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SCIA.

ESA PT

Users guide

SCIA.ESA PT

SCIA.ESA PT

GETTING STARTED

31

Disclaimer ................................................................................................................................31
Contact address ......................................................................................................................31
SCIA Group n.v. ................................................................................................................................... 31
SCIA W+B Software b.v....................................................................................................................... 31
SCIA CZ, s.r.o....................................................................................................................................... 31
SCIA CZ, s.r.o....................................................................................................................................... 31
Introduction..............................................................................................................................32
About program ................................................................................................................... 32
Program mission ................................................................................................................................... 32
Theoretical background......................................................................................................................... 32
Types of calculation .............................................................................................................................. 32
Code checks .......................................................................................................................................... 32
About documentation ......................................................................................................... 32
Purpose and contents............................................................................................................................. 32
Style ...................................................................................................................................................... 33
Installation................................................................................................................................33
Installation options ............................................................................................................. 33
Local installation .............................................................................................................................. 33
Starting the installation ......................................................................................................................... 33
Selection of target folder ....................................................................................................................... 33
Choice of installation type..................................................................................................................... 33
Maintaining and uninstalling the application ........................................................................................ 34
Update to a higher version .................................................................................................................... 34
Installation on a network server........................................................................................................ 34
Connection to the network installation ............................................................................................. 34
System requirements ......................................................................................................... 35
Hardware requirements ......................................................................................................................... 35
Software requirements .......................................................................................................................... 35
Login requirements ............................................................................................................................... 35
Demo version ..................................................................................................................... 36
Uninstalling program .......................................................................................................... 36
Running the program ..............................................................................................................36
Starting program ................................................................................................................ 36
Short-cut on desktop ............................................................................................................................. 36
Start menu ............................................................................................................................................. 36
Windows explorer or another file manager ........................................................................................... 36
Program files and folders ................................................................................................... 37
Folders .............................................................................................................................................. 37
Program folders..................................................................................................................................... 37
User folders ........................................................................................................................................... 37
Temporary folder .................................................................................................................................. 37
Project folder......................................................................................................................................... 37
Files .................................................................................................................................................. 37
Upgrade from other products ................................................................................................38
Upgrade from EPW ............................................................................................................ 38

TERMINOLOGY AND CONVENTIONS

39

Terminology .............................................................................................................................39
Global terms.......................................................................................................................................... 39
Geometric entities ................................................................................................................................. 39
Cross-sections ....................................................................................................................................... 40
Co-ordinate systems ...............................................................................................................40

SCIA.ESA PT
Introduction to co-ordinate systems ................................................................................... 40
Global co-ordinate system ................................................................................................. 40
User-defined co-ordinate system ....................................................................................... 40
Entity co-ordinate systems................................................................................................. 41
Introduction to entity co-ordinate systems................................................................... 41
Cross-section co-ordinate system ............................................................................... 41
Principal (or main) axes ........................................................................................................................ 41
Centroidal axes...................................................................................................................................... 41
Geometric co-ordinate system............................................................................................................... 41
Orientation of the cross-section co-ordinate system with reference to the beam local co-ordinate system
.............................................................................................................................................................. 42
Beam co-ordinate system............................................................................................ 42
Geometric block co-ordinate system ........................................................................... 42
Point definition co-ordinate systems .................................................................................. 43
Introduction to point definition ..................................................................................... 43
Cartesian co-ordinate system...................................................................................... 43
Cylindrical co-ordinate system .................................................................................... 44
Spherical co-ordinate system ...................................................................................... 44
Conventions for applied physical quantities........................................................................45
Input quantities conventions .............................................................................................. 45
Axes ...................................................................................................................................................... 45
External forces ...................................................................................................................................... 45
Prescribed displacement and rotation.................................................................................................... 45
Output quantities conventions............................................................................................ 45
Axes ...................................................................................................................................................... 45
Displacement and rotation..................................................................................................................... 45
Reactions............................................................................................................................................... 45
Internal forces ....................................................................................................................................... 45
Stress ..................................................................................................................................................... 45
Units..........................................................................................................................................46
Introduction to units............................................................................................................ 46
Length units........................................................................................................................ 46
Imperial length units......................................................................................................................... 46
Display style of length units ............................................................................................................. 46
Format ................................................................................................................................................... 46
Precision................................................................................................................................................ 46
Unit symbol........................................................................................................................................... 47
Input of length units.......................................................................................................................... 47
Angle units ......................................................................................................................... 48
Format ................................................................................................................................................... 48
Precision................................................................................................................................................ 48

LAYOUT AND OPERATION

49

Layout and operation overview .............................................................................................49


User interface...........................................................................................................................49
Introduction to user interface ............................................................................................. 49
Title bar .............................................................................................................................. 50
Status bar........................................................................................................................... 50
Menu bar ............................................................................................................................ 51
Tree menu window............................................................................................................. 51
How to operate the tree menu........................................................................................................... 51
Opening branches of the tree................................................................................................................. 52
Activating tree branch items ................................................................................................................. 52
Closing a service ................................................................................................................................... 52
Closing a function ................................................................................................................................. 52
Terminating a function.......................................................................................................................... 52
Toolbars ............................................................................................................................. 53
Command line .................................................................................................................... 53
Syntax of commands ........................................................................................................................ 53

SCIA.ESA PT
Syntax for input of co-ordinates ....................................................................................................... 53
General syntax for the definition of a point........................................................................................... 53
Syntax for the definition of a point in Cartesian co-ordinates............................................................... 54
Syntax for the definition of a point in polar co-ordinates...................................................................... 54
Syntax for the definition of a point in spherical co-ordinates ............................................................... 54
Syntax for the definition of a point in cylindrical co-ordinates............................................................. 54
Property table..................................................................................................................... 55
Type of property table cells................................................................................................................... 55
Combination of cell types in one table cell ........................................................................................... 55
Interconnection between table cells and graphical window .................................................................. 55
Progress bar....................................................................................................................... 56
Application windows........................................................................................................... 57
Introduction to application windows............................................................................. 57
Graphical window ........................................................................................................ 57
Graphical window pop-up menu.................................................................................. 58
Document window ....................................................................................................... 59
Preview window........................................................................................................... 60
Property window................................................................................................................. 60
Property window .......................................................................................................... 60
Action buttons.............................................................................................................. 61
Action buttons in the Property Window................................................................................................ 61
Action buttons in Database managers ................................................................................................... 62
Detailed properties ...................................................................................................... 63
Example....................................................................................................................... 63
Database managers........................................................................................................... 65
Introduction to database manager............................................................................... 65
Layout and operation of a database manager ............................................................ 65
List of defined database entities ............................................................................................................ 66
Property table ........................................................................................................................................ 66
Graphical window ................................................................................................................................. 66
Control buttons...................................................................................................................................... 66
Filter...................................................................................................................................................... 66
Opening the database manager.................................................................................. 67
Pop-up menu of database manager............................................................................ 68

PROGRAM SETTINGS

69

Language of program..............................................................................................................69
Language of the program................................................................................................... 69
User level..................................................................................................................................69
Level of the user interface.................................................................................................. 69
Standard level........................................................................................................................................ 69
Application options .................................................................................................................70
Workspace settings............................................................................................................ 70
Environment settings ......................................................................................................... 70
Window settings.................................................................................................................................... 71
Rendering .............................................................................................................................................. 71
Hidden lines .......................................................................................................................................... 71
Line pattern length ................................................................................................................................ 71
Command settings................................................................................................................................. 72
Skins...................................................................................................................................................... 72
Other parameters ................................................................................................................................... 72
Graphic templates settings ................................................................................................ 72
Directories settings ............................................................................................................ 72
Project settings................................................................................................................... 73
Protection settings ............................................................................................................. 73
Type ...................................................................................................................................................... 73
Software floating protection.................................................................................................................. 73
Adjusting the application options ....................................................................................... 74
Project settings........................................................................................................................74

SCIA.ESA PT
Basic project settings ......................................................................................................... 74
Basic project data ........................................................................................................ 74
Project filename .................................................................................................................................... 74
Project data............................................................................................................................................ 74
Structure ................................................................................................................................................ 74
Material ................................................................................................................................................. 75
Project level........................................................................................................................................... 75
Model .................................................................................................................................................... 75
Code ...................................................................................................................................................... 76
Functionality settings ................................................................................................... 76
Non-linearity ......................................................................................................................................... 76
Stability ................................................................................................................................................. 76
Dynamics .............................................................................................................................................. 76
Initial stress ........................................................................................................................................... 77
Subsoil................................................................................................................................................... 77
CAD shape ............................................................................................................................................ 77
Climatic loads ....................................................................................................................................... 77
Parameters............................................................................................................................................. 77
Prestressing ........................................................................................................................................... 77
Steel....................................................................................................................................................... 77
Loads settings ............................................................................................................. 77
Wind region........................................................................................................................................... 78
Snow region .......................................................................................................................................... 78
Combinations settings ................................................................................................. 78
Procedure for setting project data ............................................................................... 78
Display style settings ......................................................................................................... 79
Display Setup palettes................................................................................................. 79
Loading and saving defined settings................................................................................................. 79
Loading and saving settings for all the palettes at the same time.......................................................... 79
Loading and saving settings for a separate palette ................................................................................ 80
Colours Setup.............................................................................................................. 80
Font Setup ................................................................................................................... 81
Beam type Setup ......................................................................................................... 81
Dimension line Setup .................................................................................................. 82
Units Setup .................................................................................................................. 82
Unit "parameters".................................................................................................................................. 83
Output format........................................................................................................................................ 83
Scales ................................................................................................................................ 83
Adjusting the scales..................................................................................................... 83
Fast multiplying of scales ............................................................................................ 85
Example of scales setup ............................................................................................. 85
Advanced settings.............................................................................................................. 87
Document Setup.......................................................................................................... 87
Picture gallery Setup ................................................................................................... 87
FE mesh Setup............................................................................................................ 87
Solver Setup ................................................................................................................ 88

BASIC WORKING TOOLS

89

Introduction to basic working tools ......................................................................................89


Selections.................................................................................................................................89
Introduction to selections ................................................................................................... 89
Making a selection ............................................................................................................. 89
Making a selection by the mouse cursor........................................................................................... 90
Single selection ..................................................................................................................................... 90
Intersection line..................................................................................................................................... 90
Cut-out .................................................................................................................................................. 91
Polygon ................................................................................................................................................. 91
Working plane....................................................................................................................................... 91
Select-all................................................................................................................................................ 91
Filter-controlled selection................................................................................................................. 91

SCIA.ESA PT
Making a selection from the command line...................................................................................... 92
Removing the entities from selection................................................................................. 92
"[Ctrl] key" method............................................................................................................................... 93
"Inverted selection mode" method ........................................................................................................ 93
Making a selection based on a specific property ............................................................... 93
Adjusting the filter for selections ........................................................................................ 94
Filter for service .................................................................................................................................... 94
Filter for tree ......................................................................................................................................... 94
Modifying a selection ......................................................................................................... 94
Removal of entities from the selection.................................................................................................. 94
Adding another entity into the selection................................................................................................ 94
Applying a selection ........................................................................................................... 95
Applying a pre-created selection........................................................................................................... 95
Applying a post-created selection ......................................................................................................... 95
Clearing a selection ........................................................................................................... 95
Saving and reading a selection.......................................................................................... 95
Selections versus editing of properties .............................................................................. 96
Editing in the property window for one selected entity......................................................................... 96
Editing in the property window for multiple selected entities of the same type ................................... 96
Editing in the property window for multiple selected entities of various types .................................... 96
Controlling the selection-versus-editing process ............................................................... 96
Selections of slabs with openings ...................................................................................... 97
Activity......................................................................................................................................99
Introduction to activity ........................................................................................................ 99
Activity types ...................................................................................................................... 99
Switching the activity On or Off.......................................................................................... 99
Activity according to layers .............................................................................................. 100
Activity according to current selection ............................................................................. 100
Making the selected members active .............................................................................................. 100
Making the selected members inactive........................................................................................... 100
Activity according to working plane.................................................................................. 100
Activity according to clipping box ..................................................................................... 101
Inverting the activity ......................................................................................................... 101
Controlling the display style of inactive members............................................................ 101
Layers .................................................................................................................................... 101
Introduction to layers........................................................................................................ 101
Layers manager ............................................................................................................... 102
Displaying and hiding a layer.............................................................................................................. 102
Defining a new layer ........................................................................................................ 103
Applying defined layers.................................................................................................... 103
Displaying and hiding a layer ........................................................................................... 103
Ignoring selected layers in calculation ............................................................................. 104
User co-ordinate system (UCS) .......................................................................................... 104
Introduction to a user co-ordinate system........................................................................ 104
Adjusting a user co-ordinate system................................................................................ 105
UCS defined by three points ..................................................................................... 105
Horizontal UCS defined by one point ........................................................................ 105
Vertical UCS defined by two points ........................................................................... 105
Vertical UCS perpendicular to global X-axis ............................................................. 105
Vertical UCS perpendicular to global Y-axis ............................................................. 106
UCS identical with the global co-ordinate system ..................................................... 106
UCS perpendicular to the current UCS's X-axis........................................................ 106
UCS perpendicular to the current UCS's Y-axis........................................................ 106
UCS defined according to an entity's LCS ................................................................ 106
UCS defined from a view direction ............................................................................ 107
Editing a user co-ordinate system.................................................................................... 107
UCS Manager............................................................................................................ 107
Association of the active graphical window with a particular UCS.................................................... 107
Modifying an existing UCS ........................................................................................ 108
Defining a new UCS .................................................................................................. 108

SCIA.ESA PT
Copying an existing UCS .......................................................................................... 109
Moving an existing UCS ............................................................................................ 109
Rotating an existing UCS .......................................................................................... 109
Deleting an existing UCS .......................................................................................... 110
Storing the user co-ordinate system.......................................................................... 110
Using a user co-ordinate system ..................................................................................... 110
Rules for using a UCS............................................................................................... 110
UCS in windows ................................................................................................................................. 110
Modification of an existing UCS in the UCS manager ....................................................................... 111
Modification of an existing UCS by means of modification functions ............................................... 111
Using a UCS in the graphical window ....................................................................... 111
Using a UCS from the command line ........................................................................ 111
Working plane....................................................................................................................... 111
Introduction to a working plane ........................................................................................ 111
Adjusting a working plane ................................................................................................ 112
Cursor SNAP modes ............................................................................................................ 112
Introduction to SNAP modes............................................................................................ 112
Grid SNAP modes............................................................................................................ 112
Object SNAP modes ........................................................................................................ 112
Adjusting a SNAP mode .................................................................................................. 113
Adjusting the temporary one-step SNAP mode ............................................................... 114
Dot grid.................................................................................................................................. 114
Introduction to a dot grid .................................................................................................. 114
Adjusting dot grid parameters .......................................................................................... 115
Using the dot grid ............................................................................................................. 115
Displaying the dot grid........................................................................................................................ 116
Setting the snap mode to use the dot grid............................................................................................ 116
Line grid ................................................................................................................................ 116
Introduction to a line grid.................................................................................................. 116
Types of line grid.............................................................................................................. 116
Line grid manager ............................................................................................................ 118
Creating a new line grid ................................................................................................... 119
Adjusting line grid parameters ......................................................................................... 119
Line grid type ...................................................................................................................................... 120
Line grid dimensions........................................................................................................................... 120
Insertion point and rotation ................................................................................................................. 120
Name ................................................................................................................................................... 120
Parameters of display style.................................................................................................................. 120
Adjusting the display style of line grid.............................................................................. 120
Displaying and hiding a line grid ...................................................................................... 121
Using a line grid ............................................................................................................... 122
Editing an existing line grid .............................................................................................. 122
Window pop-up menu .......................................................................................................... 123
Introduction to window pop-up menu............................................................................... 123
Functions of the pop-up menu ......................................................................................... 123
Standard pop-up menu ........................................................................................................................ 123
Pop-up menu if a function is opened................................................................................................... 124
Pop-up menu if some entities are selected .......................................................................................... 124
Pop-up menu if the cursor is positioned over any entity ..................................................................... 124
Using the window pop-up menu....................................................................................... 125
Adjusting the viewpoint (view direction + zoom).............................................................. 126
Introduction to view adjustment ....................................................................................... 126
Adjusting the view ............................................................................................................ 126
Menu functions for adjustment of the view......................................................................................... 126
Toolbar functions for adjustment of the view ..................................................................................... 127
Window scroll-bar wheel-like buttons for adjustment of the view ..................................................... 127
Mouse controlled adjustment of the view ........................................................................................... 127
Rotation of view.................................................................................................................................. 128
Limiting the view............................................................................................................... 128

SCIA.ESA PT
Adjusting the view numerically......................................................................................... 129
Adjusting perspective projection ...................................................................................... 129
Special view settings........................................................................................................ 130
Wire model in manipulations .............................................................................................................. 130
View parameters ................................................................................................................... 130
Introduction to view parameters....................................................................................... 130
Overview of view parameters........................................................................................... 131
Entities............................................................................................................................................ 131
Structure .............................................................................................................................................. 131
Style + colour ...................................................................................................................................... 131
Member system line ............................................................................................................................ 131
Member surface................................................................................................................................... 132
Rendering ............................................................................................................................................ 132
Cross-section....................................................................................................................................... 132
Additional data .................................................................................................................................... 132
Model .................................................................................................................................................. 133
Load .................................................................................................................................................... 133
Mass .................................................................................................................................................... 133
Labels and descriptions .................................................................................................................. 133
Beam members.................................................................................................................................... 133
Nodes .................................................................................................................................................. 133
Loads................................................................................................................................................... 133
Masses................................................................................................................................................. 133
Buckling lengths ................................................................................................................................. 134
Mesh.................................................................................................................................................... 134
View ............................................................................................................................................... 134
Adjusting view parameters............................................................................................... 134
Setting view parameters for all entities ............................................................................................... 134
Setting view parameters for individual entities ................................................................................... 135
Predefined view parameters settings............................................................................... 135
Regeneration of view ........................................................................................................... 135
Introduction to regeneration of view................................................................................. 135
Redrawing the active graphical window........................................................................... 136

MATERIALS

137

Introduction to materials ..................................................................................................... 137


Material types........................................................................................................................ 137
Material properties ............................................................................................................... 137
Basic material properties..................................................................................................................... 137
Advanced material properties.............................................................................................................. 137
Materials manager ................................................................................................................ 138
Specifying the materials for the project............................................................................. 139
Defining a new code-specific material ............................................................................... 139
Defining a new user-defined code-specific material ........................................................ 140
Defining a new general material ......................................................................................... 140
Editing the defined material ................................................................................................ 141
Copying the defined material .............................................................................................. 141
Changing the defined material............................................................................................ 142
Deleting the defined material .............................................................................................. 142
Reviewing the defined material parameters ...................................................................... 142
Property table in the Materials manager.............................................................................................. 142
Property table in the dialogue for editing of a particular material type............................................... 143
Document-style view in the preview window ..................................................................................... 143

CROSS-SECTIONS

144

Introduction to cross-sections............................................................................................ 144

SCIA.ESA PT
Sectional characteristics and other properties................................................................. 144
Overview of sectional characteristics and parameters .................................................... 144
Sectional characteristics .................................................................................................. 145
Calculation of sectional characteristics............................................................................ 146
Basic sectional characteristics ........................................................................................................ 146
Cross-section characteristics thin-walled cross-sections ............................................................. 146
torsional moment of inertia, It............................................................................................................. 146
warping constant, Iw ........................................................................................................................... 147
Cross-section characteristics Geometric shapes, timber sections, concrete sections ................... 147
It for rectangular cross-sections .......................................................................................................... 147
Cross-section characteristics built-up cross-sections................................................................... 148
Cross-sectional area, A........................................................................................................................ 148
Moments of inertia Iy and Iz ............................................................................................................... 148
Torsional moment of inertia, It ........................................................................................................... 148
Warping constant, Iw .......................................................................................................................... 148
Other cross-section parameters....................................................................................... 148
Special sectional characteristics ...................................................................................... 149
Cross-section types ............................................................................................................. 149
Geometric shapes ............................................................................................................ 149
Thin-walled cross-sections............................................................................................... 149
Steel rolled cross-sections ............................................................................................... 150
Welded steel cross-sections ............................................................................................ 152
Welded hollow cross-sections.......................................................................................... 153
Haunch cross-sections..................................................................................................... 153
Built-up steel cross-sections ............................................................................................ 154
Multi-material built-up cross-sections............................................................................... 155
Concrete cross-sections .................................................................................................. 156
Timber cross-sections...................................................................................................... 156
Bridge cross-sections....................................................................................................... 157
Numerical cross-section................................................................................................... 157
General cross-section ...................................................................................................... 158
Defining a new cross-section.............................................................................................. 158
Cross-section manager.................................................................................................... 158
General procedure for the definition of a new cross-section ........................................... 159
Selecting the cross-section type ...................................................................................... 160
List of available cross-section types ............................................................................................... 160
List of possible variants (sub-types) for the current type................................................................ 161
Drawing of the currently selected variant....................................................................................... 161
List of already defined cross-sections............................................................................................. 161
Control buttons ............................................................................................................................... 161
Button [Add] and Button with a "Right Arrow".................................................................................. 161
Button [Close] ..................................................................................................................................... 161
Specifying sectional parameters and properties.............................................................. 161
Graphical window........................................................................................................................... 162
Property table.................................................................................................................................. 162
Control buttons ............................................................................................................................... 163
Button [Update]................................................................................................................................... 163
Button [Document].............................................................................................................................. 163
Button [OK] ........................................................................................................................................ 163
Button [Cancel] ................................................................................................................................... 163
Graphical window versus property table relation ............................................................................ 163
Reviewing the calculated sectional characteristics.......................................................... 163
Property table in the Cross-section manager ....................................................................................... 164
Property table in the dialogue for editing of a cross-section ............................................................... 164
Document-style view in the preview window ..................................................................................... 164
Importing the cross-sections from another project........................................................... 165
Export of required cross-sections from the "source" project............................................................... 165
Import of required cross-sections into the "target" project.................................................................. 166
Limitations of the import process........................................................................................................ 167
Modyfying an existing cross-section ................................................................................. 167

10

SCIA.ESA PT
Editing a cross-section..................................................................................................... 167
Deleting a cross-section................................................................................................... 168
Copying a cross-section................................................................................................... 168
Replacing a cross-section................................................................................................ 168
General cross-section.......................................................................................................... 169
Examples of a general cross-section ............................................................................... 169
Rules for general cross-sections...................................................................................... 170
Type of partial sections in the general cross-section....................................................... 170
Polygonal cross-section ............................................................................................ 170
"Full-time" opening............................................................................................................................. 171
Partial opening .................................................................................................................................... 171
Thin walled cross-section .......................................................................................... 172
Library cross-section ................................................................................................. 172
Thin-walled versus solid cross-section...................................................................... 173
General cross-section editor ............................................................................................ 173
Opening the General cross-section editor................................................................. 173
Using the General cross-section editor ..................................................................... 174
Functions of the General cross-section editor........................................................... 174
Working plane and user co-ordinate system......................................................................... 174
Adjusting the view................................................................................................................ 175
Controlling the view parameters........................................................................................... 175
Names of partial sections and node (vertex) numbers......................................................................... 175
Colour palette...................................................................................................................................... 176
Fonts.................................................................................................................................................... 176
Dimension lines................................................................................................................................... 176
Dot grid................................................................................................................................. 176
Making the selection............................................................................................................. 176
Making a selection by the mouse cursor ............................................................................................. 176
Adjusting the snap mode ...................................................................................................... 177
Geometric manipulations...................................................................................................... 177
Geometric manipulations .................................................................................................................... 177
Edit polyline........................................................................................................................................ 178
Geometric manipulation with curves .................................................................................................. 178
Dimension lines .................................................................................................................... 178
Parameters of dimension line .............................................................................................................. 178
Creating a new general cross-section ............................................................................. 180
Inserting a new polygonal section ............................................................................. 180
Plane polygon toolbar................................................................................................ 182
Inserting a new thin walled section............................................................................ 184
Inserting a new library section................................................................................... 184
Inserting a new opening ............................................................................................ 184
Adjusting the properties ................................................................................................... 185
Properties of the final general cross-section ............................................................. 185
Properties of the partial cross-section ....................................................................... 186
Modifying the existing general cross-section ................................................................... 188
Modifying the properties of the whole cross-section ................................................. 188
Editing dialogue .................................................................................................................................. 188
General cross-section editor ................................................................................................................ 188
Modifying the properties of a partial cross-section.................................................... 189
Changing the geometry of the general cross-section................................................ 189
Changing the geometry of a partial section............................................................... 190
Defining a parametric cross-section................................................................................. 190
Introduction to the parametric cross-section ............................................................. 190
Defining a new parameter ......................................................................................... 190
Assigning the parameters.......................................................................................... 191
Example of parameterised cross-section .................................................................. 191

GEOMETRY

197

Elements of a model............................................................................................................. 197


Nodes..................................................................................................................................... 197

11

SCIA.ESA PT
Introduction to nodes ....................................................................................................... 197
FE node ............................................................................................................................................... 197
Node.................................................................................................................................................... 198
Types of nodes................................................................................................................. 198
Absolute node ..................................................................................................................................... 198
Linked node......................................................................................................................................... 198
Difference between absolute and linked node..................................................................................... 198
Defining a new node ........................................................................................................ 199
Defining a local co-ordinate system of a node................................................................. 200
Deleting the nodes ........................................................................................................... 200
Deletion of proper nodes (nodes that relate to beams) ........................................................................ 200
Deletion of free nodes ......................................................................................................................... 200
Beams.................................................................................................................................... 201
Introduction to beams ...................................................................................................... 201
Types of directly defined beams ......................................................................................................... 201
Types of beams defined as a "property" of existing beams................................................................. 202
Common beam parameters ............................................................................................. 202
Name ................................................................................................................................................... 202
Type .................................................................................................................................................... 203
Cross-section....................................................................................................................................... 203
Alpha................................................................................................................................................... 203
Member system line at ........................................................................................................................ 203
Eccentricity ......................................................................................................................................... 203
Local co-ordinate system (LCS) ......................................................................................................... 203
LCS rotation........................................................................................................................................ 204
FEM type............................................................................................................................................. 204
Layer ................................................................................................................................................... 204
Buckling parameters ........................................................................................................ 204
Beam types ...................................................................................................................... 205
General beam............................................................................................................ 205
Column ...................................................................................................................... 206
Horizontal beam ........................................................................................................ 207
Haunch beam ............................................................................................................ 207
Haunch placement............................................................................................................................... 208
Cross-section....................................................................................................................................... 209
List of dimensions that can vary along the haunch length .................................................................. 210
Alignment............................................................................................................................................ 210
Beam of a variable cross-section .............................................................................. 211
Type of cross-section .......................................................................................................................... 211
Cross-section / Cross-sections............................................................................................................. 211
Defining a new beam ....................................................................................................... 212
Inserting a new beam ................................................................................................ 212
Inserting a new beam of a complex axis shape ........................................................ 213
Defining a haunch on a beam ................................................................................... 214
Defining a beam with a variable cross-section.......................................................... 215
Slabs ...................................................................................................................................... 215
Slab types ........................................................................................................................ 215
Plate .......................................................................................................................... 215
Parameters........................................................................................................................................... 215
Variable thickness ............................................................................................................................... 216
Wall............................................................................................................................ 218
Parameters........................................................................................................................................... 218
Slab components....................................................................................................... 219
Introduction to slab components........................................................................................... 219
Subregion of a slab ............................................................................................................... 219
Parameters........................................................................................................................................... 219
Opening in a slab .................................................................................................................. 220
Parameters........................................................................................................................................... 220
Internal edge in a slab ........................................................................................................... 222
Parameters........................................................................................................................................... 222

12

SCIA.ESA PT
Internal node in a slab........................................................................................................... 222
Rib in the slab ....................................................................................................................... 223
General parameters.............................................................................................................................. 223
General parameters.............................................................................................................................. 224
CAD model ......................................................................................................................................... 224
Defining a new slab.......................................................................................................... 224
Defining a new plate .................................................................................................. 224
Defining a new wall.................................................................................................... 225
Defining a new subregion.......................................................................................... 225
Defining a new opening............................................................................................. 225
Defining a new internal edge..................................................................................... 226
Defining an internal node in a slab ............................................................................ 226
Defining a new rib...................................................................................................... 226
Geometric manipulations ................................................................................................. 227
Geometric manipulations with slabs.......................................................................... 227
Editing the shape of a slab ........................................................................................ 227
Catalogue blocks.................................................................................................................. 230
Introduction to catalogue blocks ...................................................................................... 230
Overview of catalogue blocks .......................................................................................... 230
Catalogue block types...................................................................................................... 231
Catalogue block - Beam ............................................................................................ 231
Beam parameters................................................................................................................................. 231
Catalogue block - 2D frame....................................................................................... 231
2D Frame parameters .......................................................................................................................... 231
Catalogue block - 3D frame....................................................................................... 232
3D Frame parameters .......................................................................................................................... 232
Catalogue block - 2D lattice girder ............................................................................ 232
Lattice girder parameters..................................................................................................................... 232
Catalogue block - 3D lattice girder ............................................................................ 233
Lattice girder parameters..................................................................................................................... 233
Catalogue block - Mast.............................................................................................. 234
Mast parameters .................................................................................................................................. 234
Catalogue block - Curve............................................................................................ 235
Curve types ......................................................................................................................................... 235
Curve parameters ................................................................................................................................ 236
Defining a new catalogue block ....................................................................................... 237
Catalogue block manager ......................................................................................... 237
Defining a new catalogue block................................................................................. 238
Selecting the catalogue block type............................................................................ 238
List of available catalogue block types........................................................................................... 239
List of possible variants (sub-types) for the current type................................................................ 239
Drawing of the currently selected variant....................................................................................... 239
List of already defined catalogue blocks ........................................................................................ 239
Control Buttons .............................................................................................................................. 239
Button [OK] ........................................................................................................................................ 239
Button [Close] ..................................................................................................................................... 239
Specifying the block parameters ............................................................................... 239
Graphical window........................................................................................................................... 240
Property table.................................................................................................................................. 240
Control buttons ............................................................................................................................... 240
Button [OK] ........................................................................................................................................ 240
Button [Cancel] ................................................................................................................................... 240
Reviewing the block parameters ............................................................................... 240
Property table in the Catalogue block manager................................................................................... 241
Property table in the dialogue for editing of a catalogue block........................................................... 241
Document-style view in the preview window ..................................................................................... 241
User blocks ........................................................................................................................... 241
Introduction to user blocks ............................................................................................... 241
Using the user blocks....................................................................................................... 241
Creating the user block........................................................................................................................ 241

13

SCIA.ESA PT
Storing the user block to the library .................................................................................................... 241
Inserting the user block into another project ....................................................................................... 242
Moving the entities ............................................................................................................... 242
Introduction to moving of entities ..................................................................................... 242
Type of manipulated entity ................................................................................................................. 242
Trajectory followed by the manipulated entity ................................................................................... 242
General rules for move of entities .................................................................................... 243
Linked versus absolute node ............................................................................................................... 243
Rules for move of nodes ..................................................................................................................... 243
Rules for move of beams..................................................................................................................... 244
Moving the geometric entities .......................................................................................... 245
Moving an entity via the property table ..................................................................... 245
Moving an entity via a menu function ........................................................................ 246
The Move operation done with a previously made selection of entities ............................................. 246
The Move operation done with a selection created as a part the function procedure .......................... 246
Moving an entity via the window pop-up menu ......................................................... 247
Move of one or more previously selected entities using the right mouse button pop-up menu .......... 247
Move of a single entity using the right mouse button pop-up menu ................................................... 247
Moving an entity using Drag&Drop feature ............................................................... 248
Rotating an entity via its vertex co-ordinate change ................................................. 248
Rotating an entity via a menu function ...................................................................... 248
Rotating an entity via the right mouse button pop-up menu ..................................... 249
Rotating an entity using Drag&Drop feature ............................................................. 249
Mirroring an entity...................................................................................................... 249
Moving the additional data entities................................................................................... 250
Introduction to moving of additional-data entities...................................................... 250
Copying the entities ............................................................................................................. 250
Introduction to copying of entities .................................................................................... 250
Making a single copy via menu function .......................................................................... 251
Making a single copy via window pop-up menu .............................................................. 251
Copying arbitrary number of entities .................................................................................................. 251
Copying just a single entity................................................................................................................. 252
Making multiple copies via menu function ....................................................................... 252
Deleting the entities ............................................................................................................. 254
Introduction to deleting of entities .................................................................................... 254
Deleting the user-selected entities................................................................................... 254
Deleting invalid entities .................................................................................................... 255
Editing the entity properties................................................................................................ 255
Introduction to editing of entity properties........................................................................ 255
Editing the beam properties in its property dialogue........................................................ 255
Editing the beam properties in the property window........................................................ 255
Adjusting the buckling parameters................................................................................... 256
Modifying the shape and dimensions ................................................................................ 257
Treatment of linked nodes in manipulation functions....................................................... 257
In-axis modification ............................................................................................................................ 257
Out-of-axis modification..................................................................................................................... 257
Editing the shape in the property window ........................................................................ 258
Editing the shape using Drag&Drop feature .................................................................... 259
Scaling the entities........................................................................................................... 259
Stretching the entities ...................................................................................................... 260
Trimming the entities........................................................................................................ 260
Extending the entities....................................................................................................... 261
Enlarging the entities ....................................................................................................... 262
Breaking the entities in defined points ............................................................................. 262
Breaking the entities in intersections ............................................................................... 262
Coupling the entities ........................................................................................................ 263
Reversing the orientation of an entity .............................................................................. 263
Inserting a node into a polygonal entity ........................................................................... 264
Deleting a node from a polygonal entity .......................................................................... 264

14

SCIA.ESA PT
Coupling curves into a polyline ........................................................................................ 265
Editing the circular arc angle............................................................................................ 265
Editing the circular arc bulge............................................................................................ 266
Editing the circular arc radius........................................................................................... 266
Editing the Bezier curve weight factors............................................................................ 267
Converting a curve into a line .......................................................................................... 267
Converting a line into a circular arc.................................................................................. 268
Converting a line into a parabolic arc .............................................................................. 268
Converting a line into a Bezier curve ............................................................................... 268
Converting a line into a spline curve ................................................................................ 269
Connecting and disconnecting the entities....................................................................... 269
Introduction to connecting and disconnecting of entities ................................................. 269
Defining a new connection of two entities........................................................................ 270
Inserting a linked node for future connection of an entity ................................................ 270
Defining a new connection of intersecting entities........................................................... 271
Modifying the connection of two entities .......................................................................... 271
Modifying the connection of intersecting entities ............................................................. 272
Deleting the connection of two entities ............................................................................ 272
Deleting the connection via the property table of the linked node ...................................................... 272
Deleting the connection via the function for disconnection of entities ............................................... 272
Deleting the connection of intersecting entities ............................................................... 273
CAD Model ............................................................................................................................ 273
Introduction to CAD model............................................................................................... 273
Parameters of CAD model ............................................................................................... 273
Priority ................................................................................................................................................ 274
Perpendicular alignment...................................................................................................................... 275
Eccentricity ......................................................................................................................................... 275
Purlin on rafter .................................................................................................................................... 275
Defining the CAD model .................................................................................................. 276
Displaying the CAD model ............................................................................................... 277
Modifying the CAD model ................................................................................................ 277
Regenerating the CAD model .......................................................................................... 277

MODEL DATA

278

Introduction to model data .................................................................................................. 278


Supports................................................................................................................................ 278
Types of supports ............................................................................................................ 278
Point supports............................................................................................................ 278
Standard support ................................................................................................................................. 279
Other parameters of a standard support............................................................................................... 279
Orientation of a support ...................................................................................................................... 280
Foundation block................................................................................................................................. 280
Column................................................................................................................................................ 280
Line supports ............................................................................................................. 281
Foundation strip .................................................................................................................................. 281
Wall..................................................................................................................................................... 282
Orientation of a linear support on a beam ........................................................................................... 282
Line support on a slab ............................................................................................... 282
Parameters........................................................................................................................................... 282
Constraint conditions .......................................................................................................................... 282
Geometry............................................................................................................................................. 283
Surface support on slab ............................................................................................ 283
Parameters........................................................................................................................................... 283
Type .................................................................................................................................................... 283
Friction support.......................................................................................................... 283
Parameters........................................................................................................................................... 283
From reaction ...................................................................................................................................... 283
Defining a new support .................................................................................................... 285
Defining a new support.............................................................................................. 285

15

SCIA.ESA PT
Defining a new support on a slab .............................................................................. 286
Defining a new friction support .................................................................................. 286
Fast definition of specific support types .................................................................... 286
Parameters of a non-linear support........................................................................... 287
Non-linear function manager .............................................................................................................. 287
Foundation ............................................................................................................................ 287
Introduction to foundation ................................................................................................ 287
Foundation blocks and strips ........................................................................................... 288
Foundation block ....................................................................................................... 288
Foundation strip......................................................................................................... 289
Upper soil of foundation block and strip .................................................................... 289
Defining a new foundation block type........................................................................ 290
Inserting the foundation block into model.................................................................. 290
Defining a new foundation strip ................................................................................. 290
Subsoil ............................................................................................................................. 291
Introduction to subsoil ............................................................................................... 291
Defining a new subsoil type....................................................................................... 291
Defining subsoil parameters...................................................................................... 291
Parameters of subsoil .......................................................................................................................... 291
Parameters for check ........................................................................................................................... 292
Subsoil parameters for subsoil under a beam........................................................... 292
Subsoil parameters for subsoil under a slab ............................................................. 293
Using the subsoil ....................................................................................................... 293
Hinges (pins)......................................................................................................................... 293
Beams .............................................................................................................................. 293
Introduction to hinges ................................................................................................ 293
Specifying hinge parameters..................................................................................... 293
Parameters of a hinge .......................................................................................................................... 293
Constraint conditions .......................................................................................................................... 294
Defining a new hinge ................................................................................................. 294
Fast definition of specific hinges ............................................................................... 294
Slabs ................................................................................................................................ 295
Hinges in slabs .......................................................................................................... 295
Parameters........................................................................................................................................... 295
Modifying the existing model data ..................................................................................... 297
Changing the parameters of model data ......................................................................... 297
Moving the model data..................................................................................................... 298
Copying the model data ................................................................................................... 298
Deleting the model data ................................................................................................... 299

LOADS

300

Introduction to loads............................................................................................................ 300


Load types............................................................................................................................. 300
Introduction to load types................................................................................................. 300
Point force in node ........................................................................................................... 300
Direction and angle ............................................................................................................................. 301
Value ................................................................................................................................................... 301
Point force on beam......................................................................................................... 301
Co-ordinate definition ......................................................................................................................... 302
Line force on beam .......................................................................................................... 302
Direction and angle ............................................................................................................................. 303
Value ................................................................................................................................................... 303
System................................................................................................................................................. 303
Location .............................................................................................................................................. 303
Co-ordinate definition ......................................................................................................................... 303
Out-of-balance factor .......................................................................................................................... 304
Line force on slab edge.................................................................................................... 304
Parameters........................................................................................................................................... 304
Value ................................................................................................................................................... 304

16

SCIA.ESA PT
System................................................................................................................................................. 304
Location .............................................................................................................................................. 305
Co-ordinate definition ......................................................................................................................... 305
Surface load on slab ........................................................................................................ 305
Parameters........................................................................................................................................... 305
Moment load in node ....................................................................................................... 306
Moment load on beam ..................................................................................................... 306
Line moment load on beam ............................................................................................. 307
Thermal load on beam ..................................................................................................... 307
Thermal load on slab ....................................................................................................... 307
Translation of support ...................................................................................................... 308
Translation of a point on beam ........................................................................................ 308
Rotation of support........................................................................................................... 309
Rotation of a point on beam............................................................................................. 310
Longitudinal strain............................................................................................................ 310
Flexural strain................................................................................................................... 311
Slab displacement and curvature..................................................................................... 311
Parameters........................................................................................................................................... 311
A little bit of theory ........................................................................................................................ 311
Elongation (in m/m)........................................................................................................................... 312
Curvature............................................................................................................................................. 312
Pond load - water accumulation....................................................................................... 314
Parameters........................................................................................................................................... 314
Detailed parameters -Points ................................................................................................................ 314
Detailed parameters -Drains................................................................................................................ 314
Detailed parameters -Slopes................................................................................................................ 315
Dynamic loads.................................................................................................................. 316
Harmonic load ........................................................................................................... 316
Seismic load .............................................................................................................. 316
General seismisity ..................................................................................................... 318
Free loads ........................................................................................................................ 318
Introduction to free loads........................................................................................... 318
Available types of "loading entity" ..................................................................................................... 318
Validity of free loads........................................................................................................................... 318
Free point load........................................................................................................... 319
Parameters........................................................................................................................................... 319
Free line load............................................................................................................. 320
Parameters........................................................................................................................................... 320
Free surface load....................................................................................................... 320
Parameters........................................................................................................................................... 320
Load direction....................................................................................................................... 321
Direction of loads ............................................................................................................. 321
Point force load ................................................................................................................................... 321
Line force load .................................................................................................................................... 321
Moment load (point and line).............................................................................................................. 322
Point displacement load ...................................................................................................................... 322
Line displacement load ....................................................................................................................... 323
Defining a new load.............................................................................................................. 323
Defining a new point load in a node................................................................................. 323
Defining a new point load on a beam .............................................................................. 323
Defining a new line load on a beam................................................................................. 324
Defining a new thermal load on a beam .......................................................................... 324
Defining a new line load on slab edge ............................................................................. 324
Defining a new surface load on a slab............................................................................. 324
Defining a new thermal load on slab................................................................................ 325
Defining a new free point load ......................................................................................... 325
Defining a new free line load............................................................................................ 325
Defining a new free surface load ..................................................................................... 325
Defining a new slab displacement ................................................................................... 325
Fast definition of specific load types ................................................................................ 326

17

SCIA.ESA PT
Modifying the existing load ................................................................................................. 326
Changing the load parameters......................................................................................... 326
Moving the load................................................................................................................ 326
Copying the load .............................................................................................................. 327
Deleting the load .............................................................................................................. 327
Load cases ............................................................................................................................ 327
Introduction to load cases ................................................................................................ 327
Load case manager ......................................................................................................... 327
Defining a new load case................................................................................................. 328
Defining the load case parameters .................................................................................. 328
Basic parameters............................................................................................................................. 328
Load case type..................................................................................................................................... 328
Parameters for permanent loads...................................................................................................... 329
Type (subtype) .................................................................................................................................... 329
Direction.............................................................................................................................................. 329
Parameters for variable loads.......................................................................................................... 329
Type (subtype) .................................................................................................................................... 329
Specification of static load case .......................................................................................................... 329
Coefficient........................................................................................................................................... 329
Duration .............................................................................................................................................. 329
Master load case.................................................................................................................................. 329
Other parameters ................................................................................................................................. 329
Using the load case ......................................................................................................... 330
Dynamic load cases......................................................................................................... 330
Dynamic load cases .................................................................................................. 330
Defining a new dynamic load case............................................................................ 331
Defining the harmonic load case ............................................................................... 331
Defining the seismic load case.................................................................................. 332
Seismic load case parameters.............................................................................................................. 332
Evaluation type ................................................................................................................................... 332
Defining the seismic spectrum .................................................................................. 332
Load groups.......................................................................................................................... 333
Introduction to load groups .............................................................................................. 333
Load group manager........................................................................................................ 333
Defining a new load group ............................................................................................... 333
The parameters of a load group........................................................................................................... 334
Relation ............................................................................................................................................... 334
Load .................................................................................................................................................... 334
Using the load group........................................................................................................ 334
Load case combinations ..................................................................................................... 334
Introduction to load case combinations ........................................................................... 334
Advanced load case combinations ...................................................................................................... 335
Types of load case combinations..................................................................................... 335
Envelope ......................................................................................................................................... 336
What happens if this combination is exploded? ........................................................................... 336
Envelope ultimate................................................................................................................................ 336
Envelope serviceability ....................................................................................................................... 336
Linear combination......................................................................................................................... 336
Linear ultimate .................................................................................................................................... 336
Linear serviceability............................................................................................................................ 336
Code-related combination............................................................................................................... 337
What happens if this combination is exploded? ........................................................................... 337
Load case combination manager..................................................................................... 337
Control buttons.................................................................................................................................... 337
Filter.................................................................................................................................................... 338
Defining a new combination............................................................................................. 339
Exploding the load case combination .............................................................................. 339
Combinations exploded automatically on background ....................................................................... 339

18

SCIA.ESA PT
Combinations exploded manually by the user..................................................................................... 339
Combination key .............................................................................................................. 340
Example ........................................................................................................................... 341
Example for Envelopes ................................................................................................................ 341
Example for Code-related combination........................................................................................ 341
Load case combinations to SN...................................................................................... 344
Linear combination ............................................................................................................................. 345
Envelope combination......................................................................................................................... 346
Code-related combination ................................................................................................................... 346
Advanced combinations of load cases ............................................................................ 347
Non-linear combinations............................................................................................ 347
None.................................................................................................................................................... 347
Simple inclination ............................................................................................................................... 347
Inclination + curvature of beam .......................................................................................................... 347
Inclination function ............................................................................................................................. 347
Functions + curvature of beam............................................................................................................ 348
Deformation from load case................................................................................................................ 348
Buckling shape .................................................................................................................................... 348
Inclination function ............................................................................................................................. 349
Stability combination ................................................................................................. 349
Result classes....................................................................................................................... 349
Introduction to result classes ........................................................................................... 349
Result class manager ...................................................................................................... 349
Defining a new result class .............................................................................................. 349
Using the result class....................................................................................................... 350
Load generators ................................................................................................................... 350
Introduction to load generators ........................................................................................ 350
Wind generator................................................................................................................. 351
Wind generator .......................................................................................................... 351
Types of wind load..................................................................................................... 351
Code wind ........................................................................................................................................... 351
User-defined wind curve ..................................................................................................................... 352
Using the wind generator .......................................................................................... 353
Step 0: Enabling the wind generation and selecting the type of wind load ......................................... 353
Step 1: Starting the function................................................................................................................ 354
Step 2: Defining the distance between adjacent frames ...................................................................... 354
Step 3: Specifying the generator parameters ....................................................................................... 354
Step 4: Generation of the load............................................................................................................. 354
Adjusting the wind generator parameters ................................................................. 354
Parameters........................................................................................................................................... 355
Control buttons.................................................................................................................................... 355
Example of wind generator application ..................................................................... 356
Snow generator................................................................................................................ 361
Snow generator ......................................................................................................... 361
Types of snow load.................................................................................................... 361
Code snow........................................................................................................................................... 362
User-defined snow weight................................................................................................................... 362
Using the snow generator ......................................................................................... 362
Step 0: Enabling the snow generation and selecting the type of snow load ........................................ 362
Step 1: Starting the function................................................................................................................ 362
Step 2: Defining the distance between adjacent frames ...................................................................... 362
Step 3: Specifying the generator parameters ....................................................................................... 362
Step 4: Generation of the load............................................................................................................. 362
Adjusting the snow generator parameters ................................................................ 363
Parameters........................................................................................................................................... 363
Control buttons.................................................................................................................................... 364
Snow weight to EC1 .................................................................................................. 364
Plane load generator........................................................................................................ 365
Introduction to plane load generator.......................................................................... 365

19

SCIA.ESA PT
Principle of plane load generator............................................................................... 365
Parameters of plane load .......................................................................................... 365
Defining a new plane load ......................................................................................... 366
Action buttons in the Plane generator property window ..................................................................... 366
Inputting the loading polygon .................................................................................... 367
Editing the polygon .................................................................................................... 369
Editing the loading polygon.................................................................................................. 369
Changing the parameters ...................................................................................................... 369
Changing the geometry of the loading polygon.................................................................... 369
Inserting a new vertex........................................................................................................... 370
Removing the vertex............................................................................................................. 370
Inserting an opening ............................................................................................................. 371
Deleting the opening............................................................................................................. 371
Deleting the polygon ............................................................................................................ 372
Pond water ....................................................................................................................... 372
Introduction to pond load........................................................................................... 372
Defining a new pond load.......................................................................................... 372
Theoretical background............................................................................................. 374
References........................................................................................................................................... 374
Theory ................................................................................................................................................. 374
Span loads ............................................................................................................................ 375
Introduction to spans........................................................................................................ 375
What is the span .............................................................................................................. 376
What is a span? ................................................................................................................................... 376
What is NOT a span? .......................................................................................................................... 376
Types of spans................................................................................................................. 376
Span defined by means of polyline ........................................................................... 376
Span defined by means of linked nodes ................................................................... 377
Definition of spans according to spatial arrangement of beams.......................................................... 378
Definition of spans on individual beams ............................................................................................. 379
Work with spans............................................................................................................... 381
Defining a new span-load.......................................................................................... 381
Changing location of span-load................................................................................. 383
Modifying the span length ......................................................................................... 383
Copying the span-load to another beam ................................................................... 385
Copying beams subject to span-load ........................................................................ 385

MASSES

387

Introduction to masses ........................................................................................................ 387


Mass types ............................................................................................................................ 387
Point mass ....................................................................................................................... 387
Line mass......................................................................................................................... 388
Defining a mew mass ........................................................................................................... 388
Defining a new point mass in node .................................................................................. 388
Defining a new point mass on a beam............................................................................. 388
Defining a new line mass on a beam............................................................................... 389
Modifying the existing mass ............................................................................................... 389
Editing the existing mass ................................................................................................. 389
Moving the existing mass................................................................................................. 389
Copying the existing mass ............................................................................................... 389
Deleting the existing mass ............................................................................................... 389
Mass groups ......................................................................................................................... 390
Introduction to mass groups............................................................................................. 390
Mass group manager ....................................................................................................... 390
Defining a new mass group ............................................................................................. 390
Defining the mass group parameters............................................................................... 390
Combinations of mass groups............................................................................................ 390
Introduction to combinations of mass groups .................................................................. 390

20

SCIA.ESA PT
Mass group combination manager................................................................................... 390

CALCULATION

391

Introduction to calculation .................................................................................................. 391


Checking the data................................................................................................................. 391
Introduction to check of data............................................................................................ 391
Parameters of data check ................................................................................................ 391
Check of nodes.................................................................................................................................... 391
Check of beams ................................................................................................................................... 392
Check of structure ............................................................................................................................... 392
Check of additional data...................................................................................................................... 392
Performing the check of data ........................................................................................... 393
Generating the FE mesh ...................................................................................................... 393
Parameters of FE mesh ................................................................................................... 393
Mesh.................................................................................................................................................... 393
1D elements (beams)........................................................................................................................... 393
2D elements (slabs) ............................................................................................................................. 394
Previewing the FE mesh .................................................................................................. 395
Mesh refinement .............................................................................................................. 395
Mesh refinement........................................................................................................ 395
Refinement around a node........................................................................................ 396
Refinement along a line............................................................................................. 396
Refinement across an area ....................................................................................... 397
Calculation types.................................................................................................................. 397
General calculation parameters ....................................................................................... 397
Static linear calculation .................................................................................................... 398
Static nonlinear calculation .............................................................................................. 398
Limits of the calculation...................................................................................................................... 398
Dynamic natural vibration calculation .............................................................................. 399
Calculation for selected mass combinations........................................................................................ 399
Dynamic forced harmonic vibration.................................................................................. 399
Dynamic seismic calculation ............................................................................................ 399
Buckling analysis.............................................................................................................. 400
Calculation for selected stability combinations................................................................................... 400
Performing the calculation .................................................................................................. 400
Adjusting the calculation parameters............................................................................... 400
Performing the calculation ............................................................................................... 400
Calculation settings dialogue.......................................................................................................... 401
Calculation type .................................................................................................................................. 401
Solved ................................................................................................................................................. 401
Dynamics ............................................................................................................................................ 401
Initial stress as input............................................................................................................................ 401
Selected load cases / combinations ..................................................................................................... 401
Controlling and reviewing the calculation process........................................................... 402
Performing the repetitious calculations............................................................................ 402
Repairing the instability of model ..................................................................................... 403
Maximum displacement has been reached .......................................................................................... 403
Singular stiffness matrix ..................................................................................................................... 403
Solution methods ................................................................................................................. 403
Direct solution .................................................................................................................. 403
Iterative solution ............................................................................................................... 404
Timoshenko method ........................................................................................................ 404
Newton-Raphson method ................................................................................................ 404
Advanced calculations ........................................................................................................ 405
Advanced calculations ..................................................................................................... 405

RESULTS

406

Opening the service Results ............................................................................................... 406

21

SCIA.ESA PT
Selecting the beams for display ......................................................................................... 406
Selection.............................................................................................................................................. 407
Filter.................................................................................................................................................... 407
Selecting the load for the display of results...................................................................... 407
Adjusting the style of result diagrams ............................................................................... 407
Representation..................................................................................................................................... 407
Limits .................................................................................................................................................. 408
Description .......................................................................................................................................... 410
Angle of text........................................................................................................................................ 410
Drawing of more components ............................................................................................................. 410
Regenerating the diagrams ................................................................................................. 410
Results on beams................................................................................................................. 410
Displaying the internal forces........................................................................................... 410
Display parameters for diagrams of internal forces ............................................................................ 411
Extreme ............................................................................................................................................... 411
Displaying the deformation on beams ............................................................................. 412
Displaying the deformation of nodes ............................................................................... 412
Displaying the resultant of reactions ................................................................................ 413
Display parameters for diagrams of resultant of reactions .................................................................. 413
Displaying the reactions................................................................................................... 413
Display parameters for diagrams of reactions ..................................................................................... 413
Displaying the foundation table........................................................................................ 414
Parameters of Foundation table function............................................................................................. 414
Displaying the bill of material ........................................................................................... 416
Displaying the intensity .................................................................................................... 416
Displaying the stress on members................................................................................... 417
Selecting the joints for display of connection forces ........................................................ 418
Displaying the connection forces ..................................................................................... 419
Parameters of function Connection forces .......................................................................................... 419
Displaying the calculation report ...................................................................................... 420
Displaying the results in tabular form............................................................................... 420
Fast selection of result quantities for the display ............................................................. 420
Displaying the natural frequencies................................................................................... 421
Evaluating the results for harmonic load.......................................................................... 421
Calculation of internal forces in ribs ................................................................................. 421
Results on slabs ................................................................................................................... 423
Displaying the deformation of nodes on slabs ................................................................. 423
Displaying the internal forces on slabs ............................................................................ 423
Displaying the stresses on slabs...................................................................................... 424
Displaying the contact stress on slabs............................................................................. 424
Style of isolines ................................................................................................................ 424
Refreshing the results.......................................................................................................... 430
Principle ........................................................................................................................... 430
Refresh of results ............................................................................................................. 430
Example for refresh of results .......................................................................................... 431
Selected sections ................................................................................................................. 435
Selected sections for result diagrams.............................................................................. 435
Beams.................................................................................................................................................. 435
Slabs.................................................................................................................................................... 435
Vector.................................................................................................................................................. 435
Defining a new section for display of results.................................................................... 436
Displaying the results in selected sections ...................................................................... 436
Beam ................................................................................................................................................... 436
Slab ..................................................................................................................................................... 438

GRAPHIC OUTPUT

441

Introduction to graphic output............................................................................................ 441


Direct graphic output ........................................................................................................... 441

22

SCIA.ESA PT
Making the direct graphic output...................................................................................... 441
Editing the graphic output layout...................................................................................... 442
Control toolbar of the Graphic output dialogue .................................................................................. 442
Checkbox bar of the Graphic output editor ......................................................................................... 442
Pop-up menu of the Graphic output dialogue...................................................................................... 443
Adjusting the page for the drawing .................................................................................. 444
Paper size, margins.............................................................................................................................. 444
Grid, step............................................................................................................................................. 444
Printer.................................................................................................................................................. 444
Display mode ...................................................................................................................................... 444
Advanced ............................................................................................................................................ 444
Header / footer font ............................................................................................................................. 444
Text in header and footer .................................................................................................................... 445
Saving the drawing to an external file .............................................................................. 445
Adjusting the display style of Graphic output dialogue .................................................... 445
Using the templates in graphic output ............................................................................. 446
Items of graphic output drawing....................................................................................... 446
Line............................................................................................................................ 446
Polyline ...................................................................................................................... 446
Rectangle .................................................................................................................. 447
Circle ......................................................................................................................... 447
Text............................................................................................................................ 447
Automatic text............................................................................................................ 448
Title block .................................................................................................................. 448
Header ................................................................................................................................................. 448
Font ..................................................................................................................................................... 448
Stamp .................................................................................................................................................. 449
Frame .................................................................................................................................................. 449
Advanced ............................................................................................................................................ 449
Preview ............................................................................................................................................... 449
Automatic text in the title block.......................................................................................................... 449
Picture ....................................................................................................................... 450
Picture size .......................................................................................................................................... 450
Background ......................................................................................................................................... 450
Clipping box........................................................................................................................................ 450
On scale............................................................................................................................................... 450
Advanced ............................................................................................................................................ 450
OpenGL............................................................................................................................................... 451
Inserting and editing the items of the drawing ................................................................. 451
Inserting the text into graphic output drawing ........................................................... 451
Inserting the manually typed text ........................................................................................................ 451
Inserting the item of automatic text..................................................................................................... 452
Adding the title block to the drawing.......................................................................... 452
Inserting the picture into graphic output drawing ...................................................... 452
Inserting an external BMP file ............................................................................................................ 453
Different procedures for insertion of an external drawing .................................................................. 453
Adjusting the picture properties................................................................................. 454
Pop-up menu of the editing dialogue .................................................................................................. 454
Adjusting view in the editing dialogue................................................................................................ 454
Mouse controlled adjustment of the view ........................................................................................... 455
Editing the items of graphic output drawing .............................................................. 455
Moving the item of a drawing .................................................................................... 456
Copying the item of a drawing................................................................................... 456
Resizing the item of a drawing .................................................................................. 456
Rotating the item of a drawing................................................................................... 456
Selecting the suitable stretch mode .......................................................................... 457
Stretch modes...................................................................................................................................... 457
Grouping of items ...................................................................................................... 458
Picture gallery....................................................................................................................... 459
Introduction to the picture gallery..................................................................................... 459

23

SCIA.ESA PT
Picture gallery manager ................................................................................................... 459
Using the Picture gallery manager ............................................................................ 459
Picture gallery manager functions ....................................................................................................... 460
Adjusting the manager .............................................................................................. 461
Inserting a new picture into the Picture gallery ......................................................... 461
Inserting a window drawing into the Picture gallery ............................................................ 461
Adjusting the default values for new pictures....................................................................... 461
Name prefix......................................................................................................................................... 461
Picture parameters ............................................................................................................................... 461
Dimension lines................................................................................................................................... 462
Picture name........................................................................................................................................ 462
Save / Read buttons............................................................................................................................. 462
Creating a new empty picture ............................................................................................... 462
Generating new pictures according to line grid .................................................................... 462
Parameters controlling the generation process ............................................................................... 463
Definition of planes............................................................................................................................. 463
View parameters.................................................................................................................................. 463
View direction..................................................................................................................................... 463
Make picture ....................................................................................................................................... 463
Draw members .................................................................................................................................... 463
Draw loads + supports......................................................................................................................... 463
Draw result diagrams .......................................................................................................................... 463
Beam label size ................................................................................................................................... 463
Grid selection ...................................................................................................................................... 464
Generating new pictures for defined connections................................................................. 464
Processing the pictures in the Picture gallery ........................................................... 464
Editing the picture ................................................................................................................ 464
Adjusting the picture properties............................................................................................ 465
Printing the picture ............................................................................................................... 465
Removing the picture from the gallery ................................................................................. 465
Copying the picture .............................................................................................................. 465
Regenerating the picture ....................................................................................................... 466
Regenerating the picture setup.............................................................................................. 466
Regenerating the colours setup ............................................................................................. 467
Saving the picture into an external file ................................................................................. 467
Copying the picture into the Clipboard................................................................................. 468
Editing the picture in the picture gallery........................................................................... 468
Introduction to editing of picture ................................................................................ 468
Printing the edited picture.......................................................................................... 469
Exporting the edited picture....................................................................................... 469
Copying the edited picture to clipboard..................................................................... 469
Adjusting the editing dialogue ................................................................................... 469
Adjusting the basic properties of picture .............................................................................. 469
Adjusting the parameters of dot grid .................................................................................... 469
Displaying the dot grid ......................................................................................................... 470
Adjusting the SNAP mode.................................................................................................... 470
Adjusting the view...................................................................................................... 470
Adjusting the view................................................................................................................ 470
Adjusting the view via toolbars Zoom ................................................................................................ 470
Adjusting the view via key & mouse combination ............................................................................. 471
Reversing the view ............................................................................................................... 471
Adjusting the border of picture............................................................................................. 471
Using the layers .................................................................................................................... 472
Parameters of layer.............................................................................................................................. 472
Using the clipping box for picture ........................................................................................ 473
Adjusting the clipping box by mouse ................................................................................... 473
Adjusting the clipping box in setup table ............................................................................. 473
Adding the manually drawn entities........................................................................... 474
Drawing a line ...................................................................................................................... 474
Defining the end points of line............................................................................................................ 474

24

SCIA.ESA PT
Drawing a polyline ............................................................................................................... 474
Drawing a closed polyline .................................................................................................... 474
Inserting a text ...................................................................................................................... 475
Inserting a vertical dimension line........................................................................................ 475
Inserting a horizontal dimension line.................................................................................... 475
Inserting a general dimension line ........................................................................................ 476
Using the command line ....................................................................................................... 476
Using the SNAP mode.......................................................................................................... 477
Modifying the manually drawn entities ...................................................................... 477
Selecting the entity ............................................................................................................... 477
Moving the entity.................................................................................................................. 477
Copying the entity ................................................................................................................ 477
Rotating the entity ................................................................................................................ 477
Mirroring the entity .............................................................................................................. 477
Trimming the entity .............................................................................................................. 478
Stretching the entity.............................................................................................................. 478
Scaling the entity .................................................................................................................. 478
Changing the shape of entity ................................................................................................ 478
Deleting the entity ................................................................................................................ 478
Adjusting the colour of entity ............................................................................................... 478
Adjusting the thickness of line ............................................................................................. 479
Adjusting the pattern of line ................................................................................................. 479
Adjusting the layer of entity ................................................................................................. 479
Changing the parameters of text ........................................................................................... 480
Changing the parameters of dimension line.......................................................................... 480
Modifying the window drawing .................................................................................. 480
Breaking the structural member into free entities................................................................. 480
Paper space gallery.............................................................................................................. 481
Introduction to Paper space gallery ................................................................................. 481
Paper space gallery manager .......................................................................................... 481
Editing the drawing in the gallery ..................................................................................... 482
Creating a new drawing in the gallery.............................................................................. 482
Creating a new drawing based on a template ................................................................. 482
Printing the drawing from the gallery ............................................................................... 482
Copying the drawing in the gallery................................................................................... 483
Deleting the drawing from the gallery .............................................................................. 483
Making or changing the drawing ...................................................................................... 483
Insertion of an external picture............................................................................................................ 484
Editing picture properties .................................................................................................................... 484
Saving a template ............................................................................................................ 484
Creating a template for Paper space gallery drawings .................................................... 484

DOCUMENT

485

Introduction to document .................................................................................................... 485


Adjusting the document settings ....................................................................................... 485
Page..................................................................................................................................................... 485
Styles................................................................................................................................................... 485
Tables.................................................................................................................................................. 486
Options................................................................................................................................................ 486
Document window................................................................................................................ 486
Introduction to document window .................................................................................... 486
Opening the document window........................................................................................ 487
Creating the document..................................................................................................... 487
Inserting a new section into document...................................................................... 487
Default components ............................................................................................................................ 488
Libraries .............................................................................................................................................. 488
Sets...................................................................................................................................................... 488
Structure .............................................................................................................................................. 488
Load .................................................................................................................................................... 488

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SCIA.ESA PT
Inserting a new section into document from the graphical window........................... 489
Inserting a drawing into the document ...................................................................... 493
Inserting a new text line............................................................................................. 494
Inserting an external image file ................................................................................. 494
Inserting an external text file ..................................................................................... 495
Inserting the end of page........................................................................................... 495
Inserting the table of contents ................................................................................... 495
Creating the advanced documents .................................................................................. 495
Creating the encapsulated tables.............................................................................. 495
Standard arrangement.......................................................................................................................... 495
Encapsulated arrangement................................................................................................................... 496
Creating multiple documents for the project.............................................................. 497
Editing the document layout............................................................................................. 498
Introduction to editing of document ........................................................................... 498
Editing the properties of document items.................................................................. 498
Filter.................................................................................................................................................... 498
Embedding of data .............................................................................................................................. 498
Filename.............................................................................................................................................. 499
Type of loads....................................................................................................................................... 499
Values ................................................................................................................................................. 499
Sorting the items of the document............................................................................. 500
Deleting the items from the document....................................................................... 500
Editing the header ..................................................................................................... 500
Editing the footer ....................................................................................................... 501
Regenerating the document after changes ............................................................... 501
Editing the basic document properties............................................................................. 501
Manager of documents.............................................................................................. 501
Editing the basic document properties ...................................................................... 501
Adjusting the language of the document................................................................... 502
Modifying the structure through the document ................................................................ 502
Introduction to document based editing of structure ................................................. 502
Editing the geometry in the document table.............................................................. 502
Editing the nodal co-ordinates............................................................................................................. 502
Editing the end-nodes of beams .......................................................................................................... 502
Editing the beam properties................................................................................................................. 503
Editing the additional data in the document table ..................................................... 503
Editing the model data of the project (e.g. supports)........................................................................... 503
Editing the loads.................................................................................................................................. 503
Previewing the document................................................................................................. 504
Adjusting the document preview ............................................................................... 504
Printing and exporting the document ............................................................................... 504
Adjusting the printing device ..................................................................................... 504
Printing the document ............................................................................................... 504
Exporting the document ............................................................................................ 504
Export formats..................................................................................................................................... 504
Preview window.................................................................................................................... 505
Introduction to preview window........................................................................................ 505
Opening the preview window ........................................................................................... 505
Adjusting the display style in the preview window ........................................................... 505
Adjusting the preview window settings ............................................................................ 506
Exporting the preview ...................................................................................................... 506
Printing the preview ......................................................................................................... 506
Adjusting the printing device ............................................................................................ 506
Editing the structure from within the preview window ...................................................... 506
Table composer .................................................................................................................... 506
Table composer dialogue................................................................................................. 506
Creating a new view......................................................................................................... 508
Applying the view ............................................................................................................. 508
Modifying the composition of view ................................................................................... 509
User defined properties ....................................................................................................................... 509

26

SCIA.ESA PT
Line break ........................................................................................................................................... 511
Horizontal table................................................................................................................................... 512
Continue line ....................................................................................................................................... 513
Adjusting the table properties for the view....................................................................... 513
Adjusting the layout of the view ....................................................................................... 514
Adjusting the layout of column of the view table.............................................................. 514
Adjusting the properties of the view ................................................................................. 515
Deleting the view.............................................................................................................. 515
Sorting the table columns outside the table composer .................................................... 515
Refreshing the document .................................................................................................... 515
Refresh of document........................................................................................................ 515
Example for refresh of Document .................................................................................... 516

ADVANCED TOOLS

518

Introduction to advanced tools........................................................................................... 518


Clipping box.......................................................................................................................... 518
Introduction to clipping box .............................................................................................. 518
Defining a new clipping box ............................................................................................. 518
Defining the clipping box around the working plane ........................................................ 518
Defining the clipping box around an entity....................................................................... 518
Defining the clipping box around the model..................................................................... 519
Using the clipping box...................................................................................................... 519
Adjusting the clipping box in the setting table.................................................................. 520
Adjusting the clipping box using the mouse..................................................................... 520
Moving the clipping box ................................................................................................... 521
Parametric input ................................................................................................................... 521
Introduction to parametric input ....................................................................................... 521
Using the parameters in the project ................................................................................. 521
Parameters manager................................................................................................. 521
Defining the parameters ............................................................................................ 522
Available parameter types......................................................................................... 522
Parameter types ................................................................................................................................... 522
Value types.......................................................................................................................................... 523
Formula ............................................................................................................................................... 523
Modifying the existing parameters............................................................................. 524
Deleting the existing parameters............................................................................... 524
Applying the parameters ........................................................................................... 524
Boolean operators in parameters .............................................................................. 525
Creating a parameter-based template ............................................................................. 526
Preparing the project for becoming a parameter-based template............................. 526
Manager of parameter sets ....................................................................................... 526
Defining the set of parameters .................................................................................. 527
Saving the parameter-based template ...................................................................... 528
Using the parameter-based template .............................................................................. 528
Opening the parameter-based template.................................................................... 528
Example - three span continuous beam .......................................................................... 529
Defining a normal continuous beam.......................................................................... 529
Specifying the parameters......................................................................................... 530
Arranging the parameters into sets ........................................................................... 532
Saving the project as template .................................................................................. 533
Opening the template ................................................................................................ 533
Project templates.................................................................................................................. 536
Introduction to templates.................................................................................................. 536
Template manager........................................................................................................... 536
Tree-structured list of existing templates ............................................................................................ 536
Properties of a selected template ......................................................................................................... 537
Control buttons ............................................................................................................................... 537
New group........................................................................................................................................... 537
Copy.................................................................................................................................................... 537

27

SCIA.ESA PT
Export.................................................................................................................................................. 537
Import.................................................................................................................................................. 537
Delete .................................................................................................................................................. 537
Insert ................................................................................................................................................... 537
Rewrite ................................................................................................................................................ 537
OK....................................................................................................................................................... 537
Cancel ................................................................................................................................................. 537
Creating a template.......................................................................................................... 538
Opening a template.......................................................................................................... 538
Selected manipulations with templates............................................................................ 538
Creating the template group ................................................................................................................ 538
Sorting the templates into groups........................................................................................................ 538
Renaming the templates ...................................................................................................................... 539
Exporting the templates....................................................................................................................... 539
Importing the templates....................................................................................................................... 539
Removing the templates ...................................................................................................................... 539
Design of connections ......................................................................................................... 539
Frame connections .......................................................................................................... 539
Code checks ......................................................................................................................... 540
Code checks of steel structures....................................................................................... 540
Code check of concrete structures .................................................................................. 540

ADVANCED INPUT DATA

541

Introduction to advanced input data .................................................................................. 541


Predefined load..................................................................................................................... 541
Introduction to predefined loads....................................................................................... 541
Predefined load manager................................................................................................. 541
Defining a new predefined load ....................................................................................... 541
Editing the predefined load .............................................................................................. 542
Applying the predefined load ........................................................................................... 543
Input and display conventions for predefined load .......................................................... 543
On-screen drawing .............................................................................................................................. 543
Property dialogue ................................................................................................................................ 543
Preview window.................................................................................................................................. 544
Calculation .......................................................................................................................................... 544
Sign convention................................................................................................................................... 544
Absences............................................................................................................................... 544
Introduction to absences.................................................................................................. 544
The principle of Absences................................................................................................ 545
Creating a project allowing for absences......................................................................... 545
Absence groups ............................................................................................................... 545
Defining a new absence................................................................................................... 545
Absence on a beam ......................................................................................................... 546
Absences in a support ..................................................................................................... 547
Associating the absence group with a load case............................................................. 547
Displaying the required Absence group........................................................................... 547
Editing the existing absence ............................................................................................ 548
Deleting the existing absence .......................................................................................... 548
Initial deformations .............................................................................................................. 548
Introduction to initial deformations ................................................................................... 548
Initial-deformation manager ............................................................................................. 549
Initial deformation curve................................................................................................... 549
Defining a new initial deformation curve .......................................................................... 550
Applying the initial deformation ........................................................................................ 550
Beam nonlinearity ................................................................................................................ 550
Defining a new beam nonlinearity.................................................................................... 550
Editing the existing beam nonlinearity ............................................................................. 551
Types of nonlinearity........................................................................................................ 551

28

SCIA.ESA PT
Tension only .............................................................................................................. 551
Press only.................................................................................................................. 551
Limit force .................................................................................................................. 552
Parameters........................................................................................................................................... 553
Gap............................................................................................................................ 553
Parameters........................................................................................................................................... 555
Initial stress................................................................................................................ 555
Parameters........................................................................................................................................... 555
Cable ......................................................................................................................... 555
Straight cables ..................................................................................................................................... 555
Slack cables......................................................................................................................................... 555
Parameters........................................................................................................................................... 556
Plastic hinges ....................................................................................................................... 556
Introduction to plastic hinges ........................................................................................... 556
Plastic hinges to EC3....................................................................................................... 557
Plastic hinges to DIN 18800............................................................................................. 557
Plastic hinges to NEN ...................................................................................................... 558
For IPE sections .................................................................................................................................. 558
For other sections ................................................................................................................................ 558
Calculating with plastic hinges ......................................................................................... 558

GLOSSARY

560

Additional-data entity........................................................................................................... 560


CAD shape (CAD model) ..................................................................................................... 560
Cartesian co-ordinate system ............................................................................................. 560
Catalogue block (also Geometric block)............................................................................ 560
Clipping box.......................................................................................................................... 560
Cylindrical co-ordinate system ........................................................................................... 560
Document .............................................................................................................................. 560
Geometric block (also Catalogue block)............................................................................ 561
Geometric entity ................................................................................................................... 561
Paper space gallery.............................................................................................................. 561
Influence line......................................................................................................................... 561
Layer ...................................................................................................................................... 561
Manager................................................................................................................................. 561
Node....................................................................................................................................... 561
Picture gallery....................................................................................................................... 561
Preview .................................................................................................................................. 561
Property table ....................................................................................................................... 562
Reference point of a cross-section .................................................................................... 562
Snap mode ............................................................................................................................ 562
Solver..................................................................................................................................... 562
Spherical co-ordinate system ............................................................................................. 562
Title block / stamp ................................................................................................................ 562
View........................................................................................................................................ 562
View (in the context of table composer) ............................................................................ 562
Wheel button......................................................................................................................... 562

29

SCIA.ESA PT

30

SCIA.ESA PT

Getting started
Disclaimer
This document is being furnished by SCIA for information purposes only to licensed users of SCIA
software and is furnished on an "AS IS" basis, that is, without any warranties, whatsoever, expressed or
implied. SCIA is not responsible for direct or indirect damage as a result of imperfections in the
documentation and/or software.
Information in this document is subject to change without notice and does not represent a commitment
on the part of SCIA. The software described in this document is furnished under a license agreement.
The software may be used only in accordance with the terms of that license agreement. It is against the
law to copy or use the software except as specifically allowed in the license.
Copyright 2000-2004 SCIA Group. All rights reserved.

