ASDIP CONCRETE is a structural engineering software for design of concrete members. It includes the design of multi-span continuous beams based on the latest ACI 318 provisions. But how do you actually enter the information in the program? How do you check the results? How do you optimize the design? How do you print out the reports? Following is an overview of the user-interface and the steps required to design continuous beams using ASDIP CONCRETE.
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1. Specify the beam geometry
ASDIP CONCRETE supports different types of beams according to the shape of the cross section. In the Geometry tab select the beam type, either Rectangular, T-beam, Spandrel, Inverted-T, or L-beam. This is important to determine the bending capacity correctly. Enter the dimensions of the section and ASDIP CONCRETE will check the code geometric limitations, if any. Overall dimensions are often controlled by the space constraints in the building.
Enter the number of supports. ASDIP CONCRETE allows to specify up to six supports, which means up to five continuous spans and two end cantilevers. Enter the span dimensions in the table. By default the interior supports are pinned, but the two end supports can be modeled as pinned or fixed if a cantilever has not been specified.
ASDIP CONCRETE generates a summary of the results in the At-a-Glance tab for a quick overview of the continuous beam design as you go. The screen shot below shows the Geometry tab and the At-a-Glance tab.
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2. Specify the material properties
In the Materials tab enter the material properties. ASDIP CONCRETE lets you specify the concrete stress-strain distribution as either the parabolic Hognestad's curve, or the simplified equivalent Whitney's rectangular block.
Likewise, ASDIP CONCRETE lets you specify the steel stress-strain distribution as either the Elasto-plastic bi-linear relationship, or considering the Strain-hardening zone.
ASDIP CONCRETE generates a condensed presentation of the results, organized by topic and load combination, for a quick granular check of the continuous beam design as you go. The screen shot below shows the Materials tab and the Condensed tab.
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3. Enter the applied loads
Use the Loads tab to enter the applied loads on the beam. ASDIP CONCRETE lets you specify uniform, variable, concentrated, and moment loads anywhere on any span. For similar loads, you can copy the loads of one span to the other spans, which saves time entering the loads.
ASDIP CONCRETE allows to specify either a set of load cases, such as dead, live, roof live, snow, wind, and seismic, to be combined per the specified load combinations, or a set of pre-combined loads. For the latter loads, it's assumed that they were combined somewhere else, and therefore no further load factors are applied. This is useful when you need to use the output loads from another software.
ASDIP CONCRETE generates a detailed presentation of the results, showing step-by-step calculations organized by topic and load combination, with exposed formulas and references to the ACI code. This is excellent for a deep granular check of the design. The screen shot below shows the Loads tab and the Detailed tab.
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4. Specify the main rebars and stirrups
In the Reinforcement tab specify the top bars, the bottom bars, and the stirrups for each span of the beam. The software allows to copy the specified reinforcement in one span to the other spans, which saves time and simplifies the input.
ASDIP CONCRETE includes the Design Manager, which lets the user specify the preferred bar sizes and it designs the required number and length of bars at top and bottom, as well as the stirrups spacing. Note in the screen shot below that the software shows the shear and bending strengths as a background of the shear and moment diagrams, for easy visual comparison. The shear strength is also conveniently shown as φVn = φVc + φVs.
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ASDIP CONCRETE generates an elevation view of the continuous beam showing the reinforcement, as shown below. This graphical view can be used to double check the specified rebar sizes, and also to identify any potential problem with the length of the main bars or the spacing of the stirrups.
ASDIP CONCRETE includes the design of continuous beams. The graphical user interface is simple and intuitive, with multiple options to optimize the design easily. The results are shown instantly in both text and graphics format.
For engineering background, please read the blog post
Continuous Concrete Beam Design: A Structural Challenge. For a design example, please see the blog post Continuous Beam Design Example Using ASDIP CONCRETE. For our collection of blog posts about concrete design please visit Structural Concrete Design.
Javier Encinas, PE
ASDIP Structural Software