, however some of them
employ 2nd order generation which is explained
below.

Note that it is often better and more


convenient to use the graphical Copy tool
for generating data rather than using the
datasheet generate buttons.

Generation

The above node generation form allows you to generate items along two axes at once. It can also
be used to generate extra series at different levels (ie. the 2nd order).

Consider the following 20 node grid in the XY plane. It could have been created by inputting the
coordinates for node 1 then generating four 1st order nodes (5,9,13 & 17) along a line with a node
increment of 4 and X increment of 2.4, followed by three 2nd order rows of nodes with a node
increment of 1 and a Y increment of -1.5.

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Grid of generated nodes

If only 1st order generation is required, you should specify zero for the number of 2nd order items
to be generated.

The node generation form also has the unique ability to generate nodes along a line, arc or helix.

The axis of rotation, which only applies to an arc or helix, defines the point about which the
nodes will be generated. The angle increment causes the nodes to be generated at some regular
angle increment.

The helix length increment defines a regular increment along a parametric path at which the
nodes will be generated.

2nd order generation is also employed in the member and member concentrated load datasheets.

Renumbering data
Any data can be renumbered by simply changing its number in a datasheet. However, be careful,
because related data in other datasheets will not be automatically renumbered to match. A better
way to renumber nodes, members or plates is to use the graphics renumber tool. It not only lets
you renumber large groups of nodes, members and plates effortlessly, it also adjusts all of the
restraints, constraints, loads, and design data automatically to allow for the new numbering
sequence (see also Renumber).

A convenient way to quickly move around and edit numeric cells


in a datasheet is to use the keyboard arrow keys to move to the desired cell, type the new data,
then use the keyboard arrow keys to move to the next cell. You do not have to press ENTER to
accept the new data.

! IMPORTANT NOTE !
When you use a datasheet to renumber items, none of the other data which may reference the
renumbered items is adjusted. You must do this yourself or use the renumber tool instead (as
explained above).

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See also Analysis data.


See also Steel member design data.
See also Steel connection design data.

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Graphics
This chapter describes all of the graphics editing and display facilities as well as revealing how
they can be used to maximum advantage.

The graphics display area in the main SPACE GASS window is the central focus of the program
and is constantly updated to always show the current state of the structural model.

The graphics display area is used to:

• Input or edit the frame, loads, or design data graphically.

• Display the frame, loading diagrams, displacement diagrams, bending moment diagrams,
shear force diagrams, axial force diagrams, torsion diagrams, reactions, stress diagrams,
envelopes, dynamic mode shapes, steel connection drawings, restraints, hinges, constraints,
axes, section shapes, etc. graphically.

The graphics editor is the most powerful of the five data entry methods currently available in
SPACE GASS (see also Analysis data). It is just like a 3D CAD system, but with the added
intelligence of knowing that it is dealing with a structure made up of nodes, members and plates
rather than just lines in a drawing.

One of the great advantages of inputting a structure graphically is that you can see exactly what is
happening at all times. If you make a mistake, the mistake becomes immediately obvious and you
can correct it straight away.

Many structures such as trusses, building frames, grillages,


towers, etc. can be generated very quickly by drawing just a small portion of the frame and then
using MIRROR or COPY to graphically generate the rest of it.

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Graphics overview
The process of inputting a frame graphically into SPACE GASS simply involves drawing lines on
the screen with a mouse or other pointing device. Each line represents a frame member. Nodes
are automatically attached to the ends of each member and at points where members intersect.
Node, member and plate numbering is performed automatically, or at your discretion. The
graphics renumber facility lets you renumber nodes and/or members, and automatically adjusts all
the other data that references nodes and/or members accordingly.

In order to draw a line, you must position the graphics cursor (a small "pointer" on the screen) at
the start of the line, press the left mouse button, position the cursor at the other end of the line,
and press the left mouse button again. The line is dragged around with the cursor as you position
the second point. The end of the first line then becomes the start of the next line and the process
continues for subsequent lines until you press ESC or the right mouse button to end the process.

If the end of a member is drawn so that it touches another member, the two members become
connected. If attach is on then you only have to position a member close to another member in
order to connect them. If you connect a member to an intermediate point along an existing
member, the existing member is subdivided into two, and a node is automatically inserted at the
intersection point.

Nodes, members and plates can be deleted, moved, copied, rotated, stretched, mirrored or
subdivided. It is simply a matter of "picking" a node, member or plate, or placing a window
around a group of nodes, members and plates, and then performing the desired operation in
accordance with the instructions following in this chapter. If you want to move a single node, you
can just "pick" it up with your mouse and drag it to its new location. You can see the members
connected to the node being stretched as you move the node.

The term "pick" referred to in the previous paragraph means to position the graphics cursor on or
near the desired item and then press the left mouse button. If attach is on then you only have to
move close to the item in order to "pick" it. If attach is off then you have to make a direct hit.
Items such as nodes, members or plates can be "un-picked" by simply "picking" them a second
time.

When using a window to select members, there are two modes available.

1. If the second corner of the window is to the right of the first then only those members
completely enclosed by the window are selected.

2. If the second corner of the window is to the left of the first then any members enclosed by,
crossed by or touched by the window are selected. This is called a "crossing window" and
can be identified by its broken perimeter line.

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Selection windows

When picking points, or picking nodes, members or plates directly (ie. not using a selection
window), an aperture circle attached to the graphics cursor indicates how close you must get in
order to attach to them or select them (you can change the size of this circle via the Config and
Settings menus). If there is no aperture circle visible then either attach is off or picking of nodes,
members or plates is not appropriate for the current graphics operation (eg. when selecting the
second corner of a window).

Aperture Circle

Normal Cursor

Cursor Icon

Graphics cursor

Whenever picking of nodes, members or plates is appropriate, a small hand grasping a node,
member or plate is attached to the graphics cursor in addition to the aperture circle. If a hand
grasping a node appears it indicates that you can pick only nodes (eg. when inputting restraints
graphically). Alternatively, a hand grasping a member indicates that you can pick only members
(eg. when inputting member properties graphically). Other cursors will be periodically displayed.
The complete list of "context sensitive cursors" is as follows:

Zoom window

Zoom in / out

Draw

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Query

Pan

Delete

Select node(s)

Select member(s)

Member properties, restraints, section properties, material properties, constraints, member offsets,
most loads, and design data can be input or edited graphically by simply picking the nodes,
members or plates to which they apply and then inputting or editing the data in the form that
appears.

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Floating menus

A floating menu is activated by clicking the right mouse button. The resulting menu is context
sensitive. This means that the contents of the menu will depend upon the nature of the items you
have selected. For instance, if you have selected a group of members, SPACE GASS will display
a floating menu with a list of commands that can be applied to members.

For example, if you click the right mouse button while the cursor is on a member then the
member specific floating menu shown below will appear.

Alternatively, if you click the right mouse button while the cursor is on a node then the node
specific floating menu shown below will appear.

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You can also click the right mouse button while the cursor is on a plate and then the plate specific
floating menu shown below will appear.

Finally, you can click the right mouse button without having selected anything and the general
floating menu shown below will appear.

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There are many other floating menus that are used depending on the tool and the type of data
being worked on.

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Graphical input

In order to input a structure graphically you have to be able to position the graphics cursor
accurately. Unless you have the steady hands of a surgeon and you are an expert with the mouse,
this is virtually impossible. Therefore, SPACE GASS has a number of indispensable tools that
enable you to draw a structure to the nearest micron regardless of your surgical abilities.

All of these tools can be accessed via the settings menu or activated, deactivated and/or
configured using the graphics settings buttons across the bottom of the screen and/or the
keyboard. All of these settings can be toggled without interrupting the use of most graphics tools.

[Keyboard "G"] Clicking the Grid button displays a grid of dots on the screen at
any user defined spacing. If the grid has been activated the grid button will appear depressed and
instead of the text "Grid: Off" the button will display a message "Grid: x", where x is the spacing
you defined. The grid can lie in the XY, XZ or YZ planes.

See also Grid.

[Keyboard "S"] The Snap facility, if turned on, activates a secondary crosshair
graphics cursor which indicates the actual selection point and which moves in discrete steps
rather than moving smoothly. The snap spacing can be set equal to the grid spacing or any other
desired value. As with the Grid button, if you activate the Snap button and enter a spacing at the
prompt the text on the button will change from "Snap: Off" to "Snap: x", where x is the spacing
you defined.

For example, if you set the snap spacing to 100mm the cursor will move in steps of 100mm,
enabling you to draw to an accuracy of exactly 100mm. The button will indicate that snap has
been set to 100mm by displaying the text "Snap: 100" (if units are set as mm). You can change
the snap spacing as you move the cursor. SPACE GASS automatically senses when SNAP is not
required and turns it off temporarily in such cases.

See also Snap.

[Keyboard "O"] The Ortho tool forces lines to be drawn either horizontally or
vertically. Since structures are made up predominantly of horizontal beams and vertical columns,
it is a very useful tool indeed.

See also Ortho.

[Keyboard "A"] The Attach facility displays an aperture circle with the
graphics cursor and allows you to attach to existing members by simply picking points near them.
The aperture circle indicates how close you must get to a member in order to attach to it. It is very
useful for attaching new members to existing members or for locating points which are at the
ends of members.

See also Attach.

[Keyboard "X,Y,Z and P"] The Plane facility allows you to change the current
drawing plane. You will be able to select the drawing plane (choice of XY - "Z", YZ - "X" and

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XZ - "Y") as well as specifying an offset. An offset is the distance from a virtual plane to the
specified plane, the distance being measured perpendicular to the virtual plane. For example,
selecting the XY plane with an offset of 5m will result in every node being created with
coordinates of x,y,5.

See also Plane.

[Keyboard "C"] The Coordinates facility allows you to toggle between


one of four coordinate systems. The different systems available are:

• Cartesian
• Cartesian-Relative (Cart-Rel)
• Polar
• Polar-Relative (Polar-Rel)

The text display at the bottom right corner of the screen will constantly change to reflect the
position of the graphics cursor on the screen. The format of this text is governed by the
coordinates system you have selected. Selecting the "Off" option switches all coordinates systems
off and disables the coordinates display text.

See also Coordinates.

The keyboard can also be used to position points precisely. You simply type in the
coordinates of the point using cartesian or polar coordinates in absolute or relative modes
(depending upon the coordinates system selected).

There is no icon or button for this function, however you need


only type a number after selecting the draw tool and the coordinates input form will appear.

See also Using the keyboard to position points.

There are a number of other tools, apart from the graphics settings buttons, that are of great use
when inputting data graphically.

The query frame facility (see also Node properties, Member properties and Plate properties)
allows you to point to a node, member or plate and obtain information about node coordinates,
member end fixities, section properties, material properties, etc. You can also query analysis
results and steel member design results.

You can use the zoom, pan and viewpoint facilities to view the structure in different ways. Zoom
allows you to zoom in on a portion of the structure and have it enlarged for a detailed inspection.
Pan allows you to translate the structure in any direction on the screen. Viewpoint allows you to
rotate your viewpoint to any position around the structure.

There are a host of additional tools which allow you to scale the structure or diagrams to any
desired value, show the rendered model, superimpose loading diagrams, displacement diagrams,
bending moment diagrams, shear force diagrams, axial force diagrams, torsion diagrams,
reactions, stress diagrams, envelopes and dynamic mode shapes, display steel connection
drawings, show local axes, restraints, constraints, offsets, top flanges, etc.

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You can also set up a number of filters, each of which limits the amount of the model that you can
see and work on. The contents of each filter can be based on a range of axis coordinates, node
properties, member properties, load types and many other selection criteria that you can control.
Filters can also be selected in the output reports so that they can be quickly customized to include
exactly what you want to see.

Searching for specific nodes, members or plates is easy with the find function. You can search for
nodes, members or plates directly, or by reference to their properties.

All aspects of what you see on the graphics screen can be saved as views that can be named and
then recalled at any time. All filters, viewpoint, scales, zoom, pan and other settings applicable at
the time the view is saved are recalled when the saved view is recalled.

The contents of the graphics display area can be reproduced on your printer or plotter at any time.

Operating a mouse efficiently is an acquired skill. Until you have mastered the art of
coordinating your hand motion with the movement of the graphics cursor on the screen, you may
find the graphical input procedure slower than conventional input methods. This is similar to the
learning curve that draftspeople have to go through when changing from a drawing board to a
computer based drafting system. Once you have progressed past the initial learning stage,
however you will start to appreciate the extra power and versatility you have at your fingertips
with the graphics editor.

The following sections describe all of the graphics tools in detail.

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Graphical editing

The SPACE GASS graphical commands can be initiated in a number ways as described below:

1. Choose the command from the menu system, select the desired nodes, members or plates (if
applicable) and then follow the prompts at the bottom of the screen to complete the
operation.

Note that the menus can’t be selected if a graphics command is currently in use. You can tell
if a graphics command is in use by the presence of a red command prompt in place of the
status line at the bottom of the SPACE GASS screen. The easiest way to exit from a
graphics command is just to press the keyboard ESC key a number of times until the status
line re-appears at the bottom of the screen.

2. Choose the command by clicking the appropriate toolbar button, select the desired nodes,
members or plates (if applicable) and then follow the prompts at the bottom of the screen to
complete the operation.

Note that most toolbar buttons can be used to initiate a graphics command even if another
graphics command is currently in use.

3. Click the right mouse button (away from any nodes, members or plates), choose the
command from the floating menu that appears, select the desired nodes, members or plates
(if applicable) and then follow the prompts at the bottom of the screen to complete the
operation.

4. Select the desired nodes, members or plates, click the right mouse button, choose the
command from the floating menu that appears and then follow the prompts at the bottom of
the screen to complete the operation.

5. Select the desired nodes, members or plates, choose the command by clicking the
appropriate toolbar button and then follow the prompts at the bottom of the screen to
complete the operation.

6. Click the right mouse button on a node, member or plate, choose the command from the
floating menu that appears and then follow the prompts at the bottom of the screen to
complete the operation.

7. Double click on a node, member or plate to display the node, member or plate properties
form.

Using any method, when selecting nodes, members or plates, you can select them individually by
picking them one at a time or you can select them en-masse by using a normal or crossing

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selection window as explained in the previous section. Don’t forget that you can de-select nodes,
members or plates by simply picking or windowing them a second time.

To confirm your node, member or plate selections, just click the button below the left hand
toolbar or click the right mouse button and choose "Ok" from the floating menu that appears. You
can then complete the rest of the graphics operation.

In all methods of graphical editing, instructions will be displayed in the bottom left hand corner of
the SPACE GASS window. These will usually be in the form of the name of the command
followed by the instruction. Please refer to this if you are unsure of what SPACE GASS is asking
you to do.

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Using the keyboard to position points

If you can’t position the graphics cursor using the mouse, you can simply type in the desired
coordinates. You can enter points in cartesian or polar coordinates, using absolute or relative
modes.

A point can be entered using cartesian coordinates by simply typing the X, Y and Z values
separated by commas. For example, 2.3,1.2,0.5 locates a point at X=2.3, Y=1.2 and Z=0.5.

If you type less than three values for a point, the missing values are assumed to be zero. For
example, 2.3,0,0 could be shortened to just "2.3", or 2.3,1.2,0 could be shortened to "2.3,1.2".

To locate the "0,0,0" origin very quickly, you only have to type 0.

A point can be entered using polar coordinates by simply typing a distance, followed by a vertical
angle (from the global XZ plane), followed by a horizontal angle (from the global XY plane). <’s
are used to separate the values rather than commas. For example, a point 10 units from the origin
with a vertical angle of 45° and a horizontal angle of 15°, could be typed in as 10<45<15.

To enter points in relative mode (ie. relative to the other end of a line) apply an "@" prefix to the
coordinates. For example, a point which is 8 units in the X direction and 6 units in the Y direction
from a previous point, could be typed in as @8,6, or @10<36.9.

If you use the keyboard to type in coordinates for a point that is


within the aperture circle distance of a member, and ATTACH is on, the point will not attach
unless you make a direct hit. Any point positioned with the keyboard is kept at the exact
coordinates that you type in.

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Multiple viewports
SPACE GASS allows you to present more than one view of your structure on the screen at any
one time. Up to four different windows, or "viewports", can be displayed and individually
configured to better display your structure.

The procedure involves clicking the button or selecting "Viewports" from the Window menu.
Once you have opened multiple viewports you can page through the different views using the
and toolbar buttons (the TAB and SHIFT+TAB keys perform the same functions).

When you click the viewport tool you are presented with a number of different configurations.
Most of these configurations are self explanatory, with the exception of the bottom four buttons.

These four buttons allow you to select any one of the four viewports, either on their own, or in
combination. Each corner of the screen corresponds with viewports 1, 2, 3 and 4 respectively. If
one of the viewports selected is already displayed it will return to the configuration defined by the
diagram on the button selected.

Each of the viewports which are displayed have their own unique configuration. This applies to
scales, viewpoint, filters, superimposed diagrams, toggle button settings, etc. The configuration
you specify for a viewport will be retained when you close the viewport so that, when you open
that viewport again, the same settings will be active.

You can use the viewports to display a variety of different information including different views
of the structure, graphics settings, bending moment, shear force, axial force, stress and
displacement diagrams, dynamic and buckling mode shapes, filters, load cases, member top
flanges, 3D geometry, local axes, etc. When you select a different viewport (either by clicking on
it with the mouse, selecting it via the "Viewport" toolbar buttons or Window menu, or by using
the TAB and SHIFT+TAB keys) the settings you have selected for that viewport will be indicated
via the toggle buttons.

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Graphics commands apply to the active viewport. Some graphics commands allow you to move
between viewports without exiting from the command. For instance, consider a job where you
have 4 viewports displayed with viewport 1 as the active viewport. If you select the draw facility
and start drawing a line in the active viewport, you can then move the cursor to any other
viewport without exiting from the draw command.

You will find that as you move the cursor between the viewports each viewport displays a drawn
line which has the same coordinates as in the viewport where you first started drawing the line.
This is useful in a number of situations, such as when you start drawing a line in one viewport but
cannot locate the end point in that viewport. This feature applies to some graphics functions and
can be switched on and off via the "Viewports" form (ie. by toggling the "Activate Viewport
Under Cursor" check box in the viewports form).

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Node properties
Node properties include node coordinates, node restraints and master-slave constraints. Hence,
selecting the graphical option for "Nodes", "Node restraints" or "Master-slave constraints" will all
take you to the same node properties form.

There are three modes available for editing node properties as follows.

To edit or query node properties one node at a time


Simply double-click on a node.

Note "Edit/Query Node" in the title bar of the form that appears.

Although this mode only lets you edit the properties of one node at a time, you can simply click
on any other node to display and edit its properties without exiting the command. When doing so,
any changes you made to the properties of the previously displayed node are saved.

You can also press the "Results" button and then click on any nodes to display their analysis
results in a scrollable window (see also Query analysis results).

To edit or query node properties for multiple nodes using a form


Select some nodes graphically, click the right mouse button and then select "Properties (Form)"
from the floating menu that appears.

Note "Edit Node Properties" in the title bar of the form that appears.

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Edit mode works in a similar way to edit/query mode except that you can’t select other nodes
while the form is open. You can, however select multiple nodes initially and make changes to all
of them simultaneously.

Blank fields
A blank field indicates that for the nodes selected, more than one value exists. If you leave such a
field blank then the selected nodes will retain their individual values. However, if you type into a
blank field then all of the selected nodes will receive the new value.

Special buttons

Shows or hides the master-slave constraints part of the node properties form.

Allows you to graphically select a master node rather than having to type in its node number.

To edit or query node properties for multiple nodes using a datasheet


Select some nodes graphically, click the right mouse button and then select "Properties
(Datasheet)" from the floating menu that appears.

Note that the datasheet that appears is different to the normal nodes datasheet because it contains
extra columns for restraints and master-slave constraints.

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Refer to "Using datasheets" for information on how to operate the above datasheet.

You can view node restraints or master-slave constraints graphically by depressing the
"View node restraints" or "View master-slave constraints" toggle buttons in the side toolbar.

If you change any node properties that affect the structure’s geometry, you may not be
able to select some nodes, members or plates until after a redraw. This is due to their displayed
position becoming out-of-date. The "Regen" check box allows you to order an automatic redraw
after you exit the node properties form.

You can remove restraints and/or constraints by either blanking


the restraint or constraint field or by typing "NONE" in the field or by clicking the delete button.

See also Nodes.


See also Node restraints.
See also Master-slave constraints.
See also Floating mouse menus.
See also View node / member / plate properties.

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Member properties
Member properties include member type, connectivity, orientation, fixity, section properties,
material properties and member offsets. Hence, selecting the graphical option for "Members",
"Section properties", "Material properties" or "Member offsets" will all take you to the same
member properties form.

There are three modes available for editing member properties as follows.

To edit or query member properties one member at a time


Simply double-click on a member.

Note "Edit/Query Member" in the title bar of the form that appears.

Although this mode only lets you edit the properties of one member at a time, you can simply
click on any other member to display and edit its properties without exiting the command. When
doing so, any changes you made to the properties of the previously displayed member are saved.

You can also press the "Results" button and then click on any members to display their analysis
results in a scrollable window (see also Query analysis results).

To edit or query member properties for multiple members using a form


Select some members graphically, click the right mouse button and then select "Properties
(Form)" from the floating menu that appears.

Note "Edit Member Properties" in the title bar of the form that appears.

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Edit mode works in a similar way to edit/query mode except that you can’t select other members
while the form is open. You can, however select multiple members initially and make changes to
all of them simultaneously.

Blank fields
A blank field indicates that for the members selected, more than one value exists. If you leave
such a field blank then the selected members will retain their individual values. However, if you
type into a blank field then all of the selected members will receive the new value.

Special buttons

Shows or hides the section properties part of the member properties form.

Shows or hides the material properties part of the member properties form.

Shows or hides the member offsets part of the member properties form.

Allows you to input a section or material from a standard library.

Initiates the shape builder.

Initiates the standard shapes input.

Section and material properties are different to the other items in the members form because a
single section or material can be shared amongst many members. All other items of data in the
members form have their own independent values for each member. Hence, as soon as you

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change the section or material property number, the rest of the section or material data changes to
match.

You can scroll through the sections or materials in the current


job by changing the section or material number in the member properties form. All of the
properties that have been defined for that section or material will be displayed. If no properties
have been defined for that section or material then the name field will be blank, as will the
properties fields.

To edit or query member properties for multiple members using a datasheet


Select some members graphically, click the right mouse button and then select "Properties
(Datasheet)" from the floating menu that appears.

Note that the datasheet that appears is different to the normal members datasheet because it
contains extra columns for section properties, material properties and offsets.

Refer to "Using datasheets" for information on how to operate the above datasheet.

You can view member hinges, member offsets or section properties graphically by
depressing the "View member hinges", "View member offsets" or "View rendered model" toggle
buttons in the side toolbar.

If you change any member properties that affect the structure’s geometry, you may not be
able to select some nodes or members until after a redraw. This is due to their displayed position
becoming out-of-date. The "Regen" check box allows you to order an automatic redraw after you
exit the node properties form.

See also Members.

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See also Section properties.


See also Material properties.
See also Member offsets.
See also Floating mouse menus.
See also View node / member / plate properties.

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Plate properties
Plate properties include plate type, connectivity, orientation of local axes, plate thickness, plate
offset and material properties.

There are three modes available for editing plate properties as follows.

To edit or query plate properties one plate at a time


Simply double-click on a plate.

Note "Edit/Query Plate" in the title bar of the form that appears.

Although this mode only lets you edit the properties of one plate at a time, you can simply click
on any other plate to display and edit its properties without exiting the command. When doing so,
any changes you made to the properties of the previously displayed plate are saved.

You can also press the "Results" button and then click on any plates to display their analysis
results in a scrollable window (see also Query analysis results).

To edit or query plate properties for multiple plates using a form


Select some plates graphically, click the right mouse button and then select "Properties (Form)"
from the floating menu that appears.

Note "Edit Plate Properties" in the title bar of the form that appears.

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Edit mode works in a similar way to edit/query mode except that you can’t select other plates
while the form is open. You can, however select multiple plates initially and make changes to all
of them simultaneously.

Blank fields
A blank field indicates that for the plates selected, more than one value exists. If you leave such a
field blank then the selected plates will retain their individual values. However, if you type into a
blank field then all of the selected plates will receive the new value.

Special buttons

Allows you to input a material from a standard library.

Material properties are different to the other items in the plates form because a single material can
be shared amongst many plates. All other items of data in the plates form have their own
independent values for each plate. Hence, as soon as you change the material property number,
the rest of the material data changes to match.

You can scroll through the materials in the current job by


changing the material number in the plate properties form. All of the properties that have been
defined for that material will be displayed. If no properties have been defined for that material
then the name field will be blank, as will the properties fields.

To edit or query plate properties for multiple plates using a datasheet


Select some plates graphically, click the right mouse button and then select "Properties
(Datasheet)" from the floating menu that appears.

Refer to "Using datasheets" for information on how to operate the above datasheet.

You can view plate offsets graphically by depressing the "View offsets" toggle button in
the side toolbar.

If you change any plate properties that affect the structure’s geometry, you may not be
able to select some nodes or plates until after a redraw. This is due to their displayed position

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becoming out-of-date. The "Regen" check box allows you to order an automatic redraw after you
exit the node properties form.

See also Plates.


See also Material properties.
See also Floating mouse menus.
See also View node / member / plate properties.

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Node restraints
Node restraints are incorporated into node properties.

See also Node restraints.


See also Node properties.

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Section properties
Section properties are incorporated into member properties.

See also Section properties.


See also Member properties.

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Material properties
Material properties are incorporated into the member and plate properties forms.

See also Material properties.


See also Member properties.
See also Plate properties.

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Master-slave constraints
Master-slave constraints are incorporated into node properties.

See also Master-slave constraints.


See also Node properties.

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Member offsets
Member offsets are incorporated into member properties.

See also Member offsets.


See also Member properties.

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Copy node properties


This tool lets you copy the restraint and master-slave constraint properties of a node to a selection
of destination nodes.

The procedure is as follows.

1. Select the source node that you wish to copy the properties of, click the right mouse button
and then select "Copy Node Properties" from the floating menu that appears.

OR

Select "Copy Node Properties" from the Structure menu and then select the source node that
you wish to copy the properties of.

2. Select one or more destination nodes by picking them individually or by putting a selection
window around them and then click the right mouse button and click "Ok".

3. The properties of the source node will then be copied to the selected destination nodes.

4. Select another source node, or press ESC or the right mouse button to exit from the tool.

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Copy member properties


This tool lets you copy the member, section, material and offset properties of a member to a
selection of destination members.

The procedure is as follows.

1. Select the source member that you wish to copy the properties of, click the right mouse
button and then select "Copy Member Properties" from the floating menu that appears.

OR

Select "Copy Member Properties" from the Structure menu and then select the source
member that you wish to copy the properties of.

2. Select one or more destination members by picking them individually or by putting a


selection window around them and then click the right mouse button and click "Ok".

3. The properties of the source member will then be copied to the selected destination
members.

4. Select another source member, or press ESC or the right mouse button to exit from the tool.

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Copy plate properties


This tool lets you copy the plate, material and offset properties of a plate to a selection of
destination plates.

The procedure is as follows.

1. Select the source plate that you wish to copy the properties of, click the right mouse button
and then select "Copy Plate Properties" from the floating menu that appears.

OR

Select "Copy Plate Properties" from the Structure menu and then select the source plate that
you wish to copy the properties of.

2. Select one or more destination plates by picking them individually or by putting a selection
window around them and then click the right mouse button and click "Ok".

3. The properties of the source plate will then be copied to the selected destination plates.

4. Select another source plate, or press ESC or the right mouse button to exit from the tool.

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Draw
This tool allows you to draw new members or plates and attach them to existing nodes, members
or plates. Nodes are automatically generated at the ends of each member or plate vertex. If a
member or plate is attached to the intermediate point of an existing member, the existing member
is subdivided into two and a node is automatically inserted at the intersection point.

When in drawing mode you can control the numbering of new


nodes, members and plates being drawn by pressing the keyboard N, M or P keys and then
specifying the number of the next node, member or plate to be drawn. Alternatively, you can
simply let SPACE GASS find the next available node, member or plate. You can easily renumber
any nodes, members or plates later using the RENUMBER facility (see also Renumber).

For members, the procedure is as follows.

1. Click the toolbar button.

Note that you can switch to drawing plates by pressing the T key to switch to drawing
triangular plates or the Q key to switch to drawing quadrilateral plates. You can switch
back to drawing members by pressing the M key.

2. Pick the start of a new member. This can be a new point not connected to existing members
or plates, or it can be an existing member or plate end point or member intermediate point.

Remember that when picking points, you can use the mouse or you can simply type in the
coordinates of the desired point(s). For more information, see "Using the keyboard to
position points".

3. Pick the end of the new member. Again, this can be a new point or a point on an existing
member or plate.

4. If you wish to draw another member that extends from the end of the member just drawn
then pick another end point. You can keep picking end points for additional members.

5. Press ESC or the right mouse button to end the operation.

6. Return to step 1 above to draw another member, or press ESC or the right mouse button to
exit from the tool.

Be careful when subdividing or connecting to intermediate points on members that have


local Y or Z member offsets. Because local offsets are calculated relative to a straight line joining
the member’s end nodes, they will change direction if you add intermediate nodes. It is therefore
recommended that you should always convert any local Y or Z member offsets to global before
adding intermediate nodes.

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If you wish to draw multiple members between the same two nodes, you will need to first
activate the "Allow duplicates when drawing new members" option in the "General
configuration" item of the Config menu.

For plates, the procedure is as follows.

1. Click the toolbar button and then select between drawing triangular or quadrilateral
plates.

Note that you can switch between drawing triangular or quadrilateral plates while drawing
by pressing the T key to switch to drawing triangular plates or the Q key to switch to
drawing quadrilateral plates. You can also switch to drawing members by pressing the M
key.

Note also that while in quadrilateral plate drawing mode, you can draw triangular plates by
simply double-clicking the 4th node.

2. Pick the start of a new plate. This can be a new point not connected to existing members or
plates, or it can be an existing member or plate end point or member intermediate point.

Note that when picking points, you can use the mouse or you can simply type in the
coordinates of the desired point. For more information, see "Using the keyboard to position
points".

3. Pick the next vertex of the new plate. Again, this can be a new point or a point on an
existing member or plate.

4. Pick the third and fourth (if a quadrilateral plate) vertices of the new plate.

5. If you wish to draw another plate that extends from the end of the plate just drawn then pick
another point. You can keep picking points for additional plates.

6. Press ESC or the right mouse button to end the operation.

7. Return to step 1 above to draw another plate, or press ESC or the right mouse button to exit
from the tool.

You can draw triangular plates while in quadrilateral plate drawing mode by double-
clicking the 4th node of quadrilateral plates.

While drawing, you can switch between drawing members or plates by pressing the M
key to switch to drawing members, the T key to switch to drawing triangular plates or the Q key
to switch to drawing quadrilateral plates.

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Plates must be flat (ie. all vertices in the same plane).

After drawing some members or plates, if you are not sure that they are properly
connected to other nodes, members or plates, you can use the "Connectivity" tool.

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Move
This tool allows you to select one or more nodes and drag them in any direction on the screen
together with their connecting members.

There are two ways to MOVE nodes. They are explained as follows.

1. For one node only:

Click the toolbar button or select "Move" from the Structure menu and then select the
node you wish to move. Move the node and pick its destination point. You can see the
members attached to the node being moved and stretched as you move the node.

OR

For one or more nodes:

Select the nodes you wish to move, click the right mouse button and then select "Move"
from the floating menu that appears. Pick two points that represent the vector through which
the selected nodes are to be moved.

Remember that when picking points, you can use the mouse or you can simply type in the
coordinates of the desired point(s). For more information, see "Using the keyboard to
position points".

2. All selected nodes are then moved.

3. Select more nodes to move, or press ESC or the right mouse button to exit from the tool.

To remove an intermediate node from two members connected


end-to-end and convert them into a single continuous member, select MOVE and simply move the
intermediate node onto either one of the end nodes. Make sure that ATTACH is not "Off".

To remove an unwanted member, select MOVE and simply move one of its end nodes onto the
other end node. This has the effect of joining other members which were connected to the ends of
the removed member. If DELETE were used instead, a gap would be left where the deleted
member was.

Be careful when subdividing or connecting to intermediate points on members that have


local Y or Z member offsets. Because local offsets are calculated relative to a straight line joining
the member’s end nodes, they will change direction if you add intermediate nodes. It is therefore
recommended that you should always convert any local Y or Z member offsets to global before
adding intermediate nodes.

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After moving some nodes, if you are not sure that the members and plates attached to
them are properly connected to other nodes, members or plates, you can use the "Connectivity"
tool.

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Rotate
This tool allows you to select one or more nodes and rotate them about any user defined axis
together with their connecting members.

The procedure is as follows.

1. Select the nodes you wish to rotate, click the right mouse button and then select "Rotate"
from the floating menu that appears.

OR

Click the toolbar button or select "Rotate" from the Structure menu, select the nodes
you wish to rotate, click the right mouse button and then click Ok.

2. Pick the centre of rotation point.

3. In the form that appears (as follows), change the data to suit your requirements and then
click the Ok button. Note that a positive angle of rotation is anti-clockwise.

4. All selected nodes are then rotated.

5. Select more nodes to rotate, or press ESC or the right mouse button to exit from the tool.

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Copy
This tool allows you to copy nodes, members or plates in any straight line direction, or around an
arc or helix. This is very useful for structures such as trusses where you can draw just the first
panel and then make copies of it to build up the complete structure.

There are three COPY sequences of operation for copying in a straight line, around an arc, or
around a helix. They are explained as follows.

1. Select the members or plates you wish to copy, click the right mouse button and then select
"Copy" from the floating menu that appears.

OR

Click the toolbar button or select "Copy" from the Structure menu, select the members
or plates you wish to copy, click the right mouse button and then click Ok.

2. In the form that appears, select a radio button for copying in a straight line, around an arc, or
around a helix.

Continue with step 3 for straight line copying, or go to step 7 for arc or helix copying.

3. For copying in a straight line, pick two points that represent the vector through which the
selected members are to be copied.

Remember that when picking points, you can use the mouse or you can simply type in the
coordinates of the desired point(s). For more information, see "Using the keyboard to
position points".

4. In the form that appears (as follows), change the data to suit your requirements and then
click the Ok button.

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5. All selected members or plates are then copied in a straight line.

6. Select more members or plates to copy, or press ESC or the right mouse button to exit from
the tool.

OR

7. For copying around an arc or helix, pick the centre of rotation point.

Remember that when picking points, you can use the mouse or you can simply type in the
coordinates of the desired point(s). For more information, see "Using the keyboard to
position points".

8. In the form that appears (see above), change the data to suit your requirements and then
click the Ok button. Note that a positive angle of rotation is anti-clockwise.

9. All selected members or plates are then copied around an arc or helix.

10. Select more members or plates to copy, or press ESC or the right mouse button to exit from
the tool.

After copying some members or plates, if you are not sure that they are properly
connected to other nodes, members or plates, you can use the "Connectivity" tool.

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Mirror
This tool allows you to create a mirror image of any user defined nodes, members or plates about
any user defined surface.

The procedure is as follows.

1. Select the members or plates you wish to mirror, click the right mouse button and then select
"Mirror" from the floating menu that appears.

OR

Click the toolbar button or select "Mirror" from the Structure menu, select the members
or plates you wish to mirror, click the right mouse button and then click Ok.

2. Pick a point somewhere on the mirror plane.

Remember that when picking points, you can use the mouse or you can simply type in the
coordinates of the desired point(s). For more information, see "Using the keyboard to
position points".

3. In the form that appears (as follows), change the data to suit your requirements and then
click the Ok button.

4. All selected members or plates are then mirrored.

5. Select more members or plates to mirror, or press ESC or the right mouse button to exit
from the tool.

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Delete
This tool allows you to delete any or all of the structure. The components to be deleted are first
highlighted so that you can verify them before they are actually removed. Nodes connected to
deleted members or plates are also deleted unless they are connected to other members or plates
that still exist.