Contact address
SCIA Group n.v.
Scientific Application Group
Industrieweg 1007 B-3540 Herk-de-Stad (Belgi)
Tel.(+32) (0)13/55 17 75 Fax.(+32) (0)13/55 41 75
E-mail scia@scia.be

SCIA W+B Software b.v.


Postbus 30119 NL-6803 AC Arnhem (Nederland)
Tel.(+31) 26-3201230 Fax.(+31) 26-3201239
E-mail scia@scia.nl

SCIA CZ, s.r.o.


Thkurova 3, 160 00, Prague 6 (Czech Republic)
Tel.(+420) 2 2432 2425 Fax. (+420) 2 2432 2288
e-mail info.praha@scia.cz

SCIA CZ, s.r.o.


Slavkova 1a, 638 00, Brno (Czech Republic)
Tel.(+420) 5 4519 3526 Fax. (+420) 5 4519 3533
e-mail info.brno@scia.cz

31

SCIA.ESA PT

Introduction
About program
Program mission
The SCIA.ESA PT software system has been designed and developed to provide structural engineers
and designers with an efficient, comprehensive and robust tool.

Theoretical background
SCIA.ESA PT is a software system for a static and dynamic analysis of structures and their design to
standards. It is grounded on the displacement-based finite element method.
SCIA.ESA PT does not work with finite elements directly but it exploits structural elements (referred to
as members) on which a finite element mesh is automatically generated just before the calculation.
SCIA.ESA PT can be used to calculate and design structures consisting of beams (modelled by linear
finite elements) and planar parts such as walls, plates, and curved slabs (modelled by 2D finite
elements).

Types of calculation
SCIA.ESA PT comprises calculation modules for the following types of calculation:
linear static calculation (including some non-linear features),
geometrically non-linear calculation,
dynamic natural vibration calculation,
seismicity calculation,
buckling analysis.

Code checks
In addition to the calculation itself, SCIA.ESA PT enables the user to carry out the final design of a
structure in accordance with appropriate technical standards.
The "Code Check library" of SCIA.ESA PT contains a multi-national set of technical standards for
various material types, mainly for steel and concrete.

Important note: A proper and exhaustive application of program features assumes that a user is
well accustomed to the principles of the finite element method, is familiar with appropriate technical
standards and conventions, and is a skilled professional in the field of design and calculation of
engineering structures.

About documentation
We recommend undergoing a specialised training for SCIA.ESA PT organised for you by your
local SCIA dealer before using the program for real work.
The documentation contains explanation of the program principles, theoretical background and
operation and will provide the user with invaluable knowledge about the SCIA.ESA PT software.

Purpose and contents


This manual provides an in-depth coverage of SCIA.ESA PT main module functionality and covers the
input, calculation and result-evaluation phases for both beam and shell structures.
Special modules such as those for non-linear or dynamic calculation, for design to individual technical
standards, etc. are handled in separate manuals.

32

SCIA.ESA PT

Style
The following text format conventions and symbols are used throughout this manual:
Indicates texts used in the program (menus, texts in dialog
windows, buttons, etc.).

bold

E.g. Enter the length of the beam in the Length field.


[bold]

Indicates a button.
E.g. Click on [OK] to confirm.

Step 1

Step 2

Indicates the different steps in a procedure. Each step describes


one action.
E.g.
Enter the value in the Coefficient field.
Click on [OK] to confirm.
Indicates items and subitems from the main menu (on top of the
screen) or from the menu tree (left side of the screen).

Menu > Submenu

E.g. ... choose Setup > Options from the main menu.
Bold With Capital First
Letters

Refers to a chapter of the manual.


E.g. For more details see chapter Detailed Description.

Installation
Installation options
All the installation options are introduced by the Setup program.
SCIA.ESA PT uses a standard Setup program like many other MS Windows applications.
The installation of SCIA.ESA PT can be made in three modes:
local installation,
installation on a network server,
connection to a network server.

Local installation
Starting the installation
The installation of SCIA.ESA PT is started by running SETUP.EXE program. Once this program has
been started, a language selection dialogue appears on the screen. The language selected here
determines the language of the installation program.
The selected language also affects the language of help files that will be installed. In addition, the
selected language is adjusted as a default language for the first run of the installed SCIA.ESA PT.

Selection of target folder


The following dialogue provides for the selection of path to the application files. By default, the path is
set to: C:\Program Files\SCIA\ESAxx (where is may differ according to a particular version of the
program).

Choice of installation type


One of the following types of installation can be selected:
Typical

All program files are installed.

Compact

Only the essential files are installed.

Selective

The user may select whether help files will be installed and what language
versions will be installed.

33

SCIA.ESA PT

The next dialogue then summarises the installation information. Once the information is confirmed, the
installation process is started.
The installation program adds group SCIA.ESA PT xx (xx differs according to a particular version of
the program) into Start > Programs. The new group contains items for running the application and its
help. In addition, a short-cut is added onto the desktop.

Maintaining and uninstalling the application


The repairing of the installation or its uninstalling can be started either by a repeated start of
SETUP.EXE from the installation medium or by a selection of appropriate item in Control panel >
Add or remove programs.

Update to a higher version


If the installation program finds on the computer an already installed lower version of the program, it
updates the existing installation to the new version.

Installation on a network server


The installation on a network server can be started by command SETUP.EXE /A. This command starts
the installation program in an administration mode.
First, the language of installation must be selected. This language determines the language of help files
on all workstations connected to the server.
In the next dialogue, the folder is selected where all the files of the server installation will be extracted.
After confirmation of the folder, the administration installation is extracted and the network installation
is created.

Connection to the network installation


The installation on a workstation in "connection to the network server" mode can be carried out by
running the file SETUP.EXE in the root folder of the network installation.
As first step, the language of the installation is selected. This language determines the language of the
application on its first run.
No other settings must be done. No files are copied to a local drive. Only components from the server
are registered.
The installation program adds group SCIA.ESA xx into Start > Programs. The new group contains
items for running the application and its help. In addition, a short-cut is added onto the desktop.
Both the local installation and the installation of the connection to the network server adjust the default
setting of application folders. This setting can be later changed using command Settings > Options, tab
Files, folders.
The default setting is as follows:
Cross-section library folder

C:\Program Files\SCIA\ESA1\Prof, where C:\Program


Files\SCIA\ESA1 is replaced by the real folder where the
application has been installed.

System database folder

C:\Program Files\SCIA\ESA\db, where C:\Program


Files\SCIA\ESA1 is replaced by the real folder where the
application has been installed.

34

SCIA.ESA PT
In addition, the following folders are set when the application is installed under Windows 2000 or
Windows XP:
User files

C:\Documents and Settings\USER_PROFILE_NAME\ESA1\User

Temporary files

C:\Documents and Settings\USER_PROFILE_NAME\ESA1\Temp

Project files

C:\Documents and Settings\USER_PROFILE_NAME\ESA1\Data

The following folders are set when the application is installed under Windows NT:
User files

C:\WINNT\Profiles\USER_PROFILE_NAME\ESA1\User

Temporary files

C:\WINNT\Profiles\USER_PROFILE_NAME\ESA1\Temp

Project files

C:\WINNT\Profiles\USER_PROFILE_NAME\ESA1\Data

USER_PROFILE_NAME is the name of user profile of the current user.

Note: If the user has to or decides to reinstall the program, for any reason, it is generally advisable
NOT TO delete the contents of User files folder. This folder holds all possible settings made by the user.
If the folder is removed as well, all the previously made settings will be lost (which of course, may be
desirable in some cases).

System requirements
Hardware requirements
processor speed

1 GHz

RAM

256 MB

graphic card

32 MB, OpenGL support

disk space for the program


disk space for
temporary files

projects

120 MB
and

100 MB (the required space may even be in GB (Giga


Bytes) for excessive project

Software requirements
MS Windows NT 4.0

MS Windows NT 4.0 with Service Pack 6 or later,


Internet Explorer 4.0 with Service Pack 2 or later,
MDAC 2.5 (version 2.50.4403.12,
amended by file ODBCJT32.DLL of version number 4.0.4403.2

MS Windows 2000

This system already contains all the required components.

MS Windows XP

Login requirements
In order to install SCIA.ESA PT, the account must have administrator rights.
In order to run SCIA.ESA PT, the account can have just user rights.

Note: MDAC stands for Microsoft Data Access Components. These system drivers provide for
access to databases of various types. SCIA.ESA PT uses particularly Microsoft Access driver. Some
software, e.g. MS Office, offer these system drivers and most of user already have them installed on
their computer. For those who do not have it, the drives are stored on SCIA.ESA PT installation CD
and may be installed separately prior to the installation of SCIA.ESA PT.

35

SCIA.ESA PT

Demo version
Demoversion is fully functioning in all modules with limitation in calculation. Only 25 beams and 2
load cases can be calculated. It is even possible to print results, but all printed material contains
background text "UNLICENCED SOFTWARE".

ATTENTION: A project created in the demoversion CANNOT be opened in a full version!!!

Uninstalling program
In order to uninstall the program use standard Windows procedure: invoke Control panel and select
Add or remove program.

Running the program


Starting program
Depending on your personal habits select one of the following ways:

Short-cut on desktop
1. If the short-cut has been placed on the desktop automatically during the installation, proceed to step 3.
2. Place the short-cut on the desktop.
a. Click the right mouse button on the desktop.
b. Select New > Short-cut command.
c. Browse the hard disk to find the folder you have installed SCIA.ESA PT into.
d. Select ESA.EXE and finish the New Short-cut command.
3. Double click the short-cut to start the program.

Start menu
1. Click Start button on the left of Windows status bar.
2. Select Programs > SCIA > ESA.

Windows explorer or another file manager


1. Browse the hard disk to find the folder you have installed SCIA.ESA PT into.
2. Select ESA.EXE file and double click it to start the program.

Tips for advanced users: If you are familiar with Microsoft Windows features you may as
well do any of the following:
Assign a hot key to the SCIA.ESA PT program to start it by pressing the defined key combination.
Integrate SCIA.ESA PT into your favourite file manager and start it from the toolbar of that file
manager.
Insert SCIA.ESA PT to the Windows 2000 toolbar.
Insert SCIA.ESA PT to the Microsoft Office short-cut panel.
Use any other approach available in Microsoft Windows environment.

36

SCIA.ESA PT

Program files and folders


The program uses numerous folders and file types to store its data.

Folders
Program folders
main program folder

It contains the program executable and auxiliary files.

set

It contains initialisation files for a new project. (The information


stored here may be overridden by the data from files saved in User
folders, if available.)

db

It stores system databases (e.g. materials, bolts, etc.)

prof

It contains cross-section databases.

DocumentTemplates

This folder offers a set of default templates for document. Its


contents is automatically copied into the appropriate user folder
on first program run.

GraphicTemplates

This folder offers a set of default templates for graphical outputs.


Its contents is automatically copied into the appropriate user folder
on first program run.

Note: All the program folders are ReadOnly.

User folders
set

It contains initialisation files for a new project.

db

It stores files with user-defined databases.

prof

It contains cross-section databases.

DocumentTemplates

This folder holds the templates for document.

GraphicTemplates

This folder holds the templates for graphical outputs.

Note: The destination of this folder may be adjusted in the appropriate program setup
dialogue.

Temporary folder
This folder stores all the information that the program needs to store during its run.
Note: The destination of this folder may be adjusted in the appropriate program setup
dialogue.

Project folder
This folder stores the user-crated projects.
Note: The destination of this folder may be adjusted in the appropriate program setup
dialogue.

Files
ESA

Project file

ESAD

Project file that has been created in a demo or student version of the program. It
cannot be read into a standard licensed version of the program.

EPW

Project file created in Esa Prima Win

DB4

Database file

SET

Initialisation file for the adjustment of project and user interface.

OTS

File with table templates for document.

EPD

Template for drawing in Paper space.

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SCIA.ESA PT

Upgrade from other products


Upgrade from EPW
SCIA.ESA PT keeps compatibility with program Esa Prima Win.
The users of ESA Prima Win may import their EPW projects into SCIA.ESA PT using the appropriate
Import function.

38

SCIA.ESA PT

Terminology and conventions


Terminology
Global terms
additional data entity

An entity that defines properties other than the shape of a


structural member, e.g. load, support, hinge, etc.

catalogue block;

A predefined template structure; some of repeatedly used types of


structure have been pre-created and can be quickly defined by a
simple selection of the appropriate type in the integrated
catalogue.

type structure

cut-out

A rectangular area created by a mouse when dragged over the


screen; the area extends from the point where the drag move
started to the point where the left button was released; the sides of
the cut-out are always horizontal and vertical.

entity

Either a beam, load, support, hinge or any other part of a structure


model the properties of which are defined and can be edited.

generator

A part of the program that automatically generates some kind of


data, e.g. the finite element mesh, load from a given wind
conditions, etc.

geometric entity

An entity that defines the geometry (or shape) of the structure. See
member.

intersection line

A polygonal line drawn by a mouse on the screen; the line can


intersect as many entities as desired.

member

Any structural member.

mesh

finite element mesh

solver

A part of the program that calculates the structure subject to the


defined load using the selected type of calculation. The solver first
assemblies the set of equations, then carries out the numerical
solution of the problem.

Geometric entities
beam

A straight or curved member defined by means of its midline and


cross-section. The cross-section may be constant or varying along
the length of the beam or

cross-link

A connection of two intersecting beams.

force load

Load in the form of force. It can be either point or continuous.

foundation block

A type of support that represents a pad foundation.

hinge

Connection of two members. It can be either rigid or of defined


elasticity.

load

Any kind of load that the structure is subject to.

moment load

Load in the form of bending moment. It can be either point or


continuous.

node

Generally a vertex of a member or a point where two or more


members intersect.

predefined load

A load defined by means of the composition of e.g. floor. The user


defines individual layers of the floor, their height and specific
weight.

rigid arm

A beam of an infinitely large stiffness.

support

Point or line support of a structure. Several types of supports are


available: standard, foundation pad, wall, etc.

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SCIA.ESA PT

Cross-sections
catalogue cross-section

A cross-section that can be defined by selecting from the library of


cross-sections. The library is an integral part of SCIA.ESA PT.

general cross-section

A cross-section the shape of which is completely defined by the


user.

reference point

The reference point is defined according to a cross-section type:


for catalogue cross-sections it is located in the first point of the
cross-section,
for general cross-sections and cross-sections defined by a polygon
it is identical with point [0,0].

Note: Some more terms may be found in the Glossary at the end of the documentation.

Co-ordinate systems
Introduction to co-ordinate systems
As a user of SCIA.ESA PT you will come across a set of various co-ordinate systems. Some co-ordinate
systems are essential for the work with the program itself, some others may significantly reduce the
effort and time necessary to get the required result.
The co-ordinate systems may be divided into several groups according to what they relate to:
global co-ordinate system

the essential co-ordinate system, provides for


positioning and orienting of a model and its
unambiguous definition

user-defined co-ordinate systems

facilitates the model definition, the user may


define its origin and direction

UCS
point definition co-ordinate systems;
geometry definition co-ordinate systems
entity co-ordinate systems
local co-ordinate system

provides for the definition of geometry in the most


straightforward way
defines the orientation of individual entities in a
model and provide for the unambiguous
interpretation of physical quantities related to the
entity

Global co-ordinate system


The global co-ordinate system used in the program is a three-dimensional right-handed Cartesian coordinate system.
The axes of the system are marked X, Y, and Z.

Note: It is highly recommended to locate the created model of a structure close to the origin of the
global co-ordinate system (i.e. near the point whose global co-ordinates are 0, 0, 0) in order to prevent
possible numerical inaccuracy due to numerical operations carried out with excessively great numbers.
It is further recommended to focus on this point especially after the model geometry has been imported
from a third-party CAD program.

User-defined co-ordinate system


In order to simplify and speed up work with a model, the user can define its own co-ordinate system or
systems and locate their origin, including possible inclination, anywhere in the global co-ordinate
system.

40

SCIA.ESA PT
The user-defined co-ordinate system is a three-dimensional right-handed Cartesian co-ordinate system.
The axes of the system are marked X, Y, and Z.
The user co-ordinate system may be set arbitrarily and the setting can be changed during work as many
times as required. In addition, any number of user co-ordinate systems may be defined simultaneously
but just one of them can be active at a time. The user can swap between the previously and also newly
defined user co-ordinate systems whenever it seems to be convenient.
For information about setting and using of user co-ordinate systems see chapter Basic Working Tools
> User co-ordinate system.

Entity co-ordinate systems


Introduction to entity co-ordinate systems
Each structural entity, that means each member, has got its own local co-ordinate system. This coordinate system is a three-dimensional right-handed Cartesian co-ordinate system.
The system provides for:
unambiguous positioning of the member in space,
unambiguous definition of load and boundary conditions,
unambiguous interpretation of results.
This chapter also deals with a group of co-ordinate systems that do not refer to a structural entity in the
full meaning of the word, but that is very closely related to it. This group consists of co-ordinate
systems used with cross-sections.

Cross-section co-ordinate system


There are several co-ordinate systems used with cross-sections. All the sectional co-ordinate systems
are two-dimensional right-handed Cartesian co-ordinate systems.

Principal (or main) axes


The principal axes correspond to the principal moments of inertia of a cross-section. They are marked u
and v.
The u axis is called (according to the official Eurocode terminology) a major axis and the v axis is
called a minor axis.
The principal axes are used to evaluate important sectional characteristics necessary for design and
assessment to technical standards (code check), e.g. moments of inertia, radiuses of gyration, etc.

Centroidal axes
The two centroidal axes pass the centroid of a cross-section and the first moments (the static moments)
of the cross-section around these axes are equal to zero.
The centroidal axes are marked y and z.
The centroidal axes are used to evaluate important sectional characteristics necessary for design and
assessment to technical standards (code check), e.g. moments of inertia, radiuses of gyration, section
modulus, etc.
For symmetrical cross-sections, the centroidal axes are identical to the principal axes.
For example, for steel cross-sections the centroidal y axis is parallel to the flanges and the centroidal z
axis is perpendicular to the flanges.

Geometric co-ordinate system


The geometric axes are used to define co-ordinates of cross-section vertices. The axes of the system are
marked y and z.

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SCIA.ESA PT

Orientation of the cross-section co-ordinate system with reference to the


beam local co-ordinate system
A cross-section is oriented so that the centroidal axis y is identical with beam local axis Y and the
centroidal axis z is identical with beam local axis Z. If the beam is being rotated around its local X axis,
also the sectional centroidal axes rotate.

Beam co-ordinate system


The beam co-ordinate system is a three-dimensional right-handed Cartesian co-ordinate system with
axes marked x, y, and z.
Each beam is defined by means of two end points by a "starting point" and by an "end point". Each
beam has got a unique local co-ordinate system, the origin of which is located in the starting point of a
beam. The x-axis is always identical with the longitudinal beam axis and its direction is from the staring
point towards the end point. By default, the y-axis is generally horizontal (unless the beam orientation
prevents this) and the z-axis is generally vertical (again, unless the beam orientation in space prevents
this configuration).

The local co-ordinate system can be rotated around its x-axis if required.
In addition to this local co-ordinate system, also a principal (or main) co-ordinate system can be
referred to on a beam. The principal co-ordinate system of a beam is related to the principal co-ordinate
system of the cross-section of a beam.

Geometric block co-ordinate system


Some of geometric blocks use a specific co-ordinate system. The system is used only throughout the
phase of block definition. The concrete co-ordinate system, if applied, is always displayed in the
dialogue for block definition.

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SCIA.ESA PT

Point definition co-ordinate systems


Introduction to point definition
Any geometric entity is defined by positions of its vertices. The vertices are defined as points inserted
into required location. Any inserted point, regardless the entity type it relates to, can be defined in one
of the following co-ordinate systems:
Cartesian co-ordinate system
Cylindrical co-ordinate system
Spherical co-ordinate system
The choice of a particular system depends on several factors:
how is the point position defined in the model drawings,
what is the most efficient and most easiest way for the specific situation,
which particular system is preferred by the user.

Cartesian co-ordinate system


A point in the Cartesian co-ordinate system is uniquely defined by three length co-ordinates x, y, and z.
The individual co-ordinates represent the distance of the point from the origin of the co-ordinate system
measured along individual axes x, y, and z respectively.

43

SCIA.ESA PT

Cylindrical co-ordinate system


In the cylindrical co-ordinate system the co-ordinate of any point is given by three components r, theta,
and z. The co-ordinates r and theta represent polar co-ordinates of a point in xy plane. And the z coordinate is a distance of the defined point from xy plane.
Thus the ordinate along x, y, and z axis are respectively:
x = r cos (theta),
y = r sin (theta),
z = z.

Spherical co-ordinate system


In the spherical co-ordinate system the co-ordinate of any point is given by three components r, Psi,
theta. Thus the ordinates along x, y and z axis are:
x = r sin (theta) cos (Psi),
y = r sin (theta) sin (Psi),
z = r cos (theta).

44

SCIA.ESA PT

Conventions for applied physical quantities


Input quantities conventions
The following notation and conventions are user in the program and in the program documentation.

Axes
global

local

Fx

Fy

Fz

Mx

My

Mz

External forces

Prescribed displacement and rotation


global

Ux

Uy

Uz

Fix

Fiy

Fiz

local

ux

uy

uz

fix

fiy

fiz

Both external forces and translations are considered as positive when acting in the direction of an
appropriate axis. E.g. Force defined in global co-ordinate system and acting in the direction of the
positive global X-axis is taken as positive. Force defined in global co-ordinate system and acting in the
direction opposite to the direction of the positive global X-axis is taken as negative.

Output quantities conventions


The following notation is user in the program and in the program documentation.

Axes
global

local

Displacement and rotation


global

Ux

Uy

Uz

Fix

Fiy

Fiz

local

ux

uy

uz

fix

fiy

fiz

Rx

Ry

Rz

Mx

My

Mz

Vy

Vz

Mx

My

Mz

sig x

sig y

sig z

tau xy

tau yz

tau xz

Reactions

Internal forces

Stress

45

SCIA.ESA PT

Units
Introduction to units
SCIA.ESA PT supports various unit types.
SI units

International system of units (metric practice)

FPS units

foot-pound-second unit

Imperial, English units, US


unit

FPS unit

Length units
Imperial length units
The imperial units for length are:
inch (in),
foot (ft).
The official values for conversion are:
quantity

multiply by

to obtain

inch

25.400

millimetre (mm)

foot

0.3048

metre (m)

Display style of length units


Display style of length units is defined by format, precision and unit symbol.

Format
The format can be:
scientific (1.55E+01)
engineering (15.50E+00) (the exponent is ..., -09, -06, -03, +00, +03, +06, +09, ... )
decimal (15.50)
fractional (15 1/2)

Precision
The precision for scientific and decimal format is defined as follows. Sample value is 3.1415926

46

Decimal length in
Units Setup

Precision

Result

0.1

3.1

0.01

3.14

0.001

3.142

0.0001

3.1416

etc.

etc.

etc.

SCIA.ESA PT
The precision for fractional format is defined as follows.
Fractional precision in Units Setup

Precision

1/8

1/16

etc.

etc.

unit

symbol

millimetre

mm

centimetre

cm

decimetre

dm

metre

Unit symbol

inch (1st option)

in

nd

inch (2 option)

"

foot (1st option)

ft

nd

foot (2 option)

st

foot-inch (1 option)

ft in

foot-inch (2nd option)

"

Example
The value is 78.24 cm.
Format

Precision

Unit symbol

Result

scientific

0.001

centimetre (cm)

7.824E+01 cm

scientific

0.01

millimetre (mm)

7.82E+02 mm

engineering

0.001

centimetre (cm)

78.240E+00 cm

engineering

0.01

millimetre (mm)

782.40E+00 mm

decimal

0.01

centimetre (cm)

78.24 cm

decimal

0.001

inches (in)

30.803 in

decimal

0.001

inches (")

30.803 "

decimal

0.001

feet (ft)

2.567 ft

decimal

0.001

feet (')

2.567 '

decimal

0.001

feet-inches (ft in)

2 ft 6.803 in

decimal

0.001

feet-inches (' ")

2' 6.803"

fractional

1/16

feet(')

2-9/16'

fractional

1/16

inches (")

30-13/16"

fractional

1/16

inches (in)

30-13/16 in

fractional

1/16

feet-inches (' ")

2' 6-13/16"

Input of length units


For metric units (mm, cm, dm, m), the scientific and decimal formats are supported. Once the value is
input, the value is transformed into the defined format, precision and unit.
For the imperial units (in and ft), the scientific, decimal and fractional formats are supported. The use of
symbols " and ' is supported. The fractional input (-1/2, -3/4, ) is supported. When entering fractions,

47

SCIA.ESA PT
the fractions must be separated from the rest by a hyphen. Once the value is input, the value is
transformed into the defined format (scientific, decimal, fractional), precision and unit symbol.
It is always possible to enter a number in greater precision than defined by settings. The precise value is
stored internally and the displayed value reflects the Units setup.

Examples for imperial units


Input string

Display setting

Result

3.5

decimal, inches (")

3.5"

3-1/2

decimal, inches (")

3.5"

5'

decimal, inches (")

60"

5.3' 6"

decimal, inches (")

69.6"

5.3' 6.6"

decimal, inches (")

70.20"

5.3' 6.6

decimal, inches (")

70.20"

3.5

decimal, feet (')

3.5'

3-1/2

decimal, feet (')

3.5'

5'

decimal, feet (')

5.0'

5.3' 6"

decimal, feet (')

5.80'

5.3' 6.6"

decimal, feet (')

5.85'

5.3' 6.6

decimal, feet (')

5.85'

3.5

fractional, feet (')-inches (")

3' 6"

3-1/2

fractional, feet (')-inches (")

3' 6"

5'

fractional, feet (')-inches (")

5' 0"

5.3' 6"

fractional, feet (')-inches (")

5' 9-5/8"

5.3' 6.6"

fractional, feet (')-inches (")

5' 10-1/4"

5.3' 6.6

fractional, feet (')-inches (")

5' 10-1/4"

Angle units
The display of the angle unit is defined by the format and the precision.

Format
decimal degrees (45.000)
degrees/minutes/seconds (45d0'0")
grads (50.000g)
radians (0.7854r)

Precision
The precision of angle units is analogous to decimal format of Length units.
Similarly to Length units, the settings for display style of angle units can be made in Units setup.

48

SCIA.ESA PT

Layout and operation


Layout and operation overview
SCIA.ESA PT is a computer program designed for running on Microsoft Windows platform. Therefore,
the program incorporates common MS Windows features and conventions. Consequently, user
accustomed to another MS Windows application will have no difficulties in both (i) orienting in the
program and (ii) operating it.
Nevertheless, we assume it more that practical to make a complete description of:
program interface components,
their layout on a screen,
basic and advanced program controls such as dialogues, menus, etc.,
operation of the program control elements.
The following pages will give you a detailed description of every part of the program that you can come
across during your work.

User interface
Introduction to user interface
The user interface is a part of the program that can be seen on the screen and that provides for the
communication between the user and the program. It is often called a "graphical interface".
The user interface consists of several mutually connected and co-operating parts. The following table
shows a brief overview of them.
Title bar

It is the top most part of the application window. It holds the


basic information about the application.

Status bar

It displays various information related to a concrete program


action.

Menu bar

This bar contains a menu that can be used to operate the


program.

Tree menu window

It contains a tree-like menu used to call individual program


functions.

Toolbar

It provides for fast access to most common functions.

Working window

There are two types of application working window: graphical


window and document window (see below).

Graphical window

It is a type of an application window that shows drawings of


the designed object. The window displays the designed object,
calculated results and accepts commands from a mouse.

Document window

It is a type of an application window that shows the


information about the designed object in the form of tables,
text comments and, of course, drawings

Preview window

The window shows various types of information in the form of


tables and drawings. It can be used to edit objects properties.
This is a special kind of a document window.

Command line

The command line can be used to type commands to operate


the program and it also displays brief instructions about what
to do during individual running actions

Graphical window pop-up


menu

This menu is a menu associated with each of opened graphical


windows of the application. It provides for fast access to some
of the most often used functions.

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SCIA.ESA PT
In addition to these standard Windows application parts of a user interface, SCIA.ESA PT makes use of
a set of unique specially developed control elements that are described in separate chapters (e.g.
Property window, database manager, etc.).

Title bar
The title bar is the heading of the application window. It consists of three parts:
the program icon (on the left side of the bar)
text information about the application name
text information about the name of the opened and active project and the number of the active project
window
three control buttons for (i) minimising the application window, (ii) making the application window
full-screen, and (iii) closing the application on the right side of the bar.

Note: The first and the last feature of the title bar is the common feature of any Microsoft
Windows application.

Example of a title bar

Status bar
The status bar is a bar placed at the bottom of the application window. It is used to display information
about the program and/or about the functions under process and it contains a few control elements. By
default the status bar shows the following information:
co-ordinates of the mouse
cursor position in UCS

When a function requiring the definition of a point (e.g.


insertion of a beam) is running, the status bar shows the cursor
position in the current user co-ordinate system.

co-ordinates of the mouse


cursor position in GCS

If selected in the application settings the status bar shows the


co-ordinates also in the global co-ordinate system.

project length units

The bar displays the current length unit (e.g. meter, inch, etc.).
The unit can be easily changed by simple clicking on the unit
box on the status bar.

orientation of working plane

The working plane box of the status bar shows the current
orientation of the working plane. The orientation can be
changed by clicking on the working plane box.

[SNAP mode]

This button enables the user to adjust required SNAP mode.

[Filter for selections]

Selections may be limited to specific entities. This can be


adjusted by means of selection filter. The status bar shows the
current filter status and also provides for its change.

[Current UCS]

This button displays the current UCS for the active window. If
pressed, it opens the UCS manager.

[Active code]

A small icon shows the flag of the country whose code is


currently set as active.

The status bar also displays a brief help text for program elements like a toolbar button or a menu
function if the mouse cursor is just being placed on such an element.

50

SCIA.ESA PT

Example of a status bar

Note: The status bar in the picture does not show the global co-ordinates of the mouse
position. This option can be switched on or off in the Application settings.

Menu bar
The menu bar is, by default, located just under the Title bar of the application window. It can be,
however, moved into another position within the application window. It can be either docked to the left
or upper edge of the application window, or it can be let floating anywhere within the work area.
Majority of SCIA.ESA PT functions is accessible via this menu. There are some functions that can be
accessed only from the tree menu of from toolbars.
Example of menus
menu View > View

menu Modify > Edit curves

Tree menu window


The tree window is similar in function to the menu bar but it is more readable and user-friendly.
The individual items of the tree may be:
service

It opens another tree menu in the same window. E.g. service Structure,
Loads, etc.

function

It opens a specific function, e.g. Point load in node, Cross-link, etc.

branch

It opens a branch of the tree and shows individual functions in it. E.g.
branch Point load offers functions Point load in node and Point load on
beam.

How to operate the tree menu


The procedure to operate the tree menu is very straightforward and closely resembles the operating
rules for standard Microsoft Windows tree control.

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SCIA.ESA PT

Opening branches of the tree


The tree consists of a main branch and possible sub-branches. If an item has a sub-branch, it is indicated
with a plus sign (+) in front of the item name. The sub-branch can be opened (listed on the screen) by
means of either (i) a left mouse button single click on the plus sign or (ii) a left mouse button doubleclick on the item name. If the same action is made with already opened a branch, the branch is closed.

Activating tree branch items


In order to activate an item of a branch (either a main branch item that opens a service or sub-branch
item that opens a particular function), simply double-click on the item name with the left mouse button.
Depending on the item type either a corresponding function is activated or a particular service tree
menu is displayed.
If the branch item represents a particular function, it can also be activated using a button at the bottom
part of the tree menu window.

Closing a service
In order to close the whole service you can do the following:
press the [Close] button,
if a function is still opened, press the [Esc] key twice,
a function has been already closed or terminated, press the [Esc] key once.

Closing a function
In order to close the function, you can use one of the following ways:
press the [Close] button (this option closes the service as well),
press the [Esc] key once.
click the [Arrow] (

) button on the toolbar at the top of the command line.

invoke the window pop-up menu and select function End.

Terminating a function
In order to abandon the activated function without accepting the already made changes, press [Ctrl] +
Break keys simultaneously.
It is also possible to invoke the window pop-up menu and select function Cancel.
Example of a tree menu

52

SCIA.ESA PT

Toolbars
Toolbars are a small floating windows-like objects containing sets of buttons. The buttons can be used
for opening various functions. The toolbars may be let floating on the screen or may be docked to any
side of the screen.
Examples
toolbar View

toolbar Geometrical
manipulations

Command line
The command line provides for the following:
some functions can be activated via typing the appropriate command,
if any function has been already called (regardless whether via the command line, menu, tree menu, or
toolbar button), it displays guiding instructions on the command line,
if any function requires a numerical input (e.g. co-ordinates of an inserted point), the corresponding
value or values may be typed on the command line.
Especially the second feature is very useful particularly for beginning users as they are clearly guided
through the function they want to use and can simply follow the presented step-by-step instructions.

Syntax of commands
The syntax of a command on the command line is:
command parameter1 [parameter2] [parameter3] [etc.]
Example
SEL BEAM1
This command adds the beam named BEAM1 into the current selection.

Syntax for input of co-ordinates


The important thing to be aware of is that if a co-ordinate is typed by means of one or two numbers
only, it is considered to be defined in the active working plane of the current user co-ordinate system.
If the point is defined by means of three values, it is considered to be defined in the current user coordinate system. In this case, the orientation of the working plane is not taken into account at all.

General syntax for the definition of a point


[prefix] [number] [separator] [number] [separator] [number]
Prefix
none
@

absolute co-ordinate in UCS

*
@*

co-ordinate in GCS

relative co-ordinate related to the last input point, defined in


UCS
relative co-ordinate related to the last input point, defined in
GCS

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SCIA.ESA PT

Number
[space] [sign] [nnn] [.] [nnn] [exp] [sign] [nnn]
[space]
if any, ignored
[sign]
sign plus or minus (+ or -)
[nnn]
row of digits 0,1, ..., 9
[,]
decimal comma or point
[exp]
exponent sign e or E

Separator
;
<

length value follows


angle value follows

Syntax for the definition of a point in Cartesian co-ordinates


[*,@][X],[Y],[Z]
Examples
12.4;45.8;12.
4
123.4;345.8

absolute point co-ordinate in UCS 12.4, 45.8, 12.4


absolute point co-ordinate in the current working plane of the
UCS 123.4, 345.8

@123;23;5

relative co-ordinate related to the last inserted point in UCS


123, 23, 5

@123;23

relative co-ordinate related to the last inserted point in the


current working plane of the UCS 123, 23

@123

relative co-ordinate related to the last inserted point in the


current working plane of the UCS 123, 0

*123;23;5
*

global co-ordinate in GCS 123, 23, 5


the origin of GCS 0, 0, 0

Syntax for the definition of a point in polar co-ordinates


[*,@][length]<[angle]
Examples
123<90
123<180

absolute co-ordinate of point in UCS 0, 123, 0


absolute co-ordinate of point in UCS 0, -123, 0

Syntax for the definition of a point in spherical co-ordinates


[*,@][length]<[ angle]<[angle]
Example
123<90<90

absolute co-ordinate of point in UCS 0, 0, 123

Syntax for the definition of a point in cylindrical co-ordinates


[*,@][length]<[angle],[length]
Example
123<90;200

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absolute co-ordinate of point in UCS 0, 123, 20

SCIA.ESA PT

Property table
A property table is a SCIA.ESA PT unique control used in the program dialogues and in the Property
window. The control looks like a table (basically a two column multi-row table) whose first column
contains names of individual items displayed in the table and the second column shows their values.
Generally, the values in the "value cells" of the property table may be modified. There are various
means for the change of the value (see bellow). In addition, the individual items of the table may be
interlinked either (i) to another part of the program (e.g. another dialogue) or (ii) to a graphical window.
Both variants represent a powerful feature increasing significantly the simplicity and speed of editing
process.
In order to unify the appearance of the program dialogues, the property table is also used even for
passive display of information. In such a case, the "value cells" are disabled to prevent an accidental
alteration of the values.

Type of property table cells


name cell

It contains the name of the item whose value is displayed in the coupled
value cell.

group cell

This is a special case of the name cell. Sometimes, the name cell is
standalone and is not coupled with any value cell. This is used to display
e.g. the name of a group of items.

value cell

This cell holds the corresponding data. The data may or may not be edited
depending on the particular situation.

The value cell may be of several types. Where possible, the cell terminology is taken from the standard
MS Windows terminology for dialogue box components. In parenthesis, a descriptive name is added (if
applicable).
edit box
(simple value cell)

The basic type of cell provides for manual input of value. Depending on
the particular item the value may be either numerical or alphanumerical.

(selection list cell)

This control is used for items where the proper value is defined by
selection from a list of available variants.

tick box

This type of cell provides for two limit value only for YES and NO.

combo box

(yes/no cell)
button

The button can be used to start a required type of action, e.g. open a
dialogue, etc.

colour list

This type is similar to the combo box. The difference is that it offers
colours only.

Combination of cell types in one table cell


The individual cell types may be combined within a single cell. That means that, for example, one table
cell may consist of a combo box and a button, or of three edit boxes.
This feature is used e.g. in tables where a cross-section should be specified. The table sell then contains:
a combo box with all cross-section already defined in the current project,
a button that opens the Cross-section manager and thus provides for the definition of a new crosssection type if none of the existing ones meets requirements on the particular item.

Interconnection between table cells and graphical window


In some dialogues, individual table items may be related to a specific part of the drawing shown in the
graphical window. In such a case, it would be useful:
to highlight the appropriate part of the drawing if the corresponding table cell is selected, or
to highlight the appropriate table cell if the corresponding part of the drawing has been clicked on.

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SCIA.ESA PT
The SCIA.ESA PT property table makes this possible. Therefore, where applicable and useful, the
appropriate table cells are interlinked with corresponding drawing parts.
As an example we may give the dialogue for editing of a cross-section. Here, the dimensions of a crosssection represent exactly what this feature is ideal for. On clicking any of dimension lines in the
drawing, the corresponding table row is highlighted, and vice versa.
Example of a property table
The picture below shows the cross-section editing dialogue. The mouse cursor is positioned in the
graphical window of the Cross-section manager over the height dimension line. After the left mouse
button was clicked, the corresponding item in the table above the picture got the focus (the blue item).

Progress bar
Especially for large models, some actions performed in SCIA.ESA PT may be rather time consuming.
In order to tell the user what the progress is, a progress bar is shown on the screen.
It simply:
indicates that the program is working,
measures what portion of the total work has been already finished.
The progress bar may appear either in a modal dialogue or on a status bar.
It may look like e.g.:

Note: If the application window is not maximized, it may happen that the progress bar cannot fit
into the status bar whose length is limited by the adjusted width of the application window. In that case,
the progress bar that would normally appear on the status bar is invisible.

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Application windows
Introduction to application windows
All the information that the program can give to the user is displayed in an application window. An
application window can of the following types:
graphical window,
document window,
preview window.
The user can use all the window types at the same time and swap between them freely, or he may use
just one type at a time. It depends completely on his or her will and habits.
At the same time, as many graphical and document windows can be opened as the user considers
convenient to him. On the other hand, there can be opened just one preview window.

Graphical window
This window can be perceived as a drawing board, however with rather advanced functionality. A
model defined by the user is displayed in this window. The individual parts of a model can be literally
drawn in this window. All selections of any function are made in this window type and any response of
the program to the users action affecting the model is shown in this window. Also the calculated results
are shown in this window. The window both displays the project data and receives information from the
user provided by means of mouse moves and clicking.
An arbitrary number of graphical windows, regardless of their type, can be opened at the same type for
one or several different projects.
Example of a graphical window

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SCIA.ESA PT

Graphical window pop-up menu


Every graphical window that SCIA.ESA PT creates has a pop-up menu associated with it. This menu
provides for a fast access to some frequently used functions.
To access this menu, move the mouse pointer so that it is within the window - not inside the title bar,
nor on the window's borders. Then press the rightmost mouse button to make the menu appear on the
screen. Then move the mouse to highlight the required option. Click the leftmost button to start the
selected action.
The window pop-up menu is described in detail in a separate chapter Basic working tools > Window
pop-up menu.
Example of a pop-up menu

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SCIA.ESA PT

Document window
This window type is used to display a document or report about an analysed model, its input data,
results of calculation, and assessment to technical standards (i.e. code check). This window can contain
both graphical and text information.
An arbitrary number of document windows, regardless of their type, can be opened at the same type for
one or several different projects.
Example of a document window

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SCIA.ESA PT

Preview window
At first sight, the preview window looks like a document window. In fact, it is a simplified version of
the document window. You can display information about required entities in this type of window in
the form of clearly readable tables and even edit the structure data in them.
For example, it is possible to display in the preview window information about selected cross-sections,
about selected beams and their load, etc.
Example of a preview window

Property window
Property window
The property window has its name derived from a property table that is displayed in it. The property
window summarises parameters, characteristics and selected options of particular entities such as nodes,
beams, loads, result diagrams, etc.
The property window always shows information related to the selected entities or selected function.
However, the property window has been designed to not only passively display the properties, but also
to provide for fast and easy modification of them.
If the current selection consists of only one entity, generally all the parameters can be modified. If more
than one entity has been selected, the property window automatically applies a filter and displays the
parameters that the selected entities have in common.
If a function has been started, the property window may contain some switches that may affect the
behaviour of the function. Most of the functions from service Results are good examples as the
property window enables the user to select required quantity to-be-displayed, adjust the style of result
diagrams, etc.
Example of a property window

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SCIA.ESA PT

Action buttons
As the name suggests, the Property Table comprises properties of a particular part of a structure
model. Sometimes however, the property table contains also a control that starts a particular action
related to the element whose properties are displayed in the table.
If such controls (buttons in particular) are put somewhere inside the table, they may be overlooked.
Therefore, these buttons were "extracted" from the table and are located in a special section called
Action buttons or Action toolbar.
Thus, all the actions that are accessible for the current properties or for the "property-owner" are visibly
and clearly separated from the often long list of information and can be easily accessed.
Action buttons are used in various parts of SCIA.ESA PT.

Action buttons in the Property Window


The table below presents some (not all) applications of Action buttons.
service Steel >
function Check

Refresh

It redraws the screen in order to reflect the changes made in the


Property Window (see also Refresh of results).

Single check

It opens a dialogue that provides for checking of a single selected


beam.

Optimisation

It opens a dialogue for the optimisation of selected beams.

Preview

It opens the Preview window and displays the relevant information


in it.

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service Steel >
function Connection
check

Open preview

It opens the Preview window and displays the relevant information


in it.

service Results >


function Internal forces

Refresh

It redraws the screen in order to reflect the changes made in the


Property Window (see also Refresh of results).

Preview

It opens the Preview window and displays the relevant information


in it.

Action buttons in Database managers


Action buttons are used for example in the Load case combinations manager.
Explode

This buttons explodes the defined combination and shows the


critical (or significant) internally generated combinations.

Explode to all possible

This buttons explodes the defined combination and shows ALL


possible internally generated combinations.

See also chapter Exploded combinations.

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SCIA.ESA PT

Detailed properties
Models created in SCIA.ESA PT consist usually of a large number of individual elements. Some of
these elements themselves have a lot of specific properties. Some of the properties may depend on other
properties. Consequently, the total number of properties that must be treated may be enormous.
If all the properties were listed in the Property window, whenever the particular element is selected,
the Property window would be overfilled, unclear, and its contents confusing, which in turn could lead
to unintentional mistakes during the input of property values.
Therefore, a new solution has been developed. Property tables that are too complex to be shown in a
single Property window are divided into several parts, each of which contains properties related to a
single "master" property listed in the main property table.
The "slave" property tables are simple modal dialogues accessible from the main property table via a
button.

Example
Lets imagine a simple frame connection of a column and inclined beam.

The Property table shown in the Property window of such a connection may look like:

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SCIA.ESA PT

If an end plate is inserted into the connection, a button next to the check box appears and if pressed, the
End plate property dialogue is displayed:

Here all the properties related to the end plate may be defined.
Similarly, if bolts are defined, a button next to the Bolts check box is offered and if pressed, the Bolts
property dialogue is displayed:

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SCIA.ESA PT

Here all the properties related to the used bolts may be specified.

Database managers
Introduction to database manager
A database manager is a tool that provides for all possible operations related to manipulation with
entities stored in some of program databases. The term "program database" stands e.g. for a database of
materials, cross-sections, catalogue blocks, etc. defined in a current project.
It is obvious that:
individual entities of these databases must be somehow defined,
there must be a way to edit them, copy them, delete them,
the user must have an opportunity to review parameters of the individual entities,
there must exist a procedure to select one entity as a "default" for functions requiring an entity of that
type as an input parameter,
the approach to all these points must be unique regardless the type of database.
Consequently, SCIA.ESA PT integrates a tool called "manager".

Layout and operation of a database manager


A manager consists basically of the following controls:
List of defined entities of a
particular database

The list shows all the entities related to the database of the manager that
have been defined in the current project so far.

Property table

This table shows a brief summary of parameters for the database entity
that is just selected in the list of already defined entities (see above).

Graphical window

This window displays a drawing of the database entity whose parameters


are just listed in the property table.

Control buttons

The buttons provide the access to the functions that are accessible from
within the particular manager.

Filter

The filter allows for a readable representation of data in the Manager.

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List of defined database entities


The list summarises all the database entities that has been defined in the project. Most often, the list
contains names of the entities. However, if useful and practical, some additional information may be
added next to the name.

Property table
The property table displays parameters for the entity that is selected in the list of defined entities. It
provides for a quick review of the parameter values. Some of the parameters can also be edited here.
But normally, the modification of the parameters is performed in the editing dialogue for a particular
entity type.

Graphical window
This window contains a schematic drawing of the database entity the parameters of which are presented
in the property table. This window is fitted with a pop-up menu. The menu offers the user some
important functions related to the displayed entity.

Control buttons
There are several control buttons in the Manager that allow to user to use various actions that may be
performed with database entities.
button

meaning

[New]

This button opens the New entity dialogue where a new entity can
be defined and inserted into the current project.

[Edit]

This button opens the Editing dialogue for the entity currently
selected in the List of defined entities. The Editing dialogue
provides for thorough and detailed review or editing of the entity
parameters.

[Delete]

This button allows the user to get rid of those entities of the
particular database that are no longer necessary in the project.

[Copy]

The Copy button makes a copy of the entity that is selected in the
List of defined entities.

[System
database]

It enables the user to read items from a standard system database.

[Read]

It enables the user to read database items from an external file


users database.

[Save]

It saves selected entities of the database to an external file users


database.

[Text Output]

This button opens the preview window and displays all the
parameters in it for the entity that is selected in the List of defined
entities.

[Close]

This button has got two functions. First, it sets the currently
highlighted item in the List of defined entities as the active (or
current) entity. Second, it closes the database manager.

Filter
The filter provides for more readable representation of data in the Manager if the current project
contains an excessive number of defined entities of the particular type. The filter allows the user to set a
limited set of entities that are displayed in the List of defined entities. The entities that do not meet the
chosen criterion are "removed" from the list, but still remain normally defined in the project.

Note: Some specific database managers may contain additional functionality. It is added in the
form of additional control buttons.

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SCIA.ESA PT
Example of a database manager

Opening the database manager


A Manager is opened whenever the appropriate function is activated. E.g. function Library > Crosssections opens the Cross-section manager, etc.
In general, the particular manager is also opened when a general procedure for the definition of a new
database entity is invoked. In such a case, the opening of the manager is usually one of the first steps of
the procedure.
From the users point of view a database manager is a standard Windows modal dialogue. That means
that:
it is opened via a function associated with it,
it must be closed before the user can continue with the started multi-step action of before another
function can be activated.
it contains control elements that provide for actions and tasks that are accessible from within the
manager.
The operation is simple and straightforward and is clear from the description of layout of a database
manager.

Note: The Particular manager can also be opened from various property dialogues that contain an
item associated with the particular database manager Such an item contains a button to open the
appropriate manager.

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Example:
A cross-section manager opened from within the property dialogue of a new beam.

Pop-up menu of database manager


The graphical window of a database manager is equipped with a pop-up menu that summarises some
important functions.
Zoom rectangle

The user may define the cut-out that should fit into the graphical
window.

Zoom all

This option zooms the drawing in or out so that the whole drawing
fits the available window area.

Gallery

It copies the drawing into the Picture gallery.

Document

It copies the drawing into the Document.

Print

This function prints the drawing on the connected graphical


device.

Copy to clipboard

It copies the drawing into the Windows clipboard.

Copy to BMP file

It saves the drawing into a Windows Bitmap file.

Copy to WMF file

It saves the drawing into a Windows Meta File.

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SCIA.ESA PT

Program settings
Language of program
Language of the program
By default, the program starts and works in the language chosen during the installation. For many users,
however, another language of the user interface may be more suitable. The language of the application
and language for outputs can be set in the Setup > Options dialogue.

The procedure for adjustment of a required language


1. Open function Setup > Options :
a. using menu function Setup > Options,
b. using icon Options settings (

) on toolbar Main.

2. Select tab Other.


3. In the group Language default select the required language for the program.
4. In the group Language default select the required language for outputs.
5. Confirm the settings.

Note: The change takes affect only after the restart of the program.

User level
Level of the user interface
The user may choose from two predefined settings of the user interface:
Standard

This option is recommended for beginners and for those who need
to analyse just simple, mainly 2D, frame structures. In this level,
the program automatically hides some features that are not
essential for standard or simple projects.

Advanced

This option is useful for those who need to make a project of a


complex structure and for well trained and advanced users of the
program. In this mode, the user has access to all program features
which inevitably leads to longer menus and fuller dialogues.

Standard level
In the Standard level there are several limitations:
Project settings:
Functionality

Only options Non-linearity, Buckling and CAD-shape are


available.
In Non-linearity, only options Initial deformations and
curvature and 2nd order geometrical nonlinearity are
available.

Project settings:

Only option One is available.

Model
Project settings:

Neither Wind load nor Snow load can be defined.

Loads
Service Structure

Items Arbitrary profiles, Import ESA project, Rigid arm,


Cross-link are not available.

Service Structure:

In 3D model, parameter Alpha is not available.

New beam

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SCIA.ESA PT
Service Structure:

Only Point supports in node can be defined.

Support
Node

It is not possible to define local co-ordinate system of nodes.

Geometrical
manipulations

The following geometric manipulations are not available:

Scale

Stretch

Enlarge by defined length

Break in defined points

Join

Extend

Polyline edit

Curve edit

Calculation

Function Mesh generation is not available. The mesh can be


generated only as an integral step of calculation procedure.

Force load

Parameter Eccentricity is not available for force loads.

Predefined load

Predefined load is not available.

User co-ordinate system

Definition and storing of named user co-ordinate systems is not


available.

Line grid

Line grid is not available.

Selections

Filter for selections is not available.

Application options
Workspace settings
Workspace settings cover various parameters that allow the user to adjust the SCIA.ESA PT user
interface to meet his/her needs, requirements and habits.
Environment

This group comprises parameters linked to the display style, in


other words the style in which the information is shown on the
screen. In addition, this group contains also some general
parameters related to the user interface.

Templates

Here, the user may specify template drawings that are used
whenever a new drawing is being printed or created in the Paper
space gallery.

Directories

Appropriate directories (or folders) can be defined for individual


program files.

Protection

This group defines the type of protection.

Code

This tab contains a button adjusting an active code of the project.

Other

This group enables the user to adjust language of the application


and default behaviour on opening of the program.

For setting of application options see chapter Adjusting the application options.

Environment settings
Parameters affecting the user interface appearance make up this group of Workspace settings.

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Window settings
Show scrollbar in view

This item specifies whether the graphical windows are equipped


with scroll-bars on their right and bottom edges.

Rendering

The item sets the mode that is used for drawing into application
graphical windows.

Hidden lines

This option specifies the mode for hidden lines of individual


structural entities.

Line pattern length

This item specifies the style of dashed lines.

Rendering
Disabled

This mode disables any rendering. The drawing on the screen is


fast but reverse surfaces of the structure cannot be hidden and are
shown.

Disabled wire

This mode is almost identical to the one above. It is however


modified to run even on computers with old types of graphical
cards where the mode above may not function properly.

Enabled (hardware or
graphic card rendering)

If this option is selected, the hardware rendering capability of the


computer is employed. This option may lead to a "distorted"
display on some computers, especially those with older models of
graphic cards.

Software emulation

This options tells the computer to simulate the rendering capability


by means of software algorithms. This option should work
properly on all computers. However, if selected on slower one it
may lead to longer response of the computer during regeneration
of the screen.

Hidden lines
The Hidden lines option serves as a substitute for full and proper rendering if the Rendering itself is
disabled.
The available options are:
Invisible

The hidden lines (hidden parts of entity surfaces) are not drawn at
all.

Dashed

The hidden lines are drawn in dashed style.

In addition to the above-mentioned options, it is possible to select whether the intersections of


individual surfaces should be calculated and displayed.

Note: The settings made here determine which mode of rendering and hidden line display is set for
the application. This setting does not mean that the rendering of the scene (i.e. of what is displayed on
the screen) is really applied. To do so, the rendering must be switched on for the required graphical
window. This can be done by means of the appropriate view parameter for the appropriate graphical
window.

Line pattern length


This item affects the style of dashed lines. The dashed lines may be used whenever within the projects.
Any dashed line is controlled by this item.
Small number means short lines used in the dashed line with smaller gaps in between.
Large number means long lines used in the dashed line with longer gaps in between.

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Command settings
Right mouse button click
generates End of function

If this option is ticked, the right mouse button generates End of


command when pressed in any opened function such as definition
of a new beam, move of beam, etc.

Skins
Select skin

This option allows the user from pre-defined screen styles of the
application.

Other parameters
Maximum number of
grouping properties

This value determines the maximum number of entities that can be


selected at a time so that the Property window was filled with the
parameters of the selected entities. If the number specified here is
exceeded, the property window is left blank and can be filled in
only on users explicit request.

Display global coordinates in status bar

By default, the status bar displays co-ordinates defined in an active


user co-ordinate system. In addition, the global co-ordinates may
be displayed as well.

For setting of application options see chapter Adjusting the application options.

Graphic templates settings


This tab enables the user to define templates which new drawings will be based on. This option may be
useful for example if a title block with the company logo should be attached to every drawing.
Print picture

Defines the template for function Print picture.

Overview drawings
manager

Defines the template for drawings created in the Paper space


gallery.

For setting of application options see chapter Adjusting the application options.

Directories settings
This dialogue allows the user to specify the location of SCIA.ESA PT files. The adjustment can be
made separately for individual file types.
Temporary

The folder stores any temporary files.

User

The folder stores all files with user-made settings.

Project

The folder stores projects created and saved by the user.

Database

The folder stores databases provided with the program.

Profiles

The folder stores databases of cross-sections provided with the


program.

User block library

The folder stores all user blocks that may be arranged in


subfolders of this main library folder.

Note: The changes made in this dialogue will take affect ONLY after the program is closed and
restarted. The items on this tab sheet CANNOT be edited if any project is currently opened.
For setting of application options see chapter Adjusting the application options.

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Project settings
This dialogue offers a set of settings that relates to projects opened in SCIA.ESA PT.
None

No action is carried out when the application is started.

Last opened project

The last opened project is automatically loaded into the


application on its start.

Show Open project


dialogue

When the application is started, the Open project dialogue is


automatically displayed to allow for the selection of the project to
be processed.

For setting of application options see chapter Adjusting the application options.

Protection settings
The Protection settings specify the type of software protection that is used with the program.
The hardware lock (dongle) that is an integral part of a properly licences installation of SCIA.ESA PT
contains information about available (i.e. legally purchased) modules. The licence information can also
be stored in a coded file that can be stored on the local computer or anywhere within the local network.
The licence information from this coded file can be read by a commercial licence manager Flexlm. The
licence manager can manage multiple licences and control the number of simultaneously attached (i.e.
working at the same time) users. The licences controlled by the licence manager Flexlm are called
"floating" licences. The licence stored directly in the dongle is called "standalone".

Type
demo

The program starts in demo mode only.

only standalone

The licence information is read only from the hardware lock.

only floating

The licence information is read only from the licence file of


licence manager Flexlm.

first
standalone,
floating

then

First, the licence stored in the hardware lock is sought. In case of


failure, the licence manager Flexlm is used to find a valid and free
licence.
This option is useful if a user with a local hardware lock wants to
use his/her licence. The licence-seeking process ensures that the
licence from the local hardware lock is used instead preferably and
the network licence is preserved for other users that are not
equipped with hardware locks.

first
floating,
standalone

then

First, the licence is sought using the licence manager Flexlm. In


case of failure, the local hardware lock is sought.

Software floating protection


local

For standalone licence, the local hardware lock is used. For


floating licence a local licence file is used. The file provides for an
automatic start and configuration of the licence manager Flexlm.

network

A network licence is used. The licence manager must be installed


by the administrator on the network server.

For setting of application options see chapter Adjusting the application options.

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Adjusting the application options


The procedure for the adjustment of application options
1. Open Options dialogue
a. either: using menu function Setup > Options,
b. or: using button [Options] (

) on Main toolbar.

2. Make required settings on individual tabs.


3. Confirm with [OK].
The dialogue also contains three save/read buttons.
Read application
default

Reads settings as they were pre-defined by the developer of the


program.

Read user default

Reads settings that have been previously saved as users own


default.

Save as user
default

Saves the current settings as the users default settings. These


settings may be later read by the above mentioned function.

Project settings
Basic project settings
Basic project data
The basic data of a project describe the project and define some of its main parameters.

Project filename
It shows the name of the project.

Project data
This group of items allows the user to enter some statistical data about the project
Name

name of the project


E.g. Eddy Merckx's Airport Brussel

Part

name of the project part, if the project is complex and consists of


several partial sub-projects
E.g. Western hall + connection footbridge

Description

E.g. variant A (underground parking, restaurants on first floor,


check-in desks on second floor)

Author

name of the project author


E.g. Sven Nijs

Date

date of the last project modification, or date of the program


creation, etc.
E.g. 02/02/02

Structure
Here, you can choose the type (or we can say "dimension") of the structure you want to model.
Depending on the type selected, some of the functions and options of the program may be disabled or
hidden (e.g. in the case of 2D frame oriented in plane XZ, the button for setting the sight of the model
from the direction of X and Z axes respectively won't be present on the View toolbar). This feature
leads to a significant simplification in the operation of the program for simpler types of structures. The
functions and options that are not appropriate (are not possible practically) for the particular type are

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hidden and do not add to the complexity of the program. The idea behind this feature is: A complex task
requires a complex tool, but a simple task can get by a simple tool.
Truss XZ

The beams of a model are capable of carrying axial forces only.


That means that pin ends (hinges) are meaningless, supports do
not have rotation degrees of freedom defined and results consists
of axial forces only. Only a 2D model can be created.

Frame XZ

The beams can represent a planar frame structure. Only a 2D


model can be created.

Truss XYZ

This mode is similar to Truss XZ, but a real 3D structure can be


created.

Frame XYZ

This option is similar to Frame XZ, but a real 3D structure can be


created.

Grid XY

A horizontal grate can be modelled in this mode.

Plate XY

This mode provides for analysis of combined beam and slab


structure. All the members must be located in a horizontal plane.
Only a 2D model can be created.

Wall XY

This mode is similar to Frame XZ mode, but vertical walls can be


inserted as well. Only a 2D model can be created.

General XYZ

This option allows the user to model and analyse a 3D structure


consisting of any structural members: beams as well slabs (plates,
walls, shells).

Note: Item Structure is compulsory and the user has to make a choice from the available variants.

Material
This option tells the program which materials will be used for members of the structure. The advantage
of this in advance selection is that the program functions working with materials will know, which
material the user is interested in. Therefore, the functions will not offer other material types and,
consequently, the dialogs, lists and similar items will be lucid and readable as much as possible.
If the user realises later that some other material type is necessary, it is of course possible to call the
setting dialogue any time in the future and widen the selection of used material types.

Note: At the beginning, i.e. at the time when a new project is being created, it is necessary to select
at least one material type.

Project level
The user can choose a layout of the program interface which best reflects (i) his or her habits, (ii) his or
her level of familiarity with the program, and (iii) the complexity of the project to be dealt with. Two
options are available:
Standard

the program interface will offer the most often used functions and
features

Advanced

the program interface will offer all available functions and features

Model
One

the project will contain a single model of a structure

Absence

the project can contain some members that may be missing in


some stages of the analysis

Construction stages

the project will represent modelling of construction stages


appearing during the execution of the structure

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Code
The selection of the active code determines how the program deals with data related to a specific
technical standard. In practice it means that the code selection affects:
the materials offered as code-related materials, e.g. steel or concrete grades, etc.
the procedures, algorithms and possible parameters performing and necessary to perform code checks.

Note: The choice of a particular national standard may have an effect on the layout and even
functionality of numerous functions. E.g. functions like Load case and Load group have got parameters
that depend on the current code of the project. That means that these function offer the user different
parameters for e.g. Czech standard than for lets say Eurocode. Also the functionality of some functions
or services is different for different codes.
The procedure for setting the parameters is the same as for other project parameters.

Functionality settings
SCIA.ESA PT offers a wide range of capabilities. In order to make the operation of the program as clear
and simple as possible, the project settings allow for selection of those features that are needed and
required.
The Functionality settings dialogue comprises options that control both the appearance and function of
the program. That means that until some advanced feature is selected in this dialogue, the program
neither performs the specific task nor even offers it in the menu.
The functionality options are divided into several groups.

Non-linearity
This option controls whether the non-linear analysis is available in solver options and, therefore,
whether the user can perform a non-linear calculation of his/her problem. The Non-linearity
functionality comprises several sub-items. These sub-items are independent on each other and only
some of them may be selected for a particular project.
Initial deformations and
curvature

If this option is ON, functions for introduction of initial


deformations before calculation are available.

2nd order geometrical


non-linearity

If this option is ON, functions for geometrically non-linear


calculation are available.

Support non-linearity

If this option is ON, functions for non-linear analysis of supports


are available.

Beam local non-linearity

If this option is ON, functions for non-linear analysis of beams are


available (e.g. beam acting only under compression, etc. may be
analysed).

Friction support

If ON, friction supports may be defined in the model.

Nonlinear line support

If ON, nonlinear line supports may be used in the model.

Stability
This option allows the user to calculate stability problems.

Dynamics
When ticked the option makes the dynamic analysis features available to the user. The appropriate
dynamics-related functions and parameters become available in menus and solver adjustment dialogues.

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There is one dynamics sub-option:
Seismic

If this option is ON, seismic calculations can be performed.

Initial stress
The option, when selected, opens possibility for the introduction of initial stress state in members of a
structure being modelled in SCIA.ESA PT.

Subsoil
The Subsoil functionality represents an important and powerful feature of the program especially if the
interaction of the analysed structure with its subsoil must be taken into account.

CAD shape
This option enables the user to use two different "shapes" in his/her model. Normally, the calculation
model is created and used for calculations, evaluation of results and design and checking to a particular
technical standard.
In addition, the user may also define a CAD shape that is derived from the calculation shape and can be
used for impressive drawings and is also useful during the design of connections.

Climatic loads
If wind or snow loads are supposed to act on the structure, this functionality option must be set ON.

Parameters
Advanced users of SCIA.ESA PT may find it very useful to define some of the program input values as
parameters. Parameters, if applied, provide for fast, easy and simple change of e.g. structure
dimensions, load values, etc. One single modification of the appropriate parameter leads to automatic
regeneration of the model with the new defined value.

Prestressing
This option provides for calculation of prestressing.

Steel
Design of steel structures may require not only the determination of internal forces and deflexions, but
also some other tasks related to a safe design and realisation of a steel structure.
Pinned connections

This option opens possibility for the definition of pinned


connections of steel members.

Frame connections

This option opens possibility for the definition of frame


connections of steel members.

Fire resistance

The type of fire resistance for steel members may be defined after
this option has been selected.

