D14.C.5 Section Classification
The SANS 10162 specification allows inelastic deformation of section elements. Thus, local buckling becomes an important criterion. Steel sections are classified as plastic (Class 1), compact (Class 2), noncompact (Class 3), or slender element (Class 4) sections depending upon their local buckling characteristics (See Clause 11.2 and Table 1 of SANS 10162-1:2011). Class 4 sections are those with ratios exceeding those listed for Class 3. This classification is a function of the geometric properties of the section. The design procedures are different depending on the section class. STAAD.Pro determines the section classification for the standard shapes and user specified shapes. Design is performed accordingly for sections in any category (including slender elements).