March 7, 2023


ASDIP STEEL is a structural engineering software for the design of structural steel members. It includes the design of composite beams based on the AISC provisions. This document is a step-by-step composite beam design example using ASDIP STEEL.

Click here to download ASDIP STEEL free 15-day trial.

Composite beam design example

As an example, consider the 35-ft beam shown below, which is part of the second floor of a multi-story storage building. The first level is a parking space, and the upper levels will be storage with typical 10'x10' column grid. The second floor will have a series of transfer girders to support the columns of the storage levels above. Design the transfer girder acting in composite action with the 5" concrete slab on 2" metal deck. 

The design loads are shown. The beam spacing is 20' and it is laterally braced at the point load locations. Find the required size of the composite beam and design the shear studs.


Specify the geometry

In the Geometry tab enter the beam span and the material properties. In this case, the span length is 35'-0". Assume conservatively that the metal deck doesn't brace the top flange, and specify the lateral bracing locations in the Lateral Bracing table. The At-a-Glance tab shows a summary of the design for a quick overview of your work as you go.


Enter the concrete slab properties

In the Slab / Deck tab enter the total slab thickness as 5". This is an interior beam spaced at 20'. Specify composite and unshored beam. Let ASDIP calculate the optimum partial composite percentage. If desired, you can specify full composite action. The Condensed tab shows a more complete set of results grouped by topic, great for a more detailed overview of your design.


Specify the applied loads

In the Loads tab enter the distributed loads on the beam, which include the selfweight of beam and slab. Select to specify the load cases. In this composite beam example we will design the beam per ASD. The Detailed tab shows a complete set of calculations with exposed formulas and with references to the AISC code.


Enter the concentrated loads on the beam, which represent the column reactions from the upper levels. Note that the construction loads are applied to the beam before the concrete has reached the 75% of f'c, and they are resisted by the steel beam alone. The Graph tab shows an image of the beam, loads and reactions, and the generated shear and moment diagrams per load combination.


Optimize the composite beam design

Use the Design Manager to find all the sections that pass the design criteria in a specified depth range. In this case let's find all the winners with depths between 16" and 30". Populate the table and then sort it by weight. Highlight your winner and click Select to use this beam section. A W24x104 with (68) 3/4" shear studs gives a design ratio of 0.92.



ASDIP STEEL includes the design of steel and composite beams, with multiple options to optimize the design easily. This real-life composite beam design example shows that the process can be completed and optimized in minutes.

Detailed information is available about this structural engineering software by visiting ASDIP STEEL. For engineering background, see the blog post Steel and Composite Beams: A Design Overview. For our collection of blog posts about steel design please visit Structural Steel Design.

You are invited to download the Free 15-day Software Trial, or go ahead and Place your Order.

Best regards,

Javier Encinas, PE

ASDIP Structural Software

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