Overview drawings

This option controls whether "wizards" for automatic generation


of pictures in the Picture gallery are available or not.

Expert system

If this option is ON, the user may use the expert system for the
design of connections. User defined connections may be saved
into this system and the saved connections may be applied later to
other joints.

Connection
monodrawings

This option activates a wizard that helps the user create drawings
of defined connections.

The procedure for setting the parameters is the same as for other project parameters.

Loads settings
The procedure for setting the parameters is the same as for other project parameters.

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Wind region
This parameter defines the region where the modelled structure will be located. The region may
influence wind loads that the building will be exposed to. The user may choose from three options for
this item:
None

There is be no wind load applied.

Code

The wind region is defined according to appropriate national


standard.

Library

The user specifies the height-wind pressure curve. The real load is
then defined as a force load but its type must be set to Wind. The
load value input by the user then represents the load width.

Note: For more information about the generation of wind load see chapter Loads > Load generators
> Wind generator.

Snow region
This parameter defines the region where the modelled structure will be located. The region may
influence snow loads that the building will be subject to. The user may choose from three options for
this item:
None

There is be no snow load applied.

Code

The snow region is defined according to appropriate national


standard.

Snow weight

The user specifies the snow weight per square meter. The real load
is then defined as a force load but its type must be set to Snow.
The load value input by the user then represents the load width.

Note: For more information about the generation of wind load see chapter Loads > Load generators
> Snow generator.

Combinations settings
This tab provides for the adjustment of load case parameters for automatic generation of load case
combinations based on a particular national standard.
The procedure for setting the parameters is the same as for other project parameters.

Procedure for setting project data


The procedure for the adjustment of project parameters is similar for all groups of
parameters.
1. Procedure for setting Basic project data
2. Open dialogue Project data in one of the following ways:
a. Use Menu function Tree > Project.
b. Click Tree menu item Project.
3. Select the required tab (Basic data / Functionality / Loads / Combinations).
4. Adjust the required parameters or select options that should be applied in the project.
5. Click [OK] to confirm the settings.

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Display style settings


Display Setup palettes
SCIA.ESA PT uses a set of palettes to display project data (i) in the graphical window of the program,
(ii) in the document window, and (iii) on an external graphical device. The palette comprises settings of:
colours,
line styles,
fonts,
dimension lines,
beam types.
It is possible to adjust separate palettes for individual output "directions". Whats more, it is possible to
use settings from one palette for another one, i.e. load settings of one palette into the other one.
The available palettes are:
white background

Used for the screen, the structure is drawn in colours on white


background.

black background

Used for the screen, the structure is drawn in colours on black


background.

document colour

Used for the document, the structure is painted in colours.

document monochrome

Used for the document, the structure is painted in black-and-white


style.

graphic output colour

Used for the graphical output (paper space gallery), the structure is
painted in colours.

graphic output
monochrome

Used for the graphical output (paper space gallery), the structure is
painted in black-and-white style.

The procedure for selection of palettes for individual output "directions"


1. Open any of the following Setup dialogues (all of them can be found under function Setup of the main
menu):
a. Colours / lines,
b. Fonts,
c. Beam types (CAD)
d. Dimension lines.
2. At the top of the dialogue, select the tab corresponding to the "device" you want to adjust.
3. In the combo box named Current palette select the required palette.
4. If required, make any changes to the settings (see chapters Colours setup, Font setup, Beam type setup,
Dimension line setup for more information).
5. Confirm with [OK].

Loading and saving defined settings


Loading and saving settings for all the palettes at the same time
If required, you may use one the three buttons at the bottom edge of the dialogue to reload or save the
settings for all the palettes used in the program.
Load program default
settings

This option loads default settings as they were adjusted by the


developer of the program.

Store user default setting

This option saves the current settings for all palettes as your
personal settings.

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Store user default setting

This option loads the settings that have been previously saved by
means of the button described one line above.

Loading and saving settings for a separate palette


If required, you may use one the three buttons in the top part of tabs Screen, Document and Graphic
output to reload or save the settings for the selected group of parameters. Each of the following buttons
works just with one sub-tab of the main tabs, i.e. for example with tab Screen > Fonts, Document >
Cad types, etc.
Load program default
settings

This option loads settings for the current tab as were define by the
manufacturer.

Store user default setting

This option saves the current settings as a user-defined default.

Load user default setting

This option reads the settings that have been previously saved with
button Store user default setting.

Load settings from other


palette

This option enables the user to load into the current tab settings
from the corresponding tab of any other palette.

Convert colours to grey


scale

This option converts the colours on the current tab into grey scale.
This option is not available for dimension lines.

Convert colours to black

This option converts all the colours on the current tab into black
colour.
This option is not available for dimension lines.

Colours Setup
Adjustment of colours is a part of settings made for graphical palettes.
The adjustment of colour and line style can be made separately for each entity type and drawing part.
The following parameters can be adjusted for each available entity or symbol:
colour

The user may select from a set of basic pre-defined colours or may
mix his/her own shade.

line style

The user may select from a set of available line styles.

width

This parameter defines the thickness of the line.


If the width type is set to pixels, the user may select the thickness
in pixels of the screen.
If the width type is set to metric, the user may adjust the thickness
in metric units.

width type

This options tell in which units the line thickness is specified.


Pixels are useful if the drawing is "tuned" for screen display.
Metric option is usually the right choice if the final drawing is
made on a graphical device such as printer, plotter, etc.

The procedure for adjustment of colours


1. Open dialogue Colours Setup using menu function Setup > Colours / lines,
2. Make the required settings.
3. Confirm with [OK].

Note: The settings are made separately for individual palettes. For more information about the use
of palettes see chapter Display Setup palettes.

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Font Setup
Adjustment of fonts is a part of settings made for graphical palettes.
For each of the texts the following parameters can be adjusted:
size

Specifies the size of labels.

size definition

Specifies how the size is measured. It may be measured in units of


graphical device or in absolute units (i.e. the units in which the
structure is defined).

colour

This item specifies the colour of the text.

placement

The labels may be put into:


the plane of the screen
plane XZ
plane XY

bold

Labels are in bold letters.

italic

Labels are in italic letters.

underline

Labels are in underlined letters.

strikeout

Labels are in stroked out letters.

The procedure for adjustment of fonts


1. Open dialogue Fonts Setup using menu function Setup > Fonts,
2. Make the required settings.
3. Confirm with [OK].

Note: The settings are made separately for individual palettes. For more information about the use
of palettes see chapter Display Setup palettes.

Beam type Setup


Adjustment of beam types is a part of settings made for graphical palettes.
For each of the types the following parameters can be adjusted:
colour

The user may select from a set of basic pre-defined colours or may
mix his/her own shade.

style

The user may select from a set of available line styles.

width

This parameter defines the thickness of the line.


If the width type is set to pixels, the user may select the thickness
in pixels of the screen.
If the width type is set to metric, the user may adjust the thickness
in metric units.

width type

This options tell in which units the line thickness is specified.


Pixels are useful if the drawing is "tuned" for screen display.
Metric option is usually the right choice if the final drawing is
made on a graphical device such as printer, plotter, etc.

middle line

This option specifies the style that is used to display beams


middle line.

surface

This option specifies the style that is used to display beams


surface.

labels

This option specifies the style that is used to display beam labels.

cross-section

This option specifies the style that is used to display beams crosssection.

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The procedure for adjustment of beam types


1. Open dialogue Beam types Setup using menu function Setup > Beam types,
2. Make the required settings.
3. Confirm with [OK].

Note 1: The settings are made separately for individual palettes. For more information about the
use of palettes see chapter Display Setup palettes.
Note 2: The Setup dialogue supports the standard Windows feature multiple selection. Therefore,
if the same property should be set for several beam types, the types can be selected at the same time and
the property adjusted in one step. The multiple selection is accessible via [Shift] + click and [Ctrl] +
click combination.
Note 3: For more information about structural types see chapter Geometry > CAD model.

Dimension line Setup


Adjustment of dimension lines is a part of settings made for graphical palettes.
The dialogue enables the user to set the following parameters of dimension lines:
end mark style

This option defines the shape of end mark (slash or arrow).

size definition

This option specifies how the size is measured. It may be


measured in units of graphical device or in absolute units (i.e. the
units in which the structure is defined).

end mark size

This parameters specifies the size of end mark.

font size

This parameters specifies the size of dimension line font.

plot line style

This parameters specifies the style of plot line.

plot line offset

This parameters specifies the offset of plot line.

1 dimension line offset

This parameters specifies the offset of the dimension line closest


to the dimensioned object.

next dimension line offset

This parameters specifies the offset of other dimension lines.

st

The procedure for adjustment of dimension line style


1. Open dialogue Dimension lines Setup using menu function Setup > Dimension lines,
2. Make the required settings.
3. Confirm with [OK].

Note: The settings are made separately for individual palettes. For more information about the use
of palettes see chapter Display Setup palettes.

Units Setup
In SCIA.ESA PT the user uses and comes into contact with a good number of various physical
quantities. In order to allow the user to adjust preferable units and display style of these quantities, the
program offers a means for users adjustment.
The adjustment can be done in Units Setup dialogue.

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Unit "parameters"
Unit

It sets the unit in which the value of appropriate quantity is


displayed.

Decimal length

It defines number of decimal digits to be displayed when the


corresponding quantity is displayed.

Output format

It specifies the format of displayed value for individual the


quantity. See below.

Output format
decimal

standard representation of a number

78.24 cm
782.4 mm

scientific

representation of a number by means of a


base and an exponent

7.824E+01 cm

representation of a number by means of a


base and an exponent, where the exponent
is always a multiple of three

78.240E+00 cm

fractional

representation of a number by means of a


fraction

3/16 in

deg/min/sec

representation of a number used for angles

ft in

representation of a number used for


imperial units

engineering

7.82E+02 mm
782.40E+00 mm

fractional

2 ft 6.803 in

The procedure for adjustment of units


1. Open dialogue Units Setup:
a. either using menu function Setup > Units,
b. or using button Units (

) on toolbar Project.

2. Make the required settings.


3. Confirm with [OK].

Note: For more information about units see chapter Terminology and conventions > Units.

Scales
Adjusting the scales
The entities displayed on the screen are displayed in a specific scale in order to fit into the area of the
graphical window. The user may adjust the scales to comply with his/her wishes.

The procedure for adjustment of scales


1. Open the Scales Setup dialogue:
a. either using menu function Setup > Scales,
b. or using button Scale manager (

) on toolbar View.

2. Make the settings.


3. Confirm with [OK].

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The items in the dialogue are divided into two groups:


Loads and masses

This part deals with loads and masses.


The scale is adjusted in such a way so that the here given number
of units (e.g. 5000 N) occupied 1 metre on the drawing. In other
words, the mark of force equal to 5000 N is as long on the screen
as a beam long 1 meter.

Model and results

This part deals with model data and results.


The value given here means that the largest of the marks related to
model data or the largest diagram of results are as big as the
number here specifies.
For example, value 2 means that the largest mark for model data
will be 2 m (measured in the geometry units) large.

Note: The size of drawn symbols (loads, masses, etc.) is calculated from the values of
parameters described above and also from the value of scales multiplier described in chapter
Fast multiplying of scales. The larges symbol of all the symbols is as big as the value of
multiplier. I.e., if the multiplier is equal to 1, the largest symbol is one metre long, if the
multiplier is equal to 2, the largest symbol is two metres long. The size of other symbols is in
proportion to the largest symbol and is calculated from the parameters specified in the table
above.
The dialogue contains also three save/read buttons.
Read application
default

Reads settings as they were made by the developer of the program.

Read user default

Reads settings that have been previously saved as users own


default.

Save as user
default

Saves the current settings as the users default settings. These


settings may be later read by the above mentioned function.

See also Example of scales setup.

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Fast multiplying of scales


The scales adjusted in the Scale Setup dialogue can be quickly modified by a single click.
Toolbar View contains an edit box with two spin arrows (
a multiplier for current scales.

) which can be used to easily define

Scales for all entities are so adjusted that the largest drawn symbol is as long (in metres) as the
multiplier value.
For more about the procedure of setting the symbol size see chapter Adjusting the scales.
See also Example of scales setup.

Example of scales setup


The following set of pictures explains the principles of scales setup.
There are two 1 kN forces and three 1 kg masses defined in the sample structure.

Figure 1
Setup > Scales > Loads and masses > Force = 1
Setup > Scales > Loads and masses > Mass = 1
Fast scales multiplier on toolbar View = 1

The largest symbol is 1 metre long (see the auxiliary dimension line on the left). Symbols of loads and
masses are of the same size.

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Figure 2
Setup > Scales > Loads and masses > Force = 1
Setup > Scales > Loads and masses > Mass = 2
Fast scales multiplier on toolbar View = 1

The largest symbol is 1 metre long (see the auxiliary dimension line on the left). Symbols of masses are
half size of the load symbols.

Figure 3
Setup > Scales > Loads and masses > Force = 1
Setup > Scales > Loads and masses > Mass = 1
Fast scales multiplier on toolbar View = 2

The largest symbol is 2 metres long (see the auxiliary dimension line on the left). Symbols of loads and
masses are of the same size.

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Figure 4
Setup > Scales > Loads and masses > Force = 1
Setup > Scales > Loads and masses > Mass = 2
Fast scales multiplier on toolbar View = 2

The largest symbol is 2 metres long (see the auxiliary dimension line on the left). Symbols of masses
are half size of the load symbols.

Advanced settings
Document Setup
The Document Setup dialogue enables the user to adjust default values for the style of document. The
parameters are described in chapter Document > Adjusting the document default settings.

Picture gallery Setup


The Gallery Setup dialogue enables the user to adjust default values for style of pictures inserted into or
created in the Picture gallery. The parameters are described in chapter Graphic output >Picture gallery
> Picture gallery manager > Inserting a new picture into the Picture gallery > Adjusting the default
values for new pictures.

Note: The settings adjusted in this dialogue are taken into account whenever a new drawing is
inserted into the picture gallery by means of Picture to gallery function ( ). For example, if the
default picture style is set to "wire", the drawing from the graphical window is inserted as "wired" even
though it was e.g. rendered in the graphical window. The style may be later edited in the Picture gallery
manager.

FE mesh Setup
Finite element mesh is generated automatically by the program. The user, however, may specify
parameters that control the generation process.
These parameters may be defined in the calculation dialogue or in the program setup.
The setup dialogue can be opened using menu function Setup > Mesh.
The meaning f individual parameters is given in chapter Calculation > Generating the FE mesh >
Parameters of FE mesh.

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Solver Setup
This setup dialogue provides for adjustment of basic parameters controlling the calculation. The
parameters are described in chapter Calculation> Calculation types > Static linear calculation.
The parameters may be also specified in the calculation dialogue just before the calculation is executed.

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Basic working tools


Introduction to basic working tools
SCIA.ESA PT is a complex program with a wide functionality. It is therefore more than reasonable that
it must provide a long list of tools in order to allow the user to utilise all its capabilities in effective way.
These tools may be divided into two groups:
basic tools that enable the user to perform essential operations effectively and in the shortest possible
time,
advanced tools that may help the advanced user to deal with delicate and sophisticated projects.

Selections
Introduction to selections
Whenever the user needs to do anything with any part of his/her model, s/he must, first of all, determine
which part of the model should be treated. In other words, the user has to make a "selection" of
members that will be processed.
Once the selection is defined, the required operation may be started. The selection may be formed by a
single entity or it may hold as many entities as required. Generally, the selection may contain entities of
the same type, or it may contain several entity types. Which of the two cases is applied depends on the
intended operation. Some operations require specific entity types, other operations may be carried out
with any entity types.
In general, there are two approaches to start an operation:
the user first makes the selection and then starts the appropriate function (the function then deals with
the prior made selection),
the user first starts the required function and then (i.e. from within the function) makes the selection.
Which approach is actually applied depends only on work habits of a particular user.
To sum up, the selection can be not only made and utilised in a function, but it can be also modified
(reduced or extended), cleared, saved into a file for later use or loaded from a previously created file.
Selections are controlled by:
Menu View > Selections,
Selections toolbar.

Making a selection
In order to make a selection, the program must be in the selection-enabled mode. This mode is the
default mode of the program and only a limited number of functions changes this mode into a selectiondisabled mode. The selection-enabled mode is identified by the mouse cursor that looks like a
diagonally oriented arrow with a small square attached to the tip of the arrow. Once this cursor is on the
screen, it is possible to make selections freely.
There are two basic ways to make a new selection: using the mouse or typing a command on the
command line. In both ways it is a piece of cake.
In addition, a selection can also be made via filters. That means, that the user specifies a condition that
should be fulfilled by all selected entities. For example, the user may specify the condition that the
cross-section must be a rolled IPE 300. The filter-controlled selection then looks for and selects all
beams with such a cross-section.

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Making a selection by the mouse cursor


When using the mouse cursor, there are several selection modes:
single selection

One entity is selected each time the user clicks the mouse
button.

intersection line

The user draws a line (or a polygon) on the screen. The


program selects all entities that have an intersection with
the drawn line.

rectangular cut-out

The user draws a rectangle on the screen. The program


selects all entities located inside the rectangle or
overlapping it (see the paragraph below for details about
this selection mode).

polygonal cut-out

The user draws a closed polygon on the screen. The


program selects all entities located inside the polygon.

working plane

The program selects all entities located in the current


working plane.

select-all

All currently displayed entities are selected

previous

Activates the last made selection.

How to activate the required selection mode:


selection mode

via toolbar Selections

via menu Tools > Selections

Single selection

click button [Selection by


mouse]

call function Selection by mouse

Intersection
line

click button [Selection by cutout]

call function Selection by cut-out

Rectangular
cut-out

click button [Selection by


intersection line]

call function Selection by


intersection line

Polygonal cutout

click button [Selection by


polygonal cut-out]

call function Selection by


polygonal cut-out

Working plane

click button [Select by working


plane]

call function Select by working


plane

Select all

click button [Select all]

call function Select all

Previous

click button [Previous


selection]

call function Previous selection

Single selection
In order to make a selection, the user has to:
1. place the mouse cursor on the entity he/she wants to select,
2. click the left mouse button.
That is all that is necessary to make a selection by mouse. To add another entity, the user just puts the
cursor on another entity and clicks the left mouse button.

Intersection line
When this mode is invoked, all entities that are intersected by a defined line are added into the selection.
The line may be either a single straight line or a polygon consisting of straight lines.

The procedure to define a polygon


1. Position the mouse cursor to the place where the polygon should start.
2. Click the left mouse button.
3. Position the mouse cursor where the end point of the polygon line segment should be located.

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4. Click the left mouse button.
5. Repeat the previous two steps as many times as required.
6. Close the polygon, ie. either
a. press [ESC] key, or
b. invoke the pop-up menu, select End polyline command and run it, or
c. define the last point with a double-click on the left mouse button.

Cut-out
This mode enables the user to select all entities located inside a mouse defined cut-out. There are two
different kinds of the cut-out. The first one serves for selection of entities located fully inside it. The
other one can be used to select entities that are both fully inside and overlap the cut-out.

The procedure to define a cut-out that selects inside-located entities only


1. Place the mouse cursor to the TOP LEFT corner of the rectangular cut-out.
2. Press the left mouse button and hold it down.
3. Drag the mouse to the BOTTOM RIGHT corner of the rectangular cut-out.
4. Release the button.
5. The procedure to define a cut-out selecting both inside-located and overlapping entities
6. Place the mouse cursor to the TOP RIGHT corner of the rectangular cut-out.
7. Press the left mouse button and hold it down.
8. Drag the mouse to the BOTTOM LEFT corner of the rectangular cut-out.
9. Release the button.

Polygon
This mode is similar to the previous one. The difference is that the user draws an arbitrarily shaped
closed polygon instead of a simple rectangle.

The procedure to define a polygonal cut-out


1. Position the mouse cursor to the place where the polygon should start.
2. Click the left mouse button.
3. Position the mouse cursor where the next vertex of the polygon should be located.
4. Click the left mouse button.
5. Repeat the previous two steps as many times as required.
6. Close the polygon:
a. either press [ESC] key, or
b. invoke the pop-up menu, select Close polygon command and run it.

Working plane
In this mode, the program automatically selects all entities located in the current working plane.

Select-all
All displayed entities are automatically selected.

Filter-controlled selection
The filter-controlled selection is useful if the user wants to select all entities that meet a specific
condition. This type of selection is described in the following chapter.

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Making a selection from the command line


A selection can be also made (sometimes very effectively) from the programs command line.
The procedure is similarly simple as the "mouse procedure". The user types a command on the
command line and the selection is made.

Command syntax
SEL [switch] parameter
Switch
switch

meaning

adds into selection

subtracts from the current selection

inverts the current selection

Parameter
parameter

example

entity name

entity name with a


wildcard

NONE

Examples
sel
sel
sel
sel
sel

none
*
N1
+ N*
B*

sel | B1

description

SEL
BEAM2
3
SEL
BEAM2
?
SEL
B?
SEL
B??
SEL
B*
SEL
NONE

selects entity named BEAM23

selects all entities whose name starts with


BEAM2 and is followed with a single
character
if beams are named B and numbered, this
command selects all "one-digit" beams
if beams are named B and numbered, this
command selects all "two-digit" beams
selects all entities whose name starts with
letter B
clears the selection

clears the selection


selects all entities
selects entity N1
adds into the current selection entities whose name starts with N
removes from the current selection entities whose name starts with
B
inverts entity B1 in the selection (i.e. if the entity WAS in the
selection, it is removed; if the entity WAS NOT in the selection, it
is added)

Removing the entities from selection


When using complex and extensive selections, it may be necessary or at least useful to remove a
particular entity or entities from the already made selection.
In general, there are two ways to remove an entity from an existing selection: "[Ctrl] key" method and
"Inverted selection mode" method.

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"[Ctrl] key" method


All the selection modes for making a selection can be used as well for removal of specific entities from
the current selection. In order to activate the "subtract from selection" mode, the user must press down
and hold [Ctrl] key on the keyboard.
Example 1:
Lets assume that a selection of some entities has been already made. Now, the user needs to remove
one particular entity.
The procedure will be:
1. Position the mouse cursor over the entity that should be extracted from the selection.
2. Press down and hold [Ctrl] key.
3. Click the left mouse button.
4. The entity is removed from the selection.
5. Release [Ctrl] key.
Example 2:
Lets assume that a selection of some entities has been already made. Now, the user needs to remove a
few entities that are parallel to each other and located close to each other.
The procedure will be:
1. Select Intersection line selection mode.
2. Position the mouse cursor next to the first entity that should be removed from the selection and
outwards from the others.
3. Press down and hold [Ctrl] key.
4. Define the intersection line, i.e. the line or polygon intersecting all the required entities.
5. Close the intersection line.
6. Release [Ctrl] key.

"Inverted selection mode" method


It is also possible to press button [Selection mode toggle] ( ) on toolbar Selections. All the selection
modes described in chapter Making a selection then remove entities from the previously made selection.

Note: It is also possible to remove entities from selection using command "SEL" typed on
the command line with the appropriate switch and parameter. For more information see chapter
Making a selection.

Making a selection based on a specific property


Very often the user needs to select all entities that meet some specific condition. For example, to select
all beams made of one material type or all supports allowing for free movement in X-direction, the
filter-controlled selection is the right choice.

The procedure to apply a filter-controlled selection


1. Select one entity that meets the required condition.
2. In the property table click the left column cell of the row that contains the required condition.
3. Click icon [Quick select] (

) at the top of the property dialogue frame.

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Adjusting the filter for selections


Sometimes it may be very useful to limit the selection on some entity types only. SCIA.ESA PT enables
the user to specify the filter for selections.
There are three filter options:
OFF

The filter is OFF and any entity of any type may be selected.

For service

Function for making a selection recognises only those entities


which the active service can deal with.

For tree

The type of entities that can be selected is defined by the position


of cursor in the tree.

Filter for service


If this filter option is selected, the set of entities for selections is defined by the currently opened
service. The user can select only those entities that the service can deal with.
For example, if service Loads is open, and this filter option is ON, only beams, nodes, and loads of all
types can be selected.

Filter for tree


If this filter option is selected, the set of entities for selections is defined by the currently opened
service. and by the position of cursor (by the focus) in the tree menu. The user can select only those
entities that are specified by the function "under focus".
For example, if service Loads is open, and this filter option is ON, and the focus in on function Line
force on beam, only line loads can be selected.

The procedure to adjust the required filter


1. Click button [Filter] on the Status bar.
2. A short menu is opened.
3. Select the required filter.

The alternative procedure for the adjustment of the required filter


1. Press in button [Filter for selection on/off] (
Filter for service.

) on Selection of objects toolbar in order to select

2. This action makes another filter button available [Filter by service tree on/off] (

).

3. Press in button [Filter by service tree on/off] on Selection of objects toolbar in order to select Filter
for tree.

Modifying a selection
Any existing and active selection may be modified, i.e. some of the selected entities may be removed
from it and some other entities may be added to it.

Removal of entities from the selection


In order to remove an entity from the current selection, follow the procedure given in chapter Removing
the entities from selection.

Adding another entity into the selection


In order to add another entity into the current selection, simply follow the procedure for making the
selection. Until you clear the selection, any new selected entities are added to the current selection.

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Applying a selection
A selection is usually made to carry out an action (i.e. call one or more of SCIA.ESA PT functions). In
fact, vast majority of SCIA.ESA PT functions works with a selection and modifies the entities in the
selection according to defined functionality. Therefore, it must be clear how to associate the selection
with the required action. Fortunately, this crucial step is completely automatic and absolutely
straightforward in SCIA.ESA PT despite the fact that there exist two opposing approaches.

Applying a pre-created selection


This approach leads to the following steps:
1. Select the required entities.
2. Start the function.
3. The function "works" with the previously made selection.

Applying a post-created selection


On the other hand, this approach means:
1. Call the required functions.
2. Select the entities that should be treated with the function.
3. The function then processes the in-function-defined selection.
Both approaches have their advantages. The latter is useful mainly if the user wants to apply the same
function on several different selections. It is possible to change the function parameters for each
particular selection, but the main function itself must be called just once.

Clearing a selection
If a selection is no longer useful, or if it was made improperly (e.g. wrong entities have been selected),
or if any other reason occurs, the selection may be cleared. It means that the selected entities are
removed from the selection but NOT from the project. Just the selection is emptied.
There are several ways to clear a current selection:
Press [ESC] key,
Click [Cancel selection] (

) button on the Selections toolbar,

Call function Cancel selection from menu Tools > Selections.


All the possibilities are equivalent to each other.

Saving and reading a selection


Any selection made for any purpose can be saved to a disk for later re-use.
The operation of both saving and reading can be invoked via the Selections toolbar or via menu Tools >
Selections.

The procedure to save a selection to a disk


1. Make a selection.
2. Start function Save as named selection (either on toolbar Selections or in menu Tools > Selections).
3. If necessary, browse for the required folder on the disk or create a new one.
4. Type the file name for the selection.
5. The EPS extension will be automatically added to the file name.

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6. Confirm the name and finish the operation.

The procedure to read a selection from a disk


1. Start function Load named selection (either on toolbar Selections or in menu Tools > Selections).
2. Browse for the folder where your selection file has been saved.
3. Select the file you require to read.
4. Confirm the choice and finish the operation.

Selections versus editing of properties


Selections are very advanced feature of SCIA.ESA PT. They do not provide just for the passive
selection of entities that will be further treated in some way. The selections represent a powerful tool for
editing of the project.
The principle is that whenever whichever entity is inserted into a current selection, its properties are
automatically and immediately displayed in the property window of the application.
If multiple entities of the same type are selected then the intersection of their properties is displayed in
the window. If multiple entities of different types are selected, the user may choose the type whose
properties should be displayed. It is of course possible to simply swap between the types once the
parameters for one type have been reviewed.
Whats more, any data displayed in the property window can be edited and the change is immediately
recorder.

Editing in the property window for one selected entity


If just one entity is selected, the property window shows its properties and, if possible, co-ordinates of
its endpoints. Once the user changes any of the values in the property window, the change is recorder
and the entity is re-displayed to reflect the changes.

Editing in the property window for multiple selected entities of the same type
If several entities of the same type are selected, the property window displays the intersection of their
properties. That means that the dialogue contains values of those parameters which are identical. If any
parameters are of different value for different beams in the selection, the value cell in the property
window is left blank.
The user may once again edit any item in the property window. This relates even to the blank cells. If a
value is input into any of the cells, that value is assigned to all the entities in the selection.

Editing in the property window for multiple selected entities of various types
Here the same can be said as in the paragraph above. Whats more, the combo box at the top part of the
property window contains a list of all types whose entities are in the current selection. When the used
selects any item from this list, the properties of this entity type are shown in the property window.
The user may then review or edit them as described above.

Note: See also chapter Controlling the selection-versus-editing process.

Controlling the selection-versus-editing process


The principle of editing in the Property window as described in chapter Selections versus editing of
properties can be controlled by means of settings made in the Environment settings.
The Environment settings dialogue contains item Maximum number of grouping properties. This
items tells the program what is the maximum number of entities for which the "selection-versusediting" process should be started.

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In other words, if the user selects fewer entities than specified in the parameter Maximum number of
grouping properties, the Property window is filled in with the parameters of selected entities.
Consequently, the parameters can be easily edited.
On the other hand, if the number of selected entities is greater than the number specified in parameter
Maximum number of grouping properties, the Property window is left blank. If required, the
Property window may be filled in manually by pressing button [Update property dialogue] ( )
located at the top right corner of the Property window..
This feature may be useful particularly for large projects with a great number of entities. The time that
is necessary to collect and sort all the parameters of all selected entities is growing with the number of
selected entities. In addition, it is assumed that usually the user will select only a limited number of
entities for direct editing in the Property window. And, if the user selects a really vast number of
entities, it is assumed that the selection was made for some of manipulation functions and not for direct
editing.
Therefore, it is possible to make as large selection as necessary and apply any of manipulation function
to it, but the Property window is not filled in for excessive selections. If, however, the user does want
to edit directly even the enormous number of entities, he/she may fill in the Property window manually
by means of the above mentioned button.

Selections of slabs with openings


If a slab has an opening or a subregion, there are a few rules concerning the selection of such a slab.
Lets assume a simple rectangular slab with an opening.

Adjust the view parameters so that only the middle line of a slab is displayed on the screen

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If you select the outline of the main slab, the main slab is highlighted and also selected.

In order to select the opening, you must select the opening itself.

And now, lets change the view parameters and let also the surfaces of the slab displayed.

If you select the surface outline of the main slab, the main slab is highlighted and also selected. In
BUT be careful, it is NOT selected.
addition, the opening is highlighted,

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In order to select the opening, you must select the opening itself.

Activity
Introduction to activity
The concept of activity is based on the assumption that it is convenient to hide a part of the modelled
structure and work only the remaining part. This is useful mainly for larger projects where a great
number of beams and other entities may reduce the lucidity and comfort of performed operations.
The activity feature provides for selection of only those members that are essential for a certain
manipulation or operation. The rest of the structure is temporarily hidden from the users view.
In SCIA.ESA PT the activity can be realised by means of two approaches:
Layers - see chapter Layers for more details
Activity functions see individual activity functions.

Activity types
There are several approaches the user may choose to determine which part of the structure should be
active (i.e. visible and available for manipulations).
Layers

The activity is completely controlled by layers.


See chapter Basic working tools > Layers > Displaying and hiding
a layer.

Working plane

Only members located in the current working plane become


active.

Selection

Only members being currently selected become active.


Optionally, the selected members may become inactive and all the
others remain active.

Clipping box

Only members located inside the current clipping box become


active.

Switching the activity On or Off


Despite the currently selected type of activity, the user may decide whether the activity as a whole
should be switched on or off. In other words, whether only the "active" part of the modelled structure
should be visible or whether the whole structure should be displayed and available for manipulations.

The procedure to switch the activity (i.e. to switch it ON if the activity is OFF and
vice versa)
Either call function Tools > Activity > Activity On (or Activity Off).

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Or click button Activity On (or Activity Off) on Activity toolbar (

).

Note: Both the menu item and the tooltip of the function mentioned above contain the
information about the current Activity type.

Activity according to layers


When this activity type is selected, the information specified in the Layers manager controls the activity
of structure members.
For more details about layers and their use see chapter Basic working tools > Layers > Displaying and
hiding a layer.

The procedure to adjust the activity according to layers


Either call function Tools > Activity > Activity by layers.
Or click button Activity by layers on Activity toolbar (

).

Activity according to current selection


The user may simply select (using standard SCIA ESA PT selections) members that he/she wants to
make either active or inactive. In general, there are two approaches:
selected members are let active; all the others become inactive,
selected members become inactive; all the others are let active.

Making the selected members active


The procedure to adjust the activity according to selection selected members
become active
Either call function Tools > Activity > Activity by selection (Selected members On).
Or click button Activity by selection (Selected members On) on Activity toolbar (

).

Making the selected members inactive


The procedure to adjust the activity according to selection selected members
become inactive
Either call function Tools > Activity > Activity by selection (Selected members Off).
Or click button Activity by selection (Selected members Off) on Activity toolbar (

).

Activity according to working plane


When this activity type is selected, the members located in the currently adjusted working plane become
active. All other members become inactive.
For more details about working plane see chapter Basic working tools > working plane > Adjusting a
working plane.

The procedure to adjust the activity according to working plane


Either call function Tools > Activity > Activity by working plane.
Or click button Activity by working plane on Activity toolbar (

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Activity according to clipping box


When this activity type is selected, the members located inside the currently adjusted clipping box
become active. All other members become inactive.
For more details about clipping box see chapter Advanced tools > Clipping box > Introduction to
clipping box.

The procedure to adjust the activity according to clipping box


1. Activate the clipping box and adjust it in required way.
2. Adjust the activity type to "by clipping box":
a. Either call function Tools > Activity > Activity by clipping box.
b. Or click button Activity by clipping box on Activity toolbar (

).

Inverting the activity


If required, the currently adjusted activity may be inverted so that:
the currently active members become inactive,
the currently inactive members become active.

The procedure to invert the activity


Either call function Tools > Activity > Invert current activity.
Or click button Invert current activity on Activity toolbar (

).

Controlling the display style of inactive members


The user may decide whether the members that are currently inactive should be partly visible or
completely hidden.

The procedure to display inactive members


Either call function Tools > Activity > Draw inactive members.
Or click button Draw inactive members on Activity toolbar (

).

Note 1: When visible, the inactive members are drawn in a style defined for Inactive members in
Colours setup (see chapter Program settings > Project settings > Display style settings > Colour
setup).
Note 2: The function works like an ON / OFF switch. That means that if the inactive members ARE
NOT drawn, the function makes them appear. If the inactive members ARE drawn, the function hides
them.

Layers
Introduction to layers
One of the important entity properties that should be understood well is the layer property. Experienced
users definitely use layers all the time and that is why their work is so effective. Good use of layers is
one of important aspects of a good model-making-and-evaluating practice.
Basically, layers are the computer equivalent of tracing overlays on a drawing board. However, layers
are much more powerful because you can have many layers in a single project and you can control the

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visibility and colour of layers independently. This makes working with very complicated projects much
more efficient.
When you start a new project, it has only one layer. The first thing you should do, therefore, when you
start a new SCIA.ESA PT project is to create some new layers.

Layers manager
The Layers manager is a tool to control the layers defined in a project. The Layers manager provides
for creating, editing and deleting of layers.
The manager itself uses the same "manager philosophy" as other SCIA.ESA PT managers do. It
contains control buttons for standard manager operations:
New

It creates a new layer. The new layer is created with


default properties that may be later edited.

Edit

It opens an editing dialogue where the layers properties


may be changed.

Copy

This function creates a copy of the selected layer.

Delete

It removes the selected layer from the project database.

Undo / Redo

It performs an Undo or Redo operation.

Text Output

It opens a small document window with a table that


summarises properties of selected layers.

In order to open the Layers manager use either menu function Tools > Layers or tree menu function
Tools > Layers.
The Layers manager can also be opened from various property dialogues that contain item Layer.
Such an item contains a button to open the Layers manager.

Displaying and hiding a layer


The Layers manager also enables the user to specify which layers should be visible and which ones
should be hidden.

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Defining a new layer


A new layer can be defined in the Layers manager.

The procedure to define a new layer


1. Open the Layers manager.
2. Click button [New] to create a new layer.
3. If required, click button [Edit] to change the default layer parameters (name, colour, visibility).
4. If required, repeat steps 2 and 3 as many times as you need.
5. Close the Layers manager.

Applying defined layers


A defined layer may be applied in the property dialogue of each particular entity. One of the table items
contains the layer name. This item defines the layer that the entity is put into.
Once the layer is specified in the property dialogue of an entity, the entity may be displayed or hidden
according to the settings made in the Layers manager.

The picture above shows the selection of the appropriate layer for a beam.

Displaying and hiding a layer


One of the important features of a layer is that it can be hidden. Lets assume that the user have finished
modelling of one part of the structure. Lets suppose that now s/he needs to work on another part of the
same structure and that the new part is independent on the first part. The best s/he can do is hide the
whole first part or at least its major part. This can be done by switching the appropriate layers off. The
new part of the structure then can be modelled in new layers.
The layers can be switched OFF or ON (i.e. displayed or hidden) in the Layers manager.

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The procedure for hiding (or displaying) a layer


1. Open the Layers manager.
2. In the right hand side part of the dialogue is located a layer property table containing option Display.
3. Select the layer or layers you want to display.
4. Tick the option Display.
5. Select the layer or layers you want to hide.
6. Remove the tick from the option Display.
7. If necessary, repeat the steps 3 to 6 as many times as required.
8. Close the Layers manager.

Ignoring selected layers in calculation


It may happen that a calculation model of a structure may be quite simple. Simultaneously, the structure
may contain a lot of additional parts that have no load-bearing function but that are important for
production of nice-looking and accurate drawings.
Such a situation calls for using of special type of layers layers used in CAD model only and ignored
in the calculation. This feature may be adjusted in the Layers manager.

The procedure for extracting the layer from calculation


1. Open the Layers manager.
2. In the right hand side part of the dialogue is located a layer property table containing option CAD
model only.
3. Select the layer or layers you want to ignore in calculation.
4. Tick the option CAD model only.
5. Select the layer or layers you want to consider in calculation.
6. Remove the tick from the option CAD model only.
7. If necessary, repeat the steps 3 to 6 as many times as required.
8. Close the Layers manager.

User co-ordinate system (UCS)


Introduction to a user co-ordinate system
The definition of points may be facilitated by the application of a user co-ordinate system. This system
can be so defined (i.e. positioned and oriented) that it reflects the geometry of the model (or its part)
that is being defined.
The user can define as many user co-ordinate systems as necessary. However, only one of them can be
active in one graphical window at a time. Nevertheless, the user may swap between individual user coordinate systems at any time. Whats more, even a new user co-ordinate system may be defined any
time it is necessary or efficient to do so.
The active user co-ordinate system is indicated on the program status bar.

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Adjusting a user co-ordinate system


UCS defined by three points
A new UCS can be defined by means of three points that do not lie on the same line. Each of the points
has a precisely specified meaning:
1st point

It defines the origin of the new co-ordinate system.

nd

It defines the direction of X-axis of the new co-ordinate system.

rd

It defines the side to which the Y-axis of the new co-ordinate system will point.

2 point
3 point

Note: Please read Rules for using a UCS.

Horizontal UCS defined by one point


A new co-ordinate system is defined by a single point. The point defines the origin of the new user coordinate system (UCS). The axes of the user co-ordinate system are parallel with corresponding global
co-ordinate axes.
That means that:
the X-axis of the UCS is parallel with the X-axis of the global co-ordinate system (GCS),
the Y-axis of the UCS is parallel with the Y-axis of the GCS,
the Z-axis of the UCS is parallel with the Z-axis of the GCS.
The XY plane of this user co-ordinate system is always horizontal.

Note: Please read Rules for using a UCS.

Vertical UCS defined by two points


A new co-ordinate system is defined by two points (or one line).
The first inserted point defines the origin of the new co-ordinate system. The second point defines the
direction of the X-axis of the new system. However, the X-axis is not defined precisely by the second
point. The X-axis is always horizontal, and therefore, the second inserted point specifies the direction of
the X-axis of the new user co-ordinate system. The Y-axis of the new user co-ordinate system is always
vertical.
The XY plane of this user co-ordinate system is always vertical with the Y-axis pointing upwards.

Note 1: The two inserted points defining the new system MUST NOT lie on a vertical line.
Note 2: Please read Rules for using a UCS.

Vertical UCS perpendicular to global X-axis


A new user co-ordinate system is defined by a single point. The point defines the origin of the new user
co-ordinate system.
The axes of the user co-ordinate system are oriented in such a way so that:
the X-axis of the user-coordinate system is always horizontal,
the Y-axis of the user-coordinate system is always vertical,
the XY plane of the user-coordinate system is perpendicular to the global X-axis.
The XY plane of this user co-ordinate system is always vertical with the Y-axis pointing upwards.

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Note: Please read Rules for using a UCS.

Vertical UCS perpendicular to global Y-axis


A new user co-ordinate system is defined by a single point. The point defines the origin of the new user
co-ordinate system.
The axes of the user co-ordinate system are oriented in such a way so that:
the X-axis of the user-coordinate system is always horizontal,
the Y-axis of the user-coordinate system is always vertical,
the XY plane of the user-coordinate system is perpendicular to the global Y-axis.
The XY plane of this user co-ordinate system is always vertical with the Y-axis pointing upwards.

Note: Please read Rules for using a UCS.

UCS identical with the global co-ordinate system


A new user co-ordinate system is identical with the global co-ordinate system.

Note: Please read Rules for using a UCS.

UCS perpendicular to the current UCS's X-axis


A new user co-ordinate system (UCS) is defined according the following rules:
the X-axis of the new UCS is put into the Y-axis of the current UCS,
the Y-axis of the new UCS is put into the Z-axis of the current UCS.

Note: Please read Rules for using a UCS.

UCS perpendicular to the current UCS's Y-axis


A new user co-ordinate system (UCS) is defined according the following rules:
the X-axis of the new UCS remains unchanged,
the Y-axis of the new UCS is put into the Z-axis of the current UCS.

Note: Please read Rules for using a UCS.

UCS defined according to an entity's LCS


A new user co-ordinate system is defined by means of an existing entity (e.g. beam).
The new user co-ordinate system has got its origin in the starting point of the selected entity. The axes
of the user co-ordinate system are identical with the local co-ordinate axes of the selected entity.

Note: Please read Rules for using a UCS.

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UCS defined from a view direction


A new user co-ordinate system is calculated from the current view direction. In other words, the X-axis
of the new co-ordinate system appears horizontal on the screen, the Y-axis of the new co-ordinate
system appears vertical on the screen, and the Z-axis of the new co-ordinate system points towards the
users eyes.

Note: Please read Rules for using a UCS.

Editing a user co-ordinate system


UCS Manager
The UCS manager gives the user full control over the existing user co-ordinate systems. Similarly to
other database managers, it provides for the definition of a new UCS, for the modification or copying
of existing systems, and for removal of no-longer-used co-ordinate systems.

Association of the active graphical window with a particular UCS


The UCS manager is also used to select a particular UCS and associate it with (assign it to) the active
graphical window. The UCS that is selected (highlighted) in the list of defined UCSs becomes the one
associated with the graphical window.

The procedure for the selection of UCS for the active graphical window
1. Open the UCS manager:
a. in tree menu call function Tools > UCS,
b. on status bar click button showing the name of UCS associated with the active graphical
window.
2. Select the UCS that should be assigned to the active graphical window.
3. Close the UCS manager.

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Modifying an existing UCS


An existing user co-ordinate system may be edited and thus its origin or direction of axes or both may
be altered. In general, there are two ways to modify an existing UCS:
type values of UCS parameters into the editing dialogue of the UCS,
apply one of many modifying functions collected in submenu UCS (opened either from menu Tools >
UCS, or under button [Setting of UCS for active view] ( ) on toolbar View) (see chapter Adjusting
a user co-ordinate system).

The procedure for direct editing of UCS parameters


1. Open the UCS manager.
2. Select the UCS you want to modify.
3. Click button [Edit] to adjust parameters of the new UCS.
4. Type in the required values for the origin of the UCS and for direction of its axes.
5. Close the editing dialogue.
6. Close the UCS manager.

The procedure for the modification of a UCS by means of UCS submenu functions
1. If it is not the case that the UCS you want to modify is the current (active) one, make it current first.
2. Open submenu UCS (either in menu Tools > UCS, or under button [Setting of UCS for active view]
( ) on toolbar View).
3. Select the required way of modification.
4. If necessary, input required parameters (i.e. required point or points).
5. The UCS has been modified and is now kept as the current UCS.
6. Open submenu UCS (either in menu Tools > UCS, or under button [Setting of UCS for active view]
( ) on toolbar View).
7. Select function Store the current UCS (

).

8. Select the name of the UCS that has been modified and rewrite it with the new adjustment.

Defining a new UCS


A new user co-ordinate system (UCS) can be defined in the UCS manager.
The UCS manager can be used to define completely a new user co-ordinate system if the user knows
numerically the parameters of the system. That means, if the user knows the exact global co-ordinates
of the UCSs origin and the exact direction vectors of individual UCSs axes. Otherwise, the UCS
manager is used to create a new UCS instance, and one of numerous UCS-modifying functions is later
applied to specify the origin and orientation of the UCS exes.

The procedure for the definition of a new UCS from within the UCS manager
1. Open the UCS manager.
2. Click button [New]. This creates a copy of the current UCS.
3. Click button [Edit] to adjust parameters of the new UCS.
4. Type in the required values for the origin of the UCS and for direction of its axes.
5. Close the editing dialogue.
6. Close the UCS manager.

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The procedure for the definition of a new UCS parameters using a menu/toolbar
function
1. Open submenu UCS (either in menu Tools > UCS, or under button [Setting of UCS for active view]
( ) on toolbar View).
2. Select the required way of definition.
3. If necessary, input required parameters (i.e. required point or points).
4. Once more open submenu UCS (either in menu Tools > UCS, or under button [Setting of UCS for
active view] ( ) on toolbar View).
5. Select function Store the current UCS (

).

6. Type the name of the UCS and confirm with [OK].


7. Thats it. A new UCS is defined and will appear in the UCS manager.

Copying an existing UCS


Any of already defined UCSs may be copied. The copy may be further modified to define a new unique
user co-ordinate system.

The procedure to make a copy of an existing UCS


1. Open the UCS manager.
2. Select the UCS you want to copy.
3. Click button [Copy] to create a new UCS that is identical in its parameters with the selected one.
4. If required, click button [Edit] to adjust parameters of the new UCS and type the required values for the
origin of the UCS and for direction of its axes. Then close the editing dialogue.
5. If required, repeat steps 2 to 4 as many times as necessary.
6. Close the UCS manager.

Moving an existing UCS


An existing UCS can be moved to a new origin. The orientation of the system remains unchanged, only
the UCSs origin moves to a new position.

The procedure to move a UCS to a new origin


1. If it is not the case that the UCS you want to move is the active one, make it active first.
2. Call menu function Tools > UCS > Move (You may as well activate toolbar function Setting of UCS
for active view > Move from toolbar View).
3. Define the new origin of the UCS.

Note: Please read Rules for using a UCS.

Rotating an existing UCS


An existing UCS can be rotated by a specified angle. The origin of the system remains unchanged, only
the direction of UCSs axes changes accordingly. The rotation is performed in the adjusted working
plane, i.e. the axis of rotation is normal to the current working plane.

The procedure to rotate a UCS


1. If it is not the case that the UCS you want to move is the active one, make it active first.

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2. Make sure that the working plane is adjusted properly, i.e. that it is oriented in such a way that a normal
to the working plane is parallel with the axis of intended rotation.
3. Call menu function Tools > UCS > Rotate (You may as well activate toolbar function Setting of UCS
for active view > Rotate from toolbar View).
4. Type the angle by which the UCS should be rotated.
5. Close the dialogue.

Note: Please read Rules for using a UCS.

Deleting an existing UCS


It may happen that some of the previously user co-ordinate systems are no longer necessary, or even
that some of the user co-ordinate systems have been defined by mistake. Such user co-ordinate systems
may be removed from the project.

The procedure to delete an existing UCS


1. Open the UCS manager.
2. Select the UCS you want to delete.
3. Click button [Delete].
4. If required, repeat steps 2 and 3 as many times as necessary.
5. Close the UCS manager.

Storing the user co-ordinate system


Any UCS created by the user may be stored as a named UCS. The user can specify the name and once
stored, the UCS is listed in the UCS manager.

The procedure to store the UCS as named UCS


1. Adjust the UCS as required.
2. Call menu function Tools > UCS > Store the current UCS (You may as well activate toolbar function
Setting of UCS for active view > Store the current UCS from toolbar View).
3. Input the required name.

Using a user co-ordinate system


Rules for using a UCS
There are some rules concerning the use of user co-ordinate system that should be clearly stated here in
order to prevent a possible confusion.

UCS in windows
Each graphical window can have a different UCS. The UCS can be assigned to a particular window
from the UCS manager.

The procedure for association of a particular graphical window with a particular UCS
1. Select the graphical window you need to associate with the required UCS.
2. Open the UCS manager.
3. Select the required UCS.
4. Close the UCS manager.

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Modification of an existing UCS in the UCS manager


If a UCS is edited in the UCS manager (i.e. edited numerically), the changes are made to the UCS that
is being edited.

Modification of an existing UCS by means of modification functions


If a current UCS assigned to a particular window is edited by means of a function for modification of
UCS, IT IS IMPORTANT TO KNOW that:
Before the modification itself, the window is associated with the default (called current) UCS.
The modification is made with the current UCS.
The current UCS is let associated with the window.
If a named user-created UCS was associated with the window before the modification has been
performed, that UCS remains unchanged.
If a named user-created UCS should be modified using modification functions, the following procedure
must be executed.

The procedure for modification of a named use-created UCS


1. Use modification function or functions to define the UCS as required.
2. Call function for storing of the current UCS.
3. Rewrite the original named user-created UCS with the newly defined one.

Using a UCS in the graphical window


The origin of the current user co-ordinate system is always displayed in the graphical window. Also
directions of individual co-ordinate system axes are shown.

If the program is in point definition mode or point selection mode, the co-ordinates of the mouse cursor
are displayed on the program status bas. The co-ordinates are given in user co-ordinate system.

Note: If required, the co-ordinates of position of the mouse cursor may also be displayed in
the global co-ordinates.

Using a UCS from the command line


If co-ordinates of an inserted point are typed on the command line without any prefix, the co-ordinates
are considered to be in the current UCS. For more information about the syntax of the command line
see chapter Command line in book Layout and operation > User interface.

Working plane
Introduction to a working plane
A working plane is a plane in which the mouse cursor moves in the three-dimensional modelling space.
The working plane can be adjusted arbitrarily to reflect the current needs of the user. The working plane
is always placed into one of the basic planes of a user co-ordinate system (UCS). It means that the
working plane is very closely bound to UCS.

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Adjusting a working plane


A working plane can be adjusted in any direction. There is only one limitation. A working plane is
always bound to the currently set user co-ordinate system. The working plane may be oriented in one of
the main planes of this co-ordinate system, i.e. into XY, XZ or YZ plane.
Therefore, in order to adjust the working plane into the required direction, the user may need to adjust
the user co-ordinate system first.

The procedure to adjust the working plane into the required UCS main plane
1. Verify that the current UCS is defined as required.
2. Adjust the working plane into XY or YZ or XZ plane of the UCS:
a. Either using toolbar View and its button [Setting of UCS for active view] (

),

b. Or calling function Tools > UCS,


3. In both cases, select one of the following items: XY workplane, YZ workplane, or XZ workplane.

Cursor SNAP modes


Introduction to SNAP modes
Whenever the user needs to define a new point (e.g. an end-point of a new beam), it is possible to do so
by typing the point co-ordinates on the command line. It is clear that this approach will not be always
the most efficient one. Very often, a new point is identical with one of the already defined points (e.g.
individual beams are connected to each other). Whats more, the geometry of the structure is usually
regular in some way, and therefore, end-points of individual entities fit into a regular scheme. Both of
these facts have been taken into account during the design of SCIA.ESA PTs SNAP modes.
A SNAP mode is a mode for locking a mouse cursor into alignment with an invisible rectangular grid or
with characteristic points of already defined entities (such as their end-points, middle points, centres of
circles, etc.).
When the SNAP mode is on, the screen crosshairs and all input coordinates are snapped to the nearest
point on the grid or to the nearest characteristic point.

Grid SNAP modes


The grid SNAP mode is a SNAP mode where the mouse cursor is locked into alignment with a grid.
SCIA.ESA PT offers two types of grid:
a dot grid (that may be either orthogonal or radial),
a line grid (that may be both two- and three-dimensional).
When this SNAP mode is on, the screen crosshairs and all input coordinates are snapped to the nearest
point of the grid.
The grid SNAP mode can be combined with the object SNAP mode if required.
The activation of the grid SNAP mode can be done in the Cursor snap setting dialogue.

Object SNAP modes


The object SNAP mode is a SNAP mode where the mouse cursor is locked to commonly needed points,
or we can say characteristic points, on entities (such as their end-points, middle points, centres of
circles, etc.).
If required, the object SNAP mode can be combined with the grid SNAP mode.

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A required kind of the object SNAP mode can be selected (activated) in the Cursor snap setting
dialogue.

The picture above shows "in action" the SNAP mode set to Midpoints.

Adjusting a SNAP mode


Adjustment of the required SNAP mode or modes can be done in the Cursor snap setting dialogue.

The dialogue offers a vide range of SNAP variants:


Line grid

The cursor is locked to the vertices of a defined line grid.

Dot grid

The cursor is locked to the points of a defined dot grid.

Only snapped points

If this option is ON, the first two variants are automatically


turned OFF and only characteristic points of already
defined entities may be used to snap to. In other words,
only the object SNAP mode is enabled.

Midpoints

Middle points of entities are used as snap points.

Endpoints / Nodes

End points of entities are used as snap points.

Intersections

Intersections of entities are used as snap points.

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Orthogonal points

This option snaps to a point which forms a perpendicular


with the selected object.

Tangential points

The Tangential point SNAP mode snaps to a tangent point


on a circle.

Arc / circle centre

This option snaps to the centre of a circle, arc or polyline


arc segment. The cursor must pass over the circumference
of the circle or the arc so that the centre can be found.

Points on line / curve N-th

The program automatically divides a selected entity into N


segments and thus generates (N+1) points on an entity
under cursor. The points may be used to snap to.

Points in line / curve % of length

This option is similar to the one above. But the division of


a beam is defined by percents and not by the number of
segments.

Surface edges

This option is available only if at least one of the above


listed object SNAP modes is ON.
If this option is ON, the mouse cursor snaps also to the
surface lines of entities.

The procedure for the adjustment of the required SNAP mode:


1. Open the Dot grid setting dialogue. The dialogue can be opened in two ways:
a. via [Snap mode] button on the Status bar,
b. via [Cursor snap setting] button (

) on the toolbar at the command line.

c. using menu function Tools > Cursor snap setting.


2. Select the required SNAP option or options.
3. Press button [OK] to close the dialogue.

Adjusting the temporary one-step SNAP mode


Sometimes it may be useful to let the current SNAP mode AS IS, and change the SNAP mode just and
only for a single step (single action). For example, all new end-points of a set of beams are defined as
end-points of existing entities, but suddenly it may happen that one particular point would be easily
defined as a midpoint.
In SCIA.ESA PT the user may change the SNAP mode temporarily for a single step only.

The procedure for the adjustment of a temporary SNAP mode


1. Once a function requiring the definition of points is started a toolbar is displayed at the top of the
command line.

2. Proceed with the opened function up to the moment you need to change temporarily the SNAP mode.
3. Click the required icon on the mentioned toolbar.
4. The SNAP mode is temporarily re-adjusted for the following single step.
5. Once you define the point, the SNAP modes returns to the original setting.

Dot grid
Introduction to a dot grid
A dot grid is an area in the graphical window covered with regularly spaced dots to aid drawing. The
spacing between grid dots is adjustable. The grid dots are not plotted.

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The dot grid is always put into the current working plane, so that it can be used for the definition of
points (e.g. end points of individual members) by means of mouse.
Properly adjusted dot grid may significantly speed up the process of geometry definition.
SCIA.ESA PT offers two types of the grid: orthogonal and radial.

Adjusting dot grid parameters


The dot grid can be adjusted to meet the needs of a particular project. Sometimes, it may be good idea
to re-adjust the grid settings from time to time, especially if the geometry of the whole structure is not
regular and varies from one part to another.

The procedure to adjust dot grid parameters


1. Open the Dot grid setting dialogue:
a. Either using toolbar View and its button [Setting of the dot grid] (

),

b. Or via menu function Tools > Dot grid settings


2. Select the required type of the grid: orthogonal or radial
3. Type in the parameters of the grid (the individual parameters are self-explicable).
4. Close the dialogue.

5. The adjusted grid will be displayed on the screen unless it is switched off.

Using the dot grid


The dot grid may be used to insert points if the following conditions are met:
the dot grid is switched on (i.e. it is displayed),
the snap mode is adjusted to stick to the grid points,
the program is in the point definition mode.

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To be precise, the first condition does not have to be fulfilled and the dot grid may still be used. But as
the dots of the grid are not visible, it is not recommended to use this configuration (unless you are a
really advanced and skilful user of SCIA.ESA PT).

Displaying the dot grid


The dot grid may be switched on and off in two ways:
Using button [Show / hide dot grid] (

) on the bottom horizontal scrollbar of a graphical window,

Using menu function View > View > Show / hide dot grid.

Setting the snap mode to use the dot grid


The capability of the snap mode to stick to the dot grid can be set in two different dialogues. The result
is the same regardless of which dialogue is used.

Setting in Snap mode dialogue


1. Open the Cursor snap setting dialogue.
2. Tick the option Dot grid on or off (as required).
3. Close the dialogue.

Setting in Dot grid settings dialogue


1. Open Dot grid setting dialogue.
2. Tick option Snap cursor to dot grid on or off (as required)
3. Close the dialogue

Line grid
Introduction to a line grid
A line grid is a kind of a three dimensional grid. Individual vertices of the grid can be used to define
points of the modelled structure.
One can imagine the line grid as a set of wire cubes placed one next to another to create a larger wire
cube. The vertices of individual small wire cubes are the vertices of the line grid. Whats more, the
cubes may be not only regular cubes, but also other solids like a tetrahedron, irregular hexahedron, etc.
The grid may be of either regular or irregular (variable) dimensions in any direction.
The tool is extremely useful for the definition of complex 3D structures on condition that at least some
parts of the structure are regular (i.e. of the same spans or of the same height).

Types of line grid


A line grid may be of several types. Each type may be useful for different "configuration" of the
geometry of a modelled structure.
Cartesian

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This line grid represents the basic type. The vertices of the
grid are defined in Cartesian co-ordinates and the grid as a
whole resembles a regular rectangular prism.

SCIA.ESA PT

Oblique

This type is based on the previous one. In addition, the


user may define two angles that make the grid oblique.

Spherical

Vertices of this grid type are defined by means of


spherical co-ordinates.

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Cylindrical

Vertices of this grid of this type are defined by means of


cylindrical co-ordinates.

Line grid manager


The Line grid manager provides for operations related to line grids. It can be used to create a new line
grid, to switch the existing line grids on or off, to modify an existing grid, to copy it or delete it.
The manager is operated the same way as any other SCIA.ESA PT database manager.

The procedure to open the Line grid manager


Either: Use tree menu function Tools > Line grids.
Or:

Use menu function Tools > Line grids.

Or:

Click button [Line grid] (

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) on View toolbar.

SCIA.ESA PT

Creating a new line grid


Similarly to a great number of other "objects" in SCIA.ESA PT, a new line grid can be created in the
appropriate database manager. The Line grid manager has been designed to create and edit line grids

The procedure to create a new line grid


1. Open the Line grid manager.
2. Click button [New].
3. The editing dialogue is opened.
4. Specify grid dimensions.
5. Adjust its display parameters.
6. Close the editing dialogue.
7. Choose whether the new line grid should be displayed or hidden.
8. Close the Line grid manager.
Note: If no line grid has been defined in the current project so far, step 1 leads directly to opening
of the editing dialogue. As a result, step 2 is automatically skipped.

Adjusting line grid parameters


Each line grid is defined by means of:
dimensions in individual directions,
location of its origin (i.e. the insertion point),
possible rotation,
angles of obliqueness (for oblique line grid only),

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name,
parameters of its display style.

Line grid type


The combo box at the bottom part of the dialogue selects the required grid type.

Line grid dimensions


Depending on the grid type, the dimensions are defined in Cartesian, spherical, or cylindrical coordinates.
There are two ways to define the individual "spans" and "floor heights":
the user inputs the dimensions of individual "spans" and "floor heights",
the user inputs the co-ordinates of individual line grid vertices (i.e. co-ordinates of end-points for
individual "spans" and "floors").
The approaches are independent for each direction. In other words, the user can specify the dimension
of the grid in X and Y direction by means of "span" lengths and then use grid absolute co-ordinates for
the definition of individual "floors" (in the case of Cartesian type) or vice versa. Which approach will
be used can be set in the combo box located above the table for each particular direction.
Another general rule is that:
either each "span" and each "floor" of the line grid is defined explicitly,
or a "span" or "floor" dimension is input only once and the number of repetition of this dimension is
added (if "spans" or "floors" of the same dimension are adjacent to each other).
The latter can be user for grid with repetitious "spans" and may significantly speed up the definition of
the grid.

Insertion point and rotation


This point defines the location of the grid in the global co-ordinate system.
If required, the whole line grid may be rotated around the global Z-axis.

Name
The name serves for easy identification of individual line grids if more than one grid are defined.

Parameters of display style


The user can control the way the line grid is displayed on the screen.

Adjusting the display style of line grid


The user can easily control the appearance of the grid on the screen by means of a few parameters. The
parameters are grouped on the Drawing setup tab of the line grid editing dialogue.
Base plane

This parameter specifies which plane is the base plane for


the labelling system of the grid.

Lines between planes

Connecting lines may be or may be not drawn between


individual grid layers (i.e. "floors" or "spans" depending
on the base plane).

Label format

The user can control the format of the labels.

Visibility of grid layers

Individual grid layers (i.e. "floors" or "spans" depending


on the base plane of the grid) may be visible or hidden.

Labelling of grid layers

Individual grid layers may be labelled.

Dimensioning of grid layers

Dimension lines may be added to individual grid layers.

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Base plane
The base plane defines the plane where the main grid labels will be located. The user can select from
the three base planes oriented in the three main planes of the global co-ordinate system (XY plane, YZ,
plane, XZ plane).

Lines between planes


The individual grid layers (e.g. "floors" in case of XY base plane) may be graphically connected to each
other or may be drawn as separate layers. If the lines are drawn, the final line grid looks like a three
dimensional solid. If the lines are not drawn, the final grid resembles of a set of sheets put one above
the other.

Label format
The user may adjust the format of the labels. The following parameters can be specified:
position of labels,
offset of labels,
text size,
a circle drawn around labels.

Visibility of grid layers


Each layer can be separately set as visible or hidden. This may be very useful especially for large and
complex line grids.

Labelling of grid layers


Labels are added to individual layers according to the users settings. There are two types of labels:
labels for individual "spans" in a grid layer,
labels for the whole grid layer.
Each of the types is controlled by a separate parameter.

Dimensioning of grid layers


The individual grid layers may be equipped with dimension lines. The dimension lines may dimension:
either individual spans in individual directions,
or the total dimension in individual directions.

Displaying and hiding a line grid


A line grid can be switched on / off (in other words displayed / hidden or activated /deactivated) in the
Line grid manager. It is possible to switch on as many different line grids as required.

The procedure for switching a line grid on / off


1. Open the Line grid manager.
2. In the list of defined line grids select the line grid you want to switch on or off.
3. In the grid property table tick option Visible in order to switch the grid on, or remove the tick from this
option to hide the grid.
4. Repeat points 2 and 3 as many times as required.
5. Close the Line grid manager.

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Using a line grid


In order to use a previously defined line grid, two conditions must be met:
at least one line grid must be switched on,
the SNAP mode must be set to pick points of line grid.
Once the two conditions are met, the vertices of the displayed line grids may be used to define points.
When the mouse cursor is positioned on a line grid point (vertex), the program automatically detects it,
snaps to it and shows its co-ordinates. If the user wants to use the highlighted point, the only thing
he/she have to do is click the left mouse button.

The picture above shows the use of line grid for the insertion of columns during creation of a model of a
hall.

Editing an existing line grid


The way to edit parameters of an already defined line grid is very straightforward and simple.

The procedure to edit an existing line grid


1. Open the Line grid manager.
2. Select the grid you want to modify.
3. Click button [Edit] to open the editing dialogue.
4. Change the required parameters on the Input data tab.
5. Change the required parameters on the Drawing setup tab.
6. Close the editing dialogue.
7. Close the Line grid manager.
If a defined line grid is no longer needed it may be deleted. The Line grid managers button [Delete]
can be used for this operation.

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Window pop-up menu


Introduction to window pop-up menu
Every graphical window that is created in SCIA.ESA PT has a pop-up menu associated with it. This
pop-up menu provides for fast access to frequently used functions. The menu can be invokes by
clicking the right mouse button if the mouse cursor is positioned inside the window.
The list of functions offered in the pop-up menu depends on several factors:
whether any function is opened (has been activated),
whether some entities are selected,
whether the mouse cursor is positioned on some entity (at the moment when the right mouse button is
being pressed),
if the mouse cursor is positioned on some entity ,what kind of entity it is.
In addition to the pop-up menu in graphical window, SCIA.ESA PT offers also a similar menu in a
document window. This particular type of pop-up menu is described in chapter covering the document.

Functions of the pop-up menu


The pop-up menu of the graphical is created dynamically. That means that the functions offered in the
menu vary according to the current state of the program.

Standard pop-up menu


Zoom all

Displays the whole model.

Zoom cut-out

Displays the selected cut-out so that it fits the whole area


of the graphical window.

Set view parameters

Opens the dialogue for adjustment of view parameters, i.e.


the parameters that control the way the modelled structure
is displayed on the screen.

Cursor snap setting

Opens the dialogue for adjustment of required SNAP


mode.

Copy picture to clipboard

Copies the contents of the graphical window into clipboard


of Windows system.

Export picture to file

Saves the contents of the graphical window into an


external file. The user may choose from a list of supported
file formats.

Picture to document

Inserts the contents of the graphical window into the


document as a new picture.

Picture to gallery

Inserts the contents of the graphical window into the


Picture gallery as a new picture.

Print picture

Opens the graphic output dialogue and allows the user to


carry out the print set-up before the print itself.

Wire model in manipulations

If the option is ON and the view direction or zoom is being


adjusted by means of mouse (i.e. appropriate control keys
and right mouse button held down during mouse
movement), only a simplified wire representation of the
structure is displayed during the operation of adjustment.
If the option is OFF, the normal (or full) display is used
during the operation.
It is clear that the latter may lead to slower response of the
program.

Picture wizard

Starts the wizard for generation of pictures.


See appropriate chapters in the Picture gallery.

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Pop-up menu if a function is opened


If a function (e.g. Insert a new beam, Define load, etc.) is opened, SCIA.ESA PT adds an additional
function to the pop-up menu.
End of command

This command may be used to close the currently opened


function. The command closes just the function and lets
the current service opened.

Pop-up menu if some entities are selected


If at least one entity is selected, the contents of the pop-up menu is rearranged in order to provide for
common manipulations with the selected entities. The pop-up menu consists of the following functions:
Detailed beam edit

Opens a specialised dialogue for detailed editing of the


selected beams.

Set view parameters (for the


selected entities only)

Opens the dialogue for adjustment of view parameters, i.e.


the parameters that control the way the modelled structure
is displayed on the screen. The settings made here are
applied to the selected entities only.
As this function deals with a specified set of entities, the
range of the view parameters in the setting dialogue is
limited to parameters related to the selected entities.

Set view parameters for all


entities

Opens the dialogue for adjustment of view parameters, i.e.


the parameters that control the way the modelled structure
is displayed on the screen.
The settings made here are applied to all entities in the
model.

Cursor snap setting

Opens the dialogue for adjustment of required SNAP


mode.

View

This sub-menu comprises majority of the standard pop-up


menu functions.

Move

Start function for move of beams.

Rotate

Start function for rotation of beams.

Scale

Starts function for change of the scale of beams.

Stretch

Opens function for stretching of beams.

Mirror

Opens function for mirroring of beams.

Copy

Starts function for copying of beams.

Copy Add data

Starts function for copying of additional data.


This item is only available if at least one entity of
additional data is in the current selection.

Move Add data

Starts function for moving of additional data.


This item is only available if at least one entity of
additional data is in the current selection.

Delete

Opens function for deletion of selected entities.

Picture wizard

Opens wizard (i.e. a set of dialogues) that helps the user


generate pictures of the modelled structure.

Pop-up menu if the cursor is positioned over any entity


If the mouse cursor is located over an entity at the moment the mouse button is clicked, the program
adds a few special items that are related to the very entity under the cursor.
Brief information about the
entity under cursor

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This menu item contains type and name of the entity under
cursor. This item performs no action, it just says the user
which entity the mouse cursor is positioned over.

