CrossSection Characteristics
Theoretical Background – CrossSection Characteristics
ii
All information in this document is subject to modification without prior notice. No part or this manual
may be reproduced, stored in a database or retrieval system or published, in any form or in any way,
electronically, mechanically, by print, photo print, microfilm or any other means without prior written
permission from the publisher. Scia is not responsible for any direct or indirect damage because of
imperfections in the documentation and/or the software.
© Copyright 2012 Nemetschek Scia All rights reserved.
Table of contents
iii
Table of contents
Table of contents .............................................................................................................................. iii
Version Information................................................................................................................................. 1
Introduction .............................................................................................................................................. 2
Overview of Crosssection Characteristics .......................................................................................... 3
Axis Systems ..................................................................................................................................... 3
CrossSection Characteristics ......................................................................................................... 4
Determination of Section Characteristics ............................................................................................. 5
Standardized Crosssection properties .......................................................................................... 5
Overall Procedure ............................................................................................................................. 6
Calculation of Standardized Crosssection properties Part I ....................................................... 7
Basic characteristics ...................................................................................................................... 7
Circumference and Drying surface............................................................................................... 11
Shear Area and Unit Shear Stress ............................................................................................... 12
Radii of Gyration .......................................................................................................................... 13
Elastic Section Moduli .................................................................................................................. 14
Plastic Moments and Section Moduli ........................................................................................... 15
MonoSymmetry Constants .......................................................................................................... 18
Simplified Torsional Constant ...................................................................................................... 18
Calculation of Standardized Crosssection properties Part II .................................................... 19
Introduction ................................................................................................................................... 19
1D FE Method for ThinWalled Sections ...................................................................................... 20
2D FE Method for ThickWalled Sections .................................................................................... 23
Application of ClosedForm Formulae .......................................................................................... 27
DoublySymmetric Isection ......................................................................................................... 27
Asymmetric Isection .................................................................................................................... 27
Full Circular section ...................................................................................................................... 28
Full Rectangular Section .............................................................................................................. 29
Polygon with hole ......................................................................................................................... 29
Rectangular Hollow Section ......................................................................................................... 30
Asymmetric Rectangular Hollow Section ..................................................................................... 30
Circular Hollow Section ................................................................................................................ 32
Corrugated Web SIN1 .................................................................................................................. 33
Corrugated Web SIN2 .................................................................................................................. 34
Profile Library Properties ............................................................................................................... 35
References ............................................................................................................................................. 36
Theoretical Background – CrossSection Characteristics
1
Version Information
Welcome to the Theoretical Background for CrossSection Characteristics.
This document provides background information regarding the calculation of Crosssection properties
according to different methods.
Version info
Document Title Theoretical Background – CrossSection Characteristics
Release 2013.0
Revision 12/2012
Theoretical Background – CrossSection Characteristics
2
Introduction
In this Theoretical Background in depth information is given regarding the calculation of crosssection
properties.
The first chapter gives an overview of the different axis systems as well as a list of all crosssection
properties calculated by Scia Engineer.
The second chapter details the actual methods for determining crosssection properties. After
introducing the standardization of crosssection properties the overall procedure followed by Scia
Engineer is explained.
The chapter then explains the different numerical methods, both using 1D Finite Elements and 2D
Finite Elements, for calculating section characteristics.
The chapter concludes with a listing of all closedform formulae used for standard section shapes.
Theoretical Background – CrossSection Characteristics
3
Overview of Crosssection Characteristics
In this chapter the different Axis systems used within Scia Engineer are outlined.
The second part of this chapter gives an overview of the properties related to these Axis systems.
Axis Systems
Within Scia Engineer the Crosssection Characteristics are referenced to three distinct Axis systems.
a) The UCS or 'Input' Axis system is defined using an arbitrary origin and uses a horizontal Yaxis
and a vertical Zaxis. This system serves as a reference from which the center of gravity is calculated.
b) The LCS Axis system has its origin in the center of gravity and YLCS and ZLCS axis parallel to the
axis of the UCS system. This system serves as a reference from which the rotation of the principal axis
is calculated.
c) The Principal Axis system has its origin in the center of gravity and principal y and zaxis rotated
according to the angle of rotation between the principal and LCS systems.
The following picture illustrates these different Axis Systems:
In case the rotation angle of the Principal Axis system is zero, this system is equal to the LCS Axis
system. In this case, only the Principal Axis system is displayed.
