Tips for Structural Engineers

Importance of the Weld Ductility Factor in Bracing Connections

When designing bracing connections, have you been using a weld ductility factor on welds subjected to shear and transverse loads to allow for adequate redistribution of stresses? Although there have been multiple tests and papers showing the importance of this factor, some engineers are still unaware of its necessity which can result in underperforming bracing connections. In the February 2018…read more →

Using Structural Software Successfully

How well do you trust the results of your structural analysis software?  Relying on software can save hours of design time, but using an inaccurate model can have devastating results.  Even the most experienced engineer can stand to be reminded of potential inaccuracies when using structural software, especially with the many changes made to building codes and in structural software…read more →

Resources for Wind Borne Debris Tested Assemblies

Wind-borne debris is without a doubt a very serious design consideration when approaching a storm shelter or safe room design.  In every tornado or serious wind event, there are devastating images of the effects from upturned trees, 2x4s, cars, and even large fuel tanks.  Designing for such impacts can be daunting, and present day engineering theory may not be sufficient…read more →

Post-Tensioned Concrete vs. Reinforced Concrete

Using post-tensioned concrete may seem like a daunting task for engineers who are more comfortable with traditional reinforced concrete design.  However, post-tensioned concrete certainly allows for designs that cannot be achieved with traditional mild steel reinforced concrete, and improvements in construction methods have eliminated previous problems with corrosion of the steel strands.  PT concrete can allow for thinner and longer…read more →

Tips for Designing with Post-tensioned Concrete

Have you wanted to jump into the world of PT design, but have hesitated due to a lack of experience on the subject?  Typical undergraduate or even graduate engineering course work may offer a brief overview of PT design, but a thorough, in-depth education on this design method is not commonplace in most universities.  However, there are many resources available…read more →

Analysis of Post-Installed Adhesive Anchors Near Abandoned Holes

Using post-installed adhesive anchors is commonplace in concrete construction and especially in renovations of concrete structures.  However, field conditions can often dictate changes to the original design, and anchors are often relocated due to unforeseen circumstances.  If you have been a design engineer for any length of time, you have undoubtedly encountered the situation where a hole was misdrilled, or…read more →

Buckling Restrained Braced Frames – Schedule and Notes

For the seasoned seismic designer, Buckling Restrained Braced Frames may be a familiar structural system, however, some structural engineers may not be quite as familiar with their use.  These prefabricated, or manufactured brace elements consist of a steel core and a buckling-restraining system, and they exhibit robust cyclical performance and have large ductility capacity.  Their use in seismic applications has…read more →

New Design Approach Recommended for Chevron Braced Frames

Chevron braced frames are popular among steel frame design engineers due to the convenient nature of their flexible geometry which allow for wall openings and movable workpoints along the frame beam.  The connections of such configurations are typically left to a contracted connection designer who, in the past, has considered these gusseted bracing connections to be designed in ‘isolation’ apart…read more →

What’s the difference? OMF vs IMF vs SMF

Are you able to quickly recall the different code requirements for Intermediate Moment Frames and Special Moment Frames?  For many engineers who don’t design in seismically active regions every day, anything beyond a standard R=3 seismic design might require some study on the current requirements for drift and strength design in moment frame construction.  However, even if seismic design requirements…read more →