SCIA.ESA PT

Edit properties

Opens the property dialogue for the entity under cursor. In


this property dialogue the parameters of the entity may be
changed as required.

The picture below shows a sample pop-up menu that was invoked with the mouse cursor positioned
over an entity called B3.

Using the window pop-up menu


The pop-up menu of the graphical window can be invoked any time the graphical window is displayed
and holds the focus.

The procedure for opening and using the pop-up menu


1. Place the mouse cursor into the drawing area of the required graphical window (please notice that
several graphical windows may be opened at a time and therefore the cursor must be put into the
required one).
2. If required, position the cursor over particular entity.
3. Click the right mouse button.
4. The pop-up menu appears on the screen.
5. Select the function that should be invoked and click the left mouse button.
6. The function starts or is performed (if the function does not require any parameters or response of the
user, it is carried out immediately).
7. Finish the opened function.
Note: If the pop-up menu is invoked accidentally, just place the mouse cursor anywhere into the
empty area of the graphical window and click the left mouse button. The pop-up menu disappears.

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Adjusting the viewpoint (view direction + zoom)


Introduction to view adjustment
If a simple two-dimensional structure is being modelled and analysed, it may be sufficient enough to
have just one side view of the structure during the whole design and evaluation process. However, if a
complex three-dimensional structure is handled, the user needs to:
view the structure from different sides,
zoom in important details,
zoom out to get the overall view,
possibly limit the view to only a part of the structure.
All the points mentioned above can be covered by one term the user needs to adjust the view.
This task may be carried out by means of numerous view adjusting functions that SCIA.ESA PT offers
in its menus and toolbars.

Adjusting the view


The adjustment of the view may consist of two separate operations:
definition of the view direction (i.e. from which side the structure is looked at),
specification of the distance of the view point from the structure (i.e. how big the structure appears to be
on the screen).
SCIA.ESA PT offers a wide range of functions to adjust the required view. Some functions perform just
one of the two mentioned operations, others merge both of them into one action.

Menu functions for adjustment of the view


View > ZOOM > Zoom +

Zooms in.

View > ZOOM > Zoom -

Zoom out.

View > ZOOM > Zoom Cut-out

Requires to define a cut-out for the zoom. The cut-out is


then magnified in order to fit into the whole area of the
graphical window.
Once the function is started the mouse cursor changes.
Position it to the upper left corner of the cut-out. Press the
left mouse button and hold it down. Drag the mouse to
place the cursor to the bottom right corner of the cut-out.
Release the button.

View > ZOOM > Zoom All

Zoom in or out in order to fit the whole structure into the


whole area of the graphical window.

View > ZOOM > Zoom All


Selection

Zoom in or out in order to fit the selected entities into the


whole area of the graphical window.

View > View > View X

Adjusts the view in such a way so that the structure is


viewed from the positive X-axis direction. Simultaneously
zooms in or out to fit the whole structure into the whole
area of the graphical window.

View > View > View Y

Adjusts the view in such a way so that the structure is


viewed from the positive Y-axis direction. Simultaneously
zooms in or out to fit the whole structure into the whole
area of the graphical window.

View > View > View Z

Adjusts the view in such a way so that the structure is


viewed from the positive Y-axis direction. Simultaneously
zooms in or out to fit the whole structure into the whole
area of the graphical window.

View > View > View AXO

Sets the view point vector to (1, -1, 1). Simultaneously


zooms in or out to fit the whole structure into the whole
area of the graphical window.

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Toolbar functions for adjustment of the view


Functions for the adjustment of the view are arranged on toolbar View.

View in direction X

Adjusts the view in such a way so that the structure is


viewed from the positive X-axis direction. Simultaneously
zooms in or out to fit the whole structure into the whole
area of the graphical window.

View in direction Y

Adjusts the view in such a way so that the structure is


viewed from the positive Y-axis direction. Simultaneously
zooms in or out to fit the whole structure into the whole
area of the graphical window.

View in direction Z

Adjusts the view in such a way so that the structure is


viewed from the positive Y-axis direction. Simultaneously
zooms in or out to fit the whole structure into the whole
area of the graphical window.

View in direction AXO

Sets the view point vector to (1, -1, 1). Simultaneously


zooms in or out to fit the whole structure into the whole
area of the graphical window.

Zoom in

Zooms in.

Zoom out

Zooms out.

Zoom by cut-out

Requires to define a cut-out for the zoom. The cut-out is


then magnified in order to fit into the whole area of the
graphical window.
Once the function is started the mouse cursor changes.
Position it to the upper left corner of the cut-out. Press the
left mouse button and hold it down. Drag the mouse to
place the cursor to the bottom right corner of the cut-out.
Release the button.

Zoom all

Zoom in or out in order to fit the whole structure into the


whole area of the graphical window.

Zoom all selection

Zoom in or out in order to fit the selected entities into the


whole area of the graphical window.

Window scroll-bar wheel-like buttons for adjustment of the view


Each graphical window has got three wheel-like buttons on the scroll-bar. If the scroll-bar is visible the
"wheels" may be used to adjust the required view. The function of the three wheel-like buttons is:
Zoom (located on the bottom
scroll-bar)

Zooms in or out.

Rotate horizontally (located on


the bottom scroll-bar)

Rotates the structure around the vertical axes (i.e. vertical


axis of the screen).

Rotate vertically (located on the


right hand side scroll-bar)

Rotates the structure around the horizontal axes (i.e.


horizontal axis of the screen).

The operation of the wheel-like buttons is simple. Just place the mouse cursor over the "wheel", press
the left mouse button, hold it down and "turn the wheel" with left-right, or up-down, movement of the
mouse over the pad.

Mouse controlled adjustment of the view


In addition to the standard menu and toolbar functions SCIA.ESA PT offers also a set of fast-access
functions for the view adjustment.

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Zoom in

Press [Ctrl] and [Shift] keys simultaneously and hold


them down. Then press the right mouse button and hold it
down as well. Move the mouse up (away from you) over
the pad.

Zoom out

Press [Ctrl] and [Shift] keys simultaneously and hold


them down. Then press the right mouse button and hold it
down as well. Move the mouse down (towards you) over
the pad.

Rotate

Press [Ctrl] key and hold it down. Then press the right
mouse button and hold it down as well. Move the mouse
over the pad in order to get the required view direction.

Shift

Press [Shift] key and hold it down. Then press the right
mouse button and hold it down as well. Move the mouse
over the pad in order to get the required position of the
structure on the screen.

Rotation of view
The centre of rotation depends on initial conditions.
No entity is selected

The centre of rotation is put into the point that forms a


centroid of an imaginary rectangular prism outscribed
around the existing model.

Some entities are selected

The centre of rotation is put into the point that forms a


centroid of an imaginary rectangular prism outscribed
around the selected entities.

One node is selected

The selected node is the centre of rotation.

Clipping box is ON

The centre of rotation is put into the point that forms a


centroid of the current clipping box.

Limiting the view


If a modelled structure is larger and complex, it may be convenient to display only a limited part of it.
This "limitation" can be achieved in two different ways:
Activity or layers

The parts of the structure that are not necessary for the
current operations may be hidden, in other words removed
from the view.
This approach is described in chapter Basic working tools
> Layers or Basic working tools > Activity.

Clipping box

The view can restricted to a three-dimensional area


(defined as a rectangular prism) called clipping box. If the
clipping box is defined, only entities located inside it are
displayed.
Features of the clipping box are described in chapter
Advanced working tools > Clipping box.

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Adjusting the view numerically


The view direction may be specified also numerically by means of view direction vector. The vector
can be defined in the View parameters dialogue on tab View. The three numbers in the table represent
the X, Y, and Z components of the view direction vector.
Examples:
View direction vector

View

-1.0
1.4
-1.0

-1.0
-1.4
-1.0

0
0
1

Adjusting perspective projection


By default, an orthogonal projection is used to display three-dimensional models on the screen. As an
alternative, also a perspective projection can be activated.

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The perspective projection can be set using:
Either: Menu function View > View > Perspective view,
Or:

Button [Switch view to perspective mode] (

) on toolbar View.

Special view settings


In addition to the adjustment of the viewpoint (view direction and zoom), some other properties of the
view can be controlled by the user.

Wire model in manipulations


This option can be set in:
Either: Menu View > View > Wire model in manipulations,
Or:

Right mouse button pop-up menu of the graphical window.

Option is ON

Only a simplified representation of the structure is


displayed during the mouse controlled adjustment of the
view.
This option increases significantly the response of the
computer during the above mentioned operation. It is
therefore more than recommended for standard speed
computers and other than very simple models.

Option is OFF

This option results in "fully displayed structure" during the


mouse controlled adjustment of the view.
This option may lead to slow response of the computer and
is recommended only for very state-of-the-art and fast
computers and simple models.

View parameters
Introduction to view parameters
Each entity that is defined in SCIA.ESA PT is not "just a geometrical shape". There is a good number
of various attributes attached to each entity. The attributes may be for example material, cross-section,
layer, name, construction type, etc. Each of the attributes that is defined for a particular entity can be
displayed on the screen.
Whats more, some of the attributes such as for example cross-section or surface can be drawn in
several ways. SCIA.ESA PT enables the user to control the way individual entities are displayed by
means of view parameters.
These view parameters tell the program which particular attribute of each entity should be shown and
which graphical representation should be used.
View parameters can be defined en block for the whole structure as unique, or they may be defined
separately for individual entities. Each entity can be displayed with different view parameters.

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Overview of view parameters


The view parameters can be divided into several groups according to the entity or group or theme they
relate to.
Entities

These view parameters control the way the individual


entities are displayed.

Labels and description

These parameters determine which labels and comments


are attached to the displayed entities.

View

This section controls the view.

Note: In addition to the basic groups of view parameters the settings dialogue may contain also
switches for various advanced data such as Steel data or Steel connections. The basic groups are
described below.

Entities
Structure
Style + colour

This item controls the style for drawing of beams.

Member system line

This item determines the way the system line of individual


beams is displayed.

Member surface

Here the drawing style of beam surface is specified.

Rendering

A concrete rendering option influences drawing of reverse


sides of a structure.

Cross-section

The user can control whether beams are drawn with fully
drawn or just symbolic cross-section.

Member LCS

Displays on or off local axes of members.

Node LCS

Displays on or off local axes of nodes.

Buckling length

Shows or hides system lengths of beams.

Style + colour
Normal

Colours are taken from Setup > Colours/Lines dialogue.

Colour by layers

Colours of beams are determined by the settings defined


for layers.

Colour by material

Colours specified for materials are used to display


corresponding beams.

Colour by cross-section

Colours specified for cross-sections are used to display


corresponding beams.

According to CAD type

The program takes account of CAD types defined for


individual beams (e.g. column, rafter, truss chord, etc.) and
displays beams according to the settings made for the
CAD types (see Setup > Beam types).

Member system line


None

The system line (or midline) of beams is not shown at all.

System line

System line of a beam is drawn according to the option


selected in Display style + colour item.

System line + reference line

This option is useful if beams are inserted with


eccentricity. In such cases endpoints of the midline of a
beam are not identical with the insertion points. This
option then shows both the midline (system line) and
insertion line (reference line).

Bar

The midline of a beam is drawn with offsets at both ends


and using a thick line.

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System line + bar

The midline of a beam is drawn with offsets at both ends


and using a thick line. In addition, the system line
(midline) is drawn as well in normal style.

Member surface
None

Surface of beams is not shown. That means that only


system lines of beams are displayed.

Calculation model

Surface is shown as defined in the property dialogues of


beams.

With offsets

Surface is shown as defined in the property dialogues of


beams but with offsets at both beam ends.

CAD model

Instead of standard geometry representation, the CAD


model is displayed.

Note: If Member system line option is set to None and simultaneously Member surface option is
set to None as well, the result is that members are not drawn at all. Consequently, it may seem that the
members have disappeared from the project, which is however not the case.

Rendering
Wired

No rendering is performed. Beam surface edges are drawn


as they are. Possible hidden surface lines are visible.

Hidden lines

Surface edges are displayed in a way so that reverse edges


(i.e. hidden edges) are not shown.

Rendered with edges

Similar to the option above, but surfaces are filled with


colour defined in Setup > Colours/Lines and edges are
drawn in colour specified in Setup > Colours/Lines.

Rendered normal

Similar to the variant above, but the contour lines (i.e.


edges) are not shown.

Transparent

Members are made transparent.

Cross-section
None

The cross-section of beams in not shown.

Section

A mark of the same shape as the cross-section is displayed


on the beam axis. The mark is drawn in corresponding
projection.

In screen plane

A mark of the same shape as the cross-section is displayed


on the beam axis. The mark is displayed in the plane of the
screen.

Longitudinal XZ

A mark representing XZ section of the cross-section is


drawn on the beam axis. This option does not show the
complete shape of the cross-section but only its XZ
projection.

Longitudinal XY

A mark representing XY section of the cross-section is


drawn on the beam axis. This option does not show the
complete shape of the cross-section but only its XY
projection.

Additional data
Style / rendering

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Specifies the rendering style for model data.

SCIA.ESA PT

Model
Display model data

Shows or hides model data, i.e. supports, hinges, etc. Does


not affect the display style of loads and masses (see
below).

Load
Display load

Displays or hides loads defined on the structure.

Load case

Selects the load case that should be displayed.

Mass
Display mass

Displays or hides masses defined on the structure.

Mass group

Selects the mass group that should be displayed.

Labels and descriptions


Beam members
Label

Controls whether beam labels will be shown or not.

Name

Shows the name of the beam.

Cross-section name

Displays the name of the beams cross-section.

Cross-section type

States the type of the beams cross-section.

Length

Displays the length of the beam.

Layer

Shows the name of the layer the beam is inserted into.

Type and priority

Beam type (CAD) and its priority is shown.

Nodes
Display label

Controls whether node labels will be shown or not.

Name

Shows the name of the node.

X co-ordinate

Displays the X-co-ordinate of the node.

Y co-ordinate

Displays the Y-co-ordinate of the node.

Z co-ordinate

Displays the Z-co-ordinate of the node.

Loads
Display label

Controls whether load labels will be shown or not.

Name

Shows the name of the load.

Value

Displays the loads value. See Note below.

Total value

Displays total value of load. See Note below.

Note: Items Value and Total value are significant for loads that are not defined directly by its
force or moment impulse, but that were defined by means of a wind generator, load generator, or as a
predefined load. For such loads, SCIA ESA PT can display two different types of data. First, the input
value (e.g. width load) can be shown, i.e. the value. Second, the calculated load per meter of length can
be displayed (i.e. the total value).

Masses
Display label

Controls whether mass labels will be shown or not.

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Name

Shows the name of the mass.

Value

Displays the masss value.

Buckling lengths
Label

Controls whether buckling length labels will be shown or


not.

Name

Shows the name of the buckling length.

Description

Displays the buckling lengths description.

Mesh
Label

Controls whether the generated finite element mesh will be


shown or not. See Note below.

Nodes

Shows the nodes of the generated finite element mesh.

Elements 1D

Displays the mesh for 1D elements.

Elements 2D

Displays the mesh for 2D elements.

Note: The finite element mesh can ONLY be displayed if at one calculation has been already
performed and its results are still available.

View
Disable tooltips

If ON, no tooltips in the graphical window are shown. I.e.


no information concerning the entity under cursor is
displayed. This option may reduce the response time in
large projects.
Before this option takes effect, the screen must be
regenerated.

View vector X, Y, Z

Enables the user to numerically adjust the view direction.

Clipping box

Switches the Clipping box ON/OFF.

Adjusting view parameters


View parameters can be set for all the entities at the same time or separately for individual entities.

Setting view parameters for all entities


Two procedures may be used to adjust view parameters for all the entities in the modelled structure.

Procedure A if no entities are currently selected


1. Make sure that no entities are selected.
2. Call function Set view parameters using:
a. either: menu function View > Set view parameters > Set view parameters,
b. or: window pop-up menu function Set view parameters
c. or: window scroll bar button [Set view parameters for all entities] (
3. Make required adjustments.
4. Confirm the settings with OK.

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Procedure B if some entities are currently selected


1. Invoke the window pop-up menu.
2. Select function Set view parameters for all entities.
3. Make required adjustments.
4. Confirm the settings with OK.

Setting view parameters for individual entities


View parameters may be adjusted for only some entities (not for the whole model).

The procedure for adjustment of view parameters for selected entities only
1. Select the entities the view parameters of which should be altered.
2. Call function Set view parameters
a. either: menu function View > Set view parameters > Set view parameters,
b. or: window pop-up menu function Set view parameters
3. Make required adjustments.
4. Confirm the settings with OK.

Predefined view parameters settings


Full and complete setting of all the view parameters may be awkward and tiresome task. Especially if
the user needs to repeatedly swap between two types of display.
Consequently, SCIA.ESA PT offers several sets of predefined settings. The predefined sets should
cover most of commonly needed cases. The predefined sets can be found in menu View > Set view
parameters and they are:
Model of structure

This variant displays the structure itself as is. Any supports,


loads, etc. are not shown to provide for clear view of the
structure.

Calculation model

This option displays the model with the focus laid on the
numerical calculation. Therefore, only axes of individual
beams are displayed and they are accompanied with supports,
loads, local co-ordinate systems and other data that are
important from the calculation point of view.

CAD model

This variant shows the CAD model of the structure.

Regeneration of view
Introduction to regeneration of view
It is a common phenomenon in CAD and similar "drawing" programs that once the drawing becomes
excessive or is being edited and modified, the "current state" displayed on the screen may happen not to
reflect completely the "reality". This is due to the fact that it is not possible to guarantee a flawless
automatic regeneration of the view. If the automatic regeneration of the view had to be ensured, it
would result in unbearably slow response of the program.
Therefore, SCIA.ESA PT, similarly to other graphically oriented program, offers the user the possibility
to regenerate the view manually at any time when necessary.

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Redrawing the active graphical window


This function redraws the graphical window if some changes affecting the display were made and the
window has not been regenerated automatically.

The procedure to regenerate the contents of the graphical window


1. Press button [Redraw] (

) on toolbar View.

2. The contents of the active window is regenerated and redrawn.

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Materials
Introduction to materials
Material is one of the principal parameters that affect the behaviour of the structure.
In SCIA.ESA PT, the user can define his/her own material or use a pre-defined material type from
SCIA.ESA PT database. The predefined materials correspond to materials defined in particular
technical codes. The properties of predefined materials thus depend on the active code adjusted in the
current project.

Material types
In SCIA.ESA PT the user may select from the following material types:
steel

represents material based on a particular national code for materials

concrete

represents material based on a particular national code for materials

timber

represents material based on a particular national code for materials

general

enables the user to define an arbitrary material that is completely


independent on codes assigned to the project

Note: Even the properties of a code-based material may be edited.

Material properties
For each material, the user must specify its properties. It is clear that for material types corresponding
with material grades of a particular technical code the properties are predefined.
The properties may be divided into two groups:
basic material properties,
advanced material properties.

Basic material properties


The basic properties are those that are necessary for the standard finite element calculation of the
model. Without them, no analysis is possible.
The basic parameters are:
unit mass,
modulus of elasticity,
Poissons coefficient.

Advanced material properties


The advanced parameters may be required for:
either an advanced type of calculation (e.g. non-linear analysis, dynamic calculation, etc.),
or checking to a particular technical code.
Examples of advanced parameters may be:
independent G modulus,
logarithmic decrement,
nominal or design strength,

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ultimate strength,
etc.
There are also special material parameters that do not affect the calculation and results, but that may
help the user to make the model clearer. This is e.g. colour. The colour may be used when beams are
displayed on the screen. Thus, all the beams made of the same material will be drawn in the same
colour. The display style can be set in View parameters.

Note: The units for the individual material parameters may be set in Units setup.

Materials manager
The Materials manager is a tool that provides for control of material defined in the project. The
Materials manager provides for creating, editing, deleting, and saving of materials.
The manager itself uses the same "manager philosophy" as other SCIA.ESA PT managers do. It
contains control buttons for the standard manager operations:
[New]

It creates a new material.

[Edit]

It opens an editing dialogue where the materials


properties may be changed.

[Copy]

This function creates a copy of the selected material.

[Change]

It enables the user to replace an existing material with a


new one. All the members in the project that ware made of
the original material are now made of the new one.

[Delete]

It removes the selected material from the project database.


It is not possible to delete material that is used anywhere in
the structure.

[Undo] / [Redo]

It performs an Undo or Redo operation.

[Text Output]

It opens a small document window with a table that


summarises properties of selected materials.

[Read from system database]

It reads predefined materials from system database.

[Read from user database]

It reads material types that the user has saved into his/her
external database.

[Save to user database]

It saves selected material types into the users external


database.

In order to open the Materials manager use:


either menu function Tools > Materials,
or tree menu function Tools > Materials,
or button Materials (

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SCIA.ESA PT

Note: The Materials manager can also be opened from various property dialogues that
contain item Material. Such an item contains a button to open the Materials manager.

Specifying the materials for the project


When a new project is being created, the user has to specify basic project parameters. Material is one of
the compulsory parameters. It is not necessary to specify all the materials that will be used. However, at
least one material type must be selected (e.g. steel).

The program adds into the project all material grades defined for the selected material type in the active
code of the project. The active code can be also defined in the project setup dialogue.
It is possible to add some material type in the same way any time later (i.e. not only during the phase of
project creation). The user may use tree menu function Project to open the Project settings dialogue.
Here it is possible to add ticks to any other material types that have not been selected at the beginning.
Once again, the program adds into the project all materials that are specified in the active national code
for the selected material type.

Note: Unless the specific material type is selected in the project settings, it is not possible to add
such material into the project. For example, unless timber is selected in the project settings dialogue,
the material manager does not allow the user to add any timber material.

Defining a new code-specific material


All the code specific materials (that means material grades for particular material types specified by a
particular national technical code) are stored in the material system database.

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The procedure for the definition of a new code-specific material


1. Open the Materials manager.
2. Click button [System database] (

).

3. A dialogue with available materials appears on the screen. Its left hand side window shows that
materials defined in the project. The right hand side window lists all available code-specific materials.
4. Add as many materials into the project as required.
5. Close the System database dialogue.
6. Close the Materials manager.

Note: Unless the specific material type is selected in the project settings, it is not possible to add
such material into the project. For example, unless timber is selected in the project settings dialogue,
the material manager does not allow the user to add any timber material.

Defining a new user-defined code-specific material


The user may need to define a material (related to a specific code) that does not coincide with any
standard grade specified in technical codes.

The procedure for the definition of a new user-defined code-specific material


1. Open the Materials manager.
2. Click button [New] (

).

3. Select the required material type.


4. A new material is added to the List of defined materials in the Materials manager.
5. Click button [Edit] (

).

6. The editing dialogue for the selected material is opened.


7. Type required parameters.
8. Confirm with [OK] button.
9. Repeat steps 2 to 9 as many times as required.
10. Close the Materials manager.

Note: Unless the specific material type is selected in the project settings, it is not possible to add
such material into the project. For example, unless timber is selected in the project settings dialogue,
the material manager does not allow the user to add any timber material.

Defining a new general material


The user may need to define any non-standard material that will be used for calculations. It wont be
possible to use such material for code checks, but it may be used for other calculations.

The procedure for the definition of a new general material


1. Open the Materials manager.
2. Click button [New] (

).

3. Select the material type General.


4. A new material is added to the list of defined materials in the Materials manager.

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5. Click button [Edit] (

).

6. The editing dialogue for the selected material is opened.


7. Type required parameters.
8. Confirm with [OK] button.
9. Repeat steps 2 to 9 as many times as required.
10. Close the Materials manager.

Note: Unless the material type General is selected in the project settings, it is not possible to add
such material into the project.

Editing the defined material


The user may need to edit the properties of a particular material. It can be done in the Materials
manager.

The procedure to edit the materials properties


1. Open the Materials manager.
2. Select the material that should be edited.
3. Click button [Edit] (

).

4. The editing dialogue for the selected material is opened.


5. Type required parameters.
6. Confirm with [OK] button.
7. Repeat steps 2 to 6 as many times as required.
8. Close the Materials manager.

Copying the defined material


If necessary, it is possible to create a copy of any of the already defined materials. This copy may be
later edited.

The procedure for the copying of a particular material


1. Open the Materials manager.
2. Select the material that should be copied.
3. Click button [Copy] (

).

4. A copy of the selected material is added to the List of defined materials in the Materials manager.
5. Click button [Edit] (

).

6. The editing dialogue for the selected material is opened.


7. Type required parameters.
8. Confirm with [OK] button.
9. Repeat steps 2 to 8 as many times as required.
10. Close the Materials manager.

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Changing the defined material


Sometimes, the need may arise to replace a particular material with another one. E.g. to increase the
grade of material used for some structural members. The user must select the original material, specify
the substituting material, and the program applies the change to all affected members.

The procedure for the change of a particular material


1. Open the Materials manager.
2. Select the material to be changed.
).

3. Click button [Change] (

4. Select the type of the substituting material.


5. The material is replaced.
6. If required, click button [Edit] (

).

7. The editing dialogue for the selected material is opened.


8. Type required parameters.
9. Confirm with [OK] button.
10. Repeat steps 2 to 10 as many times as required.
11. Close the Materials manager.

Deleting the defined material


Any material that is no longer necessary may be deleted from the project.

The procedure for the deletion of a particular material


1. Open the Materials manager.
2. Select the material to be deleted.
3. Click button [Delete] (

).

4. Confirm the action.


5. Repeat steps 2 to 4 as many times as required.
6. Close the Materials manager.

Reviewing the defined material parameters


There are a few ways to see and scrutinise the parameters of a particular material.
Property table in the Materials
manager

The Materials manager contains a vertically oriented


window that displays the parameters of currently selected
material in a property table.

Property table in the dialogue for


editing of a material

Each dialogue for editing of a material contains a property


table with all the available parameters of the edited
material.

Document-style view in the


preview window

This is the most sophisticated kind of display for


parameters of a material.

Property table in the Materials manager


The property table in the Materials manager provides for quick overview of parameters of individual
materials. It is possible to edit some of the parameters.

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Property table in the dialogue for editing of a particular material type


The property table in this dialogue provides for both lucid overview of the material parameters and their
straightforward modification.

Document-style view in the preview window


The material parameters can be displayed in tabular form in the Preview window. The preview window
displays a table with all the material parameters sorted in it.
The table is in fact a standard SCIA.ESA PT document table and consequently its format can be
adjusted to meet any specific requirements. The adjustment can be done the same way as with any other
document table.
The picture below shows a sample preview of material properties for three selected materials.

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Cross-sections
Introduction to cross-sections
A cross-section together with material is a basic property of a beam. In practice, one can meet a wide
range of various cross-section types, shapes, and sizes. SCIA.ESA PT provides powerful tolls for easy
definition of almost any cross-section type.
A cross-section in SCIA.ESA PT is defined not only by dimensions and shape, but also by the material
or materials used. This means that if you want to use in your project the exactly same shape of a crosssection for two different beams and each of the two beams is made of a different material, lets say of
wood and concrete, you have to define two different cross-sections: one of wood and the other of
concrete.
To minimize the effort the user has to invest in order to define a cross-section, the program offers
selection from a plentiful library of:
industrially produced steel profiles (e.g. I-beams, channels, angles, tubular profiles, etc.),
common geometric shapes,
often used shapes for thin-walled cross-sections,
common shapes of concrete profiles,
commonly used welded steel sections (both open and box) made of steel flats,
often applied two material built-up sections,
possible combinations of two or more steel cross-sections welded together,
variants of rolled cross-section pairs,
standard bridge sections,
solutions for haunch application,
common timber profiles.
In addition, the program allows the user to define an arbitrary cross-section regarding shape, size,
number of parts, number of materials used for individual parts, etc. If required in some special cases, a
cross-section may be defined not via its shape and size, but only by means of explicitly typed sectional
characteristics as the characteristics are what is essential for the calculation.

Sectional characteristics and other properties


Overview of sectional characteristics and parameters
The calculation method (applied in the calculation module of SCIA.ESA PT) requires some
characteristics of cross-sections to be determined beforehand and supplied in the form of input data. In
addition, some other sectional characteristics are required for the design and check of cross-sections
according to appropriate national technical standards.
SCIA.ESA PT calculates all the required sectional characteristics and offers them both (i) to the
calculation module in the form of internally supplied data, and (ii) to the user in the form of editable
tables.
In addition to sectional characteristics, a cross-section in SCIA.ESA PT has some additional parameters
such as name, material, type description, colour, etc. All of these parameters are available to the user for
inserting, editing, reviewing, and printing.
Generally, the parameters may be divided into three groups:
basic sectional characteristics

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Sectional characteristics that are common to all crosssection types, i.e. sectional area, moment of inertia, section
modulus, radius of gyration, position of centroid, position

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of shear centre, etc.
sectional characteristics specific
for particular cross-section type

Some sectional characteristics that are specific for a


particular cross-section type and are undefined or unused
for other types; for example, stiffeners for concrete or
bridge sections, etc.

general parameters

Mainly non-numerical parameters such as material, name,


colour, etc.

Each of the groups is dealt with in a separate chapter.

Sectional characteristics
The user normally defines a cross-section by means of its type and dimensions. SCIA.ESA PT
calculates automatically the required sectional characteristics.
The basic automatically calculated sectional characteristics are:
A

Surface

Ay/A, Az/A

Effective surface for shear in y and z direction respectively (ESA-Prima Win


considers shear force deformation).

AL

Painting surface of the cross-section defined per one metre of length.

Iy, Iz

Moment of inertia for bending around the principal y and z axis respectively

IyLCS, IzLCS

Moment of inertia for bending around the yLCS and zLCS axis respectively.
The yLCS, zLCS axes are parallel to the axes of the input axis system, and go
through the centre of gravity. The input axis system is visible on the picture
of the cross-section.

Alpha

Angle between the x axis of the input axis system and the principal x axis.

It

Torsion moment of inertia.

Iw

Warping constant.

Wely, Welz

Elastic section modulus for bending around the y and z axis respectively

Wply, Wplz

Plastic section modulus for bending around the y and z axis respectively

cyLCS, czLCS

Coordinates of the centre of gravity in the input axis system.

dy, dz

Coordinates of the shear centre relative to the centre of gravity

Points

points where the stresses are calculated

y, z

Coordinates of a point in the input axis system.

Shear y, Shear z

Shear stress in this point for a unit shear force in y and z direction
respectively.

The sectional characteristics are calculated automatically on closing of the dialogue for the editing of a
cross-section. In addition, the automatic calculation may be carried out at any time during the editing
phase via button [Update] of the above-mentioned dialogue.
In addition to the common sectional characteristics, there are some other parameters that are common to
all cross-section types, such as name, type description, colour, etc.

Note: Each cross-section has two co-ordinate systems which are displayed in the picture of the
cross-section : (i) the input co-ordinate system - the co-ordinates of the points where stresses are
calculated, co-ordinates of the centre of gravity and the shear centre are given in this axis system; (ii)
the principal co-ordinates in the centre of gravity.

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Calculation of sectional characteristics


Basic sectional characteristics
The following sectional characteristics are calculated for all cross-section types using the standard
formulas known from basic mechanics:
Surface A
Moments of inertia Iy, Iz
Moments of inertia IyLCS, IzLCS
Angle Alpha
Elastic section moduli Wely, Welz
Plastic section moduli Wply, Wplz
Coordinates of the centroid cyLCS, czLCS
Radii of gyration iy, iz.
For the calculation of the following characteristics three different types of calculation are implemented.
shear surfaces Ay and Az
torsion moment of inertia It
warping constant Iw
shear centre dy, dz,
shear stresses.
Each method is described in a separate paragraph. The last paragraph describes the calculation method
for built-up sections.

Cross-section characteristics thin-walled cross-sections


Thin-walled sections are cross-sections:
which contain only thin-walled elements and rolled elements
which contain maximally one hole
All standard and built-up steel sections in SCIA.ESA PT are of this type.

torsional moment of inertia, It


for open thin-walled cross-sections, it is calculated using the following formula :

i.e. the sum over the rectangular parts of the thin-walled cross-section where:
d = width of each rectangular part,
t = thickness of each rectangular part.
For closed thin-walled cross-sections, it is calculated using the following formula (2nd formula of
Bredt) :

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where:
Am = surface inside the centreline of the thin-walled section
the sum is over the rectangular parts of the thin-walled section
d = width of each rectangular part
t = thickness of each rectangular part

Note: For more explanation on these formulas we refer to "Stahl im Hochbau, 14. Auflage,
Band I/Teil 2, Verein Deutscher Eisenhttenleute, Dsseldorf, par. 7.4.3.2.2.".

warping constant, Iw
Warping constant, Iw, is calculated by numerical integration over a cross-section coordinate along the
centre line for those thin-walled open cross-sections, for which it is - according to the theory - different
from zero

Cross-section characteristics Geometric shapes, timber sections,


concrete sections
The following formulas are used :
effective surfaces for shear are taken equal to the total surface Ay = Az = A)
torsional moment of inertia It : is calculated as the polar moment, It = Iy + Iz, except for rectangular
sections (see the remark at the end of this topic)
warping constant Iw is equal to 0
shear centre : dy, dz are equal to 0

It for rectangular cross-sections


For the calculation of It for rectangular cross-sections, an empirical formula based on the height-towidth ratio of the section is used:

where:
b = width of the cross-section
h = height of the cross-section
gamma = coefficient depending on the height to width ratio according to the following table :
h/b

gamma

0.1406

1.2

0.1661

1.5

0.1958

0.2287

0.2633

0.2914

10

0.3123

infinity

0.3333

Note: For more information about this method see e.g. "Stahl im Hochbau, 14. Auflage,
Band I/Teil 2, Verein Deutscher Eisenhttenleute, Dsseldorf, Table 7.85.".

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Cross-section characteristics built-up cross-sections


The following rules are valid for built-up cross-sections.

Cross-sectional area, A
The cross-sectional area, A, is calculated by summing up the sectional areas of individual crosssections,

Moments of inertia Iy and Iz


The moments of inertia Iy and Iz are calculated with the parallel axis theorem; the partial profiles of the
cross-section are assumed to be perfectly connected to each other even for very large profile inter-centre
distances.
This assumption may lead, particularly with large profile spacing, to discrepancies between the program
theory and real structure elements. When assembling an equation system, the difference between the
calculated and actual stiffness is not taken into consideration. Therefore, a variance in internal force
distribution in statically indeterminate structures may occur.

Torsional moment of inertia, It


The torsional moment of inertia, It, is taken to be a simple sum of torsional stiffness values for the
individual cross-section parts.

Warping constant, Iw
The warping constant, Iw, is taken as the sum of warping constants of the individual cross-section parts.

Other cross-section parameters


In addition to sectional characteristics, a cross-section in SCIA.ESA PT has some additional parameters
such as name, type description, colour, etc.
The common parameters in SCIA.ESA PT (except the common sectional characteristics) are:
Name

A name of a cross-section. The name must be unique within


one project. If an attempt to insert a name that already exists in
the project, the typed name is not accepted and is
automatically changed to a project-unique name.

Type

This parameter describes briefly the cross-section type so that


the user can easily and quickly see what type the particular
cross-section is.

Detailed (description)

Some cross-sections (e.g. welded ones) use this item to specify


the cross-section type, shape and possibly dimensions in more
detail.

Material

This item defines the material the cross-section is made of.

Colour

This item defines the colour that is used in SCIA.ESA PT to


draw the cross-section in the cross-section manager.

Edit property

If this option is not selected then it is not possible to edit


individual calculated sectional characteristics.
If the option is ON, some of the sectional characteristics may
be manually edited in order to define the cross-section whose
characteristics exactly correspond to particular conditions.

Buckling y-y, z-z

These two parameters determine the buckling curve types used


for buckling calculations.

Fabrication

This item specifies the way the cross-section is produced.

In addition to the numerical data available for a cross-section, the program offers also a drawing of the
cross-section with marked vertex numbers. The numbers are important mainly if the user includes a
cross-section characteristics table into a document where some of the values correspond to individual

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vertices. Therefore, it is essential to know the convention of vertex numbering. The vertex numbers are
given on a separate tab of the graphical window in the editing dialogue.

Special sectional characteristics


During the input of a new of cross-section, the user may also specify Average yield strength.
Use

If ON, the yield strength of the material is increased due to


cold working. The term 'average yield strength' is used.

The value k is a coefficient depending on the type of


forming. Default value k = 7.0 is for cold rolling.

Note: This option is ONLY available if EC3 is selected as a national code, and (at the same time)
the fabrication parameter of the cross-section is set to Cold formed.

Cross-section types
Geometric shapes
SCIA.ESA PT offers a predefined set of basic cross-section shapes.
The procedure for insertion of this cross-section type into a project is identical with the procedure for
any other cross-section type; the user just has to specify the type in the type-selection dialogue, choose
the appropriate shape and size, and review or change the required parameters.
Similarly to other cross-section types, basic sectional characteristics are automatically calculated and
the user may type in the non-numerical parameters such as name, material, colour, etc.
Sample cross-sections

Note: A separate book Profile library: Checked sections contains an overview of rolled
cross-sections included in SCIA.ESA PTs database.

Thin-walled cross-sections
SCIA.ESA PT offers a predefined set of common steel thin-walled cross-sections.
The procedure for insertion of this cross-section type into a project is identical with the procedure for
any other cross-section type; the user just have to specify the type in the type-selection dialogue, then
choose the appropriate shape and size, and oversee or change the required parameters.
As for any other cross-section type, the sectional characteristics such as sectional area, moment of
inertia, position of centroid, etc. are calculated automatically by the program. The user may input or
modify other cross-section parameters such as material, name, etc.
In addition to the basic sectional characteristics, the program also calculates, designs and displays data
such as:
shape of a wall stiffener,

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diagram of warping lines,
diagram of shear stress distribution over the cross-section for a unit force acting in Y-direction,
diagram of shear stress distribution over the cross-section for a unit force acting in Z-direction,
centre lines of the cross-section.

Note: Some of the above mentioned data depend on the shape of the particular crosssection. Therefore, some of the values may not be available for some of the cross-section shapes.
Sample cross-sections

Steel rolled cross-sections


Hot-rolled and cold-formed cross-sections made of steel are cross-sections manufactured in specialised
factories. In SCIA.ESA PT whenever the user wants to use a hot-rolled or cold-formed steel crosssection, s/he may select appropriate shape and size from the integrated library of industrially
manufactured cross-sections. All sectional characteristics are automatically read into the program and
the user is not forced to take care of anything related to the section and its parameters and
characteristics.
The procedure for insertion of a rolled cross-section into a project is identical with the procedure for
any other cross-section type; the user just have to specify the type in the type-selection dialogue, then
choose the appropriate shape and size, and oversee or change the required parameters.
By default, all the sectional characteristics of a rolled or formed cross-section are automatically
imported into SCIA.ESA PT the moment the user makes a selection of required shape and size in the
integrated cross-section library. If required, the user may specify the non-numerical parameters such as
name, colour, material, etc. In addition to the basic sectional characteristics, the program also calculates
data such as:
shape of a wall stiffener,
diagram of warping lines,
diagram of shear stress distribution over the cross-section for a unit force acting in Y-direction,
diagram of shear stress distribution over the cross-section for a unit force acting in Z-direction,
centre lines of the cross-section.
The table below shows diagrams of the above-mentioned sectional characteristics for an I-beam.

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Warping lines

Shear Y

Shear Z

Shape of stiffeners

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Note: Some of the above mentioned data depend on the shape of the particular crosssection. Therefore, some of the values may not be available for some of the cross-section shapes.
E.g. the shape of stiffener is not provided for angles, or no additional parameters are available
for bars, etc.
Sample cross-sections

Welded steel cross-sections


SCIA.ESA PT provides for easy definition of commonly used types of welded cross-sections made of
steel flats by offering the selection from a library of such cross-sections.
The procedure for insertion of a welded cross-section into a project is identical with the procedure for
any other cross-section type; the user just have to specify the type in the type-selection dialogue, then
choose the appropriate shape and size, and oversee or change the required parameters.
As for any other cross-section type, the sectional characteristics such as sectional area, moment of
inertia, position of centroid, etc. are calculated automatically by the program. The user may input or
modify other cross-section parameters such as material, name, etc.
In addition to the basic sectional characteristics, the program also calculates, designs and displays data
such as:
shape of a wall stiffener,
diagram of warping lines,
diagram of shear stress distribution over the cross-section for a unit force acting in Y-direction,
diagram of shear stress distribution over the cross-section for a unit force acting in Z-direction,
centre lines of the cross-section.

Note: Some of the above mentioned data depend on the shape of the particular crosssection. Therefore, some of the values may not be available for some of the cross-section shapes.

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Sample cross-sections

Welded hollow cross-sections


Welded cross-sections are similar to welded built-up open cross-section. The user can make a selection
from a library of commonly used shapes of welded hollow sections.
The procedure for insertion of a welded hollow cross-section into a project is identical with the
procedure for any other cross-section type; the user just have to specify the type in the type-selection
dialogue, then choose the appropriate shape and size, and oversee or change the required parameters.
As for any other cross-section type, the sectional characteristics such as sectional area, moment of
inertia, position of centroid, etc. are calculated automatically by the program. The user may input or
modify other cross-section parameters such as material, name, etc.
In addition to the basic sectional characteristics, the program also calculates, designs and displays data
such as:
shape of a wall stiffener,
diagram of warping lines,
diagram of shear stress distribution over the cross-section for a unit force acting in Y-direction,
diagram of shear stress distribution over the cross-section for a unit force acting in Z-direction,
centre lines of the cross-section.

Note: Some of the above mentioned data depend on the shape of the particular crosssection. Therefore, some of the values may not be available for some of the cross-section shapes.
Sample cross-sections

Haunch cross-sections
It is quite common that a beam contains haunches at one or both of its ends. Sometimes the beams
cross-section just simply "changes" its dimension (usually the height), sometimes a special crosssection is made for such a beam. This special cross-section consists of two parts one that remains

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constant along the whole beam span, and one that "makes" the haunch. SCIA.ESA PT allows the user to
select from a set of pre-defined "haunch" cross-sections.
The procedure for insertion of a "haunch" cross-section into a project is identical with the procedure for
any other cross-section type; the user just have to specify the type in the type-selection dialogue, then
choose the appropriate shape and size, and oversee or change the required parameters.
As for any other cross-section type, the sectional characteristics such as sectional area, moment of
inertia, position of centroid, etc. are calculated automatically by the program. The user may input or
modify other cross-section parameters such as material, name, etc.
In addition to the basic sectional characteristics, the program also calculates, designs and displays data
such as:
shape of a wall stiffener,
diagram of warping lines,
diagram of shear stress distribution over the cross-section for a unit force acting in Y-direction,
diagram of shear stress distribution over the cross-section for a unit force acting in Z-direction,
centre lines of the cross-section.

Note: Some of the above mentioned data depend on the shape of the particular crosssection. Therefore, some of the values may not be available for some of the cross-section shapes.
Sample cross-sections

Built-up steel cross-sections


Built-up members are used when a single member would not be sufficient or when the slenderness ratio
is too high and resulting in excessive vibrations or when a built-up member would reduce the
complexity of the connection.
The procedure for insertion of a built-up cross-section into a project is identical with the procedure for
any other cross-section type; the user just have to specify the type in the type-selection dialogue, then
choose the appropriate shape and size, and oversee or change the required parameters.
As for any other cross-section type, the sectional characteristics such as sectional area, moment of
inertia, position of centroid, etc. are calculated automatically by the program. The user may input or
modify other cross-section parameters such as material, name, etc.
In addition to the basic sectional characteristics, the program also calculates, designs and displays data
such as:
shape of a wall stiffener,
diagram of warping lines,
diagram of shear stress distribution over the cross-section for a unit force acting in Y-direction,
diagram of shear stress distribution over the cross-section for a unit force acting in Z-direction,
centre lines of the cross-section.

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Note: Some of the above mentioned data depend on the shape of the particular crosssection. Therefore, some of the values may not be available for some of the cross-section shapes.
Sample cross-sections

Multi-material built-up cross-sections


Cross-sections composed of two different materials are quite common in the engineering practice. They
provide for the combination of "good qualities" and "advantages" of the combined materials. Probably
most often a steel beam is joined together with a concrete slab creating thus the top flange of the crosssection. However, SCIA.ESA PT allows the user to define materials of the composite cross-section
freely.
The procedure for insertion of a composite cross-section into a project is identical with the procedure
for any other cross-section type; the user just have to specify the type in the type-selection dialogue,
then choose the appropriate shape and size, and oversee or change the required parameters.
As for any other cross-section type, the sectional characteristics such as sectional area, moment of
inertia, position of centroid, etc. are calculated automatically by the program. The user may input or
modify other cross-section parameters such as material, name, etc.
In addition to the basic sectional characteristics, the program also calculates, designs and displays data
such as:
shape of a wall stiffener,
diagram of warping lines,

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diagram of shear stress distribution over the cross-section for a unit force acting in Y-direction,
diagram of shear stress distribution over the cross-section for a unit force acting in Z-direction,
centre lines of the cross-section.

Note: Some of the above mentioned data depend on the shape of the particular crosssection. Therefore, some of the values may not be available for some of the cross-section shapes.
Sample cross-sections

Concrete cross-sections
SCIA.ESA PT offers a predefined set of concrete cross-section shapes that are used most often. The
section may be simply selected from the library list. All basic sectional characteristics are automatically
calculated by the program.
The procedure for insertion of a concrete cross-section into a project is identical with the procedure for
any other cross-section type; the user just have to specify the type in the type-selection dialogue, then
choose the appropriate shape and size, and oversee or change the required parameters.
Similarly to other cross-section types, basic sectional characteristics are automatically calculated and
the user may type in the non-numerical parameters such as name, material, colour, etc.
Sample cross-sections

Timber cross-sections
Members made of wood generally use a wooden-specific cross-sections. SCIA.ESA PT library of predefined cross-sections offers also a set for this material.
The procedure for insertion of a concrete cross-section into a project is identical with the procedure for
any other cross-section type; the user just have to specify the type in the type-selection dialogue, then
choose the appropriate shape and size, and oversee or change the required parameters.
As for any other cross-section type, the sectional characteristics such as sectional area, moment of
inertia, position of centroid, etc. are calculated automatically by the program. The user may input or
modify other cross-section parameters such as material, name, etc.

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Sample cross-sections

Bridge cross-sections
Special cross-sections are used for bridges. SCIA.ESA PT offers a collection of such cross-sections.
The procedure for insertion of a bridge cross-section into a project is identical with the procedure for
any other cross-section type; the user just have to specify the type in the type-selection dialogue, then
choose the appropriate shape and size, and oversee or change the required parameters.
As for any other cross-section type, the sectional characteristics such as sectional area, moment of
inertia, position of centroid, etc. are calculated automatically by the program. The user may input or
modify other cross-section parameters such as material, name, etc.
Sample cross-sections

Numerical cross-section
A numerical cross-section is a special cross-section type. It enables the user to define an arbitrary crosssection. The user does not have to define the shape of the cross-section. The only thing s/he has to do is
fill in a table of sectional characteristics.

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General cross-section
A general cross-section is a cross-section that:
may be of an arbitrary shape,
may consist of an arbitrary number of partial cross-sections,
may be made of an arbitrary number of materials.
This type of cross-section may be useful mainly for sections tailored for a specific purpose (steel thin
walled cross-sections, aluminium sections, bridge sections, hollow concrete sections, etc.).
The general cross-section may be designed by means of a tool called General cross-section editor. This
editor is a special environment, fully integrated into SCIA.ESA PT that provides the user with all
functions necessary for an efficient design of a "free-shape" and "free-composition" cross-section.

Defining a new cross-section


Cross-section manager
The Cross-section manager is a versatile tool for dealing with cross-section. The cross-section
manager is used to:
define a new cross-section,
edit an existing cross-section,
delete an existing cross-section,
review parameters of existing cross-sections,

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choose one if the existing cross-sections as a "default" for later called functions that require a crosssection as a parameter.
The cross-section manager is one of the "managers" integrated in SCIA.ESA PT and its layout and
operation is identical to the other SCIA.ESA PT "managers". It is open when function Cross-sections is
activated. It may represent one of the steps in the General procedure for the definition of a new crosssection.
Generally, there are several ways to open the Cross-section manager:
Tree menu function Library > Cross-sections.
Project toolbar.
Menu function Libraries > Cross-sections.
"Manager" button in any of numerous property dialogues that contain at least one item Cross-section.

Note: Which way is actually chosen depends on two factors: (i) where (what part of the
program) is the manager called from, and (ii) habits of a particular user.

General procedure for the definition of a new cross-section


The process for the definition (or we can say insertion) of a new cross-section in a SCIA.ESA PT
project consists of a few steps.

Procedure for the definition of a new cross-section


1. Call function Cross-sections. There are various ways to do so:
a. Use tree menu function Library > Cross-sections.
b. Start function for the insertion of a new beam and open the Cross-section manager from
within the Beam properties dialogue.
c. Click the appropriate icon on the Project toolbar.

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d. Call menu function Libraries > Cross-sections.
2. Function Cross-sections opens the Cross-section manager.
3. Press button [New item]. This action opens a dialogue for the selection of cross-section type. (Note: If
no cross-section has been defined yet, this step is automatically skipped and the cross-section type
dialogue is opened directly).
4. Select the appropriate cross-section type.
5. Specify the sectional parameters and properties.
6. Review the calculated sectional characteristics and possibly include them into a document.
7. Close the Cross-section manager or repeat steps 3 to 6 as many times as required.

Selecting the cross-section type


The selection of a required cross-section type or types can be done in the New cross-section type
dialogue.

The dialogue consists of the following control and information elements:


List of available cross-section
types

It contains all the available cross-section types.

List of possible variants (subtypes) for the current type

It offers possible sub-types for the selected type.

Drawing of the currently


selected variant

It shows the particular selected cross-section.

List of already defined crosssections

It lists all he already defined (inserted) cross-section.

Control buttons

They provide for the control of the dialogue.

List of available cross-section types


The dialogue offers a list of available cross-section types. The contents of the list may vary depending
on the purchased configuration of SCIA.ESA PT and the material types selected for the particular
project.
For example, a user who selected steel and concrete materials in the Project settings dialogue can
select from variety of steel and concrete cross-sections, while another user who selected just timber
material in the project settings can only use timber cross-sections.

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List of possible variants (sub-types) for the current type


This dialogue element displays a set of graphical symbols (icons) representing the individual variants of
the cross-section type that is currently selected in the List of available cross-section types.
Note: If the type selected is "rolled steel cross-section ", the list of possible variants is
different than for other cross-section types. In this case, the list offers both "shapes" of rolled
section and available dimensions for each particular "shape". That means that the user can
select directly the required type (shape) of rolled section and its appropriate size.

Drawing of the currently selected variant


A small window displays a drawing of the currently selected variant of the currently selected crosssection type. A short "description name" of the particular variant is added to the drawing mainly to
facilitate the identification of a particular cross-section sub-type and type.
Note: This window is hidden if the rolled steel cross-section type is selected.

List of already defined cross-sections


In addition to the available cross-section types, the dialogue displays a list containing all the crosssections that have been defined (i.e. inserted into the project) so far.

Control buttons
Button [Add] and Button with a "Right Arrow"
Button [Add] confirms the selection of a particular type and variant. Depending on the cross-section
type and variant, a new cross-section is either (i) inserted directly into the SCIA.ESA PT project, or (ii)
a dialogue for editing of cross-section parameters is opened. The former happens if e.g. a rolled steel
section has been selected because there is no need to specify its dimensions, name, etc. The latter action
is performed if some kind of specification is required for the selected cross-section such as the
definition of dimensions for welded steel or cast concrete cross-section, etc. Once a new cross-section is
inserted by means of this button, the cross-section is added to the List of already defined crosssections.

Button [Close]
This button closes the New cross-section type dialogue.

Specifying sectional parameters and properties


The specification of cross-section parameters can be done in a dialogue for editing of a particular crosssection. This dialogue is opened automatically once the user selects and confirms the required type in
the New cross-section type dialogue. In addition, the editing dialogue can be opened any time later via
the [Edit] button of the Cross-section manager.

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The editing dialogue consists of three main parts:


Graphical window

It displays the cross-section including dimension lines, labels,


etc.

Property table

If comprises all the parameters and sectional characteristics of


the cross-section and provides for their editing.

Control buttons

They perform various tasks connected with the editing.

Graphical window
The graphical window displays the cross-section, dimension lines, labels and, if available, some of the
cross-section properties or characteristics: for example cross-section vertex numbers, shape of
stiffeners, diagrams of selected quantities such as shear stress distribution, etc. These additional data
about the cross-section are shown on separate tabs (one tab per each property).

Property table
The property table contains all the available and computable cross-section characteristics and
parameters. Here the parameters can be input or edited.
The parameters can be divided into three groups: basic sectional characteristics, parameters independent
of the cross-section type and type-specific parameters.
It should be stated here that some of the parameters (basic sectional characteristics in particular) cannot
be neither input nor edited as they are uniquely determined by the shape and dimensions of the crosssection and are therefore automatically calculated by the program.
There exists a special interconnection between the property table and graphical window that will be
described later in this chapter.

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Control buttons
Button [Update]
This button starts an algorithm that recalculates the sectional characteristics on the basis of input values.
On entering the editing dialogue for a new cross-section, the property table shows only those
parameters that may be edited. In order to see also the computer sectional characteristics, the button
must be user.
Whats more, the computed sectional characteristics listed in the property table disappear once the user
changes any of the input values. The characteristics are displayed again after this button is pressed. It
must be also used to initiate the regeneration of some of the drawings in the graphical window.

Button [Document]
This button invokes the preview window to show the cross-section parameters in a document-style
table. The table may be edited the same way as a standard document table.

Button [OK]
This button closes the dialogue and accepts all the inputs and changes made in it.
If a new cross-section has been defined in the editing dialogue it is inserted into the project.
If an existing cross-section has been modified here, the changes are taken into account and saved into
the project.

Button [Cancel]
This button closes the dialogue and all the inputs and changes made in it are abandoned.
If a new cross-section has been defined in the editing dialogue it is NOT inserted into the project.
If an existing cross-section has been modified here, the changes are not taken into account and the
project remains unchanged.

Graphical window versus property table relation


The graphical window and the property table are provided with a special interlink that provides for easy
and lucid style of editing.
The graphical window contains two types of labelling symbols: either dimension lines, or labels, or
both. The dimension lines describe dimensions of the individual cross-section edges and parts. The
labels depict partial units (e.g. individual rolled steel sections) of a built-up or composite cross-section.
The same items (partial units or dimensions) that are referred to in the graphical window by means of
dimension lines and labels can also be found in the property table where they form individual editable
cells. In order to facilitate the editing process, there is a link between corresponding property table cells
and graphical symbols in the graphical window. That means that if the user wants to change a
dimension of a cross-section, it may either (i) select the appropriate cell in the table, or (ii) select the
corresponding graphical symbol in the graphical window. Whats more, in order to find quickly which
dimension or partial unit the individual table cells refers to, the user can simply select the cell in the
table and the appropriate dimension line or label is highlighted in the graphical window.

Reviewing the calculated sectional characteristics


There are a few ways to see and scrutinise the parameters of a cross-section including both the input
data and calculated sectional characteristics.
Property table in the Crosssection manager

The Cross-section manager contains a vertically oriented


window that displays the basic sectional characteristics and
parameters of currently selected cross-section in a property
table.

Property table in the


dialogue for editing of a
cross-section

Each dialogue for editing of a cross-section contains a


vertically oriented property table with all the available
parameters of the edited cross-section.

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Document-style view in the
preview window

This is the most sophisticated kind of display for parameters of


a cross-section. It is accessible from within the dialogue for
editing of a cross-section.

Property table in the Cross-section manager


The property table in the Cross-section manager provides for quick overview of basic characteristics
and parameters of individual defined cross-sections. It is possible to edit some of the parameters,
however, this table is not primarily intended for thorough editing of a cross-section. If a cross-section
must be modified, the cross-section editing dialogue should be invoked.

Property table in the dialogue for editing of a cross-section


The property table in this dialogue provides for both clear overview of the cross-section parameters and
their straightforward modification. Most of the items may be edited in this dialogue. The only exception
is the sectional characteristics that are automatically calculated from the dimensions. Such
characteristics are not allowed to be modified.

Document-style view in the preview window


The sectional characteristics and all the other parameters can be displayed in a readable way in the
preview window. The preview window then displays a table with all the cross-section parameters sorted
in it.
The table is in fact a standard SCIA.ESA PT document table and consequently its format can be
adjusted to meet any specific requirements. The adjustment can be done the same way as with any other
document table.
The table shows not only all the parameters of the cross-section and all its parameters which are
displayed in the property tables of dialogues for dealing with cross-sections (i.e. Cross-section manager
and Editing dialogue), but also a set of additional information including a couple of diagrams. The
additional information depend on the type of cross-section.

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The picture below shows a sample preview for an angle section

Importing the cross-sections from another project


Quite often, the user may encounter the situation that s/he wants to use the same cross-sections in
several different projects. Especially for "man-made" cross-sections (i.e. not rolled ones), the repetitious
definition of the same cross-sections may be rather time consuming and boring. Whats more, it may
become a source of serious mistakes.
SCIA.ESA PT enables the user to solve this task effectively and clearly. The procedure consists of two
separate steps and is limited only by one rule.

Export of required cross-sections from the "source" project


Firstly, the cross-sections defined in one project must be exported into an external database. Later, they
may be imported into other projects. The export can be controlled in the Write to database dialogue.

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The left hand side of the dialogue lists all the cross-sections defined in the current project.
The right hand side of the dialogue lists all the cross-sections saved in the selected user-database file.
The buttons below the list boxes can be used to manage the external database.
Write to database

Writes the selected cross-section from the list of project cross-sections into
the database file.

Write all

Writes all the cross-section from the list of project cross-sections into the
database file.

Delete

Deletes the selected cross-section from the database file.

The procedure for export of cross-sections into an external database


1. In it is not the case, define the required cross-sections in the original (or source) project.
2. Open the Cross-section manager.
3. Press button [Save into file] (

).

4. Define a new or browse for the existing User-database file.


5. The Write-to-database is opened on the screen.
6. Export the required cross-sections.
7. Confirm with [OK].
8. Close the Cross-section manager.

Import of required cross-sections into the "target" project


Once the required cross-sections have been successfully exported into the user-database file, they may
be imported into the target project.
The import can be controlled in the Read from database dialogue, which is similar in appearance to the
Write to database dialogue (see above).
The left hand side of the dialogue lists all the cross-sections defined in the current project.
The right hand side of the dialogue lists all the cross-sections saved in the selected user-database file.

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The buttons below the list boxes can be used to import items from the external database.
Copy to project

Copies the selected cross-sections from the external user-database into the
current project.

Copy all

Copies all the cross-sections from the external user-database into the
current project.

The procedure for import of cross-sections from an external database


1. Open the Cross-section manager.
).

2. Press button [Read from file] (

3. Browse for the existing User-database file.


4. The Read-from-database is opened on the screen.
5. Import the required cross-sections.
6. Confirm with [OK].
7. Close the Cross-section manager.

Limitations of the import process


Despite the fact that the Import is rather versatile, there is a limitation with reference to material code of
cross-section materials. As a cross-section stores, among others, the information about the material it is
made of, there is a rule concerning materials defined in the project.

Note: AT LEAST ONE of the material codes defined in the source project MUST also be defined in
the target project. Otherwise, the import is not made correctly.

Example:
Source project material
codes

Target project material


codes

Material codes defined in the


source project, i.e. the project
from which the cross-sections
have been exported

Material codes defined in the


target project, i.e. the project
into which the cross-sections
are being imported

CSN, EC, DIN

EC, SIA

correct

CSN, DIN

EC, SIA

INCORRECT

CSN,DIN

DIN

correct

Import result

Modyfying an existing cross-section


Editing a cross-section
Any cross-section that has been inserted into a project can be edited any time later. In order to do so, the
user has to activate the editing dialogue of the particular cross-section.

Procedure for editing of an existing cross-section


1. Open the Cross-section manager.
2. Select the required cross-section in the list of defined cross-sections.
3. Use button [Edit] to open the editing dialogue for the selected cross-section.

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4. Make the necessary changes of cross-section parameters.
5. Close the editing dialogue using [OK] button to confirm the changes.
6. If required, repeat steps 2 to 5 for other cross-sections.
7. Close the Cross-section manager.

Deleting a cross-section
A cross-section that is no longer used in a project, i.e. that is no longer assigned to any of the beams in
the modelled structure, can be removed from the project database. The deletion may both save the
computer memory and improve the orientation in the project data.
It is advisable to remove all unnecessary cross-sections from the project. Any redundant item in the
project database deteriorates the lucidity of the data and may be a source of an accidental mistake.

Procedure for deletion of an existing cross-section


1. Open the Cross-section manager.
2. Select the required cross-section in the list of defined cross-sections.
3. Use button [Delete] to erase the cross-section from the project database.
4. If required, repeat steps 2 and 3 for other cross-sections.
5. Close the Cross-section manager.

Note: If a cross-section is used anywhere in the project, the program does not allow the user to
remove it.

Copying a cross-section
It may be convenient for some reason or another to create a copy of an existing cross-section. The copy
may be later modified to define a new cross-section that is similar to its original and varies in a few
parameters only. This procedure may be useful for example if the user wants to make experiments or
variants for cross-sections of the same geometry but different material.

Procedure for copying of an existing cross-section


1. Open the Cross-section manager.
2. Select the required cross-section in the list of defined cross-sections.
3. Use button [Copy] to make a copy of the selected cross-section.
4. If required, repeat steps 2 and 3 for other cross-sections.
5. Close the Cross-section manager.
This procedure will be most likely immediately followed by the procedure for editing of a cross-section
in order to make necessary modifications to the copies.

Replacing a cross-section
Sometimes a need may arise to replace one cross-section used in the structure with another one in all its
appearances. This task may be done effectively by means of Change cross-section function.
This function allows the user to replace one of the already defined cross-sections with a new one. Once
the new cross-section is defined, it is applied for all beams in the structure where the "replaced" crosssection was used so far.

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Procedure for replacing of an existing cross-section


1. Open the Cross-section manager.
2. Select the required cross-section in the list of defined cross-sections.
3. Use button [Change] to replace the selected cross-section with a new one.
4. If required, repeat steps 2 and 3 for other cross-sections.
5. Close the Cross-section manager.

General cross-section
Examples of a general cross-section
This chapter has been made just to give a gist of what form a general cross-sections can be.

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Rules for general cross-sections


The final cross-section may consist of several partial sections. The mutual position of these partial
sections follows several rules:
The partial sections may be independent, i.e. they do not intersect nor "touch" each other.
The partial sections may "touch" each other or they even may overlap one another (see Properties of the
partial section).
It is possible to combine solid (thin-walled) partial section, thin-walled partial section and library crosssection in one general cross-section.
If solid and thin-walled sections are combined in the general cross-section, principles given in chapter
Thin-walled versus solid cross-section should be taken into account.

Type of partial sections in the general cross-section


Polygonal cross-section
A polygonal cross-section is an arbitrary closed polygon. It is clear that individual segments (edges) of
the polygon MUST NOT intersect each other. On the other hand, if the final cross-section consists of
several partial sections, these may intersect or overlap - see Rules for general cross-sections.

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The individual segments of the polygon may be (i) linear or (ii) circular.
It is possible to adjust the following parameters for the polygonal section.
Name

Specifies the name of the polygonal. It is used for easier orientation


especially if the final cross-section consists of a larger number of partial
sections.

Type

This parameter cannot be changed and indicates the type of the partial
section.

Material

See chapter Properties of the partial cross-section.

Corrosion

See chapter Properties of the partial cross-section.

Phase

See chapter Properties of the partial cross-section.

Overlap

See chapter Properties of the partial cross-section.

A polygon may also be used to create an opening in another polygonal cross-section. The only
requirement is that the opening intersects or lies inside the other partial section that may be either of
polygonal or thin-walled type. The intersection of two regions is deducted from the non-opening shape.
A few examples follow.

"Full-time" opening
The smaller polygon (with one circular edge) is fully inside the rectangular polygon. The result is a
cross-section of rectangular outline with an opening.

Partial opening
The two triangular openings just overlap the solid square.

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The result is an irregular hexagonal cross-section.

Thin walled cross-section


A thin-walled cross-section is a section defined by its centreline (or midline) and the width. If a crosssection is supposed to have segments of different width, it must be defined as consisting of two (or
more) partial and interconnected sections.
Even a thin-walled cross-section may be subject to corrosion. It should be stated, however, that in
SCIA.ESA PT the corrosion affects only the thickness of the section. The length of the midline remains
unaffected by the corrosion.
Opening may also be defined in a thin-walled cross-section. It is possible to just cut (shorten) a thinwalled section or even make a whole in it (even though this may be considered strange from the
practical point of view).
For more information about openings in a thin-walled section, see chapter Thin-walled versus solid
cross-section.
Name

Specifies the name of the polygonal. It is used for easier orientation


especially if the final cross-section consists of a larger number of partial
sections.

Type

This parameter cannot be changed and indicates the type of the partial
section.

Material

See chapter Properties of the partial cross-section.

Corrosion

See chapter Properties of the partial cross-section.

Thickness

Specifies the thickness of the section web.

Alignment

The "definition" line may be either the mid-line of the section, or its left or
right surface line.

Phase

See chapter Properties of the partial cross-section.

Overlap

See chapter Properties of the partial cross-section.

Library cross-section
A partial section of a general cross-section may also be formed by standard cross-sections imported
from the cross-section library, e.g. by rolled steel cross-sections, predefined concrete sections, wooden
sections, etc.
An arbitrary number of library sections may be added into a general cross-section and they may be
freely combined with polygonal and/or thin-walled sections.
Whats also important is the fact that once inputted the library cross-section may still be edited inside
the General cross-section editor, e.g. the depth of a concrete section, its inclination, etc. may be
changed.

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Thin-walled versus solid cross-section


A partial cross-section of a general cross-section may be defined as a thin-walled section or as a solid
section (thick-walled) section. If the final general cross-section consists of one type of sections only,
there is nothing to bother about. If all the partial sections are thin-walled, the final cross-section is thinwalled as well. If all the partial sections are solid, the final cross-section is solid as well.
But what happens if thin-walled parts are combined with solid ones? In SCIA.ESA PT, the final crosssection is considered as solid section.
Whats more important to know is the fact that even an opening is considered to be a "solid" section, so
if a thin-walled section is cut with an opening, the result is a solid cross-section.

Note: It is important to remember this rule as it determines which formulas are used to calculate
sectional characteristics.

General cross-section editor


Opening the General cross-section editor
The General cross-section editor is a tool that, at first sight, resembles the Picture gallery editor.
What both editors have in common is that they both are a "drawing tool" for creation of a "drawing".
In General cross-section editor, the drawing represents a cross-section. In Picture gallery, the
drawing is a picture of analysed structure.

The procedure to open the General cross-section editor in order to create a new
general cross-section
1. Open the Cross-section manager:
a. either via tree menu item Library > Cross-sections,
b. or using menu function Libraries > Cross-sections,
c. or by means of button [Cross-sections] on toolbar Project.
2. Click button [New] to add a new cross-section.
3. Select General in the Available groups list.
4. Click button [Add].
5. The General cross-section editor is opened on the screen.
6. Define the new cross-section.
7. Close the editor.
8. Confirm the new cross-section.
9. Close the New cross-section dialogue.
10. Close the Cross-section manager.

The procedure to open the General cross-section editor in order to edit an existing
general cross-section
1. Open the Cross-section manager:
a. either via tree menu item Library > Cross-sections,
b. or using menu function Libraries > Cross-sections,
c. or by means of button [Cross-sections] on toolbar Project.
2. In the list of defined cross-section, select the one you need to change.

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3. Click button [Edit] to edit the selected cross-section.
4. The Cross-section edit dialogue is opened on the screen.
5. If only some of the general parameters need to be altered, make the change in the property table of the
dialogue.
6. If the shape or property of only a partial section need to me modified, press button [Edit] in the
property table of the dialogue.
7. The General cross-section editor is opened on the screen.
8. Make the necessary changes.
9. Close the editor.
10. Confirm the result in the General cross-section editor.
11. Close the Cross-section manager.

Using the General cross-section editor


Once the General cross-section editor is opened, it is possible to define (draw) a new cross-section or
edit an existing one. This may be done by means of numerous functions available in the General crosssection editor.
The functions can be sorted by their type:
Working plane and user-coordinate system
Adjustment of the view
Setting of view parameters
Dot grid
Selections
SNAP mode
Geometric manipulations
Input of a new partial cross-section
Dimension lines
Definition and application of parameters
The individual functions are described in separate chapters of this book.

Functions of the General cross-section editor


Working plane and user co-ordinate system
The principles of working plane and user co-ordinate systems have been laid in the main reference
manual. Those capabilities that are meaningful also in the General cross-section editor have been
implemented in it.
UCS by 3 points

Defines a UCS by means of 3 points.

According to entity LCS

Defines a UCS in such a way that X-axis goes along a


selected entity edge (e.g. polygon segment).

GCS

The UCS is made identical to the GCS.

GCS parallel

The UCS axes are parallel with the GCS axes but the
origin is not in the origin of the GCS.

Move

The UCS may be moved to a new origin.

Rotate

The UCS may be rotated.

Previous

The previous UCS may be taken back.