Theoretical Background – CrossSection Characteristics
4
CrossSection Characteristics
The following table provides an overview of all Crosssection Characteristics calculated by Scia
Engineer:
Property Description
A Area
Ay Shear Area in principal ydirection
Az Shear Area in principal zdirection
AL Circumference per unit length
AD Drying Surface per unit length
cYUCS Centroid coordinate in Ydirection of Input axis system
cZUCS Centroid coordinate in Zdirection of Input axis system
IYLCS Second moment of area about the YLCS axis
IZLCS Second moment of area about the ZLCS axis
IYZLCS Product moment of area in the LCS system
α Rotation Angle of the principal axis system
Iy Second moment of area about the principal yaxis
Iz Second moment of area about the principal zaxis
iy Radius of gyration about the principal yaxis
iz Radius of gyration about the principal zaxis
Wely Elastic section modulus about the principal yaxis
Welz Elastic section modulus about the principal zaxis
Wply Plastic section modulus about the principal yaxis
Wplz Plastic section modulus about the principal zaxis
Mply+ Plastic moment about the principal yaxis for a positive My moment
Mply Plastic moment about the principal yaxis for a negative My moment
Mplz+ Plastic moment about the principal zaxis for a positive Mz moment
Mplz Plastic moment about the principal zaxis for a negative Mz moment
dy Shear center coordinate in principal yaxis measured from the centroid
dz Shear center coordinate in principal zaxis measured from the centroid
It Torsional constant
Iw Warping constant
βy Monosymmetry constant about the principal yaxis
βz Monosymmetry constant about the principal zaxis
In addition to these properties in each fibre of the crosssection for following unit stress values are
calculated:
Fibre stress Description
Shear y Shear stress in principal ydirection caused by a unit shear force Vy
Shear z Shear stress in principal zdirection caused by a unit shear force Vz
Torsion Primary Torsion stress caused by a unit torsion moment Mx
In the following chapters the calculation of these different characteristics is detailed.
Theoretical Background – CrossSection Characteristics
5
Determination of Section Characteristics
The first part of this chapter details the general procedure for calculating standardized crosssection
properties as well as the procedure used in Scia Engineer.
Subsequent subchapters deal with the actual calculation of properties, as well as the applied closed
form formulae.
Standardized Crosssection properties
In general the calculation of crosssection properties is divided into 2 parts as shown on the following
diagram:
For a detailed background into the calculation of properties according to the above diagram reference
is made to Ref.[1]. Applied to Scia Engineer this gives the following differentiation:
As indicated on the above diagram, each part is extended with multiple 'derived' properties i.e.
properties which are determined using the base properties calculated in that part.
Crosssection property calculation
Standardized Crosssection properties Part I: Biaxial bending and axial force
Standardized Crosssection properties Part II: Torsion
A, cYUCS, cZUCS, IYLCS, IZLCS, IYZLCS, α, Iy, Iz
Extended with:
 Ay, Az, AL, AD, iy, iz, Wely, Welz
 Wply, Wplz, Mply+, Mply, Mplz+, Mplz
 Unit stress Shear y, Unit stress Shear z
 Initial values for βy, βz
 General solid It
dy, dz, It, Iw, Unit warping ω
Extended with:
 Unit Torsion stress
 Final values for βy, βz
Crosssection property calculation
Standardized Crosssection properties Part I: Biaxial bending and axial force
Standardized Crosssection properties Part II: Torsion
 Area
 Center of Gravity
 Angle of the principal axis system
 Principal moments of Inertia
 Shear Center
 Torsion Constant
 Warping Constant
 Standardized Warping Ordinate
Theoretical Background – CrossSection Characteristics
6
Overall Procedure
The previous paragraph showed the general principle of calculating crosssection properties using two
distinct parts. In addition to these parts, Scia Engineer also takes into account specific overrulings of
properties, for example in case the 2D FE Method is used, or in case a crosssection is taken from the
Profile Library etc.
The following diagram shows the complete calculation procedure as used in Scia Engineer.
By default, for Thickwalled sections the 2D FE Method is activated for Torsional analysis, however
this can be deactivated by the user leading to the Simplified Torsion analysis.
In the subsequent paragraphs of this chapter each item of the above diagram is described in detail.
Theoretical Background – CrossSection Characteristics
7
Calculation of Standardized Crosssection properties Part I
The first part of the standardised crosssection properties concerns those related to bending and axial
force.
Basic characteristics
The basic crosssection characteristics are calculated using the standard formulas from solid
mechanics. For detailed information, reference is made to Ref.[3] and Ref.[4].
The crosssection is discretized into n elemental areas dA.
