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Re: light gauge steel design programs

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I just reviewed my e-mail messages and did not see an answer to your

1. It is hard to recommend a program for light gauge design because they are
much more focused than the "mainstream" programs. depending on your
application, you can find at least several programs to choose from. The best
source is a "Cold-Formed Steel Design Computer Programs"  publication of the
Center for Cold-formed Steel Structures of the University of Missouri-Rolla.
It lists 30 programs.

You will find that in light gauge design field the available computer
programs fall in general in three categories:

a. Programs calculating section properties ( sometimes just for a few
specific section types). These programs usually have very limited analysis
capabilities if any. You may find that one of them can design a simple span
beam or a continuous beam of 3 spans. Loading options are usually limited.
In this category CFS is the most widely used program.

b. Truss design programs. Many of these do just that - design trusses (axial
forces only - if you have a continuous top chord - you are out of luck)
usually 2D. Their section property calculation abilities will be quite often
less than some of the programs in the first category. Primary loads
available are roof gravity loads (live, snow) and wind loads on the roof.

c. General Analysis and Design programs. A program in this category will
analyze and design a structure of any shape for any type of a load (seismic,
dynamic, temperature, support settlement, etc. in addition to the usual
loads). This category was created by STRAP when we entered light gauge steel
field in 1995.

2. Programs by DEVCO.

On March 21 in conjunction with International Conference on Sustainable
Steel several light gauge programs were presented. DEVCO presented a beam
analysis and design program that looked very good. I don't want to describe
it here just in case I misstate any of its capabilities, but if you want to
contact me, I will describe to you what I remember.

If you have any other questions, please contact me directly.


Garrick Goldenberg, P.E.
ATIR Engineering Software
24 Fairfax Road
Needham, MA 02192
Tel. 1.800.644.6441
(for int'l calls 781.444.9944)
Fax 781.444.3464
email: garrick(--nospam--at)
For the latest news about STRAP, check our web site

-----Original Message-----
From: Dave Evans <DEVANS(--nospam--at)>
To: seaoc(--nospam--at) <seaoc(--nospam--at)>
Date: Saturday, June 20, 1998 7:17 PM
Subject: light gauge steel design programs

I know I've seen recent discussion on this list regarding light gauge
steel design programs, but the archive search engine gave me bogus
results (anyone else have problems?), so....

Can anyone recommend a light-gauge steel analysis and design program?
Any comments on LGBEAMER or AISIWIN from Devcoe?


Dave Evans, P.E.
TNH, Inc.