Release Date: April 29, 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 13.0.4, or Version 13.0.4, 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 13.0.4. 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.
RAM Steel ColumnERRONEOUS COLUMN DESIGN ERROR MESSAGE: In some cases a design error message was given erroneously indicating that a column line could not be designed due to geometric errors (that did not actually exist).Effect: Columns that should have been designable were being marked as undesignable.
RAM Frame - AnalysisDYNAMIC BUILDING STORY SHEARS AND FRAME SHEARS*: When the option was selected to consider the sign for building story shears and frame shears, the contribution from column dynamic forces was not correctly handled.Effect: Building story shears and frame story shears were not correctly reported for a dynamic load case with sign considered.
SEMI-RIGID ROOF WIND FORCES*: For ASCE 7-05 / IBC 2006, ASCE 7-02 / IBC 2003, and ASCE 7-98 / IBC 2000 wind load cases, if the roof was specified as Semi-rigid and if the parapet height at the roof was not zero then the applied wind forces at the roof were incorrect.Effect: Incorrect parapet wind loads were applied at the Semi-rigid roof.
WALL MINOR AXIS SHEARS: When out-of-plane stiffness of walls was included in analysis, the program reported the minor axis shear forces with the wrong sign. This did not affect other wall force components. Effect: Wall minor axis shear forces were reported with incorrect sign.
CHINA GB50011 WIND LOAD: User-defined wind fluctuation factors were discarded by the program (zero value used instead). Also, if Table 7.4.4-3 was picked for fluctuation factor calculation, the program calculated the fluctuation factor based on interpolation for heights less than 30 meters (rather than using a constant value given in the table).Effect: Wrong values of fluctuation factor was used in calculation of story wind loads if either "Use Table 7.7.4-3" or "Use" options were invoked.
RAM Frame - Steel Standard ProvisionsAISC 360-05 LOAD COMBINATIONS*: The Notional Loads were missing from the generic "AISC360_05 LRFD" and "AISC360_05 ASD" load combination templates, hence notional loads were not included in the design forces.Effect: Notional Loads were not included when those load combination templates were selected. Note that the AISC 360 Validation Report correctly warned that the loads were missing. Also note that the "IBC06/ASCE7-05 LRFD" and "IBC06/ASCE7-05 LRFD" templates generate the correct combinations.
RAM FoundationSTATUS LIGHT: The status light was often wrong for this module.Effect: Nuisance. The status of the designs was often indicated incorrectly, but it did not affect the designs.
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.