The procedure is as follows.

1. Select the nodes, members or plates you wish to delete, click the right mouse button and
then select "Delete" from the floating menu that appears.

OR

Click the toolbar button or select "Delete" from the Structure menu, select the nodes,
members or plates you wish to delete, click the right mouse button and then click Ok.

2. All selected nodes, members or plates are then deleted together with their loads.

3. Select more nodes, members or plates to delete, or press ESC or the right mouse button to
exit from the tool.

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Stretch
The graphical stretch tool lets you stretch all or part of your model.

The procedure is as follows.

1. Select the nodes you wish to stretch, click the right mouse button and then select "Stretch"
from the floating menu that appears.

OR

Select "Stretch" from the Structure menu, select the nodes you wish to stretch, click the right
mouse button and then click Ok.

2. Pick an anchor point (which could be a node or any other point).

3. Pick two points that represent the stretch vector.

Remember that when picking points, you can use the mouse or you can simply type in the
coordinates of the desired point(s). For more information, see "Using the keyboard to
position points".

4. Each selected node is then moved parallel to the stretch vector by an amount that is
proportional to its distance from the anchor point. The distance D a node is moved parallel
to the stretch vector is given by:

where Lv is the length of the stretch vector, Dn is the distance from the node to the anchor
point in the direction of the stretch vector, and Dv is the distance from the start of the stretch
vector to the anchor point in the direction of the stretch vector.

5. Select more nodes to stretch, or press ESC or the right mouse button to exit from the tool.

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Scale nodes
You can use this tool to apply a scale factor to selected nodes. For example, you could use it to
enlarge your frame by 20% or, if you had mistakenly input your node geometry in millimetre
units instead of metres, you could scale the nodes by 0.001.

The scale nodes tool also allows you to specify a base point about which the scaling occurs. This
means that the distance from the new node position to the base point is equal to the old distance
multiplied by the scale factor.

The procedure is as follows.

1. Select the nodes you wish to scale, click the right mouse button and then select "Scale
Nodes" from the floating menu that appears.

OR

Select "Scale Nodes" from the Structure menu, select the nodes you wish to scale, click the
right mouse button and then click Ok.

2. Pick a base point (which could be a node or any other point).

3. Enter a scale factor.

4. Each selected node is then moved relative to the base point by an amount proportional to the
scale factor.

5. Select more nodes to scale, or press ESC or the right mouse button to exit from the tool.

The scale nodes tool only affects the node coordinates. It doesn’t adjust offsets, section
properties, loads or any other parts of your model.

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Generate arc
The graphical arc generation tool lets you apply an arc to any member by adding intermediate
nodes with any desired radius and arc plane.

The procedure is as follows.

1. Select the members you wish to generate an arc from, click the right mouse button and then
select "Generate Arc" from the floating menu that appears.

OR

Click the toolbar button or select "Generate Arc" from the Structure menu, select the
members you wish to generate arcs from, click the right mouse button and then click Ok.

2. Pick a point that is anywhere on the concave side of the arc to be generated.

3. In the form that appears (as follows), specify the number of intermediate nodes in the arc
and the arc radius, chord deviation, centre angle or arc length.

4. All selected members are then subdivided and formed into an arc.

5. Select more members to convert to arcs, or press ESC or the right mouse button to exit from
the tool.

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Subdivide
This tool allows you to select one or more members and subdivide them by inserting intermediate
nodes at regular or irregular points along them.

The procedure is as follows.

1. Select the members you wish to subdivide, click the right mouse button and then select
"Subdivide" from the floating menu that appears.

OR

Click the toolbar button or select "Subdivide" from the Structure menu, select the
members you wish to subdivide, click the right mouse button and then click Ok.

2. In the form that appears (as follows), change the data to suit your requirements and then
click the Ok button.

If the node insertion points are irregular, you can nominate "Insertion points" to be
expressed as inclined distances, or as projected distances along one of the global axis
directions. Naturally, you cannot nominate projected distances along a global axis which is
at right angles to the axis of the member being subdivided.

Insertion points are referenced from the node A end of the members. They can be expressed
as actual distances or as percentages. For example, to subdivide a 10m beam into 2m, 3m,
and 5m beams, you could type 2,5, or 2,50%, or 20%,50% into the "Insertion points" field.
In all three cases, the final result is the same.

If you are using percentages for all of the insertion points, then the inclined or projected axis
specification is irrelevant.

3. All selected members are then subdivided.

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4. Select more members to subdivide, or press ESC or the right mouse button to exit from the
tool.

If the inserted nodes are to be equally spaced then you can leave
the "Insertion points" field blank.

Be careful when subdividing or connecting to intermediate points on members that have


local Y or Z member offsets. Because local offsets are calculated relative to a straight line joining
the member’s end nodes, they will change direction if you add intermediate nodes. It is therefore
recommended that you should always convert any local Y or Z member offsets to global before
adding intermediate nodes.

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Mesh
This tool allows you to select one or more plates and then mesh them into smaller elements. You
can also subdivide quadrilateral plates into triangles.

Unlike frame elements, plate elements (like all finite elements) are not exact and hence the
accuracy of the analysis increases as the number of plate elements is increased. It is therefore
important that your model is properly meshed.

The normal procedure for generating a well meshed model is to draw large plates that define the
overall walls, slabs and other components and then use the mesh tool to subdivide the large plates
into smaller elements.

The meshing pattern also affects the analysis results to some extent. For example, because all of
the elements in the following diagram are orientated at the same angle, an effect referred to as
"mesh induced anisotropy" occurs which results in lower computational accuracy.

A meshing pattern that will achieve more accurate results is shown below.

The procedure is as follows.

1. Select the plates you wish to mesh, click the right mouse button and then select "Mesh"
from the floating menu that appears.

OR

Click the toolbar button or select "Mesh" from the Structure menu, select the plates you

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wish to mesh, click the right mouse button and then click Ok.

2. In the form that appears (as follows), change the data to suit your requirements and then
click the Ok button.

If members also exist around the perimeter of the plates being meshed then they can also be
subdivided during the meshing operation if the "Split members along plate edges and
connect to newly generated intermediate nodes" option is checked.

3. All selected plates are then meshed.

4. Select more plates to mesh, or press ESC or the right mouse button to exit from the tool.

After meshing, each plate element must be flat (ie. all vertices in the same plane), have
internal angles less than 135° and an aspect ratio less than 4:1.

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Connect
This tool allows you to connect members that cross each other within a specified distance but
which are not currently connected.

The procedure is as follows.

1. Select the members you wish to connect, click the right mouse button and then select
"Connect" from the floating menu that appears.

OR

Click the toolbar button or select "Connect" from the Structure menu, select the
members you wish to connect, click the right mouse button and then click Ok.

2. In the form that appears (as follows), change the data to suit your requirements and then
click the Ok button.

3. All selected members that cross each other within the specified connection clearance are
then connected.

4. Select more members to connect, or press ESC or the right mouse button to exit from the
tool.

Note that the Connect tool does not merge nodes that are very close together. You can
merge nodes by using the Cleanup tool.

After using the Connect tool, if you want to check that the members are properly
connected, you can use the "Connectivity" tool.

See also Intersect.

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Intersect
This tool allows you to join two or more members and automatically insert nodes at the
intersection points. It works with members that are not touching each other, and with members
that cross over each other.

The procedure is as follows.

1. Select the members you wish to intersect, click the right mouse button and then select
"Intersect" from the floating menu that appears.

OR

Select "Intersect" from the Structure menu, select the members you wish to intersect, click
the right mouse button and then click Ok.

2. Select an "intersect" member to which you want to connect all of the previously selected
members.

3. In the form that appears, select a radio button to choose between moving the ends of the
members being joined, or extending them.

If you choose "Move ends", the ends of those members being joined which don’t already
pass through the intersection point, are moved to the intersection point.

If you choose "Extend ends", new members which meet at the intersection point are added
to the ends of those members being joined which don’t already pass through the intersection
point.

Because the "Move ends" or "Extend ends" selection only affects members which don’t
already pass through the intersection point, the selection is irrelevant for members that cross
over each other.

4. All selected members are then connected to the "intersect" member.

5. Select more members to intersect, or press ESC or the right mouse button to exit from the
tool.

! IMPORTANT NOTE !
Concentrated loads and distributed forces acting on a member that is subdivided as the result
of an intersect operation are now automatically re-distributed onto the subdivided members,
however distributed torsion, thermal and prestress loads are not!

Be careful when intersecting with members that have local Y or Z member offsets.
Because local offsets are calculated relative to a straight line joining the member’s end nodes,
they will change direction if you add intermediate nodes. It is therefore recommended that you

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should always convert any local Y or Z member offsets to global before intersecting at an
intermediate point.

After using the Intersect tool, if you want to check that the members are properly
connected, you can use the "Connectivity" tool.

See also Connect.

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Generate taper/haunch
This tool lets you model tapered members with or without haunches.

A member can be tapered by varying its depth, width or both depth and width. If the depth is
varied, the taper can be applied to the top of the member, the bottom of the member, or evenly to
both the top and bottom. If the width is varied, the taper is applied evenly to both sides of the
member.

If a haunch is selected, its depth is varied and is applied to the bottom of the haunch only.

SPACE GASS uses a series of prismatic member segments to approximate the exact taper. You
can use up to 50 segments per taper, however usually 3 segments is enough to get very close to
the exact solution. The cross section dimensions for each prismatic member can be set equal to
the taper’s largest end dimensions, smallest end dimensions or average dimensions for the
segment under consideration.

The procedure is as follows.

1. Select the members you wish to be tapered or haunched, click the right mouse button and
then select "Generate Taper/Haunch" from the floating menu that appears.

OR

Click the toolbar button or select "Generate Taper/Haunch" from the Structure menu,
select the members you wish to taper or haunch, click the right mouse button and then click
Ok.

In either case, the selected members must be a continuous run of members with no gaps in-
between. Each selected member will become a segment of the total taper. If you have a
single member that is to be tapered then you must subdivide it before generating the taper.

The start of the taper (usually the thick end) is taken to be at the end of the member you
select first (provided it is at one end of the taper). If you select the members using a
selection window or if you select an intermediate member first, the start of the taper will be
at the end of the lowest numbered member.

2. In the form that appears below, change the data to suit your requirements and then click the
Ok button.

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3. The section properties for the taper are then calculated and linked to the selected members.
You can view the final result by double clicking one of the tapered members to display the
member properties form and then click the shape builder button. Alternatively, you can view
the taper in full 3D by using the 3D renderer.

Whenever a taper is generated, member offsets are also calculated and applied to the tapered
members. The offsets take into account the changed centroid location in the built-up sections and
ensure that the tapered members are correctly positioned relative to each other.

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Reverse plate direction


This tool lets you reverse the direction of plates, effectively swapping their front and back faces.
It also results in the plate’s local x and z axes having their directions reversed.

Original Plate

Reversed Plate

Note that the order of the nodes around a plate are changed after the plate has been reversed.

Any pressure or thermal gradient loads applied to the plates can also be reversed or kept in their
original direction.

The procedure is as follows.

1. Select the plates you wish to reverse, click the right mouse button and then select "Reverse
Plate Direction" from the floating menu that appears.

OR

Select "Reverse Plate Direction" from the Structure menu, select the plates you wish to
reverse, click the right mouse button and then click Ok.

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2. In the form that appears, specify if you also want any pressure or thermal gradient loads to
be reversed.

3. All selected plates are then reversed.

4. Select more plates to reverse, or press ESC or the right mouse button to exit from the tool.

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Align plate axes


You can use this tool to align the local axes of a number of plates. After you have drawn and
meshed some plates, you will probably find that their local axes are all pointing in different
directions. If they are left this way then the results will be for different axis directions and they
will be difficult to compare. It will also be difficult to produce meaningful contour diagrams if the
plate axes are not aligned.

The procedure is as follows.

1. Select the plates you wish to align, click the right mouse button and then select "Align Plate
Axes" from the floating menu that appears.

OR

Select "Align Plate Axes" from the Structure menu, select the plates you wish to align, click
the right mouse button and then click Ok.

2. Select a plate that you wish to align the selected plates with.

3. In the form that appears (as follows), change the data to suit your requirements and then
click the Ok button.

Options include allowing plates to be reversed (ie. the direction of their local z-axes are
reversed), letting plates that are currently aligned with a direction node or axis to be re-
aligned, and adjusting pressure or thermal gradient loads for reversed plates.

4. All selected plates then have their axes aligned with the plate selected in step 2 above.

5. Select more plates to align, or press ESC or the right mouse button to exit from the tool.

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Renumber
This tool allows you to renumber nodes, members or plates at any stage of the program operation.
Items that reference nodes, members or plates such as restraints, constraints, loads and steel
design data are automatically adjusted for the new numbering sequence.

The procedure is as follows.

1. Select the nodes, members or plates you wish to renumber, click the right mouse button and
then select "Renumber" from the floating menu that appears.

OR

Click the toolbar button or select "Renumber" from the Structure menu, select the
nodes, members or plates you wish to renumber, click the right mouse button and then click
Ok.

2. In the form that appears (as follows), change the data to suit your requirements and then
click the Ok button.

If you wish to increment all of the nodes, members or plates selected by a common amount
then you should check the "Increment by" radio button and enter the common increment
amount.

If you want to renumber individual nodes, members or plates, the "Starting number" in the
renumber form will default to the selected node, member or plate, and the "Numbering
increment" will default to zero. You only need to change the "Starting number" to the new
number required.

3. All selected nodes, members or plates are then renumbered.

4. Select more nodes, members or plates to renumber, or press ESC or the right mouse button
to exit from the tool.

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If a node, member or plate is to be renumbered to a node, member or plate that already


exists, SPACE GASS displays an error message and forces you to change the renumbering data
before renumbering can proceed.

The "Increment by" option allows you to create a gap in a


sequence of nodes, members or plates without having to redefine the entire numbering sequence.

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Connectivity check
This tool lets you see graphically what is connected to a particular node, member or plate. It is a
very handy tool if you are not sure if certain nodes. members or plates are properly connected.
For example, it will quickly tell you if a member simply passes over a node or if it is properly
connected to it.

The procedure is as follows:

1. Select a node, member or plate you wish to check the connectivity of, click the right mouse
button and then select "Check Connectivity" from the floating menu that appears.

OR

Select "Check Connectivity" from the Structure menu and then click a node, member or
plate.

2. The node, member or plate that you have selected, together with all the nodes, members and
plates that are connected to it are highlighted graphically.

This enables you to see exactly what is connected to your selected entity.

3. Click another node, member or plate to check its connectivity, or press ESC or the right
mouse button to exit from the tool.

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Select all
This tool lets you quickly select all visible nodes, members or plates and then perform an
operation on them.

The procedure is as follows.

1. Click the right mouse button and then select "Select All" from the floating menu that
appears. Alternatively, press Ctrl-A on the keyboard or select "Select All" from the
Structure menu.

The visible nodes, members or plates are highlighted graphically the same as if you had
selected them by picking them with the mouse.

Note that any nodes, members or plates outside the graphics window or those that are
suppressed due to being filtered out are not selected.

2. You can then click on a toolbar button or click the right mouse button and choose from the
floating menu that appears to perform an operation on the selected items.

You can cancel the highlighting by pressing the keyboard ESC key or by selecting "Cancel"
from the floating menu.

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Node loads
This tool allows you to graphically apply force and moment loads to nodes. Node loads are
always referenced to the global axes system. If you wish to apply node loads in local axes you
should use member concentrated loads instead (see also Member concentrated loads).

The procedure is as follows.

1. Select the nodes you wish to load, click the right mouse button and then select "Node
Loads" from the floating menu that appears.

OR

Click the toolbar button or select "Node Loads - Graphical" from the Loads menu,
select the nodes you wish to load, click the right mouse button and then click Ok.

2. In the load case form that appears, if you are inputting new loads then you would probably
leave the load cases list field blank and specify the load cases in the datasheet that follows.
If you are editing loads then you may also wish to leave the load cases list field blank unless
there are a large number of load cases and you want to restrict the datasheet to just some of
them.

You should then choose between showing the loads applied to each selected node
individually (ie. one line of data for each node) or applied as a group to all the selected
nodes (ie. one line of data for all the nodes). The advantage of the "group" selection is that
you only have to input one line of data in the datasheet to have it applied to all the selected
nodes. This can be particularly useful if you are applying the same load to a number of
nodes. If you are inputting a different load on each node then you should choose the
"individual" selection. Choosing "individual" can also be useful if you are simply trying to
see what loads are already applied to the nodes you have selected.

If you have elected to show the loads applied to each node individually then you can also
choose between showing all the selected nodes or just the ones that are loaded. If you are
inputting new loads then you would probably choose to show all the selected nodes, whereas
if you are editing existing loads or just viewing loads then showing just the loaded nodes
may be preferable.

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3. A datasheet then appears with any existing loads shown. You can add, edit or delete loads
and then click the Ok button to save any changes. The operation of the datasheet is the same
as the non-graphical datasheets (see also Datasheets).

Refer to "Using datasheets" for information on how to operate the above datasheet.

See also Node load data.

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Prescribed node displacements


This tool allows you to graphically specify displacements and rotations to nodes. The prescribed
displacements are load case specific. Node displacements are always referenced to the global axes
system and can only be applied to restrained degrees of freedom.

The procedure is as follows.

1. Select the nodes you wish to displace, click the right mouse button and then select
"Prescribed Node Displacements" from the floating menu that appears.

OR

Select "Prescribed Node Displacements - Graphical" from the Loads menu, select the nodes
you wish to displace, click the right mouse button and then click Ok.

2. In the load case form that appears, if you are inputting new displacements then you would
probably leave the load cases list field blank and specify the load cases in the datasheet that
follows. If you are editing displacements then you may also wish to leave the load cases list
field blank unless there are a large number of load cases and you want to restrict the
datasheet to just some of them.

You should then choose between showing the displacements applied to each selected node
individually (ie. one line of data for each node) or applied as a group to all the selected
nodes (ie. one line of data for all the nodes). The advantage of the "group" selection is that
you only have to input one line of data in the datasheet to have it applied to all the selected
nodes. This can be particularly useful if you are applying the same displacement to a
number of nodes. If you are inputting a different displacement on each node then you should
choose the "individual" selection. Choosing "individual" can also be useful if you are simply
trying to see what displacements are already applied to the nodes you have selected.

If you have elected to show the displacements applied to each node individually then you
can also choose between showing all the selected nodes or just the ones that are displaced. If
you are inputting new displacements then you would probably choose to show all the
selected nodes, whereas if you are editing existing displacements or just viewing
displacements then showing just the displaced nodes may be preferable.

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3. A datasheet then appears with any existing displacements shown. You can add, edit or
delete displacements and then click the Ok button to save any changes. The operation of the
datasheet is the same as the non-graphical datasheets (see also Datasheets).

Refer to "Using datasheets" for information on how to operate the above datasheet.

See also Prescribed node displacement data.

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Member concentrated loads


This tool allows you to graphically apply force and moment concentrated loads to members.
Member loads can be referenced to the global or local axes systems and can be positioned
anywhere along the member.

The procedure is as follows.

1. Select the members you wish to load, click the right mouse button and then select
"Concentrated Loads" from the floating menu that appears.

OR

Click the toolbar button or select "Member Concentrated Loads - Graphical" from the
Loads menu, select the members you wish to load, click the right mouse button and then
click Ok.

2. In the load case form that appears, if you are inputting new loads then you would probably
leave the load cases list field blank and specify the load cases in the datasheet that follows.
If you are editing loads then you may also wish to leave the load cases list field blank unless
there are a large number of load cases and you want to restrict the datasheet to just some of
them.

You should then choose between showing the loads applied to each selected member
individually (ie. one line of data for each member) or applied as a group to all the selected
members (ie. one line of data for all the members). The advantage of the "group" selection is
that you only have to input one line of data in the datasheet to have it applied to all the
selected members. This can be particularly useful if you are applying the same load to a
number of members. If you are inputting a different load on each member then you should
choose the "individual" selection. Choosing "individual" can also be useful if you are simply
trying to see what loads are already applied to the members you have selected.

If you have elected to show the loads applied to each member individually then you can also
choose between showing all the selected members or just the ones that are loaded. If you are
inputting new loads then you would probably choose to show all the selected members,
whereas if you are editing existing loads or just viewing loads then showing just the loaded
members may be preferable.

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3. A datasheet then appears with any existing loads shown. You can add, edit or delete loads
and then click the Ok button to save any changes. The operation of the datasheet is the same
as the non-graphical datasheets (see also Datasheets).

Refer to "Using datasheets" for information on how to operate the above datasheet.

You can apply more than one concentrated load to the same
member within the same load case by specifying a different sub-load number for each different
member concentrated load.

See also Member concentrated load data.

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Member distributed forces


This tool allows you to graphically apply distributed forces to members. Member loads can be
referenced to the global or local axes systems and can be positioned to start and finish anywhere
along the member. They can be uniformly distributed or linearly varying along the member.

The procedure is as follows.

1. Select the members you wish to load, click the right mouse button and then select
"Distributed Forces" from the floating menu that appears.

OR

Click the toolbar button or select "Member Distributed Forces - Graphical" from the
Loads menu, select the members you wish to load, click the right mouse button and then
click Ok.

2. In the load case form that appears, if you are inputting new loads then you would probably
leave the load cases list field blank and specify the load cases in the datasheet that follows.
If you are editing loads then you may also wish to leave the load cases list field blank unless
there are a large number of load cases and you want to restrict the datasheet to just some of
them.

You should then choose between showing the loads applied to each selected member
individually (ie. one line of data for each member) or applied as a group to all the selected
members (ie. one line of data for all the members). The advantage of the "group" selection is
that you only have to input one line of data in the datasheet to have it applied to all the
selected members. This can be particularly useful if you are applying the same load to a
number of members. If you are inputting a different load on each member then you should
choose the "individual" selection. Choosing "individual" can also be useful if you are simply
trying to see what loads are already applied to the members you have selected.

If you have elected to show the loads applied to each member individually then you can also
choose between showing all the selected members or just the ones that are loaded. If you are
inputting new loads then you would probably choose to show all the selected members,
whereas if you are editing existing loads or just viewing loads then showing just the loaded
members may be preferable.

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3. A datasheet then appears with any existing loads shown. You can add, edit or delete loads
and then click the Ok button to save any changes. The operation of the datasheet is the same
as the non-graphical datasheets (see also Datasheets).

Refer to "Using datasheets" for information on how to operate the above datasheet.

You can apply more than one distributed force to the same
member within the same load case by specifying a different sub-load number for each different
member distributed force. This allows you to apply "stepped" distributed forces along a member
without having to resort to intermediate nodes.

See also Member distributed force data.

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Member distributed torsions


This tool allows you to graphically apply distributed torsions to members. Member distributed
torsion loads are always referenced to the local axes system and can be positioned to start and
finish anywhere along the member. They can be uniformly distributed or linearly varying along
the member.

The procedure is as follows.

1. Select the members you wish to load, click the right mouse button and then select
"Distributed Torsions" from the floating menu that appears.

OR

Select "Member Distributed Torsions - Graphical" from the Loads menu, select the
members you wish to load, click the right mouse button and then click Ok.

2. In the load case form that appears, if you are inputting new loads then you would probably
leave the load cases list field blank and specify the load cases in the datasheet that follows.
If you are editing loads then you may also wish to leave the load cases list field blank unless
there are a large number of load cases and you want to restrict the datasheet to just some of
them.

You should then choose between showing the loads applied to each selected member
individually (ie. one line of data for each member) or applied as a group to all the selected
members (ie. one line of data for all the members). The advantage of the "group" selection is
that you only have to input one line of data in the datasheet to have it applied to all the
selected members. This can be particularly useful if you are applying the same load to a
number of members. If you are inputting a different load on each member then you should
choose the "individual" selection. Choosing "individual" can also be useful if you are simply
trying to see what loads are already applied to the members you have selected.

If you have elected to show the loads applied to each member individually then you can also
choose between showing all the selected members or just the ones that are loaded. If you are
inputting new loads then you would probably choose to show all the selected members,
whereas if you are editing existing loads or just viewing loads then showing just the loaded
members may be preferable.

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3. A datasheet then appears with any existing loads shown. You can add, edit or delete loads
and then click the Ok button to save any changes. The operation of the datasheet is the same
as the non-graphical datasheets (see also Datasheets).

Refer to "Using datasheets" for information on how to operate the above datasheet.

You can apply more than one distributed torsion to the same
member within the same load case by specifying a different sub-load number for each different
member distributed torsion. This allows you to apply "stepped" distributed torsions along a
member without having to resort to intermediate nodes.

See also Member distributed torsion data.

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Thermal loads
This tool allows you to graphically apply thermal loads to members or plates.

The procedure is as follows.

1. Select the members or plates you wish to load, click the right mouse button and then select
"Thermal Loads" from the floating menu that appears.

OR

Select "Thermal Loads - Graphical" from the Loads menu, select the members or plates you
wish to load, click the right mouse button and then click Ok.

2. In the load case form that appears, if you are inputting new loads then you would probably
leave the load cases list field blank and specify the load cases in the datasheet that follows.
If you are editing loads then you may also wish to leave the load cases list field blank unless
there are a large number of load cases and you want to restrict the datasheet to just some of
them.

You should then choose between showing the loads applied to each selected member or
plate individually (ie. one line of data for each member or plate) or applied as a group to all
the selected members or plates (ie. one line of data for all the members or plates). The
advantage of the "group" selection is that you only have to input one line of data in the
datasheet to have it applied to all the selected members or plates. This can be particularly
useful if you are applying the same load to a number of members or plates. If you are
inputting a different load on each member or plate then you should choose the "individual"
selection. Choosing "individual" can also be useful if you are simply trying to see what
loads are already applied to the members or plates you have selected.

If you have elected to show the loads applied to each member or plate individually then you
can also choose between showing all the selected members or plates, or just the ones that are
loaded. If you are inputting new loads then you would probably choose to show all the
selected members or plates, whereas if you are editing existing loads or just viewing loads
then showing just the loaded members or plates may be preferable.

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3. A datasheet then appears with any existing loads shown. You can add, edit or delete loads
and then click the Ok button to save any changes. The operation of the datasheet is the same
as the non-graphical datasheets (see also Datasheets).

Refer to "Using datasheets" for information on how to operate the above datasheet.

See also Thermal load data.

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Member prestress loads


This tool allows you to graphically apply prestress loads to members.

The procedure is as follows.

1. Select the members you wish to load, click the right mouse button and then select "Prestress
Loads" from the floating menu that appears.

OR

Select "Member Prestress Loads - Graphical" from the Loads menu, select the members you
wish to load, click the right mouse button and then click Ok.

2. In the load case form that appears, if you are inputting new loads then you would probably
leave the load cases list field blank and specify the load cases in the datasheet that follows.
If you are editing loads then you may also wish to leave the load cases list field blank unless
there are a large number of load cases and you want to restrict the datasheet to just some of
them.

You should then choose between showing the loads applied to each selected member
individually (ie. one line of data for each member) or applied as a group to all the selected
members (ie. one line of data for all the members). The advantage of the "group" selection is
that you only have to input one line of data in the datasheet to have it applied to all the
selected members. This can be particularly useful if you are applying the same load to a
number of members. If you are inputting a different load on each member then you should
choose the "individual" selection. Choosing "individual" can also be useful if you are simply
trying to see what loads are already applied to the members you have selected.

If you have elected to show the loads applied to each member individually then you can also
choose between showing all the selected members or just the ones that are loaded. If you are
inputting new loads then you would probably choose to show all the selected members,
whereas if you are editing existing loads or just viewing loads then showing just the loaded
members may be preferable.

3. A datasheet then appears with any existing loads shown. You can add, edit or delete loads
and then click the Ok button to save any changes. The operation of the datasheet is the same

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as the non-graphical datasheets (see also Datasheets).

Refer to "Using datasheets" for information on how to operate the above datasheet.

See also Member prestress data.

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Plate pressure loads


This tool allows you to graphically apply pressure loads to plates. Plate pressure loads can be
referenced to the global or local axes systems.

The procedure is as follows.

1. Select the plates you wish to load, click the right mouse button and then select "Pressure
Loads" from the floating menu that appears.

OR

Click the toolbar button or select "Plate Pressure Loads - Graphical" from the Loads
menu, select the plates you wish to load, click the right mouse button and then click Ok.

2. In the load case form that appears, if you are inputting new loads then you would probably
leave the load cases list field blank and specify the load cases in the datasheet that follows.
If you are editing loads then you may also wish to leave the load cases list field blank unless
there are a large number of load cases and you want to restrict the datasheet to just some of
them.

You should then choose between showing the loads applied to each selected plate
individually (ie. one line of data for each plate) or applied as a group to all the selected
plates (ie. one line of data for all the plates). The advantage of the "group" selection is that
you only have to input one line of data in the datasheet to have it applied to all the selected
plates. This can be particularly useful if you are applying the same load to a number of
plates. If you are inputting a different load on each plate then you should choose the
"individual" selection. Choosing "individual" can also be useful if you are simply trying to
see what loads are already applied to the plates you have selected.

If you have elected to show the loads applied to each plate individually then you can also
choose between showing all the selected plates or just the ones that are loaded. If you are
inputting new loads then you would probably choose to show all the selected plates, whereas
if you are editing existing loads or just viewing loads then showing just the loaded plates
may be preferable.

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3. A datasheet then appears with any existing loads shown. You can add, edit or delete loads
and then click the Ok button to save any changes. The operation of the datasheet is the same
as the non-graphical datasheets (see also Datasheets).

Refer to "Using datasheets" for information on how to operate the above datasheet.

See also Plate pressure data.


See also Varying plate pressure loads.

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Self weight
Self weight or self mass can be input into any load cases by simply specifying the acceleration
due to gravity in any of the three global axis directions.

You can open the self weight datasheet by clicking the toolbar button or selecting "Self
Weight" from the Loads menu and then entering data into the datasheet as explained in Self
weight data.

See also Datasheet Input.

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Combination load cases


Combination load cases combine existing load cases to allow analysis of a structure with the
interaction of different loads. Combination load cases are given a load case number the same as
any other load case.

You can open the combination load cases datasheet by clicking the toolbar button or selecting
"Combination Load Cases" from the Loads menu and then entering data into the datasheet as
explained in Combination load case data.

See also Datasheet Input.

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Load case titles


Load case titles allow you to describe your load cases so that they can be easily identified. For
each load case you can specify a short title and a longer description.

You can open the load case titles datasheet by selecting "Load Case Titles" from the Loads menu
and then entering data into the datasheet as explained in Load case title data.

See also Datasheet Input.

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Lumped masses
This tool allows you to graphically apply lumped masses to nodes. Masses are always referenced
to the global axes system. You must apply some lumped masses before a dynamic frequency
analysis can be performed.

The procedure is as follows.

1. Select the nodes you wish to load, click the right mouse button and then select "Lumped
Masses" from the floating menu that appears.

OR

Click the toolbar button or select "Lumped Masses - Graphical" from the Loads menu,
select the nodes you wish to load, click the right mouse button and then click Ok.

2. In the load case form that appears, if you are inputting new masses then you would probably
leave the load cases list field blank and specify the load cases in the datasheet that follows.
If you are editing masses then you may also wish to leave the load cases list field blank
unless there are a large number of load cases and you want to restrict the datasheet to just
some of them.

You should then choose between showing the masses applied to each selected node
individually (ie. one line of data for each node) or applied as a group to all the selected
nodes (ie. one line of data for all the nodes). The advantage of the "group" selection is that
you only have to input one line of data in the datasheet to have it applied to all the selected
nodes. This can be particularly useful if you are applying the same mass to a number of
nodes. If you are inputting a different mass on each node then you should choose the
"individual" selection. Choosing "individual" can also be useful if you are simply trying to
see what masses are already applied to the nodes you have selected.

If you have elected to show the masses applied to each node individually then you can also
choose between showing all the selected nodes or just the ones that are loaded. If you are
inputting new masses then you would probably choose to show all the selected nodes,
whereas if you are editing existing masses or just viewing masses then showing just the
loaded nodes may be preferable.

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3. A datasheet then appears with any existing masses shown. You can add, edit or delete
masses and then click the Ok button to save any changes. The operation of the datasheet is
the same as the non-graphical datasheets (see also Datasheets).

Refer to "Using datasheets" for information on how to operate the above datasheet.

See also Lumped mass data.

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Spectral loads
Spectral loads must be defined for each load case that you wish to include in a dynamic response
analysis.

You can open the spectral loads datasheet by selecting "Spectral Load Data" from the Loads
menu and then entering data into the datasheet as explained in Spectral load data.

See also Datasheet Input.

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Area loads
Areas defined by three or four perimeter members can have pressure loads automatically input as
member distributed forces using this tool. After selecting the perimeter members, you only have
to enter the pressure load and its direction, after which the member distributed forces are
generated on the selected members.

You can select three or four members that define a single area or you can select a large number of
members that define multiple areas. For example, you could model a uniform pressure acting on a
large grillage by selecting all of the members in the grillage and then use the area loading tool to
generate all of the distributed forces that act on the grillage members.

The procedure is as follows.

1. Select the members you wish to load, click the right mouse button and then select "Area
Loads" from the floating menu that appears.

OR

Click the toolbar button or select "Area Loads" from the Loads menu, select the
members you wish to load, click the right mouse button and then click Ok.

2. In the area loading form that appears (as follows), change the data to suit your requirements
and then click the Ok button.

If an area to be loaded is not exactly planar or if it is not exactly normal to the direction of
loading then it is assumed that the pressure load acts on the projection of the area.

3. The pressure loads are then converted into equivalent uniform, trapezoidal and triangular
member distributed forces for the selected members. However, if the "Generate uniformly
distributed forces only" option is ticked then the pressure for each area is evenly distributed

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onto the perimeter members as uniformly distributed forces only. This can be useful for
cases such as cable members where triangular and trapezoidal loads are not appropriate.

4. Select more members to load, or press ESC or the right mouse button to exit from the tool.

Loads are not generated on areas that have more than four perimeter members.
Subdivided members are considered to be just one perimeter member.

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Moving loads
This tool lets you automatically generate loads on a structure from moving vehicles, cranes or
other moving load sources. Each moving load scenario can contain one or more vehicles with
multiple wheels travelling along paths that consist of straight and/or curved segments. You can
also specify the speed, initial delay, time interval and load factor for each vehicle.

This module does not generate loads from static sources such as bridge lane loads. They
must be input using the normal load input tools in SPACE GASS.

After each time interval, SPACE GASS calculates the position of each vehicle along its travel
path and then determines the distribution of wheel loads on the members that are supporting the
vehicle. Each vehicle position corresponds to a different load case that is incremented from the
starting load case that you specify in the scenario.

Wheel loads are always assumed to act in the global vertical axis direction and are applied only to
the selected members or their end nodes as member concentrated loads or node loads. After the
loads have been generated, you can use the keyboard PageUp/Dn keys to scroll through the load
cases and see the loads moving across your structure.

The procedure is as follows.

1. Select the members in your model that directly support the moving vehicle’s wheels, click
the right mouse button and then select "Moving Loads" from the floating menu that appears.

OR

Click the toolbar button or select "Moving Loads" from the Loads menu, select the
members that directly support the moving vehicle’s wheels, click the right mouse button and
then click Ok.

2. If you haven’t previously defined any moving load data for this job, the following form then
appears.

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This form lets you quickly define the data for an initial scenario. After you have clicked the
Ok button, you can proceed to add vehicles to the scenario or you can define additional
scenarios.

Scenarios
A scenario is a collection of vehicles that move across the structure in steps defined by the
scenario time interval. You will commonly need just one scenario, however you can have
multiple scenarios if required, each with its own set of load cases, time interval, vehicles and
travel paths. For example, a two-lane bridge model could have scenario 1 with the heaviest
vehicle in lane 1 and the lightest vehicle in lane 2, while scenario 2 could have the heaviest
vehicle in lane 2 and the lightest vehicle in lane 1.

