What's New and Changed in RM Bridge V8i(SELECTseries 2) v08.10.03.01


1. About the product

2. General GUI Enhancements

3. Templates, Macros, Preprocessors

4. Wizards

5. Steel Checks

6. Pre-tensioned Girders

7. Miscellaneous Functional enhancements

8. Localization

1. About the product

RM Bridge V8i (SELECTseries 2)  is the 3rd major release (March 2012) of the renowned and widely used software suite RM Bridge V8i, succeeding RM2006 in 2009. The software performs analysis and design of arbitrary bridge structures ranging from small stan-dard bridges to world record cable stayed and suspension bridges.

SS2 is in fact a consolidated version the last of intermediate SS1 update releases providing step by step relevant enhancements and additional functionality in a timely manner. The first SS1 release had the version number related to December 2009. The last SS1 support SS1 release is version of January 2012. The first SS2 release has the version number (dated March 2012).

The strategy to have intermediate releases on demand will be kept at least in SS2. This allows requested and implemented functions and bug fixes to become very fast effective and available for clients needing the respective topic.

Major enhancements of RM Bridge V8i (SELECTseries 2) compared to RM Bridge V8i (SELECTseries 1) are related to:

  • General GUI Enhancements
  • Templates, Macros and Preprocessors
  • Wizards
  • Steel Checks
  • Pre-tensioned girders
  • Reinforcement detailing
  • Various Functional enhancements
  • Localization
  • Documentation

The described enhancements have been implemented throughout the 2 years since issuing the very first SS1 release. Many of them have already been released in intermediate maintenance releases made available in 2010 and 2011. The brand new enhance-ments (work of the past 2-3 months) are in the following highlighted in green.

2. General GUI Enhancements

2.1 F1 Online Help

We have changed the context oriented help (pressing F1) from alphanumeric text based format to more generic Windows help (.chm). It allows for flexible presentation of texts and graphics in sizable windows and easy navigation in the structure.

2.2 New Text Editor

You can use now the embedded default editor PSPad for editing the RM data files. It´s installed by the RM Bridge V8i Prerequisite Pack. It supports native TCL Syntax high-lighting. Our additional embedded configuration also adds the TCL commands from RM Bridge.

It´s automatically activated as default editor, when you haven´t changed the user de-fined editor like Textpad.

2.3 Language support

SS2 will also support French and Russian as alternative GUI languages for input.

3. Templates, Macros, Preprocessors

Enhancement of usability is one of the major topics in continuous further development of RM Bridge. The flexible structure allowing for treating overall all thinkable situations in Bridge engineering is a big advantage. However, it yields the demand for a huge variety of data input situations and often a large amount of data to be defined by the user. Therefore extensive tools for efficient data entry are necessary in practice reduce error-proneness and to get solutions of sophisticated problems in a timely manner. A variety of templates, macros and pre-processor functions have therefore been provided in RM Bridge for allowing efficient data input. The offering of such tools has been consi-derably extended and enhanced in the past years.

3.1 GUI Layout of macros and preprocessors unified and made more clear

In the context of creating new pre-processors and macros, the previously existing ones have been revised, transferred from Fortran into C/C++, unified with respect to layout and user guidance and thus made more clear and user friendly.

Parameter sets of macros and preprocessors for creating actual database parameters are now generally saved and made easily accessible for later modifications.

3.2 Macros for automatic generation of response spectra implemented

Definition of response spectra was till recently a complicated and time consuming task. Response spectra are in RM Bridge defined as RM Variables specified as mathematical expressions or tables. Users had to develop the actual diagrams numerically by hand or appropriate mathematical tools and to enter these tables into the database as RM Variables.

A recently started development project aims in providing the response spectra defined in the different codes without necessity to numerically evaluating them in advance. I.e. RM Bridge now offers macros, which automatically create the RM Variables describing response spectrum diagrams from few parameters as specified in design codes.

Following design codes are available in the first SS2 release:

  • Eurocode
  • Spanish Code EHE
  • Chinese Code JTG

Implementation of respective macros for further codes is planned for the near future, starting with response spectra in accordance with AASHTO LRFD.

3.3 Additional templates and macros for loading and combinations

Several templates for defining standard traffic loads, load management definitions, load trains and relevant combination tables in accordance with various design codes have already been implemented in the very first SS1 release. The following table summarizes the available templates.

3.3.1 Traffic load calculation sequence

      • British Code BS5400 (1978)
      • BD 37/01 (2001)
      • Hongkong Standard (1997)
      • AASHTO ASD and LRFD
      • Chinese Standard JTG D60
      • Canadian Standard CAN/CSA S6-00 (2000)

3.3.2 Load train definition

      • German Code (DIN FB 101)
      • British code, Hongkong code
      • Eurocode EN 1991-2 (2002)
      • Korean Standard
      • Norwegian Standard
      • Swedish Standard
      • Canadian Standard CAN/CSA S6-00 (2000)
      • Indian Code IRC
      • Russian Standard SniP
      • AREMA Cooper

3.3.3 Load combination tables

    • German Code (DIN FB 101)
    • British Code BS5400
    • Australian Code AS 5100
    • Chinese Standard JTG D60
    • Canadian Standard CAN/CSA S6-00 (2000)
    • Indian Code IRC (Limit state)
    • Indian Code IRC (Working stress)
    • Russian Standard SniP

4. Wizards

4.1 General

Wizards are a further means to improve usability of RM Bridge. They aim at automatically creating the calculation model of standardized simple bridge structures and per-forming respective analyses.

On the one hand they can be used for automatic calculation of bridges with using a simplified geometry and calculation approach, e.g. for preliminary design.