First, using the arbitrary origin of the UCS or 'Input' Axis system the following properties are
calculated using a horizontal Yaxis and a vertical Zaxis:
Area:
First Moment of Area:
Theoretical Background – CrossSection Characteristics
8
Using these magnitudes the coordinates of the centroid are determined:
Centroid:
The centroid defines the origin of the LCS Axis system with YLCS and ZLCS axis parallel to the axis
of the UCS system. According to these axis the second moments of area can be determined:
Second Moment of Area:
Product Moment of Area:
Finally, using these magnitudes the Principal Axis system and corresponding characteristics can be
determined:
Second Moment of Area:
Theoretical Background – CrossSection Characteristics
9
Angle of Rotation: in case
in case
and
otherwise
The above determination of the angle of rotation accounts for minor numerical discrepancies. For
background information, reference is made to Ref.[1].
In addition, in case the angle of rotation is calculated according to the above formula and exceeds
a tolerance of 3°, the angle is increased by
in case Iz > Iy.
Extension: MultiMaterial (Composite) sections
In case of multimaterial crosssections the basic characteristics are determined using the principles
given in this paragraph. For background information see Ref.[5]
Centroid
First the area A
i
and centroid position of each crosssection part/polygon i are calculated.
To determine the location of the centroid (Neutral Axis 'NA') of the whole crosssection the following
general equation is used:
Where n represents the number of polygons and E
i
the Emodulus of the material of the respective
polygon.
Theoretical Background – CrossSection Characteristics
10
The distances z
1
, z
2
, … z
n
are the distances from the NA to the centroid of each polygon (measured
in the UCS Axis system). These distances can be written in function of the centroid distance
cZUCS so the above equation can be solved this centroid distance.
The above equation illustrates the principle used for cZUCS, in the same way the equation can be
written out for cYUCS.
Area
The Area of the multimaterial section is calculated using the following general formula:
Where n represents the number of polygons, E
i
the Emodulus of the material of the respective
polygon and A
i
the area of the respective polygon.
As indicated by the equation, each polygon of the multimaterial crosssection is in fact referenced to
the material of the 'first' polygon.
Within Scia Engineer this literally means the 'first' inputted polygon. So the material of this 'first'
inputted polygon serves as reference material for the multimaterial crosssection. This 'first'
material is shown with a cyan background color for easy reference.
Second Moment of Area
The Second Moment of Area of the multimaterial section is calculated using the following general
formula:
Where n represents the number of polygons, E
i
the Emodulus of the material of the respective
polygon and A
i
the area of the respective polygon.
As indicated by the equation, each polygon of the multimaterial crosssection is in fact referenced to
the material of the 'first' polygon.
The above equation is used to determine IYLCS, IZLCS and IYZLCS.
Theoretical Background – CrossSection Characteristics
11
Circumference and Drying surface
The Circumference per unit length or 'Exterior Surface' AL is calculated as the outer circumference of
the crosssection. This calculation accounts for the fact that parts are connected/touching.
For those parts which are not connected the circumference AL is calculated as the summation of the
outer circumference of the different unconnected parts:
The drying surface per unit length AD is calculated as the outer circumference AL increased by the
circumference of any openings within the crosssection. In case there are no openings AD will thus be
equal to AL.
An 'opening' in this case concerns any closed in empty area within the crosssection. This calculation
method thus accounts for 'constructed' openings for example when creating an RHS from four separate
rectangles.
Theoretical Background – CrossSection Characteristics
12
Shear Area and Unit Shear Stress
The Shear Area Ay and Az in principal directions are determined as follows:
With: b(z) The width of the crosssection at position z from the principal yaxis
b(y) The width of the crosssection at position y from the principal zaxis
S
y
(z) The First moment or Area of the 'cutoff' area A', determined
according to the principal yaxis
S
z
(y) The First moment or Area of the 'cutoff' area A', determined
according to the principal zaxis
Iy Second moment of area about the principal yaxis
Iz Second moment of area about the principal zaxis
On the following picture the 'cutoff' area A' is illustrated for the Shear Area Az.
Theoretical Background – CrossSection Characteristics
13
The Unit Shear stresses in the fibres are calculated as follows:
Unit stress Shear y in fibre i:
Unit stress Shear z in fibre i:
With Vy and Vz taken as unity and y
i
and z
i
the coordinates of fibre i in the principal axis system.
In case the width b at a given fibre position is zero the Unit Shear stress is taken as zero for that
fibre.
For multimaterial (Composite) sections reference is made to the 2D FE Method.
