ASDIP Steel – Steel & Composite Beam Design

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Modules:   Steel Base Plate Design | Steel Column Design | Steel & Composite Beam Design


Beams are structural members that mostly work in bending and shear as a result of transverse loading. Other terms such as girders, joists, purlins, stringers, girts and lintels are often used. The compression flange, which is attached to the web in the plane of the beam, may or may not be laterally braced, thus the buckling concepts of compression members apply to beams as well.

Composite action is developed when two load-carrying structural elements, such as a concrete floor slab and its supporting steel beams, are integrally connected and deflect as a single unit. The stiffness of a composite floor is substantially greater than that of a concrete floor and its supporting beams acting independently. In addition, a 20 to 30% savings in steel weight is often possible by taking full advantage of a composite system. Since the concrete slab exists anyway and the shear connectors are inexpensive and easy to install, it is structurally advisable to use composite construction whenever possible.

This module performs the design of a simply supported, either interior or border, either steel or composite beam subjected to distributed and concentrated loads. Two cantilevers may be modeled. The program computes the maximum bending moment, shear force, and vertical deflection induced by the applied loads, and compares them against the beam strength. The program computes the number and spacing of the shear studs or connectors required to develop either partial or full composite action, as well as the required camber.

The software is based on the AISC ASD/LRFD methodology and calculates the shear and flexure strengths according to the AISC 360-10 Specifications (14th Ed. Manual). Either service or factored loads may be specified. For composite beams, a simple click opens a new tab to enter the corresponding information.

ASDIP Steel and Composite Beam Design Input DataInput Data

The required input data consists of steel yield strength, member length, and lateral bracing. In addition, for composite beams it is required the slab thickness and beam spacing. as well as metal deck and shear studs information. You may specify a partial distributed load and up to six concentrated loads.


As an example, consider a 30′-0″ simply supported W18x35 interior composite beam subjected to a factored concentrated load of 7 kip, and 3 kip during construction, at midspan. The beam is laterally braced at 10 ft from the left support. Concrete slab is 5″ thick overall on 2″ metal deck, which is oriented transversely to the beam. Beam spacing is 5′-0″. Use 3/4″ shear studs.


ASDIP Steel and Composite Beam Design Example

ASDIP Steel and Composite Beam Design DiagramsOutput

The design process is simple with ASDIP Steel. First, enter your input data using the rich set of controls. Second, specify the design criteria, such as the allowable deflection and camber, shear connectors, etc. Then use the Design Manager to find all the steel sections that meet this design criteria. Sort the table if you wish, either by weight or by design ratio. Finally, when you select one of these winner sections, the corresponding properties are transferred automatically to your calculations. That’s it !!

For a quick check of the overall design, click on the “At a Glance” tab. For a more detailed set of step-by-step design calculations click on the “Detailed” tab.

In this example the proposed beam size is adequate since the design ratios for shear, steel flexure and composite flexure are 0.06, 0.73 and 0.26 respectively. The deflection ratio is 0.97. Note that the design can be further optimized if necessary. Since in this case the deflection ratio is the controlling factor, adding more shear studs would help to reduce the deflection.

ASDIP Steel and Composite Beam Design Criteria



ASDIP Steel and Composite Beam Design Manager






For a more detailed information please read our blog post Steel and Composite Beams – A Design Overview

For a more detailed information please read our blog post How to Design Steel and Composite Beams with ASDIP Steel

Explore ASDIP Steel

About ASDIP Steel:   Overview | Benefits | Features | Documentation
Modules:   Steel Base Plate Design | Steel Column Design | Steel & Composite Beam Design