A set of load cases is created for each scenario, beginning at the starting load case specified for
that scenario and incremented by 1 for each time interval. The total number of load cases depends
on how long it takes for all vehicles in the scenario to reach the end of their travel paths.

You can add a new scenario, delete a scenario or edit the properties of a scenario by clicking the
appropriate button at the bottom of the travel paths form (see below). Alternatively, you can click
the right mouse button on "Scenarios" or on the scenario name in the tree at the left-hand side of
the form and then select the appropriate item from the floating menu to add, delete or edit a
scenario.

If you have more than one scenario, ensure that the load cases do not overlap between
scenarios. If this happens, it will be detected by SPACE GASS and the moving load generation
will not proceed.

Combining scenarios with other static load cases


The load cases generated for a scenario can be combined with other static load cases using the
grid section at the bottom of the scenario properties form. This is necessary when the moving
loads need to be combined with other load cases such as dead loads, live loads, lane loads, etc.

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For example, in the above form, the scenario 1 moving loads will be combined with static load
case 1 to form a set of combination load cases starting at load case 100. A further set of
combination load cases starting at 200 will combine the scenario 1 load cases (factored by 0.9)
with static load case 6. Finally, combination load cases starting at 300 will combine the scenario 1
load cases with static load case 8 (factored by 1.2).

You can see this has the potential to generate a huge number of load cases and you may,
therefore, need to increase the "Maximum load cases" value via the "Problem size limits" item of
the Config menu.

If you need to combine a scenario with more than one static primary or combination load case,
simply create a combination load case that combines the primary and combination load cases
into a new combination load case first and then combine the scenario with that new
combination load case. Remember that combination load cases can be combined into further
combinations up to four levels deep.

Combining scenarios with other load cases increases the risk of overwriting existing load cases
and having load case clashes due to overlapping of load cases between scenarios and
combinations. SPACE GASS checks for these occurrences and prevents the load generation from
proceeding if any problems are detected.

Vehicles
For each vehicle you must specify a vehicle type, a speed, a delay, a load factor and a travel path.
Vehicle types are obtained from a library of standard and custom vehicles and this is explained in
more detail below.

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The vehicle speed, combined with the scenario time interval, determines the distance between
vehicle positions in successive load cases. If a delay is specified, the vehicle doesn’t move or
have its wheel loads applied to the structure until the end of the delay period.

The load factor is applied to all wheel loads in the vehicle. It can be used, for example, where a
load reduction is allowed when multiple roadway lanes are loaded simultaneously.

In order to model a reversing vehicle, you should specify a negative speed. In this case, the
vehicle will still move along the travel path starting from the same end, but will be moving in
reverse.

The vehicle datum, which coincides with the front-center of the vehicle, is the point on the
vehicle that tracks along the travel path.

You can add a new vehicle, delete a vehicle or edit the properties of a vehicle by clicking the
appropriate button at the bottom of the travel paths form (see below). Alternatively, you can click
the right mouse button on a scenario or a vehicle name in the tree at the left-hand side of the form
and then select the appropriate item from the floating menu to add, delete or edit a vehicle.

Travel paths
The travel path for each vehicle consists of one or more segments between stations that can be
positioned in a number of ways. The travel path stations can be defined by node numbers,
coordinates, or node numbers offset by coordinates.

A segment is assumed to be straight unless you specify a non-zero curve radius at the station at
the end of the segment.

A travel path can go in any plan directions across your structure, regardless of where the nodes
and members are located. Travel paths do not need to be lined up with members in the structure.
Travel path stations are only required at the two ends of the travel path and at changes in direction
or radius.

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For example, the travel path shown in the above form begins at node 2, traverses stations at (20,-
5.2), (50,-5.2) and then follows a line that is parallel to nodes 42 and 56 but is offset away from
them in the Z-axis direction by 1.2m. You can change the order of the stations by using the
promote (up arrow) and demote (down arrow) buttons on the right-hand side of the form.

Normally, you would manually input the node numbers and/or coordinates that define the travel
path, however for simple structures such as beams or monorails, the first vehicle’s travel path will
default to the beam or monorail nodes when you define moving load data for the first time. In this
case, all of the intermediate nodes will be included even though intermediate stations are not
required except at changes in direction.

Once you have specified all the required vehicles and their travel paths, you should click the Ok
button to initiate the load generation. You can then use the keyboard PageUp/Dn keys to scroll
through the load cases and see the generated loads moving across your structure.

Load distribution
Wheel loads are always assumed to act in the global vertical axis direction and are applied only to
the members that are selected graphically. Members that are not selected graphically will not have
any wheel loads applied directly to them. For example, for a bridge design, it would be normal to
select all of the members in the bridge deck that directly support the roadway surface and not the
members lower down that are not directly subjected to the wheel loads.

For a wheel that is positioned exactly on a member, its load is applied directly to that member. If
the wheel is exactly positioned on a number of members then the load is shared equally between
them. For a wheel that is not positioned exactly on a member, its load is distributed onto the
adjacent members in inverse proportion to the closest distance between the member and the
wheel.

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If the "Apply Wheel Loads to Closest Member Only" option is selected, then each wheel load will
be applied only to the member that is closest to it rather than to all the members adjacent to the
wheel.

Load cases
All primary and combination load cases generated with the moving loads module are given load
case titles that reflect their properties. Each title includes a heading and a notes field. Please
ensure that you don’t edit or delete the notes field as it is the means by which the program keeps
track of which load cases belong to which scenario.

Vehicle libraries
The vehicle libraries contain all of the standard vehicles for a number of countries and these can
be used whenever standard vehicle types are required. You can also create your own custom
libraries containing custom vehicles with any arrangement of wheel positions and loads.

You can access the vehicle library by clicking the button in the vehicle properties form.

You can’t modify any of the standard libraries, however you can create your own custom vehicle
libraries to which your own vehicles can then be added. You can create a custom library by
clicking the "Add Library" button at the bottom of the above form. Alternatively, you can click
the right mouse button on "Vehicle Libraries" in the tree of the form and then select "Add
Library" from the floating menu.

You can create a custom vehicle by clicking the "Add Vehicle" button at the bottom of the above
form. Alternatively, you can click the right mouse button on a custom library name in the tree of
the form and then select "Add Vehicle" from the floating menu.

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Envelopes
After the job has been analysed, you can display bending moment or shear force envelopes by
clicking the "Selected Load Cases" item in the load cases combo box in the top toolbar and then
typing in the range of load cases that have just been generated for a scenario. For example, if load
cases 1 to 35 were generated, you should type 1-35 into the load cases field. Note that this may
not always be necessary as the load cases field is automatically set by SPACE GASS for the first
scenario whenever moving loads are generated.

On the side toolbar, you should then ensure that the envelope button is depressed and the
desired bending moment or shear force diagram button is depressed.

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Varying plate pressure loads


For retaining structures such as tanks or retaining walls, or structures subjected to other variable
pressure distributions from wind and the like, the resulting pressure loads on plates can be
generated using this tool. The pressure variation can be linear or based on an equation that you
specify.

The tool works by you defining the pressure variation and a "load axis" along which the pressure
distribution is defined. The pressure is then projected normal to the load axis onto each plate that
you have selected.

The lateral position of each plate relative to the load axis is not important. For example, a plate a
long way from the load axis will get the same pressure as a plate close to it. Similarly, a plate on
one side of the load axis will get the same pressure as a plate on the other side.

For calculating the pressure on the walls of tanks or retaining structures, the load axis would
normally be vertical and the pressure on a plate with its centre at height h would be the same as
the pressure on the load axis at height h.

For other structures, such as a distribution of wind loads applied to a roof, it might be more
convenient to have the load axis horizontal or maybe even parallel to the roof slope.

Plates that are beyond the ends of the load axis are not loaded. For example, if you have a tank
that is 4m high and the load axis extends from the base of the tank vertically up to the 3m mark,
the plates in the top 1m of the tank walls will not be loaded.

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Load Axis and Pressure Distribution

Resulting Pressure Applied to the Plates

If the pressure variation is defined by an equation, the equation must have "x" as the variable
representing the distance along the load axis and can include any of the operators "+", "-", "*",
"/", "\”, "%" and "^". It can also include any of the functions sin, cos, tan, asin, acos, atan, sqrt,
factorial, abs, log, ln and exp.

For example, the pressure on the walls of a bulk solids container could be represented by the
equation Pressure = γ rc(1-e(-z/z0))/μ, where, for a typical coal container could have values of γ
=10.8, rc=0.88, z0=4.03 and μ=0.62.

This could be entered into the SPACE GASS equation field as


10.8*0.88*(1-exp(-x/4.03))/0.62, where "x" is the distance along the load axis and represents "z" in the original
equation.

The procedure is as follows.

1. Select the plates you wish to load, click the right mouse button and then select "Varying
Pressure Loads" from the floating menu that appears.

OR

Select "Varying Plate Pressure Loads" from the Loads menu, select the plates you wish to

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load, click the right mouse button and then click Ok.

2. Pick two points that represent the load axis along which the pressure variation will be
distributed.

Remember that when picking points, you can use the mouse or you can simply type in the
coordinates of the desired point(s). For more information, see "Using the keyboard to
position points".

3. In the form that appears (as follows), change the data to suit your requirements and then
click the Ok button.

The load variation can be linear for cases such as tanks subjected to hydrostatic loads or, for
more complex profiles, can be defined by an equation that you specify as explained above.

If you specify "Local" axes then the pressure load will be applied in the local z-axis
direction (ie. normal to the plane of the plate). If you specify "Global" axes then you must
also specify a global XYZ vector that represents the direction of the pressure load.

4. The pressure loads are then calculated and applied to the selected plates.

5. Select more plates to load, or press ESC or the right mouse button to exit from the tool.

See also Plate pressure data.

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Copy node loads


This tool lets you copy loads from a loaded node to a selection of destination nodes.

The procedure is as follows.

1. Select the source node that you wish to copy the loads from, click the right mouse button
and then select "Copy Node Loads" from the floating menu that appears.

OR

Select "Copy Node Loads" from the Loads menu and then select the source node that you
wish to copy the loads from.

2. Select one or more destination nodes by picking them individually or by putting a selection
window around them and then click the right mouse button and click "Ok".

3. Select which load cases you wish to copy from and click "Ok".

4. The node loads, prescribed displacements and lumped masses on the source node will then
be copied to the selected destination nodes for the load cases you specified.

5. Select another source node, or press ESC or the right mouse button to exit from the tool.

All pre-existing node loads, prescribed displacements and lumped masses on the selected
destination nodes contained within the selected load cases will be deleted and replaced by the
copied loads.

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Copy member loads


This tool lets you copy loads from a loaded member to a selection of destination members.

The procedure is as follows.

1. Select the source member that you wish to copy the loads from, click the right mouse button
and then select "Copy Member Loads" from the floating menu that appears.

OR

Select "Copy Member Loads" from the Loads menu and then select the source member that
you wish to copy the loads from.

2. Select one or more destination members by picking them individually or by putting a


selection window around them and then click the right mouse button and click "Ok".

3. Select which load cases you wish to copy from and click "Ok".

4. The loads on the source member will then be copied to the selected destination members for
the load cases you specified.

5. Select another source member, or press ESC or the right mouse button to exit from the tool.

All pre-existing member loads on the selected destination members contained within the
selected load cases will be deleted and replaced by the copied loads.

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Copy plate loads


The procedure is as follows.

1. Select the source plate that you wish to copy the loads from, click the right mouse button
and then select "Copy Plate Loads" from the floating menu that appears.

OR

Select "Copy Plate Loads" from the Loads menu and then select the source plate that you
wish to copy the loads from.

2. Select one or more destination plates by picking them individually or by putting a selection
window around them and then click the right mouse button and click "Ok".

3. Select which load cases you wish to copy from and click "Ok".

4. The thermal and pressure loads on the source plate will then be copied to the selected
destination plates for the load cases you specified.

5. Select another source plate, or press ESC or the right mouse button to exit from the tool.

All pre-existing plate loads on the selected destination plates contained within the
selected load cases will be deleted and replaced by the copied loads.

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Managing load cases


This tool lets you select and display load cases, or copy, renumber or delete an entire load case,
including all static, mass and spectral loads contained within it.

To select and display the desired load cases


Click the "Load Cases" toolbar combo box and select a single load
case, a list of load cases, all load cases, all primary load cases or all combination load cases.

Scrolling through the load cases can be most conveniently done using the keyboard Page keys as
described in Shortcuts.

To copy, renumber or delete a load case


Click the "Manage Load Cases" toolbar button or select "Copy a Load Case", "Renumber a
Load Case" or "Delete a Load Case" from the Loads menu.

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View rendered model


This tool displays a realistic rendered view of your model that you can zoom, pan, rotate and
overlay with various show/hide options via an adjustable sidebar. Note that this replaces the old
internal and VRML viewers found in pre-v10.70 versions of SPACE GASS.

You can open the 3D renderer by clicking the toolbar button or selecting "Rendered
Model" from the View menu.

You can also view plate contours by clicking the toolbar button or selecting "Plate Contours"
from the View menu.

Zoom in or out by scrolling the mousewheel or by holding down the mousewheel while moving
the mouse or by pressing the keyboard Up/Down arrow keys. You can also click the "Zoom
Extents" button at the top of the sidebar to zoom out so that the entire model is shown. If you find
that zooming doesn’t work, click on the graphics area before trying again.

Pan by holding down the right mouse button while moving the mouse.

Rotate by holding down the left mouse button while moving the mouse. You can also click one
of the camera position buttons at the top of the sidebar to rotate to a common viewpoint.

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Features of the 3D renderer are:

• Very fast rendering for even large structures.


• Fully rendered nodes, members and plates.
• Plate stress contours.
• Realistic representations of node restraints and member fixities.
• Adjustable transparency for members and plates.
• Fast zooming, panning and rotating using the mouse.
• Collapsible sidebar for toggling items on and off.
• Common camera position buttons.
• Perspective or orthographic modes.
• Facility to save the model in common image formats.
• Ability to export the model to 3D AutoCAD DXF and DWG files.
• Print function with print preview.

Being able to show a fully rendered view of your model has some very useful advantages such as:

1. You can verify that the orientation, position and shape of the elements in the structure is as
you intended.
2. You can check for clashing of elements.

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3. You can show architects and other non-engineers what the structure will look like in real
life.

If you have a large model and the 3D renderer is operating slowly when you zoom, pan
or rotate, try turning off the nodes display and/or lower the "Curve Quality" setting as described
below.

The "Curve Quality" setting affects the smoothness of curved surfaces such as those
found in nodes, pipe members, and the cylinders and balls used in the node restraint and member
fixity icons. It has no effect on flat surfaces.

Be aware that as you increase the "Curve Quality" setting, the memory requirements go up
considerably and the rendering process slows down, making the renderer slower and possibly
"jumpy". It is recommended that for optimal results with average sized models you leave the
setting at 16.

If you have a very large model, you could lower the curve quality setting to 8 to speed up the
rendering with some degradation of curve quality. Conversely, if you have a small to medium
model, you could increase the curve quality until you notice a reduction in rendering speed.

Note that in future versions of SPACE GASS you will also be able to select nodes,
members or plates in the 3D renderer and view or edit their properties and loads. Eventually the
3D renderer will incorporate all of the graphical input, editing and display tools of SPACE GASS
until it completely replaces the traditional graphics screen.

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View nodes / members / plates

You can show or hide nodes, members or plates by clicking the , or toolbar buttons
or selecting "Nodes", "Members" or "Plates" from the View menu.

If the nodes, members or plates are hidden then any tools that require nodes, members or plates to
be selected are suppressed. For example, if the nodes are hidden then node loads cannot be input
or edited graphically.

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View node / member / plate properties


You can show graphical representations of node restraints, member hinges, master-slave
constraints or offsets by clicking the , , or toolbar buttons or selecting "Node
Restraints", "Member Hinges", "Master-Slave Constraints" or "Offsets" from the View menu.

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View global origin

You can show the global origin by clicking the toolbar button or selecting "Global Origin"
from the View menu.

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View local axes

You can show the member and plate local axes by clicking the toolbar button or selecting
"Local Axes" from the View menu.

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View labelling and annotation

You can show various text labelling and annotation options by clicking the toolbar button or
selecting "Labelling and Annotation" from the View menu or the floating menu.

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View results in local XY or XZ plane


You can restrict the bending moment, shear force or stress diagrams to either or both of the
member’s local XY or XZ planes by clicking one of the or toolbar buttons or selecting
"Results in Local XY Plane" or "Results in Local XZ Plane" from the View menu.

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View diagrams
You can show loading diagrams, displacement diagrams, bending moment diagrams, shear force
diagrams, axial force diagrams, torsion diagrams, stress diagrams and reactions by clicking the
, , , , , , or toolbar buttons or selecting from the matching items in
the View menu.

Diagrams of different types can be superimposed together. For example, it is possible to include
both bending moment and shear force diagrams together. In addition, diagrams can be toggled on
and off by clicking the button repeatedly.

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View plate contours


You can use the 3D renderer to show colored contour diagrams for plate forces, moments and
stresses by clicking the toolbar button or selecting "Plate Contours" from the View menu.

The following form allows you to select the type of contour diagram you wish to display as well
as specifying its smoothing, color and labelling settings.

If contour smoothing is turned on then the contours appear as continuous color gradients rather
than a discrete color for each plate element.

Contour diagrams are generated from the force, moment and stress values at each node. The value
at a given node can be determined by simply averaging the values from each element that
connects to it (non-weighted averaging) or the contribution from each element can be weighted
depending on how far the centre of the element is from the node (weighted averaging).

For full details of the force, moment and stress contours that can be displayed, refer to "Sign
conventions".

The colors in a contour diagram can be changed by double-clicking any of the three color icons
and then selecting the desired color, or by clicking the “Color Picker” button.

If you wish to display the full range of contour values, ensure that the “Full range” option is
ticked. If not, you can “zoom in” on a particular range of contour values by unticking the “Full
range” option and specifying upper and lower limits. Values that fall within the upper and lower

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limits will be colored depending on where they fall within the specified color spectrum, and any
values that fall outside the limits will be given the same color as values that fall on the upper and
lower limits.

If you find that the contour diagram is predominantly showing the “middle” color, you may be
able to display more color detail by setting a narrower contour range.

Each plate can be labelled with its contour value if desired.

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View envelope

You can display an envelope of any currently displayed diagrams by clicking the toolbar
button or selecting "Envelope" from the View menu.

You can specify (a) just minimums, (b) just maximums, (c) both minimums and maximums or (d)
absolute maximums.

The load cases included in the envelope are the ones currently selected and displayed in the load
case selection combo box in the top toolbar. If you change the load case selection then the
envelope will be updated accordingly.

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View dynamic mode shapes


After a dynamic frequency analysis, you can display animated mode shapes for all the modes
analysed by clicking the toolbar button or selecting "Dynamic Mode Shapes" from the View
menu.

Once initiated, the following keyboard commands are available.

Operation Keystrokes
Display mode shapes 1 to 9 1-9
Display the next mode shape Page down
Display the previous mode shape Page up
Change to load case <case> C <case>
Change the display from animated to static S
Change the display from static to animated A
Increase the amplitude (scale) Right arrow
Decrease the amplitude (scale) Left arrow
Increase the frequency (speed) Up arrow
Decrease the frequency (speed) Down arrow

You can exit from the dynamic mode shapes commands by pressing ESC or the right mouse
button. This also causes any animation to stop and revert back to a static display.

If you use REDRAW or any other tool which causes the graphics display area to be
regenerated while a dynamic mode shape is displayed, it will revert back to an animated display,
and the dynamic mode shapes commands will again become active.

Some examples of mode shapes for a plane grid from the dynamic frequency analysis module are
shown following.

1st dynamic mode shape for plane grid

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4th dynamic mode shape for plane grid

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View buckling mode shapes

After a buckling analysis, you can display the buckling mode shapes by clicking the toolbar
button or selecting "Buckling Mode Shapes" from the View menu.

You can limit the number of buckling modes shown by defining a filter and specifying a list of
the buckling modes required.

For 2D models, it is a good idea to view the buckling mode shapes from a 3D viewpoint so that
any out-of-plane buckling modes can be observed.

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View steel member design groups


You can show steel member design groups as thick lines superimposed over the analysis model
by clicking the toolbar button or selecting "Steel Member Design Groups" from the View
menu.

The groups are shown slightly shorter than their actual length so that you can easily see where
they start and finish.

To view the properties of a steel member design group you can simply click the right mouse
button on any part of a design group and then select "Steel Member Design Input (Form)" from
the floating menu. Note that this can be done regardless of whether the groups are displayed or
not.

See also Steel member design data

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View steel member top flanges


It is important to know which is the top flange for steel members so that the restraints you specify
for the top and bottom flanges do not get mixed up. This tool lets you display them as small
triangles that touch the top flange of each analysis member.

You can show the top flanges by clicking the toolbar button or selecting "Steel Member Top
Flanges" from the View menu.

The top flange for a steel design group is taken to be the same as the top flange for the first
analysis member in the design group. Therefore, to find the top flange of a design group you must
look at just the first member in the group.

See also Steel member design data

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View steel member flange restraints


If you are not sure where your steel design flange restraints are actually located along the
members, you can use this tool to show them graphically.

You can show the flange restraints by clicking the toolbar button or selecting "Steel Member
Flange Restraints" from the View menu.

Displays all of the flange restraints that you have specified for each design group. The flange
restraints are shown adjacent to their location on the top and bottom flanges.

See also Steel member design data

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View steel member design results


If a steel member design has been performed, this tool shows the design results color coded for
the various levels of load factor or stress ratio achieved.

You can view the design results by clicking the toolbar button or selecting "Steel Member
Design Results" from the View menu.

The color divisions are chosen as follows.

Load Factors: Stress Ratios:


>= 2.00 <= 0.50 (Pass)
>= 1.10 <= 0.90 (Pass)
>= 1.00 <= 1.00 (Pass)
< 1.00 > 1.00 (Fail)
< 0.90 > 1.10 (Fail)
< 0.50 > 2.00 (Fail)
Design error Design error
Not designed Not designed

You can change the colors by selecting "Graphics Colors" from the Config menu.

To view brief design result details of a steel member design group (see below) you can simply
click the right mouse button on any part of a design group and then select "Steel Member Design
Results" from the floating menu. You can then simply click on other members to view their
results. Note that this can be done regardless of whether the design results are displayed or not.

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You can also use filters to restrict the display of members based on their design results.

See also Steel member design data

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View steel connection drawings


This tool allows you to view or print fully detailed and annotated steel connection drawings for
connections that have been designed with the steel connection design module. You can also
export these drawings to DXF files, ready for use by a CAD system.

You can view the steel connection drawings by clicking the toolbar button or selecting
"Connection Drawings" from the View menu.

Connection drawings can only be accessed here if you requested a view file to be
generated during the connection design phase (see also Running a steel connection design).
Connections that have not been designed or those that failed during the design phase cannot be
viewed or printed graphically.

Once initiated, the first steel connection drawing is displayed and the following keyboard
commands are available.

Operation Keystrokes
Go to connection C <connection>
Change the drawing scale S <scale>
Redraw R
Zoom window Z
Zoom previous ZP
Zoom full F or ZF
Pan P
Export the drawing to a DXF file E
Generate a hardcopy of the drawing H
Go to the previous connection Page up
Go to the next connection Page down

You can exit from the connection viewing mode by pressing ESC or the right mouse button, or by
clicking the "View Connection Drawings" toolbar button.

The following drawings are examples of the types of connections that can be designed and drawn
by SPACE GASS.

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Beam to column connection

Beam to beam connection

See also Steel member design data

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Redraw
You can redraw the graphics display area with the same scale, viewpoint and contents by clicking
the toolbar button or selecting "Redraw" from the View menu or the floating menu.

The REDRAW facility can be useful for removing stray lines or


text which are sometimes left after a MOVE, COPY, ROTATE, MIRROR or other graphics
operation.

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Zoom
This tool allows you to zoom in or out on the entire structure or just a part of it.

Zooming can be most conveniently done using the mousewheel or keyboard arrow keys as
described in "Shortcuts". For example, while viewing the structure graphically, just use the
mousewheel to zoom in or out.

Alternatively, you can zoom by clicking the toolbar button or selecting "Zoom" from the
View menu or the floating menu.

There are four zoom modes as follows.

1. ZOOM full - redraws the entire structure at a scale that allows it to fit comfortably on the
screen.

2. ZOOM window - requires you to place a window around a portion of the structure which it
then enlarges and redraws to fill the screen.

3. ZOOM in/out - requires you to position the graphics cursor at the zoom centre and then click
the left mouse button to ZOOM in or the right mouse button to ZOOM out.

4. ZOOM previous - reverts back to the previously displayed view.

If you have selected ZOOM Window, you can revert to ZOOM


Full or ZOOM Previous by pressing the keyboard F or P keys while selecting the window.

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Pan
This tool allows you to move the structure in any direction on the screen. It is useful if you cannot
see the entire structure at once and you don't want to change the scale. You simply move the
structure until you can see the desired portion.

Panning can be most conveniently done using the mousewheel or keyboard arrow keys as
described in "Shortcuts". For example, while viewing the structure graphically, just hold down
the CTRL key and use the mousewheel to pan up or down, or hold down the SHIFT key and
use the mousewheel to pan left or right.

Alternatively, you can pan by clicking the toolbar button or selecting "Pan" from the View
menu or the floating menu.

The sequence of operation is as follows.

1. Pick two points that represent the relative movement through which the structure is to be
panned across the screen.

2. The structure is redrawn at the new position.

The PAN operation does not change node coordinates, it simply translates your
viewpoint.

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Scales
This tool allows you to change the scales of the undeformed frame or any of the superimposed
diagrams.

Changing scales can be most conveniently done using the mousewheel or keyboard arrow keys
as described in "Shortcuts". For example, while viewing the structure graphically, just use the
mousewheel to zoom in or out, or hold down the M key and use the mousewheel to change the
scale of a displayed bending moment diagram, etc.

Alternatively, you can change scales by clicking the toolbar button or selecting "Scale" from
the View menu or the floating menu.

All scales initially default to values that allow the diagrams to fit neatly into the available
graphics display area. If you change any of the scales, they are retained with the job.

The "Displacements factor" and "Buckling mode factor" settings are distortion factors
rather than scales. Increasing their values causes the relevant diagrams to increase in size.
Increasing any of the other "Scale" settings causes the relevant diagrams to be reduced in size.

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Find
You can use the find tool to quickly locate nodes, members or plates in your model by clicking
the toolbar button or selecting "Find" from the View menu or the floating menu.

You can find nodes, members or plates by listing their numbers directly or by specifying their
properties or the nodes/members/plates to which they are connected. Only those nodes, members
or plates that satisfy all of the find criteria in the form are found.

When a node, member or plate is found, it is highlighted graphically the same as if you had
selected it by picking it with the mouse. You can use the highlighting simply as a visual reference
to see where the found nodes, members or plates are in your structure, or you can click a toolbar
button or click the right mouse button and choose from the floating menu that appears to perform
an operation on the selected nodes, members or plates. You can cancel the highlighting by
pressing the keyboard ESC key or by selecting "Cancel" from the floating menu.

After the Find command highlights the nodes, members or plates


you are searching for, you can perform many graphics operations on them by clicking the right
mouse button and then selecting from the floating menu that appears.

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Filters
The filter tool allows you to restrict the amount of data that is displayed in the graphics display
area or in output reports. You can use it to restrict the display to specific nodes, node types,
members, member types, plates, plate types, section properties, material properties, load types,
buckling modes, steel members, steel connections, axis limits or any combinations of these.

To create a filter from nodes, members or plates selected graphically


Select some nodes, members or plates graphically by picking them or by using the "Find" tool
and then select "Create Filter" from the floating menu, after which the following form appears.

To save the current selection as a filter, just click the combo box in the above form, select a filter
number and then type in the filter’s name. You can overwrite previously saved filters or you can
select and name an unused filter.

An alternative method of creating a filter from nodes, members or plates selected graphically is
to use the "Select" buttons in the main filters form as explained below.

To create or edit filters


Click the toolbar button or select "Filters" from the View menu or the floating menu.

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For each filter you can select one or more check boxes and then specify the corresponding items
to be included in the filter. For example, if you specify a member list of 1,2-6,9,10 and a section
property list of 2,3, the filter will include only those members in the specified list that use section
properties 2 or 3. The more check boxes you enable and corresponding items you specify, the
more you limit the nodes, members or plates that are included in the filter.

You can define up to 200 different filters and scroll between them in the form by changing the
"Filter" numeric field.

The Include/Exclude buttons simply reverse the effect of the items in the filter line. For example,
if you specify a node list of 2-5,9,13 and select "Include" then those nodes will be included in the
filter. However, if you select "Exclude" then all the nodes except 2-5,9 and 13 will be included in
the filter.

You can use the "Select" buttons in the "Nodes", "Members" and "Plates" lines to graphically
select or edit node, member and plate lists rather than having to type them in manually. You can
also use the "Select" buttons to graphically add to or modify filters that were previously defined
using other than node, member or plate lists.

Filters can also be based on lists of steel design members or connections, or steel member design
results.

The "X-axis", "Y-axis", and "Z-axis" fields allow you to specify minimum and maximum limits
for one or more axis directions. You can enter ranges into the fields manually or select them

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graphically by clicking their "Select" button. Any parts of the frame which fall outside of these
limits are excluded from the filter.

The "Grey out members not in filter" checkbox allows you to show in a faint line or completely
hide any members that are not included in the active filter.

To select and activate a filter


Click the "Filters" toolbar combo box and make your selection.

Scrolling through the filters can be most conveniently done using the keyboard Ctrl+Page keys as
described in Shortcuts.

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Views
This tool lets you save everything about the current graphics display including its load case
selections, filter selection, viewpoint, and any diagrams or node, member or plate properties that
might be shown.

To save the current display as a view or to manage the currently saved views
Click the toolbar button or select "Views" from the View menu or the floating menu. You
must then select "Save the Current View" from the floating menu that appears.

To save the current view, just click the combo box in the above form, select a view number and
then type in the view’s name. You can overwrite previously saved views or you can select and
name an unused view.

You can save up to 100 different views.

To manage (delete, renumber or rename) previously saved views


Click the toolbar button or select "Views" from the View menu or the floating menu. You
must then select "Manage the Saved Views" from the floating menu that appears.

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To delete, renumber or rename any of the previously saved views, click the desired view in the
datasheet shown above and then delete or edit it as required.

To select and activate a view


Click the "Views" toolbar combo box and make your selection.

Scrolling through the saved views can be most conveniently done using the keyboard
Shift+Ctrl+Page keys as described in Shortcuts.

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Viewpoint
This tool allows you to rotate your viewpoint around the structure. You can obtain an elevation
from any side, a plan view or a view from any other position.

Changing the viewpoint can be most conveniently done using the mousewheel or keyboard
arrow keys as described in "Shortcuts". For example, while viewing the structure graphically,
just hold down the H key and use the mousewheel to rotate your viewpoint horizontally, or hold
down the V key and use the mousewheel to rotate your viewpoint vertically.

Alternatively, you can rotate your viewpoint by clicking the toolbar button or selecting
"Viewpoint" from the View menu or the floating menu.

The current viewpoint setting is displayed near the top-right corner of the graphics display area
together with a small set of axes. You can watch the axes move as you change the viewpoint or,
by activating real-time structure rotation, you can also watch the entire structure rotating as you
change the viewpoint.

There are a number of ways to change the viewpoint as explained as follows.

1. Clicking the arrow buttons above the side toolbar buttons (as follows) allows you to change
the viewpoint quickly without having to first click on any other buttons. After reaching the
desired viewpoint, pick a point anywhere inside the graphics display area to cause a redraw
at the new viewpoint.

2. Choosing "Viewpoint-View real-time" from the View menu or the floating menu allows you
to rotate the entire structure on the screen using the keyboard arrow keys. After reaching the
desired viewpoint, pick a point anywhere inside the graphics display area to cause a redraw
at the new viewpoint.

3. Choosing one of the "View front/View plan/View (30,10)/etc." items after clicking the
"Viewpoint" toolbar button or from the "Viewpoint" item of the View menu or the floating
menu causes the structure to be immediately redrawn at the new viewpoint. The "(30,10)"
item corresponds to a horizontal angle of 30° and a vertical angle of 10°. It is a useful
viewpoint for 3D structures.

4. Choosing "Select" after clicking the "Viewpoint" toolbar button or from the "Viewpoint"
item of the View menu or the floating menu causes the following form to appear.

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You can change the viewpoint by editing the "Horizontal angle" and "Vertical angle" text
boxes directly, or you can click on one of the arrow buttons at the bottom-left corner of the
form. When using the arrow buttons, the amount by which the viewpoint changes can be
controlled by setting the value in the "Angle increment" field.

Alternatively, you can click on one of the seven plane buttons which take you immediately
to a front, plan, left, (30,10), right, back or bottom viewpoint.

SPACE GASS normally assumes that the global Y-axis is vertical when displaying the
structure graphically, however the viewpoint form allows you to change the vertical axis to
one of the other global axes.

The viewpoint settings (including the "Vertical axis" setting) only affect the graphics display.
They don’t affect the local axis definitions, the steel design top flange definitions, or the analysis
and design modules in any way.

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Query frame
You can query any node, member or plate in your model by simply double-clicking on it.

Alternatively, you can do the query by clicking the toolbar button or selecting "Frame" from
the Query menu.

While the form is open, you can simply click on any other nodes, members or plates to have their
attributes displayed.

For full details, refer to Node properties, Member properties or Plate properties.

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Query analysis results


You can query the analysis results graphically in either of two ways:

To click on a node, member or plate and get its analysis results in a scrollable
window
Click the toolbar button or select "Analysis Results" from the Query menu or click the
"Results" button in the "Node Properties", "Member Properties" or "Plate properties" forms.

The scrollable results form shown below displays a useful summary of the analysis results for
those nodes, members or plates you select.

While the form is open, you can simply click on any other nodes, members or plates to have their
results displayed.

To move a crosshair along a member and get its analysis results at the crosshair
location
Choose an item other than "Frame" and "Analysis Results" from the Query menu.

This method lets you nominate a load case and the number of intermediate member stations as
shown in the form as follows, followed by picking a member to query.

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A crosshair cursor is then positioned at the node A end of the member and a line of information
near the bottom of the SPACE GASS window shows the analysis results for the selected member
at the crosshair location. You can then use the keyboard arrow keys to move the crosshair cursor
to any location on any member in the frame, with the coincident analysis results being
continuously updated and reported in the information line.

To get a fully detailed analysis report, refer to Output.

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Query steel member design results

After a steel member design, you can query the design results by clicking the toolbar button
or selecting "Steel Member Design Results" from the Query menu.

The scrollable results form shown below displays a useful summary of the design results for those
members you select.

While the form is open, you can simply click on any other members to have their design results
displayed.

To get a fully detailed steel member design report, refer to Output.

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Grid
You can display a rectangular grid in the XY, XZ or YZ global planes by clicking the
toolbar or selecting "Grid" from the Settings menu or pressing
"SHIFT+CTRL+G" on the keyboard (or just "G" if a graphics command is active).

It is a useful visual reference as you move the cursor around the screen. The GRID can be set to
any desired size provided it is not too fine or too coarse to be properly displayed. The GRID
setting uses the same system of units as the structure being displayed.

It can be toggled on or off by again clicking the "Grid" toolbar button or re-selecting the "Grid"
menu item.

The current GRID setting is displayed on the graphics settings button (as indicated above).

If you change the operating plane while a grid is displayed, the grid will not be updated until you
perform an operation which refreshes the entire screen such as PAN, ZOOM, VIEWPOINT,
SCALE, REDRAW, etc.

The grid can only be displayed in one of the global planes. It cannot be offset a distance
out along one of the axes. If you are operating in a plane which is offset from the 0,0,0 global
origin and your viewpoint is at an angle to the plane you are working in, do not try to use the
displayed grid as a reference. It is only useful if you are operating in the same plane as the grid
or if your viewpoint is perpendicular to the operating plane.

