G.6.7 Composite Beams and Composite Decks
There are two methods in STAAD.Pro for specifying composite beams. Composite beams are members whose property is comprised of a rolled steel I-shape cross section (like an American W shape) with a concrete slab on top. The steel section and concrete slab act monolithically. The two methods are:
The EXPLICIT definition method – In this method, the member geometry is first defined as a line. It is then assigned a property from the steel database, with the help of the "CM" attribute. Additional parameters like CT (thickness of the slab), FC (concrete strength), CW (effective width of slab), CD (concrete density), etc., some optional and some mandatory, are also provided.
Hence, the responsibility of determining the attributes of the composite member, like concrete slab width, lies upon you, the user. If you wish to obtain a design, additional terms like rib height, rib width, etc. must also be separately assigned with the aid of design parameters. Hence, some amount of effort is involved in gathering all the data and assigning them.
The composite deck generation method – The laboriousness of the previous procedure can be alleviated to some extent by using the program’s composite deck definition facilities. The program then internally converts the deck into individual composite members (calculating attributes like effective width in the process) during the analysis and design phase. The deck is defined best using the graphical tools of the program since a database of deck data from different manufacturers is accessible from easy-to-use dialogs. Since all the members which make up the deck are identified as part of a single object, load assignment and alterations to the deck can be done to just the deck object, and not the individual members of the deck.