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Note: For more information about working plane and user co-ordinate systems in general
see chapters Basic working tools > Working plane and Basic working tools > User co-ordinate
system (UCS).

Adjusting the view


The General cross-section editor offers similar view adjusting function as the main SCIA.ESA PT
graphical environment.
Zoom in

Zooms in.

Zoom out

Zooms out.

Zoom Cut-out

Requires defining a cut-out for the zoom. The cut-out is


then magnified in order to fit into the whole area of the
graphical window.

Zoom All

Zoom in or out in order to fit the whole structure into the


whole area of the graphical window.

Zoom Selection

Zoom in or out in order to fit the selected entities into the


whole area of the graphical window.

Note: For more information about adjusting the view in general see chapter Basic working
tools > Adjusting the viewpoint.

Controlling the view parameters


The user may control the way the partial cross-sections are drawn on the screen. There are several
means of control.

Names of partial sections and node (vertex) numbers


A button on the main toolbar ( ) can be used to switch ON / OFF the labels giving (i) partial section
names and (ii) vertex numbers of polygonal partial section or thin-walled partial section.
Depiction
OFF

Depiction
ON

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Colour palette
As in the main graphical environment of SCIA.ESA PT, the user may adjust colour for individual types
of lines. In the General cross-section editor the following colours related to the cross-section may be set
in addition to standard line types.
The setup dialogue may be opened via button (

) on the main toolbar.

Cross-section outline

Specifies the colour of the contour of the cross-section.

Cross-section midline

Specifies the colour of the midline of the cross-section.

Cross-section fibre

Specifies the colour of letters used to depict cross-section


vertices.

Cross-section corrosion

Specifies the colour of the corrosion level.

Cross-section joints
Cross-section insert point

Specifies the colour of the insertion point, i.e. the point


that is used to manipulate with the section by mouse.

Fonts
Once again, the General cross-section editor enables the user to set required font type and size.
The setup dialogue may be opened via button (

) on the main toolbar.

Labels of nodes

Specifies the font used to depict cross-section vertices.

Labels of sectional parts

Specifies the font used to depict partial cross-sections.

Main labels

Specifies the font used for basic labels.

Dimension lines
Similarly to dimension lines used in picture gallery or paper-space gallery, it is possible to set the basic
parameters of dimension lines used for dimensioning of general cross-sections.
The setup dialogue may be opened via button (

) on the main toolbar.

Dot grid
The definition and use of the dot grid are identical with those of the main SCIA.ESA PT graphical
environment.
Note: For more information about dot grid in general see chapter Basic working tools >
Dot grid.

Making the selection


Making a selection by the mouse cursor
single selection

One entity is selected each time the user clicks the mouse
button.

rectangular cut-out

The user draws a rectangle on the screen. The program


selects all entities located inside the rectangle or
overlapping it (see the paragraph below for details about
this selection mode).

intersection line

The user draws a line (or a polygon) on the screen. The


program selects all entities that have an intersection with
the drawn line.

polygonal cut-out

The user draws a closed polygon on the screen. The


program selects all entities located inside the polygon

select-all

All currently displayed entities are selected

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previous

Activates the last made selection.

clear selection

The current selection is cleared (the entities are not


deleted, they are just unselected).

Note: For more information about selections in general see chapter Basic working tools >
Selections.

Adjusting the snap mode


The principles of "snapping" have been laid in other chapters of the main reference manual. Here, in the
general cross-section context, it is worth to say that the same SNAP modes can be utilised for the
definition or modification of a general cross-section in the General cross-section editor.
Available SNAP modes are:
Dot grid

The cursor is locked to the points of a defined dot grid.

Only snapped
points

If this option is ON, the first two variants are automatically turned OFF
and only characteristic points of already defined entities may be used to
snap to. In other words, only the object SNAP mode is enabled.

Midpoints

Middle points of entities are used as snap points.

Endpoints / Nodes

End points of entities are used as snap points.

Intersections

Intersections of entities are used as snap points.

Orthogonal points

This option snaps to a point that forms a perpendicular with the selected
object.

Tangential points

The Tangential point SNAP mode snaps to a tangent point on a circle.

Arc / circle centre

This option snaps to the centre of a circle, arc or polyline arc segment. The
cursor must pass over the circumference of the circle or the arc so that the
centre can be found.

Points on line /
curve N-th

The program automatically divides a selected entity into N segments and


thus generates (N+1) points on an entity under cursor. The points may be
used to snap to.

Points in line /
curve % of length

This option is similar to the one above. But the division of a beam is
defined by percents and not by the number of segments.

Note: For more information about SNAP modes in general see chapter Basic working tools
> Cursor SNAP modes.

Geometric manipulations
Several geometric manipulations are available to modify the already input polygonal partial crosssections. The functions are analogous to geometric functions for ESA PT structural entities (e.g.
beams).

Geometric manipulations
Move

Moves selected partial section/sections to a new location.

Copy

Makes a copy of the selected partial section/sections.

Multicopy

Makes several copies of the selected partial section/sections.

Rotate

Rotates the selected partial section/sections.

Scale

Enlarges or scales down the selected partial section/sections.

Mirror

Creates a mirror image of the selected partial section/sections.

Trim

Trims the selected partial section/sections to a given border entity.

Extend

Extends the selected partial section/sections to a given border entity.

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Edit polyline
Insert node

Inserts a node to the selected part of a polygon.

Remove node

Removes the selected from the selected part of a polygon.

Geometric manipulation with curves


Edit arc angle

Changes the angle of the selected arc.

Edit arc bulge

Changes the bulge of the selected arc.

Edit arc radius

Changes the radius of the selected arc.

Convert curve to
line

Converts the selected curve to a straight line.

Convert line to
circle arc

Converts the selected straight line to an arc.

Note: For more information about geometric manipulations in general see chapter
Geometry.

Dimension lines
Once the general cross-section is defined (or partly defined), it is possible to add dimension lines to the
drawing of the section.
There are three types of drawing lines: (i) vertical, (ii) horizontal, and (iii) general.

The procedure to input a new dimension line


1. Open function Dimension line from the tree menu of the General cross-section editor.
2. If required, change dimension line parameters.
3. Select the first point that the dimension line refers to.
4. Select the second point that the dimension line refers to.
5. Define the position of the dimension line.
6. Repeat as many times as required.

Parameters of dimension line


Name

Specifies the name of the dimension line.

Style

Selects the style: vertical, horizontal, general.

Label

Specifies a text label attached to the dimension line.

Plot line offset

Defines the offset of the plot line from the cross-section.

offset = 5

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offset = 50
Plot line

Selects the type of plot line.

short

long
Label alignment

Defines the alignment.

left

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centre

right

Example of dimension lines

Creating a new general cross-section


Inserting a new polygonal section
The procedure to insert a new polygonal section
1. Open the General cross-section editor.
2. Use the tree menu located on the left hand side to start function Polygon.
3. If required, adjust polygon parameters in the dialogue that opens on the screen.
4. Close the setting dialogue.
5. Define the starting point of the sections outline:
a. either by means of mouse which "sticks" to selected SNAP points,
b. or by typing the vertex co-ordinates on the command line.

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6. Use the same approach to define additional vertices of the polygon.
7. When finished, close the function:
a. either by pressing [Esc] key,
b. or via right mouse buttons pop-up menu and its function End of command.

Note 1: See also chapter Plane polygon toolbar.

Note 2: When you start inputting individual vertices, the program draws the outline of the section.
If possible, the program also closes the polygon and gives the idea of what the cross-section would look
like if you input the vertex and then immediately close the function. If however, it is not possible to close
the polygon (without intersecting one or more segments), the polygon is let open and only the defined
part of the polygon is drawn.
The two pictures below demonstrate what has been said in the note above. Please note, that the vertex at
the cursor (small square) has not been input yet.

The program suggests the "closed" shape (Fig. above).

There is no possibility to close the polygon at the moment (Fig. above).

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Example of a polygonal section

Plane polygon toolbar


Once function New polygon is started the user may select advanced option from toolbar Plane polygon.

Buttons of the toolbar have the following meaning.


New circle
If this button is pressed, the sub-toolbar with two buttons is opened.
New circle centre, radius point
The user must define the centre point and a point on the circle that specifies the radius.
New circle 3 points
The user must input three points located on the circle.
New rectangle
The user must define two opposite corners of a rectangle.
New polygon
The user must define individual vertices of the polygon.
New straight line
The following edge (segment) of the currently defined polygon will be a straight line.
New circular arc
The following edge (segment) of the currently defined polygon will be a circular arc (the intermediate
point and end point of the circular segment must be input).
Select line
This button is useful if a new polygon is supposed to follow the shape of a previously defined polygon.
The user does not have to pick all the vertices of the new polygon, but may select existing edges of the
already input polygon.

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Example:
Lets assume that a polygon has been input as shown below.

Another polygon is supposed to follow the circular part of the first polygon.

The procedure may be:


1. Start function New polygon.
2. Input the first point to the right of vertex P4 of the defined polygon.
3. Input the second point in directly in vertex P4.
4. Press button [Select line] on the toolbar.
5. Select edge P4-P5 of the first polygon.
6. Select edge P5-P7 of the first polygon.
7. Select edge P7-P6 of the first polygon.
8. Press button [New straight line] on the toolbar.
9. Input the remaining vertices of the new polygon.

Step back
This button goes one step back in the definition of the polygon. If a polygon is being defined, the last
vertex is removed. If a circle is being defined by means of three points and two points have been

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defined so far, this function removes the second point of the circle but leaves the first circle point
unaffected.

Inserting a new thin walled section


The procedure to insert a new thin walled section
1. Open the General cross-section editor.
2. Use the tree menu located on the left hand side to start function Thin walled.
3. If required, adjust section parameters in the dialogue that opens on the screen.
4. Close the setting dialogue.
5. Define the starting point of the sections midline:
a. either by means of mouse which "sticks" to selected SNAP points,
b. or by typing the vertex co-ordinates on the command line.
6. Use the same approach to define additional vertices of the section midline.
7. When finished, close the function:
a. either by pressing [Esc] key,
b. or via right mouse buttons pop-up menu and its function End of command.
Example of a thin-walled section

Inserting a new library section


The procedure to insert a new library section
1. Open the General cross-section editor.
2. Use the tree menu located on the left hand side to start function Section from library.
3. Select the type and size of the library section.
4. If required, adjust section parameters in the dialogue that opens on the screen.
5. Close the setting dialogue.
6. Define the location of the reference point of the section:
a. either by means of mouse which "sticks" to selected SNAP points,
b. or by typing the vertex co-ordinates on the command line.

Inserting a new opening


An opening is in fact a polygon. So the procedure for its definition is very similar to that for polygonal
cross-section. The difference is that the opening has got no material property.

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The procedure to insert a new opening


1. Open the General cross-section editor.
2. Use the tree menu located on the left hand side to start function Polygonal opening.
3. If required, adjust parameters in the dialogue that opens on the screen.
4. Close the setting dialogue.
5. Define the starting point of the openings outline:
a. either by means of mouse which "sticks" to selected SNAP points,
b. or by typing the vertex co-ordinates on the command line.
6. Use the same approach to define additional vertices of the polygon of the opening.
7. When finished, close the function:
a. either by pressing [Esc] key,
b. or via right mouse buttons pop-up menu and its function End of command.

Adjusting the properties


Properties of the final general cross-section
The final general cross-section has a set of properties that may be adjusted by the user.
Name

Specifies the name of the cross-section

Buckling y-y

Buckling length related to y-y axis.

Buckling z-z

Buckling length related to z-z axis

Fabrication

Type of fabrication of the section.

Display final
shape

If ON, the shape of the area of the section is drawn as filled.


If OFF, only the contour of the section is drawn.
See example below.
Regardless of the adjustment of the parameter above, displays temporarily
the final shape of the section.

Refresh

Example
Final shape ON

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Final shape OFF

Properties of the partial cross-section


Each partial section of a general cross-section has several parameters that may (but also may not) be
adjusted independently on other parts of the general cross-section. For example, individual partial
sections may be made of different material or they may be subject to different level of corrosion, etc.
The parameters are:
Material

This parameter specifies the material the part is made of.

Corrosion

Here, the user may define that the partial section has been exposed to the
elements and has been "weakened" due to corrosion.

Phase

The partial section may belong to a particular phase (or stage) of the
construction process.

Overlap

If two partial sections overlap, this parameter says which of the two parts
is of higher priority and should be taken as the leading part. The other part
is then cut accordingly (see the example below).

Corrosion example
If corrosion is defined, the corresponding partial cross-section is drawn with a dashed line next to the
outline of the section. The dashed line shows the corroded part of the section. Sectional characteristics
are automatically calculated from the part of the section that has NOT corroded.

Overlap example
Lets assume a general cross-section consisting of two overlapping partial sections: (i) a square and (ii)
a triangle.

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The square is made of concrete (will be drawn in grey colour), the triangle of steel (will be drawn in
blue).
First, lets set the overlap for the square to 1 and let the overlap for the triangle on the default value
equal to zero.
The square is of higher priority, its shape is taken as the leading one, and a part of the triangle is
automatically cut off.

Second, if the overlap priorities are swapped, i.e. the overlap for the square is set to 0 and the overlap
for the triangle is set to 1, the result will be the opposite. The triangle will remain unaffected and a part
of the square will be removed from the final cross-section.

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Modifying the existing general cross-section


Modifying the properties of the whole cross-section
The properties of a general cross-section can be edited in two ways. First, they may be changed directly
in the Editing dialogue of the cross-section. Second, it is possible to change them in the General crosssection editor.

Editing dialogue
Procedure for changing the properties in the editing dialogue
1. Open the Cross-section manager.
2. Select the cross-section to be modified.
3. Click button [Edit].
4. The editing dialogue is opened on the screen.
5. On its right hand side there is a list of sectional properties.
6. The first three groups may be edited here see below for details.
7. Change the required parameters.
8. Close the editing dialogue via button [OK].
9. Close the Cross-section manager.
Parameters that may be changed in the editing dialogue:

Name

Specifies the name of the cross-section

Mat 1, 2, etc.

Materials used in the general cross-section. There may be one or more


materials defined in one general cross-section.

Colour

Colour of the section.


It is applied when colours by cross-section are adjusted in the graphical
window of SCIA.ESA PT.

Buckling y-y

Buckling length related to y-y axis.

Buckling z-z

Buckling length related to z-z axis.

Fabrication

Type of fabrication of the section.

General cross-section editor


Procedure for changing the properties in the editor
1. Open the Cross-section manager.
2. Select the cross-section to be modified.
3. Click button [Edit].

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4. The editing dialogue is opened on the screen.
5. Click button [Edit] located in the property table.
6. The General cross-section editor is opened on the screen.
7. On its left hand side there is a list of sectional properties.
8. Change the required parameters.
9. Close the editor.
10. Close the editing dialogue via button [OK].
11. Close the Cross-section manager.
Parameters that may be changed in the editor are described in chapter Properties of the final general
cross-section.

Modifying the properties of a partial cross-section


Properties of a partial section of a general cross-section may be edited in the General cross-section
editor.

Procedure for changing the properties of a partial section


1. Open the Cross-section manager.
2. Select the cross-section to be modified.
3. Click button [Edit].
4. The editing dialogue is opened on the screen.
5. Click button [Edit] located in the property table.
6. The General cross-section editor is opened on the screen.
7. Select the part of the general cross-section to be edited.
8. On its left hand side there is a list of sectional properties.
9. Change the required parameters.
10. If required, clear the selection and modify other parts of the cross-section.
11. Close the editor.
12. Close the editing dialogue via button [OK].
13. Close the Cross-section manager.

Note: For library cross-sections, the parameters that may be changed in the editor depend on the
type of the section. For example, the depth and width will be offered in the property table for
rectangular concrete section, while the selection of a different size or type will be available for rolled
cross-section.

Changing the geometry of the general cross-section


Any part of the general cross-section may be treated the same way as a standard geometric entity in the
main SCIA.ESA PT environment.
The cross-section as a whole or any of its parts may be:
moved to a new location,
copied,
rotated,

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mirrored,
enlarged to the given scale,
trimmed,
stretched.
The application of above-mentioned functions is the same as the application of corresponding functions
in the main SCIA.ESA PT environment.

Changing the geometry of a partial section


The geometry modification functions applicable to the whole cross-section (see chapter Changing the
geometry of the general cross-section) are also available for any of the partial sections.
In addition, polygon-editing functions are available for thin-walled and polygonal sections. These are:
Insert node into
polyline

This functions enables the user to add a new intermediate vertex to the
outline or midline, respectively, of an already defined solid or thin-walled
section.

Delete node from


polyline

This function removes the selected node from the outline or midline,
respectively, of an already defined solid or thin-walled section.

Further, co-ordinates of vertices of both polygonal outline of a solid section and midline of a thinwalled section can be manually edited in the property table. The user just has to select the required node
(or nodes) and retype the appropriate co-ordinate in the property table.
Finally, for library sections, the property table provides for the modification of the:
insertion point (which leads to a change of the position of the section within the general cross-section).
rotation.

Note: All the available modification functions and procedures may be freely combined for any of
the partial sections in order to achieve the required final shape and dimension of the overall general
cross-section.

Defining a parametric cross-section


Introduction to the parametric cross-section
Sometimes it may be useful to define the general cross-section not by direct definition of its
dimensions, partial section types, etc., but by means of parameters. The parameters may be later easily
modified and thus the shape and/or dimension of the general cross-section may be changed.

Note: For more information on parameters see chapter Advanced tools > Parametric input
> Using the parameters in the project of the main Reference manual of SCIA.ESA PT.

Defining a new parameter


The procedure to define a new parameter
1. In General cross-section editor, open tree menu function Parameter.
2. The Parameters manager opens on the screen.
3. Define the required parameters and set their type and values.
4. Close the Parameters manager.

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5. It is now possible to assign the defined parameters to appropriate dimensions.

Assigning the parameters


The procedure to assign the defined parameter
1. Input the cross-section in usual way.
2. Define the parameters.
3. Select the node (vertex) whose position should be defined by means of "length" parameter.
4. In the property table of the node, select the appropriate parameter.
5. Repeat for other nodes.
6. If applicable, select the rolled cross-section whose size and type is to be defined via parameter.
7. In the property table of the node, replace the type by the appropriate parameter.
8. Repeat for other rolled cross-sections.
9. Close the General cross-section editor.

Note 1: Whenever the value of parameters is changed, the corresponding cross-section is reshaped
accordingly.
Note 2: Whats more, the parameters appear in the editing dialogue of the cross-section.
Therefore, it is easy to change the cross-section section without necessity to open the General crosssection editor.

Example of parameterised cross-section


Lets create a simple rectangular cross-section with two circular openings. Further, lets edit this
section and make it parameterised.

Note: The dimensions stated in this example are in metres. Generally, be careful with units when
defining new parameters.
First of all, define the section in usual way. Input the bottom left corner of the section to the origin of
the global co-ordinate system (This is not a general condition, but it is assumed in our example).

Then, define the necessary parameters:


Parameter

Type

Evaluation

Value / Formula

Css length

Value

0.6

Css length

Value

1.0

H1

Css length

Formula

H * 0.5

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D

Css length

Value

0.25

D1

Css length

Formula

H1 + D / 2

B1

Css length

Formula

B/3

B2

Css length

Formula

B/3*2

Further, assign the parameters to appropriate points of the defined cross-section.


Select the top left corner of the rectangle (see below).

In the property table set the global Z co-ordinate to parameter H (see below).

Clear the selection. Select the top right corner and set the global Z co-ordinate to parameter H and the
global Y co-ordinate to parameter B (see below).

Z = H; Y = B

Clear the selection. Select the bottom right corner and set the global Y co-ordinate to parameter B (see
below).

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Y=B

Clear the selection. Select the centre of the left circular opening and adjust the global Y and Z coordinates to parameter B1 and H1 respectively (see below).

Z = H1; Y = B1

Clear the selection. Select the centre of the right circular opening and adjust the global Y and Z coordinates to parameter B2 and H1 respectively (see below).

Z = H1; Y = B2

Clear the selection. Select the top most point of the left circular opening and adjust its global Y and Z
co-ordinates to parameter B1 and D1 respectively (see below).

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Z = D1; Y = B1

Clear the selection. Select the top most point of the right circular opening and adjust the global Y and Z
co-ordinates to parameter B2 and D1 respectively (see below).

Z = D1; Y = B2

Close the General cross-section editor. In the editing dialogue, you can see the three Value-type
parameters B, H, D that fully define the cross-sections dimensions (see below).

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The same parameters may be reviewed, though not changed, in the Cross-section manager (see
below).

Any time in the future, you may edit these three values and reshape the cross-section.

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It may also be convenient to make copy or copies of this cross-section and create a set of cross-sections
of different size.
Whats more, dimension lines may be added to the cross-section. If provided with proper labels they
may significantly improve the clearness of the parameters (see below).

An example of the "D" dimension line is in the figure below (see the parameter values on the left).

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Geometry
Elements of a model
A model of a structure consists of many parts or elements. Some of them form the geometry of the
model and some of them define other properties of the structure or define effects that the structure is
subject to.
node

Primarily, it represents an end-point of a beam. It also defines the


point where finite element node will be placed. In addition, it may
define a place where two beams touch or intersect each other.

beam

A beam represents a beam member that the real structure consists


of. Beam in the model may represent a whole set of structural
members such as a column, joist, tie beam, rafter, strip foundation,
etc.

plate, wall

Plates and walls model slabs and load bearing walls ob the
analysed structure. Both entity types may contain openings or
subregions. Before calculation the finite element mesh is
generated on them.

rigid connection of beams

If two beams have a common end point, the connection of the


beams in this point (or node) is normally rigid. Also, if any two
members that intersect each other are told to be connected (via a
linked node), the connection is rigid by default.

connection of beams with


defined non-rigid
properties

The parameters of any connection of two beams can be adjusted in


a way so that the connection corresponds to the practical solution
of the detail. That means that the degrees of freedom in the
connection may be altered and the connection in any direction
(concerning both translation and rotation) may be either rigid or
free or anything in between (i.e. elastic).

load

A structure does not exist on its own; it is subject to multiple


effects of various load types. All the load types that can be applied
on the model in SCIA.ESA PT are described in a separate chapter.

support

A structure itself must be somehow supported, as the supports


must, in the end, bear the entire load applied on the structure. The
applicable support types are described in separate chapters.

mass

Masses are used in connection with dynamic calculation to define


the "dynamic" properties of the structure.

CAD shape

The shape of structure that is not considered during calculations,


but is used for preparation of drawings and design of connections.

Nodes
Introduction to nodes
The term "node" is a common finite element method term. However, when talking about SCIA.ESA PT
program, we have to make a strict definition of what the word "node" means in the context of this
software.
First of all, we have to distinguish between a standard finite element node and an ESA node. The two
node types have something in common, but there are also some differences.

FE node
A standard finite element node will be always referred to as an "FE node". Normally, the user will not
encounter this type of node when creating a model of a structure. The FE nodes must be dealt with just
before the calculation of the project, and usually only in special cases. For common projects, the user
can rely totally on the automatic finite element mesh generator integrated in the SCIA.ESA PT
program.

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Node
The word "node" will be used to talk about ESA nodes i.e. about nodes (or points, if you prefer) that
the user deals with.
A node is the simplest entity applied in SCIA.ESA PT program. A node is the basic element. The nodes
define other entity types. For example, a beam is defined primarily by its two end-points that are
nothing else but two nodes.
Each node has got some properties including:
position in modelling space (i.e. co-ordinates),
nodal co-ordinate system (used to define the direction of direction-related properties such as degrees of
freedom).
Each node may belong to just one beam or to as many beams as required. If a node belongs to several
beams, the beams are mutually connected in such a node and internal forces from one beam are
transferred into the other beams. If required, special boundary conditions can be defined for the
connection and thus only some of the internal forces (e.g. only bending moments or shear forces) may
be transferred into the adjacent entities.
What the node and FE node have in common is that both are a proper finite element node. That means
that the finite element mesh generator will ALWAYS place an FE node into an ESA node. On the other
hand, the generator may add some more FE nodes in between the user-defined ESA nodes, in order to
ensure that the finite element mesh corresponds with the required fineness.
There are several types of nodes depending on their "relation" to the beam they are part of.

Types of nodes
SCIA.ESA PT recognises primarily two types of nodes:
an absolute node,
a linked node.
It is important to understand the differences between the two types as the type of node can have a
significant influence on the model properties and behaviour and it also affects functions used for the
modification of model geometry.

Absolute node
An absolute node is defined by its "absolute" position, or we can say absolute co-ordinates, in space.
An absolute node is used to define end-points of members (e.g. beams).

Linked node
A linked node is usually defined by its position, or we can say relative co-ordinate, on a beam.
As the term "linked" suggests, a linked node is used to "link" two entities together.
On the screen, a linked node is marked by a unique graphical symbol. The linked node mark looks like
a pair of short parallel lines drawn in a node.

Difference between absolute and linked node


In order to show an example, lets assume a simple plane frame consisting of two vertical columns and
a horizontal beam connecting heads of the two columns with a short cantilever on one side.

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Column B1 has two end-nodes N1 and N2. Both nodes are absolute.
Column B2 has two end-nodes N3 and N4. Node N3 is absolute, node N4 is linked and is bound
(linked) to beam B3.
Horizontal beam B3 has three nodes N2, N4, and N5. Nodes N2 and N5 are absolute. Node N4 is linked
is related to beam B3.
The linked node N4 guarantees that column B2 is connected to beam B3 and that internal forces in any
of the two beams are transferred into the other one. This configuration represents the state usually
required in practice.
To demonstrate what happens if the linked node is not applied, lets consider the sample structure as
shown in the following figure.

The structure here is very similar to the previous one. However, there exists a seemingly small
difference and the difference leads to significant consequences.
Column B2 has two end-nodes N3 and N4. And both nodes are absolute.
Horizontal beam B3 has just two end-nodes N2 and N5 which are both absolute.
Because there is no node lying on horizontal beam B3 in the place where column B2 intersects with this
horizontal beam, the two beams do not have a single common node and are not connected to each other.
Both the beams would act as separate structures and not as a single column-beam unit.
The differences between the two node types concerning modification functions (such as move, rotate,
etc.) are given in chapters describing the modification functions.

Defining a new node


Even though SCIA.ESA PT knows the entity "node" and uses it for various purposes (mainly related to
the definition of structure model), nodes themselves are not defined as separate and self-standing
entities. A new node can only be defined as an integral part of a new beam. It is not possible to define
an independent and self-standing node.
On the other hand, it is possible that, thanks to various geometric manipulations, some nodes become
self-standing. This may occur after a node looses its relation to the beam, for example due to the
deletion of the beam. Such nodes are called free nodes and have no specific purpose in the project.
Therefore, SCIA.ESA PT offers tools for their removal (see chapter Deleting the nodes).

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Defining a local co-ordinate system of a node


The procedure for the definition of a local co-ordinate system of a node
1. Use the UCS Manager to create a new user co-ordinate system. Define the co-ordinate system in such a
way so that its axes are oriented in the direction required for the orientation of the local co-ordinate
system of the nodes.
2. Make sure that no entities are selected. If necessary, clear the selection.
3. Select the node (or nodes) where the local co-ordinate system should be applied.
4. In the property dialogue (that opens in the property window) tick option LCS.
5. The dialogue then offers a list of defined user co-ordinate systems.
6. Select the UCS that is adequate for the selected nodes. That means the UCS whose axes are oriented in
direction of the intended local co-ordinate system of the node or nodes.
7. Clear the selection

Deleting the nodes


Nodes, similarly to other entities, may be deleted if they are no longer necessary. On the other hand, one
must be aware that there are some conditions that must be met so that the program can perform the
deletion of node.
First, it is not possible to delete a node that relates to any entity. For example, it is not possible to delete
the end-point (i.e. node) of an existing beam. If this should really be done, the relating entity must be
deleted together with the node or nodes. Therefore, it is possible to delete a beam and two nodes that are
the beams end-points.
Second, if it happens and some nodes are free nodes (i.e. do not relate to any entity), it is possible to
remove such nodes.

Deletion of proper nodes (nodes that relate to beams)


Procedure for deletion of nodes
1. Select the nodes that are supposed to be deleted.
2. Select also the entities that the selected nodes relate to.
3. Call function Delete:
a. either: open menu function Modify > Delete,
b. or: use window pop-up menu function Delete,
c. or: press key Del.
4. Confirm the question box (or question boxes).

Deletion of free nodes


Free nodes (if they occur in a project) can be deleted either manually or automatically

Procedure for manual removal of free nodes


1. Select any free nodes that should be deleted.
2. Call function Delete:
a. either: start menu function Modify > Delete,
b. or: start window pop-up menu function Delete,
c. or: press key Del.

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3. Confirm the question box (or question boxes).

Procedure for automatic removal of free nodes


1. Start function Check structure data.
a. either: use menu function Tree > Calculation, Mesh > Check structure data,
b. or: start tree menu function Calculation, Mesh > Check structure data.
2. Make sure that option Search free nodes is ticked.
3. Press button [Check].
4. Check the upper right part of the dialogue and verify whether any free nodes have been discovered.
5. If so, make sure that option Delete free nodes is selected.
6. Press button [Continue] to delete the revealed free nodes.

Tip: For more information about function Check structure data see chapter Calculation >
Check of data.
If the user is not sure whether there are any free nodes in his/her project, it is always possible to use the
second approach because it means that the program automatically finds any free nodes in the project
and informs the user about the findings. The user then may decide whether the discovered free nodes
should be deleted or kept.

Beams
Introduction to beams
From the definition point of view, beams used in SCIA.ESA PT can be divided into several types
concerning their orientation (vertical, horizontal, etc.) or cross-section (constant, variable). In addition,
there exists another division taking account of the function of beams or their position in the structure
(see chapter CAD Model)
Regardless of the type, each beam is primarily defined by its two end-points and by a set of properties.
The properties can be defined in advance (i.e. before the beam is inserted into the modelled structure) or
afterwards. Once a beam is inserted, it is not bound to its position forever. If required, it can be moved
to another location, rotated, prolonged, shortened or adjusted in any other way to correspond with the
changing demands. Also its properties such as material, cross-section, type of transmitted internal
forces, etc. can be modified any time and as many times as required.
There are two criterions concerning the definition of beams:
Which type of beam can be inserted (defined) directly in one-step action.
Which type of beam can be defined via additional adjustment of appropriate properties on already
inserted (defined) beams.

Types of directly defined beams


general beam

This beam type can represent an arbitrarily oriented and located


beam.

column

This type represents a vertical column.

horizontal beam

This type represents a horizontally oriented beam.

What all the above-mentioned beam types have in common is that they have a constant cross-section.

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Types of beams defined as a "property" of existing beams


haunch beam

A haunch beam is a beam of a linearly variable cross-section. The


change of cross-section may extend from one end point to the
other end point, or from one end point to an intermediate point
lying on the beam. The cross-section on both ends of a haunch
must be of the same shape (e.g. rectangular, solid I-section, etc.).

beam of variable crosssection (arbitrary beam)

A beam of this type can consist of multiple intervals each of which


can be of different cross-section, material, and other properties.

Common beam parameters


Some of beam parameters that define the properties of a beam are common for all beam types.
Name

A name of the beam.

Type

The beam type is not essential for the definition of a beam but may
take effect later. For example, some functions performing design
and check to technical standards take account of the type.

Cross-section

The cross-section influences the properties of a beam and defines


its shape and also material (as the material is one of cross-section
properties).

Alpha

This angle determines the rotation of the cross-section of the


inserted beam around the longitudinal axis of the beam.

Member system line at

The beam is inserted by means of two insertion points. This


property item determines the position of the insertion points on the
cross-section of the beam.

Eccentricity ey, ez

The eccentricity is similar to the previous feature. However, while


the Insertion point item only allows for positions of the insertion
point in certain characteristic points of the cross-section, the
Eccentricity provides for an arbitrary position of the insertion
point.

LCS - local co-ordinate


system of the beam

This item specifies the way the local axes of the beam are
determined.

LCS Rotation

This value defines the rotation of local axes of the beam. The
rotation is measured around the beams longitudinal axis, i.e. Xaxis.

FEM type

This item says which type of finite element will be used for the
beam.

Buckling length

Buckling length for individual directions may be specified on each


beam. For more information see chapter Buckling parameters.

Layer

Any entity including a beam can be put into a layer. The layer can
thus comprise entities that have something in common (e.g. one
floor, columns of one floor, columns of the same length, etc.)
Once layers are defined and assigned, they can be used to e.g.
display just a particular part of the structure, make selection of that
particular part, etc.)

Name
The name is used mainly for a unique identification of beams (or all entities in general). The name can
be displayed on a screen, printed in output documents, used for selections, etc. For example, the name
together with an advanced feature of the program command-line can be used for very fast multiple
selection of all beam whose name starts with the same letter or letters (e.g. SEL B1? selects all beams
whose name consists of letter B and a number within the range from 10 to 19).
The name is typed as a simple text.

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Type
The type is not very important for the very act of beam insertion (or definition). The beam type has also
no effect on calculation of deflections and internal forces.
However, if one thinks about further analysis and evaluation of the structure in design (code check)
modules and if one wants to perform detailing works (e.g. define lattice girder connections), the beam
type must be set properly. Especially the module for design and checking of connections uses the type
as a crucial piece of information.
The required type can be selected from a list of available options.

Cross-section
The beams shape is defined by the selected cross-section type. Beams of "general beam", "column" and
"horizontal beam" type have got a constant cross section over their length. On the other hand, "haunch
beams" and "arbitrary beams" can have the cross section variable along the longitudinal axis.
The orientation of the cross-section in the beam local co-ordinate system can be adjusted via angle
Alpha (see below).
The appropriate cross-section can be:
either selected from a list of already defined cross-sections,
or defined as a new cross-section in the project via the [Cross-section manager] button.

Alpha
This parameters defines the inclination of the cross-section Z-axis from the beam local Z-axis. This
parameter together with "LCS rotation" provide for an arbitrary "positioning" of a cross-section in a
model.
The angle is input in the pre-adjusted angle unit that is shown in square brackets in the corresponding
table cell.

Member system line at


By default, a beam is inserted into the model by the end points of its midline. The user, however, may
decide to insert the beam by any of outer corners of the beams cross-section. This option is useful
when an eccentricity is to be introduced and it coincides with the outer dimensions of the cross-section.
The required Insertion point can be selected from a list of available option.

Eccentricity
If required, an eccentricity may be input in order to provide for more precise definition of structure
shape. The eccentricity is defined in the definition axes of the cross-section.
The eccentricity is defined by two values: eccentricity in Y-direction and eccentricity in Z-direction.
Both values are input into the appropriate table cells in units that have been pre-adjusted in project
settings and that are shown in square brackets in the table cells.

Tip: If the eccentricity value is such that the "eccentric insertion point" coincides with an
outer corner of the cross-section, the eccentricity may be defined simply by means of the
"Insertion point" parameter (see above).

Local co-ordinate system (LCS)


Each beam has got its local co-ordinate system. The user can define the orientation of the systems Y
and Z axes. There are several options:
to accept the default standard setting
to define the orientation of Y-axis either by a vector or by a point that the axis passes through,
to define the orientation of Z-axis either by a vector or by a point that the axis passes through.

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to specify that the beams local Z-axis is parallel to the Z-axis of the current UCS.

LCS rotation
Sometimes it may be convenient to rotate the local co-ordinate system. For example, if the user wants to
define some load acting in a general direction and introduce it in beams local co-ordinate axes.
The angle defines the rotation of the local co-ordinate system around the X-axis of the same system.
The angle is input in the pre-adjusted angle unit that is shown in square brackets in the corresponding
table cell.

FEM type
From the finite element analysis point of view, the beam can act like a standard beam or like a hinged
(pinned) rod. The difference is that the standard beam is capable of transferring all the internal forces,
while the latter variant only provides for transferring of the axial force.
The required option can be selected from a provided list.

Layer
Each beam can be "put into" a specific layer. The layer, that could be called group, thus can comprise
such beams that will be in the future treated simultaneously. A good and well thought out grouping of
beams in layers can significantly facilitate the manipulation with the model, including even the
evaluation of results. And whats more, a professional use of layers may save a lot of the users
valuable time.
The required layer may be selected from a list of already defined layers. Or, a new layer may be defined
for the beam.

Buckling parameters
Buckling parameters are described in detail in Book Steel Code Check chapter Buckling parameters
> Code independent buckling parameters
and in chapter related to individual national codes.
Additional information can be found in Book Steel Code Check chapter Buckling parameters >
Buckling parameters related to a particular standard.
For adjustment of buckling parameters see chapter Adjusting the buckling parameters.

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Beam types
General beam
A general beam has got only the common beam parameters. Once these parameters are specified, the
beam may be inserted into the model.
In order to insert a new general beam into a model of the structure that is being analysed, you just
follow the general procedure for the definition of a new beam. Attention must only be paid to the
specification of beams position. A general beam is defined by its two end-points (or we can say nodes).
Therefore, the beams position must be specified by insertion of two points: first, the starting or begin
point and then the end point.

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Column
A column is an always vertical beam of a constant cross-section. In addition to common beam
parameters, it has the following properties:
Length

This parameter says what is the length (height) of the inserted


column.

Insertion point

This option specifies which of the two column end-points is


considered as the base (or insertion) point.

In order to insert a new column into a model of the structure, the general procedure for the definition of
a new beam should be followed. Attention must only be paid to the specification of beams position. A
column is defined by its base point (starting point) only. Therefore, the beams position must be
specified by insertion of a single point.

Note: The statement that the column is always vertical is related to the user co-ordinate system.
Therefore, if the user defines such a UCS whose Z-axis is inclined or even horizontal, a column defined
in this UCS will not be vertical from the global co-ordinate systems point of view. It will vertical in the
context of the current UCS.

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Horizontal beam
A horizontal beam is always horizontal and has a constant cross-section. In addition to common beam
parameters, beam has the following properties:
Direction

A horizontal beam may be oriented either along the global X-axis


or global Y-axis.

Length

This parameter says what is the length of the inserted beam.

Insertion point

This option specifies which of the two beam end-points is


considered as the insertion point.

In order to insert a new horizontal beam into a model, you just follow the general procedure for the
definition of a new beam. Attention must only be paid to the specification of beams position. A
horizontal beams position is specified by insertion of a single point that determines the location of the
adjusted insertion point.

Note: The statement that the horizontal beam is always horizontal is related to the user co-ordinate
system. Therefore, if the user defines such a UCS whose Z-axis is inclined or even horizontal, a
horizontal beam defined in this UCS will not be horizontal from the global co-ordinate systems point of
view. It will horizontal in the context of the current UCS.

Haunch beam
A haunch beam is a beam whose cross-section varies along the length of the beam. It is also possible
that a part of the beam is of a constant cross-section and only the remaining part contains a haunch.
Therefore, the list of haunch beam parameters may be rather long. It contains the following items:
Haunch placement

Specifies the location of the haunch on the beam.

Cross-section

Tells which cross-section will be used to form the haunch. (see


Note below ! )

List of dimensions that


can vary along the
haunch length

This list contains the dimension of the assigned cross-section that


may vary along the haunch length.

Alignment

Specifies the alignment of the haunch.

Length of haunch

Determines the length of the haunch.


This item is not accessible if the haunch is defined per the whole
beam, i.e. from one beam end to the other.

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Co-ordinate definition

Tells if the haunch length is input in relative beam co-ordinate (i.e.


from zero to one) or in absolute values (i.e. for example in
metres).
This item is not accessible if the haunch is defined per the whole
beam, i.e. from one beam end to the other.

Haunch placement
The variants for the placement are:
From start

The haunch starts at the


starting point of the beam and
its length is determined by the
value input in cell Length of
haunch.

From end

The haunch starts at the end


point of the beam and its length
is determined by the value
input in cell Length of
haunch.

Symmetrical

The haunch is located at both


ends of the beam its length is
determined by the value input
in cell Length of haunch.

From start
whole length

The cross-section varies along


the whole beam length. The
haunch starts at the starting
point of the beam.

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From end
whole length

The cross-section varies along


the whole beam length. The
haunch starts at the end point
of the beam.

Symmetrical
whole length

The haunch is at both sides of


the beam, is symmetrical and
extends from each of the beam
ends towards the beam centre.

Cross-section
The cross-section defined here replaces the original cross-section of the beam on which the haunch is
defined. That means that the original beams cross-section can be of any type. When a haunch is
defined on a beam, the original cross-section is completely forgotten and the haunch cross-section is
applied.
Examples
A haunch on a basic cross-section of I shape with the height equal to 300 millimetres and top flange
thickness 50 millimetres.
Height of haunch

Shape of haunch

H = 500 mm

H = 1000 mm

H = 1000 mm
and
top flange thickness
increased to 200 mm

Note: It is important to be aware of the fact that only specific cross-sections can be used for
haunches. For example, it is not possible to use a rolled cross-section as it not possible to change its
height over the length of a beam.

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List of dimensions that can vary along the haunch length


The cross-section defined for a haunch can vary in size along the haunch length. However, not all the
possible dimensions of the cross-section can vary. The list of dimensions that may be variable is limited
and is stated in the haunch property dialogue. Whats more, these dimensions are highlighted in yellow
both in the haunch property dialogue and in the cross-section editing dialogue.
Thanks to the "highlighted" dimensions the cross-section changes linearly its shape along the haunch.
The haunch starts with the cross-section specified by the "highlighted" values. And at the end of the
haunch there is the cross-section of standard dimensions as defined in the Cross-section manager.

Alignment
The alignment of the haunch may be of several types.
In order to explain clearly the meaning of individual option, lets assume a horizontal beam with a
haunch whose cross-section is of variable height as well as of variable width.
Default

The alignment of the haunch is


adjusted according to the Insertion
point of the beam. E.g. if the
Insertion point of the beam is set to
Top, Top surface alignment of the
haunch is used.

Centre line

In plan view as well as in side view


the midline of the beam remains
straight and horizontal. Both left
and right surface are inclined to
allow the cross-section change its
width. The centre line of the beam
(i.e. the centroid axis) of the beam
remains straight. Both top and
bottom surface are symmetrically
inclined to allow the cross-section
change its height.

side view

plan view
The top surface of the beam
remains flat and horizontal. The
bottom surface is inclined in order
to provide for the change of the
height.

Top
surface

side view

The bottom surface of the beam


remains flat and horizontal. The
top surface is inclined in order to
provide for the change of the
height.

Bottom
surface

side view

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In plan view, the midline of the


beam is straight. Both left and right
surface are symmetrically inclined
to allow the cross-section change
its width.

In plan view, the midline of the


beam is straight. Both left and right
surface are symmetrically inclined
to allow the cross-section change
its width.

SCIA.ESA PT
The left surface of the beam
remains flat and horizontal. The
right surface is inclined in order to
provide for the change of the
width.

Left
surface

In side view, the midline of the


beam is straight. Both top and
bottom surface are symmetrically
inclined to allow the cross-section
change its height.

plan view

The right surface of the beam


remains flat and horizontal. The
left surface is inclined in order to
provide for the change of the
width.

Right
surface

In side view, the midline of the


beam is straight. Both top and
bottom surface are symmetrically
inclined to allow the cross-section
change its height.

plan view

Beam of a variable cross-section


SCIA.ESA PT allows the user to define a beam whose cross-section varies arbitrarily along the beams
length.
Beam of arbitrarily variable cross-section can be divided into segments called spans. Each span has got
specific properties that are absolutely independent on the properties of adjacent spans.
Length

Defines the length of the span.

Type of cross-section

Specifies how the cross-section of the span varies.

Cross-section or
cross-sections

This option depends on the previous one. In general, it defines the


cross-section of the span.

Alignment

The alignment is identical to the alignment of a haunch.

Tip: The individual spans can be of different cross-section. And as material is a parameter
of cross-section, it is possible that the individual spans are of different material.

Type of cross-section
The cross-section of the span and its change can be defines in several ways.
Prismatic

The cross-section of the span is constant.

Parametric haunch

A standard haunch is inserted into the span.

Two cross-sections

Two cross-sections corresponding to the two end-points of the


span are defined. The cross-section varies over the span from one
section to the other.

Cross-section / Cross-sections
For prismatic cross-section, this item offers the selection of just one required cross-section.
For parametric haunch, two cross-sections must be specified. However, both of are based on one base
cross-section. The user can specify parameters of the two end-sections. Each of the end-sections may be
either identical with the base cross-section, or changes of the base cross-section dimensions can be
specified.
If the "two cross-sections" option is chosen, the user just selects two end cross-sections.

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Example

The beam defined in the property table above looks like:

Defining a new beam


Inserting a new beam
When inserting a new beam into a model the user must distinguish between two situations:
insertion of a general beam or column or horizontal beam,
insertion of a beam that has got a variable cross-section (either haunch or generally variable crosssection).

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The first situation means a real insertion of a new beam into the model. The latter means that
appropriate properties are defined on already an existing beam in the model. The procedures for the
definition of a "haunch" beam and a beam with a variable cross-section are given in separate chapters.
The principle of the procedure for insertion of a new beam is identical for both a general beam and a
column and a horizontal beam. It is clear that there are some differences between the individual beam
types, and therefore there must be slight differences also in the defining procedure. However, the
differences are so small that a united procedure may be presented here and the differences discussed in
chapters dealing with appropriate beam type.

Procedure for insertion of a beam


1. In the main tree menu, select and open service Structure. (As an alternative, service Structure may
also be opened via its toolbar button or via the menu function).
2. In the Structure service, open the appropriate function according to beam type you want to insert.
3. Fill in the displayed dialogue, i.e. define the properties of the beam or beams you want to define in the
next step.
4. Confirm the property dialogue by pressing [OK] button.
5. Define the position of the beam (using a mouse and any of available snap mode options or by typing the
co-ordinates on the command line). This point varies according to the selected beam type (see General
beam, Column, or Horizontal beam chapter).
6. The beam has been inserted.
7. Either (i) close the function or (ii) insert another beam, i.e. repeat steps 5 and 6.
8. Close the Structure service.

Inserting a new beam of a complex axis shape


Real structures are very often composed of members whose longitudinal axes are not straight-line
segments. SCIA.ESA PT enables the users to draw almost any shape they may find in architectural
sketches.
The principle for the insertion of a non-straight beam remains the same as for a straight one (i.e. general
beam). The only difference is in the definition of the endpoints of the beam.

The procedure for the insertion of a polygonal beam


1. When asked to enter the first endpoint of the beam do the following:
2. Click button [New polyline] (
the "point definition mode".

) that appears just above the command line once the program gets into

3. Enter the vertices of the polygon one after another.


4. Press [Esc] key to finish the definition of the polygon.
5. Then follow the standard procedure for the definition of a beam, i.e. close the function or service.

The procedure for the insertion of a circular arc beam


1. When asked to enter the first endpoint of the beam do the following:
2. Click button [New arc] (
"point definition mode".

) that appears just above the command line once the program gets into the

3. Enter the starting point of the arc.


4. Enter the intermediate point of the arc.
5. Enter the end point of the arc.
6. Then follow the standard procedure for the definition of a beam, i.e. close the function or service.

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The procedure for the definition of a Bezier-curve beam


1. When asked to enter the first endpoint of the beam do the following:
2. Click button [New Bezier] ( ) that appears just above the command line once the program gets into
the "point definition mode".
3. Enter the starting point of the curve.
4. Enter the end point of the arc.
5. Enter the 2nd control point of the curve.
6. Enter the 3rd control point of the curve.
7. Then follow the standard procedure for the definition of a beam, i.e. close the function or service.

The procedure for the definition of a parabolic-curve beam


1. When asked to enter the first endpoint of the beam do the following:
2. Click button [New parabolic arc] (
into the "point definition mode".

) that appears just above the command line once the program gets

3. Enter the starting point of the curve.


4. Enter the intermediate point of the curve (i.e. the vertex of the parabola).
5. Enter the end point of the curve.
6. Then follow the standard procedure for the definition of a beam, i.e. close the function or service.

The procedure for the insertion of a spline-curve beam


1. When asked to enter the first endpoint of the beam do the following:
2. Click button [New spline] ( ) that appears just above the command line once the program gets into
the "point definition mode".
3. Enter the vertices of the spline one after another.
4. Press [Esc] key to finish the definition of the spline curve.
5. Then follow the standard procedure for the definition of a beam, i.e. close the function or service.

Note: Please note, that it is possible to enter multiple "shaped" beams from within one call of
Drawing a member function. You can enter one shape (e.g. polygon), press [Esc] to finish the definition
of the polygon. You however are still "inside" the Drawing a member function. Therefore, you may for
example click [New arc] button, define an arc and again you are still "inside" the Drawing a member
function. This fact can be easily visually verified on the screen. As far as you are still "inside" the
Drawing a member function, the inserted beams are drawn in RED colour. Only when you close the
Drawing a member function, the beams are redrawn in violet colour which means that they are
selected.

Defining a haunch on a beam


A haunch beam is not a special type of beam in the full meaning of the word. A haunch is in fact a
property that can be assigned to any previously defined beam. Consequently, the definition of a haunch
beam is always a two-step procedure.
First step is the insertion of the beam itself (either a general beam or column or horizontal beam). This
is then followed by the specification of parameters defining the haunch.

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The procedure for the definition of a haunch


1. Insert the beam that is supposed to contain a haunch and close the New beam function. (Unless it has
been made earlier).
2. In the tree menu open service Structure.
3. Start function Haunch.
4. Input and select required parameters and properties of the haunch.
5. Confirm the setting with [OK] button.
6. Select the beam (or beams) that should contain the haunch.
7. Close the function.
8. Close the Structure service.

Note: A standard beam (i.e. horizontal beam, column or general beam) is defined with a specific
cross-section. This cross-section is one of the beams parameters. However, when a haunch is defined
on this beam, the haunch defines its own cross-section and assigns it to the beam. The original crosssection is overloaded (forgotten for the moment). However, if the haunch is later deleted, the beam
remains in its position and takes back its original cross-section.

Defining a beam with a variable cross-section


Similarly to haunch beam, also this beam type is not a specific type in the full meaning of the word.
Once again it is an advanced property of a beam. Therefore, the procedure is similar to the definition of
a haunch.

The procedure for the definition of a beam with variable cross-section


1. Insert the beam that is supposed to contain a haunch and close the "New beam" function. (Unless it has
been made earlier).
2. In the tree menu open service Structure.
3. Start function Arbitrary profile.
4. Define required number of spans.
5. Input and select required parameters and properties of the spans.
6. Confirm the setting with [OK] button.
7. Select the beam (or beams) that should be of the specified type.
8. Close the function.
9. Close the Structure service.

Slabs
Slab types
Plate
Parameters
Name

Defines the name of the slab.

Type

Specifies the type of the slab. The user may select from types: (i)
plate, (ii) wall, and (iii) shell.

Material

Defines the material of the slab.

Thickness

It is possible to input a slab of constant or variable thickness.

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See below.
Thickness value

For constant thickness, just one thickness value must be defined.


For variable thickness, two thickness values must be defined.

Variable thickness type

If the variable thickness type is selected, the user must specify the
direction in which the thickness varies.

Point 1

Defines the first point used for the definition of variable thickness.

Point 2

Defines the second point used for the definition of variable


thickness.

Member system-plane at

The input-plane (system-plane) of the input slab may be in the


mid-surface of the slab, at the top surface or bottom surface of the
slab.

Eccentricity

If required, eccentricity of the slab may be input.

LCS type

Defines the type of the local coordinate system of the slab.

LCS Z axis

The orientation of the local Z axis of the slab may be easily turned
around. This check box does it. See figures below.

LCS angle

The direction of the local X-axis may be input here.

Layer

Selects the layer of the slab.

Example of a slab

Variable thickness
The variable thickness of a slab can be input in the property table of a slab. Two points must be input to
define the gradient of thickness change. Corresponding thickness values are specified for each point.
The adjusted gradient is related to the global co-ordinate system. It is advisable to input the two points
in place where the thickness change starts and ends. Otherwise it may happen that due to the
extrapolation of thickness, the final thickness value becomes negative, which would result in an error
message during the calculation of the project.
Example of a slab of variable thickness

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Note: The definition of a slab of variable thickness is a two-step procedure. First, a slab of a
constant thickness must be input. This slab may be then modified and changed into a slab of variable
thickness. The reason is that the "property" of variable thickness is bound to the particular nodes of the
slab that are not yet known in the phase of slab input. In other words, variable thickness is similar to a
haunch on a beam it is an additional property of a slab, not the basic, fundamental parameter.

The effect of LCS Z-axis parameter


Parameter LCS Z-axis controls the direction of local Z-axis of the slab. It should be remembered that
the parameter might affect the direction of load defined in LCS of the slab.
normal orientation

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swapped orientation

Wall
Parameters
Name

Defines the name of the wall.

Type

Specifies the type of the slab. The user may select from types: (i)
plate, (ii) wall, and (iii) shell.

Material

Defines the material of the wall.

Thickness

The thickness of the wall is always constant.

Thickness value

The thickness value must be defined.

Member system-plane at

The input-plane (system-plane) of the input slab may be in the


mid-surface of the slab, at the top surface or bottom surface of the
slab.

Eccentricity

If required, eccentricity of the slab may be input.

LCS type

Defines the type of the local coordinate system of the slab.

LCS Z axis

The orientation of the local Z axis of the slab may be easily turned
around. This check box does it.

LCS angle

The direction of the local X-axis may be input here.

Layer

Selects the layer of the slab.

Height

Defines the height of the wall.

Insertion point

The wall may be input using its base or its top edge.

The effect of LCS Z-axis parameter


Parameter LCS Z-axis controls the direction of local Z-axis of the wall. It should be remembered that
the parameter might affect the direction of load defined in LCS of the wall. For more information see
chapter Plate.

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Slab components
Introduction to slab components
There may be a situation that it is convenient to separate a part of a main slab and specify special
parameters for this part. SCIA.ESA PT enables the user to define various types of such a part.
Subregion

A subregion is a slab defined inside the main slab. This subregion


may be of different thickness, material, etc. than the main slab.
For example, a subregion may be useful to define a local
thickening of the slab, to implement area load acting on a part of
the slab only, etc.

Opening

An opening is just an opening in the main slab.

Internal edge

An internal edge is a line intersecting the main slab. For example,


line load may be defined along this edge.

The number of subregions and opening in the main slab is not limited. Individual subregions and
openings may even overlap the main region or intersect each other. The final shape is found as the
intersection of all defined subregions and openings with the order of definition taken into account.
It is not possible, e.g. to insert a subregion into an opening. However, it is possible to do so if at least
one edge of the subregion lies on any edge of the opening.
On the other hand, it is possible to define a main slab into an opening inserted into another main slab.

Subregion of a slab
Parameters
Name

Defines the name of the subregion of the slab.

Material

Defines the material of the subregion of the slab.

Thickness

It is possible to input a slab of constant or variable thickness.

Thickness value

For constant thickness, just one thickness value must be defined.


For variable thickness, two thickness values must be defined.

Variable thickness type

If the variable thickness type is selected, the user must specify the
direction in which the thickness varies.

Member system-plane at

The input-plane (system-plane) of the input slab may be in the


mid-surface of the slab, at the top surface or bottom surface of the
slab.

Eccentricity

If required, eccentricity of the subregion of the slab may be input.

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Opening in a slab
Parameters
Name

Defines the name of the opening.

An opening may be input in two ways: (i) as a normal opening that lies fully inside the main slab, (ii) as
an opening that overlaps the main slab such an opening then serves as a "cut" to the main slab.

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normal opening

opening as a cut
definition phase

opening as a cut
final shape

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Internal edge in a slab


Parameters
Name

Defines the name of the internal edge.

Internal node in a slab


If required, it is possible to define a node inside any slab. This node may be used to attach another
entity, for example.
Example
The following couple of pictures show an example of an internal node. The first picture shows the
symbol that is used to depict an internal node in a slab.

The second picture then shows the tooltip that appears on the screen whenever the mouse cursor passes
over the node.

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Rib in the slab


General parameters
Name

Defines the name of the rib.

Type

Informs about the type of the entity.

Cross-section

Defines the cross-section of the rib.

Alignment

Specifies the alignment of the rib:


Bottom
The rib is attached to the bottom of the slab. The eccentricity is
calculated automatically as the sum of the half of slab thickness
and the distance from the bottom slab face to the centroid of the
cross-section.
Top
The rib is attached to the top of the slab. The eccentricity is
calculated automatically as the sum of the half of slab thickness
and the distance from the top slab face to the centroid of the crosssection.
Centre
Middle axis of the rib and the slab are coincident. The final
eccentricity is equal to zero. The calculation model shows a partial
doubling of stiffness of the (i) slab and (ii) the rib.

Effective width

Specifies how the effective width is defined:


Default
The effective width is determined as a multiple of slab width. The
multiple can be defined in Calculation, Mesh > Solver setup >
Number of thicknesses of rib plate.
Width
The effective width is determined as a multiple of the thickness.
The multiple can be input below this parameter.
Number of thicknesses
The effective width is explicitly specified. The value can be input
below..

for internal forces

Two types of effective width can be input. Both the value are used
for the modelling of composite cross-section. Value "for internal
forces" is used to recalculate internal of the created composite
cross-section section. Value "for check" (see below) is used to
define the cross-section for the needs of design and check of
reinforced cross-section.
Usually, a rectangular section is attached to the slab creating the
final T or L section. However, also other library cross-sections can
be used to form various composite sections (e.g. steel I section +
concrete reinforced plate).

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for check

See above.

FEM type

Defines the type of finite element:


Standard
The standard 1D finite element is used. The element can transfer
both moments, axial and shear forces.
Axial force only
Truss finite element is applied. This element is capable of
transferring the axial force only.

Buckling and relative


lengths

Can be used to specify buckling lengths.

Layer

Specifies the layer of the rib.

2D member

Informs about the "associated" slab.

General parameters
Length

Tells the length of the rib.

Shape

Informs about the shape of the entity.

Beg. node

Specifies the starting node of the rib. This parameter can be edited,
which would affect the location and length of the rib. Before
editing, you must find the name of node you want to use as the
beginning node.

End node

Similar to above. Defines the end-node of the rib.

CAD model
This set of parameters can be used to specify the CAD shape of the rib. The CAD shape is important
especially if drawings and/or impressive pictures of the structure are to be made.
See chapter Geometry > CAD model > Parameters of CAD model for more details.

Defining a new slab


Defining a new plate
Procedure for the definition of a new plate
1. Open function Plane slab:
a. either use menu function Tree > Structure > Plane slab,
b. or open tree menu service Structure and call function Plane slab.
2. Input and adjust the required parameters.
3. Confirm with [OK].
4. Input individual vertices of the slab.
5. Close the function.

Note: If two overlapping slabs are input, the question that arises is "what property should be
assigned to the intersection of the two slabs?" The answer is simple: "The parameters of the later input
slab are those of the highest priority."

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Defining a new wall


Procedure for the definition of a new wall
1. Open function Wall:
a. either use menu function Tree > Structure > Wall,
b. or open tree menu service Structure and call function Wall.
2. Input and adjust the required parameters.
3. Confirm with [OK].
4. Input individual vertices of the wall.
5. Close the function.

Defining a new subregion


Procedure for the definition of a new subregion
1. Open function Subregion:
a. either use menu function Tree > Structure > Subregion,
b. or open tree menu service Structure and call function Plane component > Plane slab.
2. Input and adjust the required parameters.
3. Confirm with [OK].
1. Select the slab where the subregion is to be inserted.
2. Press [Esc].
4. Input individual vertices of the subregion.
5. Close the function.

Note: As soon as the function is invoked and the master slab selected, working plane is
automatically moved to the plane of the selected master slab. When the definition of the slab-component
is over, the working plane returns back to its original position.

Defining a new opening


Procedure for the definition of a new opening
3. Open function plane Opening:
a. either use menu function Tree > Structure > Opening,
b. or open tree menu service Structure and call function Plane component > Opening.
4. Input and adjust the required parameters.
5. Confirm with [OK].
6. Select the slab where the opening is to be inserted.
7. Press [Esc].
8. Input individual vertices of the opening.
9. Close the function.

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Note: As soon as the function is invoked and the master slab selected, working plane is
automatically moved to the plane of the selected master slab. When the definition of the slab-component
is over, the working plane returns back to its original position.

Defining a new internal edge


Procedure for the definition of a new internal edge
1. Open function plane Internal edge:
a. either use menu function Tree > Structure > Internal edge,
b. or open tree menu service Structure and call function Plane component > Internal edge.
2. Input and adjust the required parameters.
3. Confirm with [OK].
10. Select the slab where the internal edge is to be inserted.
11. Press [Esc].
4. Input the starting and end point of the internal edge.
5. Close the function.

Note: As soon as the function is invoked and the master slab selected, working plane is
automatically moved to the plane of the selected master slab. When the definition of the slab-component
is over, the working plane returns back to its original position.

Defining an internal node in a slab


Procedure for the definition of a new internal node in a slab
1. Open function Internal node:
a. either use menu function Tree > Structure > Internal node,
b. or open tree menu service Structure and call function 2D member component > Internal
node.
2. Select the slab where you need to insert the rib into.
3. Press [Esc].
4. Insert the node.
5. Close the function.

Defining a new rib


Procedure for the definition of a new plate rib
1. Open function Plate rib:
a. either use menu function Tree > Structure > Plate rib,
b. or open tree menu service Structure and call function 2D components component > Plate rib.
2. Input and adjust the required parameters.
3. Confirm with [OK].
4. Select the slab where you need to insert the rib into.

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5. Press [Esc].
6. Input the starting and end point of the rib.
7. Close the function.

Note: There are a few limitations concerning the rib:


(i) the rib must not "overlap" the slab, the rib must be attached to the slab along its whole length,
(ii) the rib must not intersect an opening or a subregion,
(iii) the rib however may go along the edge of an opening.
(iv) a geometric manipulation with an earlier defined rib may result in an forbidden configuration of
the rib; Such a situation is corrected during the Check of data before calculation.
Note: As soon as the function is invoked and the master slab selected, working plane is
automatically moved to the plane of the selected master slab. When the definition of the slab-component
is over, the working plane returns back to its original position.

Geometric manipulations
Geometric manipulations with slabs
Slabs like any other entity may be moved, shifted, rotated, etc. Standard geometry-manipulation
functions may be applied to slabs with a few exceptions:
a slab is manipulated (i.e. copied, moved, etc.) including all its components (i.e. subregions, openings,
etc.),
slab components may be freely manipulated inside the area of the main slab,
it is not possible to copy or move any slab component to another main slab,
if node or nodes (vertices) of a slab (both main and component) are manipulated, the operation is valid
only if the final slab remains planar (i.e. all the vertices of a slab must lie in one plane both before and
after the manipulation),
geometry manipulation functions applicable to slabs are: (i) copy (single and multiple), (ii) move, (iii)
stretch, (iv) rotate, (v) scale, (vi) mirror.
individual nodes of a slab may be moved to a new location using the Drag&Drop feature or via standard
geometry manipulation functions like move, rotate, mirror, stretch, scale.

Note: To move a node, you must first select the node and then invoke the required function (either
the Drag&Drop feature or any of standard geometry manipulation functions.

Editing the shape of a slab


A slab is in fact a closed polygon. Consequently, the shape of a slab can be modified using functions for
editing of polygons: (i) insert vertex, (ii) remove vertex, (iii) move vertex. The latter is possible through
either (i) direct modification of vertex coordinates in the property window (available for selected
vertices) or (ii) drag-and-drop feature.
Example
Lets demonstrate the feature on an example. Lets have a rectangular plate and lets assume that we
need to change it to a L-shape plate.

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First, use function Modify > Polyline edit > Edit polyline insert node and insert two vertices into
the required slab edge. One of the inserted vertices should in the corner of the "flange" of the final Lshape. The other vertex can be inserted anywhere between the first inserted vertex and the "flangeedge" of the plate.

Now, move the intermediate-vertex to its final location.

And finally, move the other "flange" vertex to its final position.

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In addition, individual slab edges may be treated as a standard polyline segment or "line", which means
that they may be converted to arcs.
Example
Lets take the L-shaped plate created in the previous example. Lets call function Modify > Curves edit
> Convert line to circle arc. In this first step simply define an arbitrary arc (turned to the right side, of
course) as it will be modified to the final shape in the second step.

Finally, use function Modify > Curves edit > Edit curve arc by radius to input the proper final
radius of the circular arc.

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Catalogue blocks
Introduction to catalogue blocks
Catalogue blocks represent a powerful tool that allows the user to define the "whole" structure in a
single step. The word "whole" has been put into the quotation marks as the structure created here may
either (i) really form the whole structure that should be analysed, or (ii) be just a part of a larger,
complex model.
The catalogue block is a smaller, or we can say standard or template, structure the geometry of which
has been defined in advance by the developer of SCIA.ESA PT. The user has to specify only the
dimensions and properties of his/her particular application. The whole geometry-definition process is
confined to a simple filling in of a short table.
SCIA.ESA PT offers a wide range of catalogue blocks (standard template structures) such as 2D and 3D
lattice girders, towers (masts), 2D and 3D frames and much more. The procedure for their definition has
been unified and, therefore, once the user becomes accustomed to the definition of one of the catalogue
block types, he/she is capable of inserting all other types.

Overview of catalogue blocks


Catalogue blocks, or we can say standard template structures, that are accessible in SCIA.ESA PT can
be divided into groups according to their shape and dimension:
beam

A beam of variable cross-section.

planar frame

Simple two-dimensional frames.

frame 3D

A couple of classical 3D frames.

tower 2D

A set of 2D masts (analogous to 3D masts).

tower / mast

A series of lattice masts with most usual variants of diagonal arrangement.

two-dimensional lattice
girder - straight variant

Simple 2D lattice girders with various arrangements of diagonals and


verticals.

two-dimensional lattice
girder - curved variant

A set of 2D lattice girders with curved chords and different arrangement


and number of diagonals and verticals.

three-dimensional lattice
girder - straight variant

Practical variants of three-dimensional lattice girders with alternative


arrangement of diagonals, verticals and chord elements.

three-dimensional lattice
girder - curved variant

Several possible arrangements of diagonals, verticals and chord elements


for 3D lattice girders with curved chord.

curve

A set of commonly used curves such as a circle, ellipse, parabola, etc.

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Catalogue block types


Catalogue block - Beam
Catalogue block Beam represents an I-beam of a cross-section varying along the span. In cross-section
the beam is shaped like letter I with haunches in the inner corners between the flanges and the wall. In
longitudinal section, the beam is symmetrical and resembles of letter A. However, the longitudinal
shape may be affected by the concrete values of individual beam dimensions.

Beam parameters
Name

The name is used for unique and straightforward identification of the


catalogue block.

Dimensions

The dimensions define the size and consequently also the shape of the
beam. Meaning of individual dimension parameters can be clearly seen on
the accompanying picture.

Cross-section

Catalogue block Beam always requires the definition of its cross-section


before the specification of dimensions.

Catalogue block - 2D frame


Catalogue block Plane frame (2D frame) is a simple 2D frame. There are several types of the shape
available.

2D Frame parameters
Name

The name is used for unique and straightforward identification of the


catalogue block.

Dimensions

The dimensions define the size and consequently also the shape of the
frame. Meaning of individual dimension parameters can be clearly seen on
the accompanying picture.

Cross-section

Separate cross-section may be defined for columns and cross-beam of the


frame.

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Catalogue block - 3D frame


There are two variants of 3D frame available in SCIA.ESA PT: a regular orthogonal frame and a
"tapering" one. For both variants a dialogue of the same type is opened and must be filled in.

3D Frame parameters
Name

The name is used for unique and straightforward identification of the


catalogue block.

Dimensions

The dimensions define the size and consequently also the shape of the
frame. Meaning of individual dimension parameters can be clearly seen on
the accompanying picture.

Cross-section

Three different cross-sections must be defined for this type of catalogue


block. Each cross-section is used for members oriented in one direction:
along X-axis, along Y-axis, along Z-axis.

Catalogue block - 2D lattice girder


A wider range of plane lattice girders is available in the catalogue block library. They cover the most
often used types of girders.
Separate sets have been prepared for both straight and curved variants of plane lattice girders. The
manipulation with girders, procedure of definition, and meaning of parameters is the same for both.

Lattice girder parameters


Name

The name is used for unique and straightforward identification of the


catalogue block.

Dimensions

The dimensions define the size and consequently also the shape of the
lattice girder. Meaning of individual dimension parameters can be clearly
seen on the accompanying picture.
The parameters define not only the size and shape, but also number of
spans of the girder.

Cross-section

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Cross-sections may be defined separately for individual parts of the girder:


upper chord, lower chord, verticals, and diagonals.

SCIA.ESA PT

Catalogue block - 3D lattice girder


A wider range of space lattice girders is available in the catalogue block library. They cover the most
often used types of girders.
Separate sets have been prepared for both straight and curved variants of 3D lattice girders. The
manipulation with girders, procedure of definition, and meaning of parameters is the same for both.

Lattice girder parameters


Name

The name is used for unique and straightforward identification of the


catalogue block.

Dimensions

The dimensions define the size and consequently also the shape of the
lattice girder. Meaning of individual dimension parameters can be clearly
seen on the accompanying picture.
The parameters define not only the size and shape, but also number of
spans of the girder.

Cross-section

Cross-sections may be defined separately for individual parts of the girder:


upper chord, lower chord, verticals, and diagonals.