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Snap
The snap tool causes the cursor to move in discrete steps and allows you to accurately position
points on an imaginary snap grid.

You can activate snap mode by clicking the toolbar or selecting "Snap" from the
Settings menu or pressing "SHIFT+CTRL+S" on the keyboard (or just "S" if a graphics command
is active).

It allows you to accurately position the graphics cursor. The SNAP facility can be set to any
desired increment which may or may not match the GRID setting (as desired). The SNAP
increment uses the same system of units as the structure being displayed.

It can be toggled on or off by again clicking the "Snap" toolbar button or re-selecting the "Snap"
menu item.

The current SNAP setting is displayed on the graphics settings button (as indicated above).

For convenience, SNAP is automatically turned off temporarily during some graphics
operations such as when you are simply picking members. This avoids the problem of not easily
being able to pick objects due to the SNAP stepping effect.

When SNAP is turned off, you may notice that the graphics cursor moves in very small
increments which are not useful fractions of whole numbers. These increments actually represent
the distance between pixels on the screen. When you position the cursor on a known point, the
coordinates display sometimes indicates that the cursor is not exactly on the point. This is
because there is no pixel exactly on the point and the cursor has therefore moved to the closest
pixel. SPACE GASS, however ignores the small movement to the closest pixel and assumes that
the cursor is located exactly on the desired point. When SNAP is turned on this does not occur.

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Ortho
The ortho tool limits the lines that you draw to only horizontal or vertical.

You can activate ortho mode by clicking the toolbar or selecting "Ortho" from the
Settings menu or pressing "SHIFT+CTRL+O" on the keyboard (or just "O" if a graphics
command is active).

If ORTHO is on, it activates a secondary crosshair graphics cursor which indicates the actual
selection point and which moves in such a way that only horizontal or vertical lines (relative to
the frame global axes) can be drawn. It is a very useful aid for drawing and positioning members,
as most structures contain predominantly horizontal and vertical members.

It can be toggled on or off by again clicking the "Ortho Mode" toolbar button or re-selecting the
"Ortho Mode" menu item.

The current ORTHO setting is displayed on the graphics settings button (as indicated above).

If you are drawing new members with ORTHO on and ATTACH


set to "NEAR/END", then the attachment point for any new member which attaches to an
intermediate point on another member is positioned so that the new member stays truly
orthogonal. You can also use ATTACH set to "ORTHOGONAL" for the same result.

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Attach
The attach tool lets you attach nodes, members, plates and reference points to existing nodes,
members or plates without having to position the cursor exactly on them.

You can change the attach setting by clicking on the toolbar button or
selecting "Attach Mode" from the Settings menu or pressing "SHIFT+CTRL+A" on the keyboard
(or just "A" if a graphics command is active).

If ATTACH is on (as indicated on the toggle button above), the program displays an aperture
circle with the graphics cursor and allows you to attach to existing nodes members when you pick
points near them. The aperture circle indicates how close you must get to a node, member or plate
in order to attach to it. The point of attachment depends on the ATTACH setting.
ACTION RESULT

ATTACH OFF

ATTACH MIDDLE/END

ATTACH NEAREST/END

ATTACH MIDDLE

ATTACH NEAREST

ATTACH ORTHOGONAL

ATTACH PERPENDICULAR

The settings that may be displayed on the attach button are:

Off: Function is deactivated.


Middle/End: Attaches to the middle or the end, whichever is closest.
Nearest/End: Attaches to the nearest point or, if an end falls within the
aperture circle, attaches to the end.
n%/End: Attaches to a point at the nearest n% increment along the
member, or the end, whichever is closest.
Middle: Attaches to the middle.
Nearest: Attaches to the nearest point.
Orthogonal: Attaches to a point that makes the line being drawn exactly
horizontal or vertical.
Perpendicular: Attaches to a point that makes the line being drawn

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perpendicular to the member being attached to.

For example, if you draw a new member and wish to attach it to the end of an existing member,
you can simply set ATTACH to "MIDDLE/END" and then locate the start of the new member
near the end of the existing member. The two members will be automatically connected with a
common node at the intersection point.

To connect a member to the mid point of another member ensure that ATTACH is set to
"MIDDLE" and then simply position the end of the first member to within the aperture circle
radius of the second member. The second member is automatically broken into two and a node
inserted at the intersection point.

The attach setting is only used if the aperture circle touches a node, member or plate.

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Plane
The plane tool allows you to specify an operating plane in or parallel to the global XY, XZ or YZ
planes in which the graphics cursor will move.

You can change the plane setting by clicking the toolbar button or selecting
"Operating Plane" from the Settings menu or pressing "SHIFT+CTRL+P" on the keyboard (or
"X", "Y", "Z" or "P" if a graphics command is active).

It allows you to accurately move the graphics cursor to any desired position in 3D space.

The current PLANE setting is displayed on the graphics settings button (as indicated above).

The "Offset" field is the distance from the operating plane to the structure origin. It can be seen
by observing the coordinates display as you move the graphics cursor.

You can often take advantage of the fact that when picking points
in any graphics operation, the operating plane offset is changed to match the coordinates of the
most recently picked point.

If you change the viewpoint such that the operating plane is no


longer visible, the program will automatically change the operating plane to a visible one.

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Coordinates
This tool allows you to cycle between cartesian and polar coordinates using absolute or relative
modes, to control the 3D coordinates display which shows the position of the graphics cursor as it
is moved in the graphics display area.

You can change the displayed coordinates by clicking the toolbar button
or selecting "Coordinates Display" from the Settings menu or pressing "SHIFT+CTRL+C" on the
keyboard (or just "C" if a graphics command is active).

The current COORDINATES setting is displayed on the graphics settings button (as indicated
above).

Choices are: Cartesian,


Cartesian-Relative,
Polar,
Polar-Relative,
Off.

When a graphics operation is active, the actual coordinates of the graphics cursor are displayed at
the bottom-right corner of the screen.

If you select the second corner of a window or line and the COORDINATES setting is in a
relative mode then the coordinates displayed are relative to the first point of the window or line.
Relative coordinates are the same as absolute coordinates when you select a single point or the
start of a line.

The COORDINATES setting does not restrict your choice of Cartesian, polar, absolute
and relative modes when inputting points from the keyboard. For example, you can enter a point
from the keyboard using polar coordinates even if the COORDINATES display is set to Cartesian
coordinates (see also Using the keyboard to position points).

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Repeat last command


By pressing the keyboard spacebar, you can repeat the last command. This can be useful in
situations where you need to repeat an operation a number of times.

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Analysis
SPACE GASS uses the well documented stiffness method combined with a wavefront equation
solver to model the elastic behaviour of structures. It is capable of performing five types of
analysis, as follows.

• Linear (1st order) static analysis


• Non-linear (2nd order) static analysis
• Dynamic frequency analysis
• Dynamic response analysis
• Buckling analysis

The SPACE GASS analysis modules can accurately deal with semi-rigid joints, elastic supports,
master-slave constraints, offsets, tension/compression-only members, and cable members (static
and buckling analysis only).

Although the wavefront method is not highly sensitive to badly numbered structures, a wavefront
optimizer which automatically minimizes the frontwidth is also available with SPACE GASS.
The wavefront optimizer means that both the node, member and plate numbering sequences are
incidental to the program.

SPACE GASS has been dimensioned dynamically. This means that during the analysis phase
SPACE GASS automatically adjusts its memory requirements according to the size of the job. If
the available memory in your computer is enough to solve the structure entirely in memory then
the analysis phase will be extremely fast. If you run out of memory during an analysis then some
of the analysis data will be automatically written to disk and the analysis phase will not be quite
as fast. You should aim to have as much of the data as possible held in memory during the
analysis by minimizing the frontwidth or by increasing the memory capacity of your computer.

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Static analysis
For non-cable members and plates, SPACE GASS uses the common small displacement theory in
its linear and non-linear static analysis solver. This theory assumes that the equilibrium equations
for a member or plate, which are based on the initial undeformed node positions, are still valid
after the frame has deformed. The deformation of most civil engineering structures fit well within
the small displacement category. Small displacement theory may, however be unsuitable for some
highly flexible structures.

For cable members, SPACE GASS uses a large displacement theory that has been designed to
cope with the highly non-linear behaviour and large deflections that occur within cables (see also
Cable members). For structures that contain both cables and non-cable members, it is important to
note that while the large local cable deflections are allowed for in the analysis, the non-cable parts
of the structure are still analysed using small displacement theory.

Although a SPACE GASS non-linear static analysis includes simple buckling checks on
individual members and on the frame as a whole, a full buckling analysis is usually required in
addition to the static analysis. If the buckling capacity of the frame has been exceeded then the
static analysis results are invalid and should not used!

The SPACE GASS static analysis module is capable of performing linear or non-linear analyses.
Furthermore, you can analyse some load cases linearly and others non-linearly in the same model.

If the static analysis results are to be used for a steel design to AISC-LRFD, Eurocode 3,
AS4100 or NZS3404, the load cases used in the strength design must be analysed non-linearly
unless you know that the second order effects are negligible.

The non-linear static analysis facility available with SPACE GASS considers geometric non-
linearities rather than material non-linearities.

Material non-linearities occur as a result of the non-linear stress-strain relationship of most


materials. This effect becomes more significant as the material reaches its yield point and the
stress-strain curve flattens out. SPACE GASS does not consider material non-linearities because
they are relatively insignificant in comparison with geometric non-linearities and because their
effect only becomes noticeable when the material is highly stressed.

There are many types of geometric non-linearities, some of which can be significant and many of
which are relatively insignificant. The most important geometric non-linearities are:

• P-Δ effect
• P-δ effect
• Axial shortening effect
• Tension/compression-only effect
• Catenary cable effect

Some sources refer to the additional effects of shear deformations and rigid end gussets as being
geometric non-linearities also. While SPACE GASS fully considers these additional effects

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during the analysis phase, it does not consider them to be non-linearities because they can be
solved directly in one analysis and do not require an iterative procedure.

Because the plates in SPACE GASS are linear elements, no P-Δ or P-δ effects are
considered for them during a non-linear analysis.

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Displacements, actions and reactions

During the static analysis phase, there are three basic groups of data that have to be calculated.
They are node displacements, member and plate actions (forces and moments) and support
reactions.

Node displacements
Node displacements are calculated for each load case being analysed and for every unrestrained
degree of freedom in the structure. Each node may translate along or rotate about any or all of the
three global axis directions. Restrained (fixed or deleted) degrees of freedom are automatically
assigned displacements of zero except for those nodes that have prescribed displacements
specified. In such cases those nodes are assigned the prescribed displacement only for the
particular load case in which they were specified.

Member actions
There are twelve forces and moments that can be calculated for each member. Each end of a
member is subjected to an axial force, a torsion, bending moments about its y and z axes and
shear forces along its y and z axes.

The program is also capable of calculating forces and moments at user defined intermediate
points along members. These intermediate values, however are not calculated during the analysis
phase. Instead they are calculated as required when the output report is produced.

For more information, refer to Sign conventions.

Plate actions
Three forces and three moments are calculated for each plate node, making a total of 18 actions
per triangular plate and 24 actions per quadrilateral plate. Two axial stresses, three shear stresses
and three bending stresses are also calculated for each plate.

These are later used to calculate the 17 different force, moment and stress values for each plate
that can be shown graphically as colored contours or included in text reports.

For more information, refer to Sign conventions.

Reactions
External node reactions are the forces and moments exerted by the structure on the supports. They
are calculated only for restrained nodes and are referenced by the global axes system.

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P-D effect

The P-Δ effect occurs as a result of the ends of an axially loaded member moving laterally with
respect to each other. A moment of P.Δ is induced which alters the member’s equilibrium and
causes the relative member end movement to change further.

P-Δ effect

Unless the axial load P exceeds the member’s critical buckling load, a point of equilibrium
eventually occurs such that the P-Δ moment is balanced by moments applied by other members or
restraints.

The P-Δ effect is not considered for plate elements.

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P-d effect

The P-δ effect occurs as a result of lateral curvature being induced in an axially loaded member.
A parabolic moment distribution is induced along the length of the member which alters the
member’s effective stiffness and causes the curvature to change further.

P-δ effect

Unless the axial load P exceeds the member’s critical buckling load, a point of equilibrium
eventually occurs such that the P-δ moments are balanced by internal flexural resistance built up
within the member.

The P-δ effect is not considered for plate elements.

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Tension-only and compression-only effects

While in tension, tension-only members act identically to normal members with axial, flexural,
torsional and shear capacity. However, if they go into compression then they are automatically
disabled and act as if they have been removed from the model. Similarly, compression-only
members act identically to normal members unless they are disabled as a result of going into
tension.

Although the solution of tension-only or compression-only members requires an iterative analysis


method, SPACE GASS puts it into a slightly different category to the other non-linear effects and
makes it available in either a linear or a non-linear static analysis.

Unlike the P-Δ and P-δ effects, tension-only and compression-only effects result in an exact
solution provided that convergence can be achieved.

For tension/compression-only effects, convergence is sometimes difficult (if not impossible),


especially if the frame is highly symmetrical. If convergence is not achieved after three iterations,
SPACE GASS relaxes the tension/compression-only criteria slightly in an attempt to improve the
chances of reaching convergence.

During the first three iterations SPACE GASS disables tension-only members which have either
end in compression. During iterations four and five it disables tension-only members which have
the average of their end forces in compression. During the sixth and further iterations it disables
tension-only members which have both ends in compression. A similar procedure is followed for
compression-only members which have tensile forces at their ends.

If tension/compression-only effects have been activated with "No reversal" then convergence is
usually achieved after two or three iterations, even for highly symmetrical structures. This "No
reversal" method is not usually recommended, however because it sometimes results in members
being prematurely disabled and then not being able to be re-enabled in later iterations after the
axial forces have been redistributed around the frame.

Tension/compression-only effects are ignored by the dynamic frequency analysis module.


No tension-only or compression-only members are disabled in a dynamic frequency analysis,
regardless of their axial force.

! IMPORTANT NOTE !
Tension-only members should not be used to model cables.

See also Members.

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Cable members

The analysis of cable members requires special treatment because of their pure axial capacity,
large displacements and highly non-linear behaviour.

Cable members never actually go into compression, they simply sag or change their shape so that
they are in equilibrium at all times. They have no flexural, torsional or shear capacity, and resist
lateral loads by tension alone.

Cable loading
Cable members can be loaded with UDLs, thermal loads, prestress loads and self weight. For
"Local" or "Global projected" UDLs, the total load is equal to the load per unit length multiplied
by the actual (for "Local") or projected (for "Global projected") distance between the end nodes.
For "Global inclined" UDLs, the total load is equal to the load per unit length multiplied by the
unstrained cable length.

Cables must be loaded with at least one uniformly distributed load (self weight will do) in every
load case they are analysed for. If there is no UDL on a cable, SPACE GASS will apply an
artificial lateral UDL equal to one-tenth of the self-weight of the cable. While this adds a non-
existent load to the model, it is not likely to affect the results significantly due to the small
magnitude of the load.

Note that the procedure of converting cables without UDLs to tension-only members in SPACE
GASS 9.03 and earlier versions is no longer done.

Restraining nodes connected to cables


Cable members have zero moment capacity and must be assumed to be pin-ended even if the end
fixities are input as FFFFFF. This would normally cause rotational instabilities in the nodes that
are connected only to cables, however SPACE GASS recognises this and automatically restrains
these rotations if instabilities would occur.

Cable convergence
Convergence is often a problem for structures which contain cables because of their large
deflections and highly non-linear behaviour. There are four recognized methods for obtaining
convergence.

1. One load step, many iterations, no damping.


2. One load step, many iterations, deflection related damping.
3. One load step, many iterations, damping with uniform relaxation.
4. Many load steps, one iteration per load step, no damping.

All four methods give the same results for the same final convergence. Methods 1 and 2 are
generally the fastest but they don’t achieve convergence in all structures, especially flexible
structures. Methods 3 and 4 are more likely to achieve convergence but sometimes require more
iterations. For methods 3 and 4, the number of iterations required is pre-defined by the number of
relaxation steps or load steps that you specify at the start of the analysis.

For each method, but methods 3 and 4 in particular, it is generally apparent after only a few
iterations whether convergence is going to be achieved or not. If the convergence level is not
steadily creeping upwards or has not reached about 60% or 70% by 5 or 6 iterations then it is

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unlikely that convergence will be achieved. If this happens, it is generally best to stop the analysis
and then start it again with a different method, or change the damping, or increase the number of
load steps. For example, using method 4, it is quite feasible that 50 load steps will converge
where 40 load steps will not.

If you lower the convergence accuracy, the analysis may not converge sufficiently and you risk
getting incorrect results. It is particularly important that you don’t lower the convergence
accuracy for highly non-linear structures such as those that contain cables.

In some instances, you may wish to apply a prestress load to a


cable member instead of specifying a non-zero unstrained cable length. The prestress load P that
is equivalent to an unstrained cable length L is given by the equation:

where D = chord length,


A = cross sectional area,
E = Young’s modulus of elasticity.

! IMPORTANT NOTE !
If cable members exist in your structure, it is imperative that you specify them as "Cable"
members in your SPACE GASS model. If you try to model them as "Normal" or "Tension-
only" members, the results will be incorrect.

See also Members.


See also Thermal loads.

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Non-linear analysis procedure

The procedure that SPACE GASS adopts to perform a non-linear static analysis is as follows.

1. An initial linear static analysis is performed.

2. For each member in each load case, a modified stiffness matrix is assembled.

For non-cable members, the modified stiffness is based on the member axial forces
calculated in the previous analysis iteration. The modifications to the stiffness matrix are in
accordance with the theory presented by Ghali and Neville (2). They involve changes to the
flexural stiffness terms, taking into account P-Δ and P-δ effects (if activated).

For cable members, the modified stiffness is based on the unstrained cable length, the cable
lateral loads and the deflected position of the cable ends calculated in the previous analysis
iteration.

For plate elements, the stiffness matrix is unchanged.

3. Note that the non-cable member fixed end actions due to intermediate member loads are not
adjusted for the change in flexural stiffness of the member. This is an approximation which
is not significant in most cases but which can affect the results for members which have
large axial forces in them. For such members, the approximation can be improved with the
addition of intermediate nodes.

4. The frame is re-analysed with the modified member stiffness matrices. In this and later
analysis iterations, each load case must be solved separately because the structure stiffness
matrix is now different for each load case. This can take considerably longer than the initial
linear analysis, especially if there are numerous load cases.

5. The results of the latest analysis are compared with the previous analysis and the level of
convergence is displayed on the screen. If the level of convergence has reached the
requested convergence accuracy then the results have converged and the analysis terminates.
If not, steps 2 and 3 are repeated for the unconverged load cases until a solution is reached.
If some load cases have still not converged after the specified number of iterations per load
step then the program pauses and asks if further iterations are required. If no further
iterations are requested, the analysis terminates and the results for the converged load cases
only are saved.

Because the plates in SPACE GASS are linear elements, no P-Δ or P-δ effects are
considered for them during a non-linear analysis.

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Static analysis buckling

Although a SPACE GASS non-linear static analysis does not perform a full buckling analysis, it
does include some buckling checks as described below. For details of the capabilities of a full
buckling analysis, refer to Buckling analysis.

1. The SPACE GASS non-linear static analysis includes a simple buckling check on individual
members that is intended to alert you if a member is being removed from the model due to
its Euler buckling load being exceeded. However, it is not a full buckling check that
considers groups of members or the structure as a whole.

A common misconception appears to be that if the static analysis passes this simple single
member buckling check then buckling is not a problem. Another misconception is that if the
simple buckling check fails, you can just subdivide the buckled member until the error goes
away and everything will be Ok. Clearly, this doesn't fix the problem, it just transfers the
buckling from a single member mode to a multi-member mode that is no longer detected by
the single member buckling check. The only way to be sure that buckling is not a problem is
to perform a full buckling analysis.

2. The SPACE GASS non-linear static analysis also includes a frame buckling check that
simply alerts you if the structure's buckling capacity has been exceeded. This will allow you
to determine if the static analysis results are reliable or not, and nothing more. It will not
calculate member effective lengths or the buckling load factor, and hence will not be able to
alert you if buckling is close to happening. Consequently, a full buckling analysis will still
be required for most structures.

It is very important to note that the results of a static analysis will be incorrect if the structure's
buckling capacity has been exceeded, and hence one of the key roles of a buckling analysis is
to ratify the static analysis results.

Although most practical structures do not come close to reaching their buckling load, unless you
know that your frame has not reached its buckling load, you should perform a buckling analysis.

Because the plates in SPACE GASS are linear elements, they will not buckle regardless
of the load applied.

See also Buckling analysis.

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The wavefront optimizer

The SPACE GASS wavefront optimizer temporarily re-organises the structure during the analysis
phase to achieve close to the smallest possible frontwidth with the fastest possible analysis time.

The basic philosophy behind the optimizer is quite simple. It alters the order in which members
and plates are loaded into the stiffness array by starting at one end of the structure and proceeding
through it to the other end in one complete pass. Depending on the operating mode selected, the
optimization can follow an irregular path, a straight line path or a circular path.

The optimizer usually reduces the frontwidth to within 95% of the optimum, however some
structures such as large cubes which do not have a well defined "long dimension" can reduce its
efficiency to almost 60%. Large cubic structures therefore may require careful member and/or
plate numbering if they produce excessively large frontwidths.

If you have already numbered the members and plates to achieve the smallest possible frontwidth
then the optimizer will of course not have much effect. If, however you have numbered the
elements badly, the optimizer will probably have a dramatic effect. The most noticeable effect
will be the smaller analysis time which is partly proportional to the frontwidth squared.

You can control the direction along which the optimization proceeds by selecting the optimization
mode at the start of the analysis. The various optimization mode settings are described in the
following sections.

Not activated
If the optimizer is not activated, the members and plates are loaded into the stiffness array in the
order that they are numbered. If they have been badly numbered and the structure is large then
excessive analysis times may result.

General mode
This is the default optimizer mode. SPACE GASS starts at the lowest numbered member or plate
and then loads all of the elements that are connected directly to it. It then takes each of the
connected elements in turn and loads all of the elements that are connected to them. This process
continues until all elements in the structure have been loaded. This mode results in very efficient
frontwidths for most structures.

Linear mode
This mode instructs the optimizer to proceed through the structure in a straight line direction
parallel to one of the global X, Y or Z axes. After you have specified linear mode, you must also
nominate the axis along which optimization will proceed. This should generally be in the
direction of the long dimension of the structure.

Linear mode is ideally suited to long thin structures which have a well defined long dimension.
The "long dimension" of a structure is not necessarily the dimension with the greatest length,
rather it is defined such that if you make a cut through the structure at right angles to the long
dimension at its widest point, you will cut through the least number of elements.

In the truss in the following diagram, the most efficient direction for the optimizer to proceed is
horizontally. This is because a cut at right angles to the horizontal cuts through only four
members.

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Horizontal optimization

Vertical optimization

In the 2D multi-storey frame above, the most efficient direction for linear optimization is vertical
even though the frame height is less than the frame width.

Angular mode
This mode instructs the optimizer to proceed through the structure around an arc with the axis of
rotation parallel to one of the global X, Y or Z axes. After you have specified angular mode, you
must also nominate the axis about which optimization will proceed, followed by the coordinates
for the centre of rotation.

Angular mode is ideally suited to curved structures such as the circular frame shown following.
Structures which are not perfectly circular but which have a general shape which is arranged
around a central point can also be optimized very efficiently using angular mode. The centre of
rotation should generally be near the centre of the structure, however this is not absolutely
essential.

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Angular optimization

Angular mode can also be used to great advantage with structures that require linear optimization
in two directions.

A three dimensional multi-storey frame for example would probably require its primary
optimization direction to be vertical. As the optimizer reached each floor, however a secondary
horizontal direction would also need to be specified otherwise it would not know in which
direction to go along the floor. Without a secondary direction, the optimizer would simply have to
load the floor elements in the order of their numbering and this could result in an unnecessarily
large frontwidth if the elements were badly numbered.

It is not possible to specify a primary and secondary direction with the optimizer in linear mode,
however it is possible to do this in angular mode by having the centre of rotation a large distance
away from the structure. Using angular mode in this way is very similar to linear mode except
that as the optimizer progresses across (or up) the structure, the angle of attack also changes
slightly as it moves around the arc.

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Bi-directional optimization

Consider for example the three dimensional multi-storey frame shown above. The primary
optimization direction is vertical and the secondary direction for each floor is to the left. By using
angular mode and positioning the centre of rotation at a large distance away from the frame as
shown in the following diagram, the desired result can be achieved.

Bi-directional optimization using angular mode

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As the optimization line progresses up the structure, it reaches the right hand side of each floor
before the left hand side. Thus, the structure as a whole is optimized from bottom to top and each
floor is optimized from right to left.

Note that this method of optimization is usually the best way to deal with large cubic shaped
structures.

If you are not sure which optimizer mode to use for a particular
structure, it is recommended that you experiment with various modes to see how small a
frontwidth can be achieved. You can do this by running the analysis and then terminating it by
pressing ESC or the right mouse button after the frontwidth has been calculated and displayed on
the screen. Once you have found the most efficient mode, you can simply let the analysis continue
to the end as normal.

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The wavefront analysis method

Conventional structural analysis programs utilizing the stiffness method generally use a
bandwidth equation solver which requires that nodes be numbered correctly to ensure the smallest
possible bandwidth.

The wavefront method, however requires that the members and plates be numbered correctly to
ensure the smallest possible frontwidth. The optimum wavefront numbering sequence, however is
quite logical and is not sensitive to adding more nodes, members and plates at a later stage which
are out of sequence. This can be quite a problem with the bandwidth method.

For most structures, the element numbering sequence doesn’t matter because the frontwidth
capacity of SPACE GASS is quite large. Large structures, however can be made to analyse faster
by optimizing the frontwidth. The displacements calculation time is roughly proportional to the
square of the frontwidth.

A wavefront optimizer is available with SPACE GASS which internally re-orders the stiffness
matrix and which generally reduces the frontwidth to within 95% of the optimum. The optimizer
adds only a few seconds to the analysis time and gives you the freedom of not having to concern
yourself with element numbering sequences even for the largest structures.

For those of you who are interested in the wavefront solution method, the following sections
should give you an insight into the inner workings of the SPACE GASS analysis module.

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A quick frontwidth calculation method

In order to minimize the frontwidth, members and plates should be numbered from side to side
across the structure’s shortest dimension while gradually proceeding up the length of the
structure. The numbering should proceed up the entire length of the structure in one pass. A tall
multistorey building for example would have the ground floor columns numbered first, followed
by first floor beams, first floor columns, second floor beams, second floor columns etc., right up
to the top.

A quick frontwidth calculation can be done as follows.

1. This procedure assumes that the element numbering sequence proceeds generally from one
end of the structure to the other in a single pass as described in the paragraph above.

2. Make an imaginary cut through the structure at its widest point and at right angles to the
general direction of element numbering. For example, the multistorey frame described
above would have a horizontal cut at any one of its levels.

3. On one side of the cut only, count the number of nodes that are connected to elements that
have been cut.

4. Add 1 to the number of nodes in step 3 above and multiply by the degrees of freedom
(DOF) per node. For 3D frames this will generally be 6 DOF per node.

5. Subtract the number of restrained DOF (ie. the restraints applied to the nodes counted in
step 3).

The final figure is the structure frontwidth.

It is generally not necessary for you to know any more about the wavefront method than has been
described above, however for those of you wishing to know more, a detailed explanation of the
wavefront analysis method follows.

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The wavefront method in more detail

Both the bandwidth and wavefront methods are primarily concerned with the assemblage and
solution of a very large structure stiffness array. This array equates node displacements to
externally applied loads as follows.

[P]=[K][D], where [P] = Load array


[K] = Structure stiffness array
[D] = Node displacement array

[P] and [K] are fully defined while [D] is the unknown.

The wavefront method is different to the bandwidth method in that the structure stiffness array is
assembled in order of element numbering rather than node numbering, and a much smaller
portion of the array is required in memory at any one time.

In the wavefront method, the program loads each element into the stiffness array in order of the
element numbering sequence. The nodes associated with each element have stiffness equations
that occupy certain rows and columns in the array.

This loading process continues until one or more nodes have been fully assembled. A node is said
to be fully assembled when all elements connected to it have been loaded into the array. At this
point the equations associated with that node can be solved and removed, thus leaving space in
the array for other nodes.

Further elements are then loaded and their nodes take the place of nodes that have previously
been solved and removed. More node equations are eliminated and the whole process continues
until the entire structure has been fed in and the stiffness array emptied. The frontwidth is equal to
the largest number of node equations that occupied the stiffness array at one time.

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Running a static analysis

You can run a static analysis by selecting "Linear Static Analysis" or "Non-linear Static Analysis"
from the Analysis menu.

Load cases list


If you want to analyse all load cases then this field can be left blank, otherwise you should type in
a list of load cases (separated by commas or dashes) that you want analysed.

Using this setting, it is possible in some cases to achieve significant time savings by analysing
non-linearly only those load cases which cause 2nd order effects, and analysing all of the other
load cases linearly. This would have to be done in two runs, however because a non-linear
analysis can take considerably longer than a linear analysis (especially if there are a large number
of load cases).

Further time savings can be made by not analysing linear combination load cases. "Linear
combination load cases" are combinations which have all of their primary load cases analysed
linearly. Results for non-analysed linear combinations are assembled from the primary load cases
at the time a report or graphics output is generated. If a combination load case has one or more of
its primary load cases analysed non-linearly or if the structure contains tension-only or
compression-only members then the combination will have to be analysed in order to obtain
results for it.

Tens/comp-only effects
Tension/compression-only effects can be "fully operational", "operational with no reversal" or
"fully de-activated".

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"Fully operational" means that tension-only or compression-only members which have been
disabled during the analysis are able to be re-enabled if their axial force is reversed.

"Operational with no reversal" means that once they have been disabled they cannot be re-enabled
even if their axial force has reversed. No reversal is useful if the fully operational analysis will
not converge, however you should check the results and, if required, manually disable some
tens/comp-only members and then re-analyse.

No reversal normally applies from the first iteration onwards, however you also have the option
of activating it after a specified number of iterations. This means that the analysis will initially
proceed with tension/compression-only effects fully activated and, if convergence hasn’t been
achieved after a specified number iterations, it will change to "no reversal" mode.

"Fully de-activated" means that they are treated as normal members, able to take tension and
compression.

See also Tension-only and compression-only effects.

Cable damping factor


This allows you to apply damping to the cable connected nodes. It does this by multiplying the
stiffness terms of the unrestrained cable-only node degrees of freedom by the factor:

where Ratio depends on the damping relaxation and Damping is the cable damping factor.

See also Cable members.

Damping relaxation steps


If cable damping is used, it must be relaxed as the solution proceeds so that at convergence there
is no damping at all.

Setting the damping relaxation steps to zero causes the damping to be relaxed in direct proportion
to the change in deflection between the current and previous iterations. As convergence
approaches 100%, the change in deflections approaches zero and hence the damping approaches
zero.

Alternatively, setting the damping relaxation steps to a finite value causes the damping to be
relaxed in uniform steps down to zero. If this method is used, the analysis keeps iterating until the
damping is fully relaxed, regardless of whether convergence has been achieved earlier or not.

See also Cable members.

Number of load steps


This allows you to apply the load gradually in a number of small load steps. If you specify a
single load step then all of the load is applied in the first iteration (this is how the program worked
in all previous versions). If cable damping is also being used, the damping relaxation process
begins anew for each load step.

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See also Cable members.

Iterations per load step


This parameter allows you to specify the maximum number of iterations that will occur in a load
step before the program begins prompting you for extra iterations. A special case occurs if you
specify just one iteration per load step, in which case the program proceeds to the next load step
after one iteration regardless of whether convergence has been achieved or not.

The analysis will finish if the convergence accuracy is satisfied, even if the number of
iterations per load step hasn’t been completed.

Convergence accuracy
The convergence accuracy is only applicable for non-linear analyses. After each iteration, SPACE
GASS compares the results of the latest analysis with the results of the previous analysis. If the
comparison shows that the level of convergence has reached or exceeded the specified
convergence accuracy then the analysis is assumed to have converged.

If you lower the convergence accuracy, the analysis may not converge sufficiently and you risk
getting incorrect results. It is particularly important that you don’t lower the convergence
accuracy for highly non-linear structures such as those that contain cables.

Retain results of other load cases


If you have specified that not all load cases are to be analysed and, if results already exist for
some of the non-specified load cases, you can choose to retain them or have them deleted.

Show messages from single member buckling check


During a non-linear analysis, SPACE GASS performs a simple Euler buckling check on each
member individually (regardless of whether you have the buckling analysis module or not). If the
buckling check fails then the member is disabled for the remainder of the analysis. If you select
the "Show messages from single member buckling check" check box then a message is displayed
whenever a member fails the simple buckling check. For more information, refer to Static
analysis buckling.

Perform frame buckling check


SPACE GASS can optionally perform a frame buckling check during a non-linear analysis that
simply alerts you if the structure's buckling capacity has been exceeded. If this happens, you
cannot use the results of the static analysis because they will most likely be invalid and you
should run a full buckling analysis to get the buckling load factor and find out where the buckling
is occuring. For more information, refer to Static analysis buckling and Buckling analysis.

Check for non-existent load cases


If you have defined combination load cases that contain other load cases which don’t yet exist,
this option will detect and report them. It is optional because some users prefer to have a standard
set of combination load cases that contain primary load cases which are just ignored during the
analysis if they don’t exist.

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Stabilize unrestrained nodes


Nodes that are free to rotate or translate in one or more directions without resistance from
interconnecting members, plates, restraints or constraints can be automatically restrained during
the analysis so that instabilities don’t occur.

For example, if a node was connected to a number of members, all of which were pin-ended, a
rotational instability would normally result due to the unrestrained rotation of the node. However,
the stabilize option would apply a temporary rotational restraint to the node during the analysis,
preventing an instability.

Although this solves many instabilities, it doesn’t fix them all, and the prevention of non-trivial
instabilities is still dependent on good modelling practice.

Analysis type
Even though you have already chosen "Linear" or "Non-linear" from the Analysis menu, this pair
of radio buttons allows you to change your mind without having to exit from the form.

P-Delta (P-Δ) effects


For a non-linear analysis, you are able to activate or de-activate the P-Δ effects. The P-Δ effect is
usually the most significant 2nd order effect and is mandatory for non-linear analyses which
comply with most limit states design codes of practice.

See also P-D effect.

P-delta (P-δ) effects


For a non-linear analysis, you are able to activate or de-activate the P-δ effects. The P-δ effect is
mandatory for non-linear analyses which comply with most limit states design codes of practice.

See also P-d effect.

Optimization method
If you have the wavefront optimizer, you can choose to activate it for any linear or non-linear
analysis. The wavefront optimizer can be de-activated or it can be operated in one of three modes
as follows.

1. No optimization

2. General mode - SPACE GASS determines the path along which optimization proceeds
through the structure.

3. Linear mode - You select either of the X, Y or Z axes along which optimization proceeds in
a straight line through the structure.

4. Angular mode - You select either of the X, Y or Z axes about which optimization proceeds
around an arc through the structure.

See also The wavefront optimizer.

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Optimization axis
If you have selected "Linear" or "Angular" for the wavefront optimization mode then you must
select the axis along or about which optimization will proceed.

See also The wavefront optimizer.

Coordinates of optimization centre


If you have selected "Angular" for the wavefront optimization mode then you must select the
centre of rotation about which optimization will proceed.

See also The wavefront optimizer.

When all of the information has been entered, the static analysis module calculates the
displacements, forces, moments and reactions for each load case and then saves them ready for
graphical or text report output.

If you want to terminate the analysis before it is finished, just press ESC or the right mouse
button. If you terminate the analysis in this way, the results for any load cases which have already
converged are saved. This applies to non-linear analyses and to linear analyses with tension-only
or compression-only members.

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Static analysis results

At the end of the static analysis, a message stating whether the analysis was successful or not is
displayed together with a number of possible warnings and errors.

