A selection of early reports mostly collected together in an attempt to illustrate how with repetitive type projects, automation of the calculations can be incrementally implemented as move from one project to the next.

Example: Portable Building

My first calculations in 1988, before we formalised a business. The calculations are handwritten, involve calculation of section properties of some non-standard RHS tubes a builder had got hold off, and calculations of a series of beams forming the subframe or chassis for transportable buildings, typically used for construction site offices.

download: PortableBuildingV1R1

Example: Agricultural Building

First demonstration of the feasibility of using spreadsheets for engineering calculations, 1989. Calculations concern relocation of a steel framed building to a new site. The frame comprised of a roof truss fabricated from circular hollow sections (CHS). The columns also fabricated from two CHS posts with CHS webbing. Sketches and extra information hand written on the sheets after printing.

download:  AgriculturalBuildingV1R1

Example 103: Portal Frame Shed 9m Span, TC2

First standard design for cold-formed steel shed, year 1996, 9m span, and wind terrain category 2. The frame analysis for the moment frame (rigid frame or portal frame) is carried out using our own in-house plane frame analysis program. The cold-formed steel sections are checked to the old permissible stress code AS1538 (replaced by AS4600). The cold-formed steel spreadsheet calculations being carried out using Quattro Pro for MS DOS: my father setup the calculations as a simple calculator with minimal report formatting. Other spreadsheet calculations were done using Quattro Pro for Windows.

There are handwritten calculations, and there is use of templates. The templates were formed by photocopying my father’s handwritten calculations and using liquid paper to remove the numbers, to create a master. Other templates were created in AutoCAD and then printed out with handwritten calculations added.

The calculations basically follow generic designs a variety of manufacturers originally had done in 1985, and needed updating from the AS1170.2:1983 to AS1170.2:1989. Very little was changed with respect to the approach taken by others in 1985: though changed the reasoning for the low internal pressures, and checked combined bending stresses for all members.

Today would only consider the calculations to be feasibility calculations, as they lack detailed assessment of the connections, especially with respect to the local effects such as: column flange bending, column web compression buckling and column web shear buckling at the knee connection.

download:  Rpt103V1R1

Example 104: Portal Frame Shed 7.6m Span, TC2

Standard cold-formed steel shed design, 7.6m span, for wind terrain category 2. Similar to example 103, with some minor changes to the AutoCAD calculation templates.

download:  Rpt104V1R1

Example 105: Portal Frame Shed 12m Span, TC3

Standard cold-formed steel shed design, 12m span, for wind terrain category 3. Similar to example 103.

download:  Rpt105V1R1

Example 116: Portal Frame Shed with Verandahs, located in Darwin

Similar to example 103, however all spreadsheet calculations moved to Quattro Pro for Windows (QPW). Additional spreadsheet calculations produced to replace the handwritten templates. A two step process of printing Acad sketches and then printing spreadsheet calculations over the top was adopted. In moving the cold-formed steel calculations to QPW I rearranged so that I could better follow my father’s calculations, I then modified to check combined tension and bending stresses.

The report being a step closer to all calculations being generated by computer.  (November 1996)

download:  Rpt116V1R1

Example 119: Portal Frame Shed 12m Span, TC2

Standard cold-formed steel shed design, 12m span, for wind terrain category 2. Similar to example 103.

download:  Rpt119V1R1

Example 881: Steel Framed Canopy, with Cranked Columns

A canopy, or verandah, with columns cranked under the eaves of the house. An early attempt at creating digital documents (year 2001). Spreadsheet calculations moved to MS Excel, and frame analysis conducted using MicroStran.

download:  c881ReportR1

Example 900: Steel Framed Shed, 15m Span

A hot rolled steel framed shed, design to steel structures code AS4100, using MicroStran for frame analysis and member design checks. Roof is less than 10 degrees, to roof wind loads are distributed across the roof.

download:  C900ReportR1

Example 985: L-Shaped Canopy

A steel framed canopy/verandah with an L-Shaped plan. The columns are cranked to fit under the eaves of a house and be hard against the wall. Cold-formed steel design to AS4600, using MS Excel spreadsheets I created. Microstran used for frame analysis. Acrobat was used to annotate a 3D stick model, to produce a sketch showing proposed structure and member sizes.

download:  c985-ReportR1

Example 1004: Steel Framed Carport with Curved Roof

A steel framed canopy/carport with curved roof. Spreadsheet calculations and MicroStran analysis.

download:  Example1004ReportR1

Example 1005: Steel Framed Transport Canopy

A hot rolled steel framed canopy with a monoslope roof, with a 10m span. Spreadsheet calculations and MicroStran analysis.

download:  C1005Rpt1R1

Example 1158: Warehouse Extension

A hot rolled steel framed shed extension to match existing.

Unfortunately at the time of scanning (a few years) some of the pages got messed up, and I had other things to do. Since then we have moved and so far I have not been able to find the original report. So there are some pages missing.

download:  Rpt1158V1R1

Example 1375: Portal Frame Shed

Custom cold-formed steel shed design, 9.76 m span, for wind terrain category 2.5. Includes detail assessment of bolted end plate moment connection. Procedure for assessment of connection is similar to that for hot rolled steel, but adapted where possible to use AS4600. Makes use of standard detail drawings.

download: Rpt1375V1R1

Example 1377: Portal Frame Shed, Span 15m, Boxed C-Sections

Standard design for cold-formed steel portal frame shed, 15m span. The main frame uses boxed c-sections. It comprises of hand written calculations for the detailed assessment of the knee connection.

download:  Rpt1377V1R1


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  1. [08/04/2017] : Original