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Simple Beam Calculator

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It doesn't appear to be possible to determine whether the simple beam calculator works to the appropriate Eurocode (or BSI standards) for structural design. Perhaps it is part of the localisation features?

Can anyone enlighten me please? It will save hours of time / structural engineer's fees if the results / solutions of calculations are acceptable to the authorities here in the UK.

It would also be useful to know whether the 'electrical' calculators are useable here too!

Regards,

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I wouldn't be tempted to replace structural design with a VW plugin.

However - the structural analysis for a beam should hold true irrespective of the codes. What you need to ascertain is whether the section properties, loadings, end conditions and safety factors are appropriate for your application, as specified by the standards.

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BCD,

I note your comments about not replacing structural design with a plugin. However, at the domestic level with simple beams I would have no hesitation. Having studied at a school of architecture with a large part of the course devoted to engineering design (both structural and services) I have, for the last 30 years, dealt with the simple stuff myself as a chartered architect: beams, lintels, drainage layouts (single building and at estate level), road design etc.

I think it important as an architect to be able to carry out all aspects of the design on small buildings and that includes all the latest eco / sustainable aspects too. Consequently I have a very good understanding of what the specialist designers (and contractors) are up to on larger projects and on site.

The problem with the VW plugin is that I don't seem to be able to access the 'defaults' to check against the BS and Eurocode: that seems to be restricted to the 'mechanical' variety of VW. Hence my earlier posting.

Regards,

John Kellett

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Having not had a useful response to my earlier posting I am having another go. Some helpful advice would be much appreciated.

It doesn't appear to be possible to determine whether the simple beam calculator works to the appropriate Eurocode (or BSI standards) for structural design. Perhaps it is part of the localisation features? The problem with the VW plugin is that I don't seem to be able to access the 'defaults' to check against the BS and Eurocode: that seems to be restricted to the 'mechanical' variety of VW.

Can anyone enlighten me please? It will save hours of time / structural engineer's fees if the results / solutions of calculations are acceptable to the authorities here in the UK.

It would also be useful to know whether the 'electrical' calculators are useable here too!

Thanks,

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It doesn't really perform strutural analysis.

It merely will calculate one property of the section given the others.

It's not a substitute for an engineer.

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It may not provide a full structural analysis but it does provide the max. bending moment, max. deflection and other required solutions for a range of 'standard' loading conditions for a range of simple structural beam sections. That is all that is required to size a beam in a simple structural situation.

All I need to know is whether the underlying calculations used by the plugin comply with the methods and codes of practice set out by the various BSI / Eurocode standards. The information provided to me by the plugin is useless if the methods of calculation and formulae do not meet those standards.

Once I am certain that the calculations used are appropriate I can then determine whether the results of the calculations are within the limits and factors of safety required using 'safe load tables' etc. I have been carrying out these calculations for small projects with a pencil and calculator for many years, one of the advantages of having studied architecture at Bath University here in the UK! I am fully aware that I'll still need to work out the loadings manually, but that is not very difficult for small simple projects.

For more complex and larger projects a qualified chartered structural engineer is of course commissioned as part of the design team.

Regards,

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It may not provide a full structural analysis but it does provide the max. bending moment, max. deflection and other required solutions for a range of 'standard' loading conditions for a range of simple structural beam sections. That is all that is required to size a beam in a simple structural situation.

All I need to know is whether the underlying calculations used by the plugin comply with the methods and codes of practice set out by the various BSI / Eurocode standards. The information provided to me by the plugin is useless if the methods of calculation and formulae do not meet those standards.

Once I am certain that the calculations used are appropriate I can then determine whether the results of the calculations are within the limits and factors of safety required using 'safe load tables' etc. I have been carrying out these calculations for small projects with a pencil and calculator for many years, one of the advantages of having studied architecture at Bath University here in the UK! I am fully aware that I'll still need to work out the loadings manually, but that is not very difficult for small simple projects.

For more complex and larger projects a qualified chartered structural engineer is of course commissioned as part of the design team.

Regards,

I would guess that the plug-in is based on Euler?Bernoulli beam theory.

You could call NNA to verify this.

But perhaps they taught some other theory at Bath?

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My 2 cents,

The calculations are the same here or anywhere else with the only difference is the units used. The bending moment is always = force x length and the shear stress = force / cross sectional area. These are the 2 most important factors used to size a beam with deflection only considered for aesthetics.

Once you calculate the moment and shear, you can choose the structural type needed to hold the load whether is wood, steel or concrete.

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Miguel,

Thanks, it's the units I am concerned about. I don't want to have to convert from USA 'metric' to a European metric resulting from, say, the use of "kN" instead of "N", "g" instead of "Kg" or "m" instead of "mm" unexpectedly in the middle of formulae!

It's the same theory but could be very different results! For example fuel consumption worked out as "kilometres per litre" and "litres per 100 kilometres" and "metres per litre" give different answers!

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