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Catalogue block - Mast


SCIA.ESA PT offers a whole set of masts, or we can say towers, with different arrangement of
diagonals. The user thus can select the required type. It may however happen that none of the predefined shapes satisfies particular needs and the user needs to define a mast of type that is not in the
library. Then it is possible to select the most similar, or the closest, type, insert it into the project and
subsequently apply modification functions (e.g. delete, move, copy, etc.) to adjust the shape as
necessary.

Mast parameters
Name

The name is used for unique and straightforward identification of the


catalogue block.

Dimensions

The dimensions define the size and consequently also the shape of the
mast. Meaning of individual dimension parameters can be clearly seen on
the accompanying picture.

Cross-section

Three different cross-sections must be defined for this type of catalogue


block. Each cross-section is used for members oriented in one direction:
horizontal beams, vertical (or inclined) beams, and diagonals.

Note: If the current project is of 3D type, the user may choose from a set of three-dimensional
masts. It the project is of 2D type, only two-dimensional musts are available.

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Catalogue block - Curve


Catalogue blocks provide not only for simple structures, but also for common geometric shapes such as
curves. A whole set of basic curves is available in SCIA.ESA PT. For each curve shape (e.g. circle,
ellipse, hyperbole, etc.) the user can select the most appropriate way of its definition.
Together with the shape also a cross-section is defined and as a result a curved beam is created. The
generated beam is not smooth-curved, but the exact curve of the shape is substituted with a polygon of
straight segments.
A big advantage of the pre-defined curve catalogue blocks is that not only the whole curve, but only a
required segment of it can be defined. Thus the field of application becomes much wider for this
SCIA.ESA PT feature.

Curve types
circle (x)

A circle segment defined by means of radius and a set of X coordinates.

circle (y)

A circle segment defined by means of radius and a set of Y coordinates.

circle (f)

A circle segment defined by means of radius and a central


angle.

ellipse (x)

An ellipse segment defined by means of maximum and


minimum radius and a couple of X co-ordinates.

ellipse (y)

An ellipse segment defined by means of maximum and


minimum radius and a couple of X co-ordinates.

ellipse (f)

An ellipse segment defined by means of maximum and


minimum radius and a central angle.

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parabola (x)

A parabolic segment defined by means of its height, length


and a couple of X co-ordinates.

parabola (y)

A parabolic segment defined by means of its height, length


and a couple of Y co-ordinates.

hyperbole (x)

A hyperbolic segment defined by means of a X co-ordinates.

hyperbole (y)

A hyperbolic segment defined by means of a X co-ordinates.

hyperbole (f)

A hyperbolic segment defined by means of two central angle.

chain curve
(x)

A "chain-curve" segment defined by means of X co-ordinates


of chain-curve ends.

chain curve (s)

A "chain-curve" segment defined by means of chain-curve end


co-ordinates measured along the curve.

sinusoid

A segment of a standard sinusoid.

spiral

A segment of a spiral.

Curve parameters
Name

The name is used for unique and straightforward identification of the


catalogue block.

Dimensions and parameters


of shape

The dimensions and other parameters define the size and the shape of the
appropriate curve. Meaning of individual dimension parameters can be
clearly seen on the accompanying picture.

Number of straight segments


per curve

This number specifies how many line segments is used to substitute the
exact curve shape. The higher the number is the smoother is the final
generated curve.

Cross-section

The generated "curved" beam has got a constant cross-section. If


necessary, it may later altered via standard beam-modification functions.

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Defining a new catalogue block


Catalogue block manager
The Catalogue block manager is a tool that provides for all the possible operations related to the
definition or editing of catalogue blocks. The user may to:
define a new catalogue block,
select an already defined catalogue block and insert it repeatedly into the project,
choose an already defined catalogue block, modify it as required and insert the modified variant into the
project.
The Catalogue block manager is one of the managers integrated in SCIA.ESA PT and its layout and
operation are identical to other SCIA.ESA PT Managers.
The Catalogue block manager is open when function Catalogue block is activated. It may represent
one of the steps in the General procedure for the definition of a new catalogue block.
Generally, there are several ways to open the Catalogue block manager:
Tree menu function Library > Catalogue blocks.
Tree menu function Structure > Catalogue blocks.
Menu function Libraries > Catalogue blocks.

Note: Which way is actually chosen depends on two factors: (i) where (what part of the
program) is the manager called from, and (ii) habits of a particular user.

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Defining a new catalogue block


The process for the definition (or we can say insertion) of a new catalogue block into a SCIA.ESA PT
project consists of a few steps.

The procedure for the definition of a catalogue block


1. Call function Catalogue block. There are several way to do so:
a. Use tree menu function Library > Catalogue block.
b. Activate menu function Libraries > Catalogue block.
c. Open service Structure in the menu tree and then call function Catalogue block.
2. The function opens the Catalogue block manager. If no catalogue block has been defined yet in the
project, the program automatically opens New catalogue block dialogue (see point 4 of the procedure.
3. Select function New in the Catalogue block manager dialogue.
4. From the New catalogue block dialogue select the required type of catalogue block (standard
structure).
5. Fill in the catalogue block parameters (name, dimensions, cross-section type, etc.).
6. Review the catalogue block parameters.
7. Close the Catalogue block manager.
8. Insert the catalogue block into the modelling space. This step may be repeated as many times as
required. This insertion phase is a standard "insert new entity" action and can be closed accordingly.

Note 1: Step 2 may be preceded by one more intermediate step. If no cross-section has been defined
when the Catalogue block manager is being opened, the dialogue for the definition of a new crosssection is opened first. After at least one cross-section is defined, dialogue and Cross-section manager
are closed, then the Catalogue block manager is finally opened.
Note 2: Step 8 is available ONLY IF the Catalogue block function was called from within service
Structure. Otherwise, the catalogue blocks defined in steps 1 to 7 are added into the project and saved
with it when the project is saved, but they are not included into the model.
Note 3: When a catalogue block has been defined and is being inserted into the modelling space,
the mouse cursor is attached to one of the block nodes. If required, the user may change this node and
define a new insertion point of the catalogue block. To do so, button [Change the insertion point] ( )
that is located at the end of the toolbar above the command line must be pressed. The catalogue block is
then temporarily placed "somewhere" into the modelling space and the user may select the new
insertion point (using any SNAP options that may be convenient for this). Once the new insertion point
is selected, the mouse cursor is attached to it and the user may finish the insertion of the catalogue
block.

Selecting the catalogue block type


The selection of the required catalogue block type or types can be done in a New catalogue block
dialogue. The dialogue consists of the following control and information elements:
List of available catalogue
block types

It contains all the available catalogue block types.

List of possible variants for


the current type

It offers possible sub-types for the selected type.

Drawing of the currently


selected variant

It shows the particular selected catalogue block.

List of already defined


catalogue blocks

It lists all he already defined (inserted) catalogue block.

Control buttons

They provide for the control of the dialogue.

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List of available catalogue block types


The dialogue offers a list of available catalogue block types. The contents of the list may vary
depending on the current configuration of the program. The list provides for the selection of required
type of standard structure (e.g. mast, 2D truss girder, etc.).

List of possible variants (sub-types) for the current type


This dialogue element displays a set of graphical symbols (icons) representing the individual variants of
the catalogue block type that is currently selected in the List of available catalogue block types.

Drawing of the currently selected variant


A small window displays a drawing of the currently selected variant of the currently selected catalogue
block type. A short "description name" of the particular variant is added to the drawing mainly to
facilitate the identification of a particular catalogue block sub-type and type.

List of already defined catalogue blocks


In addition to the available catalogue block types, the dialogue displays a list containing all the
catalogue block that have been defined (i.e. inserted into the project) so far.

Control Buttons
Button [OK]
Button [OK] confirms the selection of a particular type and variant. Once this button is pressed a
dialogue for editing of catalogue block parameters is opened. When the parameters are specified and
confirmed, a new catalogue block is added to the List of already defined catalogue blocks.

Button [Close]
This button closes the New catalogue block dialogue.

Specifying the block parameters


The specification of catalogue block parameters can be done in a dialogue for editing of a particular
catalogue block. This dialogue is opened automatically once the user selects and confirms the required
type in the New catalogue block type dialogue. In addition, the editing dialogue can be opened any
time later via the [Edit] button of the Catalogue block manager.
The editing dialogue consists of three main parts:

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Graphical window

It displays the particular catalogue block. For some types it includes


dimension lines, labels, etc.

Property table

It comprises all the parameters the catalogue block and provides for their
insertion and editing .

Legend drawing

It shows the meaning of individual parameters on a drawing of a sample


catalogue block structure.

Control buttons

They close the editing dialogue in the required way.

Graphical window
The graphical window displays the catalogue block. For some of the types also dimension lines and
labels are available. The drawing immediately reflects any modifications of geometry parameters made
in the property table.

Property table
The property table contains all the parameters that are necessary for full definition of the selected
catalogue block structure. The parameters can be both input or edited in this table.
The parameters can be divided into three groups: name, geometry parameters, and specification of
cross-section or cross-sections. The number of cross-sections that must be specifies depends on the type
of the catalogue block. E.g. curves require just one cross-section, and e.g. 3D frames need three ones.
If the graphical window displays also dimension lines, then there exists a special interconnection
between the property table and graphical window. The principles, main features and advantages of this
interconnection are described in detail in book Cross-sections, chapter Specifying sectional parameters
and properties.

Control buttons
Button [OK]
This button closes the dialogue and accepts all the inputs and changes made in it.
If a new catalogue block has been defined in the editing dialogue it is inserted into the project.
If an existing catalogue block has been modified here, the changes are taken into account and saved into
the project.

Button [Cancel]
This button closes the dialogue and all the inputs and changes made in it are abandoned.
If a new catalogue block has been defined in the editing dialogue it is NOT inserted into the project.
If an existing catalogue block has been modified here, the changes are not taken into account.

Reviewing the block parameters


There are a few ways to see, scrutinise, and edit (if necessary) the parameters of a catalogue block.
Property table in the
Catalogue block manager

The Catalogue block manager contains a vertically oriented window that


displays the parameters of currently selected catalogue block.

Property table in the


dialogue for editing of a
catalogue block

Each dialogue for editing of a catalogue block contains a property table


with all the parameters of the edited catalogue block.

Document-style view in the


preview window

This is the most sophisticated kind of display for parameters of a catalogue


block. It is accessible from within the dialogue for editing of a catalogue
block.

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Property table in the Catalogue block manager


The property table in the Catalogue block manager provides for quick overview of parameters of
individual catalogue blocks. It is possible to edit some of the parameters, however, this table is not
primarily intended for thorough editing of a catalogue block.
If a catalogue block should be modified, the catalogue block editing dialogue should be invoked via
button [Edit].

Property table in the dialogue for editing of a catalogue block


The property table in this dialogue provides for both lucid overview of the catalogue block parameters
and their straightforward modification.

Document-style view in the preview window


The parameters of a catalogue block can be displayed in a readable way in the preview window. The
preview window then displays a table with all the catalogue block parameters sorted in it.
The table is in fact a standard SCIA.ESA PT document table and consequently its format can be adjusted
to meet any specific requirements. The adjustment can be done the same way as with any other
document table.
This display style can be invoked from within the Catalogue block manager by pressing button [Text
output].

User blocks
Introduction to user blocks
SCIA.ESA PT enables the user to make a library of his/her projects that are used over and over again.
These projects may be at any time included into a newly created project or appended to an earlier
created and currently edited project.
The projects in this user-created library are called User blocks and the library is called User block
library.

Using the user blocks


The application of user blocks can be divided into three independent steps. The steps must be carried
out in the given order and all of them must be made.

Creating the user block


A user block can be created as a standard project. There are no explicit restrictions to it. Usually, the
user will be working on his/her project and either at the end or some time during the design phase s/he
decides to make a user block of the current state of the project.
Then the only thing that must be done is save the project to the disk. It may be useful, however not
compulsory, to use function Save As and give the project such a name that gives a hint about the
structure in the project.

Storing the user block to the library


In order to be usable as a user block, the project must be stored in the User block library folder (see
Program settings > Directory settings). This may be achieved in two ways.
The user specifies the proper path in the Save As dialogue (see paragraph above) and saves the project
directly to the User block library folder.
The user saves the project to his/her common project folder and then copies the file to the User block
library folder. The file may be copied in any file-management tool (e.g. Windows Explorer, Total
Commander, My Computer dialogue, etc.)

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Tip: The user blocks may be stored not only in the given User block library folder, but they
may be arranged in a tree of subfolders. The subfolders may then group user blocks that have
something in common. This arrangement may lead to easier and clearer application of user
blocks, especially if a long time passes from the time they were created and stored.

Inserting the user block into another project


The procedure for insertion of a user block into a project
1.

Open service Structure:


a. either by means of tree menu function Structure,
b. or by means of menu function Tree > Structure,
c. or by means of icon Structure on toolbar Project.

2.

Select and activate function User blocks.

3.

A User block wizard opens on the screen. Its left hand side window shows the organisation of the User
block library folder, i.e. it shows any possible subfolders. The right hand side window then displays all
available user blocks saved in the appropriate folder or subfolder.

4.

Select the required folder.

5.

Select the required User block.

6.

Click [OK] in order to insert the block to the current project.

7.

Position the user block to the desired place and click the left mouse button to put the block there.

8.

If required, repeat the previous step as many times as required or necessary.

Note: It the User block is a parameterised project, the program asks the user to provide all
necessary parameters in order to complete the definition of the user block.

Moving the entities


Introduction to moving of entities
The preparation of a model is rarely completed simply by insertion of new entities such as beams, slabs,
loads, supports, etc. Most likely you will need to modify the inserted objects in some way in order to
create the model you really need.
SCIA.ESA PT provides a whole range of functions for moving of entities. For some intriguing
manipulations the functions may have to be combined in order to obtain the required effect. Sometimes,
there may be a few ways to obtain the same result. If so, it will be solely on the user which concrete
procedure will be selected and carried out.
The move operations can be sorted by:
the entity type which is being moved,
the trajectory followed by the entity that is being moved.

Type of manipulated entity


move of a geometric entity the description of which is given below,
move of an additional-data entity (such as load, support, etc.) which is described in a separate chapter.

Trajectory followed by the manipulated entity


(simple) move

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It shifts the object from one position to another. The trajectory is a straight
line and the orientation of the object remains unchanged.

SCIA.ESA PT

rotation

It rotates the object around a given point. The trajectory is a circle or a part
of a circle.

mirroring

It makes a "mirror image" of the object.

Thus, for geometric entities one can use the following set of move functions:
(Simple) Move

Move via a property table


Move using a menu function
Move by means of Drag & Drop feature
Move via the right mouse button pop-up menu

Rotation

Rotation by means of changing one vertex location


Rotation using a menu function
Rotation via the right mouse button pop-up menu

Mirroring

In addition to move of entities, some other modification functions can be applied, such as copying,
deleting, changing of dimensions, connecting and disconnecting of members, dividing and joining of
members, etc. These functions are described in separate chapters.

Tip: If the modification is supposed to be done with a large or complex model or if the
modification itself is going to be rather excessive, it is highly recommended to make a backup
copy of the project prior to the intended changes. The program contains UNDO function,
nevertheless, it is always better to have got a backup copy so that one can:
return to the original if the manipulations lead to a state that is even less suitable than the
original,
compare the results of both variants if the results of the modified structure may seem to
be strange or unexpected.
Note: Please, note that any kind of model modification will lead to the necessity to carry our all the
previously performed calculations once more because the change in the structure geometry, the repositioning of load, and the modification of boundary conditions do result in a different distribution of
internal forces.

General rules for move of entities


There exists a set of rules that are followed when nodes or beams change their position. The rules, for
example, guarantee that an undefined state of geometry or otherwise forbidden situation wont arise
once the move operation has been carried out.

Linked versus absolute node


SCIA.ESA PT uses two types of nodes: absolute and linked. If a modification function is carried out
with a part of a structure model, the result will depend on the type of nodes that are included in the
structure part being moved. The differences may occur for move of separate nodes as well as for move
of whole beams (and of course, for move of both nodes and beams at the same time).
The rules that are applied during move operations are given below. The rules are divided into two
separate parts. The first one deals with move operation that includes nodes only. The other part
describes that rules that are followed when either beams or beams and nodes together are being moved.

Rules for move of nodes


When an absolute node or several absolute nodes are moved, the beam (or beams) connected to the
node before the move operation remains connected also after the operation. It is not possible to "tear"
the node out of the beam. This feature may be used to e.g. rotate, shorten, or prolong a beam.

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If all the nodes relating to a particular beam are selected for the move operation, the result is the move
of the whole beam. This feature can be therefore deliberately used for the repositioning of beams.
An absolute node can be moved to an arbitrary new position. The connected beam follows the move of
the node and, as a result, the beam connected to the moved node may change its orientation or length
or both. A curved beam may also change its curvature.
A linked node can be moved in two ways. First, it may be moved the same way as an absolute node.
Second, it can be shifted in a way so that it remains bound to the beam it relates to. The latter result is
achieved if nodal co-ordinates are modified in the property table.

Rules for move of beams


When a beam is being moved to a new location, it may remain attached to the rest of the model (with
simultaneous distortion of the model) or it may separate from the remaining part of the model. Which
variant actually happens depends on the type of connection between the moved and unmoved beams
(See below).
If the beam that is being moved is connected to the attached beams by means of linked nodes, the
connection remains unchanged and the ends of the connected beams move together with the moved
beam. That means that the attached beams may change its orientation, size, curvature, or both.
If the connection between the moved and attached beams is NOT made via linked nodes, the beam that
is being moved is separated from the structure.
If a beam is placed to a new location, the program verifies whether some unattached nodes would not
remain in the original beam location. If so, such nodes are automatically moved together with the
beam. If not, the beam is moved and new end nodes are automatically created for the beam in its target
location.
If the beam end nodes in its target location fit into some of the existing nodes, the existing nodes are
assigned as the end nodes of the beam and no new nodes are created.
For more information about nodes read chapter Nodes.
Practical examples of node type influence
Lets assume a simple plane frame consisting of two columns and a horizontal beam.

As the first step, lets consider that the right hand column is connected to the horizontal beam by means
of a linked node. The linked node is marked by the short double line drawn at the connection of the
members.
Now, lets move the horizontal beam up and right. The result can be seen in the figure below. The right
hand column has remained connected to the horizontal beam, has inclined to the right and has changed
its length. On the other hand, the left hand column has stayed in its original position without any
change. There is no linked node on the horizontal beam in the point of connection with this column.

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In the second step of the example, lets assume that the linked node is missing also at the connection of
the horizontal beam with the right hand column. Consequently, when the beam is moved (again up and
right), both the columns undergo no change at all (see the figure below).

Moving the geometric entities


Moving an entity via the property table
If you want to move a node or a beam to a new location and you know the co-ordinates of the final
position, you can define the co-ordinates directly in the property dialogue.
When moving a single node, its new position can be defined simply be typing the new X, Y, and Z coordinates. When moving two or more nodes and when moving a beam or beams, one must be aware of
the fact that only some of the co-ordinates may be allowed to be changed.
For example, if you want to move a vertical column, it is not possible to move it in vertical direction.
The only change that is allowed is the horizontal move. This limitation stems from the following:
In order to move an entity using the discussed approach, you have to select its end points, i.e. its end
nodes.
The move is carried out via the change of the position of these end nodes.
Assuming the situation that two nodes located one above the other, it is illogical to modify their Z coordinate, as the two nodes would become identical. Therefore, only X and Y co-ordinates may be
modified in the example under consideration.
Similar rules are applied for entities oriented in a different than vertical direction.

The procedure for move of a node or nodes


1. Select the nodes you want to move.
2. In the property table, modify the co-ordinate or co-ordinates you require to.
3. Confirm each modified co-ordinate with [Enter] key.
4. After each confirmation, you will see the response in the graphical window, as the model will be
regenerated.
5. Clear the selection (unless you want to continue to work with the selected nodes)

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The procedure for move of a beam or beams


1. Select end nodes of the beams you want to move.
2. In the property table, modify the co-ordinate or co-ordinates you require to.
3. Confirm each modified co-ordinate with [Enter] key.
4. After each confirmation, you will see the response in the graphical window, as the model will be
regenerated.
5. Clear the selection (unless you want to continue to work with the selected nodes)

Moving an entity via a menu function


Function Move entity can be activated in two ways:
using menu item Modify > Move,
using the [Move] (

) icon on the Geometrical manipulations toolbar.

Both the approached call the same function for move of geometric entities.
The function works with selected entities and moves them to a new location. The selection can be made:
either before the activation of the function,
or after the activation of the function.

The Move operation done with a previously made selection of entities


If some entities have been selected prior to calling the Move function, the function requires only the
definition of the move vector and then it performs the move operation with the already selected entities.
Once the entities are moved to a new location, the function is closed and the selection of the entities
remains the same as it was before the function call.

The procedure for the Move operation done with a previously made selection of
entities
1. Make the selection of entities you want to be moved or adopt the existing selection made for other
purposes.
2. Call function Move.
3. Define the first reference point. (The vector along which the selected entities move is defined by two
reference points. The first reference point is the Start point and defines the origin of the move vector.
The second reference point is called the End point and defines the end point of the move vector.
Please note that the first reference point does not have to be located on the entity being moved, it can
be defined anywhere within the modelling space.)
4. Define the second reference point.
5. The move operation has been completed and the selection remains unchanged.

The Move operation done with a selection created as a part the function
procedure
The Move function can be, of course, called also without any existing, previously made selection. The
selection of the entities that are supposed to be moved is then made as a part of the Move operation
procedure. Once the operation is completed and the function closed, the selection is cleared and does
not exist any more. However, it may be renewed via the Previous selection function.

The procedure for the Move operation done with an afterwards-created selection of
entities
1. Call function Move.
2. Make the selection of entities you want to be moved.

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3. Press [Esc] key to end the selection part of the procedure.
4. Define the first reference point. (The vector along which the selected entities move is defined by two
reference points. The first reference point is the Start point and defines the origin of the move vector.
The second reference point is called the End point and defines the end point of the move vector.
Please note that the first reference point does not have to be located on the entity being moved, it can
be defined anywhere within the modelling space.)
5. Define the second reference point.
6. The move operation has been completed and the selection is cleared.

Moving an entity via the window pop-up menu


An entity or a set of entities can be moved quite simply using the pop-up menu that appears when you
click the right button of your mouse.

Move of one or more previously selected entities using the right mouse button
pop-up menu
The procedure is very similar to the procedure for the Move operation called from menu and done with
a previously made selection of entities. The only difference is the way the Move function is called.

The procedure for the Move operation using the right mouse button pop-up menu
1. Make the selection of entities you want to be moved or adopt the existing selection made for other
purposes.
2. Click the right mouse button.
3. A pop-up menu appears on the screen.
4. Select the Move function.
5. Define the first reference point. (The vector along which the selected entities move is defined by two
reference points. The first reference point is the Start point and defines the origin of the move vector.
The second reference point is called the End point and defines the end point of the move vector.
Please note that the first reference point does not have to be located on the entity being moved, it can
be defined anywhere within the modelling space.)
6. Define the second reference point.
7. The move operation has been completed and the selection remains unchanged.

Move of a single entity using the right mouse button pop-up menu
If only a single entity should be moved, the procedure may be even simpler and shorter. During this
approach, no selection is necessary to be made and, therefore, no selection remains active after the
operation.

The procedure for Move of a single entity using the right mouse button pop-up menu
1. Place the mouse cursor on the midline of the entity you want to move.
2. Click the right mouse button.
3. A pop-up menu appears on the screen.
4. Select the Move function.
5. Define the first reference point. (The vector along which the selected entities move is defined by two
reference points. The first reference point is the Start point and defines the origin of the move vector.
The second reference point is called the End point and defines the end point of the move vector.
Please note that the first reference point does not have to be located on the entity being moved, it can
be defined anywhere within the modelling space.)
6. Define the second reference point.
7. The move operation has been completed.

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Moving an entity using Drag&Drop feature


An entity can be moved by simple picking and dragging over the graphical window. This approach can
be applied on a single entity as well as on multiple entities.

The procedure for Drag&Drop move


1. Select the entity or entities you want to move
2. Place the mouse cursor on one of the selected entities near to its end point. This end point will become a
reference point for the move operation.
3. Press the left mouse button and hold it down.
4. Drag the mouse over the graphical window until the moved elements gets to the intended target
position. You will see the current position of the moved entities in thin-line style.
5. Release the mouse button.

Tip: The Drag&Drop approach for the move operation is convenient mainly if the target
position of the moved entity end-point lies (i) on a point of a grid, (ii) in an end-point of another
entity, (iii) in an intermediate point (e.g. one quarter, one half, centre of an arc, etc.) of another
entity, or (iv) in any other point that is easily and uniquely accessible by the mouse cursor.

Rotating an entity via its vertex co-ordinate change


If you want to rotate a beam and you know the final position of its vertices, you may do that in the
property table. This approach is useful mainly if one of the vertices remains in its original position, i.e.
if the vertex (the one that does not change its position) represents a centre of revolution.
In order to rotate a beam, select one of the end nodes of the beam and modify its co-ordinates. The
procedure of co-ordinate modification is the same as if you move a node.

Rotating an entity via a menu function


Function Rotate can be activated in two ways:
using menu item Modify > Rotate,
using the [Rotate] (

) icon on the Geometrical manipulations toolbar.

The function works with selected entities and rotates them to a new location. The selection can be
made:
either before the activation of the function,
or after the activation of the function.

The procedure for the rotation (selections is made after the function is started)
1. Call function Rotate.
2. Make the selection of entities you want to be rotated.
3. Press [Esc] to end the selection.
4. Define the centre of rotation.
5. Define the first reference point. (The angle of rotation is defined by means of two reference points.
These points together with the centre of rotation define the rotation angle.)
6. Define the second reference point.
7. The move operation has been completed and the selection is cleared.

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The alternative procedure for the rotation with pre-selected entities


1. Make the selection of entities you want to be rotated.
2. Call the Rotate function.
3. Define the centre of rotation.
4. Define the first reference point. (The angle of rotation is defined by means of two reference points.
These points together with the centre of rotation define the rotation angle.)
5. Define the second reference point.
6. The move operation has been completed and the selection remains as it was prior to calling the rotation
function.

Rotating an entity via the right mouse button pop-up menu


The procedure for the rotation of entities using the window pop-up menu is very similar to the same
procedure for the move of entities. The only difference is that instead of two reference points the user
has to define the centre of rotation and two reference points.
For details see chapters Moving an entity via the window pop-up menu and Rotating an entity via a
menu function.

Rotating an entity using Drag&Drop feature


The Drag&Drop feature can be in some special cases applied also for the rotation of an entity. During
the Drag&Drop operation, just one of the end point of a beam can be moved to another location. If
some specific conditions are satisfied, the result of the operation may be the rotation of a beam.
The conditions that must be fulfilled are:
One of the beams end-points must also be the centre of rotation.
The other end-point must be the point that is being Drag&Dropp-ed.
The original and target position of the moved point must lie on a circle with the centre in the centre of
rotation defined above.
If the last of the conditions stated above is not satisfied, the "move" is still a kind of rotation, but
simultaneously, the beam changes its length. Such an operation is not called rotation in the full meaning
of the word and is considered to be an operation changing dimensions of a member.

The procedure for the Drag&Drop rotation


1. Select one end node of the beam you want to rotate.
2. Place the mouse cursor on the selected node.
3. Press the left mouse button and hold it down.
4. Drag the mouse over the graphical window until the node reaches the intended target position. You will
see the current position of the moved entity in thin-line style.
5. Release the mouse button.

Mirroring an entity
Any entity can be mirrored to a new location. The "mirror" is perpendicular to the current working
plane. The user just has to define the inclination of the mirror. Once again, as in the case of move and
rotation, there are two possible ways to carry out the operation and two ways to activate the function
itself.

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Function Mirror can be activated in two ways:
using menu item Modify > Mirror,
using the [Mirror] (

) icon on the Geometrical manipulations toolbar.

The procedure for the mirroring (selections is made after the function is started)
1. Call the Mirror function.
2. Make the selection of entities you want to be rotated.
3. Press [Esc] to end the selection.
4. Define the first reference point. (The plane of the mirroring is always perpendicular to the current
working plane. The precise orientation of the mirror is then defined by means of two reference points.)
5. Define the second reference point.
6. The mirroring operation has been completed and the selection is cleared.

The alternative procedure for the mirroring with pre-selected entities


1. Make the selection of entities you want to be moved.
2. Call the Mirror function.
3. Define the first reference point.
4. Define the second reference point.
5. The mirroring operation has been completed and the selection remains as it was prior to calling the
mirroring function.

Moving the additional data entities


Introduction to moving of additional-data entities
The term Additional data covers two major groups of entities: loads and model data (e.g. supports,
hinges, etc.). Both the groups form a very important part of a SCIA.ESA PT project. Even though the
two groups have a lot in common, they represent separate compact units. The units are dealt with in
separate chapters in this manual. Therefore, also the move operations for the individual units are
explained in separate texts. This division has been applied in order to provide the reader with a good
consistency in chapters devoted to related topics.
The relevant chapters are:
Model data > Modifying the existing model data > Moving the model data
Loads > Modifying the existing load > Moving the loads
Model data > Modifying the existing model data > Copying the model data
Loads > Modifying the existing load > Copying the loads

Copying the entities


Introduction to copying of entities
Copying of beams is an easy way to create models of complex structure. This is useful particularly if
the geometry of the modelled structure shows at least a few signs of regularity.
Beams may be copied one by one or en bloc. It is possible to create only one or more copies at a time. If
required, additional beams may interconnect the individual copies with the original and with each other
in specified point.
In general, the user may choose from the following approaches:

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making a single copy of the original using menu function,
making a single copy of the original using the pop-up menu of the graphical window,
making multiple copies at a time with an advanced definition of copy parameters (e.g. the copied
members may rotate simultaneously with being shifted)

Making a single copy via menu function


The procedure to make a single copy of a beam
1. Start function Copy:
) on toolbar Manipulations

a)

either: use button [Copy] (

b)

or: open menu function Manipulations > Copy

2. Select beam or beams that should be copied.


3. Press key [Esc] to end the selection phase.
4. Define the direction and distance for the copy operation. That is, define first and second point of a
vector that defines both the direction and distance. (The vector along which the selected entities move
in order to create the copy is defined by two reference points. The first reference point is the Start
point and defines the origin of the copy vector. The second reference point is called the End point and
defines the end point of the copy vector. Please note that the first reference point does not have to be
located on the entity being copied, it can be defined anywhere within the modelling space.)
5. Once you define the second point, the action of copying is performed.
6. Repeat steps 2 to 5 as many times as required.
7. The function is closed.

An alternative procedure for making a single copy of a beam


In general, the alternative procedure is identical to the one above. The difference is that you may swap
the first two steps.
1. First, you select the entities.
2. Second, you open the Copy function.
This approach means that once the second point of the copying vector (i.e. the vector that define the
direction and distance for the copy operation) is specified, the copy operation is performed. The
selected entity remains selected and may be copied to another location.

Making a single copy via window pop-up menu


Copying arbitrary number of entities
The procedure for the copy operation
1. Select the entities to be copied.
2. With the mouse cursor inside the graphical window but NOT OVER any entity, click the right mouse
button.
3. A menu appears on the screen
4. Select function Copy.
5. Define the first reference point. (The vector along which the selected entities move in order to create the
copy is defined by two reference points. The first reference point is the Start point and defines the
origin of the copy vector. The second reference point is called the End point and defines the end point
of the copy vector. Please note that the first reference point does not have to be located on the entity
being copied, it can be defined anywhere within the modelling space.)

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6. Define the second reference point.
7. The operation is performed, copies are created, the function is closed and the selection remains
unchanged.

Copying just a single entity


When only a single entity is copied, it is not necessary to make any selection.

The procedure for the copying of a single entity


1. Position the mouse cursor into the graphical window and over the entity you want to copy.
2. Click the right mouse button
3. A menu appears on the screen
4. Select function Copy.
5. Define the first reference point. (The vector along which the selected entities move in order to create the
copy is defined by two reference points. The first reference point is the Start point and defines the
origin of the copy vector. The second reference point is called the End point and defines the end point
of the copy vector. Please note that the first reference point does not have to be located on the entity
being copied, it can be defined anywhere within the modelling space.)
6. Define the second reference point.
7. The operation is performed, the copy is created, and the function is closed.

Tip: This approach can be applied even if no entity has been already inserted into selection.
The fact that the mouse cursor is positioned on an entity has bigger priority that the fact that any
selection has been made. Therefore, it is possible to prepare a selection for any operation, then
position the mouse cursor over a single entity and copy this particular entity. The selection
remains untouched.

Making multiple copies via menu function


SCIA.ESA PT allows the user to make a multiple copy of the original entity. For this operation, the user
has to adjust a set of copy parameters. The parameters are grouped in a dialogue that opens
automatically once the Multicopy function is activated.
Number of copies

Specifies the number of copies that will be made.

Connect selected
nodes with new
beams

Defines whether the individual copies will be interconnected by means of


newly inserted beams. If so, the user must specify the nodes (i.e. insert
them into the selection for the copy operation) where the interconnection
will be realised.

Distance vector

By default the distance vector is defined by means of two reference points


specified by the user. (The vector along which the selected entities move
in order to create the copy is defined by two reference points. The first
reference point is the Start point and defines the origin of the copy vector.
The second reference point is called the End point and defines the end
point of the copy vector. Please note that the first reference point does not
have to be located on the entity being copied, it can be defined anywhere
within the modelling space.)
However, it is possible to enter the vector numerically in the Multicopy
table.

Rotation

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By default, the copied members are just shifted along the specified vector
(see above). It is however possible to rotate the copied members during
their "move".

SCIA.ESA PT

How to define the


distance

The distance input either in the table or by means of two reference points
can specify:

either the distance between two adjacent copies,

or the distance between the original and the last copy.

If only one copy is being made, the meaning of the two options becomes
identical.
How to define the
rotation

The rotation angle input in the table can specify:

either the angle between two adjacent copies,

or the angle between the original and the last copy.

If only one copy is being made, the meaning of the two options becomes
identical.
Rotation around

The rotation may be defined around UCS axes or around the distance
vector. It is obvious that the latter enables the user to input just one angle
around the distance vector.

It is clear from the list of parameters that this variant of copy function provides for advanced definition
of copying vector (i.e. the vector that define the direction and distance for the copy operation).

The procedure to make a multiple copy of a beam


1. Start function Multicopy:
) on toolbar Geometrical manipulations

a)

either: use button [Multicopy] (

b)

or: open menu function Manipulations > Multicopy

2. Select beam or beams that should be copied.


3. Press key [Esc] to end the selection phase.
4. Set the parameters for the copy operation (see above for their meaning).
5. Define the direction and distance for the copy operation. That is, define first and second point of a
vector that defines both the direction and distance. (NOTE: This point is automatically skipped if the
distance vector has been input numerically in the table point 4).
6. Once you define the second point, the action of copying is performed.
7. The function is closed.

The alternative procedure for the multicopy operation


As in the case of other manipulation functions, it is once again possible to swap the first two steps of the
procedure.
1. First, you make the selection of entities that you want to copy.
2. Second, you call the Multicopy function.
Then you follow the procedure given above starting from the step 4.
At the end, the selection that has been made prior to calling the copy function remains unchanged.

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The picture below shows a possible application of Multicopy function. A spiral staircase can be
"generated" just in one multicopy step.

Deleting the entities


Introduction to deleting of entities
Any entity that is no longer required and becomes redundant or even makes an obstacle to the
achievement of the users main goal creation of an accurate model of the real structure, can be
deleted.
It may happen that some entities have been somehow distorted during the modelling process that they
become hidden to the users eye. This may happen if two beams lie on each other (i.e. their middle axes
become identical) of if the beams length changes to zero.
SCIA.ESA PT provides a set of tools for all above-mentioned circumstances.

Deleting the user-selected entities


The procedure for the deletion of entities
1. Select the entities that should be removed.
2. Start function Delete:
a)

either: via menu Modify > Delete,

b)

or: via the window pop-up menu.

3. The program informs you about what have been selected.


4. If the report corresponds to what you are expecting, confirm the action. If you are not sure about the
reported message, abort the action, clear the selection and start again.
5. If the action has been confirmed, it is performed and the selected entities are removed from the project.
It may happen that after the operation is completed some free nodes remain in the project. They may be
removed by means of function Check structure data.

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Deleting invalid entities


Invalid entities are such that do not have proper function in the model. They may be for example beams
of zero length, duplicate beams, free nodes, etc.

Procedure for automatic removal of invalid entities


1. Start function Check structure data.
a)

either: use menu function Tree > Calculation, Mesh > Check structure data,

b)

or: start tree menu function Calculation, Mesh > Check structure data.

2. Make sure that required options are ticked.


3. Press button [Check].
4. Check the upper right part of the dialogue and verify whether any free nodes have been discovered.
5. If so, make sure that option Delete is selected in required fields.
6. Press button [Continue] to delete the revealed free nodes.

Tip: For more information about function Check structure data see chapter Calculation >
Check of data.

Editing the entity properties


Introduction to editing of entity properties
Once a new beam is inserted into the model, it does not mean that must be there AS IS forever and that
no property of the beam can be changed.
The user may at any time open the property dialogue of a particular beam and edit the properties in it.
In addition, it is also possible to use a simpler procedure editing in the property window of the
application. This approach is not only faster, but it also provides for simultaneous editing of multiple
beams.

Editing the beam properties in its property dialogue


The procedure for the editing of beam properties in the beam property dialogue
1. Position the mouse cursor over the beam you want to edit.
2. Click the right mouse button.
3. The window pop-up menu appears on the screen.
4. Select function Edit properties.
5. The property dialogue of the beam opens on the screen.
6. Modify any parameters you need to.
7. Confirm the settings with [OK] button.

Editing the beam properties in the property window


Whenever an entity is selected in SCIA ESA PT, its properties are displayed in the property window.
Therefore, it is possible to simply edit any item in the property window and the change is immediately
taken into account and the entity is re-drawn with the new parameters.

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The procedure for the editing of properties of a single beam


1. Make sure that no entities are in the current selection.
2. Position the mouse cursor over the required entity.
3. Click the left mouse button to select the entity.
4. The properties of the entity are displayed in the property window.
5. Edit any parameter you need to.
6. Clear the selection.

The procedure for the editing of properties of a multiple beams beam at a time
1. Make sure that no entities are in the current selection.
2. Select the entities you need to edit.
3. The properties for the selected entities are displayed in the property window (for details see chapter
Selections versus editing of properties).
4. Edit any parameters you need to.
5. Clear the selection.

Note: Please, be careful when editing the properties of multiple entities at the same time. Once you
type and confirm the value into a particular cell of the property window, the change is immediately
made for all currently selected entities. Even if the original value of the edited property was different
for individual entities, it becomes unique with the change being confirmed. The change is confirmed as
soon as you either type the value and press Enter, or as soon as you type the value and leave the cell.
The cell may be left either using the left mouse button click on another cell or pressing Tab key.

Adjusting the buckling parameters


The procedure for adjustment of buckling parameters for a particular member
1. In the graphical window, select the beam (or beams) whose buckling settings should be modified.
2. The beam properties are displayed in the Property window.
3. In the table cell Buckling lengths use the combo box to select the required Buckling length definition
and go to the last step of the procedure.
4. If the required Buckling length definition has not been defined yet, use the button at the right hand side
of the cell to create a new Buckling length definition.
5. Press button [Edit buckling] to open the editing dialogue.
6. Adjust required parameters.
7. Confirm with [OK].
8. Clear the selection.

Note: When the Buckling length manager is opened, it displays ONLY those buckling length
definitions that correspond to conditions of the selected beam or beams. If e.g. a beam with one
buckling segment is selected, the manager hides any buckling length system for more then one segment.

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Modifying the shape and dimensions


Treatment of linked nodes in manipulation functions
As stated earlier in chapter Types of nodes, there are two types of nodes in ESA. This paragraph will
emphasize important rules taken into account in manipulation functions.
In SCIA.ESA PT, a connection where the end point of one beams gets in contact with an intermediate
point of another beams of two beams is called a LINKED NODE. The said is true on condition that the
two beams were "told" to be connected to each other. What, however, remains an open issue is what
should happen to the linked node when one of the beams is repositioned. Should the linked node stay
"rooted" in the original location, or should it follow the manipulation formula?
As the problem is rather complex, SCIA.ESA PT presents a logical compromise solution.
Manipulation functions are divided into two groups:
!

a global change of beams position and / or orientation is possible,

only an "in-axis" modification of beams geometry is available.

In-axis modification
Manipulation where only the "in-axis" modification can be carried out leads to the situation that the
linked node remains in its original position. This group of manipulation functions consists of a limited
number of functions: trim, extend, enlarge, break in defined points.

Out-of-axis modification
Manipulation where only a general modification of the beams orientation can be performed cause that
the linked node is manipulated as well and may change its position. This is the case of majority of
manipulation functions, e.g. move, rotate, mirror, stretch, scale, etc.
If the manipulation brings any ambiguity to what should be done with the linked node, the linked node
is disconnected and the connection of the two beams is broken. This may happen in function Join (two
beams into one).
Examples
The original structure

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The cantilever end moved
up and right using function
Move node.

The cantilever end moved


right using function Move
node.

The cantilever end moved


right using function
Extend (by defined
length).

Note: The distinction between "in-axis" and "out-of-axis" modification is not based on the actual
result of the manipulation that has been carried out. It is based on the principle, i.e. on the fact WHAT
CAN BE DONE by means of selected manipulation function. If the function provides for an "out-ofaxis" manipulation, rules for "out-of-axis" manipulation are applied even if the final position of the
beam looks like after an "in-axis" manipulation.

Editing the shape in the property window


Whenever an entity is selected, the property window of the application displays its properties including
the endpoints and even co-ordinates (for nodes). If any of the geometry attributes is changed in the
property window, the shape of the corresponding entity is modifies accordingly.

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The procedure to change the endpoints of a beam


1. Select the entity that should be moved.
2. The property window displays (among others) names of the end-nodes.
3. Input the name of a new end-node or nodes.
4. The beam changes accordingly.

The procedure to move the endpoint of an entity


1. Select the end point of the entity that should be moved.
2. Type the new values for co-ordinates (you may define the co-ordinates either in the UCS or in the GCS,
you may even combine the definition, i.e. input e.g. X co-ordinate in one system and Z co-ordinate in
the other system).
3. The endpoint moves accordingly.

Editing the shape using Drag&Drop feature


The shape of beams may be changed using the Drag&Drop feature. Any end point of beam can be
"grabbed" and "dragged" over the working plane. The trajectory of the dragging determines whether the
operation is a pure rotation or shape modification.
If a curved beam is modified in this way, it is possible to pick not only the end-point, but also the
characteristic point of the curve. Thus e.g. the shape of Bezier curve can be modified, etc.

Scaling the entities


The Scale function changes the size of the selected entities by given factor.

The procedure for the scaling of entities


1. Start function Scale:
a)

either call menu function Modify > Scale

b)

or click button [Scale] (

) on toolbar Geometrical manipulations,

2. Select the entities to be modified.


3. Press [Esc] to end the selection.
4. Input the centre of affinity.
5. Input the first point defining the magnification scale.
6. Input the second point defining the magnification scale.
7. The operation is performed and function closed.

The alternative procedure for the scaling of entities


As with other geometry manipulation functions, it is possible to swap the first two steps.
1. First, you make the selection.
2. Second, you start the function.
Once the function ends, the original selection remains untouched.
There is one more feature related to this alternative procedure. The function can be opened via the
window pop-up menu. If the pop-up menu is used, one must be aware of where the mouse cursor is
precisely positioned when the right mouse button is clicked. If the cursor is on an empty are of the
modelling space, the operation is carried out with currently selected entities. However, if the cursor is
positioned just over a particular beam, the function only deals with this particular beam and the current
selection is ignored.
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Stretching the entities


The Stretch function changes the size of the selected entities by given factor.

The procedure for the stretching of entities


1. Start function Stretch:
a)

either call menu function Modify > Stretch,

b)

or click button [Stretch] (

) on toolbar Geometrical manipulations,

2. Select the entities to be modified.


3. Press [Esc] to end the selection.
4. Input the centre of affinity.
5. Input the first point defining the stretching.
6. Input the second point defining the stretching.
7. The operation is performed and function closed.

The alternative procedure for the stretching of entities


As with other geometry manipulation functions, it is possible to swap the first two steps.
1. First, you make the selection.
2. Second, you start the function.
Once the function ends, the original selection remains untouched.
There is one more feature related to this alternative procedure. The function can be opened via the
window pop-up menu. If the pop-up menu is used, one must be aware of where the mouse cursor is
precisely positioned when the right mouse button is clicked. If the cursor is on an empty are of the
modelling space, the operation is carried out with currently selected entities. However, if the cursor is
positioned just over a particular beam, the function only deals with this particular beam and the current
selection is ignored.

Trimming the entities


The Trim function trims the selected entities according to the specified "trimming" entity.

The procedure for the trimming of entities


1. Start function Trim:
a)

either call menu function Modify > Trim,

b)

or click button [Trim] (

) on toolbar Geometrical manipulations,

2. Select entities to which the other ones should be trimmed.


3. Press [Esc] to end this particular selection.
4. Select entities that should be trimmed (i.e. shortened).
5. Press [Esc] to end the function.

Note: If any entities have been selected prior to calling this function, the selection is stored by the
computer and cleared. All the selections necessary for the successful performance of the function must
be made from within the function according to the instructions given on the command line. Once the
function is closed, the original selection is restored.

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Example:
before trimming

after trimming

Extending the entities


The Extend function extends the selected entities according to the specified "boundary" entity. In order
words, the function extends the selected entities in a way so that they reach and touch the other
specified entity.

The procedure for the extending of entities


1. Start function Extend:
a)

either call menu function Modify > Extend,

b)

or click button [Extend] (

) on toolbar Geometrical manipulations,

2. Select entities to which the other ones should be extended.


3. Press [Esc] to end this particular selection.
4. Select entities that should be extended.
5. Press [Esc] to end the function.

Note: If any entities have been selected prior to calling this function, the selection is stored by the
computer and cleared. All the selections necessary for the successful performance of the function must
be made from within the function according to the instructions given on the command line. Once the
function is closed, the original selection is restored.
Example:
before extending

after extending

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Enlarging the entities


The Enlarge function extends the selected entities by a given value.

The procedure for the enlarging of entities


1. Start function Enlarge by defined length:
a)

either call menu function Modify > Enlarge by defined length,

b)

or click button [Enlarge by defined length] (

) on toolbar Geometrical manipulations,

2. In the dialogue that appear on the screen, type the value by which the selected entities should be
enlarged.
3. Select entities that should be enlarged.
4. Press [Esc] to end the function.

Note: If any entities have been selected prior to calling this function, the selection is stored by the
computer and cleared. All the selections necessary for the successful performance of the function must
be made from within the function according to the instructions given on the command line. Once the
function is closed, the original selection is restored.

Breaking the entities in defined points


The procedure for the breaking of an entity in a specified point
1. Start function Break in defined points:
a)

either call menu function Modify > Break in defined points,

b)

or click button [Break in defined points] (

) on toolbar Geometrical manipulations,

2. Select the entity that should be broken.


3. Press [Esc] to end this particular selection.
4. Define the point of division.
5. Press [Esc] to end the function.

Note: If any entities have been selected prior to calling this function, the function itself does not
require making of any other selection. The function is applied on the selection made beforehand.

Breaking the entities in intersections


Any intersecting entity can be divided in the point of intersection, if required.

The procedure for the breaking of entities in the point of their intersection
1. Start function Break in intersections:
a)

either call menu function Modify > Break in intersections,

b)

or click button [Break in intersections] (

) on toolbar Geometrical manipulations,

2. Select the entity that should be broken.


3. Press [Esc] to end the function.
4. All the selected and intersecting entities are divided (broken) in the point of intersection.

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Note: If any entities have been selected prior to calling this function, the function itself does not
require making of any other selection. The function is applied on the selection made beforehand.

Coupling the entities


If required, any two entities that touch each other in their endpoints can be coupled (joined) to create a
single entity.

The procedure for the coupling of entities into one


1. Start function Join:
a)

either call menu function Modify > Join,

b)

or click button [Join] (

) on toolbar Geometrical manipulations,

2. Select the entity that should be joined together.


3. Press [Esc] to end the function.
4. The individual entities are coupled.

Note 1: The entities that are being coupled together, must lie on one line. Otherwise, it is not
possible to create a single beam from them.
Note 2: If any entities have been selected prior to calling this function, the function itself does not
require making of any other selection. The function is applied on the selection made beforehand.

Reversing the orientation of an entity


Each entity has got its starting point and end point. These points for example define the orientation of
the local X-axis of a beam. If necessary, the user may reverse the orientation by swapping the endnodes.

The procedure to reverse the orientation of a beam


1. Start function Reverse orientation:
a)

either call menu function Modify > Reverse orientation,

b)

or click button [Reverse orientation] (

) on toolbar Geometrical manipulations,

2. Select the entities that should be reverted.


3. Press [Esc] to end the function.

The alternative procedure to reverse the orientation of a beam


As with some other geometry manipulation functions, it is possible to swap the first two steps.
1. First, you make the selection.
2. Second, you start the function.
The function is immediately performed and automatically closed.

Note: The change of beam orientation can be easily verified when local co-ordinate system of the
edited entity is displayed. The direction of the local X-axis inverts once the function is finished.

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Example:
before reversing

after reversing

Inserting a node into a polygonal entity


Into any entity (polygonal or single-segment one) an inner vertex may be inserted. The inserted vertex
may be used as a node for further geometrical manipulations. For example, another entity may use it as
its end-point, the node may be moved to modify the shape of the original entity, etc.

The procedure for the definition of an inner vertex


1. Start function Insert node:
a)

either call menu function Modify > Polyline edit > Edit polyline Insert node,

b)

or click button [Polyline edit ] > [Insert node into polyline] (


Geometrical manipulations,

>

) on toolbar

2. Select the polylines where the inner nodes (vertices) should be inserted.
3. Press [Esc] to end the selection.
4. Define the points where the inner nodes should be located.
5. Press [Esc] to end the function.
6. The nodes are inserted into the selected polylines in the defined points.

Note: If any entities have been selected prior to calling this function, the function itself does not
require making of any other selection. The function is applied on the selection made beforehand. Only
the points for the inner nodes must be then specified.

Deleting a node from a polygonal entity


This function is analogous to the insertion of a node into a polyline. However, it removes the selected
inner nodes from an existing polygonal entity. The result is that the selected vertex is removed and the
two adjacent vertices are connected with a straight line.

The procedure for the deletion of an inner vertex


1. Start function Delete node:
a)

either call menu function Modify > Polyline edit > Edit polyline Delete node,

b)

or click button [Polyline edit ] > [Delete node on polyline] (


Geometrical manipulations,

>

2. Select the polylines from which the inner nodes (vertices) should be removed.

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SCIA.ESA PT
3. Press [Esc] to end the selection.
4. Select the nodes that should be removed.
5. Press [Esc] to end the function.
6. The selected nodes are removed from the selected polylines.

Note: If any entities have been selected prior to calling this function, the function itself does not
require making of any other selection. The function is applied on the selection made beforehand. Only
the inner nodes for the deletion must be specified.

Coupling curves into a polyline


Any two entities may be joined together to create a polygonal entity. The only prerequisite is that the
two entities must have one common end-point.

The procedure for joining of entities into a polyline


1. Start function Join curves into polyline:
a)

either call menu function Modify > Polyline edit > Join curves into polyline,

b)

or click button [Polyline edit ] > [Join curves into polyline] (


Geometrical manipulations,

>

) on toolbar

2. Select the entities that should be joined together.


3. Press [Esc] to end the function.
4. The entities are joined together and from now on they represent a single polygonal entity.

Note: If any entities have been selected prior to calling this function, the function itself does not
require making of any other selection. The function is applied on the selection made beforehand.

Editing the circular arc angle


A defined circular arc may be edited afterwards if such a need arises. It is possible to edit the arcs
angle, the arc's bulge, and the arc's radius.

The procedure for the modification of the angle of a circular arc


1. Open function Edit arc angle:
a)

either click button [Geometrical manipulations with curves] > [Edit arc angle] (
on toolbar Geometrical manipulations,

b)

or use menu function Modify > Curves edit > Edit curve arc by angle.

>

2. Select the arcs that should be edited. It is possible to select and edit multiple arcs at time.
3. Press [Esc] key to end the selection.
4. The editing dialogue is opened on the screen.
5. Type the new value.
6. Confirm with [OK] button.
7. The modification of the shape is made accordingly.

Note: If any entities are selected prior to calling this function, the function itself does not require
making of any other selection. The function is applied on the selection made beforehand.

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Editing the circular arc bulge


A defined circular arc may be edited afterwards if such a need arises. It is possible to edit the arc's
angle, the arcs bulge, or the arc's radius.

The procedure for the modification of the bulge of a circular arc


1. Open function Edit arc bulge:
a)

either click button [Geometrical manipulations with curves] > [Edit arc bulge] (
on toolbar Geometrical manipulations,

b)

or use menu function Modify > Curves edit > Edit curve arc by bulge.

>

2. Select the arcs that should be edited. It is possible to select and edit multiple arcs at time.
3. Press [Esc] key to end the selection.
4. The editing dialogue is opened on the screen.
5. Type the new value.
6. Confirm with [OK] button.
7. The modification of the shape is made accordingly.

Note: If any entities are selected prior to calling this function, the function itself does not require
making of any other selection. The function is applied on the selection made beforehand.

Editing the circular arc radius


A defined circular arc may be edited afterwards if such a need arises. It is possible to edit the arc's
angle, the arc's bulge, or the arcs radius.

The procedure for the modification of the radius of a circular arc


1. Open function Edit arc radius:
a)

either click button [Geometrical manipulations with curves] > [Edit arc radius] (
on toolbar Geometrical manipulations,

b)

or use menu function Modify > Curves edit > Edit curve arc by radius.

>

2. Select the arcs that should be edited. It is possible to select and edit multiple arcs at time.
3. Press [Esc] key to end the selection.
4. The editing dialogue is opened on the screen.
5. Type the new value.
6. Confirm with [OK] button.
7. The modification of the shape is made accordingly.

Note: If any entities are selected prior to calling this function, the function itself does not require
making of any other selection. The function is applied on the selection made beforehand.

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Editing the Bezier curve weight factors


The procedure for the modification of a Bezier curve
1. Open function Edit Bezier weight factors:
a)

either click button [Geometrical manipulations with curves] > [Edit Bezier weight factors]
( > ) on toolbar Geometrical manipulations,

b)

or use menu function Modify > Curves edit > Edit curve Bezier weight factors.

2. Select the arcs that should be edited. It is possible to select and edit multiple arcs at time.
3. Press [Esc] key to end the selection.
4. The editing dialogue is opened on the screen.
5. Type the new value.
6. Confirm with [OK] button.
7. The modification of the shape is made accordingly.

Note: If any entities are selected prior to calling this function, the function itself does not require
making of any other selection. The function is applied on the selection made beforehand.
It is also possible to edit the shape of a Bezier curve using the Drag&Drop feature.

The alternative procedure for editing of Bezier curve shape


1. Simple select the curve you want to edit.
2. The curve is then highlighted including the two control points located outside the curve.
3. Position the mouse cursor over the required point.
4. Press and hold the left mouse button.
5. Drag the mouse over the pad to place the point into its new location.
6. Release the button.

Converting a curve into a line


Any curve, i.e. circular arc, parabolic arc, Bezier curve and spline can be converted into a straight line,
if necessary. SCIA.ESA PT offers a universal function that converts any curve into a line.

The procedure for the conversion of a curve into a line


1. Open function Convert curve to line:
a)

either click button [Geometrical manipulations with curves] > [Convert curve to line] (
> ) on toolbar Geometrical manipulations,

b)

or use menu function Modify > Curves edit > Convert curve to line.

2. Select the arcs that should be edited. It is possible to select multiple arcs at time.
3. Press [Esc] key to carry out the conversion.

Note: If any entities are selected prior to calling this function, the function itself does not require
making of any other selection. The function is applied on the selection made beforehand.

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Converting a line into a circular arc


If required, a line may be converted into a curve. In other words, beams defined as straight may be
afterwards transformed into curved (shaped) ones. This function can treat only one entity at a time.

The procedure for the conversion of a straight line into a circular arc
1. Open function Convert line to circle arc:
a)

either click button [Geometrical manipulations with curves] > [Convert line to circle arc]
( > ) on toolbar Geometrical manipulations,

b)

or use menu function Modify > Curves edit > Convert line to circle arc.

2. Select the entity (just one) that should be converted.


3. Define an intermediate point of the arc.
4. The conversion is done.

Note: If just one entity is selected prior to calling this function, the function itself does not require
making of any other selection. The function is applied on the selection made beforehand. On the other
hand, if several entities are selected prior to calling this function, the function clears stores the
selection, clears it, asks the user to select a single entity for the manipulation, performs the action and
restores back the original selection.

Converting a line into a parabolic arc


If required, a line may be converted into a curve. In other words, beams defined as straight may be
afterwards transformed into curved (shaped) ones. This function can treat only one entity at a time.

The procedure for the conversion of a straight line into a parabolic arc
1. Open function Convert line to parabolic arc:
a)

either click button [Geometrical manipulations with curves] > [Convert line to parabolic
arc] ( > ) on toolbar Geometrical manipulations,

b)

or use menu function Modify > Curves edit > Convert line to parabolic arc.

2. Select the entity (just one) that should be converted.


3. Define an intermediate point of the parabola.
4. The conversion is done.

Note: If just one entity is selected prior to calling this function, the function itself does not require
making of any other selection. The function is applied on the selection made beforehand. On the other
hand, if several entities are selected prior to calling this function, the function clears stores the
selection, clears it, asks the user to select a single entity for the manipulation, performs the action and
restores back the original selection.

Converting a line into a Bezier curve


If required, a line may be converted into a curve. In other words, beams defined as straight may be
afterwards transformed into curved (shaped) ones. This function can treat only one entity at a time.

The procedure for the conversion of a straight line into a Bezier curve
1. Open function Convert line to Bezier:
a)

268

either click button [Geometrical manipulations with curves] > [Convert line to Bezier] (
> ) on toolbar Geometrical manipulations,

SCIA.ESA PT
b)

or use menu function Modify > Curves edit > Convert line Bezier.

2. Select the entity (just one) that should be converted.


3. Define two control points of Bezier curve.
4. The conversion is done.

Note: If just one entity is selected prior to calling this function, the function itself does not require
making of any other selection. The function is applied on the selection made beforehand. On the other
hand, if several entities are selected prior to calling this function, the function clears stores the
selection, clears it, asks the user to select a single entity for the manipulation, performs the action and
restores back the original selection.

Converting a line into a spline curve


If required, a line may be converted into a curve. In other words, beams defined as straight may be
afterwards transformed into curved (shaped) ones. This function can treat only one entity at a time.

The procedure for the conversion of a straight line into a spline


1. Open function Convert line to spline:
a)

either click button [Geometrical manipulations with curves] > [Convert line to spline] (
> ) on toolbar Geometrical manipulations,

b)

or use menu function Modify > Curves edit > Convert line to spline.

2. Select the entity (just one) that should be converted.


3. Define control points of the spline. You may input as many control points as required.
4. Press [Esc] to end the definition of control points.
5. The conversion is done.

Note: If just one entity is selected prior to calling this function, the function itself does not require
making of any other selection. The function is applied on the selection made beforehand. On the other
hand, if several entities are selected prior to calling this function, the function clears stores the
selection, clears it, asks the user to select a single entity for the manipulation, performs the action and
restores back the original selection.

Connecting and disconnecting the entities


Introduction to connecting and disconnecting of entities
If a structure consists of more than one member, it is necessary to define the connection of the
individual entities. The connection may be rigid or free or anything in between.
In SCIA.ESA PT the rigid connection is realised by means of linked nodes and cross-links. The
"something in between" connection may be realised by means of hinges (see chapter Hinges) or by
means of hinged cross-links. And there is no need to define a free connection, just let the beams
unconnected.
The difference between individual types of connections can be summarised as follows.
A linked node is a connection where an end-point of one entity is connected to any point of another
entity.
A cross-link is the connection of two intersecting entities. Both entities remain "undivided" in the
connection, they just pass through it.
A hinge may be inserted into an end-point of a beam if other than rigid connection is required.

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Defining a new connection of two entities


IN order to define a new connection of two entities if the end-point of one entity lies anywhere on the
other one, the user has to insert a linked node. Once the linked node is inserted, the two entities become
fixed together. If other than fixed connection is required, it is necessary to define a hinge in the linked
node.
The procedure for the definition of a new linked node may vary according to initial conditions:
The two entities have already been inserted into the model and now the need to connect them has arisen.
One entity has been inserted into the model and the user wants to define the point where the other entity
should be connected. However, the other entity will be defined later. (see paragraph Inserting a linked
node for future connection of an entity)

The procedure for connection of two entities


1. Open function Connect nodes to beams:
a)

either using menu function Modify > Connect nodes to beams

b)

or using button [Connect nodes to beams] (

) on toolbar Geometrical manipulations

2. Select beams and / or nodes that should be connected.


3. Close the function.
It is possible to apply an alternative procedure and swap the first two steps of the stated procedure.

The alternative procedure for the connection of two entities


1. Select beams and / or nodes that should be connected.
2. Open function Connect nodes to beams:
a)

either using menu function Modify > Connect nodes to beams,

b)

or using button [Connect nodes to beams] (

) on toolbar Geometrical manipulations.

3. The function is carried out and closed.

Note: It is important to know what one wants to connect and make the selection accordingly. This
note is important especially for curved beams. If the two connected beams have two or more
intersections and both the beams are selected for the operation, the connection (linked nodes) are
created in all the intersection points. Therefore, if the connection of such beams is required in one
specific point only, it is necessary to select the required end-point of the first beam (i.e. its node) and
the other beam. Then the connection is generated in the selected node only.

Inserting a linked node for future connection of an entity


It is possible to specify a point on a beam where another entity will be later attached.

The procedure for the definition of the connecting point (for later insertion of the
other entity)
1. Open function Node on beam:
a)

either using menu function menu Tree > Structure > Node on beam,

b)

or using service Structure and function Node on beam.

2. Select the beam where the point (i.e. linked node) should be defined.
3. Specify the location of the linked node.

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Defining a new connection of intersecting entities


Any two intersecting entities may be connected in a point called cross-link. The cross-link ensures that
the two entities remain undivided but act together and allow for transfer of internal forces from one
entity to the other one.
The cross-link may be either fixed or hinged. The hinged variant does not transfer bending moments
from one entity to the other.

The procedure for the definition of a new cross-link


1. Open function Cross-link
a)

either from menu Tree > Structure,

b)

or from tree menu service Structure.

2. In the Property window specify the parameters of the cross-link, i.e. its name and property: fixed versus
hinged.
3. Select the beams that should be connected.
4. Close the function.
5. The cross-link is generated and displayed in the form of a thick dot with thin short lines along the
connected beams.
It is possible to use an alternative procedure, which means that first, the selection of beams is made and
only then the function is called. If applied, this procedure does not require the user to close the function
but does not allow for the modification of cross-link parameters. They would have to be edited
afterwards.

Modifying the connection of two entities


Any defined linked node can be edited if required. Any of its parameters can be reviewed or changed.
Name

It is used for identification of the node.

Connection

Says that the node is connected (linked) to an entity. States the "owner" of
the node.

Coordinate

Specifies the co-ordinate type by means of which the position of the node
on its "owner" is defined.

Position x

Defines the position.

LCS

The node can have its local coordinate system. To define it, at least one
UCS must be defined by the user. If it is done, it is possible to coincide the
LCS of the node with the required UCS.
(see also Defining a local co-ordinate system of a node).

The procedure for the modification of linked node properties


1. Select the node you need to modify.
2. The node parameters are displayed in the Property window.
3. Modify any parameter you need to.
4. The modification is immediately taken into account.
5. Clear the selection.

Note 1: It is possible to edit the linked node even if it has not been attached to the second entity.
Thus e.g. its relative position on the beam can be modified.
Note 2: It is possible to modify several nodes at a time. The user must be aware of that the change
made in the Property window will be applied to all selected nodes.

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Note 3: The Property window shows among others the beams that are connected in the selected
node.

Modifying the connection of intersecting entities


Any defined cross-link can be edited if required. Any of its parameters can be reviewed or changed.
Name

It is used for identification of the node.

Connection

Defines the type of the connection (fixed or hinged)

The procedure for the modification of cross-link properties


1. Select the cross-link you need to modify.
2. The cross-link parameters are displayed in the Property window.
3. Modify any parameter you need to.
4. The modification is immediately taken into account.
5. Clear the selection.

Note 1: It is possible to modify several nodes at a time. The user must be aware of that the change
made in the Property window will be applied to all selected nodes.
Note 2: The Property window shows among others the beams that are connected in the selected
cross-link.

Deleting the connection of two entities


Deleting the connection via the property table of the linked node
To delete the connection of two entities realised by means of a linked node, the connection itself must
be removed, not the node.

The procedure for deletion of connection realised by means of a linked node


1. Select the node where the connection should be removed.
2. The node parameters are displayed in the Property window.
3. In the Property window click the button next to cell Linked node (the button contains the name of the
connected beam).
4. A short pop-up menu appears on the screen.
5. Click item Disconnect.
6. Clear the selection.

Deleting the connection via the function for disconnection of entities


The procedure for disconnection of two entities
1. Open function Disconnect linked nodes:
a)

either using menu function Modify > Disconnect linked nodes,

b)

or using button [Disconnect linked nodes] (

) on toolbar Geometrical manipulations.

2. Select beams and / or nodes that should be connected.


3. Close the function.
It is possible to apply another altered procedure and swap the first two steps of the procedure.

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The alternative procedure for the disconnection of two entities


1. Select beams and / or nodes that should be connected.
2. Open function Disconnect linked nodes:
a)

either using menu function Modify > Disconnect linked nodes,

b)

or using button [Disconnect linked nodes] (

) on toolbar Geometrical manipulations.

3. The function is carried out and closed.

Note: It does not matter whether a node or a beam is selected. Always either the linked node that is
selected directly or the linked node connecting the selected beam or beams is removed.

Deleting the connection of intersecting entities


To delete the connection of intersecting entities realised by means of a cross-link, the cross-link itself
must be removed

The procedure for deletion of connection realised by means of a cross-link


1. Select the cross-link that should be removed.
2. Open function Delete:
a)

either using menu function Modify > Delete,

b)

or using the window pop-up menu function Delete.

3. Confirm the action.


4. The cross-link is deleted.

CAD Model
Introduction to CAD model
CAD model, as the name itself suggests, represents the shape of structure with reference to requirements
of design and detailing.
The calculation model is usually simplified to some extent because the numerical analysis does not
require or is not able to process all detailed information about the model. When however, a drawing
should be prepared or some detail of the structure properly designed (e.g. a connection of two steel
beams) more information is needed.
SCIA.ESA PT stores the two kinds of information separately. Basic geometry information is used for
calculations, CAD model information is used for detailing, preparation of drawings, check of
connections, etc.

Parameters of CAD model


The parameters describing CAD model are summarised in the table below.
priority definition

This parameter specifies "how" the priority will be defined.

priority value

The value defines the priority of the beam.

perpendicular alignment

This option specifies the alignment of the beam to its middle axis.

eccentricity definition

This parameter defines eccentricity that may be introduced.

eccentricity ey, ez

Depending on the previous parameter, the eccentricity can be


specified.

x-offset beginning

This value defines an offset in longitudinal direction at the


beginning of the beam.

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x-offset end

This value defines an offset in longitudinal direction at the end of


the beam.

end cut

If ON, this option allows the user to define an additional end cut
gap that will be combined with the x-offset in order to create the
final length of the beam.

end cut gap

This value specifies the size of the end cut gap.

In addition, there is one more parameter related to CAD model. The basic beam parameter Type defines
the structural type of beam. This parameter defines the priority of the beam if the priority is specified
according to member.

Priority
The priority is taken into account when connection of intersecting or touching beams is solved. The
meaning will be best explained on a small example.
Lets assume a column with a beam attached to its head. The calculation model looks like:

Now, lets display the CAD model. The priority of the column (B17) is set to 100. The priority of the
inclined beam (B18) is set to 80. The automatically created detail will look like:

Now, lets decrease the priority of the column (B17) to 50. The result will be:

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Perpendicular alignment
If adjusted to default value, the alignment of the CAD model is taken from the alignment of the
calculation model.

Eccentricity
The eccentricity may be defined in several ways:
whole member

The eccentricity is constant along the beam.

each end point

The eccentricity is defined separately for the two end points. In


between, it varies linearly.

purlin on rafter

The eccentricity is so adjusted so that one member is put (laid) on


the other. This option is useful mainly for "intersecting" beams
that touch with their surfaces.
See below.

Purlin on rafter
The effect of this option is shown on the following two pictures. The first one shows the pairs of
intersecting beams without defined eccentricity.

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In the second picture, option Purlin on rafter is assigned to beams in one direction. As a result they are
put atop the other two beams.

Note: The priority of "purlins", i.e. the beams with Purlin on rafter option must be lower than the
priority of the intersecting beams. Otherwise, the setting will have no effect.

