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This page is devoted to frequently asked questions (FAQ) related to the Section Designer.

On this page:


How do I model a hollow section?

Answer: To create an opening within a section, draw (over the shape which represents the section boundary) a shape which represents the opening. Right-click this shape, then change the material type to Opening.


Why does nothing happen when I launch design for a built-up (I-shaped) steel section?

Answer: To design a built-up steel frame section within the Section Designer, the section should be defined as a User-Defined I or as a User-Defined Box Section, and not as a Section Designer Section.

Composite response

Can I check the concrete stress for a steel-girder and concrete-slab composite section?

Answer: Stresses local to individual objects within a composite section may be checked using post-processing methods outside of the Section Designer. When analyzing composite sections, the Section Designer transforms the entire section into the base material specified on the Section Data form. Stresses may be resolved manually once composite-section forces are obtained.

Confined RC sections

How are confined reinforced-concrete sections modeled in the Section Designer?

Answer: Once the section is defined in the Section Designer, right-click on the section, then select the confined-concrete model, as shown in Figure 1. Longitudinal and transverse bar size and layout may then be specified.

Figure 1 - Confined-concrete sections

Time-dependent properties

How are time-dependent properties considered in sections of two or more materials?

Answer: For sections modeled using the Section Designer, creep and shrinkage effects are calculated as though the entire (transformed) section is composed of the base material specified during section definition.

Please note that time-dependent effects for composite sections may be evaluated correctly by explicitly modeling the different parts of a composite section, then by assigning the appropriate material properties. These modeling entities, such as frame griders and shell slabs, may then be connected using body constraints, rigid links, or another means that achieves composite behavior.

Import / Export

Can I export section-designer sections to a different model?

Answer: Yes, this is accomplished through export and import of the Section Designer database tables. The process is as follows:

  • Export the Material Properties, Frame Section Properties, and Section Designer Properties tables by selecting File > Export > SAP2000 .s2k Text File, as shown in Figure 2.
  • Open the other model, then import the previously exported tables by selecting File > Import.

Figure 2 - Export properties tables