European steel sections in Building Designer - Building Analysis and Design Forum - Building Analysis and Design - Bentley Communities

European steel sections in Building Designer

We are using the Swedish data set for Structural Building Designer. The data set uses an XML file for Swedish steel profiles (other files exists for some other European countries). At least in our case there is no need to have the steel profiles in the Swedish XML file since we are pretty much only using standard European profiles (EN 19-57, EN 53-62, EN 10210 etc...). Today there is no european XML at all (or is there?). Also, the existing swedish file is legacy from Structural Modeler and would need some changes to better follow the standardised terminology.

To me, the correct way of designing the (European) data sets must be to have an European XML and append any national shapes in a national file.

This is something that’s been bothering me for a long time but became more apparent when is was trying to use ISM to exchange data between Building Designer and ProSteel. I am no expert at ISM but as far as I believe section names have to be mapped to be correct in the ISM translation. As it seems now it’s not possible to use ISM for European steel, correct?

Can any one comment on this?

16 Replies

  • I'm not familiar with regional codes nor ProSteel, but it may be worthwhile checking the EuropeanSections.mdb instead, by default located at C:\Program Files (x86)\Common Files\Bentley Shared\IEG\OpenSTAADBentley\Sections.


  • In reply to Steve Cocchi:

    I'm not talking about the sections in ProSteel, it's Building Designer. The file you are reffering to, when is it used? I guess it's for STAAD. Or is this used for ISM as well?

    Steel sections in Building Designer are defined in the data folder in the dataset.

  • In reply to IngemarK:

    I've checked for myself, and the names are a mess, regardless of where you are in Europe.

    So far I have found both HEA100 and HE100A to be valid names, not speaking about rectangular profiles, which can be named RHS, HUP, KF-HUP and by at least 2-3 more different kind of names.

    There is simply no standard which everyone accepts. Not Bentleys fault...

  • In reply to Andreas Zieritz:

    Well, I'm not trying to blame anyone here. I know that the history of regional names of standard shapes is the reason for this. But today all steel in Europe has to be CE certified and you are not that free anymore to call things whatever you want. What I want is this to be organized more properly in BD just as it is in ProSteel, Staad and the SPC server.

    The HEA 100 and HE100A notation is a problem since both are accepted, we are using HEA 100 in Sweden but it's often HE100A in Bentley software. Except from this it's quite simple. I would like to have a European.xml with this content. Pretty much covers all sections we use at least.

    I-beam: IPE - Euronorm 19-57

    I-beam: IPN - DIN 1025-1

    Flange beams: HE - Euronorm 53-62

    Channels: UPN - DIN 1026-1

    Equal angles: L - EN 10056

    Unequal angels: L - EN 10056

    Hot Formed Rectangular Hollow Section: HFRHS - EN 10210

    Hot Formed Square Hollow Section: HFSHS – EN 10210

    Cold Formed Rectangular Hollow Section: CFRHS - EN 10219

    Cold Formed Square Hollow Section: CFSHS – EN 10219

    Hot Formed Circular Hollow Section HFCHS - EN 10210

    Cold Formed Circular Hollow Section: CFCHS - EN 10219

    If I get no response from Bentley here, and create this file my self. How would I do to map these names when exporting from BD to ISM?

  • In reply to IngemarK:

    The MDB file I referred to can be used in Structural just like XML files - the Section Manager will accept both.


  • In reply to IngemarK:

    I would gladly share our files with you, as I have found out that things are not complete anyway. The best thing would be to do a common development of this files, placed on a common repository. Either here on communities, or somewhere else (sourceforge, etc.).

    In addition tthere are a couple of questions I had in connection to the xml, files, in particular which units the section properties are expected to have.

  • In reply to Andreas Zieritz:

    Andreas, no the files are not complete in BD. I'm working on a European sections file my self so absolutely, why not cooperate. I can upload it later. Actually all sections are already defined in various national files, they just have to be put together in a common place and the names have to be adjusted.

    Steve, I didn't know the Section Manager reads mdb-files. Thank you for the info. Unfortunately the EuropeanSections.mdb is lacking a lot of shapes.

    Now back to my ISM question. If i draw an IPE300 in Building Designer and create an ISM Repository, start up ProSteel and create new from repository the beam imports as expected. Problem is that it's not really an IPE300, if I look at the properties of the beam it belongs to chape class ISM_SECTION_METRIC rather than IPE shape class as II would expect. Using intelligent features like bolted connections is not possible with this shape. What can I change in the ISM process to make the profile turn up as a true object in the receiving software? ProSteel in this case but I guess it applies to all other software as well.

  • In reply to IngemarK:

    Here are our steelprofiles.

    I've also started with an Excel spreadsheet with more profile properties for I-beams. Tried to copy some of the contents into the xml-file, but didn't manage to save things afterwards. If you want I can upload that one as well. 

    Stålprofiler.xml
  • In reply to IngemarK:

    Unfortunately I don't know much about ProSteel so can't help with the ISM import.   That aspect may be better suited for either the Structural Drafting and Detailing forum: communities.bentley.com/.../275893.aspx

    or the Structural forum: communities.bentley.com/.../275822.aspx


  • In reply to IngemarK:

    Just curious if you made some progress with the unified european section files, IngemarK?

  • In reply to Andreas Zieritz:

    I never did finished it. I just sent you an email with the file as it is, please have a look and comment on it.

    One problem is what to call RHS and SHS shapes as the can be either Cold formed or hot rolled. My opinion is this should be possible to see in the name therefore I have used the notation HFRHS, CFRHS, HFSHS and CFSHS but this is not complete in the current file.

  • In reply to IngemarK:

    If that isn't according to the code, I wouldn't do that.

    In general it isn't important if one uses cold formed or hot rolled profiles, and if it is, it should be defined in the steel properties.

  • In reply to Andreas Zieritz:

    These names are nothing I made up myself. Since cold formed RHS has lower load bearing capacity it's to important information to specify in properties.

  • In reply to IngemarK:

    In that case we would need 3 different names for almost similar profiles. One for the hot rolled, one for the cold formed, and one for a profile where the type doesn't matter.

    Things would get very much complicated. It's quite easy to change the type of a bunch of profiles by changing its properties. It's much more difficult to do that with sections.

  • In reply to Andreas Zieritz:

    But they don´t even have the exact same dimensions. Hot rolled have thickness like 6,3 mm and cold formed 6,0 mm. You can´t just say it doesn´t matter, please have a look at steel section tables and you will see they differ.

  • In reply to IngemarK:

    I am aware of that.

    Usually we do our design for a construction company, and we don't know what they will use. As far as I know you can't specify a cold formed steel quality directly, it's just something that isn't hot rolled. So they can use whatever they want, it might be a cold formed or a hot rolled. Of course that necessarly doesn't work the other way round, you can't use a cold formed profile when a hot rolled is specified.

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