Spreadsheet Bundle for Cold-formed Steel Structures Design




Design of cold-formed steel structures to AS4600.  Contains:

  1.  Materials library
  2. Technical library add-in
  3. Quick Calculator Workbook for member checks
  4. Bolt capacity tables
  5. Example of using spreadsheet iteration to calculate effective section modulus for cold-formed c-section.

The technical library contains functions to obtain effective section modulus directly so do not need the page of calculations illustrated in the iteration example. It is primarily for checking cold-formed C-sections and sections built up from c-sections (boxed, nested, back-to-back). The main quick calculator workbook covers:

  1. Sectional Moment Capacity
  2. Member Moment Capacity
  3. Tensile Capacity
  4. Compressive Capacity
  5. Shear Capacity

Setting Up

For information on setting up MS Excel environment refer to the following resources:

  1. SpreadsheetEnvironmentIssue1 (pdf file)
  2. Setting Up Spreadsheet Environment (online)

Using Technical Library: Integrating with own Spreadsheets

And illustration how can use the technical library to integrate cold-formed steel checks in a few lines of a spreadsheet created for design of something more specific (eg. wall mullion, industrial platform)

  1. Using Technical Library and Database for Cold-Formed Steel Design to AS4600

It is also to be noted that AS4600:1996 was similar to AISI:1996 (USA), since then they have been revised at different rates. However the main issue is calculation of effective section modulus based on effective width, this is best done in a VBA macro rather than messing around with circular references to force iteration of worksheet formula. This calculation is likely similar in all codes around the world, including British codes (UK) and EuroCodes.

My spreadsheets don’t cover the R-factor method, not the least of which is the Australian code made assumptions about Australian practice which are not valid: cold-formed shed industry bolts purlins and girts flange to flange with the frame, it does not use welded cleats and I’d hazard a guess they outnumber all other forms of shed.


If familiar with your local codes then it shouldn’t be too difficult to customise the VBA to match your local code, as most of the calculations are done in VBA not the worksheet. The worksheet is just for getting input parameters and displaying results. For assistance contact us.

Download: ColdformedSteelDesign.zip

Software by Others

For more complete checks I recommended CFS by RSG software and the tools for thin walled structures available from Ben Schafer’s website at John Hopkins University. We have no affiliation with either, they are just the tools we use when we move beyond c-sections. We also use Multiframe’s AS4600 steel design module: whilst section maker does use FEM to determine properties for any section: the AS4600 module is limited to selecting standard shapes. (eg. We approximate Fielders Dimond Sections as C-Sections.)