On the other hand they can be used as pre-processors for generating a first rough calculation model which is later on refined for the actual detailed analysis.

The following wizards have been provided:

  • Precast Girder Bridge (Composite Bridge with precast girders and cast-in-situ slab)
  • Simple reinforced slab bridge
  • Steel (Concrete deck) - Composite bridge with steel girders and concrete slab
  • Steel (Orthotropic deck)
  • Hollow box - Concrete box girder bridge
  • Wizard for LandXML axis definition


4.2 Recent Enhancements

4.2.1 Emphasis: Steel (Concrete deck)

Relevant work for SS2 release focused on considerable functionality extension of composite bridges with steel main girders and concrete deck. This type of bridges is very common in bridge industry, however very complex from the point of view of modeling requirements. Therefore the intention was to provide for this bridge type a comprehen-sive solution, not only addressing the very simplest situations but automatically creating a model, that allows detailed analyses with properly taking into account skew and curved alignment, all kinds of secondary members, slab reinforcement etc.

A very sophisticated input concept was developed allowing for defining simple case as well as relatively complex case in a fast and straightforward manner. The following topics have been addressed:

      • Haunches at concrete slab above steel girders
      • Flexible definition of material and reinforcement
      • Arbitrarily skew and curved arrangement of main girders
      • Definition of a table of regularly used steel profiles
      • Arbitrary variation of profile parameters along the bridge
      • Definition and arbitrary arrangement of cross frames
      • Definition and arbitrary arrangement of vertical stiffeners
      • Definition and arbitrary arrangement of lateral bracings
      • Generation of the required parameters for steel design checks (see chapter 5)
      • Generation of schedule data for performing steel design checks

4.2.2 Precast Girder Bridge

Some extensions and enhancements were also performed for the wizard for precast girder bridges. One of the major issues in this context was using the new functionality for calculating initial pre-stressing losses in precast girders (see chapter 6).

5. Steel Checks

ULS checks for slender steel structures have been a major long term development project. This project is still ongoing. The functionality for calculating ultimate resistances for tension, compression, bending and shear forces was already in previous maintenance releases available in Beta status. The following topics have been developed in the last time and are now officially released for Eurocode:

  • Resistance calculation consolidated (bugs fixed)
  • Improved detailed result listing for verification (tracing intermediate results)
  • Alphanumeric and graphic output of utilization levels (capacity factors)

Officially releasing the above topics for AASHTO LRFD is planned as next step within short term.

Further open topics are the consideration of torsion and the consideration of in-built stresses.

6. Pre-tensioned Girders

Another interesting new topic is the consistent treatment of pre-tensioned girders. Pre-viously, pre-tensioned strands had to be defined as post-tensioned tendons with adjusting the parameters (e.g. duct diameter and friction coefficient setting to zero), estimat-ing the initial losses due to elastic compression at transfer time, and applying this reduced stressing force in an appropriate stressing sequence.

The new version allows tendons for being defined as "pre-tensioned" with defining the tension force before transfer and automatically calculating the pre-stressing losses occurring when the anchorage in the pre-stressing bed is cut. These losses are calculated in the action "PreTens" which replaces the tendon actions "Stress" for calculating the friction losses, "Calc" for calculating primary and secondary forces due to pre-stressing, and "Grout" for establishing bond between tendon and structural concrete.

The new function also allows for considering any sleeve lengths at the girder ends, and development or transfer lengths where bond is partially not valid and the pre-stressing force raises from zero to the nominal value after losses.

The new function also allows for considering any sleeve lengths at the girder ends, and development or transfer lengths> where bond is partially not valid and the pre-stressing force raises from zero to the nominal value after losses.

7. Miscellaneous Functional enhancements

7.1 Database

  • Database size extension (each schedule now 320 GB)
  • Increased number of combinations in the combination table (from 24 to 48)

7.2 Composite sections - Join/Split for Shear

The join and spilt functions for internal force results in composite elements have previously been only provided for normal force and bending terms.

The new version now allows for using this functionality also for shear terms in both directions and for torsion.

Apart from being consistent in output tables, lists and graphics, this new functionality has as essential benefit that it allows for proper shear resistance calculation in steel checks.

7.3 Non-linear Temperature Gradient

The TempVar functionality for calculating effects of temperature changes non-linearly distributed of the cross-section has previously been restricted to non-composite elements and to providing stress results at top and bottom of the section.

The new comprehensive solution allows for getting correct primary and secondary stress results in an arbitrary number of stress points.

Also, non-linear temperature distributions in composite sections with different materials can now be handled in a fully consistent manner.

7.4 Large deflection

Previous versions had deficiencies in proper handling of major geometric non-linearity.

The problems were related to special situations of arrangement of cable elements where we had convergence problems in the iteration process.

A further category of problems was related to the proper follow up of deflections throughout the construction stage analysis.

Both problem fields have now been consistently solved.

8. Localization

Localization is partly related to language adaptations and partly to providing templates and macros for cover local requirements and habits (e.g. traffic loads and relevant load combinations). A third issue is providing proof checking procedures in accordance with local design codes. New templates and macros for local needs have already been described in chapter 3.3. They mainly are related to India, Canada and Russia.

8.1 Language use

  • GUI, F1-Help and partly Documentation in Chinese
  • GUI, F1-Help and partly Documentation in French
  • GUI in Russian (F1-Help and Documentation planned)

Note that program output is currently still restricted to ANSI 8 bit character set in plot files 7 bit). Therefore output texts are currently just available in English and German. User-defined texts should therefore just contain ANSI characters (for object names, like file names, group names etc, this is essential).

8.2 Proof checking procedures

Pier dimensioning in accordance with Chinese Code (extension of ULS check for taking into account imperfections and stability in slender compression members).