UK office of IDEA StatiCa s.r.o.
Email: info@ideastatica.uk
Phone: +44 (0) 20 3579 9397
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New features of version 7

Version 7 is the next chapter in reinventing steel connection design. It comes one year after the previous version 6 and brings many new features and improvements, that will offer you better quality, faster design, improved interoperability and will expand even more your creativity. As with previous releases, the majority of the new features and improvements were inspired by our users, resellers and partners.
This release is free of charge for all users that have a valid maintenance contract, and can be downloaded from our Downloads area.
See below the main new features and improvements:
Stiffness and deformation capacity

Version 7 provides a new function which analyses the stiffness and capacity of a connection of any member in the joint. Complete diagram is generated automatically, is directly displayed in GUI and can be added into the output report. Rotational or axial stiffness can be studied for specific design load. IDEA StatiCa Connection can also deal with the influence of other internal forces.

Diagram shows:

  • Level of design load
  • Limit value of capacity of connection for 5% equivalent strain
  • Limit value of capacity of connected member (useful also for seismic design)
  • 2/3 of limit capacity for calculation of initial stiffness
  • Value of initial stiffness
  • Limits for the classification of connection – rigid and  pinned
New options for Base plates & anchoring

Version 7 offers the option to input different offsets of concrete block on different edges of steel base plate. Offsets influence the calculation of the size of break-out cones.

End of anchors are frequently modified to increase the cohesion and make break-out cone bigger. However in checks it is involved only in the size of break-out cone. In version 7 the user can define washers of specific size to make break-out cone bigger. Washer can be rectangular or circular, but both have the same influence to the size of cone.

New tool: Stiffening members

Until now users of IDEA Connection were able to reinforce steel joints with additional plates – stiffeners, ribs, doublers. In Version 7 it is now possible to use segments of hot rolled or cold formed profiles for the stiffening of the joint. These Stiffening members behave in the joint the same way as basic steel members – all manufacturing operations can be applied on them. The only difference is that Stiffening members cannot take loads, and they are not a part of 3D global model of the structure.

3 stiffening members connected to frame members / members between column and beam

Stiffeners of base plate                           Bended and connecting plates

New feature: Contact elements

Steel connection is modeled as a system of plates (members are composed from plates), welds, bolts and contacts. Contacts appear in places where two plates are in touch. They take 100% of the pressure but do not act in tension at all. Until now contacts were automatically generated in between plates which are a part of bolted connection. Version 7 brings a new option to define the contact between any 2 surfaces of plates even if they are not bolted together. A lot of practical technical tasks can be resolved thanks to this new feature.

            Contacts between web and flanges of 2 overlapped Z sections

          Added profile, bolted on upper flange, contact on web

Stiffening member, flange supported by contact, no shear forces in bolts

Link with SAP 2000

SAP2000 is a widely-used FEA structural software. IDEA StatiCa 7.0 can read all necessary data for the design of steel joints from SAP2000 3D models. IDEA StatiCa can read the whole SAP2000 project or only a part of it. The workflow is pretty straightforward– just select a node in SAP2000, click on a “IDEA Connection” plug-in and a new IDEA Statica project will be generated that will help you to design the joint.

New modeling/calculation of welds

Welds are an important part of any steel joint. In version 6 we use the model where a weld is modeled as a constrain between edge and surface of plates. The constrain itself does not have material properties. IDEA StatiCa calculates forces in constrains and offer evaluation using 3 methods – maximal/ average/ linear. The IDEA StatiCa development team has been working on a much more precise model, in which welds are also equipped with material properties. This means that they can become plastic like all steel plates. This model will provide better results especially for long welds. The effect called “effective length of weld” will be taken into account already in calculated results. Plastic welds will be available once a thorough development and testing process finished but no later than by 1st October 2016.

What was improved for welds already in version 7: The geometry of weld position was rebuilt. The real length of weld is respected in case of different length of welded edges or in case of interruption of welds due to openings. Precise position of welds gives us also the chance to improve the presentation of welds. So in version 7 welds are rendered like in reality when using “solid“ mode. When using “transparent“ mode, only a line constrain between edge and surface is shown. This allows us to easily check the correct implementation of weld. The new geometry helped to improve the behavior of welds which are close to edge of plate where IDEA StatiCa can give nonsymmetrical results in symmetrical tasks. Thanks to this correction and improvements, version 7 results can give a bit different results of stress in certain cases.

  Presentation „solid“                                      Presentation „transparent“

Weld results table – new signs for weld type

Import from Tekla Structures and ADK Advanced Steel

Both links with these software were released in version 6. In cooperation with TEKLA and Autodesk, we were able to improve them a lot, and extend the supported functionality. In version 7 we are able to do also:

  • Notches – it is possible for both plates of members and stiffening plates. Not for general 3D solid. Welds have to added in Connection.
  • Openings – we can read all openings in stiffening plates. Not yet in plates of members.
  • Stubs – we can read cuts on both ends, thanks to development of stiffening members
  • Weld “all around”
  • Bended plates
  • Cuts by CHS – everything is imported, cuts “by surface” have to added manually
  • Anchoring – partially improved, base plate still has to be added in Connection
Report

Output report is a key value for the user, so we improved its quality in version 7 – style of tables, labels. There is also a direct export to MS word – IDEA Statica generates an MHT file. We rearranged the “one line” output. There is more useful information which make the output more valuable. It works both for stress/strain and stiffness analysis.

There is a new export of drawings in DXF format in Bill of material. Drawings can be opened directly in AutoCAD.

Loads – export to Excel file

A new function in version 7 can be used for copying of load cases between items in the project or between different projects. This is a big time saver when you want to create different versions of a project.

New cross-section type

In version 7 we added one more cross-section type: Angle profile with the possibility to define the angle. It can be applied for stiffening member and used for the modelling of bended plates.

 Bended plate inserted into CHS                 Bended plate welded to member web

Simplified User Interface

In order to simplify even more the user interface, we unified 2 setup dialogs  into one, and only the important values are available.

The FEA setup was removed, and Colours were moved to Preferences, so only one setup dialog is available now. The original Setup dialog was rearranged and several properties from FEA were added.

The buttons In nodes / In elements were removed. IDEA StatiCa Connection uses “in elements” for all check CBFEM outputs and “in nodes” for FE results of stress and strain.

Curious to see all the new features?