Steel Deck Diaphragm Calculators and Resources

Keeping up with all of the available resources for structural engineers can be a job in itself.  But being aware of these resources can save time and headaches during design.  Are you familiar with the most recent tools developed for steel deck diaphragm design?

In June 2018, Keith Cullum, PE, from Simpson Strong-Tie gave a presentation on Steel Deck Diaphragm Attachment.  Keith reviewed the function and components of a steel deck diaphragm and compared common attachment methods.  He also talked about appropriate standards and building code references, as well as frequent challenges associated with designing steel deck diaphragms.  During the session, Keith offered several references which can be useful when designing your steel deck diaphragms.

There are many resources available for free download from the Steel Deck Institute at  Look for items with the Download Now tab for free downloads, which include the ANSI/SDI standards and the recently published Deck on Cold-Formed Steel Framing design manual. The link to download these resources are sent via email after providing your information to SDI.

Additional resources are available for purchase at and these include white papers, position statements, manuals and handbook, standards and other helpful references related to designing steel deck.  Also, soon SDI will release their SDI Diaphragm Interaction Calculator which will be a web based tool that allows for easy calculation of steel deck diaphragms under the influence of combined wind uplift and diaphragm shear in accordance with the AISI S310 North American Standard for the Design of Profiled Steel Diaphragm Panels.  This will be an especially helpful too for engineers to check the performance of their steel deck diaphragms under combined loads.

Simpson Strong-Tie offers another diaphragm calculator which develops tables of various steel deck diaphragm capacities for given shear and uplift values.  This tool can be accessed at  Vulcraft has design tools as well which include a Deck Diaphragm Shear and Stiffness Calculator.  Many of the other SDI member and associate member companies also offer resources to help in their design.

Taking advantage of the available resources from SDI and manufacturers can save you time and make deck diaphragm hand calculations a thing of the past.


Leave A Reply