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RE: Simple Beam?

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I would not worry about it for most stuff.  I don't think keeping the ends from moving longitudinally for most simple beams is going to make a difference is most cases and most design / checking software [not FEM] is going to assume a roller on one end, just like steel joist tables, etc...  Avoid paralysis by analysis.
What I really want to know is for a composite beam composed of a wide flange beam supporting a one-way concrete slab: for a beam side load from a shear plate connection off the side of the steel beam, should the shear studs be designed for tension [as well as shear]  to keep the wide flange from pulling away from the concrete slab?  Just kidding.
-----Original Message-----
From: vicpeng [mailto:vicpeng(--nospam--at)]
Sent: Friday, August 09, 2002 5:54 PM
Subject: Simple Beam?

Using any software you like, model a simply supported beam of any length and put any load you like on it.  I can do this by hand, but an anomally occurs when I use 2D software, and also RISA.
Case 1:    Restrain one end.  What is the axial displacement of the other end as the beam bends?
Case 2:    Restrain BOTH ends.  What is the axial restraining reaction at each end?
This is not a trick question but perhaps highlights the choice of software one should use for any given problem.  The likes of Pframe, RISA, and probably others use "small deflection" analysis, which is easy for the program coder and usually user-friendly.  "Sophisticated" programs use finite element and probably work energy procedures for their analyses.
My question is (and yes, I know I need a life .  Are there identifiable criteria, or rules of thumb, for deciding which software package one should use for any given problem?  Or is it simply a matter of how many decimal places I might want?  Points that have emerged from this deliberation include the modeling of a 3D (3 or more orthogonally placed beams to a joint) beam column that ignores the torsional stiffness effect of those orthogonal beams, and so on.

Thor A Tandy  P.Eng, MIPENZ
Victoria BC
e-mail: vicpeng(--nospam--at)