Defining the CAD model


In order to use the CAD model the user has to select this feature in the functionality list in the Project
settings dialogue.
The CAD shape may be then defined at the same time as new beams are inserted into the model. Or, if
preferred, new beams may be defined without thinking about the CAD model and the CAD parameters
may be specified later.

The procedure for adjusting the CAD model for a new beam
1. Start the function for the definition of a new beam.
2. In the property table adjust the required beam parameters.
3. At the bottom part of the table fill in the parameters of CAD model.

4. Confirm the settings with [OK].


5. Finish the standard definition of a new beam.

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Displaying the CAD model


Whether the screen shows the calculation or CAD model of the structure is controlled by view
parameters.
In general, there are two ways to display the CAD model:
via manual adjustment in View parameters dialogue,
using fast display swap function View > Set view parameters > CAD model.

Note: If the CAD model is being displayed for the first time, or if changes were made to the some of
the CAD parameters of arbitrary beam or beams, it may be sometimes necessary to regenerate (or
generate) the CAD model.

Modifying the CAD model


The modification of CAD model is subject to the same principles as editing of basic beam properties.
Once a beam is selected, its parameters including CAD model parameters are displayed in the Property
window. Here, they may be easily edited.

Note: Due to time response optimisation, the changes made in the Property window may not be
taken into account immediately. In such a situation, the user has to use manual regeneration of the
CAD model.

Regenerating the CAD model


As the background calculations forced by changes in the CAD model may be rather time consuming,
especially when a long set of changes is being made. Therefore, the model itself is not automatically
regenerated on the screen after every particular change. The user must invoke the overall regeneration
of CAD model when he/she decides that its time to do so.

The procedure for the regeneration of the CAD model


1. Call function Generate CAD shape:
a. either using menu function View > Set view parameters > Generate CAD shape,
b. or using button Generate CAD shape (

) on toolbar View.

2. The view is regenerated.

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Model data
Introduction to model data
A model of a structure created in SCIA.ESA PT consists not only of structural members (such as
beams, columns, slabs, etc.) but also of a whole set of additional entities. These additional entities are as
important for successful calculation and design as the geometry itself.
The additional entities are called additional data. The term additional data covers loads, supports,
hinges, masses (in case of dynamic analysis), etc. The load represents a complex and rather coherent
group and therefore it is dealt with in a separate chapter.
Entities such as supports, foundations, and hinges are called Model data. They are described in
separate chapters. In SCIA.ESA PT menus and dialogues they are usually treated separately as well, but
occasionally the term Model data is used when the action or setting is related to all model data (e.g.
view parameters).

Supports
Types of supports
Point supports
There are three basic types of point supports in SCIA.ESA PT. Each of them, however, can be of many
different configurations.
Standard support

This support is defined by six


separate parameters. Each
parameter
defines
the
constraint in one direction:
translation in X, Y, Z axis and
rotation around the same axes.

Foundation block

This support is modelled by


means of a foundation block.
In addition, some parameters
related to the surrounding soil
are defined as well.

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This support is used to model
the case where the supporting
is realised by a column.

Column

Standard support
A standard support defines an idealised supporting restricted to a single point. The user may define the
way the support acts in individual directions, i.e. in translation along and rotation around axes of
selected co-ordinate system.
Free

The support is free in the specified direction. That is it imposes no


constraint in the direction.

Rigid

The support in fully rigid in the specified direction.

Flexible

The support is flexible (elastic) in the specified direction. The user


has to define the required stiffness of the support.

Rigid press only

Same as pure Rigid but the support acts ONLY under


compression. If the support gets under tension it stops acting.

Flexible press only

Same as pure Flexible but the support acts ONLY under


compression. If the support gets under tension it stops acting.

Nonlinear

The stiffness of the support is defined by means of a non-linear


function (force-displacement diagram).
For more information read chapter Parameters of a non-linear
support.

Friction

The "stiffness" of the support is calculated from defined friction.


See chapter Friction support.

Note: If supports of Press only type (both rigid and flexible) appear in the model, a NONLINEAR
calculation MUST be executed. Linear calculation can be run as well, but it does NOT take account of
the press only behaviour. The nonlinear calculation requires a definition of a nonlinear load case
combination. Unless a nonlinear combination is defined, the nonlinear calculation is not accessible in
the calculation dialogue.

Other parameters of a standard support


Angle

This parameter specifies the inclination of the support. The format


of this parameter is:

Rx12,Ry12,Rz12
where Rx defines the inclination from X axis, and Ry and Rz
define the inclination from Y and Z axis respectively. The angle is
input in adjusted angle units.
Size x;
Size y

These two parameters define the size of the support. The size
parameter is taken into account only if the support is at a slab. The
size is used to calculate the appropriate reduction of slab bending
moment in the surroundings of the support.

Note: Parameter Angle mentioned above and the adjustment of orientation described below are
available for all support types, not only for the standard support.

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Orientation of a support
Support in a node

Support on a beam

A nodal support may be oriented in:

global co-ordinate system,

local co-ordinate system of the node.

A point support on a beam may be oriented in:

global co-ordinate system,

local co-ordinate system of the node,

selected user co-ordinate system.

Foundation block
A support may be defined in the form of a foundation block. The supporting is then specified by the
material and dimensions of the block together with the properties of the soil below and above the
footing surface.
The support of Foundation block type requires the definition of the following parameters.
Foundation block

Selects the type of foundation block.

Foundation

Defines the properties of the soil below the footing surface.

Upper soil

Defines the properties of the soil above the footing surface.

Note: A foundation block can be used only if the Subsoil functionality has been selected in the
Project settings and if material Concrete has been specified for the project.

Column
If only a part of the final structure is modelled (e.g. just one or a few floors instead of the whole
building), it may happen that a support in the model is in fact a column in the real structure. SCIA.ESA
PT enables the user to model even such situation.
The support is defined through the following parameters. The program automatically calculates the
stiffness of the support.
Length

Defines the length of the supporting column.

Hinged

Says whether the column is pinned at the end or rigidly fixed.

Connection

The column may either end in the support or may continue (e.g. to
another floor).

Cross-section

Specifies the cross-section of the supporting column.

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Line supports
There are three basic types of linear supports in SCIA.ESA PT. They are similar to point support types.
Standard
support

This support is defined by six


independent
parameters.
Each
parameter defines the constraint in one
direction: translation in X, Y, Z axis
and rotation around the same axes. The
parameters are the same as for point
support except that it is not possible to
define non-linear and friction line
support.

Foundation
strip

This support is modelled by means of a


foundation strip. In addition, some
parameters related to the surrounding
soil are defined as well.

Wall

This support is used to model the case


where the supporting is realised by a
wall.

Foundation strip
A linear support may be defined in the form of a foundation strip. The supporting is then specified by
the properties and dimensions of the strip together with the properties of the soil below and above the
footing surface.
This type of support is described in chapter Foundation strip and requires the following parameters to
be input.
Foundation

Defines the properties of the soil below the footing surface.

Width

Defines the width of the foundation strip.

Upper soil

Defines the properties of the soil above the footing surface.

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Note: A foundation block can be used only if the Subsoil functionality has been selected in the
Project settings.

Wall
A structure member may be in real life very often supported by a wall. If this is the case and only a part
of the real structure is being modelled (e.g. one floor), SCIA.ESA PT allows definition of such
supporting condition with minimal effort.
The program automatically calculates the stiffness of the support from the following parameters:
Material

Specifies the material of the supporting wall.

Width

Defines the width of the supporting wall.

Height

Defines the height of the supporting wall.

Hinged

Tells whether the wall is rigidly fixed into the supported member
or is pinned into it.

Connection

Determines if the wall is only under the supported member or also


above it.

Note: A supporting wall can be used only if material Concrete has been specified for the project in
the Project settings.

Orientation of a linear support on a beam


A linear support on a beam can be acting:
in the direction of global co-ordinate axes,
in the direction of axes of the local co-ordinate system of the particular beam.
The setting can be made in the property dialogue of each new support.

Line support on a slab


Parameters
Name

Specifies the name of the support.

Constraint conditions

See table below.

Constraint conditions
Free

The support is free in the specified direction. That is it imposes no


constraint in the direction.

Rigid

The support in fully rigid in the specified direction.

Flexible

The support is flexible (elastic) in the specified direction. The user


has to define the required stiffness of the support.

Rigid press only

Same as pure Rigid but the support acts ONLY under


compression. If the support gets under tension it stops acting.

Flexible press only

Same as pure Flexible but the support acts ONLY under


compression. If the support gets under tension it stops acting.

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Geometry
System

The support may be defined in local or global coordinate system.

Edge

Specifies the edge where the support is located.

Position x1

Defines the starting point of the support.

Position x2

Defines the end point of the support.

Coordination definition

The position of starting and end point may be defined in absolute


or relative coordinates.

Origin

Defines the origin for the coordinate system (above).

Surface support on slab


Parameters
Name

Specifies the name of the support.

Type

Defines the type of support see below.

Subsoil

If necessary for the selected type, this item specifies the subsoil
parameters.

Type
Individual

A particular subsoil type is assigned to the slab.

Soilin

For such a support, the interaction of the structure with the


foundation subsoil is carried out by means of SOILIN module.

Both

Both of the above mentioned types are combined on the same slab.

Not implemented yet.

Friction support
Parameters
From reaction

The user may select the reaction that defines the force pushing
against the support.

C flex

Stiffness of the support.

mju

Coefficient of friction.
If friction of X / Y / Z or XY / XZ / YZ type is selected, one mju
value must be input.
If friction of X+Y / X+Z / Y+Z type is selected, two mju values
must be input.

Independent

If simple friction (X, Y, Z) is defined in two directions, this option


is available. It specifies that friction in one direction is
independent on the friction in the other direction.

From reaction
X, Y, Z

The final limit force can be calculated from the reaction in a


specified direction. If a support in X-direction is being defined, it
can be said that the friction force should be determined from the
reaction calculated in either Y or Z direction.

XY, XZ, YZ

The final limit force can be calculated as a compound friction.


Only one of the stated options is offered for each direction. E.g. if
a support in X-direction is being defined, it can be said that the

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friction force should be determined from the reactions calculated
in Y and Z direction. The friction force is calculated from the
following formula:

X+Y, X+Z, Y+Z

The same as above can be said here. Different procedure is


however used to calculate the limit force. E.g. for friction support
in X-direction the following formula is employed:

Note: Friction can be input in one or two directions. It is not possible to define friction in all
three direction otherwise the "thrust" could not determined.
Note: Composed friction (e.g. YZ or Y+Z) can be input in one direction only.
Note: Option Independent friction is available ONLY if simple friction (X, Y, Z) is defined
in two directions.
When inserted into the model, a friction support (friction defined in Y and Z direction) is marked with
the following symbol (remember that in order to see the symbol, view parameters must be adjusted to
show model data).

Examples:
Lets assume a plane XY and a support that can slide on it in any direction with a friction.
X

friction

C flex x

1E5

mju x

0.20

from reaction

friction

C flex y

1E5

mju y

0.55

from reaction

rigid (or press only)

Independent friction

YES

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Lets assume a pipe in a borehole in X-direction.
X

friction

C flex x

1E5

mju x

0.20

from reaction

YZ

flexible

stiff y

5E5

flexible

stiff z

3.5E6

Defining a new support


Defining a new support
In order to define a new support, the supported member must have been already inserted into the model.
The procedure differs little bit according to the shape and placement of the support. In general,
however, it is simple and straightforward and the difference for individual variants is only in the
specification of the support precise position.

The procedure for the definition of a new support


1. Open tree menu service Structure.
2. Open branch Support.
3. Start function for the support type that should be inserted:
a)

In node for a point support located in a node.

b)

On beam for a point support located "somewhere" on a beam.

c)

Line on beam for a linear support of a beam.

4. Choose the required support type:


a)

Standard support

b)

Foundation block or foundation strip

c)

Column or wall

5. Input necessary parameters for the selected support type (point or linear).
6. Specify the orientation of the support.
7. Specify the location of the support:
a)

No action is needed for a point support in node.

b)

Specify the position of the support on a beam (in the case of point support on a beam).

c)

Specify the position of the start-point and end-point of support on a beam (in the case of linear
support on a beam).

8. Confirm the settings with button [OK].


9. Select nodes (for point support in node) or beams (for point and line support on a beam) where the
adjusted supporting conditions should be defined.
10. Close the function.
11. Repeat steps 3 to 10 as many times as required.
12. Close the service Structure.

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Defining a new support on a slab


The procedure for the definition of a new support
1.

Open tree menu service Structure.

2.

Open branch Support.

3.

Start function for the support type that should be inserted:


a. point support on slab,
b. line support on slab edge,
c. surface support.

4.

Input necessary parameters for the selected support type (point or linear).

5.

Confirm the settings with button [OK].

6.

Select slabs where the adjusted supporting conditions should be defined.

7.

Close the function.

8.

Repeat steps 3 to 7 as many times as required.

9.

Close the service Structure.

Defining a new friction support


Procedure for the definition of a friction support
1. Open service Structure.
2. Start function Support > in node or Support > point on beam.
3. Select the direction for the "friction-controlled-behaviour" (see chapter Friction support for more
information).
4. Type and adjust other parameters of the support (see the second note below).
5. Confirm with [OK].
6. Input the support / support into the model.
7. Close the function.
8. Close the service.

Note: In order to use friction supports the Project Setup dialogue options must be assigned
appropriately. Options Nonlinearity and Friction supports must be selected.
Note: See also chapters under Model data > Supports, chapters Point supports and
Defining a new support in particular.

Fast definition of specific support types


Selected types of nodal supports can be inserted into the model in a very straightforward way.
Once the user opens service Structure, a new toolbar is displayed at the top of the command line. This
toolbar offers the most common support types:
sliding support in a node (

),

hinged support in a node (

),

fixed support in a node (

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The procedure for the fast definition of a support


1. Open service Structure.
2. A new toolbar appears at the top of the command line.

3. Click the required button.


4. The property table for the selected support type is displayed in the Property window.
5. If required, change any parameters.
6. Select nodes to position the support.
7. Close the function.
8. Close the service.

Parameters of a non-linear support


Parameters of a nonlinear support can be divided into two groups:
Stiffness

This basic stiffness is used for the initial linear calculation.

Function

The function defines non-linear behaviour of the support. This


function is taken into account during the non-linear calculation.

Non-linear function manager


Non-linear function that specifies the behaviour of a non-linear support can be defined in a standard
SCIA.ESA PT database manager.
The function itself consists of a positive and negative branch. The function must always pass the zero
point, i.e. the zero displacement must correspond to zero force. Any "switchbacks" in the diagram are
not allowed. This means that e.g. the positive branch may rise or keep a constant force value but it is not
possible to let the force go down with increasing displacement.
In addition to the function itself, there is a special parameter for the positive and negative axis. Possible
values of this parameter are
Rigid

If ON, the support is considered infinitely rigid once the limit


displacement (the last input displacement value defined in the
diagram) is reached.

Free

If ON, the support is considered free once the limit displacement


(the last input displacement value defined in the diagram) is
reached.

Flexible

If ON, the stiffness of the support is considered constant once the


limit displacement (the last input displacement value defined in
the diagram) is reached. The force value specified for the last input
displacement is used.

Foundation
Introduction to foundation
A structure is usually laid on the ground. The contact between the structure and the ground is made by
means of foundation blocks, strips, or plates. The real supporting condition is very often idealised by
means of simplified supports for purpose of numerical analysis of the structure.
SCIA.ESA PT offers tools that provide for direct modelling of such supporting conditions. The user
may define the composition of foundation soil, dimensions and other parameters of foundation structure
(block or strip) and properties of the soil above the footing surface.

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The program automatically calculates final values of stiffness and uses them for numerical solution.

Foundation blocks and strips


Foundation block
The user can choose from two variants of foundation block.

The parameters are:


Name

The name is used for the identification of the foundation block.

Type

Specifies the shape of the foundation block.

Dimensions

The input of dimensions can be performed in a dialogue with selfexplanatory interactive drawing of the block. That means that the
user may click on a dimension line in the drawing and the
corresponding item of the dialogue gets the focus. Therefore, its
very simple to specify the dimensions of the foundation block.

Eccentricity

The foundation bock may be either symmetrical or some


eccentricity in one or both plan directions may be specified.

Cast conditions

Specifies the production of the foundation block.

Material

This item defines the material of the foundation block.

The foundation block editing dialogue makes it possible to display the foundation block in 2D or 3D
mode.
The 2D mode shows side view, plan view and dimension lines for all input values.
The 3D mode enables the user to make a good visualisation of the defined foundation block
The above-mentioned properties are defined in the editing dialogue for the foundation block. The
editing dialogue can be opened from the Foundation block manager.
In addition, another important parameter of the foundation block support must be defined. It is the soil
that is below the footing surface. This last parameter is defined in the property dialogue of support, i.e.
it is defined at the moment the support is being inserted into the model.

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Foundation strip
A foundation strip is used as a kind of linear supporting. It is defined by its width and by the properties
of soil below the footing surface.
All the properties of the foundation strip are defined in the property dialogue of support, i.e. at the
moment the support is being inserted into the model.

Upper soil of foundation block and strip


Supporting of a structure defined by means of a foundation structure (i.e. foundation block or strip) is
defined not only by the dimensions of the foundation structure and properties of the soil below the
footing surface, but also by the characteristics of the upper soil.
Density

Specifies the density of the soil above the foundation block or


strip.

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Height

Defines the height of the upper soil layer. The height is measured
from the top-surface of the foundation block.

In addition, the user may specify the level of underground water that also influences the characteristics
of the support.

Note: The upper soil parameters are taken into account if the foundation block is checked
for stability.

Defining a new foundation block type


The procedure for the definition of a new foundation block type
1. Open the Foundation block manager:
a)

either: use tree menu item Library > Foundation blocks,

b)

or: use menu item Libraries > Foundation blocks.

2. Click button [New].


3. A new foundation block is created and it is added to the list of defined types.
4. Click button [Edit].
5. The editing dialogue appears on the screen.
6. Select the type you want to define.
7. Input the dimensions of the block.
8. Choose or define blocks material.
9. Confirm with button [OK].
10. Close the Foundation block manager

Note: If no foundation block has been defined so far and the user opens the Foundation
block manager, the program may automatically open the Foundation block editing dialogue
directly. Once the editing dialogue is closed, the Foundation manager appears on the screen
and the user may follow to procedure given above.

Inserting the foundation block into model


As the foundation block is a type of support it can be inserted like a standard point support. Therefore,
the procedure for the insertion of a point support can be applied. The only difference is, that the user has
to specify some additional parameters that are unique for this support type.

Note: If no subsoil and no type of foundation block has been defined and the user tries to insert a
support of Foundation block type, the program automatically creates a default subsoil type and a
default foundation block type. It is up to the user to edit these entities and input proper values of their
characteristics.

Defining a new foundation strip


As the foundation strip is a type of linear support it can be inserted like a standard linear support.
Therefore, the procedure for the insertion of a linear support can be applied. The only difference is, that
the user has to specify some additional parameters that are unique for this support type.

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Note: If no subsoil has been defined and the user tries to insert a support of Foundation strip type,
the program automatically creates a default subsoil type. It is up to the user to edit this entities and
input proper characteristics of it.

Subsoil
Introduction to subsoil
Supports of a "foundation" type, i.e. foundation block and foundation strip, are laid on the soil that
forms the base for the structure. The parameters of this soil must be defined in order to allow the
program to perform accurate calculations.
In SCIA.ESA PT the "under-foundation" soil is called subsoil and can be defined using functions:
either: tree menu function Library > Subsoils,
or: menu function Libraries > Subsoils.
Once at least one subsoil type is defined, it can be used for the definition of foundation blocks or
foundation strips.

Defining a new subsoil type


A new subsoil type can be defined by means of the Subsoils manager. It is one of the numerous
SCIA.ESA PT database managers.

The procedure for the definition of a new subsoil type


1. Open the Subsoils manager:
a)

either: tree menu function Library > Subsoils,

b)

or: menu function Libraries > Subsoils.

2. Click button [New] to create a new subsoil entity.


3. The new subsoil type is added to the list of defined subsoils.
4. Click button [Edit].
5. The editing dialogue is opened on the screen.
6. Input required values for individual parameters.
7. Confirm the parameters with button [OK].
8. Repeat steps 2 to 7 as many times as required.
9. Close the Subsoils manager.

Defining subsoil parameters


The definition of subsoil parameters can be done in the editing dialogue for subsoil. The editing
dialogue is accessible via the Subsoils manager.

Parameters of subsoil
Constants C1 and C2 for
directions X, Y, Z

The constants correspond with the parameters of WinklerPasternak model of subsoil.


(see also Subsoil parameters for subsoil under a beam).

Parameters for check

Here the parameters necessary for check of the subsoil to a


technical standards are defined.

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Parameters for check


These data are used only for the stability check of a foundation block.
Density

Soil density

Fic

The value of the angle of the shearing resistance in terms of


effective stress.

Cc

The value of the cohesion intercept in terms of effective stress.

Ccu

The value of the undrained shear strength.

Sigma oc

The admissible ground stress (optional).

Type

The soil can be Undrained or Drained.

Subsoil parameters for subsoil under a beam


The parameters of subsoil for subsoil defined under a beam are:
C1x

resistance of environment against ux (deformation in local x direction)

C1y

resistance of environment against uy (deformation in local y direction)

C1z

resistance of environment against uz (deformation in local z direction)

C2x

resistance of environment against dux/dx

C2y

resistance of environment against duy/dx

C2z

resistance of environment against duz/dx

Note: In the complete set of 6 parameters C, four parameters are significant and, if
available, can be determined from the C parameters of subsoil 2D model in EPW Soilin module
and from the stiffness of boundary bonding "k" modelling the effect of settlement basin:
C*1x (MN/m2)

= b (m) C1x (MN/m3)

C*1y (MN/m2)

= b (m) C1y (MN/m3)

C*1z (MN/m2)

= b (m) C1z (MN/m3) + 2 k (MN/m2)

C*2z (MN)

= b (m) C2x (MN/m)


where b is the width of the member.

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It is not recommended to use the remaining two parameters. Reliable experimental data are not
available for C2x and C2y.

Subsoil parameters for subsoil under a slab


The parameters of subsoil for subsoil defined under a slab are:
C1z

resistance of environment against wP (mm) [C1z in MN/m3]

C2x

resistance of environment against wP/xP (mm/m) [C2x in MN/m]

C2y

resistance of environment against wP/yP (mm/m) [C2y in MN/m]

C1x

resistance of environment against uP (mm) [C1x in MN/m3]

C1y

resistance of environment against vP (mm) [C1y in MN/m3]

Note: Usually, C2x is considered equal to C2y and C1x equal to C1y.
Note: See also chapter Model data > Foundation > Subsoil.

Using the subsoil


Subsoil is used as a parameter for the definition of "foundation structures". That means as a parameter
for foundation blocks and foundation strips. Both of these foundation structures are a kind of point or
linear support.
Consequently, the subsoil type used for particular foundation block or foundation strip is adjusted in the
property dialogue of a support.

Hinges (pins)
Beams
Introduction to hinges
If a structure consists of more than one member, it is necessary to define the connection of the
individual entities. The connection may be rigid or free or anything in between.
In SCIA.ESA PT the rigid connection is realised by means of linked nodes or cross-links and described
in chapter Connecting and disconnecting the entities. The "something in between" connection may be
realised by means of hinges (described in this chapter) or by means of hinged cross-links (see chapter
Connecting and disconnecting the entities). And there is no need to define a free connection, just let the
beams unconnected.
The difference between individual types of connections can be summarised as follows.
A linked node is a connection where an end-point of one entity is connected to any point of another
entity.
A cross-link is the connection of two intersecting entities. The both entities remain "undivided" in the
connection, they just pass through it.
A hinge may be inserted into an end-point of a beam if other than rigid connection is required.

Specifying hinge parameters


Hinge parameters can be input in the property dialogue for a new hinge.

Parameters of a hinge
Name

Is used for the identification of a hinge.

Position on a beam

The hinge can be inserted into the starting point of a beam, into the
end point of a beam, or to both ends.

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Constraint conditions in
individual directions

Degrees of freedom may be defined independently for individual


directions: translations along X, Y, and Z axes, rotation around X,
Y, and Z axes.
The degrees of freedom are defined in the local co-ordinate system
of the beam.

Constraint conditions
In each direction (translations along X, Y, and Z local beam axes, rotation around X, Y, and Z local
beam axes) the condition may be:
rigid

There is no release of degree of freedom defined for the specific


direction. The entities are fully connected in this direction.

free

The degree of freedom in the specified direction is released. The


two entities are not connected in the given direction.

flexible

There is defined a certain degree of flexibility in the specified


direction. The user then has to specify the stiffness of the
connection in the given direction.

nonlinear

The behaviour of the hinge must be specified by means of a nonlinear function. A particular function may be selected in the Hinge
property dialogue. Unless the function has been defined earlier, it
must be defined when the hinge is being inserted into the model. It
is possible to call the Nonlinear function manager directly from
the Hinge property dialogue.

Defining a new hinge


A hinge may be defined in any connection of two entities.

The procedure fort the definition of a new hinge


1. Open service Structure and call menu Hinge on beam:
a. either using menu function Tree > Structure > Hinge on beam,
b. or using tree menu function Structure > Hinge on beam.
2. The property dialogue for a new hinge is opened.
3. Fill in the parameters.
4. Confirm with [OK] button.
5. Select beam where the new hinge or hinges should be applied.
6. Close the function.
7. Close the service.

Fast definition of specific hinges


Once the user opens service Structure, a new toolbar is displayed at the top of the command line. This
toolbar offers the most common types of hinges:
two-direction pin in the first end-node of a beam (

),

two-direction pin in the second end-node of a beam (


two-direction pin in both end-nodes of a beam (

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The procedure for the fast definition of a two-direction pin


1. Open service Structure.
2. A new toolbar appears at the top of the command line.

3. Click the required button.


4. The property table for the selected hinge type is displayed in the Property window.
5. If required, change any parameters.
6. Select nodes where the hinge should be inserted.
7. Close the function.
8. Close the service.

Slabs
Hinges in slabs
A connection of two slabs may be modelled as a fixed one or a hinge may be inserted to create a pinned
connection. Two configurations of slab hinge are allowed:
free connection

There is no rotation restraint in the hinge and the two slabs may
freely rotate around the hinge.

flexible connection

The stiffness of the hinge in rotation is specified. As a result, the


bending moment is partially transferred through the hinge.

Under any configuration, all translations are fully transferred from one slab into the other.

Parameters
Name

Specifies the name of the hinge.

fix

Specifies the hinge configuration:


free
A standard pinned connection is use. There is no rotation restraint.
rigid
The members connected in the hinge are fully fixed. There is no
hinge.
flexible
The connection is partially fixed the user must define the
stiffness in rotation.

Stiffness

For a flexible hinge the stiffness must be input.

Position x1

Defines the starting point of the hinge. By default, the hinge


extends along the whole edge of the slab. However, if required, it
may be restricted to only a part of the edge.

Position x2

Defines the end point of the hinge. See above.

Coordinate definition

Selects the coordinate system that is used to define the length of


the hinge.

Origin

Specifies the origin of the coordinate system used for the


definition of the length of the hinge.

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Example
Lets input two identical rectangular slabs. In fact, each slab consists of two square slabs attached
closely to each other. This configuration has been chosen with a view to inserting the hinge. Both ends
of both slabs are fixed.
And now, lets insert a hinge into one of the two slabs into the middle of the span. The model can be
clearly seen on the figure below.

Lets subject the slabs to uniform distributed load acting in the direction perpendicular to the slab. The
result bending moment clearly demonstrates the effect of the hinge.

The top slab (in the figure above) is with the hinge in the middle of the span. The bending moment is
zero there. The bottom slab (in the figure above) is without a hinge and therefore, the middle of the span
there is the place where the bending moment reaches its maximum.
The results can be seen also in the following figure showing diagrams of bending moment displayed on
a longitudinal section across the slab.

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Modifying the existing model data


Changing the parameters of model data
SCIA.ESA PT offers a unique and unified system of editing for all types of entities that appear in the
project. The task of changing model data is no more complex than editing of properties of any
geometrical entity.

The procedure for the modification of parameters of model data entities


1. Simply select the model data entity (or entities) that should be modified.
2. The intersection of properties for the selected entities is displayed in the Property window.
3. Change the parameters as required.
4. The change is automatically applied.
5. Clear the selection.
This procedure may be applied to any model data entity. The procedure given above may be thus used
for editing of standard supports, foundation blocks, foundation strips, supporting columns, and all other
support types. It is applicable as well for the modification of hinge properties.
The procedure can also be used to change types of some model data entities. For example, a standard
support may be changed to supporting column, a foundation strip changed to a standard linear support,
etc.
The property dialogue also provides for a direct access to individual database managers that are relevant
for the selected entity or entities.
If only a single entity should be modified and the user would prefer to see the regular property table of
the entity including the drawing explaining the parameters, an alternative approach may be used.

The alternative procedure for editing of model data entities


1. Position the mouse cursor over the entity that should be modified.
2. Click the right mouse button.
3. The graphical window pop-up menu appear on the screen.
4. Select function Edit properties.
5. The property dialogue for the selected entity is opened.
6. Change any parameters you need to modify.
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7. Confirm the settings with button [OK].
8. The operation is completed.

Moving the model data


SCIA.ESA PT distinguishes between basic geometric entities such as nodes and beams and other
entities called Additional data. Model data are a subset of the Additional data group. Any manipulation
with Model data is carried out by means of manipulation functions for the Additional data.

The procedure for moving of the model data


1. Select the modal data that are to be moved.
2. Icon Move add data (

) becomes accessible on toolbar Geometrical manipulations.

3. Click the icon.


4. Define the target position for the moved entities.
5. All the selected entities are moved into the new location (i.e. into one particular point or onto a one
particular beam).
6. Press [Esc] to and the function.
The function for the move of additional data is also accessible via the window pop-up menu.

The alternative procedure for the same task


1. Select the modal data that are to be moved.
2. Position the mouse cursor outside any entity on the screen.
3. Click the right mouse button to invoke the pop-up menu.
4. Select function Move Add data.
5. Follow the final steps of the procedure described above.
There is also an alternative to the above mentioned procedure. The alternative is useful if only one
particular entity should be moved.

The alternative procedure for moving of a single model data entity


1. Position the mouse cursor on the entity you want to move.
2. Click the right mouse button.
3. The pop-up menu appears on the screen.
4. Select function Move Add data.
5. The function will treat the single entity the one over which the mouse cursor was positioned when the
mouse button was clicked.
6. Define the target position for the moved entities.
7. The selected entity is moved into the new location.
8. Press [Esc] to and the function.

Copying the model data


SCIA.ESA PT distinguishes between basic geometric entities such as nodes and beams and other
entities called Additional data. Model data are a subset of the Additional data group. Any manipulation
with Model data is carried out by means of manipulation functions for the Additional data.

The procedure for copying of the model data


1. Select the modal data that are to be copied.

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2. Icon Copy add data (

) becomes accessible on toolbar Geometrical manipulations.

3. Click the icon.


4. Define the target position for the copied entities.
5. All the selected entities are copied into the new location (i.e. into one particular point or onto a one
particular beam).
6. If required, select another target positions.
7. Press [Esc] to and the function.
The function for copying of additional data is also accessible via the window pop-up menu.

The alternative procedure for the same task


1. Select the modal data that are to be copied.
2. Position the mouse cursor outside any entity on the screen.
3. Click the right mouse button to invoke the pop-up menu.
4. Select function Copy add data.
5. Follow the final steps of the procedure described above.
There is also an alternative to the above mentioned procedure. The alternative is useful if only one
particular entity should be copied.

The alternative procedure for copying of a single model data entity


1. Position the mouse cursor on the entity you want to copy.
2. Click the right mouse button.
3. The pop-up menu appears on the screen.
4. Select function Copy add data.
5. The function will treat the single entity the one over which the mouse cursor was positioned when the
mouse button was clicked.
6. Define the target position for the copied entities.
7. The selected entity is copied into the new location.
8. If required, select another target positions.
9. Press [Esc] to and the function.

Deleting the model data


Any model data entities can be deleted the same way as geometrical entity.

The procedure for deletion of model data


1. Select entities that will be removed.
2. Start function Delete:
a. either use menu function Modify > Delete,
b. or invoke the window pop-up menu and here select function Delete.
3. A dialogue asking for your confirmation appears on the screen.
4. Confirm it.
5. The data are deleted from the project.

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Loads
Introduction to loads
Load represents probably the most important part of the model. The user has always to pay a great
attention to proper definition of load the structure is subject to.
SCIA.ESA PT comes with a set of tools that facilitate this very important task. The program not only
provides for numerous load types (concentrated force, linear moment load, thermal load, etc.) but also
enables the user to manage the loads in a very clear and effective way through load cases, load groups,
load case combinations and result classes. Each of these topics is described in detail in a separate
chapter.

Note 1: If the current load case is of Self weight type, it is not possible to define any load in it.
Therefore, if service Loads is called with a Self weight load case active, the menu remains empty.
Note 2: The service Loads contains a long list of various load types. However, the actual offer in
the list depends on several factors. First, the Standard user level of the user interface may hide some of
the sophisticated loads. Second, the type of the load case that is set as active controls the individual
load types in the list.

Load types
Introduction to load types
Load types available in a particular project may depend on the type of project (2D, 3D, etc.) and on the
functionality adjusted for the project. In general, it can be said that loads applicable in SCIA.ESA PT
can be divided into the following groups:
self weight

represents the weight of the structure

force and moment load

introduces action of external forces

thermal load

takes account of different temperature in different places

climatic load

models effects of climatic phenomena (wind, snow)

displacement of specified
points

introduces the effect of prescribed displacements for specific


points of the structure

The number of available load types is really large. In order to simplify the operation of the program, a
lot of the types may be "switched off" by the user. This results in a simplified and more lucid menu of
the program. By default, only the basic load types are offered by the program. If the user wants to use
some advanced load types, he/she must select appropriate options in the functionality settings.

Note: The display style of loads is controlled by appropriate view parameters. By default, service
Loads set the view parameters related to loads ON. Therefore, whenever you are in the service (Loads),
the loads are automatically displayed. However, as soon as you close service Loads, the program
returns to the standard setting of view parameters. It may happen that the view parameters for loads
are OFF, which means that the defined loads disappear from the screen. They DO NOT disappear from
the project. They are just not displayed. In order to see the loads even from outside the Loads service,
set the appropriate view parameters ON.

Point force in node


Parameters of point load applied into a node are:
Name

Is used for identification of the load.

Direction

Specifies the base direction of the load. The direction may further

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specified by the Angle item.
Type

The point load may be a force load, wind load, snow load, or
predefined load.

Angle

Specifies the angle by which the load is rotated from its basic
direction.

Value

Specifies the size of the load.

System

Defines the co-ordinate system in which the load is applied.


For information about setting a local co-ordinate system of a node
see chapter Geometry > Nodes > Defining a local co-ordinate
system of a node.

Direction and angle


Items Direction and Angle may be combined together to obtain the required orientation of the load.
The Direction specifies the base direction. The Angle then defines if and how the load is inclined from
the base direction.
The syntax for item Angle is:
R[axis of rotation][angle]
E.g. Rx30 means to rotate the load around the X-axis by 30 angle units. Rz-20 means to rotate the
load around the Z-axis by minus 20 angle units. The angle units can be adjusted in program Unit setup.

Value
The meaning of the Value depends on the Type of load.
For Force load, the Value is the real value of the load.
For Wind load, the Value represents the loading area. The real wind pressure is defined by wind curve
specified in the project settings.
For Snow load, the meaning is analogous to Wind load.
For Predefined load the meaning is analogous to Wind load.

Point force on beam


Some of the parameters for this load type are the same as for Point force in node.
In addition, parameters specifying the location of the load on a beam must be defined as well:
Position x

Defines the position of the load on the beam.

Co-ordinate definition

Specifies the definition of the position. It may be absolute or


relative.

Origin

Tell where the origin for the position co-ordinate measurement is.

Repeat

Defines the number of forces acting on the beam. If the number is


greater than 1, the forces are distributed uniformly over the beam.

Delta x

Specifies the distance between two adjacent forces.

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(available only if Repeat is greater than 1)
Eccentricity ey

Specifies the eccentricity in Y-direction.

Eccentricity ez

Specifies the eccentricity in Z-direction.

Co-ordinate definition
The location of the load on the beam may be defined in absolute or relative co-ordinates. If absolute coordinates are selected, the distance is defined in real length units set for the project. In the case of
relative co-ordinates, the position of the load on the beam is defined by value from within the interval
<0, 1>. In both cases, the distance is measured from the point defined in the Origin item.

Line force on beam


Line force load models load distributed over a beam. It may be action along the whole beam or only on
its part. Parameters of point load applied into a node are:
Name

Is used for the identification of the load.

Direction

Specifies the base direction of the load. The direction may further
specified by the Angle item.

Type

The point load may be a force load, wind load, snow load, or
predefined load.

Angle

Specifies the angle by which the load is rotated from its basic
direction.

Distribution

The load may be either constant along the beam or linearly


variable (trapezoidal).

Value

Specifies the size of the load.

System

Defines the co-ordinate system in which the load is applied.

Bottom flange

Defines the distribution of load on a built-in beam see Out-ofbalance factor below.

Q factor

Defines the Out-of-balance factor see below.

Location

Specifies whether the load is "put directly on an inclined beam" or


whether the "projection on plan" is defined.
(Applicable only for loads defined in GCS system).

Position x1

Defines the position of the load beginning on the beam.

Position x2

Defines the position of the load end on the beam.

Co-ordinate definition

Specifies the definition of the position. It may be absolute or


relative.

Origin

Tell where the origin for the position co-ordinate measurement is.

Eccentricity ey

Specifies the eccentricity in Y-direction.

Eccentricity ez

Specifies the eccentricity in Z-direction.

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Direction and angle


Items Direction and Angle may be combined together to obtain the required orientation of the load.
The Direction specifies the base direction. The Angle then defines if and how the load is inclined from
the base direction.
The syntax for item Angle is:
R[axis of rotation][angle]
E.g. Rx30 means to rotate the load around the X-axis by 30 angle units. Rz-20 means to rotate the
load around the Z-axis by minus 20 angle units. The angle units can be adjusted in program Unit setup.

Value
The meaning of the Value depends on the Type of load.
For Force load, the Value is the real value of the load.
For Wind load, the Value represents the loading width. The real wind pressure is defined by wind
curve specified in the project settings.
For Snow load, the meaning is analogous to Wind load.
For Predefined load the meaning is analogous to Wind load.

System
The definition of load direction may be defined:
in the local co-ordinate system of a beam,
in a selected user-co-ordinate system,
in the global co-ordinate system.

Location
The location depends on the setting of the System.
For local and user co-ordinate system, the location can be only Length.
However, for load defined in the global co-ordinate system, also a Projection may be selected.
For more information see chapter Direction of loads.

Co-ordinate definition
The location of the load on the beam may be defined in absolute or relative co-ordinates. If absolute coordinates are selected, the distance is defined in real length units set for the project. In the case of
relative co-ordinates, the position of the load on the beam is defined by value from within the interval
<0, 1>. In both cases, the distance is measured from the point defined in the Origin item.

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Out-of-balance factor
The Out-of-balance factor can be defined if option Bottom flange is ON. The Bottom flange
parameter is meaningful only for line load applied on Built-in beams. This parameter enables the user
to define the distribution of the load along the bottom flange. If parameter Bottom flange is ON,
parameter Q, i.e. the out-of-balance factor, can be input.
Q-factor = 0

symmetrical distribution on flange

Q-factor = 1

asymmetrical distribution on flange

Q-factor = qmax qmin / q

general position

Line force on slab edge


Parameters
Name

Is used for the identification of the load.

Direction

Specifies the base direction of the load.

Type

The load may be a force load, wind load, snow load, self-weight or
predefined load.

Distribution

The load may be either constant along the edge or linearly variable
(trapezoidal).

Value

Specifies the size of the load.

System

Defines the co-ordinate system in which the load is applied.

Location

Specifies whether the load is "put directly on an inclined member"


or whether the "projection on plan" is defined.
(Applicable only for loads defined in GCS system).

Edge

Specifies the edge where the load is acting.

Position x1

Defines the position of the load beginning on the edge.

Position x2

Defines the position of the load end on the edge.

Co-ordinate definition

Specifies the definition of the position. It may be absolute or


relative.

Origin

Tell where the origin for the position co-ordinate measurement is.

Value
The meaning of the Value depends on the Type of load.
For Force load, the Value is the real value of the load.
For Wind load, the Value represents the loading width. The real wind pressure is defined by wind
curve specified in the project settings.
For Snow load, the meaning is analogous to Wind load.
For Predefined load the meaning is analogous to Wind load.

System
The definition of load direction may be defined:
in the local co-ordinate system of a edge,
in a selected user-co-ordinate system,

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in the global co-ordinate system.

Location
The location depends on the setting of the System.
For local and user co-ordinate system, the location can be only Length.
However, for load defined in the global co-ordinate system, also a Projection may be selected.
For more information see chapter Direction of loads.

Co-ordinate definition
The location of the load on the edge may be defined in absolute or relative co-ordinates. If absolute coordinates are selected, the distance is defined in real length units set for the project. In the case of
relative co-ordinates, the position of the load on the edge is defined by value from within the interval
<0, 1>. In both cases, the distance is measured from the point defined in the Origin item.
Example

Surface load on slab


The surface load is defined on the whole slab. If only a part of a main slab is supposed to be subject to
this load, a subregion must be defined inside the main slab. The subregion must be identical with the
loading area. Alternatively, free surface load may be applied.

Parameters
Name

Is used for the identification of the load.

Direction

Specifies the base direction of the load.

Type

The point load may be a force load, self-weight or predefined load.


See Line force on slab edge for detailed information.

Value

Specifies the size of the load.


See Line force on slab edge for detailed information.

System

Defines the co-ordinate system in which the load is applied.


See Line force on slab edge for detailed information.

Note: Predefined load and snow load add a new parameter to the property table: Coefficient. The
default value of this parameter is 1 (minus one) to ensure that the defined load acts downwards and is
of the same value as defined.

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Moment load in node


A node of the structure may be subject to a moment load. The load is defined by the direction and size
of the moment.
The meaning of individual parameters is analogous to parameters for Point force in node.

Moment load on beam


The meaning of individual parameters is analogous to parameters for Point force on beam.

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Line moment load on beam


The meaning of individual parameters is analogous to parameters for Line force on beam.

Thermal load on beam


Thermal load applied on a beam may be either constant or linear.
Constant

The load is defined by means of a single value. The value specifies


the warming to which the beam is subject.

Linear

The load is defined by means of a set of four values. The


individual values specify the temperature at individual sides (top,
left, bottom, right) of the beam.

The meaning of parameters from the Geometry group is identical with Line force on beam.

Thermal load on slab


Thermal load may be either constant or linear.
Constant

The load is defined by means of a single value. The value specifies


the warming to which the slab is subject.

Linear

The load is defined by means of a set of two values. The


individual values specify the temperature at individual surfaces
(top, bottom) of the slab.

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Translation of support
A node of the structure may be subject to a prescribed displacement. In such a case, the user defines the
direction and magnitude of the known displacement.
The definition of this load type and the meaning of the individual parameters is analogous to Point force
in node. However, due to the nature of the load, the number of parameters is reduced.

Note: The translation of support cannot be defined in flexible and non-linear supports.

Translation of a point on beam


A point of the structure may be subject to a prescribed displacement. The displacement mean that the
beam is "torn apart" and one part of the beam is lifted up while the other part is pushed down. The
imposed load is clear from the picture below. The magnitude defined is equal to the distance of "tornend-points" of the beam.

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The definition of this load type and the meaning of the individual parameters is analogous to Point force
on beam. However, due to the nature of the load, the number of parameters is reduced.

Rotation of support
A node of the structure may be subject to a prescribed rotation. In such a case, the user defines the
direction and magnitude of the known rotation.
The definition of this load type and the meaning of the individual parameters is analogous to Point force
in node. However, due to the nature of the load, the number of parameters is reduced.

Note: The translation of support cannot be defined in flexible and non-linear supports.

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Rotation of a point on beam


A point of the structure may be subject to a prescribed rotation. The displacement mean that the beam is
"cracked" and both parts are bent. The imposed load is clear from the picture below. The magnitude
defined is equal to the angle between the tangents to two parts of the beam.

The definition of this load type and the meaning of the individual parameters is analogous to Point force
on beam. However, due to the nature of the load, the number of parameters is reduced.

Longitudinal strain
The whole beam may be subject to a longitudinal strain. This strain can be either uniform along the
beam or may vary linearly.
The definition of this load type and the meaning of the individual parameters is analogous to Line force
on beam. However, due to the nature of the load, the number of parameters is reduced.

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Flexural strain
The whole beam may be subject to a flexural strain. This strain can be either uniform along the beam or
may vary linearly.
The definition of this load type and the meaning of the individual parameters is analogous to Line force
on beam. However, due to the nature of the load, the number of parameters is reduced.

Slab displacement and curvature


Parameters
Name

Defines the name of the load. It may facilitate the identification of


the load.

Epsilon [mm/m]

Relative elongation due to increase of temperature or shrinkage.

k [mrad/m]

Curvature of the plane due to non-uniform increase of temperature


or shrinkage.

A little bit of theory


Considering that the material is homogenous and isotropic and that the temperature is distributed
linearly across the member thickness, the elongation of a member due to the increase of temperature can
be easily calculated.
Lets assume increase of temperature at the upper surface TH and increase of temperature at the lower
surface TD. The final increase of temperature (shrinkage) can be divided into two components see the
figure below.

Considering this, we obtain:

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Elongation (in m/m)

where
alpha

coefficient of thermal expansion

Ts

the increased temperature

Positive increase of temperature gives positive value of elongation.

Curvature

where
alpha

coefficient of thermal expansion

delta T

difference in temperature between the surface z = -h/2 and


z = +h/2.
member thickness

It follows from geometry that k = 1 / R, where R is a radius of a spherical surface the shape of which
the members takes if the change of shape due to an increase of temperature is not prevented.

Note: If the increase of temperature is not linear across the member, the distribution of
temperature increase must be linearised. The results must be then revised and stress resulting from the
difference between the given and linearised increase of temperature must be obtained by a special
calculation and added to this result.

Example
Imagine the following rather theoretical situation. Lets have a circular slab supported in its centre
only.

First, lets subject this slab to the uniform elongation of 10 mm/m. It is possible to imagine that both
surfaces of the slab are heated.

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After calculation, we may see the overall and symmetrical expansion of the slab (the figure shows both
the original slab and the deformed finite element mesh).

Second, lets subject the slab to non-uniform expansion (curvature) of 10 mrad/m. It is possible to
imagine that only one surface of the slab is heated.
After calculation, we may see the bowl-like deformation of the slab that results from this type of load.
The figure shows the both the original slab and the deformed finite element mesh. The second figure
presenting the side-view is more illustrative.

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Pond load - water accumulation


Parameters
Name

Defines the name of the load. It may facilitate the identification of


the load.

Loaded beams

Informs about the loading conditions.

Direction

Specifies the direction of the load.

Storage capacity

Specifies the capacity of the roof.

Other reasons

Specifies an additional height.

Division

Specifies the division used for the calculation.

Max number of steps

Defines maximum number of steps during the calculation.

Use other permanent load

If ON, other permanent load may be included.

Status

Tells the status of he calculation.

Detailed parameters -Points


No.

Automatically generated vertex number.

X, Y

Co-ordinates of vertex of loading polygon.

Height

Type of definition of water height.


Input: The height is manually input.
Point: The height is calculated from the value at different point
using the given slope.
Calculate: The height is calculated from defined slopes.

Defines the water height.

Point

Only if Height is set to Point: Defines the point from which the
height is calculated.

Slope

Only if Height is set to Point: Defines the slope from the selected
point.

Detailed parameters -Drains


Point

Number of point.

Location

Location of the drain.

hdn

depth of the emergency drain above the roof or roof edge, in m

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A

roof area (vertical projection at ground plane) that drains using a


certain emergency drain, in m2

width of the drain

Detailed parameters -Slopes


The user may define subregions where planar shape is assumed. Only three points may have the height
defined. The remaining points are calculated. In case of any conflict, the area is not permitted.

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Example
When defined in the model, the pond load may look like:

Dynamic loads
Harmonic load
There is no need to carry out a special dynamic calculation for a weakly damped structure. The method
of expansion into eigenmodes can be used to determine the final amplitude of deformation line as a
linear combination of the eigenmodes (the phase shift between individual eigenmodes can be ignored
for weak damping). This type of calculation only requires the definition of logarithmic decrement,
frequency of excitation impulse in Hz and amplitude of nodal impulses (see Defining the harmonic load
case).
The results may than be reviewed the same way as results of a standard static calculation (see also
Evaluating the results for harmonic load).
If the phase shift between individual eigenmodes cannot be ignored due to stronger damping, the
problem must be solved as a response to a general dynamic load.

Seismic load
During earthquake, the subsoil (sub-grade or foundation) bearing a structure moves. The structure tries
to follow this movement. As a result, all masses in the structure begin to move. Subsequently, they
subject the structure to inertial forces. Supports can generally move in all directions, but normally only
horizontal moves are taken into consideration. The user may define the direction that s/he considers to
be crucial for the structure or s/he may evaluate the effect of shakes acting in different directions.
Inertial forces arise from the move. It is sufficient to determine these forces and apply them on the
structure. Thus, the dynamic calculation is transformed into a static one. But the whole thing is not that
simple. We do not know the precise movement of subsoil and therefore we are not able to determine the
seismic forces precisely. But we can apply formulas of a technical standard or employ the frequency
spectrum of a real earthquake.
Usually, horizontal movement of a structure is assumed for seismic load. That means that the
earthquake acts in a plane horizontal to XY plane. The direction can be specified by means of
coefficient for individual co-ordinate axes.

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For example:
earthquake in X-direction

set X = 1 and Y = 0

earthquake in Y-direction

set X = 0 and Y = 1

earthquake in the axis of the 1st quadrant

set X = Y = 0.707 (i.e. sin(45))

On the other hand, it is possible to take account of Z-directions as well. This can be achieved by
specifying the coefficient for Z axis.

Note: We must be careful with the coefficients as earthquake "X=1; Y=0; Z=0.667" is not
equal to earthquake "X=1; Y=0; Z=-0.667" nor to earthquake "X=-1; Y=0; Z=0.667".
The seismic calculation runs automatically, which means that both self-weight and input masses are
used to generate load for individual eigenmodes.
The evaluation is performed separately for each force and displacement component using generally two
available formulas:
Square root of the sum of squares taking account of the extreme value:

Square root of the sum of squares:

where:

Sdyn

component in consideration

Sm

the maximum corresponding component for individual eigenmode

Sj

other corresponding components for individual eigenmode

The final force may be both negative and positive. Both possibilities are considered in combinations.

Note: Whatever procedure we apply to the evaluation of quantity X, the result is always
positive value. But we can have also a negative value because in seismicity the vibration is
around the equilibrium position. The results of seismic calculation are always positive in
SCIA.ESA PT. The only exception is with internal forces. Here, the co-ordinate system
convention in not used. Instead, the "elasticity" convention (lower and front fibres under tension)
is applied. Signs of some shear forces and bending moments may be inverted and "minus" may
appear in the results of seismic calculation.
One more fact must be borne in mind. In static analysis we are curious about relations between
individual internal forces e.g. extreme axial force and corresponding bending moment. Such relations,
however, cannot be determined for results of seismic calculation because each component is evaluated
separately which, as you have surely noticed, is not a linear problem.
When evaluating results of seismic analysis, the one may say "this is the maximal axial force", "this is
the maximal axial stress", "this is the maximal vertical displacement". But one cannot calculate stress in
a section from the axial force and bending moment even though they appear in the same line of result
table. This is the effect of the squares and roots in the formulas above. Accurate stress can be obtained
only in appropriate module for design and checking (steel, concrete, etc. structures).

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General seismisity
If a structure is designed for a particular earthquake, we can employ seismicity defined by means of a
frequency spectrum. The following data must be specified:
table of frequencies and accelerations,
coefficients of accelerations,
direction coefficients,
evaluation type.
For more information see chapter Defining the seismic load case.

Free loads
Introduction to free loads
Free load is related to slabs. The load is not defined by the entity it acts on, but by a specific load
border. Free loads are defined by means of "loading entities" that may overlap or affect one or more
slabs.

Available types of "loading entity"


polygon

The loading entity is defined by means of a general polygon.

line

The loading entity is defined by means of a line or polyline.

point

The loading entity is defined by means of a point.

Note: The loading entity may be oriented arbitrarily but can be input only in the XY plane of the
current UCS. Therefore, before one can input the free load, it is necessary to adjust the working plane
accordingly.
Each loading entity keeps a record of what was the orientation of the UCS when the entity was defined.
The orientation of the UCS is important as some of the loading parameters may be related to this UCS.
Whenever any already defined free load entity is selected, the appropriate UCS is activated.
If an inclined slab is subject to free load (the word inclined means that the plane of the slab and the
loading plane of the loading entity are not parallel), the final load value is calculated from the projection
of defined load onto the selected slab.
Free load is independent of finite element mesh and possible refinement or "coursing" of the mesh does
not affect the calculated results.
It is possible to manually define which particular slabs should be subject to a particular free load.
Alternatively, the program may automatically detect all affected slabs and apply the load on them. The
former approach enables the user to extract specific slabs from the effect of the defined load.

Validity of free loads


The validity of free load means (i) which particular slabs are subject to the given load and (ii) the
halfspace where the load acts (i.e. the direction of the load).
All

Both entities located under and above the defined load are subject
to the defined load.

-Z

If ON, the load is supposed to act only in the space located along
the negative half of Z-axis of the User coordinate system. That
means that ONLY the entities located UNDER the XY-plane of
the UCS are subject to the load in question.

If ON, the load is supposed to act only in the space located along
the positive half of Z-axis of the User coordinate system. That
means that ONLY the entities located ABOVE the XY-plane of
the UCS are subject to the load in question.

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Selected

The user must define which particular entities are supposed to be


subject to the given load.

General procedure for the definition of a new free load


1. Start the appropriate function (free point load, free line load, free surface load).
2. Adjust the size and other parameters of the load.
3. Input the loading entity (i.e. the loading area/line/point).
4. If necessary, make the selection of slabs that should be subject to the load.
5. Close the function.
Example
The figure below demonstrates all three types of free load: point load (far left), polygonal two-segment
line load (far right) and surface load (in the centre).

Free point load


Parameters
Name

Is used for the identification of the load.

Direction

Specifies the base direction of the load.

Type

The free point load may be of force type only.

Value

Specifies the size of the load.

Validity

Defines the validity of the load see chapter Introduction to free


loads for more information.

Select

It is possible to define if all suitable members will be subject to


this load or if only selected members are supposed to be affected
by this particular load.

System

Defines the co-ordinate system in which the load is applied.

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Free line load


Parameters
Name

Is used for the identification of the load.

Direction

Specifies the base direction of the load.

Type

The load may be a force load.

Distribution

The load may be either constant along the edge or linearly variable
(trapezoidal).

Value

Specifies the size of the load.

Validity

Defines the validity of the load see chapter Introduction to free


loads for more information.

Select

It is possible to define if all suitable members will be subject to


this load or if only selected members are supposed to be affected
by this particular load.

System

Defines the co-ordinate system in which the load is applied.

Location

Specifies whether the load is "put directly on an inclined member"


or whether the "projection on plan" is defined.
(Applicable only for loads defined in GCS system).

Free surface load


Parameters
Name

Is used for the identification of the load.

Direction

Specifies the base direction of the load.

Type

The load may be a force load, wind load, snow load or predefined
load.

Distribution

The load may be either constant across the slab or linearly variable
(trapezoidal).

Value

Specifies the size of the load.

Validity

Defines the validity of the load see chapter Introduction to free


loads for more information.

Select

It is possible to define if all suitable members will be subject to


this load or if only selected members are supposed to be affected
by this particular load.

System

Defines the co-ordinate system in which the load is applied.

Location

Specifies whether the load is "put directly on an inclined member"


or whether the "projection on plan" is defined.
(Applicable only for loads defined in GCS system).

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Load direction
Direction of loads
Point force load
Point force load defined in a node or on a beam can be acting in the following directions:
global co-ordinate system

Both point force load in node and point force load on beam can be
defined to act in the direction of the global co-ordinate system.

local co-ordinate system


of node

Point force load in node can be acting in the direction of local coordinate system of the node.
See also chapter Geometry > Nodes > Defining a local co-ordinate
system of a node.

local co-ordinate system


of beam

Point force load on beam can be acting in the direction of local coordinate system of the beam.

Line force load


Distributed load on a beam can be acting in the following directions:
global co-ordinate system

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projection in the global


co-ordinate system

local co-ordinate system


of beam

Moment load (point and line)


global co-ordinate system

Both point moment load in node, point moment load on beam, and
line moment load on beam can be defined to act in the direction of
the global co-ordinate system.

local co-ordinate system


of node

Point moment load in node can be acting in the direction of local


co-ordinate system of the node.
See also chapter Geometry > Nodes > Defining a local co-ordinate
system of a node.

local co-ordinate system


of beam

Both point and line moment load on beam can be acting in the
direction of local co-ordinate system of the beam.

Point displacement load


global co-ordinate system

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Point displacement load in node can be acting in the direction of


the global co-ordinate system.

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local co-ordinate system
of node

Point displacement load in node can be acting in the direction of


local co-ordinate system of the node.
See also chapter Geometry > Nodes > Defining a local co-ordinate
system of a node.

local co-ordinate system


of beam

Point displacement load on beam can be acting ONLY in the


direction of the local co-ordinate system of the beam.

Line displacement load


Line displacement load can be defined ONLY in the direction of local co-ordinate system of the beam.

Defining a new load


Defining a new point load in a node
The same procedure is applicable for the definition of all nodal point loads, i.e. point force, point
moment, translation in node, rotation in node, wind pressure in node, etc.

The procedure for the definition of a new point load in a node


1. Open the required function via tree menu Loads or via menu Tree > Loads:
a. Point force > in node
b. Moment > in node
c. Point displacement > Translation of support
d. Point displacement > Rotation of support
2. Specify the parameters of the load and its size.
3. Confirm the settings with [OK] button.
4. Select nodes where the load should act.
5. Close the function.

Defining a new point load on a beam


The same procedure is applicable for the definition of all point loads located on a beam, i.e. point force,
point moment, translation of a point, rotation of a point, wind pressure in a point, etc.

The procedure for the definition of a new point load on a beam


1. Open the required function via tree menu Loads or via menu Tree > Loads:
a. Point force > on beam
b. Moment > on beam
c. Point displacement > on beam - translation
d. Point displacement > on beam - rotation
2. Specify the parameters of the load and its size.
3. Input the position of the load on the beam.
4. Type the number of repetitions of the load and input the distance between adjacent loads.
5. Confirm the settings with [OK] button.
6. Select beams where the load should act.
7. Close the function.

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Defining a new line load on a beam


The same procedure is applicable for the definition of all line loads, i.e. line force, line moment,
translation of a beam, rotation of a beam, wind pressure over a beam, etc.

The procedure for the definition of a new line load on a beam


1. Open the required function via tree menu Loads or via menu Tree > Loads:
a. Line force on beam
b. Line moment on beam
c. Line displacement > relative translation
d. Line displacement > relative rotation
2. Specify the parameters of the load and its size.
3. Input the starting point and end point of the load position. (This must be made only for force loads as
the prescribed displacement must be applied to the whole beam.)
4. Confirm the settings with [OK] button.
5. Select beams where the load should act.
6. Close the function.

Defining a new thermal load on a beam


The procedure for the definition of a new thermal load
1. Open function Thermal load on beam via tree menu Loads or via menu Tree > Loads:
2. Specify the parameters of the load and its size.
3. Input the starting point and end point of the load position.
4. Confirm the settings with [OK] button.
5. Select beams where the load should act.
6. Close the function.

Defining a new line load on slab edge


The procedure for the definition of a new line load on slab edge
1. Open function Line force > on slab edge via tree menu Loads or via menu Tree > Loads.
2. Specify the parameters of the load and its size.
3. Confirm the settings with [OK] button.
4. Select the edges where the load should act.
5. Close the function.

Defining a new surface load on a slab


The procedure for the definition of a new surface load on slab
1. Open function Surface load > on slab via tree menu Loads or via menu Tree > Loads.
2. Specify the parameters of the load and its size.
3. Confirm the settings with [OK] button.

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4. Select the slabs where the load should act (you may select both main slabs and subregions).
5. Close the function.

Defining a new thermal load on slab


The procedure for the definition of a new thermal load
1. Open function Thermal load on slab via tree menu Loads or via menu Tree > Loads.
2. Specify the parameters of the load and its size.
3. Confirm the settings with [OK] button.
4. Select slabs where the load should act.
5. Close the function.

Defining a new free point load


The procedure for the definition of a new free point load
1. Open function Point force > Free via tree menu Loads or via menu Tree > Loads.
2. Specify the parameters of the load and its size.
3. Confirm the settings with [OK] button.
4. Define the point / points where the load should act.
5. Close the function.

Defining a new free line load


The procedure for the definition of a new free line load
1. Open function Line force > Free via tree menu Loads or via menu Tree > Loads.
2. Specify the parameters of the load and its size.
3. Confirm the settings with [OK] button.
4. Define the loading line / polygone.
5. Close the function.

Defining a new free surface load


The procedure for the definition of a new free surface load
1. Open function Surface load > Free via tree menu Loads or via menu Tree > Loads.
2. Specify the parameters of the load and its size.
3. Confirm the settings with [OK] button.
4. Define the loading area (i.e. a closed polygon).
5. Close the function.

Defining a new slab displacement


The procedure for the definition of a displacement of a slab
1. Open function Slab displacement, curvature via tree menu Loads or via menu Tree > Loads.

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2. Specify the parameters of the load and its size.
3. Confirm the settings with [OK] button.
4. Select slabs where the load should be applied.
5. Close the function.

Fast definition of specific load types


Some of the most often used load types may be defined very fast via buttons on the toolbar at the top
edge of the command line.
The toolbar appears only when service Loads is opened. The individual buttons provide for the
definition of the following load types:
point force in a node (

),

single point force on beam (

),

two uniformly distributed point forces on a beam (


three uniformly distributed point forces on a beam (
four uniformly distributed point forces on a beam (
distributed load on a beam (

),
),
),

).

All the above-mentioned buttons start the corresponding function with default settings. The settings are
shown in the property window where they can but do not have to be edited.

The procedure for the fast definition of specific load types


1. Start service Loads.
2. The toolbar appears on the screen.

3. Press the required button.


4. If necessary, edit the values in the Property window.
5. Select entities to which the load should be applied.
6. Close the function.

Note: The fast definition of load does not work if the current load case is either of Self weight or
wind or snow type.

Modifying the existing load


Changing the load parameters
Load is a standard SCIA.ESA PTs entity. Therefore, it can be modified in the same way as other entity
types. Whats more, similarly to e.g. supports, it belongs to Additional data of the SCIA.ESA PT
project. The procedure for the modification of load is therefore identical to the procedure for the
modification of model data (e.g. supports, etc.).

Moving the load


Load is a standard SCIA.ESA PTs entity. Therefore, it can be modified in the same way as other entity
types. Whats more, similarly to e.g. supports, it belongs to Additional data of the SCIA.ESA PT

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project. The procedure for move of load is therefore identical to the procedure for move of model data
(see chapter Model data > Modifying the existing model data > Moving the model data).

Copying the load


Load is a normal SCIA.ESA PTs entity. Therefore, it can be modified in the same way as other entity
types. Whats more, similarly to e.g. supports, it belongs to Additional data of the SCIA.ESA PT
project. The procedure for copying of load is therefore identical to the procedure for copying of model
data (see chapter Model data > Modifying the existing model data > Copying the model data).

Deleting the load


Load is a normal SCIA.ESA PTs entity. Therefore, it can be modified in the same way as other entity
types. Whats more, similarly to e.g. supports, it belongs to Additional data of the SCIA.ESA PT
project. The procedure for removal of load is therefore identical to the procedure for removal of model
data (see chapter Model data > Modifying the existing model data > Deleting the model data).

Load cases
Introduction to load cases
Individual loads are not defined "freely". They must be included in load cases. The load cases
correspond with the professional terminology specified in national technical standards dealing with
loads of civil engineering structures. The application of load cases in SCIA.ESA PT follows the load
management procedures that are usual and also obligatory in civil engineering practice.
It is possible to specify a great number of load case parameters to control the way the program treats
each particular load case and especially the loads defined into it.

Load case manager


The Load case manager is a standard SCIA.ESA PT manager. It provides for basic operations with
load cases:
creation of a new load case,
editing of existing load cases,
deletion of existing load cases,
printing the information about existing load cases,
saving and reading of existing load cases into and from an external file.
The Load case manager can be opened in one of the following ways:
using menu function Tree > Load cases, combinations > Load cases,
using tree menu function Load cases, combinations > Load cases.

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Defining a new load case


The procedure for the definition of a new load case
1. Open the Load case manager.
2. Click button [New].
3. A new load case is created.
4. Click button [Edit] to open the editing dialogue.
5. Input the required values for individual load case parameters.
6. Confirm with button [OK].
7. If required, repeat steps 2 to 6.
8. Close the Load case manager.

Note: By default, the first load case is automatically created once a new project is opened. The
default load case is of Self weight type. Unless the user defines another load case and sets it as an
active one, it is not possible to define any load (except the self weight). See also Note 1 in chapter
Introduction to loads.

Defining the load case parameters


The parameters of a load case control the way the program treats the load inserted in the load case.

Basic parameters
Name

Is used for a unique identification of the load case.

Description

May add some information about the load case.

Type

Specifies the type of the load case.

Load group

Sorts load cases by load groups.

Load case type


The load case type can be set to:
Permanent

Specifies the permanent loads.

Variable

Specifies the variable loads in the project.

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Other parameters depend on the adjustment of the load case type.

Parameters for permanent loads


Type (subtype)
Self weight

Specifies the load case where only self-weight of the structure can
be defined.

Standard

Specifies the load case where any load can be defined.

Creep

Defines a special load case for specific calculation.

Direction
This item tells the program the direction in which the generated self-weight is acting.

Parameters for variable loads


Type (subtype)
Static

The load case is used for static calculations.

Dynamic

The load case is used for dynamic calculations.

Specification of static load case


Standard

Defines a general static load case. Any load can be defined in such
a load case.

Temperature

Defines a load case for thermal loads.

Static wind

Defines a load case for wind loads. Only wind load can be defined
in such a load case.

Earthquake

Defines a load case for seismic analysis.

Snow

Defines a load case for snow loads. Only snow load can be defined
in such a load case.

Coefficient
It defines the factor used for the load case when combinations of load cases are generated. This
parameter is defined only for some codes.

Duration
For static standard loads, the duration of the load impact can be specified.
Long

Is used for non-linear calculation of deformation for concrete


structures

Medium

Is used for check of timber structures.

Short

Default type.

Instantaneous

Is used for check of timber structures.

All standard static loads are considered during the generation of load case combination as a normal
variable load. Loads of long and short duration are applied only to combinations for the calculation of
deformation of concrete structures according to the second ultimate state. Loads of medium and
instantaneous duration are taken into account only for check of timber members.

Master load case


It is possible to specify that some particular load case may be included into a combination of load cases
ONLY if another specific load case is included. The item Master load case tells the program that a
particular load case is bound to another load case to the Master load case.

Other parameters

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There are other parameters available for each load case. However, these additional parameters depend
on the active code adjusted for the project. The meaning of individual additional parameters is based on
corresponding articles of appropriate codes and it goes beyond the scope of this book.

Note: The settings may affect the functionality of the program. For example, lets assume that the
user defines a new load case and sets its specification to Static wind. If later service Loads is opened,
the user may define only wind loads, nothing else.

Using the load case


The load case is used with each newly defined load a particular load case must be set as active so that
the user may define a new load.

Setting the load case in service Loads


1. Open service Loads.
2. A combo box listing the defined load cases appears at the top of the service tree.
3. Use the combo box to select and set the required load case.
4. All the new loads defined later are inserted into the current load case shown in the combo box.
It is also possible to change only the displayed load case in the active graphical window.

Setting the displayed load case via window control button


1. Click button [Set load case for display] (
scroll bar).

) located on the window toolbar (the windows bottom

2. A list of defined load cases opens on the screen.


3. Select the required load case.
4. A new load case is displayed.

Note 1: The display style of loads is controlled by appropriate view parameters. By default, service
Loads set the view parameters related to loads ON. Therefore, whenever you are in the service (Loads),
the loads are automatically displayed. However, as soon as you close service Loads, the program
returns to the standard setting of view parameters. It may happen that the view parameters for loads
are OFF, which means that the defined loads disappear from the screen. They DO NOT disappear from
the project. They are just not display. In order to see the loads even from outside the Loads service, set
the appropriate view parameters ON.
Note 2: The adjustment of the active load case for displaying of results is an integral part of
service Results and is described in corresponding chapter of the manual.

