Knowing how to use Excel is important in any engineering industry, in fact, in any professional industry. Excel can generate automated calculations, as well as, efficiently organizing large amounts of data and presenting important analysis information using conditional formatting and/or automated charts and graphs.
Excel is especially important in structural engineering. For an average structure, there can be hundreds of structural members. With each member, there are different checks you need to implement; flexure, bending, torsion, axial, etc. We need Excel to keep track of things!
Here are several useful spreadsheets for structural engineering that I found online. These spreadsheets are all based on American structural codes (ACI, AISC, etc).
- The spreadsheet provides automated shear wall design using a phiPn vs phiMn chart to indicate whether the design forces are within the capacity curve.
- The spreadsheet provides a force and strain diagram to indicate the critical points of force and strain.
- This spreadsheet checks the minimum reinforcement that the wall should have, the minimum spacing of reinforcement, and the shear, flexural, and axial forces against their respective capacities.
- Similar to the Shear Wall Spreadsheet, this spreadsheet provides automated analysis using a phiPn vs phiMn chart. Basic principle can be found here!
- Moreover, you can determine phiPn vs phiMn values under different conditions (eg. phiPn vs phiMn when there is no tension and phiPn vs phiMn when there is flexure only). This gives flexibility for designers to consider structural member behavior under different cases.
- You can input your applied forces (eg. dead, live, and wind for uplift). When you input your applied forces, the spreadsheet automatically calculates the forces for you (eg. axial, shear, and moment). This automated technique lets you change your input applied forces to see the different axial, shear, and moment forces applied onto the footing. Hand calculations can be found here!
- This spreadsheet also includes stability checks (eg. uplift).
- This spreadsheet uses moment forces and capacity to calculate number of requirement and size of reinforcement required.
- This spreadsheet calculates respectivewind pressures and coefficients at respective heights and produces a table detailing derivations of wind pressures in windward and leeward directions.
- This spreadsheet also includes negative and positive roof pressures and overhang pressures.
- You can input concrete characteristics, such as concrete grade and concrete strength, as well as, beam properties, such as concrete cover and dimensions of beam.
- The spreadsheet also includes a deflection check which uses the beam’s modulus of rupture, elasticity and modular ratio, and the cracked section of moment of inertia. Moreover, it shows deflection behavior under different cases (eg. under DL, under LL, and under DL + LL). This gives the user the flexibility to change the different types of applied loads to design the appropriate beam.
- The spreadsheet also calculates for short term and long term deflection, where initial deflection must be < L/360 and long term deflection must be < L/240.
- This spreadsheet uses ASD loads.
- There is a chart that shows Moment capacity vs Unbraced length, which indicates that as unbraced length increases, the flexural capacity decreases. The chart also shows inelastic lateral torsional buckling region and elastic lateral torsional buckling region.
- There is also a section where it calculates whether your member has a compact flange and/or web. It then indicates the most critical steel check.
- The spreadsheet checks yielding, lateral torsional buckling, and flange local buckling. Hand calculations can be found here!
- This spreadsheet is based on ASD design.
- You can input geometrical properties of the steel column on the base plate, as well as, the geometrical properties of the base plate (length of base plate, width of base plate, and initial base plate thickness, base plate yield stress, and bolt distances).
- You can input forces acted onto the column (eg. compression force and bending moment).
- The spreadsheet checks for eccentricity by determining whether it is a large eccentricity case. If so, then overturning will be critical so anchor rods will be required for the base plate design. The anchor rod tension required for the base plate will then be automatically computed, when the eccentricity is over its critical eccentricity.
- The spreadsheet computes the base plate thickness by checking for yielding at bearing and tension.