Release Date: March 11, 2009
This document contains important information regarding changes to the RAM Structural System. It is important that all users are aware of these changes. Please distribute these release notes and make them available to all users of the RAM Structural System.
RAM Structural System V8i is part of the Bentley Systems V8i family of products. It is part of a coordinated release of the entire set of Bentley programs. Its intent is to create a common identity between all of the Bentley programs, indicating the growing integration between these programs. V8i is not a reference to a version number; this is Release 13.0.3, or Version 13.0.3, of the RAM Structural System.
In order to more efficiently respond to requests for technical support, users should log their requests at www.bentley.com/serviceticketmanager. Note that firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com no longer function; requests sent to those email addresses will not be received by the Technical Support group. Previously in the RAM Manager there was a Help - Email Tech Support command that launched the email program with an email addressed to Technical Support; this has been changed to Help - Contact Tech Support. That command now launches the web browser, open to the Bentley Login page for the Service Ticket Manager where you can log a request for technical support. We hope that these changes will result in better service to all of our clients.
Version 13.0 automatically converts databases created in previous versions to the new database format. Note that a backup file is created automatically when a database is converted; the name of the database is the same, with "Orig" and the version number appended to the name. The file has an extension of ".zip" and is located in the same directory as the original database.
The previous steel tables and load combination templates supplied with the program will be replaced with new tables and templates of the same name. If you have customized any Master or Design tables or load combination templates supplied with the program without changing the file names, those file names should be renamed from the original RAM table names prior to installation to prevent your changes from being lost.
Since the release of V13.0, some program errors have been identified and corrected for Version 13.0.3. Corrections made to graphics, reports, Modeler functions, program crashes, etc that were considered minor are not listed here. The noteworthy error corrections are listed here in order to notify you that they have been corrected or to assist you in determining the impact of those errors on previous designs. These errors were generally obscure and uncommon, affecting only a very small percentage of models, or had no impact on the results. The errors, when they occurred, were generally quite obvious. However, if there is any question, it may be advisable to reanalyze previous models to determine the impact, if any. In each case the error only occurred for the precise conditions indicated. Those errors that may have resulted in unconservative designs are shown with an asterisk. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.
Converted ModelsMODEL CONVERSION*: The self-weight value for non-composite decks from V12.0.x models were not properly converted to V13.0 when the model filename included more than one period: ".".Effect: Non-composite decks had their self-weight reset to 0 in the rare case when the filename included more than one period.
Defaults UtilityB1 AND B2 DEFAULTS: Could not select both the B1 and B2 options, could only select one or the other, and the selection was not saved.Effect: Selection was not saved. [In the RAM Manager, run Tools - RAM Defaults Utility if you want to select either B1 or B2 (or both) as the defaults. The B1 and B2 Factors defaults are found in the RAM Frame - Steel Post Processor section.]
RAM Frame - AnalysisBUILDING STORY SHEAR FOR DYNAMIC LOAD CASES*: The reported and displayed dynamic story shears were not correct if the "Apply Sign" option was selected.Effect: Report and display error of dynamic load case results. The values used in design were correct.
WIND LOADS ON SEMI-RIGID DIAPHRAGMS: Generated wind loads on semi-rigid diaphragms were being applied to skewed faces as X- and Y-components with a resultant perpendicular to the face. This is not necessary since the wind load generation methodology is based on projected area methods (whereby an X-direction wind only needs to be applied to the face with the X-direction component).Effect: For models with skewed faces and semi-rigid diaphragms the program was erroneously applying wind forces components in the perpendicular direction.
IBC 2003/2006 WIND LOADS ON SEMI-RIGID DIAPHRAGMS*: The program calculated building dimensions incorrectly when determining the extent of semi-rigid diaphragms.Effect: Wind forces may have been computed incorrectly for semi-rigid diaphragms.
CHINA GB50011 WIND LOAD: The wind Dynamic Effect Factor (beta_z) was calculated incorrectly.Effects : Calculated wind loads were incorrect for China wind load cases if "Use Calculated B" option was chosen.
RAM Frame - Steel Standard ProvisionsAISC 360-05 VALIDATION REPORT*: In some cases the Validation Report indicated that B1 factors do not need to be applied. This message was erroneous, that section of the report has been removed.Effect: Incorrect message.
AISC 360-05 VALIDATION REPORT: In some cases erroneous information was reported in the B1 Factors section, the B2 Factors section and the Reduced Stiffness section of the report, depending on the order that the Code Check and View/Update commands were performed. Effect: Report error only.