Refer to "Ill-conditioning and instabilities" for details of what to do if an ill-conditioning or


instability message is displayed.

Refer to "Static analysis buckling" for details of what to do if a frame buckling message is
displayed.

Displacements, forces, moments and stresses


The displacements, forces, moments and stresses calculated during the static analysis can be
included in a report. They can also be viewed graphically in diagrams superimposed over the
undeformed frame as described in "View diagrams". For plate elements, contour diagrams can be
displayed as described in "View plate contours".

You can also query individual nodes, members or plates graphically to find their displacements,
forces and moments as described in "Query analysis results".

For full details of the forces, moments and stresses in members and plates, refer to "Sign
conventions".

Bill of materials
A bill of materials report showing quantities, lengths and masses of each type of component in the
structure can be included in a report. It bundles members of the same type and length together and
shows their individual and total lengths and masses. It also shows the total structure mass and
centre of gravity location.

Centre of gravity
The SPACE GASS bill of materials report includes the coordinates of the structure centre of
gravity.

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Dynamic frequency analysis


The SPACE GASS dynamic frequency analysis module is able to analyse multiple mass load
cases consisting of self mass and/or user defined lumped masses in a single run. For each mass
load case it calculates the natural frequency (eigenvalue), period and mode shape (eigenvector)
for any user defined number of vibration modes. The natural frequencies, periods and mode
shapes comprise the dynamic properties of the structure.

You must perform a dynamic frequency analysis before performing a dynamic response
analysis.

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Modelling considerations

The dynamic properties of a structure are dependent only on its geometric properties, stiffness
and mass. The geometric properties and stiffness of the structure are determined automatically
from the node coordinates, member connectivity and fixity, plate connectivity, node restraints,
section properties and material properties. The structure mass is made up of self mass (applied as
lumped masses on every node) and extra applied lumped masses. Self mass can be calculated
automatically during the dynamic frequency analysis if requested, while any extra lumped masses
must be pre-defined by the user.

In most cases, lumped masses placed at nodes are an adequate means of defining the mass
distribution throughout the structure. However, where the distribution of mass is critical, extra
nodes may be required. For example, consider a vertical cantilevered structure (such as a pole or
tower). In order to accurately determine the natural frequencies you must define the distribution
of mass up the cantilever by adding intermediate nodes with masses applied to them. A similar
situation applies with a continuous beam where the mode shapes between supports are important.

As a general rule, extra intermediate nodes (with masses applied) should be added to members for
which the mass is a significant part of the total mass of the structure. Structures with a small
number of members are often affected in this way.

Dynamic mode shape deflections are calculated and output at


nodes only. Therefore, in order to get realistic looking mode shapes it is sometimes necessary to
add intermediate nodes to some members, particularly if the deflected shapes of these members
have significant curvature. If the local deflected shape of a member is of interest then the
distribution of mass along it will also be important and the requirement for intermediate nodes
will apply anyway.

The dynamic frequency analysis module cannot analyse structures that contain cable
members.

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Running a dynamic frequency analysis

You can run a dynamic frequency analysis by selecting "Dynamic Frequency Analysis" from the
Analysis menu.

The dynamic frequency analysis is a linear analysis and hence cannot be used with models that
contain cable members. Furthermore, it treats tension-only and compression-only members as
normal members that can take tension and compression.

Note that the requirement to save the stiffness matrix during an initial static analysis is no longer
required for a dynamic frequency analysis.

Load cases list


If you want to analyse all load cases then this field can be left blank, otherwise you should type in
a list of load cases (separated by commas or dashes) that you want analysed.

Note that only the load cases that contain lumped masses or self-weight are considered during a
dynamic frequency analysis. Load cases that contain self-weight with other static loads and no
lumped masses are not considered, however load cases that contain only self-weight are
considered. Any static loads that exist in the dynamic load cases are ignored.

Consider the following examples:

Contents of load case Considered


Masses only Yes
Self-weight only Yes
Static loads only No
Masses + self-weight Yes
Masses + static Yes (static loads ignored)
Masses + self-weight + static Yes (static loads ignored)
Self-weight + static No

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Self mass
The self mass of the structure can be calculated automatically by SPACE GASS and included in
the dynamic frequency analysis. This can be done either by adding self-weight to a load case that
contains lumped masses or by combining lumped mass and self-weight load cases into a
combination load case.

Self mass is applied by calculating the mass of each member and then applying half of it as
translational lumped masses to each of the member end nodes in each of the unrestrained X, Y
and Z global axis directions. The mass of each plate is also calculated and applied to its perimeter
nodes

Self mass generation does not calculate rotational masses because of the large number of extra
masses that would be calculated for a fairly insignificant improvement in results accuracy. If
required, rotational self mass must be manually applied as rotational lumped masses.

See also Lumped masses.


See also Self-weight.

Tolerance (Hz)
The accuracy to which the dynamic natural frequencies will be calculated. For example, a
tolerance of 0.001 means that the frequencies will be within +/- 0.001 of the exact value.

The tolerance can also have a significant effect on the accuracy of the mode shapes. While the
mode shapes are usually of secondary importance if only a dynamic frequency analysis is done,
they are very important if the frequency analysis is followed by a dynamic response analysis.
Inaccurate mode shapes from the frequency analysis can cause significant errors in the mass
participation factors from the response analysis and its results in general.

Even if a natural frequency is accurate to within 0.01Hz, its corresponding mode shape may not
be accurate enough for a dynamic response analysis. If the "Extra iterations for mode shape
accuracy" option is turned on (see below) then SPACE GASS will detect significantly incorrect
mode shapes during the frequency analysis and will correct them automatically by doing more
iterations. Small mode shape inaccuracies cannot be detected by the frequency analysis, however
they sometimes make themselves evident in the response analysis by mass participation factors
that exceed 100%. A warning is given if this occurs and you should repeat the frequency analysis
using a smaller tolerance.

If the results of the frequency analysis won’t be used in a response analysis then a tolerance of
0.01 is more than enough, however if a response analysis is to follow then a tolerance of 0.001 or
less should be used.

Each extra decimal place in the tolerance will increase the number of iterations per mode
by 3 or 4. For example, a tolerance of 0.0001 will require 3 or 4 more iterations per mode than a
tolerance of 0.001.

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Frequency upper limit (Hz)


The upper limit above which the dynamic frequency analysis will no longer search for natural
frequencies. Once this limit is reached, the analysis will stop, even if not all requested dynamic
modes have been calculated.

Frequency lower limit (Hz)


The lower limit below which the dynamic frequency analysis will not search for natural
frequencies.

Dynamic modes
The dynamic frequency analysis module calculates the mode shapes, natural frequencies and
natural periods for the number of dynamic modes requested. It also sorts them into ascending
frequency order.

See also View diagrams.

Frequency shift (Hz)


The dynamic frequency analysis normally calculates natural frequencies starting from 0Hz and
working upwards, however if a frequency shift is specified then the frequencies below the
frequency shift value are skipped.

For example, if your structure has natural frequencies of 1.2Hz, 3.2Hz, 6.7Hz, 10.2Hz, 15.3Hz
and 16.1Hz but you are only interested in the frequencies above 10Hz, you could specify a
frequency shift of 10Hz. This would skip the lower three modes (saving you considerable analysis
time) and just calculate frequencies 10.2Hz, 15.3Hz and 16.1Hz.

Retain results of other load cases


If you have specified that not all load cases are to be analysed and, if results already exist for
some of the non-specified load cases, you can choose to retain them or have them deleted.

Check for non-existent load cases


If you have defined combination load cases that contain other load cases that don’t yet exist, this
option will detect and report them. It is optional because some users prefer to have a standard set
of combination load cases that contain primary load cases which are just ignored during the
analysis if they don’t exist.

Stabilize unrestrained nodes


Nodes that are free to rotate or translate in one or more directions without resistance from
interconnecting members, plates, restraints or constraints can be automatically restrained during
the analysis so that instabilities don’t occur.

For example, if a node was connected to a number of members, all of which were pin-ended, a
rotational instability would normally result due to the unrestrained rotation of the node. However,
the stabilize option would apply a temporary rotational restraint to the node during the analysis,
preventing an instability.

Although this solves many instabilities, it doesn’t fix them all, and the prevention of non-trivial
instabilities is still dependent on good modelling practice.

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Extra iterations for mode shape accuracy


The dynamic frequency analysis is complete when the natural frequencies have reached the
desired accuracy (as specified by the tolerance), however it is possible that at this point the
dynamic mode shapes are not totally accurate. Mode shape accuracy can be achieved by turning
on the "Extra iterations for mode shape accuracy" option, however if the dynamic mode shapes
are only used as a visual aid to assess the vibration location and its shape then the extra iterations
and analysis time involved may not be warranted.

If, however, a dynamic response analysis is to be done based on the frequency analysis then the
mode shapes are very important and it is imperative that the "Extra iterations for mode shape
accuracy" option is turned on. Even with the extra iterations, in some cases the mode shapes may
still not be accurate enough (as sometimes evidenced by a mass participation factor from the
response analysis that exceeds 100%) and further accuracy can then only be achieved by using a
smaller tolerance.

Optimization method
If you have the wavefront optimizer, you can choose to activate it for any linear or non-linear
analysis. The wavefront optimizer can be de-activated or it can be operated in one of three modes
as follows.

1. No optimization

2. General mode - SPACE GASS determines the path along which optimization proceeds
through the structure.

3. Linear mode - You select either of the X, Y or Z axes along which optimization proceeds in
a straight line through the structure.

4. Angular mode - You select either of the X, Y or Z axes about which optimization proceeds
around an arc through the structure.

See also The wavefront optimizer.

Optimization axis
If you have selected "Linear" or "Angular" for the wavefront optimization mode then you must
select the axis along or about which optimization will proceed.

See also The wavefront optimizer.

Coordinates of optimization centre


If you have selected "Angular" for the wavefront optimization mode then you must select the
centre of rotation about which optimization will proceed.

When all of the information has been entered, the dynamic frequency analysis module calculates
the natural frequencies, periods and mode shapes for each load case and then saves them ready for
graphical or text report output.

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If you want to terminate the analysis before it is finished, just press ESC or the right mouse
button.

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Dynamic frequency analysis results

The natural frequencies, periods and mode shapes calculated during the static analysis can be
included in a report. They can also be viewed graphically in animated diagrams superimposed
over the undeformed frame as described in "View dynamic mode shapes".

Mode shape displacements are relative only. They define the mode shape, not its magnitude. You
can’t compare the displacements of different mode shapes in an attempt to determine which mode
will result in the largest displacements. The scale factor for the displacements of each mode shape
is unique to that mode.

The mode shapes in SPACE GASS are normalized. This means that the translations and rotations
in a mode shape will have been adjusted such that each translation or rotation is divided by the
absolute value of the largest translational displacement for the mode shape under consideration.
This makes it easier for you to relate the displacement of a particular node to the maximum
displacement within a mode shape. For example, a normalized displacement of 0.60 indicates that
the node moves by an amount which is 60% of the maximum displacement in that particular
mode shape.

If you wish to use the dynamic frequency analysis results to perform an earthquake analysis, refer
to "Dynamic response analysis".

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Dynamic response analysis


The SPACE GASS spectral module performs a dynamic response analysis of structures subjected
to earthquake loads given in the form of acceleration response spectra. Its general approach
means that the spectral module is not just restricted to earthquakes, but can calculate the
maximum response of a structure subjected to any ground vibration provided that all supports are
vibrating in phase (ie. the same response spectrum is applied at all supports simultaneously).

The spectral module considers the vibration of the structure and identifies the maximum values
that result from the vibration. Generally, the maximums at different points of the structure occur
at different times during the dynamic event. Consequently, the spectral results do not represent an
equilibrium state of the structure, rather an envelope of the maximums. Furthermore, because the
earthquake action has no sign (ie. its accelerations are both positive and negative), the maximum
values have no sign and hence the sign of the results is indeterminate. Usually, the results are
dominated by one of the mode shapes which SPACE GASS can identify and apply its sign to the
results. Alternatively, you can select which mode shape the sign should be taken from.

The spectral module is not code specific, however for ease of use with the Australian and New
Zealand loading codes, many of the analysis input parameters have alternative code specific input
options. These options require you to simply select from tables taken from the code rather than
having to type in numeric values. Future versions will include these input aids for other
international codes also.

The earthquake loads are provided in the form of curves called "acceleration response spectra"
which graph acceleration versus period. Each spectral curve is derived from the time-history
record of a ground vibration for a specific level of damping, and is not dependent in any way on
the properties of the structure being analysed. Usually, for one earthquake, there are several
spectral curves for different damping ratios (eg. 0%, 1%, 2%, 5% and 10% of the critical
damping). In the design codes, the spectral curves are derived from a set of earthquake records
which are smoothed and averaged.

A spectral curve library containing some standard (unauthorised) curves is supplied with SPACE
GASS. The built-in graphical spectral curve editor allows you to modify or create your own
spectral curves as required. The acceleration values in a spectral curve are always specified in
terms of g (acceleration due to gravity) units. Before being used in an analysis, SPACE GASS
automatically multiplies them by the dimensionless spectral curve multiplier and by the
appropriate value of g to yield acceleration units that are consistent with the currently selected
units system.

For an accurate spectral analysis, it is important that the spectral load cases have been defined
correctly and that appropriate combinations of the spectral load cases have been specified. For
more information, refer to “Spectral load data”.

The results of the spectral analysis include deflections, forces, moments and reactions that can be
displayed graphically, printed, or used in a steel design in the same way as the results from a
static analysis. It is also possible to combine spectral load cases with static load cases in
combination load cases.

Refer to "Dynamic response analysis results" for details and interpretation of the results of a
dynamic response analysis.

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Running a dynamic response analysis

You can run a dynamic response analysis by selecting "Dynamic Response Analysis" from the
Analysis menu.

Before a dynamic response analysis can proceed, you must have performed a dynamic
frequency analysis.

Spectral load cases list


Leave blank if you want to analyse all spectral load cases, otherwise enter the load cases (separate
by commas/dashes) you want analysed.

Retain results of other load cases


Check this box if you want to keep the analysis results of previously analysed spectral load cases.
Otherwise, if they are not being re-analysed in the current session, they will be discarded.

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Loading code
This allows you to select the loading code to be used. If you choose an AS or NZS code, you
should ensure that you have also selected spectral curves for that same code in your spectral load
data.

One major difference between the "General" loading code and the AS or NZS codes is that the
spectral curve multiplier must be manually defined for General, whereas it can be calculated
based on code specific factors for the AS or NZS codes. There are also a number of other AS and
NZS specific factors applied internally during the dynamic response analysis.

Limit state
For NZS, you must choose between serviceability or ultimate limit states together with an
appropriate ductility factor.

The selected ductility factor is only used if a non-NZS spectral curve is used in the
spectral load data. If you have used a predefined NZS spectral curve then the ductility factor is
derived from it.

Auto scaling of base shear


This is a code related parameter that instructs the program to scale the results so that the sum of
the support reactions obtained from the response spectrum analysis is not less than a user defined
proportion of the total static force (or a user defined percentage of the structure’s weight for the
"General" code).

Vertical direction
The axis indicates the vertical direction of the structure. This should usually match the vertical
axis setting in the Viewpoint form.

Base shear factor (%)


Controls the scaling of the results so that the sum of the support reactions resolved along the axis
of the direction vector is not less than the total static force (resolved in the same direction)
multiplied by the scaling factor. For example, if you select a scaling factor of 90% the total
reaction vector will be not less than 90% of the total static force vector.

Site factor
An AS1170.4-1994 specific factor that allows you to nominate an appropriate soil profile. You
can elect to have the site factor calculated for you or you can choose a "User Defined" structure
type and then type in the site factor directly.

The site factor you select is only used if a non-AS1170.4-1994 spectral curve is used in
the spectral load data. If you have used a predefined AS1170.4-1994 spectral curve then the site
factor is derived from it.

Site subsoil class


An NZS specific factor that allows you to nominate an appropriate site subsoil class.

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The site subsoil class you select is only used if a non-NZS spectral curve is used in the
spectral load data. If you have used a predefined NZS spectral curve then the site subsoil class is
derived from it.

Horizontal base shear factor (%)


A "General" loading code specific factor that controls the scaling of the results so that the sum of
the support reactions resolved along the axis of the direction vector equals the weight of the
structure (including applied lumped masses) multiplied by the horizontal base shear factor. It is
used if the direction vector is predominantly horizontal. For example, if you select a horizontal
base shear of 3% the total reaction vector must be equal to 3% of the weight of the structure.

Vertical base shear factor (%)


A "General" loading code specific factor that controls the scaling of the results so that the sum of
the support reactions resolved along the axis of the direction vector equals the weight of the
structure (including applied lumped masses) multiplied by the vertical base shear factor. It is used
if the direction vector is predominantly vertical. For example, if you select a vertical base shear of
2% the total reaction vector must be equal to 2% of the weight of the structure.

Sign of the results


Because the results of a response spectrum analysis are a combination of a number of mode
shapes, the final sign of the results has to be determined. Choosing "No sign" is of limited use and
means that all deflections, forces, moments and reactions will be positive. Choosing "Auto Sign"
means that the sign of the predominant mode shape will be applied to the results. Choosing
"Select Mode" tells the program to extract the sign from a nominated mode shape.

Spectral curve multiplier


The spectral curve multiplier is used to control the scale of the spectral curve acceleration values.
It can be typed in directly or, by clicking the button next to the spectral curve multiplier field, can
be defined via various code specific factors. For AS1170.4, it is based on probability, hazard,
structural ductility and performance factors. Alternatively, for NZS1170.5, it is based on hazard,
return period, near-fault and structural performance factors. Each of the code specific factors can
be typed in directly or calculated automatically based on descriptions of the structure location,
structure importance and construction method.

Mode combination method


The results for spectral load cases that contain more than one mode shape are obtained by
combining the results for each of the mode shapes. You can choose between:

• SRSS - Square Root of the Sum of Squares


The simplest and most commonly used mode combination method that works well for most
situations.

• CQC - Complete Quadratic Combination


Recommended when some of the mode shapes to be combined have natural frequencies that
are close together.

Either method can be used regardless of the spectral curve damping factors.

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When all of the information has been entered, the dynamic response analysis module performs its
calculations for each load case and then saves them ready for graphical or text report output.

If you want to terminate the analysis before it is finished, just press ESC or the right mouse
button.

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Dynamic response procedure

For each spectral load case, the analysis module calculates:

1. Total static (earthquake) force in each global axis direction.


2. Dominant period in each global axis direction.
3. Mass participation factor for the dominant mode in each global axis direction.
4. Total mass participation factor in each global axis direction.
5. Total mass participation factor.
6. The mode to be used for determining the sign of the results.
7. Node displacements for each mode.
8. Mass participation factor in the earthquake direction for each mode.

The following calculations are then performed:

1. Forces, moments and reactions are calculated from the node displacements for each mode.

2. Displacements, forces, moments and reactions for each mode are combined into a single set
of values for all the modes combined. This is done using SRSS or CQC as specified by the
user.

3. If base shear scaling is requested, the displacements, forces, moments and reactions are then
scaled by a factor so that the base shear is equal to the base shear factor times the total mass
(for "General") or not less than the base shear factor times the total static force (for AS or
NZS loading codes).

Note that the base shear is simply the X, Y and Z reactions resolved into a vector in the
direction of the earthquake. Similarly, the total static force is the X, Y and Z static forces
resolved into a vector in the direction of the earthquake.

For "General", if the direction vector is predominantly horizontal then the horizontal base
shear factor is used (this is the normal case), otherwise the vertical base shear factor is used.

For a detailed explanation of the dynamic response analysis results, refer to "Dynamic response
analysis results".

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Dynamic response analysis results

The results of a response spectrum analysis include normal deflections, forces, moments and
reactions that can be displayed graphically, printed or used in a steel design in the same way that
the results of a static analysis are used. In addition, spectral load cases and static load cases can be
mixed together in combination load cases.

The output results also include a summary of the analysis input parameters and details of the
governing mode shapes, total static forces, total masses and mass participation factors. Details are
given for the three global axis directions and for the direction vector.

The key output results are explained in more detail as follows:

Total static force


The earthquake force calculated by an equivalent static method for each global axis direction.

Total mass
The total mass (including self mass) applied to the model for each global axis direction. Note that
any mass applied to restrained degrees of freedom is ignored.

Mass participation factor


The results are highly sensitive to the number of mode shapes included in the analysis. An
insufficient number of modes will result in an inaccurate solution. The mass participation factor
(MPF) represents the contribution of a particular mode shape to the overall dynamic response of
the structure. Each mode has its own MPF.

The total MPF for each direction is a reliable indicator of the number of modes required. If all
modes are considered then the sum of the MPF’s (the total MPF) will be 100%. In reality, we
only consider a finite number of modes and the total MPF should be at least 90% for a good
result. If the total MPF is less than 90% then more modes should be included in the analysis.

Usually, an earthquake is applied along one of the two horizontal axes, as defined by the direction
vector. For example, an earthquake acting in the X direction would have a direction vector of Dx
= 1.0, Dy = 0.0 and Dz = 0.0. In this case, the total MPF in the X direction should be greater than
90%. The values of the total MPFs in the other two directions are not important.

A MPF that exceeds 100% indicates that the mode shapes from the dynamic frequency analysis
are not accurate enough. If this happens, you should repeat the dynamic frequency analysis using
a smaller tolerance.

Base shear
The horizontal reaction in each global axis direction shown as a percentage of the total mass. This
should match the reactions shown graphically.

The table in the output report showing the mass participation factors for each mode shape
individually gives a good indication of the contribution of each mode shape in the overall
dynamic response of the structure. From it you can quickly see which mode is dominant.
DYNAMIC RESPONSE SPECTRUM (kN,T,Sec,Hz)
-------------------------

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Spectral case 5: Sample AS1170.4 Case

Mass load case: 3


Direction vector: Dx = 1.000, Dy = 1.000, Dz = 1.000
Auto scaling of base shear: AS1170.4
Vertical direction: Y-Axis
Base shear: Not less than 80% of total static force
Results scaled by factor: 2.825
Site factor: 0.670
Sign of the results: Mode shape 1 (Calculated)
Acceleration coefficient: 0.080
Importance factor: 1.000
Structural response factor: 4.500
Spectral curve multiplier: 0.017778
Mode combination method: SRSS (Square Root of the Sum of Squares)

Total MPF for Total


Dominant Static Total Dominant Mass Part Base
Direction Mode Force Mass Mode Factor Shear

X-Axis 1 0.5371 2.1209 99.999% 100.000% 1.056%


Y-Axis 3 0.2686 1.1209 29.745% 29.745% 0.023%
Z-Axis 0 0.0000 0.0000 0.000% 0.000% 0.000%

Mode Damping Natural Natural Mass Part


Direction Shape Spectral Curve Factor Period Frequency Factor

Vector 1 NEWCASTLE 2% 2.0% 0.4378 2.284 65.419%


Vector 3 NEWCASTLE 0% 0.1% 0.0133 75.470 10.365%
Total 75.783%

Spectral case 6: Sample General Case

Mass load case: 2


Direction vector: Dx = 1.000, Dy = 1.000, Dz = 0.000
Auto scaling of base shear: AS1170.4
Vertical direction: Y-Axis
Base shear: Not less than 80% of total static force
Results scaled by factor: 1.532
Site factor: 0.670
Sign of the results: Mode shape 1 (Calculated)
Acceleration coefficient: 0.080
Importance factor: 1.000
Structural response factor: 4.500
Spectral curve multiplier: 0.017778
Mode combination method: SRSS (Square Root of the Sum of Squares)

Total MPF for Total


Dominant Static Total Dominant Mass Part Base
Direction Mode Force Mass Mode Factor Shear

X-Axis 1 0.8363 4.1209 99.999% 100.000% 2.244%


Y-Axis 3 0.4182 4.1209 50.829% 91.077% 0.239%
Z-Axis 0 0.0000 0.0000 0.000% 0.000% 0.000%

Mode Damping Natural Natural Mass Part


Direction Shape Spectral Curve Factor Period Frequency Factor

Vector 1 AS1170.4 S=.67 5.0% 0.6102 1.639 50.096%


Vector 2 AS1170.4 S=.67 5.0% 0.0253 39.566 2.584%
Vector 3 AS1170.4 S=.67 5.0% 0.0206 48.544 25.278%
Vector 4 AS1170.4 S=.67 5.0% 0.0153 65.291 17.556%
Total 95.514%

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Buckling analysis
The SPACE GASS buckling analysis module performs a rational elastic buckling analysis of a
frame to determine its buckling load factors, buckling mode shapes and member effective lengths.

The buckling load factor is the factor by which the loads need to be increased to reach the
buckling load. A load factor less than 1.0 means that the working loads exceed the structure’s
buckling capacity.

For information about displaying buckling mode shapes and finding out where buckling is
occurring, refer to "Buckling analysis results".

The buckling modes considered in the buckling analysis involve flexural instability due to axial
compression in the members (also known Euler buckling) and should not be confused with
flexural-torsional buckling (torsional instability due to bending moments) or axial-torsional
buckling (torsional instability due to axial loads).

An accurate buckling analysis such as the one available in SPACE GASS looks at the interaction
of every member in the structure and detects buckling modes that involve one member, groups of
members, or the structure as a whole.

A buckling analysis is an essential component of every structural design because it:

1. Determines if the loads exceed the structure's buckling capacity and by how much.

2. Calculates the member effective lengths for use in the member design.

3. Determines if the static analysis results are useable or not.

Points 1 and 3 above highlight the fact that a buckling analysis must always be performed unless
you are certain that the structure's buckling capacity exceeds the applied loads by a suitable factor
of safety.

It is very important to note that the results of a static analysis will be incorrect if the structure's
buckling capacity has been exceeded (see point 3 above), and hence one of the key roles of a
buckling analysis is to ratify the static analysis results.

If you get buckling load factors that are below the minimum allowable value (eg. shown as
"<0.001" when the minimum allowable value is 0.001), this could indicate an instability
problem rather than a buckling problem. It is even more likely to be an instability problem if
the low buckling load factors occur in every load case.

If the model contains instabilities, the buckling analysis may, in some cases, give invalid
results. In the absence of instability or buckling messages from the static analysis, you should
always check the deflections to see if they are excessive or not. Excessive deflections are
sometimes the only indicator of instabilities.

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Once the buckling load factors have been determined, a simple formula is used to calculate the
member effective lengths as described in the next section. The effective lengths can then be
automatically transferred into the steel member design modules.

The method that SPACE GASS uses to calculate the buckling factors (eigenvalues) and
corresponding mode shapes (eigenvectors) is based on the theory developed by Wittrick and
Williams (12).

Note that the magnitudes of the effective lengths or the effective length factors (k factors) from
a buckling analysis cannot be used to determine if buckling is a problem or not. This can only
be determined by looking at the buckling load factor.

Because plates are linear elements, they will not buckle regardless of the load applied.

Refer to "Static analysis buckling" for details of some simple buckling checks that are included in
non-linear static analyses.

Refer to "Special buckling considerations" for details of items to be aware of when preparing
your model for a buckling analysis.

Refer to "Buckling analysis results" for details and interpretation of the results of a buckling
analysis.

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Buckling effective lengths

The effective length of a compression member is the length of an equivalent pin-ended strut that
has an Euler buckling capacity equal to the axial force Pcr in the member at the point of frame
buckling. It can be determined from:

It is evident from the formula that because the member actual length is not involved in the
calculation, subdividing the member into smaller segments does not change its effective length.
Thus, the effective length of a strut is the same as the effective length of one of its segments if it
has been subdivided.

Effective lengths calculated by the buckling analysis can be automatically transferred into the
steel member design modules. This has the obvious advantage that effective lengths don't have to
be transferred manually, but it also offers design efficiencies in that the effective lengths will be
calculated specifically for each design load case rather than having to use one set of effective
lengths for all load cases.

If you are manually specifying the compression effective lengths in the steel member design data
rather than having them transferred automatically from the buckling analysis, for design groups
that consist of a number of analysis members connected end-to-end, you should use the
MAXIMUM (not the sum!) of its individual analysis member effective lengths.

Overestimation of effective lengths


Effective lengths from a buckling analysis are sometimes overestimated because the portion of
the frame that buckles first determines the buckling load factor (BLF) and, consequently, controls
the effective lengths of all the members in the frame. The buckled portion of the frame may just
involve one or two members and may be remote from many of the members that are having their
effective lengths controlled by it.

For example, the buckling collapse of the left-hand column of a portal frame due to a heavy load
applied to it can control the effective length of the right-hand column which has no such load
applied. Consequently, each column would have a different effective length.

It would be ideal if the buckling analysis could increase the BLF beyond the first buckling mode
so that the effective length for each member could be based on a buckling mode that involved that
member. Unfortunately, this is not often possible because once the frame has reached its first
buckling mode, it has generally collapsed and cannot resist any increase in load.

However, if the first buckling mode involves only minor members such as bracing or similar,
rather than a collapse of the frame, it may be possible to continue the buckling analysis to a
higher order buckling mode in order to get more realistic effective lengths.

You can see from the above discussion that members which are lightly loaded at the point of
frame buckling will get a long effective length because of their small Pcr (see the equation
above). In some cases, this may result in conservative designs, however there are a few factors

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that can help as follows:

1. Members that have long effective lengths are generally lightly loaded axially, and these two
effects tend to cancel each other out during the design phase.

2. For codes such as AS4100 that don't require it, turn off the slenderness ratio check at the
start of the design phase. This is often very effective because, in the slenderness ratio check,
a long effective length does not benefit from being cancelled out by a small axial force.

3. For sway members, you can limit the effective lengths to a multiple of the actual member
length by entering a factor into the "compression effective length ratio limit" field at the
start of the design phase. In fact, effective lengths charts in most design codes limit the
effective lengths for sway members to not more than 5.0 times the actual member length.

4. For braced members, you can simply specify them as "braced" in the steel member design
data for the direction(s) in which they are braced. This will limit the effective lengths from
the buckling analysis to the actual member length.

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Special buckling considerations

Although a buckling analysis requires no more input data than a standard static analysis, there are
a number of items to be aware of when preparing a model for a buckling analysis.

Restraining the structure for buckling


It is important that you restrain the appropriate degrees of freedom to prevent buckling modes that
can’t occur in the real structure. For example, if a plane frame is braced in the out-of-plane
direction, you must ensure that the braced nodes are restrained in that direction, otherwise the
buckling load factor may apply to an unexpected out-of-plane buckling mode. A general restraint
is usually the most convenient way to achieve this. For example, applying a general restraint of
RRFRRR to a plane frame in the XY plane will prevent all out-of-plane translations.

Conversely, it is also important that you don’t prevent node movements that can occur in the real
structure. For example, consider a plane frame rafter that is restrained in the out-of-plane
direction at the two ends via an RRFRRR general restraint, but which is able to buckle in the out-
of-plane direction between the ends. If you subsequently add some intermediate nodes to the
rafter, they will also get the general restraint and this will prevent them from translating out-of-
plane, changing the out-of-plane buckling characteristics of the rafter. To avoid this, you could
apply restraints of RRRRRR to the intermediate nodes so that they don’t get the general restraint.

Note that a static analysis of a plane frame is not as sensitive to out-of-plane restraints as a
buckling analysis because static analysis out-of-plane displacements generally only occur if out-
of-plane loads are applied. This is not true of a buckling analysis which can cause buckling in any
direction, even if there are no loads in that direction.

Buckling analysis with secondary members


Structures are often modelled with the secondary members such as ties or bracing removed. If
these members are required to prevent buckling of the major members in the real structure then
they should be included in the buckling analysis model, otherwise the buckling capacity of the
structure will be underestimated by the analysis.

This is particularly true of tower structures that contain large numbers of slender members that
prevent buckling of the major support members.

Buckling analysis with tension-only or compression-only members


Extra care must be taken with buckling analysis of structures that contain tension-only or
compression-only members.

For example, consider a portal frame building modelled in 3D with tension-only wall bracing
members that prevent the building from swaying longitudinally. Special treatment is required for
the load cases that contain predominantly gravity loads which would cause all the wall braces to
go into compression and therefore become disabled. In such load cases, the buckling analysis
would yield very low buckling load factors because the wall bracing members would have been
disabled and a longitudinal sway buckling mode at very low load would result. Of course, in the
real structure this could not happen because the wall brace members would prevent it as soon as
the sway mode was initiated.

One solution is to introduce a very small horizontal load into these load cases which is small
enough to have a negligible effect on the static analysis results but large enough to cause the wall

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brace members to go into tension. The result is that they are not removed from the buckling
analysis model and are therefore able to prevent the unrealistic longitudinal sway buckling mode.

Similar situations can occur in any structures that contain tension-only or compression-only
members.

Buckling analysis with cable members


Extra care is needed for structures containing cable members because of their highly non-linear
nature. Because the axial force distribution in cable structures can change dramatically as the load
factor is increased beyond the working load, it is recommended that the buckling analysis be
performed on combination load cases that factor the working loads up close to the buckling load
and result in buckling load factors that are close to 1.0.

For example, if a buckling analysis of a working load case for a cable structure yields a primary
buckling load factor of 5.2, you could create a combination load case which factors up the
working loads for the particular load case by 5.0 say, and then re-do the buckling analysis for the
combination load case instead. If the subsequent buckling load factor is 0.90 say, then the final
load factor (for the working load case) is 5.0 x 0.90 = 4.50.

Buckling analysis with plate elements


Because the plates in SPACE GASS are linear elements with no adjustment of stiffness due to P-
delta effects, they will not buckle regardless of the load applied.

Buckling instabilities
Occasionally, you may find that a requested buckling mode can't be calculated and "Unstable"
appears in the buckling output report. This occurs when a node floats free due to local buckling of
all of the members to which the node is connected. Sometimes it is possible to avoid this problem
and calculate higher order buckling modes by adding intermediate nodes to the members which
have buckled.

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Running a buckling analysis

You can run a buckling analysis by selecting "Buckling Analysis" from the Analysis menu.

The input data requirements for a buckling analysis are the same as those for a static analysis. No
extra buckling data is required.

You do not have to run a static analysis before a buckling analysis.

Load cases list


The list of load cases to be analysed. For realistic results, only those load cases that can exist in
reality should be used. For example, a live load cannot exist on its own and therefore a load case
containing only live loads should not be used in a buckling analysis.

Tolerance
The accuracy to which the buckling load factors will be calculated. For example, a tolerance of
0.01 means that the load factors will be within +/- 0.01 of the exact value.

Each extra decimal place in the tolerance will increase the number of iterations per mode
by 3 or 4. For example, a tolerance of 0.001 will require 3 or 4 more iterations per mode than a
tolerance of 0.01.

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Load factor upper limit


The upper limit above which the buckling analysis will no longer search for buckling load factors.
Once this limit is reached, the analysis will stop, even if not all requested buckling modes have
been calculated.

Load factor lower limit


The lower limit below which the buckling analysis will not search for buckling load factors.

Buckling modes
The number of buckling modes that are required. Normally only the first buckling mode is of
interest, because beyond that the structure has usually collapsed and further modes are of
academic use only.

If the first buckling mode is caused by local buckling of a slender member or group of members
rather than the frame as a whole, the model should be changed so that overall frame buckling
occurs instead. One way of achieving this could be to change the slender members into tension-
only members so that they become disabled rather than buckle (see also Members).

You should view the buckling mode shapes graphically to determine whether or not overall frame
buckling has occurred.

Retain results of other load cases


If you have specified that not all load cases are to be analysed and, if results already exist for
some of the non-specified load cases, you can choose to retain them or have them deleted.

Check for non-existent load cases


If you have defined combination load cases that contain other load cases which don’t yet exist,
this option will detect and report them. It is optional because some users prefer to have a standard
set of combination load cases that contain primary load cases which are just ignored during the
analysis if they don’t exist.

Stabilize unrestrained nodes


Nodes that are free to rotate or translate in one or more directions without resistance from
interconnecting members, restraints or constraints can be automatically restrained during the
analysis so that instabilities don’t occur.

