Designing Tapered Members

Tips & Tricks

In RF‑/STEEL EC3, members are designed using the Equivalent Member Method by default. If, however, there is a tapered member, the General Method is used automatically. Because this might be confusing at first, it is helpful to look at the background of these methods.

In the prestandards of the Eurocode 3, there were already rules for the design of tapered members by means of the Equivalent Member Method. These rules, however, were highly simplified and in some cases inaccurate. Therefore, Eurocode 3 prescribes using the General Method for such structural elements. First, the critical buckling load is determined considering the support conditions and imperfections. From these, the slenderness and the reduction factor are determined.

In RFEM 4 and RSTAB 7, you have to consider that tapered members are not detected automatically, and thus are designed by using the conservative Equivalent Member Method. In the settings of the National Annex, however, you can set the overall application of the General Method.

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