AISC 360-05 VALIDATION REPORT: The smallest required tau_b value was reported incorrectly if the design code was ASD.Effect: Report error only.
AISC 360-05 VALIDATION REPORT: The report did not always give a warning if tau_b limits were not satisfied.Effects: Report error only.LOAD COMBINATIONS WITH NOTIONAL LOADS: If notional loads were combined in the direction of the lateral loads and if the lateral load was very slightly offset from the X or Y direction, both an X and Y component of the notional load would appear in the load combinations. In some cases one of the components would be extremely small and therefore unneccessary. Effect: In rare cases, terms with very small components of notional loads were included in the load combinations. Now, if the notional loads act in a direction within 5 degrees of the X or Y axis, they are considered to act along that axis and the notional loads are not broken into components.
REDUNDANCY FACTOR IN LOAD COMBINATIONS: For seismic loads acting at an angle very slightly off of the X or Y axis, the maximum rho rather than the rho associate with the axis defined in the definition of the load case was being applied to the combination. Effect: In rare case where the seismic forces had a very small component in the orthogonal direction, the maximum rho was sometimes conservatively used in both directions, rather than the rho associated with the axis of the applied force. Now, if a force is acting in a direction within 5 degrees of the X or Y axis, it is considered to act along that axis and the intended rho is selected.
RAM ConcreteCONCRETE BEAM DEFLECTION CHECK*: The calculation of Ieff for gravity concrete beams always assumed a fixed-fixed member end fixity condition. As a result, the Ieff used for the member as a whole in the deflection calculation reflected a percentage of the Ieff at both beam midspan and each member end. Thus, simply supported gravity members did not correctly use only the Ieff calculated at beam midspan.Effect: The calculated long term deflection of the member may have been incorrect and unconservative for gravity beams for cases where at least one end of the member is assumed pinned.
RAM FoundationMISSING COLUMNS*: When a column line stacked down onto the end of a wall, and there was no pilaster/column at the end of the wall, and the column line then continued down to a foundation, the foundation did not recognize that column (the Foundation module recognized that the column line above was supported by the wall but did not recognize that the column line then continued down and was supported on a footing).Effect: Columns missing from foundation in a rare case.
V13.0 of the RAM Structural System was released in December 2008. This versions contained several significant enhancements. Those enhancements are listed here for your convenience.
Sloping ColumnsSloping columns can now be modeled, analyzed and designed. They are modeled by first adding columns to the desired locations using the Column Add commands, and then by moving either the top or the bottom using the Layout - Column - Move command or the Layout - Column - Text command.
Sloping columns can be of concrete, steel or any material; they can be gravity columns or frame columns. The effects of the slope on the unbraced length, self weight, joint face dimensions, etc., are automatically considered.
Semirigid Diaphragms:In addition to the options to specify diaphragms as Rigid, Flexible or "Pseudo-flexible", an option to specify a diaphragm as Semirigid has been incorporated in the Criteria - Diaphragm command in RAM Frame. In the Modeler the PropTable - Decking command has been enhanced to allow the specification of the diaphragm properties associated with each deck or slab. These properties are then used for the diaphragms that are specified as Semirigid when an analysis is performed in RAM Frame. This allows the interaction between the diaphragms and the frames to be considered when determining the distribution of the story forces to the frames.
The diaphragm is automatically meshed; the density of the mesh can be controlled by the user with an option in the Criteria - Diaphragm command. The mesh can be viewed using the View - Meshed Floors command in RAM Frame.
Wind story forces are applied to the diaphragms as windward and leeward loads on the mesh nodes around the perimeter of the structure. Seismic story forces are applied to each mesh node based on the tributary mass to that node. The applied forces can be viewed using the Process - Results - Applied Story Forces command.
A current limitation is that stories with sloping beams / sloping diaphragms can not be specified as Semirigid. That will be addressed in a future version.
ProjectWise:The RAM Structural System has now been integrated with ProjectWise, Bentley's project management software. For clients with ProjectWise, this functionality can be accessed using the File - ProjectWise command in the RAM Manager. Go to www.bentley.com for more information on ProjectWise.
ACI 318-05 Concrete Design:The requirements of ACI 318-05 have been incorporated for concrete beam and column design in RAM Concrete, and for foundation design in RAM Foundation.
Australia Concrete Design:The requirements of AS 3600, the Australian Concrete design specification, have been incorporated for concrete beam and column design in RAM Concrete.