For example, if a node was connected to a number of members, all of which were pin-ended, a
rotational instability would normally result due to the unrestrained rotation of the node. However,
the stabilize option would apply a temporary rotational restraint to the node during the analysis,
preventing an instability.

Although this solves many instabilities, it doesn’t fix them all, and the prevention of non-trivial
instabilities is still dependent on good modelling practice.

Extra iterations for mode shape accuracy


The buckling analysis is complete when the buckling load factor has reached the desired accuracy
(as specified by the tolerance), however it is possible that at this point the buckling mode shapes
are not totally accurate. Mode shape accuracy can be achieved by turning on the "Extra iterations
for mode shape accuracy" option, however because buckling mode shapes are only used as a
visual aid to assess the buckling location and its shape then the extra iterations and analysis time
involved is not usually warranted.

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Optimization method
If you have the wavefront optimizer, you can choose to activate it for any linear or non-linear
analysis. The wavefront optimizer can be de-activated or it can be operated in one of three modes
as follows.

1. No optimization

2. General mode - SPACE GASS determines the path along which optimization proceeds
through the structure.

3. Linear mode - You select either of the X, Y or Z axes along which optimization proceeds in
a straight line through the structure.

4. Angular mode - You select either of the X, Y or Z axes about which optimization proceeds
around an arc through the structure.

See also The wavefront optimizer.

Optimization axis
If you have selected "Linear" or "Angular" for the wavefront optimization mode then you must
select the axis along or about which optimization will proceed.

See also The wavefront optimizer.

Coordinates of optimization centre


If you have selected "Angular" for the wavefront optimization mode then you must select the
centre of rotation about which optimization will proceed.

Axial force distribution


The buckling properties of a structure are largely dependent on the axial force in the members.
The buckling analysis module performs its own static analysis first to determine the axial force
distribution and you can nominate either linear or non-linear for this initial static analysis phase.
Generally, the choice between linear or non-linear doesn't significantly affect the buckling load
factor and, because linear is faster, it is recommended for most frames. Naturally, some
structures, such as those containing cable members, which cannot be analysed linearly, require
you to select non-linear.

When all of the information has been entered, the buckling analysis module calculates the
buckling load factor and mode shapes for each load case and then saves them ready for graphical
or text report output.

If you want to terminate the analysis before it is finished, just press ESC or the right mouse
button.

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Because plates are linear elements, they will not buckle regardless of the load applied.

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Buckling analysis results

At the end of the buckling analysis, a message showing the lowest buckling load factor is
displayed as follows.

This gives an instant indication of whether the buckling capacity of the frame has been exceeded
or not. A buckling load factor of less than SF x 1.0, where SF is a suitable safety factor would be
unsatisfactory.

Based on the buckling load factor for each load case, a simple formula is then used to calculate
the member effective lengths as described in "Buckling effective lengths". The effective lengths
can then be automatically transferred into the steel member design modules.

For a more detailed list of the buckling load factors and member effective lengths for each load
case, you should view or print a report that includes the buckling load factors and/or buckling
effective lengths.

If you get buckling load factors that are below the minimum allowable value (eg. shown as
"<0.001" when the minimum allowable value is 0.001), this could indicate an instability problem
rather than a buckling problem. It is even more likely to be an instability problem if the low
buckling load factors occur in every load case.

By displaying the buckling mode shapes, you can generally see where the buckling would occur,
however some models show no movement at all. In these cases, the buckling generally involves
node rotations without any translations, making it difficult to see the source of the buckling. The
buckling load factor report, however, gives the locations of the maximum node translations and
rotations which can help to identify where the buckling is happening.
Load Load Node at Node at
Case Mode Factor Tolerance Iterations Max Trans Max Rotn

1 1 3.207 0.008 11 4 (X) 3 (Z)


2 1 0.801 0.008 8 4 (X) 3 (Z)

In the above example, the buckling mode involves translations in the X-axis direction and
rotations about the Z-axis.

If you want to display any higher order mode shapes, just press the "Filters" toolbar button and
then list the mode shapes required in the "Buckling modes" field.

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If a frame appears to buckle in the wrong direction, it is because the buckling mode
shape diagrams are only intended to show the mode of buckling and not its direction or
magnitude.

When displaying the buckling mode shapes graphically, SPACE


GASS makes no attempt to show the member curvature between end nodes (ie. the node positions
are simply joined by straight lines). You can, however improve the look of the mode shapes by
adding intermediate nodes to the members.

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Analysis warnings and errors


SPACE GASS performs numerous checks for illegal and inconsistent data. Many of these checks
are done in the data input modules and any errors detected there must be corrected immediately.
However, some errors and warnings such as instabilities and ill-conditioning cannot be detected
until the analysis phase.

If any errors in the data are detected, SPACE GASS lists them on the screen, aborts the analysis
and then returns to the main menu, ready for correction of the offending items. Warnings are
displayed at the end of the analysis and do not cause it to abort.

Node # not found for member #


A member is connected to a non-existent node.

Direction node # not found for member #


A member has referenced a non-existent direction node.

Section # not found for member #


A member has referenced a non-existent section property.

Section # has impractically large section properties for the frame size
The properties of a section are too large for the frame dimensions. This error is often due to the
section properties being input in the wrong units.

Material # not found for member #


A member has referenced a non-existent material property.

Member # has zero length


A member is connected to two nodes with identical coordinates.

Restraint applied to non-existent node #


A restraint has been applied to a node which doesn’t exist.

Slave node # not found


A non-existent node has been specified as a slave node.

Master node # not found for slave node #


A non-existent node has been specified as a master node.

A constraint has been applied to a restrained DOF on node #


Any restrained degrees of freedom for a slave node cannot be constrained to a master node.

Node # has been specified as both slave and master


A master node cannot be the slave of another master node.

Member # with PA<>0.0 must have identical Y and Z axis fixities at an end
Because of the difficulty involved in calculating the stiffness matrix for a member with a non-
zero principal angle when the member end fixities are about its non-principal axes, the Y and Z
fixities at an end must be the same.

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Cable member # must not have any translational fixities released


For stability, cable members must have all of their translational fixities fixed.

Cable member # must not have member offsets


Cable members cannot have member offsets.

Cable member # must not have semi-rigid joints


Cable members are always assumed to be pin-ended, and hence cannot have semi-rigid joints.

Member # must not have shear fixity released with semi-rigid joints
Members with semi-rigid joints cannot have shear fixities released. This restriction only applies
when the semi-rigid joint and the shear fixity act in the same plane.

Node load on non-existent or dummy node #, load case #


A node load has been applied to a non-existent node.

Prescribed displacement on non-existent or dummy node #, load case #


A prescribed displacement has been applied to a non-existent node.

Concentrated load on non-existent member #, load case #


A concentrated member load has been applied to a non-existent member.

Distributed force on non-existent member #, load case #


A distributed member force has been applied to a non-existent member.

Distributed torsion on non-existent member #, load case #


A distributed member torsion has been applied to a non-existent member.

Prestress load on non-existent member #, load case #


A prestress load has been applied to a non-existent member.

Prescribed displacement applied to end of cable member #, load case #


Nodes at the ends of cable members must not have prescribed displacements applied to them.

Prescribed displacement applied to released restraint on node #, load case #


Prescribed displacements can only be applied to node degrees of freedom which are restrained.

Prescribed displ. applied to master constraint DOF on node #, load case #


Prescribed displacements must not be applied to master node degrees of freedom which are
constraining a slave node.

Concentrated load is off the end of member #, load case #


A concentrated member load has been located beyond the ends of the member.

Concentrated load applied to cable member #, load case #


Concentrated member loads must not be applied to cable members.

Distributed force is off the end of member #, load case #


A distributed member force has been located beyond the ends of the member.

UDL must act over full length of cable member #, load case #

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Uniformly distributed loads applied to cable members must act over the entire cable length.

Trapezoidal load applied to cable member #, load case #


Distributed trapezoidal loads must not be applied to cable members.

Distributed torsion is off the end of member #, load case #


A distributed member torsion has been located beyond the ends of the member.

Distributed torsion applied to cable member #, load case #


Distributed torsion loads must not be applied to cable members.

Load case # has been specified as both primary and combination


Load cases can be primary or combination, but not both.

Combination # contains non-primary load case #


Combination load cases can only be made up from primary load cases. Combination load cases
cannot be further combined.

None of the load cases selected exist


There are no valid load cases in the load cases list selected for analysis.

Insufficient space on drive C, # bytes extra required


The analysis module has detected that there is not enough space left on the hard disk for the
analysis to run to completion. Extra space equal to the number of bytes shown is required. You
should terminate the analysis, remove any unwanted data files or programs and then try the
analysis again.

Cable member # is ill-conditioned in load case #


The program was unable to accurately calculate the cable geometry and stiffness matrix.

Member # has buckled in load case #, axial load = 123.23. Continue?


During a non-linear analysis, the program was unable to calculate the stiffness matrix for the
member because its Euler buckling load was exceeded. If you continue, the member is simply
disabled for the rest of the analysis iterations. Note that this message is the result of a simple local
member buckling check only. Overall frame buckling or buckling of multiple members is not
considered! The local member buckling messages can be suppressed by clearing the appropriate
check box at the start of the analysis.

Instability found at member # in load case #


An instability has been detected at a specified member. The instability could be located at either
end of the member.

Not all load steps were completed


The load was applied in more than one step, however it was stopped before all steps were
completed. Because the full load was not reached, the results cannot be used for the load cases
being analysed.

WARNING: Possible ill-conditioning detected, check reactions


Ill-conditioning may have been detected. If the reactions equal the applied loads then no ill-
conditioning has occurred. This message is only a warning which can be suppressed from the
output reports if necessary.

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WARNING: Analysis did not reach desired convergence in all load cases
The level of convergence in a non-linear analysis has not reached the required convergence
accuracy for some load cases. This is not necessarily fatal if the convergence achieved is close to
that requested. Note also that some of the load cases may have fully converged and this can be
checked by looking at the output reports.

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Steel member design

Throughout this chapter it can be assumed that all information applies equally to all of
the supported steel member design codes unless specifically stated otherwise.

This chapter describes in detail the data required to be input before a design or check can proceed.
It discusses the internal methods, philosophies and assumptions that the program uses as it
designs or checks members, and it explains how to initiate the actual design or checking process
once the steel member design data has been input.

! IMPORTANT NOTE !
Before you use the steel member design module, you should read all of the assumptions
described later in this chapter (see also "Steel member design/check assumptions") to verify
that its performance and capabilities are adequate for your situation. It is up to you to
determine whether or not the steel member design module is suitable for your requirements.

The steel member design module is a general purpose design and code checking program which
reads the frame analysis output data, calculates the critical location and load case for each
member and then selects the most suitable steel member size from a library of standard sections.
Alternatively, you may specify a steel member size to be checked and the program determines
whether or not the member is adequate. For a given frame, you can specify any selected number
of members to be designed or checked.

The design module is also capable of passing the designed steel sizes back into the frame analysis
data and re-analysing the structure. This process can be iterated until the results converge. It
usually only takes two or three iterations.

During the design/check phase SPACE GASS automatically calculates the load factor for limit
states codes or combined stress ratio for working stress codes at numerous stations along each
member. It considers yielding of the cross section, lateral buckling, slenderness ratios, and all
possible combinations of shear, tension, compression and bending for both in-plane and out-of-
plane failure.

The steel member design module doesn’t consider torsional effects.

After all specified members have been designed or checked, a detailed report can be produced for
each member showing the critical location or segment on the member, the critical load case,
section properties, effective lengths, and the complete computations involved in the design.
Sections of the report can be suppressed if required. A color-coded graphical representation of the
design/check results can also be displayed.

The SPACE GASS steel member design module can handle most types of steel members
including beams, columns, ties, struts, braces, and members subjected to combinations of axial
loads, shear forces and bending moments (uniaxial or biaxial).

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All references to BS5950 in this document apply to BS5950-1:2000. Although SPACE GASS
still has a design module for BS5950:1990, it is now obsolete and is not referred to in this
document.

The AISC-LRFD, EUROCODE 3, AS4100, NZS3404, BS5950 and HK CP2005 modules assume
that second order effects have been taken into account by a second order elastic analysis. Moment
magnification is not considered. The NZS3404 module uses the "Other than capacity" design
method with non-seismic ductility categories only.

Refer to "Steel member input methods" for details on how to input steel member design data.

Refer to "Running a steel member design" for details on how to perform a steel member design.

Refer to "Steel member design results" for details and interpretation of the results of a steel
member design.

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Steel member input methods


Before you can perform a steel member design, you must define each of the steel members you
wish to design and then input some design parameters for each of them. This can be done in three
ways as follows.

1. Auto-create steel members


This option performs a quick initial input of the steel members and their design parameters
for the entire model or for any part of it that you wish to select.

After the quick initial input, you can refine the design parameters for each steel member by
using a steel member input form or datasheet (see items 2 and 3 below). You can also skip
the auto-create step completely if you prefer to input the steel design data from scratch using
a steel member input form or datasheet.

2. Steel member input form


This option allows you select a steel member graphically and then define or edit its design
parameters via a form. It is restricted to one steel member at a time.

3. Steel member input datasheet


This option lets you select one or more steel members graphically and then define or edit
their design parameters via a datasheet. It can handle multiple steel members, however they
must have been previously defined using methods 1 or 2 above.

Alternatively, you can select "Steel Member Design Input-Datasheet" from the Design menu
to open a datasheet and input or edit design parameters for steel members regardless if they
have previously been defined or not.

The recommended procedure is to use the auto-create tool to perform a quick initial setup of the
steel members and then refine them using a steel member input form or datasheet.

Each of the three input methods are explained in detail in the following sections.

If you want to have multiple steel members with identical design parameters, you can copy the
design parameters from one steel member to many others by using the "Copy steel member
properties" tool. Note, however, that you can’t copy to steel members that haven’t been defined
yet.

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Auto-create steel members

This tool automatically creates multiple steel design members (also known as "design groups")
from a selection of analysis members. Each generated steel design member can contain multiple
analysis members connected end-to-end, provided they are of the same cross section, are
generally collinear and don’t extend past a major axis support.

You can access the auto-create steel members tool by selecting "Steel Member Design Input-Auto
create multiple steel members" from the Design menu or selecting "Auto-create multiple steel
members" from the floating menu.

You can select analysis members from different locations throughout the model and with different
section properties, and SPACE GASS will automatically sort through them and group them
appropriately into steel design members.

You can even select the entire model and have all of the steel design members created
automatically. However, you should check the generated members to ensure that their effective
lengths, restraints and other data are correct.

The numbering convention adopted by this operation is such that the number of each generated
steel design member is set to match the number of the first analysis member that it contains. This
makes it easy to keep track of how the steel design members relate to the analysis members.
However, please be aware that any existing steel design members that don’t follow this
convention will be overwritten if their numbers clash with the new steel design members being
generated. Of course, any steel design members that contain the selected analysis members will
also be overwritten during the generation.

After you have selected the analysis members to be grouped into steel design members, click the
right mouse button and select "Auto-create multiple steel members" from the floating menu (or
select "Ok" if you initiated the operation from the menu). You can then specify restraint, effective
length and other data for the generated steel members via the forms shown below.

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Specify Flange Restraints Manually


Select this option if you want to directly specify all of the flange restraints along the generated
steel members in the next form. Otherwise, the flange restraints will be placed in accordance with
the data you specify in this form.

End Flange Restraints


These are the flange restraints that will be placed at the ends of the generated steel members.

Intermediate Flange Restraints


Flange restraints will be placed at the intermediate nodes along the generated steel members
depending on which options you select in this area of the form. Your choices are any or all of the
following:

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1. Apply flange restraints to all intermediate nodes

If selected, intermediate flange restraints of the type you specify will be placed on both
flanges at every intermediate node.

2. Apply flange restraints to nodes connected to other members

If selected, intermediate flange restraints of the type you specify will be placed at the
intermediate nodes that are connected to other members. You have the option of ignoring
interconnecting members that lie in the plane of the steel member (ie. in the plane of the
steel member’s web). You can also control which flanges to which the restraints are applied.

3. Apply flange restraints to restrained intermediate nodes

If selected, intermediate flange restraints of the type you specify will be placed at the
intermediate nodes that have analysis restraints applied to them. Analysis restraints that only
apply in the direction of the plane of the steel member’s web are ignored.

Note that this only applies to normal analysis restraints and not the general restraint.

Tolerances
The tolerances affect whether or not a selection of analysis members are suitable for grouping
into a steel design member. A selection of analysis members of the same cross section connected
end-to-end will be able to be grouped into a steel design member provided the bend angle, twist
angle or step distance between adjacent analysis members do not exceed the tolerances you
specify.

Delete all Existing Design Groups First


If you select this option, all steel design members will be deleted before the new steel members
are generated. Otherwise, only those steel design members that contain the selected analysis
members will be deleted before the generation.

After clicking the "Next" button, the following form appears. For detailed information about the
data in the form, refer to "Steel member design data".

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All steel design members generated will be created with the data that you specify in this form.

After the steel design members have been created, you should check each one, paying particular
attention to the following:

1. You should split any steel design member that extends past an interconnecting member that
effectively acts as a major axis support point for the design member.

2. If you have specified that bending effective lengths are to be calculated automatically based
on the flange restraints, they will be calculated such that they never substantially exceed the
actual length of the steel design member. If the unrestrained flange length is longer than this
(ie. the bending effective length is longer than the steel design member length) then you
should specify them manually rather than having them calculated automatically.

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You can show the steel design members graphically by clicking the button near the bottom of
the side toolbar. They show up as thickened lines that are drawn slightly shorter than their actual
length so that you can easily see where they start and finish.

Steel design members can be viewed or edited graphically on an individual basis as described in
"Steel member input form", "Steel member input datasheet" or via the steel member design
datasheet.

For an overview of the various methods available for inputting steel member design data, refer to
"Steel member input methods".

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Steel member input form

This tool allows you to graphically define and edit steel design members (also known as "design
groups"). Note that multiple steel design members can be defined in a single operation using the
"Auto-create steel members" tool.

You can access the steel member input form by selecting "Steel Member Design Input-Graphical"
from the Design menu or selecting some members and then "Steel Member Design Input (Form)"
from the floating menu.

It is recommended that you initially generate all the steel design members using the "Auto-create
steel members" tool and then check and edit them on an individual basis using the procedure
described here.

Each steel design member contains one or more analysis members connected end-to-end. After
you have selected the analysis members that you wish to include in a steel design member, click
the right mouse button and select "Steel Member Design Input (Form)" from the floating menu
(or select "Ok" if you initiated the operation from the menu).

Because the top flange for a steel design group is taken to be the same as the top flange for the
first member in the design group, it is important to be able to control which member comes first
in the design group. Flange restraint positions are also referenced from the end of the first
member in the design group.

If you are inputting a new design group, the member that you select first will be placed first in the
design group (assuming that it is at either end of the group). If you want to select a "first"
member, you should pick it directly or ensure that it is the only member selected if you use a
window.

If you use a window and select a group of members initially, then the end one with the lowest
member number will be placed first in the design group.

In the steel member form that appears, type in the data for the selected design group, and then
click the form Ok button.

For detailed information about the data in the form, refer to "Steel member design data".

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"Use Previous" button


Click the "Use Previous" button to set all the data in the form to the same as when the form was
previously used.

You can show the steel design members graphically by clicking the button near the bottom of
the side toolbar. They show up as thickened lines that are drawn slightly shorter than their actual
length so that you can easily see where they start and finish.

You can also show the flange restraints graphically by clicking the button near the bottom of
the side toolbar. It enables you to see exactly where the flange restraints are and whether they are
on the correct flange or not.

For an overview of the various methods available for inputting steel member design data, refer to
"Steel member input methods".

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Steel member input datasheet

This tool allows you to graphically edit steel design members (also known as "design groups")
that were previously defined using the "Auto-create steel members" and/or "Steel member input
form" tools.

You can access the steel member input datasheet by selecting "Steel Member Design Input-
Datasheet" from the Design menu or selecting some members and then "Steel Member Design
Input (Datasheet)" from the floating menu.

After you have selected one or more steel design members, click the right mouse button and
select "Steel Member Design Input (Datasheet)" from the floating menu (or select "Ok" if you
initiated the operation from the menu).

For detailed information about the data in the datasheet, refer to "Steel member design data".

Refer to "Using datasheets" for information on how to operate the above datasheet.

For an overview of the various methods available for inputting steel member design data, refer to
"Steel member input methods".

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Copy steel member properties


This tool lets you copy the design properties of a steel design member (also known as a "design
group") to a selection of destination steel design members.

Note that the properties can only be copied to members that have already been set up as steel
design members.

The procedure is as follows.

1. Select the source member that you wish to copy the properties of, click the right mouse
button and then select "Copy Steel Member Properties" from the floating menu that appears.

OR

Select "Copy Steel Member Properties" from the Design menu and then select the source
member that you wish to copy the properties of.

2. Select one or more destination members by picking them individually or by putting a


selection window around them and then click the right mouse button and click "Ok".

3. The steel design properties of the source member will then be copied to the selected
destination members.

4. Select another source member, or press ESC or the right mouse button to exit from the tool.

After the copy, you should check the destination members to ensure that the effective lengths,
flange restraints and other data are appropriate. In particular, check that the effective lengths are
correct and that the flange restraints are not located off the ends of the steel design member.

For an overview of the various methods available for inputting steel member design data, refer to
"Steel member input methods".

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Steel member design data


This section describes the steel member design data that is required to be input before you can
design and/or check steel members that are part of a frame analysis model.

For an overview of the various methods available for inputting steel member design data, refer to
"Steel member input methods".

The form that appears when you input steel member design data graphically is shown above. The
steel member datasheet contains the same information in a different format.

Group
Each steel design member is made up of one or more analysis members. Hence, the concept of
steel design groups is introduced. A steel design group usually represents a single piece of steel in
the real structure. It could be modelled as a single member or a number of members in the
analysis model.

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In order to make it easier to relate member numbers to group


numbers, it is often a good idea to give the design group the same number as the first member in
the group. Otherwise, there is sometimes a tendency to confuse member numbers and group
numbers when scanning the design output data. By default, SPACE GASS will give a design
group a number corresponding to the first of the members selected (when performing a graphical
steel frame data input). You can, of course, change this if you wish.

Description
An optional brief description of the steel design group.

Member list
A list of analysis members to be combined into the steel design group. This is often only one
member in each group.

Because the top flange for a steel design group is taken to be the
same as the top flange for the first member in the design group, it is important to control which
member comes first in the design group. Flange restraint positions are also referenced from the
end of the first member in the design group.

See also Member groups.

Strength grade
The strength grade for members can be set to normal or high. The actual yield strengths are taken
from the standard section libraries supplied with SPACE GASS. All of these libraries can be
viewed or edited (see also Section libraries).

Choices are: Normal,


High.

Units
The compression effective lengths and flange restraint positions can be specified as actual
distances or as ratios of the design group length.

Choices are: Actual,


Ratio.

Load height position


The load height position is used to allow for the case when a member is loaded (in-plane) on a
flange causing an increased tendency for the flange to buckle laterally (out-of-plane). The load
height position can be set to "Top flange" if this occurs, or "Shear centre" if the predominant load
is positioned at the shear centre or on a flange such that it resists lateral buckling of the flange.

Choices are: Shear centre,


Top flange.

The load height position affects the value of the load height factor kl which is used to calculate
the bending effective length of the member.

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Destabilizing and stabilizing loads

See also Load height factor.

Scan code
In order to control the types of steel sections that the program selects during the course of a
design, a library scan code is required. This allows you to select the types of sections that should
only be considered for each member. For example, you could use it to tell the program that only
I-sections were to be considered for the design of a portal frame column. Without the library scan
code the program would simply choose the lightest adequate steel section from the library,
regardless of its type or shape.

The library scan code is simply a list of up to four characters that contains the group codes of
sections that are to be considered during the design of a member. You can input the scan code
directly or click the "Select" button and then choose the section types you require and the scan
code will be created for you.

Compression effective lengths (Lc major and minor)


These are the effective lengths for overall buckling about the major and minor axes due to axial
compression. Depending on the "Units" selected, the Lc values may be expressed as an absolute
length or as a ratio of the total group length.

Compression effective lengths can be calculated from a buckling analysis, however you can elect
to input them directly if you prefer. To have them calculated, select the "Calculate from Buckling
Analysis" check box. Of course to have Lc calculated, you must have the buckling analysis
module (it is not a standard program feature) and you must run a buckling analysis before you can
run the steel member design.

Having the Lc values calculated automatically is more efficient than specifying them directly
because case specific Lc values can be calculated for each design load case. If you specify Lc
values directly then they are used for every load case.

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If the Lc values are not being transferred automatically from a buckling analysis, for design
groups that consist of a number of analysis members connected end-to-end, you should use the
MAXIMUM (not the sum!) of its individual analysis member effective lengths.

The "Braced in Position at Both Ends of Group" check boxes indicate whether or not the group is
braced for each of the major and minor axis directions. If you specify that the group is braced
then its compression effective length in the direction you specify will not be allowed to exceed
the overall group length, regardless of whether it was calculated from a buckling analysis or
specified directly by you. Because this can substantially reduce the effective lengths used in the
design, please use this option with care!

During the design phase, the compression effective lengths as calculated or defined by
you may be adjusted depending on parameters you specify at the start of the design phase. For
more information about this, refer to Running a steel member design.

For single angle sections, the compression effective lengths must be input relative to the
non-principal axes. For AS4100, BS5950, NZS3404, AS4600, AISC-LRFD, AISC-ASD, HK
CP2005 and EUROCODE 3, they are converted to the principal axes during the design/check
phase.

In order to cater for all design code naming conventions, the compression effective lengths
are referred to as "Lc major" and "Lc minor" in this document and in the data entry parts of the
program. However, in the design output reports, they are changed to match the notation of the
design code that was used.

See also Buckling effective lengths.

Bending effective lengths (Lb +ve and –ve)


Bending effective lengths for positive moments (Lb +ve) and for negative moments (Lb –ve) are
normally calculated based on the flange restraints that you specify, however you can elect to input
them directly if you prefer. To have them calculated, select the "Calculate from Flange
Restraints" check box.

During the design, if you have elected to have the bending effective length calculated, it is taken
as the length of the segment under consideration multiplied by three additional factors kt twist
factor), kl (load height factor) and kr (lateral rotation factor) such that Lb = Lseg x kt x kl x kr.

Alternatively, if you have specified the bending effective length directly then the specified value
is used without modification.

kt, kl and kr are fully explained in AS4100/NZS3404 clause 5.6.3. In AS1250, SABS0162,
BS5950, AS3990, HK CP2005 and EUROCODE 3 there are no kt kl and kr factors and so
SPACE GASS uses the rules of AS1250 clause 5.9, SABS0162 clause 7.2.3, BS5950 clause
4.3.5, AS3990 clause 5.9, HK CP2005 clause 8.3.4 or EUROCODE 3 clause F.1.2 to calculate
equivalent kt, kl and kr factors which, when multiplied together, produce an overall effective
length factor kb.

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For single angle sections, the bending effective lengths must be input relative to the non-
principal axes. For AS4100, BS5950, NZS3404, AS4600, AISC-LRFD and AISC-ASD, they are
converted to the principal axes during the design/check phase.

In order to cater for all design code naming conventions, the bending effective length is
referred to as "Lb" in this document and in the data entry parts of the program. However, in the
design output reports, it is changed to match the notation of the design code that was used.

See also Twist factor.


See also Load height factor.
See also Lateral rotation factor.

Flange restraints
Flange restraint positions are referenced from the end of the first member in a design group.
SPACE GASS assumes that there is a restraint at each end of a group and you should therefore
specify the intermediate restraint positions only.

Restraint positions should be specified independently for the top and bottom flanges. Up to 100
intermediate positions can be specified for each flange. If there are no intermediate restraints for a
particular flange then the restraint positions field should be left blank.

When specifying restraint positions, you can use @’s to specify relative positions or groups of
equally spaced positions. For example, restraint positions of 1.2,2.4,3.6,4.8,6.0,6.6,7.2,7.8,8.4
could be specified as 5@1.2,4@0.6, or positions of 1.2,1.8,2.7,3.3 could be specified as
1.2,1@0.6,2.7,1@0.6.

Depending on the "Units" selected, the restraint positions may be expressed as an absolute
distance or as a ratio of the total group length.

Flange restraint types must be specified for each intermediate restraint position and for the two
ends of the design group. Refer to "Flange restraints" for restraint definitions.

Choices are: Full (F)


Partial (P)
Lateral (L)
Full and rotational (R)
Partial and rotational (S)
Unrestrained at end (U)
Continuous lateral restraint (C)
Ignore segment (I)

The top flange of a member is the flange on the positive local y-axis (or z-axis if the
section has been flipped) side of the member. The top flange of a group as a whole is defined such
that it is the same as the top flange of the first member in the group.

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You can verify graphically which is the top flange by clicking the button near the bottom of
the side toolbar. It displays a small triangle that points to the top flange of each member.

For single angle sections, flange restraints must be input relative to the non-principal
axes. For AS4100, BS5950, NZS3404, AS4600, AISC-LRFD and AISC-ASD, they are converted to
the principal axes during the design/check phase.

See also Flange restraints.


See also Effective flange restraints.

Consider eccentric effects


For members that have eccentric end connections, you can elect to consider or ignore the
resulting eccentric moments. Eccentric moments are only added if they increase the normal
design moments.

Note that even if you select this check box, you can disable eccentric effects globally by
deselecting the eccentric effects check box in the steel member design/check form.

Maximum bolts in cross section


In order to calculate the effective web and flange areas, and subsequent member capacities, the
presence of bolt holes at the member ends must be taken into account. SPACE GASS requires
you to estimate the number and diameter of bolts per cross section at the ends of each member to
be designed or checked. A bolt count of zero indicates that the member end is welded.

During the design, SPACE GASS checks to see that the bolts per cross section specified can be
fitted into the cross section. If not, the number is reduced to the maximum that can be
accommodated. If the member is too small to take even a single bolt then the connection is
assumed to be welded.

Bolt diameter
End connection bolt diameter.

Angle type
In order to define the geometry of single or double angle sections, SPACE GASS requires the
angle section type to be input.

Choices are: Single angle,


Double angle with short legs connected,
Double angle with long legs connected,
Double angle starred (equal angles only).

Double angle sections are assumed to have no space between the individual angle
sections.

! IMPORTANT NOTE !
The AS1250, SABS0162 and AS3990 modules assume that double angles are connected
together at intermediate points sufficient to ensure that half of the design axial compressive

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force for the combined section does not exceed the compressive capacity of each angle section
considered individually using an effective length (for buckling of the sections away from each
other) equal to the distance between connection points.

The AISC-LRFD, EUROCODE 3, AS4100, NZS3404, BS5950 and HK CP2005 modules


convert double angle sections into the equivalent Tee section and then treat them as a solid Tee
shape. They do not support double starred angles.

Angle section orientation

All of the possible arrangements involving single and double angles are shown in the diagrams
above. It is important to note that the major axis of a single or double angle section is assumed to
be parallel to the short leg(s) of the section as shown in the diagrams.

For equal angles, specifying a double angle section with either short or long legs
connected has the same effect and always results in a section as shown at the top-right diagram.

The design procedure for angle sections is considerably more complicated than for most other
sections. This is due to the significant moments generated by eccentric end connections which
cannot usually be avoided when working with angles. SPACE GASS is capable of taking these
effects into account for both single and double angle sections.

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When designing/checking single or double angle sections for AS1250, SABS0162 or


AS3990, SPACE GASS considers only axial forces and shears. Normal bending moments are not
considered. The only moments considered are those due to the eccentric end connections. This is
not the case with the other design modules. They consider all axial forces, shears and moments
together with any extra eccentric moments (if appropriate).

Furthermore, for single angle sections, the effective lengths and flange restraints must be input
relative to the non-principal axes. For AS4100, BS5950, NZS3404, AS4600, AISC-LRFD and
AISC-ASD, they are converted to the principal axes during the design/check phase.

End connection
For non-symmetric members subjected to axial loads, such as angle sections, channels and Tees,
the program needs to know which leg, flange or web is connected so that the extra moments due
to possible eccentric end connections can be calculated (if appropriate).

Choices are: Concentric,


Flange(s) (for I, H, T or channel sections),
Web (for channel or T sections),
Angle short leg,
Angle long leg (vertical leg for equal angles before being
flipped or a direction angle, direction node or direction axis
applied).

Design criteria
Most designs aim to minimize the structure weight, however if you are constrained to a certain
member depth then you can elect to minimize the member depth instead.

Choices are: Weight,


Depth.

Use Previous button


Click the "Use Previous" button to set all the data in the form to the same as when the form was
previously used.

See also Steel member input methods.


See also Steel member design text.
See also Running a steel member design.

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Steel member design sign conventions

The steel member design module deals only with the member cross section axes. The longitudinal
axis of the member is of no relevance.

For most section types, steel member design input and output data always relates to the major and
minor principal cross section axes. The only exception is for single angle sections where the
effective lengths and flange restraints must be input relative to the non-principal axes (the axes
parallel to the angle legs) for all design codes.

During the design phase, the data for single angle sections is converted to the principal axes for
AS4100, BS5950, NZS3404, AS4600, AISC-LRFD and AISC-ASD. Output reports for those
codes also show the data in principal axes for single angle sections.

See also Column and beam Tees.

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Member groups

In a typical structure, the actual beams, columns, struts, ties, etc. are modelled in SPACE GASS
as members connected together at nodes. Sometimes, however it is convenient and often
necessary for members to have nodes placed at intermediate positions along them so that they are
subdivided into smaller members. This can occur when another member intersects a member at an
intermediate point or when a node is simply placed at an intermediate point so that deflections,
forces and moments are calculated at that point during the analysis.

Quite often the placement of intermediate nodes along a member is done purely for frame
analysis modelling purposes rather than due to an actual discontinuity or connection in the real
structure. For this reason, SPACE GASS allows you to group frame analysis members together
and design them as though they are a single entity (as they are in the real structure). In the
remainder of this manual a "design group" represents an actual member in the real structure
which consists of one or more frame analysis members grouped together end-to-end.

Note that in the following discussion, members in a group can be listed in either
direction. For example, "1,3,8,5" and "5,8,3,1" are both suitable. The direction can, however
affect the definition of the top flange (see also Flange restraints).

Consider, for example, a simply supported beam with a node at each end which is subjected to an
axial compressive force and a uniformly distributed dead load. When analysed, the deflected
shape and bending moment distribution along its length is calculated by SPACE GASS. If the
structural adequacy of this member is then checked against one of the design codes, various
factors are calculated based on the deflected shape and the bending moment distribution. These
factors are then used in the calculations to determine if the member is adequate or not.

If the same beam is modelled with a third node at midspan, you would still get the same deflected
shape and bending moment distribution, however unless you were able to group the two halves of
the beam together and design them as though they were a single member you would get a
completely different design result. This is because the factors and the combined actions moments
and axial forces would be based on the deflection and moment distributions for only half of the
beam rather than its full length.

If a member has been subdivided into smaller members in the analysis model, it is
important that these sub-members are grouped together in the design model.

The rules for deciding whether or not a run of frame analysis members should be grouped into a
design group are as follows.

1. Each member in a design group must be rigidly connected to each other end-to-end, they
must lie generally in a straight line, and they must have the same section properties.

2. The length of a design group should not be less than the major axis span.

3. A design group must be long enough to include all of the flange restraints that affect its
bending effective lengths. Furthermore, under no circumstances should the design group

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length be less than the unrestrained lengths of the top and bottom flanges. This rule is not
applicable if the bending effective lengths are specified directly rather than being
calculated.

4. Each end of a design group should coincide with the physical end of a member or a
significant change in direction of a member, or a support point for a member. It shouldn’t
normally extend past a support or past an intersecting member that effectively acts as a
support. "Support" refers to a support for the major axis span.

If it is not possible for all of the above rules to be satisfied then you should not use
SPACE GASS to design the steel members involved.

