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Gail, 

I agree 100% with what you just said. 

We were recently looking into purchasing some
sophisticated pt design software that did
finite-element analysis and design of post-tensioned
slabs. I was fearful that this software would further
disconnect some of our engineers from the reality of
what they are doing when they design pt and could
result in the computer becoming more of a crutch
rather than a tool. (A crutch being something that you
HAVE to use because you don't understand , whereas a
tool being something that can make your job easier but
you can make due without it if needed.) Accordingly we
decided to pass on this software (for now). It was
also pretty expensive which influenced our decision as
well. I'm sure that someday we'll be using this
software, but not right now.

Cliff Schwinger



--- GSKWY(--nospam--at)aol.com wrote:
> As was pointed out to me, most engineers using
> finite-element programs to 
> design post-tensioned buildings are not designing. 
> They are "modeling" and 
> "meshing"  and feeling quite sophisicated.  Physical
> realities such as as loads 
> that need to get transferred to a foundation are
> seldom considered.  As long as 
> they have convergence, they have a design.
> 
> Finite element analysis can be a great tool for
> those who understand what 
> they are doing.  However, engineers who actually do
> understand at least the 
> basics of post-tensioning tend to prefer
> "strip-based" programs because they 
> provide a better feel for the design.  Experienced
> engineers are able to use them 
> very efficiently.
> 
> To me, an engineering firm that boasts it is using
> "the latest finite element 
> programs" for their design is signaling that they
> proably know very little 
> about post-tensioning.
> 
> Gail  Kelley    
> 


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