The location in the error message is the location of a column and punching shear check in the model. The error usually occurs where multiple beams of varying thickness intersect the column creating an overly complex punching shear failure plane.
Often in those cases no punching shear check is required, provided the beams have sufficient one way shear capacity in both directions. If that's the case simply delete the offending punching shear check to proceed. In cases where a punching shear check really is required, try simplifying the geometry to limit the number of changes in thickness at the column. For edge columns, the concrete beams or slabs should typically cover the full column area.
Modifying the punching check by reducing the Search Radius or changing the Edge Treatment could potentially help as well.
The warning message "No column critical sections were found at a punch check" or "No cutoff critical sections found" can also occur under the same conditions.
This warning is more likely when the search radius is so small that the critical section a distance "d" from the face of the support is bound to be beyond the search radius.
In cases where "No cutoff critical sections are found", the Punching Shear Stress plots will indicate "No Calc". "No Calc" is also displayed where the punching shear check is misplaced. This can happen if the column is moved and the model remeshed after the punching checks were initially placed.
This error occurs when there is a potential failure plane that is a single line (in plan). As such it's not a valid punching check, though one-way shear should certainly be checked using a design strip or design section.
In some cases, reducing the punching check radius so that the circle does not cross 2 opposite slab edges is a solution.
Stud rails are extended to the extents of the search radius of the punching shear check. If the rails are extended to this point and the design is not satisfied, then no stud rails will be designed by the program.
The ACI code limits the shear strength, Vn, of the slab. See ACI 318-08 188.8.131.52, for example. If the shear demand exceeds this maximum strength, then no stud rails will be designed.
No, in Ram Concept each column reaction is used in an independent punching check, No group punching for close columns is considered.
Punching around walls is also not considered. For this reason we do not recommend checking punching for column pilasters at wall locations.
Refer to the program manual, section "How does RAM Concept handle punching shear?" and "Step 1: Determine the force envelopes to be checked" for details. In brief, the program uses the column reactions, less any point loads or column above reactions inside the column shape. Surface loads around the column within the punching failure plane are not discounted from the demand. Remember, the punching shear resultants are acting through the centroid of the failure plane, not through the column centroid, so moments due to eccentricity are common for edge or corner conditions even where the column is pinned.
Additionally, when post-tensioning is provided and the Calc Option to "Include tendon component in punch check reaction" is checked, then the tendons are converted into equivalent concentrated balance loads and RAM Concept will modify (normally reduce) the punching reaction by any concentrated forces located within the column shape. For cases where a tendon is anchored within the column shape and vertically eccentric to the mid-depth of the punching shear failure plane, this can also result in a significant moment in the punching shear reactions.
The critical section for circular columns is approximated as an equivalent polygon with 16 sides and the properties are calculated using the resulting linear segments. This approximation is used so that the program can handle critical sections with irregular shapes.
Yes, for example, the ACI equation 11-34 indicates:
Vc = (as * d / bo + 2 ) (root f'c) bo d
but phi = 0.75
So Concept reports ( phi Vc / bo d ) as the allowable stress.
No, Ram Concept designs stud rails (including the Ancon Shear fix) but not a traditional shear cage.
No, the punching check, and potential stud rail design, is performed independently from the one way shear reinforcement in the design strip design. The one-way shear reinforcing is not considered in the punching check, and the stud rails are not considered in the one way shear check.
The program can handle a punching check that includes openings near the column, but having many small openings in the punching shear area complicates the design. Small openings also make for an irregular mesh and engineering judgement should be used when deciding what penetrations are worth modeling at all.
When it comes to punching checks for tiny openings quite near the column, the edge treatment method "sector voids" and "failure planes" should create almost identical results, and sector voids is preferred.
For small openings away from the column they can more than likely be ignored. Sector voids can be used in this instance and might be slightly conservative. Failure planes is probably a more realistic in this case but you would want to remove the small openings far from the column in the punching calc. Otherwise the solution time can become very long. For more on this topic refer to the program manual, chapter on punching shear design notes, Step 2: Determine the “column” critical sections.
Ram Concept Punching Shear Worked Examples ACI
Rigid Support Zones in RAM Concept
RAM Concept Design Strips [TN]