Consider the following examples, indicating how members in typical frames can be grouped
together.

Member grouping for gable portal

Group 1: 1,2
Group 2: 3,4,5
Group 3: 6
Group 4: 7,8

Member grouping for flat portal

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Reference Manual SPACE GASS 10.8

Group 1: 1,2
Group 2: 3,4,5,6
Group 3: 7,8

Member grouping for truss

Group 1: 2,6,10,14,18,22
Group 2: 4,8,12,16,20,24
Group 3: 1
Group 4: 3
(Some of the non-critical members have not been grouped)

! IMPORTANT NOTE !
The above grouping assumes that local bending of the chords between panel points is
insignificant compared with overall bending between the end supports (ie. the panel points are
not really acting as support points for the chords). If the chords were effectively spanning L/6
instead of L then the chord members could not be grouped.

Member grouping for multi-storey frame

Group 1: 1
Group 2: 2

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Reference Manual SPACE GASS 10.8

Group 3: 3
Group 4: 4
Group 5: 5
Group n: n
etc...

No grouping of multiple members can occur in this case because each member acts as a single
span. The horizontal beams act as supports for the columns at each floor and the columns act as
supports for the beams.

Note that, if there was no significant axial forces in the beams such that they were not acting as
supports for the columns then the columns could be grouped into one design group from bottom
to top. This would not, however be a common situation.

Member grouping for continuous beam

Group 1: 1,2,3,4
Group 2: 5,6

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Flange restraints

Flange restraints must be specified for both top and bottom flanges at each end of a design group
and at each intermediate restraint position.

Because the positions of the start and finish flange restraints is known, only the intermediate
restraint positions should be specified. However, the end and intermediate restraint types
should be specified.

The top flange of a member is the flange on the positive local y-axis (or z-axis if the section has
been flipped) side of the member. The top flange of a group as a whole is defined such that it is
the same as the top flange of the first member in the group.

You can verify graphically which is the top flange by clicking the button near the bottom of
the side toolbar. It displays a small triangle that points to the top flange of each member.

There are two classes of restraint types; those that occur at a discrete point and those that occur
over a continuous length of flange between two point restraints. The number of point restraint
types should exactly match the number of restraint positions.

When @ multipliers are used in the restraint positions lists, the corresponding restraint types must
have only one character for each @ multiplier. For example, restraint positions of
1.2,2.4,3.6,4.8,6.0,6.6,7.2,7.8,8.4 with corresponding restraint types of LLLLLPPPP could be
specified as 5@1.2,4@0.6 and LP. If the restraint types were LLPLLPPPP, however then they
would have to be specified as 2@1.2,3.6,2@1.2,4@0.6 and LPLP.

SPACE GASS accepts six point flange restraint types and two continuous flange restraint types.
They are defined as follows. Note that these definitions are slightly different to the ones in the
design codes because the code definitions apply to the cross section rather than to each flange.
The cross section restraints are determined from the flange restraints during the design or check
phase.

Full restraint (F) Prevents lateral deflection of the flange


to which it is applied and fully prevents
twist rotation of the section.

Partial restraint (P) Prevents lateral deflection of the flange


to which it is applied and partially
prevents twist rotation of the section.

Lateral restraint (L) Prevents lateral deflection of the flange


to which it is applied but is ineffective
in preventing twist rotation of the
section. A lateral restraint can only be
considered to be effective when it is
positioned between full or partial
restraints.

Full & rotational restraint (R) The same as full restraint above but also

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with significant restraint against lateral


rotation of the flange about the cross
section’s minor axis.

Partial & rotational restraint (S) The same as partial restraint above but
also with significant restraint against
lateral rotation of the flange about the
cross section’s minor axis.

Unrestrained (U) There is no resistance to lateral


deflection of the flange to which it is
applied or twist rotation of the section.
This can only be used at the end of a
design group.

An "unrestrained" end does not necessarily imply a cantilever. Flange restraints are
independent of the member support system. Cantilevers or beams with supported ends could be
restrained or unrestrained.

The following flange restraint types do not occur at a point but are continuous between two
adjacent point flange restraints.

Continuous lateral restraint (C) Prevents lateral deflection of the flange


to which it is applied but is ineffective
in preventing twist rotation of the
section. A continuous lateral restraint
can only be considered to be effective
when it is positioned between full or
partial restraints.

Ignore segment (I) This is not really a flange restraint,


rather it instructs SPACE GASS to skip
past the ignored segment length when
designing or checking. It can be used
very conveniently to ignore the very
rigid area where intersecting members
connect so that members are designed
from the face of intersecting members
rather than from their centrelines. It is
also very handy for when a member is
stiffened over part of its length and is
not required to be designed over that
portion.

The above definitions allow for full, partial, lateral or no restraint against twist of the cross
section (about its longitudinal axis) (F,P,L,C or U). They also allow for full or no restraint against
lateral rotation of the critical flange (about the minor cross section axis) in the presence of full or
partial twist restraint (R or S). An extra restraint condition which is catered for in AS1250,

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SABS0162, BS5950, AS3990 and HK CP2005 only, that provides partial restraint against lateral
rotation of the critical flange is not supported by SPACE GASS.

Note that the design/check calculations are based on the effective cross section restraint rather
than the restraint on a particular flange. The effective cross section restraint depends on which
flange is the critical one and on what flange restraints are applied to the critical and the non-
critical flanges. Refer to "Effective flange restraints" for more information.

The following diagrams are a collection of some fairly typical support and fly brace connection
details. The type of restraint that applies to each flange is shown as either "full", "partial",
"lateral" or "unrestrained". Note that the diagrams apply regardless of whether or not rotational
restraints also exists. The terms "full" or "partial" could also read "full and rotational" or "partial
and rotational" in each of the diagrams.

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Flange restraint types

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Reference Manual SPACE GASS 10.8

Consider, for example, the portal frame below. The roof bracing system laterally braces each
rafter at the eaves and apex. Purlins are positioned at ninth points along each rafter and fly braces
are attached to each third purlin at rafter third points. Girts are positioned at the mid-height of
each column.

Portal frame flange restraints

We will assume that the roof sheeting has enough rigidity to allow the purlins to prevent lateral
deflection of the rafter top flange. Note that if the roof sheeting has insufficient rigidity to prevent
lateral deflection then the fly braces will not be capable of providing any restraint to the bottom
flange and will thus be totally ineffective.

The frame could be set up with four design groups, each containing the following members.

Group 1: 1,2
Group 3: 3,4,5
Group 6: 6
Group 7: 7,8

When determining flange restraint positions and types, we will assume that the footing, eave and
apex connections provide F (full) restraint to both flanges of each member framing into them.

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There is no fly bracing attached to the wall girts and they provide lateral restraint only to the
outside flange of the columns. Thus, groups 1 and 7 have top flange restraints of F (full) at each
end and L (lateral) at mid height, and bottom flange restraints of F (full) at each end only. If there
had been fly bracing to the girts then there would also be a bottom flange mid height restraint of L
(lateral). Note that the top flange for groups 1 and 7 is the outside flange because the local y-axis
for members 1, 2, 7 and 8 points towards the outside of the frame.

Similarly, groups 3 and 6 have top flange restraints of F (full) at each end and L (lateral) at each
purlin, and bottom flange restraints of F (full) at each end and L (lateral) at each fly brace
location. Thus, the restraint arrangements for the frame are:

Groups 1 and 7: FLF (Outside flange)


FF (Inside flange)
Groups 3 and 6: FLLLLLLLLF (Top flange)
FLLF (Bottom flange)

Note that by applying L (lateral) restraints to both flanges at each fly brace location we are
assuming that the purlins are flexurally stiff enough to fully prevent twist rotation of the rafter.
If they can only partially prevent twist rotation of the rafter then the group 3 and 6 restraints
would become FLLPLLPLLF on the top flange and FF on the bottom flange.

Restraint Forces
The brace, purlin, girt or other member that provides full, partial or lateral restraint to the critical
flange of a member must be capable of resisting the force required to provide such restraint. This
is not automatically allowed for in the analysis or design. If you wish to take this into account
then you should add the restraint forces to your applied loads. The restraint forces are code
specific and you should refer to the appropriate clauses for the design code you are using.

This effect is particularly important for deep beams where the forces required to restrain the
critical flange can be quite high. You should check that your model is capable of withstanding
these forces.

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Column and beam Tees

Column Tees have the major axis parallel to the web and are therefore assumed to be lying on
their side with their flange vertical (assuming a zero direction angle and no flipping). They are
orientated at right angles to normal beam Tees which have the major axis parallel to the flange.

Tee section orientation

Note that although beam Tees are supported by all of the steel member design modules, only the
AS4100, NZS3404, AISC-ASD, AISC-LRFD, EUROCODE 3, HK CP2005 and BS5950
modules support column Tees.

See also Steel member design sign conventions.

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Running a steel member design


You can run a steel member design or check by selecting one of the "Steel Member
Design/Check" items from the Design menu.

AISC-LRFD, EUROCODE 3, AS4100, NZS3404, BS5950 and HK CP2005 require second


order effects to be taken into account by either performing a first order (linear) elastic analysis
with moment magnification or a second order (non-linear) elastic analysis with no moment
magnification. Because a non-linear analysis is generally more efficient and accurate than
moment magnification, and because SPACE GASS has no facilities for moment magnification,
it is recommended that a non-linear analysis be used at all times for these codes.

Design / Check mode


You can select between design mode or check mode as follows.

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1. Design mode
Works its way up from the smallest library section that conforms with the specified library
scan code until it finds a section that passes the code requirements for the design group
being designed.

2. Check mode
Just checks the section from the analysis data for the design group being checked.

Member groups list


If you want to consider all design groups (for which steel member design data has been input)
then this field can be left blank, otherwise you should type in a subset of design groups (separated
by commas or dashes).

Section properties list


If you want to consider all design groups (or a subset as specified above), regardless of section
type, leave this field blank. Otherwise, type in a list of section property numbers (separated by
commas or dashes) to limit the number of design groups.

For example, if the columns in a frame all have section property number 3, you could instruct the
program to design only the columns by entering "3" in the section properties list. Alternatively,
you could type in all of the groups containing columns in the member groups list above, however
this would be much more cumbersome.

Load cases list


If you want to consider all load cases then this field can be left blank, otherwise you should type
in a list of incorporating the load cases (separated by commas or dashes) that you want
considered.

Default section library


During the frame analysis section property input phase, sections that are read from a library have
the library name stored with their section property data. Sections that have not been read from a
library do not have a library name stored with their data.

For members with analysis section properties that were read from a library, the steel member
design module uses that library to get information about the strength grade, properties, cross
section shape, etc. of the member.

For members with analysis section properties that were not read from a library, the design module
uses the default section library to get its information.

Intermediate stations per member


During the design process, each analysis member in a design group is subdivided into small
increments using intermediate member stations. You must define the number of equally spaced
intermediate stations that are to be positioned along each analysis member.

SPACE GASS automatically adds an extra station at each end of an analysis member, at each
point of application of a concentrated member load, at each flange restraint position, and at the
quarter points between flange restraints. If a design group consists of more than one analysis
member then the member stations are simply added together to give a total number of stations for
the design group as a whole.

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The member stations are the points at which deflections, forces and moments are calculated. They
are also the points at which code checks are carried out. It is therefore important that there are
enough stations located along the design group to give a good representation of the deflected
shape, bending moment diagram and shear force diagram so that the design results are accurate.

9 intermediate stations for each analysis member is normally quite accurate, however this can be
increased to 75 if required. Note that the speed of the design process is approximately
proportional to the number of stations per design group.

Compression effective length ratio limit


Because the compression effective lengths from a buckling analysis can sometimes be
overestimated, you can specify an upper limit that will be imposed during the design phase.

Compression effective lengths from a buckling analysis are limited to Ratio x GLen, where Ratio
is the compression effective length ratio limit that you specify and GLen is the overall design
group length.

Note that this limit applies only to compression effective lengths from a buckling analysis and not
to those specified directly.

See also Buckling effective lengths.

Load factor limit or Combined stress ratio limit


Firstly, the terms "load factor" and "combined stress ratio" are defined as follows.

The load factor applies only to AISC-LRFD, EUROCODE 3, AS4100, AS4600, BS5950,
NZS3404 and HK CP2005. It is the amount by which the design actions can be increased before
the point of failure is reached.

For example, if the steel design returns a load factor of 1.12, you could theoretically increase your
loads by 12%, repeat the analysis and design, and expect the load factor to reduce to 1.00. This is
not always the case however, because the non-linearity of the analysis means that increasing your
loads by 12% does not guarantee that the design actions will also increase by exactly 12%.

For members designed in accordance with these codes, the load factor must be greater than 1.0.
This means that the design actions can be factored up by an amount greater than 1.0 before the
member becomes inadequate.

Because the relationship between design actions and design capacity is not linear, the
load factor is not equal to the inverse of the (design actions)/(design capacity) failure equation at
the end of the detailed calculations for each member in the steel design report.

The combined stress ratio applies only to AISC-ASD, AS1250, SABS0162 and AS3990. It is
the ratio of the actual stresses to the permissible stresses for the governing combined stress
equation.

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For members designed in accordance with AISC-ASD, AS1250, SABS0162 or AS3990, the
combined stress ratio must be less than 1.0. This means that the combined stresses in the member
are less than the combined permissible stresses.

During the design process, if the load factor is slightly less than 1.0 or if the combined stress ratio
is slightly greater than 1.0, the member is deemed to have failed. In a real design situation
however, you may decide to accept members which are very slightly overloaded. In order to cater
for this reality, SPACE GASS allows you to decrease the load factor limit or increase the
combined stress ratio limit so that the design program can accept a small amount of overload.

Alternatively, you can increase the load factor limit or decrease the combined stress ratio limit if
you wish to design conservatively.

Slenderness ratio limit


This setting affects a simple slenderness ratio check that is only applicable to AISC-ASD, AISC-
LRFD, AS1250, AS3990 and SA0162. The other codes have more sophisticated slenderness
checks built into their standard equations.

For the applicable design codes, recommendations for maximum slenderness ratios range from
180 to 300 for struts, 300 to 350 for ties and 250 to 300 for beams. The maximum values depend
on various factors including whether the predominant load is due to wind or not.

For tension members and members that have zero axial load, there is no slenderness check for
compression effective lengths, however there is a slenderness check for bending effective lengths.
Because of this, you may notice that in some cases the output report shows a value of l/r
(compression) which exceeds the permissible l/r ratio without the member failing.

Interrupted check (check mode only)


If the checking procedure is uninterrupted, then after each member check, the results are saved
and the program moves on to the next member regardless of the outcome of the check. Using this
procedure, it is possible to check a large numbers of members without any operator intervention.

Alternatively, you can elect to have interrupted checking which causes the program to stop after
each member check, notifying you of the results of the check and allowing you to manually select
other member sizes for checking. If you decide not to try other member sizes, the program saves
the results of the check and moves on to the next member.

Equalizing the design sizes for matching analysis sections


SPACE GASS allows you to specify that all members with the same analysis section property
number should finish up with the same section size in the design results. Note that this only
applies to running the steel member design module in "design" mode. For example, consider a
portal frame with one analysis section for the two columns and another for the two rafters. When
you perform a steel member design (as opposed to a check), you can specify that because the two
columns share the same analysis section property number, their final design sizes should also
match. Similarly, the two rafters can also be kept equal on each side because they share a single
analysis section property number.

If this option is not selected, the design module will design each member independently rather
than matching a single section size to all members that share the same analysis section property
number. For the portal frame example mentioned above, this could results in four different
member sizes rather than two.

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Adjustment of minor axis compression effective lengths


Flange restraints capable of preventing lateral buckling of the flanges are sometimes also capable
of preventing lateral buckling of the overall cross section. This depends on the type of the flange
restraint and on the shape of the cross section and, if applicable, means that the minor
compression effective length can be reduced to the length of the segment under consideration.

This happens regardless of whether the compression effective lengths are calculated from a
buckling analysis or specified directly.

If you select the "Adjust based on flange restraints generally" check box, the minor compression
effective length will be adjusted if:

(a) both ends of the segment have full or partial flange restraints; or

(b) both ends of the segment have full, partial or lateral flange restraints and the member is a
tube or box section.

If you also select the "Adjust for L restraints on equal flanged I or W shapes" check box then
condition (b) above will also be extended to apply to equal flanged I or W shapes. Note, however,
that there is some recent doubt as to whether lateral restraints on equal flanged I or W shapes can
restrain the overall cross section laterally and therefore this check box defaults to off.

See also Buckling effective lengths.

Consider eccentric effects


Members such as angles, channels and Tees are sometimes connected at their ends by one flange
or plate only. Depending on the shape of the section and the distance from the point of connection
to the centroid of the section this can induce eccentric moments into the member.

This check box only affects the design groups that have eccentric effects enabled in their design
input data. For design groups that have their individual eccentric effects disabled, this check box
setting has no effect.

See also Eccentric effects for compression members.


See also Eccentric effects for tension members.

Use Kt factor for tension members


When considering eccentric end connection effects, the extra eccentric moments are usually
calculated and then added to the other bending moments in the member.

For tension members with AS4100/NZS3404, however the code allows you to use the above
approach or simply ignore the extra eccentric moments and apply a correction factor (Kt) which is
based on the cross section shape and the location of the point of connection (see
AS4100/NZS3404 clause 7.3.2). By default the steel member design module defaults to using the
Kt factor because it tends to give a more economical design in most cases, however you can elect
to use the eccentric moments approach instead if you wish.

See also Eccentric effects for tension members.

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Other factors
Various other factors can also be defined depending on the design code being used. They include
AISC-ASD and AISC-LRFD U and Cb factors, Eurocode UK and Dutch factors, an AS4600
appendix F switch and HK CP2005 mLT factors.

The HK CP2005 module also allows you to choose between using clause 8.9.2 or clause
6.8.3. If you choose clause 8.9.2 then the analysis does not need to include initial member
imperfections or P-δ effects because they are accounted for in the design phase (although it may
be prudent for you to use both P-Δ and P-δ effects in the analysis anyway). Alternatively, if you
choose clause 6.8.3 then you must include initial member imperfections and both P-Δ and P-δ
effects in the analysis.

Frame and Member Imperfections


Most design codes require you to include initial frame and member imperfections in the analysis.
The analysis module does not do this automatically and so you must build the required
imperfections into your model.

Frame imperfections can be modelled by applying notional horizontal forces or initial deflections
to nodes. Member imperfections can be modelled by applying initial curvature to members. These
must both be done in accordance with the relevant clauses of the design code you are using.

When all of the information has been entered, the SPACE GASS steel member design/check
proceeds.

If you want to terminate the process before it is finished, just press ESC or the right mouse
button. If you terminate the process in this way, the results for any groups that have already been
designed or checked are saved.

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Updating analysis member sizes


The accuracy of any steel member design is dependent on the accuracy of the analysis on which it
was based. A truly accurate design can only be obtained when the design member sizes agree
with those used in the preceding analysis.

SPACE GASS has the ability to iterate the analysis-design process until the results converge. The
design sizes can then be printed out and used in the final computations.

You can access the updating tool by answering "Yes" to the "Do you wish to update the analysis
section properties with the new design member sizes?" question at the end of a steel member
design or by selecting "Update Analysis Member Sizes" from the Design menu.

Note that this tool only works if you have run the steel member design module in design mode (as
opposed to check mode).

After an initial design, you can use this tool to update the analysis section property data based on
the new design member sizes. You can also re-run the analysis and design modules, and
automatically iterate the entire update-analysis-design process until the analysis and design
member sizes match.

If a buckling analysis is included in the iterative procedure, after the update-analysis-design


procedure has finished, if the lowest buckling load factor is less than the value you specify in the
above form, a warning is given. Keep in mind that you may want to adjust the buckling load
factor warning threshold depending on whether you are analysing working loads or factored
loads.

The iterative procedure does not currently include re-running the dynamic analysis
modules. Hence, if your steel member design is based on some dynamic response analysis results,
you must re-run the dynamic analysis manually for each iteration.

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Serviceability check
The SPACE GASS steel member design module does not consider serviceability requirements
other than slenderness effects during the course of a design or check.

This is because there are numerous ways to limit excessive deflections, many of which require
extensive engineering judgement. The only deflections that can easily be checked for adequacy
by an automatic design program such as SPACE GASS are the local member deflections that
apply to each member individually. It is quite appropriate to check local member deflections for
simple beams and columns, however for sway frames and for members that have been subdivided
into smaller segments, the local member deflections become meaningless.

Take for example a portal frame building that is found to have excessive lateral sway deflections.
The deflections could be reduced in many ways such as by increasing the size of the columns,
increasing the size of the rafters, introducing a haunch, increasing the size of the haunch, adding
extra roof and end wall bracing or by adding an external restraint such as brickwork.

The optimum method in controlling deflections is determined often by architectural constraints,


cost constraints, engineering preferences and other constraints that are not immediately obvious to
a design program. Some of these parameters could possibly be built into SPACE GASS, however
the extra data required to be input would make the program very cumbersome and unwieldy
compared to the method recommended in the following paragraph.

In order to satisfy serviceability requirements, it is recommend that the frame first of all be
designed to satisfy strength requirements. This includes the initial design and subsequent
analysis-design iterations (see also Updating analysis member sizes). It is then a simple matter to
obtain a graphical display or printout of the deformed geometry shape and simply observe
whether the frame has excessive deflections or not. If the deflections are excessive, you can
increase member sizes manually or add bracing as required, followed by another analysis and
obtain a revised deformed geometry display. If the deflections are satisfactory it is then a matter
of performing a final code check to ensure that the changes have not caused any members to
become inadequate.

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The steel member design/check process


This section describes in detail the internal procedures and assumptions used as the program
calculates the capacity of a design group and determines whether it is adequate or not. Because
the procedure is very similar for all codes, you can assume that all of the discussion in this section
applies equally to all codes unless specifically stated otherwise.

The steps involved in a design are the same as those for a check except that a design tries various
member sizes until it finds one that is adequate, while a check simply tries a single member size
only and saves the results regardless of whether it is adequate or not. This process is repeated
separately for each design group.

In the remainder of this section, the process of trying a member size for compliance with
one of the steel codes will be referred to as "checking" regardless of whether it is done as part of
a steel member design or a steel member check.

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Design groups and intermediate stations

The analysis members that make up the design group are assembled together into one complete
design member. The intermediate member stations for each analysis member are positioned along
the design group and then for each flange additional stations are positioned at the points of flange
restraints and at quarter points between adjacent flange restraints.

For each load case being considered, the deflections, forces and moments are calculated at each
station along the entire design group. For single angle sections, they are calculated relative to the
cross section principal axes for AS4100, BS5950, NZS3404, AS4600, AISC-LRFD and AISC-
ASD, and relative to the non-principal axes for AS1250, SABS0162, AS3990, EUROCODE 3
and HK CP2005.

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Design segments

The program begins working its way along the design group until it gets to the end of a segment.
A segment end occurs at the start of the design group, at the end of the design group, and
wherever a full, partial or lateral flange restraint has been applied to the critical flange. Thus the
current design segment is the portion of the design group that extends from the current critical
flange restraint location back to the end of the previous design segment (or start of the design
group).

For each station in the segment, the program does a cross section capacity check using the forces
and moments which occur simultaneously at that point. It also does various member checks for
the segment as a whole using all possible combinations of maximum forces and moments that
occur anywhere in the segment.

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Section check

A section check simply considers the capacity of a cross section and is not related to effective
lengths or any other conditions that occur away from the cross section. The forces and moments
used are those which occur simultaneously at the cross section.

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Member check

A member check considers the capacity of a member segment. The member check is affected by
the compression and bending effective lengths of the segment and the shape of the deflection and
bending moment diagrams along the segment. The forces and moments used in a member check
are the maximum values taken from anywhere along the segment.

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Critical flange

The critical flange at any point within a segment is assumed to be the compression flange unless
either end of the segment is laterally unrestrained in which case it is assumed to be the tension
flange.

SPACE GASS is not able to determine whether a loading condition is predominantly due
to gravity or wind and you should therefore check that the above rule is valid for your situation.

For more information refer to AS1250 clause 3.3.4.7, AS4100 clause 5.5, SABS0162 clause
7.2.3, BS5950 clause 4.3, NZS3404 clause 5.5, AS3990 clause 3.3.4.7 or HK CP2005 clause 8.3.

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Effective flange restraints

In the following discussion, the "segment length" is the distance between two adjacent cross
sections that are restrained or between a cross section that is restrained and the end of the design
group. A cross section is assumed to be restrained when a full or partial restraint is applied to
either flange or when a lateral restraint is applied to its critical flange.

Member design segments

The design group in the diagram above consists of three analysis members of different lengths.
The group has full or partial restraints at the ends and three equally spaced lateral restraints on the
top flange. For the bending moment diagram shown, the first top flange lateral restraint is
ineffective because the bottom flange is the critical flange at that point. Thus, the first segment
continues past the first top flange restraint to midspan where the top flange has become the
critical one.

When determining the effective restraint at a cross section, SPACE GASS looks at the restraint
applied to the critical flange, however it also looks at the other flange to see if a restraint has been
applied to it and, if so, whether or not it affects the cross section restraint. Thus, the effective
restraint for the cross section can be dependent on the restraint applied to both flanges.

In the following table, the "critical flange" is as per the critical flange definition, the "other
flange" is the non-critical flange and the "effective restraint" is the cross section restraint that
SPACE GASS uses in the code check.

For restraint type definitions see also Flange restraints. A C (continuous) flange restraint is
assumed to be equivalent to a series of L (lateral) flange restraints spaced at increments of 1mm
for the entire length of the continuous restraint.

Restraint on Critical Restraint on Other Effective


Flange Flange Restraint
None or U None or U None
L None or U L
P or F None or U F
S or R None or U R
None or U L None

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None or U P or F P
None or U S or R S
L, P or F L, P, F, S or R F
S or R L, P, F, S or R R

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Twist factor

The twist factor kt depends upon the flange restraint conditions and the cross section shape. If the
critical flange switches from top to bottom within the segment, the critical flange thickness is
assumed to be the thickness of the flange at the end of the segment. For AS4100 and NZS3404, kt
is calculated from table 5.6.3(1), while for AS1250, SABS0162, BS5950, HK CP2005,
EUROCODE 3 and AS3990 it is taken as 1.0.

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Load height factor

The load height factor kl relates to the point of application of gravity loads as specified by the
load height position (see also "Load height position" in Steel member design data). It is always
1.0 if the loads are applied at or below the member's shear centre. It can, however exceed 1.0 if
the top flange is loaded with a downwards load causing a destabilizing effect.

If the top flange is loaded within the segment then kl = 1.2 for all codes, except AS4100 and
NZS3404 where kl = 1.4 if both ends of the segment are fully, partially or laterally restrained or
kl = 2.0 if either end is unrestrained.

If the top flange is not loaded within the segment and shear force is detected at a segment end that
is unrestrained then kl = 1.2 for all codes, except AS4100 and NZS3404 where kl = 2.0.

For all codes, kl = 1.0 if the load height position is specified as "C". If the load height position is
specified as "T" then all transverse loads (including self weight) are considered to be acting at the
top flange.

kl is calculated for "downwards" loads, acting from the top to the bottom flange (see also
Flange restraints), regardless of the member orientation and flange positions. If you want kl =
1.0 for columns, sloping beams or beams on their side then you should set the load height
position to "C" regardless of the loaded flange or the load direction.

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Lateral rotation factor

The lateral rotation factor kr is based solely on the flange restraint conditions. Its value for some
codes is given in the following table. The restraint codes given represent the flange restraints at
each end of the segment under consideration. For example, PP represents partial restraint at both
ends, while PF represents partial restraint at one end and full restraint at the other end.

End AS3990/
Restraints AS1250 AS4100 SABS0162 NZS3404
RR 0.70 0.70 0.70 0.70
SR 0.77 0.70 0.77 0.70
FR 0.85 0.85 0.85 0.85
PR .935 0.85 .935 0.85
LR 1.00 1.00 1.00 1.00
UR .935 1.00 .935 1.00
SS 0.84 0.70 0.84 0.70
FS .935 0.85 .935 0.85
PS 1.02 0.85 1.02 0.85
LS 1.00 1.00 1.00 1.00
US 1.02 1.00 1.02 1.00
FF 1.00 1.00 1.00 1.00
PF 1.10 1.00 1.10 1.00
LF 1.00 1.00 1.00 1.00
UF 1.10 1.00 1.10 1.00
PP 1.20 1.00 1.20 1.00
LP 1.00 1.00 1.00 1.00
UP 1.20 1.00 1.20 1.00
LL 1.00 1.00 1.00 1.00
UU 1.20 1.00 1.20 1.00

The values of kr in the table are taken from AS1250 clause 5.9, AS4100 table 5.6.3(3),
SABS0162 clause 7.2.3, BS5950 clause 4.3.5, NZS3404 table 5.6.3(3) and AS3990 clause 5.9.

There are some specific assumptions affecting kr which you should be aware of, as follows:

• AS1250, SABS0162, BS5950, HK CP2005 and AS3990 do not give specific rules for
calculating kr for all combinations of flange restraints at the ends of the segment. In such
cases interpolation has been used to calculate some of the values of kr given in the table.

• The extra restraint condition in AS1250, SABS0162, BS5950, HK CP2005 and AS3990
which provides partial restraint against lateral rotation (about the cross section minor axis)
of the critical flange is not supported in SPACE GASS.

• Because it is difficult for SPACE GASS to determine whether a member is a true cantilever
or not, AS1250 clause 5.9.4, SABS0162 clause 7.2.3(b), BS5950 clause 4.3.5.4/4.3.5.5, HK
CP2005 clause 8..4.3 and AS3990 clause 5.9.4 have not been considered. This may cause
the bending effective length for cantilevers to be underestimated and you should therefore
check the bending effective length for cantilevers calculated by the AS1250, SABS0162,

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BS5950, HK CP2005 and AS3990 modules.

Before accepting the bending effective length calculated by SPACE GASS, it is


recommended that you verify for yourself that the values of kr given in the previous table are a
suitable interpretation of the code that you are using.

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End moment ratios and other factors

During a member check, various factors are calculated. In most cases, these factors are largely
dependent on the moments at the ends of the segment under consideration. Some of them,
however depend on the values of moments and/or displacements at mid or quarter points along
the segment. It is not always possible to have stations positioned exactly at the mid or quarter
points required because even though stations are positioned at mid and quarter points between
adjacent flange restraints, segments do not always extend between adjacent flange restraints
(particularly when the critical flange changes due to moment reversal). In such cases, SPACE
GASS simply takes the moment and/or displacement values from the station nearest to the
required point.

For the AS4100 and NZS3404 modules, αm is calculated using the formula in clause
5.6.1.1(a)(iii) when the segment is restrained at both ends. If the segment is unrestrained at one
end, AS4100 and NZS3404 require the bending moment diagram to be matched to one of the
three diagrams shown in table 5.6.2. This is very difficult when the bending moment diagram
could be any conceivable shape. Therefore, SPACE GASS adopts a slightly conservative
approach and uses αm = 1.0 when there is no moment at the unrestrained end or αm = 0.25 when
there is a moment at the unrestrained end.

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Eccentric effects for compression members

Eccentric end connection effects for angles, channels and Tee sections subjected to axial
compression are normally taken into account by calculating the extra eccentric moments and then
adding them to the normal design moments along the entire length of the design group (unless
they cause a net reduction in the final design moment).

For all codes, the eccentric moments are calculated by multiplying the axial force by the distance
from the centroid of the connected plate to the centroid of the cross section.

Eccentric effects for compression members can be suppressed if required.

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Eccentric effects for tension members

Eccentric end connection effects for angles, channels and Tee sections subjected to axial tension
are taken into account in various ways depending on the design code being used.

For AS1250, SABS0162 and AS3990, SPACE GASS simply calculates the extra eccentric
moments and then adds them to the normal design moments along the entire length of the design
group provided that they don’t cause a net reduction in the final design moment. This method is
used instead of reducing the effective area of the cross section in accordance with AS1250 clause
7.3.2, SABS0162 clause 9.2 or AS3990 clause 7.3.2.

The AS4100 and NZS3404 modules also use the above method of calculating and adding
eccentric moments if the Kt method is not used. Alternatively, if the Kt method is used then Kt is
calculated in accordance with AS4100/NZS3404 clause 7.3.2 and used to reduce the member
tensile capacity rather than eccentric moments being added. The Kt method also applies to I, H or
channel sections which are connected by their flanges only. For these sections, SPACE GASS
assumes that the provisions of AS4100/NZS3404 clauses 7.3.2(b)(i) and (ii) have been met and
uses Kt = 0.85.

Eccentric effects for tension members can be suppressed if required.

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The code check

When all of the member properties, effective lengths, design loads and other factors have been
calculated, they are fed into the appropriate code specific subroutines to determine the success or
failure of the code check.

During this process the subroutines also calculate the load factor or the combined stress ratio
which is then passed back to SPACE GASS along with many other design result parameters. If
the latest check is more critical than any previous checks for the design group then the results of
the latest check are retained as the governing case until another check further along the design
group yields a smaller load factor or a larger combined stress ratio.

After considering every segment in the design group for each design load case, SPACE GASS
saves the data for the governing section and member check cases and moves on to the next design
group.

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Steel member design results


At the end of a steel member design or check, you can produce a full report showing the results of
the design or check.

The pass/fail status of each member can also be shown graphically in a color-coded display as
described in "View steel member design results". Filters can also be created to filter members in
accordance with their pass/fail status as described in "Filters".

You can also query individual members graphically to get an abbreviated report showing the
results of the design or check as described in "Query steel member design results".

Reports for single angle sections are in principal axes for AS4100, BS5950, NZS3404,
AS4600, AISC-LRFD and AISC-ASD.

Updating analysis member sizes


If you have performed a design (as opposed to a check), the final design member sizes are
probably slightly different to those in the analysis section property data. So that the design is
based on the same member sizes as the analysis, the new design member sizes should be
transferred back into the analysis and then the analysis and design process iterated until the
analysis and design sizes are the same. This is described in detail in "Updating member sizes".

Member, section and shear checks


For each steel design member in a full report, three lines of information relating to section,
member and shear checks are presented. These represent summaries of the results of the three
main checks that are performed when a steel member is designed or checked.

The section and shear checks are performed at numerous points along each design group. They
consider the capacity of a cross section and are not related to effective lengths or any other
conditions which occur away from the cross section under consideration. The forces and moments
used in a section or shear check are the ones which occur simultaneously at the cross section. The
governing location for the section and shear checks is shown under the "Start Pos’n" heading.

The member check is performed for each segment between adjacent points of critical flange
restraint. The member check is affected by the axial and bending effective lengths of the segment
and the shape of the deflection and bending moment diagrams along the segment. The forces and
moments used in a member check are the maximum values taken from anywhere along the
segment. The governing segment for the member check has its start and finish locations shown
under the "Start Pos’n" and "Finish Pos’n" headings.

Load factor
The load factor applies only to AISC-LRFD, EUROCODE 3, AS4100, AS4600, BS5950,
NZS3404 and HK CP2005. It is the amount by which the design actions can be increased before
the point of failure is reached.

For example, if the steel design returns a load factor of 1.12, you could theoretically increase your
loads by 12%, repeat the analysis and design, and expect the load factor to reduce to 1.00. This is

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not always the case however, because the non-linearity of the analysis means that increasing your
loads by 12% does not guarantee that the design actions will also increase by exactly 12%.

For members designed in accordance with these codes, the load factor must be greater than 1.0.
This means that the design actions can be factored up by an amount greater than 1.0 before the
member becomes inadequate.

Because the relationship between design actions and design capacity is not linear, the
load factor is not equal to the inverse of the (design actions)/(design capacity) failure equation at
the end of the detailed calculations for each member in the steel design report.

Zero variables in reports


You may notice that some variables in the steel member design output report are shown as zero
when it appears that they should have a non-zero value. This occurs because the steel member
design modules only calculate the values that are applicable to the design actions and section
type. Variables which are not applicable for the governing failure mode are not calculated and
hence appear as zero in the output report.

