16 MasterBeam Concrete Beam Designer

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MasterBeam Concrete Beam Designer

16 MasterBeam Concrete Beam Designer

Analysis, Design, Detailing and Scheduling of
Simple, Continuous and Sub-Frame Beams

16.1 Introduction

The MasterBeam Concrete Beam Designer is ideal for the design of single and multi-
span beams and beams in sub-frames. It uses the MasterFrame analysis engine and
the MasterKey Concrete design modules to carry out the sub-frame analysis and beam
design. The common MasterSeries interface makes the program very simple and
intuitive to use.
A sub-frame or continuous beam with up to 16 varying spans can be entered, with the
end spans being cantilevers if desired. Columns can be included to give a sub-frame
analysis, or omitted to produce a beam only analysis.

MasterBeam Concrete Beam Designer

16.2 Beam Data Interface

A brief is a single run of beams. A number of different briefs (beam runs), with individual
titles, can be created in a single file. This has the advantage of re-using bar marks
during the exporting of details and scheduling. You can opt to have all the sections
adopt the section type and size entered for the first span using the ‘One Sec’ button.
New briefs can be added to the file using the ‘Add Briefs’ button. Briefs can be easily
sorted and deleted.

Fundamental Principle:-A maximum of 16 spans can be accommodated, with each
data line being filled independently or, if left blank, assuming the data from the line
above, thus making data entry efficient. This principle of using the data from the line
above is a basic principle of all the MasterBeam Designer programs.

Enter the span length (clicking on the arrows at either end of the Span Number buttons
will increase or decrease the span by 0.1m at a time - this increment can be altered in
the bottom right corner of the graphics screen), overall section breadth (b) and depth (h)
and section type – Tee, L or Rectangular. For T and L sections, enter the flange width
) and web thickness (b

Note that if you enter a minus sign before the span length the section will be inverted.
This is particularly relevant to the T and L sections if you require a nib on the bottom of
the member. Also, in the section type, if you enter a ‘S’, this span will be added to the
previous span to form a design supermember. A design supermember is where a
number of consecutive members are assumed to be one single member for the
purposes of designing the reinforcement bars, thus the reinforcement will be designed
for that supermember, rather than as bars for every individual member, reducing the
number of bars and laps.

You can also enter the dead and live loading, with a spacing if desired. When a spacing
is entered all loads are multiplied by this value. Alternate loading patterns are also
considered by default, with the user controlling the load factor pattern. The loadcase
MasterBeam Concrete Beam Designer

generated are – All spans loaded (ultimate) and All spans loaded (service), and
Alternate spans (even) loaded (ultimate) and Alternate spans (odd) loaded (ultimate).

The controls on the right side of the data entry area are:-

Data Row Controls
Insert a new row between existing
Move row up
Move row down
Remove current row(s)
Copy current row(s)
Paste row(s)

16.3 Supports (Columns) Interface

The beams can be analysed as part of a sub-frame or as a pin supported continuous
beam. As a sub-frame the column heights above and below are specified along with the
column dimensions and end fixities. If no data is entered into a line, it will assume the
data from the line above, thus a single line entry can be sufficient to define all the
supports. Each end span can be defined as a cantilever if required, using the check
boxes. The upper columns can be omitted, with the tick of one box, to see what effect
this may have. There is also the quick tick option to make all column heights the same.

In the left Type(P/F) column, the percentage fixity of the ends of the beams to either side
of the column can be entered. For example, entering 0/P/0 will give a pinned connection
to the base of the column and 0% fixity to the beams connected to both sides of this
column, thus pinning the beam ends, creating a series of simply supported beams, as
shown below.
MasterBeam Concrete Beam Designer

Percentage fixities can also be applied to the ends of the beam spans, if required, as
shown below.

MasterBeam Concrete Beam Designer

To analyse as a continuous beam, the column heights should be set to zero, and the
support types to pinned (P), giving the result below. Where there are no columns the
support definition is then at the beam level.

As data is altered, the calculations and forces/moments diagrams are changed
immediately, so the effect of any changes can be seen right away.

Advanced feature:- Clicking on the arrow at either end of a Support Number button will
move the column by 0.1m at a time, with the total cumulative span lengths staying
constant. Thus the effect of moving a support under a beam can be quickly assessed.
This could be useful, for instance, where a continuous ground beam is supported on
piles, and the pile positions need to be optimised to suit the maximum pile capacity.
(Note:- the increment value of 0.1m mentioned above can be altered in the bottom right
corner of the graphics area.)

MasterBeam Concrete Beam Designer

16.4 Point Loads and Partial UDLs Interface

Point loads can be easily entered for any beam span. The span number, unfactored
dead and live loads and the distance to the loads from the start of each span, are

Partial UDLs can be specified in a similar way, giving the start and finish distances to the
UDL for each span.

Advanced feature:- Entering the span number as zero, and defining a load from the left
hand end of the first span (no matter which span it is actually in) will allow you to move
the load along the length of the beams as if it were a rolling load. To move it, click on the
<= or => arrows at the side of the relevant load number. Alternatively, clicking on the
<=ALL=> button will move all the loads at the same time. Thus load positions can be
optimised for the whole beam run. This feature applies to both point loads and partial
UDLs. As the calculations and diagrams are updated immediately, the results of your
choices are apparent right away.
This function is also useful when you want to optimise the column/pile locations as the
loads will not move if defined on the span 0 (rather than span 1,2,3 etc). This span 0
facility also allows the definition of a single load (partial UDL or partial load) over several
spans with the program looking after pattern loading.