Radii of Gyration
The Radii of Gyration iy and iz about the principal axis are determined as follows:
Theoretical Background – CrossSection Characteristics
14
Elastic Section Moduli
The Elastic Section Moduli Wely and Welz about the principal axis are determined as follows:
The distances z and y according to the principal axis are determined for each fibre of the crosssection.
In essence each fibre thus has a different Elastic Section Modulus. The Moduli shown in the cross
section properties are the minimal values taken over all fibres. These minimal values are thus obtained
by using the maximal fibre distances as shown in the above formulas.
The following picture illustrates the maximal distances for an arbitrary crosssection:
During stress calculations in the fibres (for example in the Steel checks), the stresses are
calculated in each fibre separately. These stress calculations thus use the actual Elastic Section
Moduli in each fibre and not the minima over the entire crosssection.
Theoretical Background – CrossSection Characteristics
15
Plastic Moments and Section Moduli
Basic principle
In this paragraph the basic principle of the plastic property calculation is explained.
The principle is illustrated for a general crosssection made out of one material which has equal
characteristics in both tension and compression (like for example Steel).
As shown on the following picture, this crosssection is loaded by a bending moment M which causes
part of the crosssection to be in compression (C) and part of the crosssection to be in tension (T).
All the fibres in this crosssection have yielded as shown by the stress blocks.
The Plastic Neutral Axis (PNA) is defined by the axis located between the fibres yielding in
compression and those yielding in tension. This axis is off course parallel to the principal axis about
which the moment was applied.
For a single material crosssection with homogeneous material characteristics the PNA is easily
determined as the axis which splits the cross section into two equal areas: the area A
C
in compression
and A
T
in tension.
The Plastic Section Modulus Wpl is calculated as the sum of the First Moments of Area of the part in
tension (S
T
) and the part in compression (S
C
):
With: A
C
and A
T
The areas of the section in compression and tension respectively for a bending
moment about the given principal axis.
d
C
and d
T
The distances from the centroid of the areas of the section in compression and
tension respectively to the Plastic Neutral Axis, measured perpendicular to the
given principal axis.
Using the material strength f of the homogeneous material the Plastic Moment Mpl is calculated as
follows:
Theoretical Background – CrossSection Characteristics
16
General formulation
The basic principle explained in the previous paragraph holds true for a homogeneous unistrength
material. In general however there are several complexities which need to be accounted for:
 The material of the crosssection can have different characteristics in compression and in tension.
 The crosssection can be composed out of multiple materials.
 The material characteristics depend on the sign of the moment.
Consider the following composite section as an example:
For a positive My bending moment about the principal axis, the concrete will be in compression while
the steel will be in tension.
In case of a negative My bending moment about the principal axis, the concrete will be in tension while
the steel will be in compression.
Depending on the position of the Plastic Neutral Axis one of the materials can even be partially in
compression and partially in tension.
The calculation of the Plastic Moment is therefore split according to axis and according to sign which
leads to Mply+, Mply, Mplz+ and Mplz. For each of these plastic magnitudes a separate calculation
is done.
The determination of the Plastic Neutral Axis needs to take into account the material characteristic of
each part. In general the following equation is solved which specifies an equilibrium of tensile and
compressive forces:
With: n The number of crosssection parts
A
C,i
The area in compression of part i
f
C,i
The compressive strength of part i
A
T,i
The area in tension of part i
f
T,i
The tensile strength of part i
Theoretical Background – CrossSection Characteristics
17
With the position of the PNA known, the Plastic Moment can be determined as follows:
In which d
i
signifies the distance from the centroid of the area of part i of the section to the plastic
neutral axis, measured perpendicular to the given principal axis.
The above Plastic Moment calculation assumes a 'full bond' between the different materials. The
actual Composite checks take into account the effects of partial bond and recalculate the Plastic
Moments accordingly.
Since for each part the material strength can be different there is no more straightforward way to obtain
the Plastic Section Modulus Wpl. Within Scia Engineer, this value is referenced to the material of the
'first' inputted polygon, see also the paragraph on MultiMaterial sections.
In addition, since there is both a positive and a negative Plastic Moment for the given axis, the final
Plastic Section Modulus is determined using the minimum of both.
With f
1
the material strength of the 'first' polygon. This can either be the compressive or tensile strength
of this material depending on which stress dominates in this part.
These values for the Plastic Section Moduli are merely used for display in the CrossSection
Manager. The actual Composite checks directly use the Plastic Moments which are thus not
referenced to the 'first' material but take into account all material characteristics.