Model Status:The Model Status feature, which shows the current state of the model, has been enhanced. The use of the status lights has been made consistent for all modules. In the RAM Manager the File - Model Status command, which can also be launched directly from the Manager screen, now includes a key to the status light colors. The status light now shows as light blue for modules for which some action or additional data must be entered before analysis and design can be performed in that module. Modules for which there are no pertinent members now show as gray.
Tutorial Wiki:The Tutorial manual has been put on a wiki on the BE Communities site. It can be accessed from the program using the Help - Tutorial Wiki command in the RAM Manager.
Modeler:• The Column - Move command has been enhanced. Previously the new coordinates or offset had to be entered numerically; now the new location can be selected graphically by clicking on that location. The ability to move the top and bottom of the columns independently has also been incorporated, providing a means of modeling sloping columns.• The Column - Text command has been enhanced such that when the coordinates of the top of a column are changed, the beams that frame into that column also move to the new location. The ability to move the top and bottom of the columns independently has also been incorporated, providing a means of modeling sloping columns.• The Noncomposite Floor System tab of the PropTable - Decks command has been enhanced to allow the specification of multiple noncomposite decks. Previously only a single noncomposite deck type was allowed. A Label has also been added to distinguish between the various noncomposite deck types.• Deck diaphragm properties for use when the deck/slab is specified as Semirigid in RAM Frame can be specified using the PropTable - Decks command.• The dialogs listing the deck properties when using Change and Show in the Layout - Slab - Deck Assign command have been improved and reorganized to better show the deck properties.• In the Datacheck report, the Errors are listed in red, the warnings are listed in black.
RAM Steel Beam:• A Find Beam command has been added. It can be invoked using the View - Find Beam command or the button on the toolbar. The beam briefly flashes when the beam number is entered.
• The beam design program, RAM SBeam, can now be launched directly from the RAM Structural System using the Process - Export to SBeam command. When invoked, the geometry, loads and criteria of the selected beam are exported to RAM SBeam. Using the same design algorithms as RAM Steel Beam, RAM SBeam is a powerful yet economical utility program for the design of composite and noncomposite steel beams. Contact your regional engineer for more information on RAM SBeam.
RAM Steel Column:• The calculation of the unbalanced moment was slightly modified. In the general case the unbalanced moment is split between the top of the column and the bottom of the column above. Previously if there was a change in shape at a level (e.g., from I-shape to HSS) the program assumed that the splice essentially behaved as a pin connection, and no portion of the moment was applied to the bottom of the column above; the full moment was applied to the top of the column under consideration. Now, in addition to the change in shape, a change in column orientation or material is treated the same way, the unbalanced moment is not split between the column under consideration and the column above, it is all applied to the top of the column under consideration.
RAM Frame:In addition to the Semirigid Diaphragm capability, RAM Frame has been enhanced with new features, including:• A new, faster solver has been incorporated. There is now an option in the Criteria - General command to select between the Direct Solver and the Sparse Solver. Both solvers have the option of running In-Core or Out-of-Core. The Direct Solver is that which was used previously, and gives more detailed messages when error conditions are encountered; the Sparse Solver runs significantly faster but gives less detailed information when error conditions are encountered.• In the calculation of self-weight loads and masses from walls, the presence of openings in the walls is now considered and subtracted from the loads and masses.• Braces can be designated as Buckling Restrained using the Assign - Braces - Buckling Restrained command. An axial stiffness multiplier can be assigned to account for the fact that the yielding steel core section only extends for a portion of the full node-to-node brace length considered in the analysis. In the code checks for those braces the stress and capacity equations based on the buckling modes are ignored, and the design is based on core section yielding.• China GB50011-2001 has been incorporated for the generation of Wind, Seismic and Response Spectra load cases.
RAM Frame Steel Standard Provision:• Values of Unbraced Length used in the design for bending and for axial loads can now be assigned to beams, columns and braces using the Assign - Beams - Unbraced Length, Assign - Columns - Unbraced Length and Assign - Braces - Unbraced Length commands. Options are given to either use the assigned value or to calculate the value based on the geometry and the Flange Bracing criteria specified in Criteria - Flange Bracing.
RAM Concrete Column:• The graphics in the View/Update have been enhanced to show the column cross section with the design reinforcing.
RAM Concrete Shear Wall:• Boundary Element Design is now performed per the ACI concrete specifications.• Multiple vertical reinforcing zones may be assigned to the wall panels, allowing greater control of the reinforcing patterns along the length of the wall.• Shear Wall material Takeoff report has been incorporated.• Shear Wall DXF is available with the Post-Processing - DXF File - Shear Wall command in the RAM Manager.