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Modelling in SACS
Last updated on: October 30, 2008

SACS is a popular structural analysis software, used commonly in the analysis and design of offshore structures. This section attempts a brief introduction to using SACS and highlighting key features and differences from other software for a first time user. This section is by no means comprehensive and first time users are strongly recommended to read the official SACS manual and get to know its features, capabilities and limitations before using it. Some of the key modelling features in SACS that may differ from other software suites: 1. All members are identified by joint to joint ID (e.g., 15001505 designates a member, where 1500 and 1505 are joint numbers or node numbers. There are no separate member IDs. 2. Grouping feature is a sort of label to the member. Grouping helps in identifying the size, type of member and location if labelling is used effectively (e.g., PL1 for pile 1, LG1 for leg 1, MD1 for Main deck members, etc). A GRUP ID is a must when defining any member like 15001505. A group label can have a maximum of 3 characters. 3. Individual members cannot be defined with material properties. Therefore, every member has to have a GRUP ID or else the system does not recognize the member. Material properties can be defined to each group under Properties > Member Group or Plate Group. Caution: All metric sizes are in cm, e.g., 66025 tube shall be defined as 662.5 (Note: Centimeter or cm is a default in SACS. This is to reduce the overall stiffness matrix size, and corresponding time in computation). 4. Wishbones are dummy elements that have a finite length and the member has appropriate end releases to simulate system integrity. (Tip: It is a good idea to generate wishbones via SACS wizard that takes care of element definitions and offsets.) 5. Member end releases: [0 -- Fixed, 1 -- Free]. For e.g., if 15001505 is a moment released member at the end, then the end release would be defined as 000011. 6. Joint fixities: [0 -- Free, 1 -- Fixed, 2 -- Retained]. For example, if 1500 is a


Modelling in SACS |

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fixed joint, it would be defined as 111111 (fixed in all six degrees of freedom: x y z rx ry rz). 7. Element properties Ky, Kz, Unbraced length, Effective length: It is necessary to provide additional element properties in addition to the modelled length between joint to joint for a better and more accurate representation of the member, its connectivity, its effective length, etc. 8. Springs are required to be defined on joints with some appropriate spring stiffness (e.g., 100kN/m) to simulate a certain amount of mathematical stability to the structure or finite element model when performing analyses such as Lifting. 9. Loading options: Various loading options are available in SACS that include area and skid loading. (Tip: Use area loading with caution: check and verify load distribution.)
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