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Re: Spreadsheets for Cold-Formed Sections?

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Bill and Joel,
Thanks for the replies. I was checking some of my early work and that's when I decided to see if anyone else had already done this. I am using the AISI formulas for the section properties. Joel, as you mentioned I want to achieve interaction with other parts of the design. Presently when designing storage racks, I model them in SODA ( a 2&3D steel design and analysis program) and determine the lateral deflections which I then use to determine the period of the racks and the seismic loads, using Excel. Then, back to SODA to apply the seismic and notional loads along with gravity and wind (if any) and get the results. I then check the CF sections using CFS to see if they are satisfactory. If not OK, then do it all over again. It is time consuming. As a lot of the racks are repetitive, I can analyse them using a given beam load of say 100lbs per foot and create a library of member forces which can be pro-rated. I can then use Excel throughout the process, if I can solve the member loadings and stresses using Excel. Then I would just check my results using CFS. My problem is I am not a whiz-bang programmer. I don't know anything about VBA except that it is used with Excel. I also have never heard of CFS DLL but now I will search for info. Perhaps that is the way to go. An engineer acquaintance at a large storage rack firm told me they use RISA and CFS. Thanks for your input and I may come back to you with questions if you don't mind.
Gary


Adair, Joel wrote:
Gary --

I think you may have already found your answer -- to use CFS, because
developing your own spreadsheet is too time-consuming.  My experience
has been that, if there's commercial software that does what you need it
to do, it's nearly always cheaper to buy the software than it is to
develop, verify, and troubleshoot your own in-house "software".  At $595
for CFS, you'd have to develop a working alternative in probably
something like 3-6 hours of time that would otherwise be charged to a
client.  I would think even if you know light-gauge design inside and
out, and are a wiz-bang spreadsheet programmer, you'd probably be
hard-pressed to do that.  (Of course, if work is slow, and you need
something to do, spreadsheet development or other "sharpening-the-saw"
activities are a good use of time.)

If you want to do your light-gauge section calcs within Excel because of
interaction with other parts of your design workflow, then you might
consider buying the CFS DLL from RSG.  You could have it do the
gruntwork of the calculations, and just write a Visual Basic
user-defined function that takes input from the spreadsheet, calls the
DLL, and returns the results of its calculations to the spreadsheet.
That would be a far simpler programming exercise on your end that might
justify the additional expense of buying the DLL.

-- Joel Adair
SHW Group
Plano, TX

-----Original Message-----
From: Gary L. Hodgson and Assoc. [mailto:design(--nospam--at)hodgsoneng.ca] Sent: Wednesday, July 29, 2009 8:27 AM
To: SEAINT Mail List
Subject: Spreadsheets for Cold-Formed Sections?

List,

Does anybody know of any excel spreadsheets for calculating the section properties of cold-formed steel sections? I already use CFS from RSG Software (http://rsgsoftware.com/) that gives me what I want, but I'd prefer to do all of this within Excel.

I tried creating my own spreadsheet but I found it too time consuming. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

cheers,
Gary

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