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Reference Manual SPACE GASS 10.8

Steel member design/check assumptions


This section lists the main assumptions that are made in the steel member design module. Some
of these assumptions are also described in the previous sections of this chapter and others are
listed only in this section. It is up to you to check that these assumptions are suitable for your
situation.

1. Frame imperfections are not automatically allowed for during the design phase. When
applicable (usually for multi-storey frames), you should apply notional horizontal forces or
initial deformations to the analysis model in accordance with the requirements of the design
code.

2. The top flange of a member is defined such that positive major axis bending causes it to go
into compression. An alternative definition is that the top flange is the flange on the positive
local y-axis (or z-axis if the section has been flipped) side of the member. The top flange of
a member can be easily determined by displaying the member local axes graphically and
observing the direction of the local y-axis (or z-axis if flipped).

3. The top flange of a group as a whole is defined such that it is the same as the top flange of
the first member in the group.

4. The critical flange at any point within a segment is assumed to be the compression flange
unless either end of the segment is laterally unrestrained in which case it is assumed to be
the tension flange. SPACE GASS is not able to determine whether a loading condition is
predominantly due to gravity or wind and you should therefore check that the above rule is
valid for your situation.

5. All section and member capacities are calculated assuming that stiffeners do not exist.

6. The AS4100, AISC-LRFD, BS5950, EUROCODE 3, HK CP2005 and NZS3404 modules


assume that second order effects have been taken into account by a second order elastic
analysis. Moment magnification is not considered.

7. The AS4100, AISC-LRFD, BS5950, EUROCODE 3, HK CP2005 and NZS3404 modules


assume that the design load cases are factored (ultimate).

8. The NZS3404 module uses the "Other than capacity" design method with non-seismic
ductility categories only.

9. For single angle sections, the effective lengths and flange restraints must be input relative to
the non-principal axes. For all other sections, they must be input relative to the principal
axes.

10. The compression effective lengths Lmx and Lmy, used by AS4100 and NZS3404 in clause
8.4.2.2 for the calculation of Nc when ke=1.0, are assumed to be equal to the lesser of the
total design group length and the normal compression effective lengths for the segment
under consideration. Lmx = MIN(Ltot,Lcmajor) and Lmy = MIN(Ltot,Lcminor), where Ltot
is the total design group length and Lcmajor and Lcminor are the normal compression
effective lengths.

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Reference Manual SPACE GASS 10.8

11. The torsion effective length used by AS4100 and NZS3404 is assumed to be equal to the
distance between adjacent full or partial restraints.

12. A C (continuous) flange restraint is assumed to be equivalent to a series of L (lateral) flange


restraints spaced at increments of 1mm for the length of the continuous restraint.

13. If C (continuous) or I (ignore) flange restraints are repeated without R, S, F, P or L restraints


inbetween (eg. CCC, III or CI) then the last C or I restraint is used and the previous repeated
ones are discarded.

14. If an intermediate flange restraint is positioned at the beginning or end of a design group
then it is ignored in favour of the appropriate end flange restraint.

15. Member offsets are automatically ignored (skipped over) during a steel member
design/check provided that they occur at the ends of a design group. They are treated the
same as I (ignore) flange restraints.

16. The extra restraint condition in AS1250, SABS0162, BS5950, HK CP2005 and AS3990 that
provides partial restraint against lateral rotation (about the cross section minor axis) of the
critical flange is not supported.

17. Because it is difficult for SPACE GASS to determine whether a member is a true cantilever
or not, AS1250 clause 5.9.4, SABS0162 clause 7.2.3(b), BS5950 clause 4.3.5.4/4.3.5.5, HK
CP2005 clause 8.3.4.3 and AS3990 clause 5.9.4 have not been considered. This may cause
the bending effective length for cantilevers to be underestimated and you should therefore
check the bending effective length for cantilevers calculated by the AS1250, SABS0162,
BS5950, HK CP2005 and AS3990 modules.

18. When calculating kt for AS4100 or NZS3404, if the critical flange switches from top to
bottom within the segment, the critical flange thickness is assumed to be the thickness of the
flange at the end of the segment.

19. When calculating kl, SPACE GASS assumes conservatively that top flange loads always
occur within the segment rather than at the segment end(s).

20. kl is calculated for "downwards" loads regardless of the member orientation and flange
positions. A "downwards" load is assumed to act in the direction from the top flange to the
bottom flange. If you want kl=1.0 for columns, sloping beams or beams on their side then
you should set the load height position to "Shear centre" regardless of the loaded flange or
the load direction.

21. The direction of the transverse load acting on a segment is determined by the sign of the
difference in shear force between the two segment ends.

22. AS1250, SABS0162, BS5950, HK CP2005 and AS3990 do not give specific rules for
calculating kr for all combinations of flange restraints at the ends of the segment. In such
cases interpolation has been used to calculate some of the values of kr.

23. Eccentric end connection effects (if not suppressed) are taken into account in different ways
depending on the design code being used. In most cases, the eccentric end moments are
simply added to the normal design moments for the entire design group. Exceptions are

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Reference Manual SPACE GASS 10.8

BS5950 which optionally uses the provisions of clauses 4.6.3 (tension) or 4.7.10
(compression) and AS4100 and NZS3404 which use a Kt factor for tension members (if
activated).

24. Where applicable (see previous item), moments due to eccentric end connection effects for
angles, channels and Tee sections subjected to axial loads are added to the normal design
moments only if they don’t cause a net reduction in the final design moment.

25. Eccentric end moments are calculated by multiplying the axial force by the distance from
the centroid of the connected plate to the centroid of the cross section.

26. The major axis of a single or double angle section is assumed to be parallel to the short
leg(s) of the section.

27. Double angle sections are assumed to have no space between the individual angle sections.

28. The AS1250, SABS0162 and AS3990 modules assume that double angles are connected
together at intermediate points sufficient to ensure that half of the design axial compressive
force for the combined section does not exceed the compressive capacity of each angle
section considered individually using an effective length (for buckling of the sections away
from each other) equal to the distance between connection points.

29. The AS1250, SABS0162 and AS3990 modules consider only axial forces and shears for
single or double angle sections. Bending moments are not considered. Eccentric end
moments are considered where applicable. The AS4100, BS5950, HK CP2005,
EUROCODE 3 and NZS3404 modules consider axial forces, shears (along minor axis) and
bending moments (about both axes) for single or double angle sections.

30. The AS4100, NZS3404, AISC-ASD, AISC-LRFD, EUROCODE 3, BS5950 and HK


CP2005 modules convert double angle sections into the equivalent Tee section and then
treat them as a solid Tee shape. The AS4100, NZS3404 and HK CP2005 modules do not
support double starred angles.

31. Beam Tees have the major axis parallel to the flange and are therefore assumed to have their
web vertical (assuming a zero direction angle and no flipping).

32. Column Tees have the major axis parallel to the web and are assumed to be lying on their
side with their flange vertical (assuming a zero direction angle and no flipping).

33. The AS1250, SABS0162 and AS3990 modules do not support column Tee sections.

34. The AS4100 and NZS3404 modules do not support welded Tee sections unless they are
beam Tees with d/t<15 (lightly welded longitudinally) or d/t<14 (heavily welded
longitudinally).

35. The AS4100 and NZS3404 modules assume that heavily welded (longitudinally) I and H
sections with equal flanges are flame cut. Lightly welded (longitudinally) or unequal flanged
I and H sections and all plate web girders are assumed to be welded "as rolled".

36. The AS1250, SABS0162 and AS3990 modules do not support welded box sections.

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Reference Manual SPACE GASS 10.8

37. The AS4100 and NZS3404 modules do not support welded circular hollow sections,
channels or angles.

38. The AS4100, BS5950, HK CP2005 and NZS3404 modules assume that channel sections
have equal flanges.

39. The AS4100, BS5950, HK CP2005 and NZS3404 modules assume that angle sections have
uniform plate thicknesses throughout the section.

40. The AS4100 and NZS3404 modules do not support solid sections.

41. The BS5950 and HK CP2005 modules assume that solid sections are class 1.

42. When calculating the area removed from the section due to a bolted end connection, SPACE
GASS assumes that the bolts are through the web(s) unless the end connection type is
specified as "F", in which case the bolts are assumed to be through the flange(s).

43. The area removed from the section due to a bolted end connection is assumed to apply for a
distance of 250mm from each end of the design group.

44. The BS5950 module assumes conservatively that single angle sections are connected with a
single fastener for clause 4.7.10.

45. The AS4100 and NZS3404 modules perform a web capacity check in accordance with
appendix I. If the check fails, SPACE GASS treats it as a warning rather than a failure
condition.

46. Serviceability requirements are not considered automatically. They must be checked
manually by direct inspection of displacement diagrams.

47. Torsional effects are not considered.

48. Member end bearing capacity is not considered.

49. For the AS4100 and NZS3404 modules, αm is calculated using the formula in clause
5.6.1.1(a)(iii) when the segment is restrained at both ends. If the segment is unrestrained at
one end, AS4100 and NZS3404 require the bending moment diagram to be matched to one
of the three diagrams shown in table 5.6.2. This is of course very difficult when the bending
moment diagram could be any conceivable shape. SPACE GASS therefore adopts a slightly
conservative approach and uses αm=1.0 when there is no moment at the unrestrained end or
αm=0.25 when there is a moment at the unrestrained end.

50. The AS4100, BS5950 and NZS3404 modules do not consider shear force in the major axis
direction.

51. If any term in the steel member design failure equation becomes negative, it is assumed that
the section has failed and a value of 9.99 is used in place of the negative value.

52. The brace, purlin, girt or other member that provides full, partial or lateral restraint to the
critical flange of a member must be capable of resisting the force required to provide such
restraint. This is not automatically allowed for in the analysis or design. If you wish to take

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Reference Manual SPACE GASS 10.8

this into account then you should add the restraint forces to your applied loads. The restraint
forces are code specific and you should refer to the appropriate clauses for the design code
you are using.

This effect is particularly important for deep beams where the forces required to restrain the
critical flange can be quite high. You should check that your model is capable of
withstanding these forces.

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Reference Manual SPACE GASS 10.8

BS5950-1:2000 code specific items


Sections considered
Incorporates Corrigendum No 1

3 Properties of materials and section properties


3.1 Structural steel
3.1.1 Design Strength
3.1.3 Other properties
3.4 Section properties
3.4.1 Gross cross-section
3.4.2 Net Area
3.4.3 Effective net area
3.4.4 Deductions for bolt holes
3.5 Classification of cross sections
3.5.1 General
3.5.2 Classification
3.5.5 Stress ratios for classification
3.5.6 Effective plastic modulus
3.5.6.1 General
3.5.6.2 I or H sections with equal flanges
3.5.6.3 Rectangular Hollow Sections
3.5.6.4 Circular Hollow Sections
3.6 Slender cross-sections
3.6.1 Effective section properties
3.6.2 Doubly symmetric cross-sections
3.6.2.1 General
3.6.2.2 Effective area
3.6.2.3 Effective modulus when web is fully effective
3.6.2.4 Effective modulus when web is slender
3.6.3 Singly symmetric and unsymmetrical cross-sections
3.6.6 Circular hollow sections

4 Design of structural members


4.1 General
4.1.1 Application
4.1.2 Class of cross section
4.2 Members subject to bending
4.2.1 General
4.2.1.1 General conditions
a, c, d, e
4.2.3 Shear Capacity
4.2.5 Moment Capacity
4.2.5.1 General
4.2.5.2 Low Shear
4.2.5.3 High Shear
4.2.5.5 Bolt holes
4.3 Lateral-torsional buckling
4.3.1 General
4.3.4 Destabilizing load

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Reference Manual SPACE GASS 10.8

4.3.6 Resistance to lateral-torsional buckling


4.3.6.1 General
4.3.6.2 I, H, channel and Box sections with equal flanges
4.3.6.3 I-sections and box sections with unequal flanges
4.3.6.4 Buckling resistance moment
b,c
4.3.6.5 Bending strength pb
4.3.6.6 Equivalent uniform moment factor mLT
4.3.6.7 Equivalent slenderness λLT
4.3.6.8 Buckling parameter and torsional index
4.3.6.9 Ratio βW
4.3.8 Buckling resistance moment for single angles
4.3.8.1 General
4.3.8.2 Basic method
4.4 Plate Girders
4.4.1 General
4.4.2 Design Strength
4.4.3 Dimensions of webs and flanges
4.4.3.1 General
4.4.3.2 Minimum web thickness for serviceability
a
4.4.3.3 Minimum web thickness to avoid compression flange
buckling
a
4.4.4 Moment Capacity
4.4.4.1 Web not susceptible to shear buckling
4.4.4.2 Web susceptible to shear buckling
4.4.5 Shear buckling resistance
4.4.5.1 General
4.4.5.2 Simplified method
4.6 Tension members
4.6.1 Tension capacity
4.6.2 Members with eccentric connections
4.6.3 Simple tension members
4.6.3.1 Single angle, channel or T-section members
4.7 Compression members
4.7.2 Slenderness
4.7.4 Compression resistance
4.7.5 Compressive strength
4.7.6 Eccentric connections
c
4.7.10 Angle, channel or T-section struts
4.7.10.1 General
4.7.10.2 Single angles
a (welded connection)
c
4.7.10.4 Single channels
b
4.7.10.5 Single T-sections
b
4.8 Members with combined moment and axial force

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Reference Manual SPACE GASS 10.8

4.8.1 General
4.8.2 Tension members with moments
4.8.2.1 General
4.8.2.2 Simplified method
4.8.2.3 More exact method
4.8.3 Compression members with moments
4.8.3.1 General
4.8.3.2 Cross section capacity
4.8.3.3 Member buckling resistance
4.8.3.3.1 Simplified method
4.8.3.3.2 More exact method for I or H sections with
equal flanges
4.8.3.3.3 More exact method for CHS, RHS, or box
sections with equal flanges
4.8.3.3.4 Equivalent uniform moment factors
4.9 Members with biaxial moments

6 Connections
6.2 Connections using bolts
6.2.3 Effect of bolt holes on the shear capacity

B Lateral-torsional buckling of members subject to bending


B.1 Basic case
B.2 Buckling resistance
B.2.1 Bending strength
B.2.2 Perry factor and Robertson constant
B.2.3 Uniform I,H and channel sections with equal flanges
B.2.4 Uniform I and H sections with unequal flanges
B.2.4.1 Equivalent slenderness
B.2.4.2 Double curvature bending
B.2.6 Box sections (including RHS)
B.2.6.1 Equivalent slenderness
B.2.6.2 Torsion constant for a box section
B.2.6.3 Torsion constant for an RHS
B.2.7 Plates and flats
B.2.8 T-sections
B.2.8.1 Axes
B.2.8.2 Equivalent slenderness
B.2.8.3 Warping constant
B.2.9 Angle sections
B.2.9.1 Axes
B.2.9.2 Equal angles
B.2.9.3 Unequal angles

C Compressive strength
C.1 Strut formula
C.2 Perry factor and Robertson constant

H Web buckling resistance


H.1 Shear buckling strength
H.3 Resistance of a web to combined effects

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Reference Manual SPACE GASS 10.8

H.3.1 General
H.3.2 Reduction factor for shear buckling
H.3.3 Sections other than RHS
H.3.3.1 Combined shear, moment and axial compression
H.3.3.2 Combined shear, moment and axial tension
H.3.4 RHS sections
H.3.4.1 Combined shear, moment and axial compression
H.3.4.2 Combined shear, moment and axial tension

I Combined axial compression and bending


I.1 Stocky members
I.2 Reduced plastic moment capacity
I.2.1 I or H section with equal flanges
I.4 Single angle members
I.4.1 General
I.4.2 Basic method

Assumptions
3.1.1 Design strength py obtained from fy in SPACE GASS library.
A warning, not a failure is given if py exceeds Us/1.2.
py is not adjusted.
3.4.3 The determination of steel grade for calculating the Ke value is based on the SPACE
GASS library fy value, falling between the ranges specified in Table 9.
3.4.4 The bolt hole area is based on the values specified in the SPACE GASS Steel
Member Design data.
3.5 Solid square and solid circle sections are assumed to be a Class 1.
Solid rectangle is assumed to be an I beam with no flange outstands.
I and Box shapes use the "Generally" limits in Tables 11 and 12.
3.5.5 Unequal flanges for box sections use r1 eq 3.5.5b divided by 2.0 to allow for the 2
webs.
Outstands of box girders are not taken into account for the calculation of r1.
3.6.2.4 When used for webs for channels, webs are assumed to be 40εt instead of 120εt in
accordance with Table 11 and the use of 3.6.3.
4.2.3 Only vertical projection of inclined box girder web considered in shear capacity.
4.2.5.1 A warning, not a failure is given if the 1.2pyZ limit is reached.
4.2.5.2 Alternative for Class 3 sections used.
4.2.5.3 Alternative for Class 3 sections used.
Alternative with regards to reference H.3 for Class 3 and 4 sections not considered.
4.2.5.5 Bolt holes assumed to be distributed equally between top and bottom flange for
flanges and for webs equally distributed between the tension and compression zone
in bending.
4.3.6.7b Channels are loaded through their shear centre.
4.4.4.2c When using H3 and the section has two webs, the web forces are equally shared
between the webs - class 4 flanges - only the effective parts of the flanges are used
for calculation of flange capacity.
4.4.5 Simplified method used with stiffener spacing equal to infinity.
4.4.5.2 When using H1 to determine qw, sections other than I beams are assumed to be
applied in the same way where there are two webs (boxes), the web capacity is for
each web.
4.6 Full section properties used except where explicitly specified Zxeff and Sxeff.

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Reference Manual SPACE GASS 10.8

4.6.2 If no eccentric moments are added and the section's connected elements cause
eccentricity then 4.6.3 used.
4.7.2 The 20% increase in slenderness for alternating restraints has not been allowed for.
4.7.5 Reduced py is used for all welded sections.
Table 23 welded angles, channels and Tees are assumed to be rolled but py is
reduced as per 4.7.5.
Notes 2 and 3 not allowed for.
4.7.6c If no eccentric moments are added and the section's connected elements cause
eccentricity then 4.7.10 used.
4.7.10.1 The 20% increase in slenderness for alternating restraints has not been allowed for.
4.7.10.2 If there is a bolt area in one flange only then a single bolt hole is assumed, 80%
reduction allowed for.
4.7.10.4 If there is a bolt hole in the web then a single row is assumed.
4.7.10.5 If there is a bolt hole in the flange then a single row is assumed.
4.8.2.3 Only equal flanged I shapes, box shapes and CHS class 1 or 2 use this clause. Other
sections use 4.8.2.2.
4.8.2.2 App I.3 not used for asymmetric sections.
4.8.3.2 App I.3 not used for asymmetric sections.
4.8.3.3 App I.1 is used for stocky members.
4.8.3.3.4 mLT is based on the segment length, mx is based on the Group length, my is based
on the segment length, myx is based on the group length
B.2.4 Channels with unequal flanges treated the same as unequal I beams refer 4.3.6.7b.
B.2.9.2 Star angles treated same as single angle but combined properties used.
H.3.1 Strut action and moment amplification not allowed for.

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Reference Manual SPACE GASS 10.8

Hong Kong CP2005 code specific items


Sections considered
3 Materials
3.1 Structural Steel
3.1.2 Design strength for normal strength steels
3.1.6 Other properties

6 Design Methods and Analysis


6.8 Second-Order P-Δ−δ Elastic Analysis
6.8.2 Method of Analysis items (1) and (2) only
6.8.3 Applications and Limitations

7 Section Classification
7.1 General
7.2 Classification
7.3 Stress Ratios for Classification
7.5 Effective Plastic Modulus
7.5.1 General
7.5.2 I or H Sections with equal flanges
7.5.3 Rectangular hollow sections
7.5.4 Circular hollow sections
7.6 Effective Width method for slender cross sections
7.8 Shift of the centroid of the effective cross section

8 Design of Structural Members


8.1 General
8.2 Restrained Beams
8.2.1 Shear capacity
8.2.2 Moment capacity
8.2.2.1 Low Shear condition
8.2.2.2 High Shear condition
8.3 Lateral-Torsional buckling of Beams
8.3.3 Normal and destabilising loads
8.3.5 Moment resistance to Lateral-torsional buckling
8.3.5.1 Limiting slenderness
8.3.5.2 Buckling resistance moment
8.3.5.3 Equivalent dlenderness for flexural-torsional buckling
8.4 Plate Girders
8.4.1 Design strength
8.4.2 Minimum web thickness for servicability
8.4.3a Minimum web thickness to avoid compression flange buckling
8.4.4 Moment Capacity of restrained girders
8.4.4.1 Web suspectible to shear buckling
8.4.4.2 Web susceptible to shear buckling
8.4.5 Effects of Axial force
8.4.6 Shear buckling resistance
8.5 Buckling resistance moment for a single angle member
8.6 Tension members
8.6.1 Tension Capacity

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Reference Manual SPACE GASS 10.8

8.6.2 Members with eccentric connections


8.6.3 Single and double angle, channel and T sections
8.7 Compression Members
8.7.4 Slenderness
8.7.5 Compression resistance
8.7.6 Compressive strength
8.7.7 Eccentric connections
8.8 Tension members under combined axial force and moments
8.9 Compression Members under combined axial force and moments
8.9.1 Cross section capacity
8.9.2 Member buckling resistance

9 Connections
9.3.4.4 Effective area for tension
9.3.4.5 Effective area for shear

Appendix 8.1
Appendix 8.2
Appendix 8.3

Assumptions
3.1.2 Class 1 and 1H steels assumed.
6.8.2(3) Frame and member imperfections are not automatically considered in the analysis,
however if clause 8.9.2 is used instead of clause 6.8.3 then there is no requirement
for member imperfections in the analysis.
6.8.3 Mcx and Mcy = Zpy.
7.5.1 I or H sections with unequal flanges Seff = Z as per other sections.
7.6 Same method as BS5950-2000 is adopted to calculate effective section and change
in centroid and properties for slender sections but with HK element limits.
8.2 Beam checked whether fully restrained or not.
8.3.5.2 Mb = Mcx from 8.2.2 if Lateral Torsional Buckling need not be checked.
8.3.5.3 Box sections use this code section.
8.3.5.3 Channels assume that loads pass through shear centre - warning given.
8.4 Webs without intermediate or transverse stiffeners assumed (a = infinity).
8.4.2 Warning given if eq 8.30 not met.
8.4.3 Warning given if eq 8.33 not met.
8.7 No check is done for compressive resistance if clause 6.8.3 is used instead of clause
8.9.2.
8.8 Only eq 8.77 is applied.
8.9.2 If clause 8.9.2 is used instead of clause 6.8.3 then second-order moments are used in
equation 8.79, making it slightly conservative. MLT is max moment in segment, Mx
is max moment in group and My is max moment in segment.

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Reference Manual SPACE GASS 10.8

Steel member design/check errors


SPACE GASS performs numerous checks for illegal and inconsistent data. Many of these checks
are done in the steel member design data input modules and any errors detected there must be
corrected immediately. However, some errors such as faulty member groupings cannot be
detected until the design/check phase.

All of the errors in the following list cause SPACE GASS to abort the design or check of the
current design group and move on to the next group. If an error occurs during a design or an
uninterrupted check, the program continues without alerting you and puts the error message in the
output report. Alternatively, if an error occurs during an interrupted check, the program pauses to
display the message and, if it is a section related error, gives you the opportunity to manually
select other sections to be checked.

Warnings also appear in the output report but they do not cause SPACE GASS to abort the design
or check of the current design group.

This group contains a non-existent or repeated member


One of the analysis members nominated in the design group does not exist or has been repeated.

Members in this group are not of the same section type


All analysis members in the design group must have the same section property number.

This group does not have a contiguous run of members


All of the analysis members nominated in the design group must be connected together end-to-
end in the frame analysis model. They must also be listed in the design group in the order that
they are connected (from either end).

A tens/comp-only member in this group is disabled


One of the analysis members in the design group is a tension-only or compression-only member
which has been disabled during the analysis, thus leaving a gap in the group.

A member in this group has buckled


One of the analysis members in the design group has buckled during the analysis, thus leaving a
gap in the group.

Stations per member limit has been exceeded


The stations per analysis member limit has been exceeded or the stations per design group limit
has been exceeded.

There is a limit of 500 stations per analysis member which must be enough for the number of
intermediate member stations that you specify, plus the extra stations at the ends, at concentrated
member loads and at flange restraint points. The solution is to either add a node at midspan of the
analysis member which has too many stations or decrease the number of stations that you specify
at the start of the member design/check phase.

A flange restraint is off the end of the member group


One or more flange restraints have been specified beyond the end of the design group.

Inappropriate group code or shape not supported

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Reference Manual SPACE GASS 10.8

The section data from the library has an invalid group code or shape code (see also Section
libraries).

Starred angles cannot be made up from unequal angles


Starred angles can only be made from equal angle sections.

Starred angles are not supported for this design code


This is a restriction in the AS4100, BS5950 and NZS3404 modules.

This section shape not supported for this design code


The selected steel member design module does not support the shape of the section currently
being designed or checked.

Inappropriate end connection code for this section


An end connection code which is inappropriate for the section being considered has been input.
For example, an I or H section can have end codes of "Flange(s)", "Web" or "Centroid", or a
single angle section can have end codes of "Short" or "Long". Note that single angle sections
cannot have end connection codes of "Centroid". If eccentric effects for angles are to be ignored,
they must be disabled at the start of the member design/check phase.

Invalid fabrication code for this section


The section data from the library has an invalid fabrication code (see also Section libraries) or a
rolled section has a fabrication code which shows it to be welded.

Inappropriate section dimensions for this design code


A code specific constraint on section dimensions has not been met. For example, the BS5950
module requires channels to have equal flanges. For dimension constraints, see also Steel member
design/check assumptions.

No suitable section found


The steel member design module has found that all sections from the library which comply with
the library scan code are inadequate.

WARNING: You have suppressed eccentric end connection effects


If eccentric end effects for members which are not connected concentrically have been disabled at
the start of the design/check phase then this warning appears in the output report.

WARNING: Not all load cases considered have been analysed non-linearly
For AS4100 and NZS3404, a warning appears in the output report if any member design/check
load cases have only been analysed linearly.

WARNING: Web is inadequate for combined actions (App I) (Lf=#.##)


For AS4100 and NZS3404, a warning appears in the output report if the web is inadequate. It
suggests that web stiffeners may be required. The web failure load factor is also given.

WARNING: Angle calculations do not consider bending moments. Do a manual check


For AS1250, SABS0162 and AS3990, the calculations for angle sections do not consider bending
moments (apart from eccentric end moments). They should be checked manually.

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Steel connection design


This chapter describes in detail the data required to be input before a connection design can
proceed. It discusses the internal methods, philosophies and assumptions that the program uses as
it designs connections, and it explains how to initiate the actual design process once the steel
connection design data has been input.

It is highly recommended that before you use the steel connection design module, you
carefully read all of the procedures and assumptions described later in this chapter (see also
"The steel connection design process in detail") to verify that its performance and capabilities are
adequate for your situation. It is up to you to determine whether or not the steel connection
design module is suitable for your requirements.

The steel connection design module is a general purpose design program which reads the frame
analysis output data, evaluates the geometry for each connection, extracts the design actions from
the analysis results and then proceeds to design all components of the connection including bolts,
welds, plates, cleats and stiffeners.

Although it is not strictly necessary to have done a steel member design before a connection
design can be done, it is a good idea to finalize the member design first so that any changes to
member sizes and design actions can be made before the connections are designed.

Throughout the connection design phase, it is assumed that the design capacities of members
meeting at the connection are adequate. The only exceptions to this are the supporting member
web and flanges, which may be strengthened with stiffeners or doubler plates if required.

After all specified connections have been designed, a detailed report can be produced for each
connection showing the full description of each component in the connection, the critical load
case, design actions, geometric and other factors, design capacities, and a complete list of
possible failure modes together with the result for each mode. Sections of the report can be
suppressed if required.

SPACE GASS can handle many different types of steel connections including angle cleat, angle
seat, moment apex, moment baseplate, pinned baseplate, bearing pad, bolted end plate, flexible
end plate, stiff seat, web side plate, welded moment, etc. Some of the connections are only
capable of resisting shear loads, while others can resist any combinations of moment, shear and
axial loads.

Naturally, the design models used are slightly different for each type of connection, as are the
priorities concerning the relative importance of bolt numbers, bolt size, weld size, plate thickness,
etc.

It is assumed that second order effects have been taken into account by a second order elastic
analysis in accordance with AS4100 appendix E. Moment magnification is not considered.

For details on how to input steel connection design data, refer to "Steel connection input
methods".

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For details on how to perform a steel member design, refer to "Running a steel connection
design".

For details on how to view reports and graphical displays of the results of a steel connection
design, refer to "Output" and "View steel connection drawings".

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Steel connection input methods


Before you can perform a steel connection design, you must define each of the steel connections
you wish to design and then input some design parameters for each of them. This can be done in
two ways as follows.

1. Steel connection input form


This option allows you to select a steel connection graphically and then define or edit its
design parameters via a form. It is restricted to one steel connection at a time.

2. Steel connection input datasheet


This option lets you select one or more steel connections graphically and then define or edit
their design parameters via a datasheet. It can handle multiple steel connections, however
they must have been previously defined using method 1 above.

Alternatively, you can select "Steel Connection Design Input-Datasheet" from the Design
menu to open a datasheet and input or edit design parameters for steel connections
regardless if they have previously been defined or not.

Each of the two input methods are explained in detail in the following sections.

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Steel connection input form

This tool allows you to graphically specify steel connection design data.

The procedure is as follows.

1. Select "Steel Connection Design Input-Graphical" from the Design menu.

2. For each connection, you can pick up to three members to be joined. They consist of a
supporting member and one or two supported members. Most connections require a
supporting member, but some, such as apex and baseplate, do not.

3. The two supported members are called "Supported A" and "Supported B". The A and B
designations mean nothing other than to differentiate between the two sides. Connection
drawings always show the "Supported A" member at the left hand side of the drawing and it
is therefore good practice to select the member on the LHS as A and the member on the
RHS as B, otherwise they will be shown on opposite sides in the drawing details. Single
member connections such as baseplates can be specified as A or B, the result is the same.

4. The selection box at the bottom-right corner of the screen (shown above) indicates which
type of member you are about to select by the selected radio button. Change the radio button
selection by clicking the desired radio button, or by picking a point away from any
members, or by using the keyboard arrow up/down keys.

5. When the desired "Supporting", "Supported A", or "Supported B" radio button is selected,
pick a member and its number will be displayed in the selection box next to the highlighted
radio button.

If the first selected member already belongs to a previously input connection, all of the
members in the connection will be highlighted, the selection box will display all of the
members involved in the connection, and the computer will beep. If this happens you should
go directly to point 8.

6. When you have selected one or more members to be connected, click the main Ok button
located below the side toolbar buttons.

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7. In the steel connection form that appears, type in the data for the connection, and then click
the form Ok button.

For a new connection, the program sets a default connection number equal to the
supporting member (or the first supported member if there is no supporting member). You
are free to change the connection number to any desired value. Connections can be removed
by clicking the form "Delete" button.

For detailed information about the data in the form, refer to "Steel connection design data".

8. Repeat steps 3-6 above to input design data for other steel connections, or press ESC or the
right mouse button to exit from the operation.

9. You can edit connection data graphically by exactly the same procedure as inputting it.
When picking the first member in a connection, if you pick a member which is already part
of a connection, all of the members in the connection will be highlighted, the selection box
will display all of the members involved in the connection, and the computer will beep as
mentioned in point 4 above. You then have the option of editing the existing connection, or
using the picked member in a new connection.

10. To edit the existing connection data, press ENTER or click the "Select" button in the
selection box, and then continue to select or de-select members as desired. You can then
click the selection box Ok button and proceed as per step 6 above.

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11. If you pick a member which is already part of a connection but you want to use it in a new
connection rather than editing the existing connection to which the selected member
belongs, click the "New" button in the selection box, and then continue to pick additional
members as desired. You can then click the selection box Ok button and proceed as per step
6 above. You will finish up with two connections which share a common member (or
members).

12. If you pick a member that is already part of two or more connections, you can cycle through
them by clicking the "Prev" or "Next" buttons in the selection box. The highlighted
members and the members displayed in the selection box change as you cycle through.
When you get to the one you want to edit, just proceed as in point 9 above.

Thus, you can have members shared by any number of connections. In fact, you can input
multiple connections which all have exactly the same members using this method.

For an overview of the various methods available for inputting steel connection design data, refer
to "Steel connection input methods".

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Steel connection input datasheet

This tool allows you to graphically edit steel design connections that were previously defined
using the "Steel connection input form" tool.

You can access the steel connection input datasheet by selecting "Steel Connection Design Input-
Datasheet" from the Design menu or selecting some members involved in connections and then
"Steel Connection Design Input (Datasheet)" from the floating menu.

For detailed information about the data in the datasheet, refer to "Steel connection design data".

Refer to "Using datasheets" for information on how to operate the above datasheet.

For an overview of the various methods available for inputting steel connection design data, refer
to "Steel connection input methods".

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Steel connection design data


This section describes the steel connection design data that is required to be input before you can
design steel connections.

For an overview of the various methods available for inputting steel member design data, refer to
"Steel member input methods".

The form that appears when you input steel connection design data graphically is shown above.
The steel connection datasheet contains the same information in a different format.

Connection
Connection to be designed.

Connection description
A short description of the connection. It is used in output reports and becomes the title for the
connection drawing detail.

Supporting and supported members


For each connection, you can select up to three members to be joined. They consist of a
supporting member and one or two supported members.

Most connections require a supporting member, but some such as apex or baseplate
connections do not. All connections require at least one supported member.

A supporting member can be a beam or column. The supported members can be connected to its
web (beam/column) or flanges (column). The three general connections are shown as follows.

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General connection arrangements

There are many variations on the three general connection arrangements. For example,
baseplates have only one member, stiff seats may have only one member or may sit on top of a
supporting member, apex connections have members meeting end-to-end, etc.

The two supported members are referred to as being on side A and side B. The A and B
designations mean nothing other than to differentiate between the two sides. Connection drawings
always show the side A member at the left hand side of the drawing and it is therefore good
practice to select the member on the LHS as A and the member on the RHS as B, otherwise they
will be shown on opposite sides in the drawing details. Single member connections such as
baseplates can be specified as A or B, the final result is the same.

See also Connection geometry.

Choices are: Angle cleat (Double)


Angle cleat (Single)
Angle seat (Bolted)
Angle seat (Welded)
Apex (Bolted)
Apex (Welded)
Baseplate (Moment)
Baseplate (Pinned)
Bearing pad (Bottom)
Bearing pad (Top)
Bolted end plate
Flexible end plate
Stiff seat (End)
Stiff seat (Internal)
Web side plate
Welded moment

It is possible to specify different connection types on each side of the same connection. For
example, you could have a bolted end plate connection on side A and a web side plate on side B.
Naturally there are some rules restricting certain types of impractical connection combinations
such as an apex combined with a web side plate, or a baseplate combined with some other
connection type, etc.

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Bolting procedure
The bolting procedure determines how the bolts are to be tightened. They can be snug, bearing or
friction for simple (non-moment resisting) connections, or bearing or friction for moment
resisting connections. Snug and bearing bolting procedures resist the shear load by direct bearing
of the bolt on the connected components, while friction bolting procedures resist the shear load
through friction between the connected surfaces. Bearing and friction bolting procedures require
high strength bolts to be fully tensioned.

Choices are: Friction,


Bearing,
Snug.

Haunch dimensions
While the SPACE GASS connection design module does not design the haunches themselves
(they are considered to be part of the member design), the haunch dimensions must be known in
order for the connection to be designed. The haunch dimensions are also required so that they can
be included in the connection drawing details.

Haunch dimensions

If a haunch exists, its length and depth relative to the face of the supporting member must be
input. If the haunch depth is set to zero, SPACE GASS automatically calculates the depth during
the design phase. The calculated depth is based on the supported member depth less its flange
thickness and root radius.

If the