Today I am training some users in RAM Connection fundamentals so I thought why not blog about it as well. Every time I talk about RAM Connection with users they always ask, "Does it check X for my desired connection?" "Where can I find detailed calculations?" "Where did it get that capacity from?"
Today's topic will be unlocking the "mystery" of calculations in RAM Connection (v8.0.1). Seasoned users will probably already know a few of these but keep reading for a hidden gem.
RAM Connection has both a summary report and detailed report. You toggle between the two views in the report window its self - View Formulas. The detailed report shows the actual calculations and references back to the code. Including all the code geometric requirements.
Are you using the context sensitive help? Or is it on but for the most part you ignore it? Or maybe it's off all together and you didn't realize it was there. If any of this is true for you, start using it right NOW.
The context sensitive help is a wealth of material on variable definitions to how the connection design was implemented. Many of the context sensitive help topics include hyperlinks so you can get even more information!
This image is the help available for a braced connection when you click on the Lt: Length on toe variable for the Gusset-to-Brace connection.
This is the help topic for the Shear Yielding on Gusset link. Note that it isn't just code sections and equations. The help expands on limitations and changes to the specifications.
When you select the folder for the connection properties the help topic is an overview of the connection including a description and images. Keep scrolling to the very bottom and you will see an outline of verified capacities and design checks.
This image shows the checks preformed for a Moment Flange Plate.
This is the help provided for the Seismic check Fail Moment for Net Section Fracture of Flange Plate.
Open up Connection and discover more about your calculations!
Don't let projects get you overstressed, RAM gives you strength.
Great article. The context-sensitive help is a must, although there are still parameters that it skips over and doesn't address, at least not when that parameter is selected. That said, I have found explanations of some parameters included in lists when another parameter was selected and a bunch of the parameters were grouped under the help for that one. So if someone's using the context-sensitive help and not seeing anything, first check some of the surrounding parameters and scroll all the way through them. Even so, there's still some that I don't think ever get explained. For instance, under Single Plate BCW, I've never seen any help about the "Moment Connection Exists" option. What does it change for calcs? Or does it only change the graphic display of the stabilizer/continuity plates?
Speaking of which, when will Bentley be updating RAM Conn for the AISC 14th Ed? There's a lot of connection related changes in there like increased bolt capacities, decreased edge distances, new checks for stabilizer plates for extended shear tabs (Eq 10-6 in the 14th Ed), and different factors. It also appears that the Von Mises shear reduction from 13th Ed p 10-103 has been removed in the 14th Ed, but it's still controlling sometimes on my RAM Calcs. Thanks.