Material Characteristics
As indicated in the above paragraphs the plastic calculation requires the compressive and tensile
strength of the respective material. These values are defined as follows for materials with code
dependent data:
Material Compressive strength f
C
Tensile strength f
T
Steel fy fy
Aluminium fy fy
Concrete fck Taken as zero
Masonry fck Taken as zero
Timber fc,0,k ft,0,k
Other 240 N/mm^2 240 N/mm^2
Any material which does not have code dependent data is taken as 'Other'.
Theoretical Background – CrossSection Characteristics
18
MonoSymmetry Constants
The MonoSymmetry Constants βy and βz about the principal axis are determined as follows:
With: Iy Second moment of area about the principal yaxis
Iz Second moment of area about the principal zaxis
y & z Coordinates in the principal axis system
y
0
Distance between centroid and shear centre, taken as dy
z
0
Distance between centroid and shear centre, taken as dz
When these parameters are initially calculated the shear centre coordinates dy and dz are not yet
determined. The MonoSymmetry Constants βy and βz are thus initially calculated taking dy and dz
equal to zero. After the analysis of Part II the actual shear centre coordinates dy and dz are
determined after which the MonoSymmetry Constants βy and βz are modified accordingly.
For more background information regarding these parameters reference is made to Ref.[2]
Simplified Torsional Constant
To finalize the calculation of Part I of the Standardised Crosssection properties the Torsional constant
It is calculated using the following simplified formula for a general solid Crosssection:
with
In normal cases this It value will be overwritten by the exact It calculation done in Part II. In case
however the Part II calculation is not done the above calculation ensures there is at least an
approximate value for It. This approach avoids numerical instabilities during the analysis.
Theoretical Background – CrossSection Characteristics
19
Calculation of Standardized Crosssection properties Part II
The second part of the standardised crosssection properties concerns those related to torsion.
Introduction
For calculating properties related to torsion the general theory makes a distinction between the
following types of crosssections, see Ref.[1]:
a) Thinwalled, open crosssections
b) Thinwalled, closed crosssections
c) Arbitrary, thickwalled crosssections
A crosssection is defined as thinwalled if, through a reduction to the profile centreline and the
application of simplified theories, sufficiently exact calculation results are obtained. Ref.[1].
Within SciaEngineer a thinwalled section is thus a section for which a centreline is available. To
simplify the identification, the Shape Type (thinwalled or thickwalled) is shown in the properties of
each crosssection.
In literature, for thinwalled, open sections analytical solutions are widely available. For thin
walled, closed (hollow) sections with a single opening analytical solutions are also available
Ref.[6] however in case of multiple openings a statically indeterminate problem emerges which
requires a large effort to solve analytically.
Therefore, within Scia Engineer, a numerical 1D Finite Element Method is used to calculate the
torsional properties of any thinwalled section. The main advantages of this method are that it
applies to both open and closed sections and can be used for closed sections with any amount of
openings.
In literature, for thickwalled sections analytical solutions only exist for a few basic shapes such as
rectangles, triangles and ellipses. Within Scia Engineer, for thickwalled sections a numerical 2D
Finite Element Method is used to provide an exact solution for any shape.
In addition, the 2D Finite Element Method can even be applied optionally to thinwalled sections.
Theoretical Background – CrossSection Characteristics
20
The following table summarizes this approach:
Shape Type Method for Torsional Analysis
Thinwalled open section 1D FEM (Optionally 2D FEM)
Thinwalled closed section 1D FEM (Optionally 2D FEM)
Thickwalled section 2D FEM
The following chapters give an overview of both the 1D and 2D Finite Element Methods.
1D FE Method for ThinWalled Sections
For thinwalled sections (open or closed or a combination of both) a general OneDimensional Finite
Element approach is applied. For a detailed background regarding this method including calculation
examples reference is made to Ref.[1].
Based on the centerline the crosssection is discretised into nodes and elements as schematised on
the following picture:
Each element is defined with a begin node a, an end node b and a constant thickness t.
Theoretical Background – CrossSection Characteristics
21
The Finite Element analysis is carried out using the following steps:
Step 1: Calculation of the warping ordinate
Equation system (boundary condition:
):
Element matrices:
,
with:
for D = S
Step 2: Position of the shear centre and standardisation of the warping ordinate:
,
Step 3: Calculation of the crosssection properties Iw and It
Theoretical Background – CrossSection Characteristics
22
Step 4: Calculation of shear deformations due to shear forces and secondary torsion:
Equation system (boundary condition: u
i
):
Element load vector:
with:
Step 5: Calculation of shear stresses:
Shear stresses due to primary torsion:
linearly via t with:
constantly via t:
Shear stresses due to shear forces and secondary torsion:
The above procedure is given here for informative reasons. For a full description of all abbreviations
used in this procedure as well as background information and worked out examples, reference is made
to Ref.[1].