16.5 Varying Load Interface

MasterBeam Concrete Beam Designer

Varying or trapezoidal load patterns are specified in a similar way to the partial UDLs
mentioned above. This time the different intensities at each end of the loads are

Advanced feature:- The ability to move the trapezoidal load across each span or
across the whole beam run is controlled in the same way as the point loads above, with
the results being updated immediately.

16.6 Output/Printing Interface
In this tab you can customise the analysis report configuration.

You can choose to print the graphics as 3 (loading, shear and bending moments) or 4
diagrams (also including the deflected shape), or omit them altogether by unticking the
‘Print Graphics’ box. Choose the size of the graphics in relation to the page size.

You can also print a summary of the input data, selecting which parts you consider
relevant. A preview of what you will get can be obtained by clicking on the Preview

MasterBeam Concrete Beam Designer

Similarly, you can print the analysis output, for all cases or just the max and min values.
For ultimate and service cases select the deflections, forces (including BMs) and/or
reactions. Again the output can be previewed before printing or exporting it to Word (if
you have PowerPad).

Use the icons on the side to print or export. You can print all the briefs in a file or select
just the current one.

Printing/Exporting analysis output
Edit project title and job
Print current brief
Print all briefs
Export current brief to Word
Export all briefs to Word
(PowerPad users only)

Move to Concrete Design

16.7 Top Toolbar

The buttons on the top toolbar provide control over the graphical area of the screen. The
general graphical controls allow you to manipulate the overall view of the frame and the
results diagrams. Member information can be added to give further details about the
individual members and nodes.

Controls are available to customise the loading diagram and show relevant loading
information. The general controls show further information relating to the members and
loads. The frame statistics give details of the member sizes, lengths and weights, etc.

MasterBeam Concrete Beam Designer

The final set of buttons control the information on the lower diagrams (bending moment,
shear force and deflection). The user can choose which diagrams to view and what
information to place on each diagram.
16.8 Graphics Controls

MasterBeam Concrete Beam Designer

You can easily move between briefs (any number of briefs can be contained in one file).
In each brief you can also move between load groups and loadcases to view the loads
relevant to each group or case.

The loading and force diagrams can be moved closer together vertically or further apart,
and the diagram scales modified to suit different screen sizes. The font size can also be

The incremental changes used with the span, support and load arrows (eg:- <=Span 2
=>) in the Beam Data, Supports (Columns) and Loading interfaces, can be altered to
your desired value. The default value is 0.1m.

16.9 Analysis Output

The tabular results of the analysis can
be viewed on screen from the ‘Output’
menu. Select ‘View/Print Data’ to see
the input data file. The nodal
deflections, member forces and
support reactions can be viewed in
tabular format by selecting ‘View
Tabular Output’. You can also select to
view and print ‘Member Stresses’ and the ‘Internal Forces’ within a member. Most of
these items of output can also be accessed from the output interface at the bottom of
the screen – see section 6.0.

MasterBeam Concrete Beam Designer

All analysis output can be printed to the printer or exported to a PDF file (requires a PDF
writer) or to Word (for those users who have PowerPad).

16.10 Concrete Design, Detailing, Scheduling, Printing and Exporting

Having completed the analysis of the sub-frame, continuous or simple beam, the design
of the concrete beam sections can be carried out. The design of concrete beams is
covered in the MasterKey Concrete Design manual. Please refer to this document for
detailed descriptions on design. This current chapter covers the basics and any features
unique to the MasterBeam Concrete Beam Designer program.

Move to the design area of the program using the ‘Design’ menu or by clicking on the
icon in the bottom left corner of the screen.

The beams can now be designed using all the facilities for concrete design. All the basic
criteria for design are set up in the Basic Data and Defaults box (accessed using the
icon), before design is carried out. The beams can be designed individually or as a
complete run, after which user manipulation of the reinforcement can be easily carried
out to suit individual detailing tastes.

MasterBeam Concrete Beam Designer

Once the user is satisfied with the design, the design calculations and results can be
printed to the printer, to a PDF file (requires a PDF writer) or to a Word document (for
those users with PowerPad). The detailed reinforcement elevations and sections can
also be printed to the printer, PDF or Word. The reinforcement details can also be
exported to a DXF drawing file (which can be loaded into most CAD packages to give
completed reinforcement drawings), or to the MasterRC detailing package for further
detailing or modification. Again, the MasterKey Concrete Design manual will give in-
depth details on how to work with this area of the program.

MasterBeam Concrete Beam Designer

DXF export to CAD package

Scheduling of the reinforcement is then automatically carried out and printed. If there are
several beam runs (briefs) in one file, then the scheduling will produce one optimised
schedule containing all the reinforcement bars for all the beams.

MasterBeam Concrete Beam Designer

For full details on concrete design, detailing, scheduling and the printing and exporting
of results, see the MasterKey Concrete Design manual in the Help system.

Advanced Feature:- In the MasterBeam Concrete Designer, there is an additional
facility in the Basic Data and Defaults to copy and paste the concrete design default
settings from one brief to another, within the same file, thus saving time and reducing
errors. All beam run designs within one file can therefore be based on the same design