Dynamic load cases


Dynamic load cases
Dynamic load cases cover the following:
response to a harmonic vibration,
response to a seismic load.
A dynamic calculation is carried out for defined dynamic load cases simultaneously with a static
calculation. Dynamic load cases can be arbitrarily combined with static load cases. As a result,
SCIA.ESA PT provides for a direct combination and evaluation of results for static and dynamic
analysis. For example, both static and dynamic wind can be included into one selective group and the
program automatically determines which one is more unfavourable.

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Dynamic load cases can be input only after mass groups and their combinations have been defined. A
dynamic load case can be input as a standard variable load case; only its type must be set to dynamic.
Impulses, usually but not exclusively point impulses in nodes, can then be defined in these load cases.
A load factor can be defined for a dynamic load case. The meaning of the factor is the same as for static
load case. Other parameters of a dynamic load case depend on its type.
The meaning of the nodal impulse differs according to the type of dynamic load case. No impulses
appear in eigenvalue problem (free vibration analysis) or in seismic calculation. For harmonic vibration,
impulses of exciting forces must be specified.
In case of dynamic wind, impulses from static wind are defined. The impulse size is 1 kN/m2 regardless
of the height (i.e. the product of node-corresponding area and shape coefficient). For orthogonal
vibration, one must specify the node-corresponding length of cylindrical parts of the structure where
vibration can occur.

Defining a new dynamic load case


Note: Prior to the definition of the first load case, at least one mass group combination must have
been already defined. In addition, Dynamics must have been selected in the Functionality list of the
Project setup dialogue.
A new dynamic load case can be defined in the Load case manager. A dynamic load case is defined like
a static load case, but its properties are adjusted otherwise.

The procedure for the definition of a dynamic load case


1. Open the Load case manager.
2. Press button [New] to create a new load case.
3. Set Action type to Variable.
4. Set Load type to Dynamic.
5. Select required Specification (harmonic / Karman / seismic).
6. Press button [Parameters] to specify required parameters for selected type of dynamic load case.
7. Close the Load case manager.
Each defined dynamic load case, similarly to a static variable load case, must be sorted into a group of
variable loads. Identical rules for sorting into groups and for the generation of combinations are applied
for both static and dynamic variable load cases.

Defining the harmonic load case


A general procedure for the definition of a dynamic load case is given in chapter Defining a new
dynamic load case. Harmonic load case requires input of the following parameters:
Logarithmic decrement

The rate at which the amplitude decays gives us measurement of


the damping in a system. It is known as the logarithmic
decrement. This is defined as the natural logarithm of the ratio of
any two successive amplitudes.

Frequency

The frequency of the excitation impulse in Hz.

Note: Prior to the definition of the first load case, at least one mass group combination must have
been already defined. In addition, Dynamics must have been selected in the Functionality list of the
Project setup dialogue.

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Defining the seismic load case


A general procedure for the definition of a dynamic load case is given in chapter Defining a new
dynamic load case.

Seismic load case parameters


seismic spectrum X

If the option is ON, the user can select required spectrum for Xdirection. The selection contains all the defined spectra stored in
the spectrum database (see Defining the seismic spectrum). Button
next to the combo box opens the Spectrum manager and the user
may modify the existing spectrum or add a new one.
For more about the definition of a spectrum see chapter Defining
the seismic spectrum.

seismic spectrum Y

ditto for Y-direction

seismic spectrum Z

ditto for Z-direction

direction X

Substitute seismic forces are calculated from masses defined on


the structure and from the acceleration. The values in this and two
adjacent fields (for the two other axis-directions) specify the final
direction in which the earthquake acts. Value 1 means full effect
along the axis. 0 (zero) stands for no effect along the axis.

direction Y

ditto for Y-direction

direction Z

ditto for Z-direction

acceleration coefficient

All the acceleration values in the spectrum table are multiplied by


the given value of acceleration coefficient.

overturning level

This field specifies the height of a point around which the


structure may overturn. The height is measured from origin of the
global co-ordinate system. The final turning moment is related to
this point.

evaluation type

There are two basic approaches available for the evaluation of


result of seismic calculation. See below.

Evaluation type
sum

The result value may be obtained as a square root of the sum of


squares of values from individual load cases. For more
information see chapter Seismic load.

extreme

The result may take account of extreme values.


For more information see chapter Seismic load.

CQC

Alternatively, an evaluation to CQC (Complete Quadratic


Combination) standard may be applied. This method takes the
damping frequency diagram into account.
Button [...] opens the Damping database manager (which is a
standards SCIA.ESA. PT database manager).

Note: Prior to the definition of the first load case, at least one mass group combination must have
been already defined. In addition, Dynamics must have been selected in the Functionality list of the
Project setup dialogue.

Defining the seismic spectrum


A new seismic spectrum can be defined in the Seismic spectra manager. It can also be used for editing
of an earlier input spectrum. The manager is analogous to other SCIA.ESA PT database managers.
Pressing button [New] in the manager opens the dialogue for input of a new seismic spectrum. The
dialogue consists of the following controls:
graphical window

shows the frequency-acceleration diagram of the defined spectrum

table

contains the values of frequencies and corresponding accelerations

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name

is used for identification of the spectrum

control buttons

enable the user to confirm or abort the input values

The operation of the dialogue is quite straightforward and similar to other curve defining dialogues in
SCIA.ESA PT (e.g. see chapter Advanced input data > Initial deformations > Initial deformation curve).

Load groups
Introduction to load groups
Load groups define "how the individual load cases may be combined together" if inserted into a load
case combination.
Load groups are important especially for the automatic generation of load case combinations. Thanks to
the load groups, the user can easily specify which load cases MUST, MUST NOT, or CAN act together.

Load group manager


The Load group manager is a standard SCIA.ESA PT manager. It provides for basic operations with
load groups:
creation of a new load group,
editing of existing load groups,
deletion of existing load groups,
printing the information about existing load groups,
saving and reading of existing load groups into and from an external file.
The Load group manager can be opened in one of the following ways:
using menu function Tree > Load cases, combinations > Load groups,
using tree menu function Load cases, combinations > Load groups.

Defining a new load group


To define a new load group and set its parameters follow the procedures given below.

The procedure for the definition of a new load group


1. Open the Load group manager.
2. Click button [New].
3. A new load group is created.

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4. Click button [Edit] to open the editing dialogue.
5. Input the required values for individual load group parameters.
6. Confirm with button [OK].
7. If required, repeat steps 2 to 6.
8. Close the Load group manager.

The parameters of a load group


The basic parameters of load group are:
Relation

The relation tells what the relation of load cases in the particular
load group is.

Load

This parameters tell whether the load group is used for permanent
or variable loads.

Relation
The relation may be:
Together

All load cases of the same load group of this type are always
inserted into every new load case combination if at least one of the
load cases should be put in.

Exclusive

Two load cases from the same load group of this type will never
appear in the same combination.

Standard

This option provides for users sorting purposes. It allows the user
to sort load cases but it does not affect the process of generation of
load case combinations.

Load
Each load group may be used either for permanent loads or for variable loads. Permanent and variable
loads cannot appear in the same combination.

Note: There may be some other parameters available in the editing dialogue. These
parameters depend on the active code adjusted for the project and the explanation of their
meaning goes beyond the scope of this general manual.

Using the load group


The required load group can be assigned to a particular load case in the Load case manager.
The group is considered when combinations are generated from defined load cases. The rules described
in chapter Defining a new load group are taken into account and ensure that inadequate load cases are
not put into one combination and simultaneously that interlinked load cases are always acting together.

Load case combinations


Introduction to load case combinations
Load cases defined in the project can be combined in load case combinations. The combinations can be
then used for evaluation of results and for checking to national codes.
Combinations may be of various types. Each type is used for different checks. However, all the types
can be used for an initial evaluation of results (i.e. reviewing of calculated internal forces).
SCIA.ESA PT allows the user to use three different types of combination: linear, used, code-related.
The linear combination as the simplest one is not important for the following reasoning.

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But when either user or code-related combination is used, there are two critical points:
the user uses the combination as
a "black box"

The user just trusts the program and cannot see nor
evaluate what goes on "behind the scenes".

the user explodes the


combination into all possible
combinations

The user can see and evaluate all the linear combinations
created from the selected set of load cases included into
the combination. But the number of these combinations
may be enormous and usually leaving the user confused
and the final checking uncertain, notwithstanding the
deteriorated speed of the program response.

The new solution is based on dynamically created list of "dangerous" combinations.


For example, in the example given later just 7 "dangerous" envelopes are created. This is a very
sensible number in comparison with the total number of 164 possible linear combinations that may be
created for the same example.
There are two approaches for the treatment of the "dangerous" combinations.
background use

The combinations are created on the background and the


user is not disturbed at all.

foreground use

The user may decide to explode the defined combination


and see the "dangerous" combinations.

Note 1: Regardless of the approach selected, the numerical results will be the same, as for
both approaches the calculations are performed for the same combinations.
Note 2: In addition, if there a special need arises, the user still has the choice to explode the
defined combination into all the possible linear combinations that may be then evaluated one by
one.

Advanced load case combinations


We use the term "advanced" combination for a combination that is designed for other than static linear
combination. They treated separately in appropriate chapter of the book.

Note: A nonlinear combination MUST be defined if the user wants to perform nonlinear
calculation. A stability combination MUST be defined if the user wants to run a buckling analysis. If
such a combination (nonlinear or stability one) has not been input, the corresponding calculation is
NOT even available in the Calculation dialogue.

Types of load case combinations


SCIA.ESA PT offers the following types of combinations:
Envelope - ultimate

This combination defines a base for automatic generation of


ultimate combinations.

Envelope - serviceability

This combination defines a base for automatic generation of


serviceability combinations.

Linear - ultimate

This combination defines one particular user-specifies ultimate


combination.

Linear - serviceability

This combination defines


serviceability combination.

Code dependent
combinations

According to the active code set for the project the program may
offer a set of other combinations based on the particular technical
standard.

one

particular

user-specifies

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Envelope
An envelope contains all the load cases specified by the user and combined in all possible ways
according to defined Action type, Load type and Load group of individual load cases inserted into the
combination. Usually, more than one linear combination can be generated from the envelope.

IMPORTANT NOTE: This type of combination was called User combination in previous releases
of SCIA.ESA PT

What happens if this combination is exploded?


If a envelope is exploded to all possible, a set of linear combinations is generated.

Envelope ultimate
The user can enters the multiplication coefficients for individual load cases. The program generates
several combinations for the inserted load cases if there are any variable load cases. All possible
combinations of specified load cases are generated.
A small example will show the difference between Linear-ultimate (see below) and User-ultimate
combination:
A project contains two load cases: LC1 - type permanent and LC2 - type variable.
The linear-ultimate combination with the contents LC1/ coefficient1 and LC2/ coefficient2 will give the
following combination:
C1 : coefficient1 * LC1 + coefficient2 * LC2
The user-ultimate combination with contents LC1/ coefficient1 and LC2/ coefficient2 will give the
following combinations :
C1 : coefficient1 * LC1 + coefficient2 * LC2
C2 : coefficient1 * LC1
(LC2 is a variable load: both situations (with this load and without this load) are considered by the
program).
Ultimate combinations are used for a strength check (steel code check, reinforcement calculation).

Note: See also chapter Exploding the load case combination.

Envelope serviceability
This type of combination is similar to User-ultimate. Serviceability combinations are used for a
serviceability check (deformation check).

Linear combination
A linear combination is a combination of load cases in which the user explicitly specifies which
particular load cases should be included in a specific combination. The result is exactly what the user
does, nothing less and nothing more.

Linear ultimate
The linear-ultimate combinations are the combinations known from other programs: the specified load
cases are multiplied by the given coefficients and the total sum is then made. Nor additional
combinations are generated.
Ultimate combinations are used for a strength check (steel code check, reinforcement calculation).

Linear serviceability
This type of combination is similar to Linear-ultimate. Serviceability combinations are used for a
serviceability check (deformation check).

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Code-related combination
A code-related combination is an extension of the envelope. Once again, all the load cases specified by
the user are combined in all possible ways according to specified Action type, Load type, Load group
of individual load cases and with respect to regulations of the particular technical standard (code).
Usually, more than one linear combination can be generated for the code-related combination.

What happens if this combination is exploded?


If a code-related combination is exploded, a set of envelopes is generated.
If a code-related combination is exploded into all possible combinations, a set of linear combinations is
generated.

Load case combination manager


The Load case combination manager provides for all the operations with combinations of load cases.
This means that the defined combinations (of appropriate type) may also be exploded here.

There are two control buttons and a filter that both enable the user to manipulate with exploded
combinations.

Control buttons
[Explode to envelope]

This button is available if a code-related combination is


selected in the list of defined combinations.
As a result, a set of envelopes is generated and added to
the Load case combinations manager.

[Explode to linear]

This button is available if either a code-related or envelope


is selected in the list of defined combinations.
In any case, a set of linear combinations is generated and
added to the Load case combinations manager.

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Filter
The filter enables the user to view only those combinations in the Load case combinations manager
that s/he is interested in at the particular moment.
Input
combinations

Only the input combinations are listed.


Note: An exploded combination is also considered as an input combination.
E.g. one Eurocode combination defined, filter set to Input.

Contents of
combination

Only the background combinations are shown.


E.g. one Eurocode combination defined, filter set to Background.

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Defining a new combination


A new load case combination can be defined in the Combinations manager.

The procedure for the definition of a new combination


1. Open the Combinations manager .
2. Click button [New].
3. The editing dialogue for the combination is opened.
4. Type the name and description of the combination.
5. Select the type of the combination.
6. In the list of load cases on the right hand side select the required load case that should be inserted into
the combination. (It is possible to make a multiple selection if several load cases have the same
coefficient).
7. Type the coefficient for this load case.
8. Press button [Add] to insert the load case into the combination with the given coefficient.
9. Repeat steps 6 to 8 for all load cases that should be inserted into the combination.
10. Confirm the definition with button [OK].
11. Repeat steps 2 to 10 for other combinations, if required.
12. Close the Combinations manager.

Exploding the load case combination


Combinations exploded automatically on background
On background, so-called background combinations are automatically created if a code-related
combination or an envelope is input.
If a code-related combination is input, the background combinations are of user-combination type. If an
envelope is input, the background combinations are of linear-combination type.
The background combinations are used for all the calculations, and the user can concentrate on the
"principle" or "mother" combination only. Thus, s/he is saved from the need to deal manually and
personally with all the possible load case combinations.
Whats more, when an output document is being printed (previewed) and a table of e.g. extremes is
included in it, the program "knows" for which background combination the extreme value has been
achieved and informs about it. The composition of the "extreme" linear combination is attached to the
result table.
If required, the background combinations can be reviewed in the Load case combination manager.
The name of background combinations is derived from the name of the "principle" or "mother"
combination. If e.g. the "mother" combination is named "UEC" then the background combinations are
named "UEC.1", "UEC.2", "UEC.3", etc. (see the dot in the name and compare with the name of
exploded combination below)

Combinations exploded manually by the user


Despite the fact that an input combination is automatically "exploded" on background, the user may
explode any code-related or envelope manually.
If a code-related combination is exploded, a set of envelopes is generated. If a code-related combination
is exploded into all possible combinations, a set of linear combinations is generated. If an envelope is
exploded to all possible, a set of linear combinations is generated.
The user thus gets a full control over the load case combinations.
The exploded combinations are listed in the Load case combination manager.

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In order to explode a combination, one of two control buttons must be used:
[Explode to envelope]

This button is available if a code-related combination is


selected in the list of defined combinations.
As a result, a set of envelopes is generated and added to
the Load case combinations manager.

[Explode to linear]

This button is available if either a code-related or envelope


is selected in the list of defined combinations.
In any case, a set of linear combinations is generated and
added to the Load case combinations manager.

The name of exploded combinations is derived from the name of the "principle" or "mother"
combination. If e.g. the "mother" combination is named "UEC" then the background combinations are
named "UEC1", "UEC2", "UEC3", etc. (notice that the number immediately follows the "mother"
combination name and compare with the name of background combination above)

Note 1: Any envelope can be exploded to all possible combinations. This means that even a
user-combination that was created from a code-related combination as a result of Explode
operation can be further exploded.
Note 2: If a code-related combination is exploded to all possible combinations, the number
of created linear combinations may be very large. Consequently, it may be rather difficult to
evaluate all the combinations properly. Therefore, this action is recommended for experienced
user only.

Combination key
Whenever a table of extremes (either local, beam or global) is given in the Document, it shows not only
the value and place, but also the load case or combinations in which each particular extreme was
achieved.
If the user is only using code-related combinations, the information that the extreme was achieved in
this "huge" combination may be insufficient. As stated already several times, a code-related
combination may combine several tens or even hundred linear combinations.
Therefore, SCIA.ESA PT enables the user the option to attach a legend to result tables. This legend is
called Combination key and it contains a list and composition of linear combinations (formed from the
code-related combination) for which any of extreme values has been achieved.
Only the linear combinations that appear in the result table are stated in the Combination key.

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Example
Example for Envelopes
Lets assume a continuous beam of two spans. The beam is subject to load sorted into five load cases.
LC1 permanent self weight, distributed load in both spans
LC2 variable distributed load in the left span, load group G1
LC3 variable distributed load in the right span, load group G1
LC4 variable crane, concentrated force in the middle of the left span, load group G2
LC5 variable crane, concentrated force in the middle of the right span, load group G2
The variable load cases are divided into two groups:
G1 imposed floor load, standard group
G2 crane, exclusive group, only one of the load cases may be acting at the same time
The user defines the following envelopes:
LC1 + 1.2*LC2 + 1.2*LC3 +1.3*LC4 + 1.3*LC5
The program will then generate (explode) the following linear combinations:
LC1
LC1 + 1.2*LC2
LC1 + 1.2*LC3
LC1 + 1.3*LC4
LC1 + 1.3*LC5
LC1 + 1.2*LC2 + 1.2*LC3
LC1 + 1.2*LC2 + 1.3*LC4
LC1 + 1.2*LC2 + 1.3*LC5
LC1 + 1.2*LC3 + 1.3*LC4
LC1 + 1.2*LC3 + 1.3*LC5
LC1 + 1.2*LC2 + 1.2*LC3 + 1.3*LC4
LC1 + 1.2*LC2 + 1.2*LC3 + 1.3*LC5

Example for Code-related combination


Lets assume a continuous beam subject to several loads.

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LC1
V1

V2

V3

V4

S1

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self weight

SCIA.ESA PT
S2

Lets define a code-related combination to Eurocode. The combination definition contains all the
defined load cases.
Name

Type

Load cases

Coefficiens

UEC

EC ultimate

LC1

1.00

V1

1.00

V2

1.00

V3

1.00

V4

1.00

S2

1.00

S2

1.00

SCIA.ESA PT creates a set of "dangerous" combinations for the given definition:


UEC.1

User
ultimate

LC1

1,35

UEC.2

User
ultimate

LC1

1,35

V1

1,50

V2

1,50

V3

1,50

V4

1,50

LC1

1,00

V1

1,50

V2

1,50

V3

1,50

V4

1,50

LC1

1,35

S1

1,50

S2

1,50

LC1

1,00

S1

1,50

S2

1,50

LC1

1.35

V1

1.35

V2

1.35

V3

1.35

V4

1.35

S2

1.35

S2

1.35

UEC.3

UEC.4

UEC.5

UEC.6

User
ultimate

User
ultimate

User
ultimate

User
ultimate

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UEC.7

User
ultimate

LC1

1.00

V1

1.35

V2

1.35

V3

1.35

V4

1.35

S2

1.35

S2

1.35

When displayed in the Document, the Combinations table looks like:

Load case combinations to SN


The Czech standard introduces one conception that is different from other national codes implemented
in SCIA.ESA PT.
The Czech standard defines a coefficient for a load case. This coefficient (load factor) is applied when
the load case is included into a combination. The coefficient is defined as one of load case parameters.

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The coefficient can be defined in the Load case manager (see below).

SCIA.ESA PT distinguishes between three types of load case combinations. It is important to know
what happens to the load factor in each of the types. The following text is valid ONLY if Czech
standard is adjusted as a current code of SCIA.ESA PT. If another code is adjusted, the possible
application of load factor is not accessible.

Linear combination
If a linear combination is being defined, a coefficient may be input manually for each of the load cases
included into the combination. So far, this is true for any national code implemented in SCIA.ESA PT.
For Czech standard however, the combination input dialogue offer an option to apply the load factor
defined previously for a load case.
This gives an advantage especially if one load case is included into several combinations. There is no
need to input a coefficient for each new combination. It is sufficient enough to input the load factor
once for the load case and then simply apply it for each combination.
In order to apply the load factors to all load cases included into a combination, the user must only press
button [Apply] in item Coefficient for CSN. The appropriate load factors are assigned to
corresponding load cases.

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Envelope combination
Here, the same can be said as for linear combination.

Code-related combination
If a code-related combination is defined, the option for application of load factors becomes inaccessible.
The reason is that the algorithm for automatic generation of envelope and linear combinations from the
input set of load cases uses load factors defined by the appropriate standard. They can be reviewed in
Project setup dialogue on Combinations tab.

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Note: The same applies to the current Slovak standard.

Advanced combinations of load cases


Non-linear combinations
Non-linear combinations are similar to standard combinations and are used for non-linear calculations.

Note: A nonlinear calculation MUST be defined if a nonlinear calculation is supposed to be


carried out. Without a nonlinear combination defined, the program is NOT CAPABLE of running the
nonlinear calculation of any kind.
The non-linear combination may be defined with a specific kind of initial imperfection in shape of the
modelled structure. There are several ways to define the initial imperfection:
None
Simple inclination
Inclination + curvature of beam
Inclination function
Functions + curvature of beam
Deformation from load case
Buckling shape

None
No initial imperfection is imposed.

Simple inclination
dx

The inclination per one meter of height in the direction of global


X-axis

dy

The inclination per one meter of height in the direction of global


Y-axis

Inclination + curvature of beam


dx

The inclination per one meter of height in the direction of global


X-axis

dy

The inclination per one meter of height in the direction of global


Y-axis

Curvature of one beam

1/f

Radius of curvature

Note: The given curvature is considered for all the beams in the structure. In other words, all the
beams are subject to the same initial curvature. The program automatically determines which direction
of curvature is critical and uses that direction for calculation.

Inclination function
dx inclination functions:
Z

The inclination function in the direction of global X-axis

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Functions + curvature of beam


f

Curvature of one beam

1/f

Radius of curvature

dx inclination function: Z

The inclination in the direction of the global X-axis.


The inclination dependent on the Z-direction, i.e. on the height of
the structure.

dx inclination function: Y

The inclination in the direction of the global X-axis.


The inclination dependent on the Y-direction, i.e. on the length of
the structure.

dy inclination function: Z

The inclination in the direction of the global Y-axis.


The inclination dependent on the Z-direction, i.e. on the height of
the structure.

dy inclination function: X

The inclination in the direction of the global Y-axis.


The inclination dependent on the X-direction, i.e. on the length of
the structure.

Note 1: The inclinations in both X- and Y-direction are evaluated as a sum of inclination
components dependent on vertical and horizontal direction. I.e. the final inclination in X-axis is equal
to the sum of (dx inclination function: Z) and (dx inclination function: Y), and the final inclination in Yaxis is equal to the sum of (dy inclination function: Z) and (dy inclination function: X).
Note 2: The given curvature is considered for all the beams in the structure. In other words, all the
beams are subject to the same initial curvature. The program automatically determines which direction
of curvature is critical and uses that direction for calculation.

Deformation from load case


Load case

The results obtained for the specified load case are imposed as the
initial imperfection for further calculations. It means that the
results for the specified load case must be calculated first. Only
then the further calculations may be performed.

Note: The results for the given load case must be already calculated. Otherwise the program issues
a warning.

Buckling shape
The results obtained from the specified buckling calculation are imposed as the initial imperfection for
further calculations. It means that the results for the specified stability combination must be calculated
first. Only then the further calculations may be performed.
Stability

Specifies the stability combination that should be considered for


evaluation of the initial imperfection.

Eigen shape

Defines which eigen shape should be used as the initial


imperfection.

Max deformation

The program takes the selected eigen shape and finds the
maximum deformation for it. This found maximum is re-adjusted
to the value specified in this item. The deformation of the rest of
the structure is adjusted proportionally.

Note: Stability calculation must have been already completed. Otherwise the option is not
available.

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Inclination function
dx inclination function: Z

The inclination in the direction of the global X-axis.


The inclination dependent on the Z-direction, i.e. on the height of
the structure.

dx inclination function: Y

The inclination in the direction of the global X-axis.


The inclination dependent on the Y-direction, i.e. on the length of
the structure.

dy inclination function: Z

The inclination in the direction of the global Y-axis.


The inclination dependent on the Z-direction, i.e. on the height of
the structure.

dy inclination function: X

The inclination in the direction of the global Y-axis.


The inclination dependent on the X-direction, i.e. on the length of
the structure.

Stability combination
Stability combinations are similar to standard combinations and are used for stability calculations.

Note: A stability calculation MUST be defined if a stability calculation is supposed to be carried


out. Without a stability combination defined, the program is NOT CAPABLE of running the stability
calculation of any kind.

Result classes
Introduction to result classes
Result classes represent a very powerful and useful tool for the evaluation of results. They allow the
user to define a set (a class) of results for selected load cases and load case combinations. The program
then treats the class like an envelope of results.

Result class manager


The Result class manager is a standard SCIA.ESA PT manager. It provides for basic operations with
result classes.
The Result class manager can be opened in one of the following ways:
using menu function Tree > Load cases, combinations > Result class,
using tree menu function Load cases, combinations > Result class.

Defining a new result class


A new result class can be defined in the Result class manager.

The procedure for the definition of a new combination


1. Open the Result class manager .
2. Click button [New].
3. The editing dialogue for a new result class is opened.

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4. Type the name and description of the result class.
5. In the list of available load cases and combinations on the right hand side select the required items that
should be inserted into the result class (Multiple selections are supported).
6. Press button [Add] to insert the load case or combination into the result class.
7. Repeat steps 5 to 6 for all load cases and combinations that should be inserted into the result class.
8. Confirm the definition with button [OK].
9. Repeat steps 2 to 8 for other classes, if required.
10. Close the Result class manager.

The picture above shows the editing dialogue for a new result class.

Using the result class


Result classes may be used to view the effect of certain "combinations" of load cases and load case
combinations. They are offered in all dialogues for results review together with load classes and load
class combinations.

Load generators
Introduction to load generators
Load generators represent a tool that may be used for simplified definition of load. They provide for the
transformation of load from specified load area into a given planar section of the structure. It is also
possible to use generators to determine wind or snow load per given vertical section of the structure.
The generation of wind and snow load can be performed directly to a specific national technical
standard or according to a user-defined snow weight of wind distribution along the height of the

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building. Arbitrary polygonal areas can be used to define the load area for recalculation of the load into
a planar section.

Wind generator
Wind generator
Wind generator enables the user to subject a structure to the effect of wind. It is possible to apply values
and formulas given in a particular standard, or specify a user-defined curve of wind pressure along the
height of a building.
The load calculated from the given wind definition is applied on the planar section of the structure. The
section is defined by the current working plane. Thus, various sections may be subject to various
generated loads.

Note 1: The wind load generator may be used to generate the load on a single planar section of the
structure at a time. The section is defined by the current working plane. The working plane MUST be
defined as vertical. Otherwise, the wind load generator cannot be applied.
Note 2: The wind load generator can be used ONLY on an undivided building. If a structure
consists of two or more separate and unconnected parts in the particular planar section, the load is
generated on one of the parts only.
Note 3: Only the part of the structure that is ABOVE the terrain level is considered in the load
generation. The terrain level parameter may be thus used to exclude some part of the structure from
being subject to the generated wind load. The terrain level is always defined in global co-ordinate
system.

Types of wind load


As stated earlier, there are two ways to define wind load in SCIA.ESA PT.
The actual load may be calculated to a specific technical standard or it may be derived from a userdefined curve of wind pressure. The type of wind load can be adjusted in the Project Setup dialogue on
tab Loads.

Code wind
If option Code is selected, the user may then specify additional parameters defined in the particular
national standard. The sample pictures below show dialogues for the adjustment of code related
parameters for EC and NEN standards.

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User-defined wind curve


If option Library is adjusted, the user must define a height-pressure curve. The definition of the curve
is made in a standard SCIA.ESA PT dialogue for graph definition.

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It is possible to define multiple wind curves. They are stored and can be easily revised, edited, deleted
and selected in a standard SCIA.ESA PT database manager.

Note: The type of wind load adjusted in this Project Setup dialogue is later used when function
Load > Wind generator is applied.

Using the wind generator


Step 0: Enabling the wind generation and selecting the type of wind load
In order to tell SCIA.ESA PT that the load generator will be used, the user must say so on the
Functionality tab of Project setup dialogue. Item Climatic load must be selected in the functionality
list.
To select the wind type see chapter Types of wind load.

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Step 1: Starting the function


The wind generator can be accessed via function Load > Wind generator.

Step 2: Defining the distance between adjacent frames


The wind load is generated for a single planar section of the structure. In order to calculate properly the
load values, the program must know the "load width", i.e. the distance between adjacent frames.
Therefore, on starting the function, the user is asked to define this dimension.

Step 3: Specifying the generator parameters


Once step 2 is done, a wind generator dialogue is opened on the screen. The user may control the
generation of the load via a set of parameters of the generator. Their meaning and application is
explained in chapter Adjusting the wind generator parameters.

Step 4: Generation of the load


On completion of the input of generator parameters and its confirmation, the adequate load is calculated
and applied on the structure.

Adjusting the wind generator parameters


The main dialogue of the wind generator enables the user to control the process of load generation. The
meaning of individual parameters and control buttons is given in a brief table below.

The dialogue also displays the contour of the structure or its part (i.e. the planar section) that will be
considered for the load generation. Beams that will be subject to the generated load are drawn in thick
line. The active beam is in red while the others are in green. The remaining beams of the structure, i.e.
those that will not be subject to the generated wind load, are drawn in thin line.

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If the wind load is to be generated to a specific code, it is possible that some of the loaded beams are
divided into several intervals. The division is controlled by the regulations of the particular standard.
In addition, the user may decide to divide any of the existing intervals or beams into two parts. This
division may be applied recursively, so any of the beams can be divided into as many intervals as
necessary. And vice versa, any of the two adjacent intervals may be connected to create one interval and
ultimately a single beam.
Hatches drawn at the thick-line, i.e. loaded, beams indicate the direction of the generated load. Hatches
attached to a beam from outside of the structure contour mean that the load produces pressure. Hatches
drawn on the inside of a beam indicate that the load produces suction.

Parameters
Direction

This parameter tells the generator the direction from which


the wind is blowing. It can be blowing from the left or
right side of the building section. The selected direction is
also indicated by a hatched rectangle drawn at the left or
right side of the structure.

Inside coefficients

These coefficients define the effect of the wind inside the


building.
None = there is none overpressure or underpressure inside
the building
Overpressure = there is overpressure inside the building
Underpressure = there is underpressure inside the
building
See Note at the end of the chapter.

Preference

This parameter defines the preference, or priority, for


places where the code allows for selection from multiple
values:
Pressure = greater values of shape coefficients will be
preferred
Suction = lower values of shape coefficients will be
preferred

Frame distance

The distance between two adjacent frames defined before


opening the dialogue may be reviewed and/or edited here.

Terrain level

Only the part of the structure that is ABOVE the terrain


level is considered in the load generation. The terrain level
parameter may be thus used to exclude some part of the
structure from being subject to the generated wind load.
The terrain level is always defined in global co-ordinate
system.

Coefficients

This group defines shape coefficients. A set of control


buttons (see below) accompanies the input boxes.
Outside = adjusts the value of shape coefficient outside
the building
Inside = adjusts the value of shape coefficient inside the
building

Control buttons
Set coefficients

The value of shape coefficients typed in the Outside and


Inside input boxes, is assigned to the active interval or
beam of the structure contour (i.e. to the beam drawn in
red thick line).

Next

The focus is shifted to the next interval or beam. The next


interval or beam becomes active.

Previous

The focus is shifted to the previous interval or beam. The


previous interval or beam becomes active.

Divide

The active interval or beam is divided in the given point.

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The point of division is defined in a dialogue that opens
after the action is started.
Connect

This function is applicable only if some beams have been


already divided. The function does nothing, if undivided
beams form the contour of the structure.
Two intervals are joined together. The rule is that the
active interval is preserved including the coefficients and
the next interval is linked to it.

Regenerate

This button resets the program default values. It sets all the
coefficients to their default values and deletes all possible
intervals created by the user.

Print picture

The current picture can be printed on an installed printer.

Change (terrain level)

The level of terrain can be adjusted in these input boxes. It


may be useful e.g. if the structure has not been defined in
zero-level (measured in the global co-ordinate system) or
if a part of the structure is protected by surrounding
buildings.
The wind load is always generated only on beams that are
ABOVE the defined terrain level. The terrain may be
inclined which can be defined by different values for
terrain level on the left and right side of the structure.

Note: Czech standard (CSN) does not take the Inside coefficient into account, even though it may
be defined.

Example of wind generator application


The application of wind generator will be demonstrated on a simple example. Lets assume a regular
frame as shown in the figure.

The frame will be subject to wind load whose intensity will be specified by means of a user-defined
height-pressure curve. For simplicity and for good demonstration, the curve is defined so that:
the pressure is constant and equal to 1 kN/m2 over the first storey,
the pressure changes linearly to 2 kN/m2 over the second storey,

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the pressure is constant and equal to 2 kN/m2 over the third storey,

Once the wind curve is input, the wind load generator may be started. Lets set the frame distance to 3
metres.
Lets accept the default parameters for the direction, inside coefficients and preference.

Then, lets adjust shape coefficient on the first beam. Lets set the outside coefficient to 1.0 and the
inside coefficient to 0 (zero).

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The coefficients on the second beam will be as shown in the figure.

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And the coefficients on the last beam will be:

On closing the dialogue of the wind load generator, the defined load is displayed on the screen.

In order to review and, if necessary, modify any of the defined wind parameters, it is possible to apply
the SCIA.ESAs editing procedure. Lets assume that the load along the second floor of the right hand
side column should be reviewed.
So, lets select the load.

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The properties, including all parameters are displayed in the Property Window.

There are two coefficients in the Property Window named Coef1 and Coeff2. These represent the total
value of the shape coefficient at the beginning and at the end, respectively, of the selected beam.
All the input data can also be clearly verified in a load table in either Preview window or Document
window.

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Note:
The graphical representation of the wind load uses the following convention:
1) The graphical size of the load "diagram" takes account of both acting width, shape coefficient and
wind pressure.
2) The numerical value at the load "diagram" may show the acting width or the final load value. The
adjustment may be made using the Set view parameters function. See the Note in chapter Basic
working tools > View parameters > Overview of view parameters > Labels and descriptions.
3) The value of the shape coefficient can be read in the property table once the required load is
selected.

Snow generator
Snow generator
Snow generator enables the user to subject a structure to the effect of snow. It is possible to apply
values and formulas given in a particular standard, or specify a user-defined value of snow weight.
The load calculated from the given snow definition is applied on the planar section of the structure. The
section is defined by the current working plane. Thus, various sections may be subject to various
generated loads.
Note 1: The snow load generator may be used to generate the load on a single planar section of the
structure at a time. The section is defined by the current working plane. The working plane MUST be
defined as vertical. Otherwise, the snow load generator cannot be applied.
Note 2: The snow load generator can be used ONLY on an undivided building. If a structure
consists of two or more separate and unconnected parts in the particular planar section, the load is
generated on one of the parts only.

Types of snow load


As stated earlier, there are two ways to define snow load in SCIA.ESA PT.
The actual load may be calculated to a specific technical standard or it may be derived from a userdefined snow weight. The type of snow load can be adjusted in the Project Setup dialogue on tab
Load.

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Code snow
If option Code is selected, the user may then specify additional parameters defined in the particular
national standard. The sample picture below show dialogues for the adjustment of code related
parameters for EC standard.

User-defined snow weight


If option Snow weight is adjusted, the user must define the snow weight typical for the region in
consideration.

Note: The type of snow load adjusted in this Project Setup dialogue is later used when function
Load > Snow generator is applied.

Using the snow generator


Step 0: Enabling the snow generation and selecting the type of snow load
In order to tell SCIA.ESA PT that the snow generator will be used, the user must say so on the
Functionality tab of Project setup dialogue. Item Climatic load must be selected in the functionality
list.
To select the snow type see chapter Types of snow load.

Step 1: Starting the function


The snow generator can be accessed via function Load > Snow generator.

Step 2: Defining the distance between adjacent frames


The snow load is generated for a single planar section of the structure. In order to calculate properly the
load values, the program must know the "snow width", i.e. the distance between adjacent frames.
Therefore, on starting the function, the user is asked to define this dimension.

Step 3: Specifying the generator parameters


Once this step is done, a snow generator dialogue is opened on the screen. The user may control the
generation of the snow load via a set of parameters of the generator. Their meaning and application is
explained in chapter Adjusting the snow generator parameters.

Step 4: Generation of the load


On completion of the input of generator parameters and its confirmation, the adequate load is calculated
and applied on the structure.
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Adjusting the snow generator parameters


The main dialogue of the snow generator enables the user to control the process of load generation. The
meaning of individual parameters and control buttons is given in a brief table below.

The dialogue also displays the contour of the structure or its part (i.e. the planar section) that will be
considered for the load generation. Beams that will be subject to the generated load are drawn in thick
line. The active beam is in red while the others are in green. The remaining beams of the structure, i.e.
those that will not be subject to the generated snow load, are drawn in thin line.
If the snow load is to be generated to a specific code, it is possible that some of the loaded beams are
divided into several intervals. The division is controlled by the regulations of the particular standard.
In addition, the user may decide to divide any of the existing intervals or beams into two parts. This
division may be applied recursively, so any of the beams can be divided into as many intervals as
necessary. And vice versa, any of the two adjacent intervals may be connected to create one interval and
ultimately a single beam.
Hatches drawn at the thick-line, i.e. loaded, beams indicate the direction of the generated load. Hatches
attached to a beam from outside of the structure contour mean that the load produces pressure.

Parameters
Load mode

This item selects the mode of snow load.

Valley effect

If the building is located in a valley, this button enables the


user to take account of this fact.

Frame distance

The distance between two adjacent frames defined before


opening the dialogue may be reviewed and/or edited here.

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Coefficients

This group defines shape coefficients. A set of control


buttons (see below) accompanies the input boxes.
Begin = adjusts the value of shape coefficient at the
beginning of the interval
End = adjusts the value of shape coefficient at the end of
the interval

Control buttons
Set coefficients

The value of coefficients typed in the Begin and End input


boxes, is assigned to the active interval or beam of the
structure contour (i.e. to the beam drawn in red thick line).

Next

The focus is shifted to the next interval or beam. The next


interval or beam becomes active.

Previous

The focus is shifted to the previous interval or beam. The


previous interval or beam becomes active.

Divide

The active interval or beam is divided in the given point.


The point of division is defined in a dialogue that opens
after the action is started.

Connect

This function is applicable only if some beams have been


already divided. The function does nothing, if undivided
beams form the contour of the structure.
Two intervals are joined together. The rule is that the
active interval is preserved including the coefficients and
the next interval is linked to it.

Regenerate

This button resets the program default values. It sets all the
coefficients to their default values and deletes all possible
intervals created by the user.

Print picture

The current picture can be printed on an installed printer.

Snow weight to EC1


The individual parameters and their meaning are briefly described in the figure and table below.
For more information we refer to the appropriate articles of the code that are referenced in the enclosed
explanatory text below the table.

sk

characteristic value of snow load [kN/m2]

Ce

exposure coefficient

Ct

thermal coefficient

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The snow load acting on the roof is determined from:

s = mii . Ce . Ct . sk
where:

mii

shape coefficient

Ce

exposure coefficient, usually equal to 1.0

Ct

thermal coefficient, usually equal to 1.0

sk

characteristic value of snow weight

The thermal coefficient can be lower than 1.0 in buildings where big thermal loses appear thought the
roof. The exposure coefficient can express the effect of wind on reduction of snow layer size.

Plane load generator


Introduction to plane load generator
A plane load generator is a tool that automatically transforms defined area load into line loads that acts
on beams located in the specified plane.
This generator is useful for planar frames (that may be an independent structure or may form just a part
of a complex 3D frame) that are subject to continuous area load. With this generator, the user no longer
has to determine load widths and recalculate the known area load to line load.
More can be found in:
Principle of plane load generator
Defining a new plane load

Principle of plane load generator


The usual procedure applied during the definition of a new area load is:
1. to specify the load size per square metre,
2. to define the loading area,
3. to let the program calculate line loads for affected beams.
If necessary, the input data may be edited any time later.
If the program is not said to calculate (or generate) the loads manually, the program does so
automatically before starting a calculation.
There are some limitations that one should bear in mind:
The loading polygon (loading area) must be planar.
The beams that are supposed to bear the defined load must be located in the loading plane.

Parameters of plane load


The parameters of this load type are:
Name

Specifies the name of the load.

Direction

Selects the direction of the load. The load may act along one of the
co-ordinate axes only (i.e. in the X-direction, Y-direction, or Zdirection).

System

The load may act either along an axis of the global-coordinate


system or in the direction of a User co-ordinate axis.

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q [kN/m2]

Specifies the intensity (size) of the area load. This load will be
then recalculated onto selected beams.

Loaded beams

The area load, whose size is input in the field above, can act on all
the beams located in the loading plane, or on only some of them
(i.e. on the user-selected beams).

Defining a new plane load


The procedure to define a new plane load
1. If necessary, define a new load case for the new load.
2. Open service Load in the tree menu.
3. Start function Plane generator.
4. Fill in the parameters in the Plane geometry dialogue .
5. Confirm with [OK].
6. If necessary, move and/or rotate the working plane so that it defines the level and orientation of the
loading plane.
7. Input the loading polygon.
8. Close the function:
a. either press [Esc] key,
b. or press button [End action] on the toolbar just above the command line (

),

c. or invoke the window pop-up menu and select command End.


9. The Property window now shows the earlier confirmed parameters as well as a few Action buttons (see
below).

10. If required, use the action buttons to finish the definition.


11. Close the function.

Action buttons in the Plane generator property window


Refresh

This button starts the generator itself. If the generator is not started
manually by the user in the phase of definition of a new plane
load, the generation is performed automatically before calculation.
Note:
It is highly recommended to generate the loads on beams manually
using this button. It gives the user an invaluable possibility to
review WHAT exactly has been defined and generated and
compare it with WHAT the user wanted.

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Edit plane geometry

This button enables the user to edit the geometry of the loading
polygon.
See separate chapter Editing the loading polygon.

Update beams selection

If parameter Loaded beams is adjusted to Selected, this button


starts the operation of selection of required beams. The beams that
should be subject to the input load must be selected. The operation
of selection can be closed by the [Esc] key.

Inputting the loading polygon


When function Plane generator is started, a new toolbar is added to the bar just above the command
line.

Buttons of the toolbar has the following meaning (from the left).
New circle centre,
radius point

Once button [New circle] is pressed a short sub-toolbar is offered.


This is the first of the functions on this sub-toolbar.
The user must define the centre point and a point on the circle that
specifies the radius.

New circle 3 points

Once button [New circle] is pressed a short sub-toolbar is offered.


This is the second of the functions on this sub-toolbar.
The user must input three points located on the circle.

New rectangle

The user must define two opposite corners of a rectangle.

New polygon

The user must define individual vertices of the polygon.

New straight line

The following edge (segment) of the currently defined polygon


will be a straight line.

New circular arc

The following edge (segment) of the currently defined polygon


will be a circular arc (the intermediate point and end point of the
circular segment must be input).

New parabolic arc

The following edge will be of a parabolic shape. Follow the


procedure for the input of a parabolic beam.

New Bezier

The following edge will be formed by a Bezier curve. Follow the


procedure for the input of a "Bezier-curve" beam.

New spline

The following edge will be formed by a spline. Follow the


procedure for the input of a "spline" beam.

Select line

This button is useful if a new polygon is supposed to follow the


shape of a previously defined polygon. The user does not have to
pick all the vertices of the new polygon, but may select existing
edges of the already input polygon.
See the example below.

Step back

This button goes one step back in the definition of the polygon.
For example:
If a polygon is being defined, the last vertex is removed. Or, if a
circle is being defined by means of three points and two points
have been defined so far, this function removes the second point of
the circle but leaves the first circle point unaffected.

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Example for Select line function


Lets assume that a polygon has been input as shown below.

Another polygon is supposed to follow the circular part of the first polygon. The procedure may be:
1. Start function Plane load.
2. Input the first point to the right of vertex P4 of the defined polygon.
3. Input the second point directly in vertex P4.
4. Press button [Select line] on the toolbar.
5. Select edge P4-P5 of the first polygon.
6. Select edge P5-P7 of the first polygon.
7. Select edge P7-P6 of the first polygon.
8. Press button [New straight] line on the toolbar.
9. Input the remaining vertices of the new polygon.

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Editing the polygon


Editing the loading polygon
The loading polygon can be edited any time after it has been defined. It is possible to modify both (i)
the plane polygon parameters and (ii) the geometry of the polygon.
Concerning the geometry of the polygon, the user may do the following:
change the shape (moving the existing vertices of the polygon),
insert a new vertex,
remove the existing vertex,
insert a new opening into the existing polygon,
remove the existing opening from the existing polygon,
delete the polygon.

Note: After any modification of the polygon, button [Refresh] should be pressed to start regeneration of the load. If the user does not carry out the generation of the load manually, it will be
performed automatically before the calculation of the project.

Changing the parameters


The procedure to edit polygon parameters
1. Select the polygon.
2. Its parameters are displayed in the Property window.
3. Change required parameters.
4. If necessary, use button [Refresh] to update the load (see the Note below).
5. Clear the selection.

Note: It is recommended to press button [Refresh] to start re-generation of the load. If this is not
done manually now, it will be performed automatically before the calculation of the project.

Changing the geometry of the loading polygon


Any of the vertices of the polygon may be moved. There is only one limitation for the operation in that
the vertex must remain in the plane of the polygon. The move of the vertex can be performed using the
Drag&Drop functionality.

The procedure to move the vertex


1. Select the polygon
2. Start function Edit plane load geometry:
a. using Action button Edit plane load geometry,
b. or using window pop-up menu and its function Edit plane load geometry.
3. If the working plane is not in the plane of the polygon, it is moved there automatically.
4. The vertices of the polygon are highlighted.
5. Use Drag&Drop functionality to move the required vertex to its new position.
6. Close the function.

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7. If the working plane was moved to the plane of the polygon at the beginning of this function, it is
moved back to its original location now.

Inserting a new vertex


The procedure to insert a new vertex
1. Select the polygon
2. Start function Edit plane load geometry:
a. using Action button Edit plane load geometry,
b. or using window pop-up menu and its function Edit plane load geometry.
3. If the working plane is not in the plane of the polygon, it is moved there automatically.
4. The vertices of the polygon are highlighted.
5. Start function Insert vertex:
a. using the Action button in the Property window,
b. using the window pop-up menu.
6. Select edges where the new vertex or vertices will be inserted. It is possible to select several edges, not
only one.
7. Press [Esc] key to finish the selection of edges.
8. The mouse cursor becomes bound to the selected edges.
9. Define the new vertices. Proper adjustment of SNAP function can help with this task.
10. Close the function of insertion.
11. Close the function of polygon editing.
12. Clear the selection (the polygon was selected as the first step).

Removing the vertex


The procedure to remove the vertex
1. Select the polygon
2. Start function Edit plane load geometry:
a. using Action button Edit plane load geometry,
b. or using window pop-up menu and its function Edit plane load geometry.
3. If the working plane is not in the plane of the polygon, it is moved there automatically.
4. The vertices of the polygon are highlighted.
5. Start function Delete vertex:
a. using the Action button in the Property window,
b. using the window pop-up menu.
6. Select vertex or vertices that will be removed. As soon as the vertex is picked, it is removed from the
polygon.
7. Close the function of deleting.
8. Close the function of polygon editing.

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9. Clear the selection (the polygon was selected as the first step).

Inserting an opening
The procedure to insert a new opening
1. Select the polygon
2. Start function Edit plane load geometry:
a. using Action button Edit plane load geometry,
b. or using window pop-up menu and its function Edit plane load geometry.
3. If the working plane is not in the plane of the polygon, it is moved there automatically.
4. The vertices of the polygon are highlighted.
5. Start function Insert opening:
a. using the Action button in the Property window,
b. using the window pop-up menu.
6. Define the new opening polygon. Proper adjustment of SNAP function can help with this task. The
opening may overlap the original polygon.
7. Close the new opening.
8. Close the function of insertion.
9. Close the function of polygon editing.
10. Clear the selection (the polygon was selected as the first step).

Deleting the opening


The procedure to insert a new vertex
1. Select the polygon
2. Start function Edit plane load geometry:
a. using Action button Edit plane load geometry,
b. or using window pop-up menu and its function Edit plane load geometry.
3. If the working plane is not in the plane of the polygon, it is moved there automatically.
4. The vertices of the polygon and opening (or openings) are highlighted.
5. Start function Delete opening:
a. using the Action button in the Property window,
b. using the window pop-up menu.
6. Select the opening or openings to be deleted.
7. Close the function of deleting.
8. Close the function of polygon editing.
9. Clear the selection (the polygon was selected as the first step).

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Deleting the polygon


The procedure to delete the polygon
1. Select the polygon.
2. Delete the polygon:
a. use menu function Modify > Delete,
b. or use window pop-up menu function Delete,
c. or press key [Delete].
3. A message is displayed. Confirm with [OK] button.

Pond water
Introduction to pond load
Ponding of rainwater is a phenomenon that occurs during a heavy rainfall on slender flat roofs. The
water flows to the lowest point of the structure. Because the rainfall is excessively intensive, the drains
cannot drain the water. Thus the water stays at the same place and the water level raises until the level
of emergency drains is reached. Before that however the structure deforms. Due to the deformation
more water flows to the lowest pond (= ponding of water also known as water accumulation) and the
structure deformation increases, thus more water ... , thus larger deformation..., etc.
The described situation occurs mainly in the combination of flat roofs, roofs with slender roof
structures, large area roofs.
Since the collapse of view roofs in 2002, the ponding of rainwater is a hot issue in the Netherlands.

Defining a new pond load


The procedure for the definition of a new pond load
1. Open function Pond load water accumulation via tree menu Loads or via menu Tree > Loads.
2. Specify the parameters of the load and its size.
3. Confirm the settings with [OK] button.
4. Input the area where water may accumulate.
5. Press Action button [Gener loads] in the Property Window. The generator dialogue opens on the
screen.

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6. Press button [Calculate] to generate the load on loaded beams.

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7. Confirm with [OK].
8. Close the function.

Note: The loading area may be edited any time later. The procedure of the modification of
loading areas is similar to the modification of loading polygon in plane load generator.
Note: Pond load may be defined ONLY in a variable load case.

Theoretical background
References
NEN6702 Loadings and deformations: 2001

Theory
NEN6702, Art. 8.7.1.1
Ponding of rainwater is a local effect. Therefore the load should be considered as a free load and thus a
chessboard combination should be considered.

NEN6702, Art. 8.7.1.4


The deflections has to be calculated in the end-situation, i.e. total deflections minus pre-camber. The
start-load for ponding of rainwater is determined as:

where

Pi;rep(x)

The load in calculation step i in kN/m2

d(i-1)(x)

The water depth caused by the deflection of the roof in iteration (i1) at location (x) in m.

dhw(x)

The water depth above the non-deformed roof area in m acc. to art.
8.7.1.5

NEN6702, Art. 8.7.1.5


dhw(x=0) = dnd+hnd
dhw(x)

the numerical value of the water depth at the roof edge or


emergency drain

dnd

the numerical value of the water depth above the emergency drain
in m

hnd

the depth of the emergency drain above the roof or roof edge, in m

correction factor for reference period


A

the roof area (vertical projection at ground plane) that drains using
a certain emergency drain, in m2

the width of the drain


The weight of water

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Span loads
Introduction to spans
It may happen that a beam extends over several spans. A continuous beam and a multi-span frame are
good example of this.
The frame below has four spans that are 2 m, 4 m, 4 m, and 2 m long, respectively.

The second picture shows a continuous beam with five spans.

If the user designs such a type of structure, s/he may need to define a load that extends just over a single
span (e.g. like in the enclosed picture).

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SCIA.ESA PT enables the user to do this easily. The only thing the user has to do is adjust a proper
"extent" of the load. This parameter can be adjusted during the definition of a new load. The parameter
may even be changed for already existing loads. The standard procedure described in ESA help chapter
Modifying the existing load > Changing the load parameters may be used.
The application of "span loads" itself is straightforward and requires no special preliminary steps. It is
even offered in the Standard user interface level.

What is the span


What is a span?
First of all, it is important to define what the term span exactly mean. In SCIA.ESA PT terminology the
span is one of the following:
if a beam is defined by means of a polyline, the span is the segment between two adjacent vertices,
if a linked node (or several of these) is defined on a beam, the span is either (i) the segment between
two adjacent linked nodes, or (ii) between a linked node and the adjacent end-node of the beam,
any combination of the above mentioned options.

Note: A linked node does not have to be only in a real "connection" of two beams. It is possible to
define a linked node anywhere along a beam and let it "unlinked" to any other member.

What is NOT a span?


In order to prevent misunderstanding, it may be also good to state what is NOT the span:
The span is NOT a segment between a node (either end node or linked node) and a crosslink.
The span is NOT a segment between two intersections of a beam with two other beams unless linked
nodes have been defined in the intersections.
The span is NOT a segment between a node (either end node or linked node) and a support-on-beam.
The span is neither a segment between two supports-on-beam.
The span is NOT a segment between two end nodes if several beams lie in one line and touch each other
by their end points. In this case, each "segment" is a full beam. No spans appear on such a structure.

Types of spans
Span defined by means of polyline
In order to have spans "prepared" by means of a polyline, the following procedure must be used for the
definition of a new beam.

Procedure for the definition of spans by means of polyline


1. Start function Structure > Drawing a member.
2. Define parameters of the beam in the property dialogue.

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3. Do NOT define the start point of the beam. Instead, click button [New polyline] (
located just above the command line.

) on the toolbar

4. Now define the start point.


5. Continue with intermediate vertices of the polygon.
6. Define the end point of the polygon, i.e. the end node of the beam.
7. Close the function.
8. Now, the defined beam consists of several segments. Each of the segments represents one span.
The following pictures demonstrate the described procedure and its application.
First, the polygon is defined.

Second, when function Drawing a member is closed, a beam is created (automatically) along the
polygon.

Finally, span-loads may be defined on individual spans.

Span defined by means of linked nodes


This approach is suitable if:
The spatial arrangement of the members of the structure is such that individual spans are defined by
means of the connections of beams.
The demand for span-loads appears in later design phases and the beams have been already defined
without the polyline approach taken into account.
The exact procedure will differ for each of the two mentioned situations.

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Definition of spans according to spatial arrangement of beams


Procedure for the definition of spans according to spatial arrangement of beams
1. Select the beams that should be connected.
2. Call function Modify > Connect nodes to beams.
3. Linked nodes are created in contacts of beams.
Example
Lets assume a simple 2D frame.

The top horizontal beam covering all the spans of the frame is not connected to the columns yet.
So, select the top horizontal beam and the inner columns. (Surface of beams is displayed in this picture
for better clearness.)

Call function Modify > Connect nodes to beams. Or, if you prefer, use icon of the same name ( )
located on toolbar Geometrical manipulations. New linked nodes are created in the points of "touch"
between the horizontal beam and the columns.

The detailed view shows the graphical symbol used for linked nodes.

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Definition of spans on individual beams


The procedure here is very straightforward. The user defines manually new linked nodes in points
where the end-of-span is supposed to be.

Procedure for the definition of spans on individual beams


1. Call function Node on beam:
a. Either through menu function Tree > Structure > Node on beam,
b. Or through tree menu function Structure > Node on beam.
2. Select the beam where the new linked node should be defined.
3. Define the position of the new linked node.
4. The linked node is created.
5. If required, repeat the whole procedure as many times as necessary.
Example
Lets take a simple beam.

Lets assume that the user want to "divide" the beam into three segments, i.e. have three spans on it.
Adjust the SNAP function to the picture. Option Points on line-curve Nths should be set to 3.

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Call function Node on beam, select the beam and define the point, i.e. the position of the new linked
node.

Repeat the same for the second point.

The detailed view shows the graphical symbol used for linked nodes.

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Work with spans


Defining a new span-load
The general procedure for the definition of a new load that extends over a span instead of the whole
beam is the same as for normal beam-load. The only difference is that parameter Extent must be
adjusted to span.
The same principle applies for all types of load on beam:
point load on beam,
line force on beam,
thermal load on beam,
moment load on beam,
line moment load on beam,
point displacement on beam relative translation,
point displacement on beam relative rotation,
line displacement on beam longitudinal strain,
line displacement on beam flexural strain.
The procedure will be explained for line force load on beam only. Examples will be given for several
load types.

The procedure for the definition of a span-load on a beam


1. Open function Line force on beam via tree menu function Loads or via menu function Tree > Loads.
2. Specify the parameters of the load and its size.
3.

Set parameter Extent to span.

4. Input the starting point and end point of the load position.
5. Confirm the settings with [OK] button.
6. Select beams where the load should act.
7. Close the function.
Example
Lets assume a continuous five span beam. Lets assume that this beam is subject to three different
loads:
line force load extending over the whole first span,
thermal load extending from the point in one fourth of the third span to the point in three fourths of the
same span,
moment load acting in the middle of the last, i.e. fifth span.
The beam is shown in the picture below.

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First, lets define the line load over the first span. Call function Line force on beam and fill in the
parameters according to the picture. REMEMBER to set the extent to span.

Confirm the settings and select the first span of the beam.

The load is inputted there.


Second, lets add the thermal load. This load acts not along the whole span but only over its part. Call
function Thermal load on beam. Fill in the table as shown below. Again, REMEMBER to set item
extent to span.

Confirm the settings and select the third span of the beam. The load is inputted accordingly.

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Finally, lets input the moment load acting in the middle of the last span. Call function Moment > on
beam and fill in the table as given below.

Confirm the settings and select the top right span of the beam. The moment is added to the beam.

At the end, the beam is subject the three prescribed loads.

Changing location of span-load


Once a span-load is defined, it is stored as a normal load. This means that it can be manipulated the
same way as any other load.
In order to move the span load, see chapter Loads > Modifying the existing load > Moving the load.

Modifying the span length


If a span length is modified, the result of the operation may depend on the type of span-load definition.
And sometimes, special measures must be taken to make the result correct.

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The action of modification of span length depends on whether the load on it has been defined
"relatively" or "absolutely". If the load has been defined in relative co-ordinates, everything is clear and
the user does not have to think about it much.
On the other hand, if the span-load is defined in absolute co-ordinates, the user must pay attention to the
operation.
If the span in question is made longer, no special measures need to be taken. The after-modification
span is longer than the original one and the load can be put on the new span without any corrections.
If however, the "after-modification span" is shorter than the original, and especially, if the "aftermodification span" is even shorter than the extent of the load, the load must be corrected in order to fit
the "after-modification span".
Well explain the problem on a simple example.
Lets have a three-span continuous beam subject to a uniformly distributed load over the top right span.

The length of the loaded span is 5 metres. Lets move the spans left node to shorten the span to 3
metres only. The load that is defined in absolute co-ordinates (i.e. it extents from ordinate 0,000 to
ordinate 5,000) cant fit onto the shortened span.

For several reasons, an automatic check and correction of this situation is not performed and the user
must take the initiative. S/he must use function Calculation > Check structure data to correct any
invalid data.

On opening the function a function-control dialogue is displayed. For our case, an attention should be
paid to its bottom part called Check of additional data. This option must be ticked.

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Pressing button [Check] starts the checking procedure. If any invalidities are discovered, the dialogue
offers to continue and correct them. Before pressing button [Continue], make sure that option Correct
position is selected.

At the end, the program informs about the number of corrections made to the project data.

It can be seen on the screen that the load has been corrected appropriately.

Note: If the user does not make the check of data personally, the situation is not so crucial as it
may seem. SCIA.ESA.PT performs the check of data before each calculation. So, if the user forgets or
does not bother to perform the check of data manually, the data are checked automatically and, if
necessary, corrected before the calculation.

Copying the span-load to another beam


Span-load can be copied to other beams. The procedure is identical to copying a standard load.

The procedure for copying of span-load


1. Select the span-load to be copied.
2. Call menu function Modify > Copy add data.
3. Select the target beam, i.e. the beam where the load should be copied to. It is possible to select several
target beams at a time.
4. Close the function.
5. The load is copied.

Copying beams subject to span-load


As with normal beam load, it is possible to copy the whole beam with defined span-loads to a new
location including this span-load. Of course, any other defined properties like supports, hinges, etc. may
be copied with the beam as well.

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The procedure for copying a beam including its load


1. Select the beam and load that is to be copied. If you select other data like supports, they will be copied
as well.
2. Start function Modify > Copy.
3. Define the displacement vector by means of Starting point and End point.
4. Close the function.
5. Selected entities are copied.

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Masses
Introduction to masses
Masses represent a kind of load that is used with dynamic analysis. The mass then models the effect of
some real load. The real load is idealised and introduced in the form of a material point, i.e. mass.
To some extent, the masses are analogous to loads and mass groups are analogous to load cases.

Mass types
Point mass
Point mass represents a mass concentrated into a single point. It may be considered as analogous to
point load. Point mass may be positioned into a node or into an intermediate point of a beam.

point mass in a node

point mass on a beam

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Line mass
Line mass represents a mass concentrated into a line. It may be considered as analogous to line load.

Defining a mew mass


Defining a new point mass in node
The procedure for the definition of a new point mass in a node
1. Open tree menu function Dynamics > Masses > Mass in node.
2. Specify the parameters of the mass:
a. weight,
b. mass moments of inertia.
3. Confirm the settings with [OK] button.
4. Select nodes where the mass should act.
5. Close the function.

Defining a new point mass on a beam


The procedure for the definition of a new point mass on a beam
1. Open tree menu function Dynamics > Masses > Mass on beam.
2. Specify the parameters of the mass:
a. weight,
b. position of the mass on a beam,
c. number of repetitions.
3. Confirm the settings with [OK] button.
4. Select beams where the mass should act.
5. Close the function.

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Defining a new line mass on a beam


The procedure for the definition of a new line mass on a beam
1. Open tree menu function Dynamics > Masses > Line mass on beam.
2. Specify the parameters of the mass:
a. type of the mass distribution (uniform or trapezoidal),
b. weight,
c. position on a beam.
3. Confirm the settings with [OK] button.
4. Select beams where the mass should act.
5. Close the function.

Modifying the existing mass


Editing the existing mass
Mass is a standard SCIA.ESA PTs entity. Therefore, it can be modified in the same way as other entity
types. Whats more, similarly to e.g. supports or loads, it belongs to Additional data of the SCIA.ESA
PT project. The procedure for the modification of mass is therefore identical to the procedure for the
modification of model data (e.g. supports, etc.).

Moving the existing mass


Mass is a standard SCIA.ESA PTs entity. Therefore, it can be modified in the same way as other entity
types. Whats more, similarly to e.g. supports or loads, it belongs to Additional data of the SCIA.ESA
PT project. The procedure for move of mass is therefore identical to the procedure for move of model
data (see chapter Model data > Modifying the existing model data > Moving the model data).

Copying the existing mass


Mass is a normal SCIA.ESA PTs entity. Therefore, it can be modified in the same way as other entity
types. Whats more, similarly to e.g. supports or loads, it belongs to Additional data of the SCIA.ESA
PT project. The procedure for copying of mass is therefore identical to the procedure for copying of
model data (see chapter Model data > Modifying the existing model data > Copying the model
data).

Deleting the existing mass


Mass is a normal SCIA.ESA PTs entity. Therefore, it can be modified in the same way as other entity
types. Whats more, similarly to e.g. supports or loads, it belongs to Additional data of the SCIA.ESA
PT project. The procedure for removal of mass is therefore identical to the procedure for removal of
model data (see chapter Model data > Modifying the existing model data > Deleting the model
data).

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Mass groups
Introduction to mass groups
Mass groups are analogous to load cases. Individual masses may be combined in mass groups and later
combinations of these mass groups may be created.

Mass group manager


The Mass group manager is a standard SCIA.ESA PT manager. It provides for basic operations with
mass groups.
The Mass group manager can be opened:
using tree menu function Dynamics > Mass group.

Defining a new mass group


The procedure for the definition of a new mass group
1. Open the Mass group manager.
2. Click button [New].
3. A new mass group is created.
4. Click button [Edit] to open the editing dialogue.
5. Input the required values for individual mass group parameters.
6. Confirm with button [OK].
7. If required, repeat steps 2 to 6.
8. Close the Mass group manager.

Defining the mass group parameters


In the editing dialogue, parameters of a particular mass group may be edited.
Load case

Here, the user may select a load case that should be used for an
automatic generation of masses.

Create masses from load


case

This parameter tells the program to generate masses from all load
defined in the load case specified above.

Combinations of mass groups


Introduction to combinations of mass groups
Mass groups defined in the project can be combined in mass group combinations. The combinations
then can be used for evaluation of results.

Mass group combination manager


The Mass group combination manager is a standard SCIA.ESA PT manager. It provides for basic
operations with combinations of mass groups.
The Mass group combination manager can be opened:
using tree menu function Dynamics > Combination of mass group.

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Calculation
Introduction to calculation
Once the model of an analysed structure is created, the calculation of required type may be performed.
SCIA.ESA PT applies the deformation variant of finite element method. The employed beam finite
element takes account of shear deformation.
Detailed information about the applied calculation methods may be found:
in the following chapters and
in a separate book Advanced calculations accessible via menu function Help > Contents > Advanced
calculations.

Checking the data


Introduction to check of data
It is a good practice and sometimes even necessity to check the data of the model from time to time or
at least before calculation. Especially for excessive models that have been modified by means of various
manipulation functions, it may happen that the model contains some invalid or obsolete data. Such data
should be removed from the project as they:
occupy memory unnecessarily,
could mislead some functions.
SCIA.ESA PT provides aN easy-to-use wizard that automatically searches the project and reveals
improper or invalid data.

Note: The check of data is important from one more point of view. By default the intersecting
beams are not joined to each other. If they are supposed to act together, a linked node must be defined
in their intersection. The Check of data function traces such places and suggests the user to make an
automatic connection of affected beams. This operation may thus resolve possible future problems with
numerically unstable solution.

Parameters of data check


The Check data function tries to reveal invalid data in the project.

Check of nodes
Search nodes

This option is ALWAYS ON. This check ensures that nodal data
are correct. This option is a kind of protection against possible
damage of saved data.

Search duplicate nodes

If ON, the program searches for nodes with identical co-ordinates


If two nodes of identical position are found they are merged into a
single node (i.e. one of them is removed).
The value defined in Minimal distance between two points in the
Mesh Setup dialogue is used for this check.

Ignore parameters

This option is effective only if parametric nodes have been defined


in the project.
If ON, only the co-ordinates (calculated from input parameters)
are checked. If two nodes of the same co-ordinates are found, they
are merged into one node.
If OFF, the check procedure consists of two steps. First, the coordinates are checked. If any two nodes of the same co-ordinates
are discovered, the defining parameters are check in the second

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step. If the two nodes are defined by means of the same
parameters, they are considered duplicate and merged into one. If,
however, the two nodes are defined using different parameters or
different formulas, the nodes are let unchanged.

If the Check of nodes discovers any disorder or "mess" in nodal data, another dialogue is displayed.
Members with undefined
nodes

This item shows the number of discovered undefined nodes. Such


nodes MUST always be corrected and therefore the checkbox is
ALWAYS ON.

Free nodes

If any free nodes are found in the project (i.e. nodes that do not
belong to any member) the user may delete them.
It is recommended to delete any free nodes unless the user has
a specific reason for their existence in the project (e.g. free nodes
may represent a temporary state during the definition of a complex
model).

Duplicate nodes

Any duplicate nodes found in the project are reported here and it
up to the user whether they will be deleted or not.
It is recommended to delete duplicate nodes.

Check of beams
Check beams

The user may decide if beams in the project should be checked or


not.

Search null beams

Beams of zero length are found. If such beams are discovered in


the project, they are always deleted.

Search duplicate beams

This check goes through the model and traces double beams, i.e.
beams of identical position, orientation and length. If such beams
are discovered, the user may decide whether they should be
preserved or whether only one of the identical beams should be
kept in the project.

Note: Any two beams are considered identical if they have identical end nodes. If two different
beams defined by means of four different end nodes "lie" one on another, they are not identical under
the terms of this check. However, if standard check options are selected, the check procedure discovers
duplicate nodes first, merges them, and consequently also the two beams become identical under the
conditions of the check.

Check of structure
Search nodes on beams

The program traces places where beams end points are located on
another beam and the two beams are not linked together. The
program links such beams together by means of inserted linked
nodes.

Check of additional data


Check additional data
position

The program checks all additional data (e.g. loads, supports, etc.)
and verifies the position of these data on members. For example,
some loads might have got out of beam during manipulation
functions. Such improper data are corrected.

Note: For the procedure read chapter Performing the check of data.

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Performing the check of data


The procedure for the check of data
1. Start function Check of data:
a. either using menu function Tree > Calculation,