The main advantage of this method is that it can be used for both open and closed thinwalled sections
or combinations of both (sections with openings and outstands). The method is however only valid for
sections with a continuous centerline i.e. where all parts are connected by one continuous line.
In case of multiple unconnected parts (like a pair section composed out of two thinwalled sections
which do not touch each other) the 1D FE Method cannot be applied since there is no continuous
centerline. In such cases the 2D FE Method should be applied.
Theoretical Background – CrossSection Characteristics
23
2D FE Method for ThickWalled Sections
For arbitrary thickwalled sections a general TwoDimensional Finite Element approach is applied.
This is the method used automatically in case of multimaterial (composite) sections.
Beside thickwalled sections this method can also be applied to thinwalled sections.
As the name indicates, the 2D FE Method discretises the crosssection using twodimensional
elements.
The analysis is split into two separate parts: a Torsion Analysis and a Shear Analysis.
The following paragraphs give more information regarding the determination of the default mesh size
and both analysis types.
Default Mesh Size
In case no mesh size is inputted the default mesh size is determined as follows:
1. The crosssection is divided into approximately 250 elements:
With A the area of the crosssection
2. In case the area of the circumscribed rectangle around the crosssection exceeds 10 times the
area A the mesh size of the previous step is halved:
This correction accounts for thinwalled sections.
3. The mesh size of the previous step is then rounded using a .5 accuracy. This is the mesh size
used for the Torsion Analysis.
4. For the Shear Analysis the mesh of the previous step is further refined as follows:
This final step is applied always, also in case a manual input of the mesh size is made.
Theoretical Background – CrossSection Characteristics
24
As with any Finite Element approach, to obtain accurate results the mesh needs to be sufficiently
refined.
Torsion Analysis: Prandtl
The Torsion Analysis determines the Torsional constant It, the Warping Constant Iw and the unit
torsion stresses.
The analysis is executed according to the Prandtl theory. Within this paragraph the basic principles of
the theory are explained.
The Prandtl theory (often referred to as the Membrane or SoapFilm Analogy) is based on the similarity
of the torsion stress function equation and the equilibrium equation of a membrane subjected to lateral
pressure.
 Consider an opening in an xy plane which has the same shape as the crosssection to be
investigated.
 Cover the opening with a homogeneous membrane.
 The pressure against the membrane causes the membrane to bulge out of plane.
 The lateral displacement z(x,y) of the membrane and the Prandtl torsion stress function φ(x,y)
satisfy the same equation in (x,y)
Prandtl Torsion function:
Elastic Membrane function:
Where z denotes the lateral displacement due to a pressure p and an initial tension S.
Theoretical Background – CrossSection Characteristics
25
The theory concludes with the following:
 Stress components are proportional to the derivatives of the membrane displacement.
 Stresses are proportional to the slope of the membrane.
 The twisting moment is proportional to the volume enclosed by the membrane and xy plane
Further elaboration and background information regarding the Prandtl theory and 2D FEM analysis
can be found in Ref.[1],[7],[8],[9].
Shear Analysis: GrashofJouravski
The Shear Analysis determines the Shear areas Ay & Az and the unit Shear stresses.
The analysis is executed according to the GrashofJouravski theory. For background information
reference is made to Ref.[10].
The following paragraphs describe the theory for the shear Area Az. The same logic can be written out
for Ay.
The theory is generally valid in case the following requirements are met:
 The crosssection symmetrical about the zaxis
 The crosssection is massive, without large holes
 Overall the obtained results are better in case the height is bigger than the width
The Shear stresses lead off from the crosssection into one point K.
The area
z
z
A
A

= takes on the shear force Q
z
.
yT
zT
T
b
z
y
Qz
K
omax
o
txz
txz t
txy txy
t
Theoretical Background – CrossSection Characteristics
26
The value β
z
is calculated from the shear stresses in one of the following ways:
1) Only from the vertical components
(without influence of
)
2
2 2
( )
4 ( )
T
T
y
z
y
A
S z
A
dA
I b z
 =
((
((
]]
2) From both components
and
( )
2
2
2 2
( )
1 tan ( , )
4 ( )
T
T
y
z
y
A
S z
A
z y dA
I b z
 o = +
((
((
]]
In case the crosssection does not meet the requirements of the GrashofJouravski theory, the βz
values calculated with the influence of
are absolutely incorrect and often unreal. They should
not be used in this case.
Depending on the rate of unrealized conditions, the βz values which were calculated only from the
vertical
component (without influence of
) are real and can be used in this case.
