Advance Design Connection

Calculating and validating complex joint design can be a very time consuming process, but with the new technology in Advance Design connection you can now analyse and design complex connections according to European codes in minutes.

Advance Design Connection can design all types of welded or bolted connections, base plates, footings and anchors. It provides precise checks, results of strength, stiffness and buckling analysis of steel joints in minutes.

Joints are checked according to CISC/AISC/EC, with the option of choosing from three types of output reports. Templates for most-used connections are available as well as a wide range of predefined hot rolled and sheet welded members. Advance Design Connection allows you to work with data from other FEA and CAD software. Advance Design Connection can import new joint designs or new geometry.

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Advance Design Features

Stress & Strain Analysis

stress and strain 180The analysis of joint is materially non-linear. The load increments are applied gradually and the state of stress is searched. There are two optional analysis modes in ADC:

 - The response of structure (joint) to the overall load. All defined load (100 %) is applied in this mode and the corresponding state of stress and deformation is calculated. 

- Analysis termination at reaching the ultimate limit state. The checkbox in Code setup “Stop at limit strain” should be ticked. The state is found when the plastic strain reaches the defined limit.

ADC Stop at limit strain 500

ADC Anchorage forces and stresses in concrete 500

In the case when the defined load is higher than the calculated capacity, the analysis is marked as non-satisfying and the percentage of used load is printed. Note that the analytical resistance of components, for example of bolts, can be exceeded.

The second mode is more suitable for a practical design. The first one is preferable for detailed analysis of complex joints.

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Buckling Analysis

buckling analysis 180ADC can perform linear buckling analysis and provide the user with the buckling factor. It is important to recognize the global buckling (buckling of whole members) and the local buckling (buckling of individual plates). In the case of global buckling (the plate is an elongation of a member), it is recommended to check the buckling resistance for buckling factor.

Critical buckling factor for a gusset plate as an elongation of a truss in the case of most plates in connections, local buckling can occur and the maximum value of the critical buckling factor that requires thorough the analysis is usually smaller; it has been verified that for stiffeners and column panel in shear, it is not necessary to take into account buckling if the critical buckling factor is higher than 3.

ADC Critical buckling factor 500

It is possible to follow the results of ADC with calculations or with geometrically nonlinear analysis with initial imperfections in advanced FEM software if the buckling factor is smaller than the critical value. Nevertheless, it is often more economical to use stiffeners or thicker plates in design.

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Stiffness Analysis

stiffness analysis 180ADC uses component based finite element method (CBFEM). The CBFEM method enables to analyze the stiffness of connection of individual joint members. For the proper stiffness analysis, the separate analysis model must be created for each analyzed member.

Then, the stiffness analysis is not influenced by the stiffness of other members of joint but only by the node itself and the construction of connection of the analyzed member. Whereas the bearing member is supported for the strength analysis, all members except the analyzed one are supported by the stiffness analysis.

ADC Stiffness Diagram 500

Loads can be applied only on the analyzed member. If bending moment My is defined, the rotational stiffness about the y-axis is analyzed. If bending moment Mz is defined, the rotational stiffness about the z-axis is analyzed. If axial force N is defined, the axial stiffness of connection is analyzed.

The program generates complete diagram automatically, it is directly displayed in GUI and can be added into the output report. Rotational or axial stiffness can be studied for specific design load. ADC can also deal with the interaction of the other internal forces.

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Connection Capacity Check

connection capacity check 180ADC checks the connection on applied design load. In many regions with the danger of seismicity, it is required to check the connection on the maximal moment which can be transferred by the connected member. We calculate this moment in the software and apply it to the specific member. All other members in the joint are supported.

The value of the moment is calculated and cannot be edited. Joints designed to transfer moment equal to the member resistance (full-strength joints) usually need to be much more stiffened than the partial-strength joints. 

ADC Connected Member 500

Note: Connected member is not checked, it has to be properly designed in the global analysis of the structure.

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Design Joint Analysis

design joint analysis 180The designer usually solves the task to design the connection/joint to transfer the known design load. But it is also useful to know how far the design from the limit state is, i.e., how big the reserve in the design is and how safe it is. This can be done simply by the type of analysis – Design joint resistance.

The user inputs design load like in a standard design. The software automatically proportionally increases all load components until one of the checks does not satisfy. The checks of steel plates, shear and tension resistance of bolts, and approximate weld checks are included. The user gets the ratio of maximal load to the design load. Also, a simple diagram is provided. 

ADC Joint Design Resistance 500

Note: It is necessary to perform Stress/Strain analysis for accurate joint assessment.

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Overall Check

overall check 180CBFEM method combines advantages of general Finite Element Method (FEM) and standard Component Method (CM).

The stresses and internal forces calculated on the accurate CBFEM model are used in checks of all components.

Individual components are checked according to AISC/CISC. The design ratios for different components are displayed using the color codes on the geometry.

The following components are checked:

  • Plates
  • Fillet welds
  • Butt welds
  • Bolts
  • Preloaded bolts
  • Anchors
  • Concrete block

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Advance Design Connection Workflows

Advance Design Connection allows complete fluidity in the connection designers workflow, allowing the user to transfer from an overall structural analysis to complex joint design in just minutes. to find out more about our BIM workflows and simulation processes visit our Advance Design Connection workflows page.


denisDenis Lefebvre, Discipline Director – Bridges - Stantec - Montreal

“We created each connection in less than one day, which would have taken more than a week with the old process. Today our main solution is Advance Design Connection”

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