Usually when driving across a bridge or walking into a building, you don’t stop to think about the engineering ingenuity that went into creating that structure. The Golden Gate Bridge gets a lot of publicity and La Sagrada Familia is a stunning piece of art, but most structures serve their purpose without much fanfare. In addition to the basic building materials, there is so much more that goes into the design and analysis. For civil and structural engineers, PTC Mathcad offers a number of solutions and time-saving capabilities. Whether you are designing bridges, dams, columns, trusses…etc, calculations and analysis are crucial to the process. PTC now offers many pre-built worksheets to help with computations for different structural designs!
These worksheets solve typical problems encountered in the structural design of buildings. Each application includes a description of the problem, a description of the application, one or more sketches, an input section, a list of computed variables, and a section for calculations. Most of the applications have a summary section which list all input and computed variables.
Beams are the main support for most structures. When working with the analysis of beams, there are some in-depth worksheets that offer templates. Specifically, the Beams with Uniform Load and End Moments worksheet that helps you calculate the maximum positive bending moment, the maximum deflection, and the points of inflection for a beam with a uniformly distributed load and applied end moments.
There are other worksheets that calculate the beam size in order to satisfy regulatory requirements. Here is one example for concrete beams. This application determines the sizes of rectangular beams to satisfy the flexural requirements, shear requirements and minimum thickness limits of ACI 318-89. Being able to plug in calculations that assist with the design while satisfying requirements is a huge time-saver.
Structural engineering also has to take wind, natural disasters, and other elements into account when coming up with designs. PTC has worksheets that assist in calculating the wind and seismic conditions on buildings. Wind Loads Using ASCE Standard 7-93 computes the wind pressures on the windward wall, leeward wall, side walls and roof, and the net wind pressures and loads at specified height intervals, for a square or rectangular building with a flat roof.
These are just a few examples of worksheets available in the “Building Structural Design” library. Next time you are passing over a bridge or walking into a high-rise, stop for a minute and admire the calculations that went into creating that structure, and remember that PTC Mathcad is at the heart of buildings and structures around the world.