The user should in all cases evaluate if the values determined by the theory are acceptable or not.
In case of multimaterial (heterogeneous) crosssections the calculated shear areas Ay and Az can be
used under the following conditions:
 The heterogeneities are symmetrical.
 The heterogeneities do not disturb the GrashofJouravski stress theory.
 The heterogeneity is diffused.
 A local heterogeneity consists of less than 10% of the crosssection area.
Openings
As specified, the above theory for shear areas is not valid in case of large openings like for example
openings which divide a crosssection into different unconnected parts. A typical example are web
openings in steel members.
Specifically for such a case a modified procedure is applied:
In case:
 The crosssection consists of multiple unconnected parts i
 The rotation angle α of the crosssection is 0°
Then the Shear Analysis of the 2D FE Method is used separately for each part i and the shear area
Av,i of each part is stored. The final shear area Av of the crosssection is then calculated as the sum
of the shear areas of the different parts:
Theoretical Background – CrossSection Characteristics
27
Application of ClosedForm Formulae
For many standard crosssection shapes (Isections, RHS sections, CHS sections …) closedform
formulae exist for the crosssection properties.
After the calculation of properties, depending on the shape specific properties are overruled by fixed
formulae as indicated in the following paragraphs.
DoublySymmetric Isection
For DoublySymmetric Isections (Formcode 1) the Torsional constant I
t
is overruled as
follows:
This formula was taken from Ref.[11]
In addition the unit torsion stress per fiber is overruled as follows:
Torsion_stress = Torsion_stress * (I
t,old
/ I
t,new
)
With: I
t,old
The original I
t
value
I
t,new
The new I
t
value calculated by the above formula
These modifications are only done in case the rounding r≠0 i.e. when it concerns a true rolled section
shape.
Asymmetric Isection
For Asymmetric Isections (Formcode 101) the Warping constant I
w
is overruled as follows:
This formula was taken from Ref.[12]
Theoretical Background – CrossSection Characteristics
28
Full Circular section
For a Full circular section (Formcode 11 or geometric 'Circle') with diameter D the Area A is
overruled as:
The Second Moments of Area I
y
and I
z
are overruled as:
The Elastic Section moduli W
ely
and W
elz
are overruled as:
The Plastic Section moduli W
ply
and W
plz
are overruled as:
The Torsional constant I
t
is overruled as:
The Shear areas A
y
and A
z
are overruled as:
These formulas were taken from Ref.[4].
Theoretical Background – CrossSection Characteristics
29
Full Rectangular Section
For a Full Rectangular section (Formcode 7 or geometric 'Rectangle' or 'RECT') with width b
and height h the Torsional constant I
t
is overruled as follows:
with
This formula was taken from Ref.[1]
The Shear areas A
y
and A
z
are overruled as:
This formula was taken from Ref.[4].
Polygon with hole
For a polygon with hole (geometric 'Polygon with hole') the Torsional constant I
t
is overruled
using the second formula of Bredt:
With A' the closed in area, taken as:
With S the circumference of the closed in area, taken as:
With r the radius of the polygon, n the number of corners and t the thickness.
The Shear areas A
y
and A
z
are overruled as:
Theoretical Background – CrossSection Characteristics
30
Rectangular Hollow Section
For a symmetrical RHS (Formcode 2) the Torsional constant I
t
is overruled using the second
formula of Bredt:
With A' the closed in area, taken as:
A' = (H  t) * (B  t)
With S the circumference of the closed in area, taken as:
S = 2 * [(H  t) + (B  t)]
Where B is the width of the crosssection, H the height and t the thickness.
The Warping constant I
w
is overruled as follows:
The Shear areas A
y
and A
z
are overruled as:
Ay = A * [ B / (B + H)]
Az = A * [H / (B + H)]
Asymmetric Rectangular Hollow Section
For an asymmetrical RHS (geometric 'O' or geometric 'O asymmetric') the Torsional constant I
t
is overruled using the second formula of Bredt:
With A' the closed in area, taken as:
A' = Hc * Bc
With S the circumference of the closed in area, taken as:
= 2 * (Hc/tha) + (Bc/thb1) + (Bc/thb2)
With Hc and Bc the centerline dimensions:
Hc = H  (thb1 / 2)  (thb2 / 2)
Bc = B  tha
Theoretical Background – CrossSection Characteristics
31
Where B is the width of the crosssection, H the height, tha the web thickness and thb1 & thb2 the
flange thicknesses.
Torsional stresses are calculated using an average thickness.
