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Structural analysis of steel

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Structural analysis 🏛

A structural analysis of steel involves examining the steel's load-bearing capacity and stability by using calculation methods and models.

The analysis method is used to design equipment or a structure so that it becomes safe for use, and withstands the estimated loads the equipment is expected to withstand. It is therefore important to assess whether the steel is suitable for the purpose for which it will be used, and whether it is in line with relevant safety requirements and standards.

Advanced structural analysis of bridges

This involves examining the steel's material properties and construction properties, such as the steel's tension and cross-sectional dimensions, as well as taking into account influences that can affect the steel's load-bearing capacity, such as loads, temperature changes and corrosion.

Structures or equipment where other equipment is to be loaded are particularly relevant for calculation through structural analysis.

One of the projects Nordic Steel has designed and manufactured equipment for in 2022 is the rebuilding of a production hall. There are rails, beams and a suspension system that must withstand production equipment and the goods that the factory produces. Everything is calculated to withstand the estimated weight and load.

Important for structural analysis of steel

It is important to do structural analysis of steel because it helps us understand how the steel will behave under various loads and influences. This can help ensure that the steel is used in a safe and reliable way, in everything from buildings and bridges to planes and cars.

Structural analysis can also help to identify any weaknesses in the steel, so that they can be rectified before they lead to serious problems.

Modeling of steel beams
In summary:

• Have a good understanding of the steel's properties and how they can affect the structure's performance. This includes the steel's stress-strain ratio, density, and breaking strength

• Identify all the loads that will act on the structure, such as weight, wind, and earth pressure, and calculate how they will affect the structure

• A thorough geometric analysis of the structure must be carried out to determine the stiffness and stability of the elements of the structure. This can include calculations of moments, forces and deformations

• Use a reliable method to solve the structural problem, such as FEM analysis ( Finite Element Method ) or a classical method such as calculation of beam moments

• Careful documentation of all calculations and checking of results to ensure they are accurate and reliable

This is how structural analysis is performed

Structural analysis can be performed during design, testing or after construction. It takes into account the materials used, the geometry of the structure and the loads it is subjected to.

Usually, it is individual structural elements and the forces they undergo that are analyzed. Wind load, dead load (own weight) and live load (people or vehicles) are forces that act on beams and slabs.

There are different methods of performing structural analysis, depending on the level of accuracy required.

Hand calculations: Simple hand calculations are a quick and easy way to evaluate the effect of simple forces on simple structures. An example could be calculating the bending moment forces on a horizontal beam

FEM and FEA analysis: A numerical method for solving structural problems. FEA uses mathematical models to simulate the steel's behavior under different load scenarios, providing an accurate analysis of the steel's load-bearing capacity and stability

• It is also important to carry out physical testing of the steel to verify the calculations and ensure that the steel is suitable for the purpose for which it will be used. 

Traverse crane and bridge

Solid mechanics and structural design

Analysis is a branch of solid mechanics that uses simplified models of solids such as beams, rods, and shells for engineering decision making. There are ideas from applied mechanics, materials science and applied mathematics that are used to calculate structural deformations, internal forces, stresses, support reactions, velocity, accelerations and stability.

Stela Bridge

The results of the analysis are used to verify a structure's suitability for consumption. Structural analysis is thus a central part of the structural design of structures.


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