The Shear areas A
y
and A
z
are overruled as:
Ay = A * [B / (B + H)]
Az = A * [H / (B + H)]
Theoretical Background – CrossSection Characteristics
32
Circular Hollow Section
For a CHS (Formcode 3 or geometric 'Tube') the Area A is overruled as:
The Moments of inertia I
y
and I
z
are overruled as:
The Section moduli W
ely
and W
elz
are overruled as:
The Plastic section moduli W
ply
and W
plz
are overruled as:
The Torsional constant I
t
is overruled using the second formula of Bredt:
With A' the closed in area, taken as:
With S the circumference of the closed in area, taken as:
With Dc the centerline dimension, taken as:
Dc = D  t
With Di the inner diameter taken as:
Di = D  (2 * t)
Where D is the diameter of the crosssection and t the thickness.
The Shear areas A
y
and A
z
are overruled as:
Theoretical Background – CrossSection Characteristics
33
Corrugated Web SIN1
For a corrugated web section SIN1 the Area A is overruled as:
A = 2 * B * t
The inertia I
y
is overruled as:
In which the distance z
1
is determined as follows:
z1 = ( H  t ) / 2
The section modulus W
ely
is overruled as:
The plastic modulus W
ply
is calculated by multiplying this W
ely
value with the ratio of the original W
ely
and W
ply
of the (full) section
The shear area A
z
is calculated as:
In these formulas B indicates the width of the crosssection, H the height, Hw the height of the web, t
the flange thickness and s the web thickness. The parameters w and sw describe the geometry of the
corrugation.
These formulas were provided by the company Zeman, Austria.
Theoretical Background – CrossSection Characteristics
34
Corrugated Web SIN2
For a corrugated web section SIN2 the Area A is overruled as:
A = Bt * tt + Bb * tb
The inertia I
y
is overruled as:
In which the distances z
1
and z
2
are determined as follows:
z1= h  (tb / 2)
z2 = H  h  (tt / 2)
The distance h is determined as:
h = Sy / A
With the modulus S
y
calculated as:
The section modulus W
ely
is overruled as:
The plastic modulus W
ply
is calculated by multiplying this W
ely
value with the ratio of the original W
ely
and W
ply
of the (full) section
The shear area A
z
is calculated as:
In these formulas Bt and Bb indicate the width of the top and bottom flange, tt and tb the thicknesses
of the flanges, H the height of the crosssection, Hw the height of the web and s the web thickness.
The parameters w and sw describe the geometry of the corrugation.
These formulas were provided by the company Zeman, Austria.
Theoretical Background – CrossSection Characteristics
35
Profile Library Properties
For those crosssection defined in the Profile Library the properties defined in the Library are used to
overrule the calculated properties.
As can be seen on the Overall procedure diagram, the properties from the Profile Library are applied
after all properties have been calculated. The logic behind this is that the Profile Library might not
define all properties but only a few or even none at all.
In addition the overruling is done only in case the difference between the calculated property and the
property inputted in the Profile Library differs less than 10%.
This "10% rule" serves as a safety margin to avoid the application of incorrectly inputted properties in
the Profile Library.
Theoretical Background – CrossSection Characteristics
36
References
[1] Steel Structures: Design using FEM
Kindmann R., Kraus M.
Ernst & Sohn, 2011
[2] The Behaviour and Design of Steel Structures to EC3
Fourth edition
Trahair N.S., Bradford M.A., Nethercot D.A., Gardner L.
Taylor & Francis, 2008
[3] Moments of Area: Introductory Engineering Mechanics
Alexander N.A.
University of Bristol, 2004
[4] Formulas in Solid Mechanics
Dahlberg T.
Linköping University Sweden, 2003
[5] eCourse mechanics
Ch 6. Advanced Beams, Composite Beams
Gramoll K.
http://www.ecourses.ou.edu/
[6] Torsion and Shear Stresses in Ships
Shama M.
SpringerVerlag, 2010
[7] Handbook of engineering mechanics
First edition
W.Flügge
McGrawHill, 1962
[8] Berekening van constructies: bouwkunde en civiele techniek
Vandepitte D.
StoryScientia, 1979
www.berekeningvanconstructies.be
[9] Membrane Analogy for Torsion
Lagace P.A.
MIT, 2001
[10] GrasshofŽuravského teorie
FEM Consulting
Brno
Theoretical Background – CrossSection Characteristics
37
[11] Sections and Merchant Bars
Sales Programme
Arcelor Mittal, Edition 20111
[12] Torsional Section Properties of Steel Shapes
Canadian Institute of Steel Construction, 2002