RAM Structural System CONNECT Edition Version 17.02 SES Release Notes
Release Date: January 13, 2021
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.
If you have enabled the CONNECTION Client you will automatically be notified of the newest version and will be able to update through that service by simply selecting the update command. Otherwise, this version can be found on the Bentley Software Fulfilment web page by logging into CONNECT Center and selecting the Software Downloads icon. Search for “RAM Structural System” and select the latest version.
This version 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.
Except for minor corrections, the Tutorial Manual has not been updated but is still valid. The appearance of some parts of the program in this version may differ from that shown in the Tutorial.
Bentley CONNECT and Product Licensing FAQ:
Appendix A at the end of these Notes contains important information on the features and capabilities provided to you through Bentley CONNECT, and for important information on configuring Bentley CONNECT Licensing. These were first implemented in RAM Structural System v16.00. If you have not already done so, you are urged to configure your licensing thresholds so that warnings are given if you are attempting to launch the program that would result in an overuse.
Appendix B at the end of these Notes contains a description of features available in the RAM Structural System to help prevent inadvertent use of unlicensed modules. Refer to that document for more information. Note that with CONNECT Licensing, warning messages are given in the event there is no license available, so it generally isn’t necessary now to block modules using that feature. Note: At some point in the future this feature will be removed since it is redundant. To provide protection against inadvertent overuse of licenses, license threshold limits should be set as explained in Appendix A.
Beginning with RAM Structural System V17.00 the licensing was changed; the licenses on the individual modules (e.g., RAM Steel, RAM Concrete, RAM Frame, RAM Foundation) were consolidated into a single package, RAM Structural System. See Appendix C at the end of these Notes for more information on this license consolidation.
Security Risk Advisory:
Not applicable to this release. Every effort is made to ensure that there are no security risks in the software. There are no known security issues, no issues were addressed in this version.
New Features and Enhancements:
For details on these new features and enhancements, refer to the manual .pdf files available from the Help menu in each module or from the Manuals folder on your hard drive.
Simpson Strong-Tie Yield-Link Moment Frame Connection
The requirements for the analysis and design of the Yield-Link moment frame connection have been comprehensively implemented, with close coordination with the engineers at Simpson Strong-Tie. The connection is assigned using the Assign – Beams – Frame Beam Connection Types command. The influence of the connection on the joint and frame stiffness is automatically determined and applied in the analysis. The requirements of AISC 360-10 and AISC 360-16 have been implemented for the basic steel design checks, and the requirements of AISC 341-10 and AISC 341-16 have been implemented for the seismic design checks of the connection, columns, and beams. Pertinent panel zone shear check and strong column – weak beam requirements from AISC 358 are also implemented.
In order to improve the stability and reliability of the program we have implemented a feature in which a report is delivered to Bentley anytime the RAM Structural System program crashes. When a crash occurs, a dialog is given requesting a description of the events leading to the error. Please provide us with as much pertinent information as you can (what series of events that you did prior to the crash, etc.), and then select the command to Send Error Report. This will assist us in locating the cause of program crashes, and better enable us to eliminate their causes.
Verification of File Integrity on Save
When Save is invoked, a check is now made on the integrity of the saved file. If it appears that key portions of the database have failed to save (due to, for example, a system disruption during the Save), a second attempt will be made to save the file; if there appears to still be an error, an attempt will be made to create a backup of the original database (in the state it was at the last Save, it won’t contain any of the recent changes made since the last Save), and a Warning message is given notifying the user that there was problem with the Save. It is possible that the database files that would still be in the Working directory are correct, and the user is advised to copy those to another directory before closing the Warning message and the program. The user can then attempt to open the model by navigating to the directory to which the database files were copied. Note that this is intended to prevent an exceptionally rare problem of unknown cause, but one which resulted in corruption and loss of the model. It is believed that this new workflow will prevent the loss of the model. Please report to Technical Support when this message is given so that we can attempt to determine the cause.
IBC Storage Live Load Reduction on Beams
IBC 2018 Section 1607.11.1.2 and Section 1607.11.2.1 allow Storage live loads to be reduced up to 20% if the member supports load from two or more levels. This was previously implemented for columns, but not for beams, such as transfer girders, that support load from two or more levels. Storage Live Load reduction per the IBC has now been implemented for beams that support load from two or more levels, allowing of a reduction of up to 20%.
IBC Alternate Live Load Reduction Method
The IBC includes both a basic Live Load Reduction method (Section 1607.11.1) and an alternate Live Load Reduction method (Section 1607.11.2). Beginning with IBC 2015 a subtle but important change was made to the Alternate method: previous to IBC 2015 the requirement stated that the reduction for horizontal members (i.e., beams) is limited to 40% and the reduction for vertical members (i.e., columns) is limited to 60%. Note that this meant that a column carrying load from only one level could be reduced up to 60%, and a transfer girder carrying load from more than one level could only be reduced up to 40%. Beginning with IBC 2015 the requirements now say that for members receiving load from one level only the reduction is limited to 40% and for members receiving load from two or more levels the reduction is limited to 60%. In prior versions of the program the requirements of the pre-IBC 2015 were implemented but beginning with this version the requirements given in IBC 2015 and later are now used.
Detailing Values in Master Steel Tables
Previously the Master Steel Tables only contained the design section dimensions and properties, not the detailing section dimensions because those detailing values were not used by the program. The new Yield-Link feature now uses some of these values, so the Master Table format has been enhanced to include these values:
Depth_det Tw_det Bftop_det Bfbot_det Tftop_det Tfbot_det ktop_det kbot_det k1top_det k1bot_det T_det
These detailing values have been added to the RAMAISC Master tables provided with the program. At this time they have not been added to any of the other Master tables provided by the program, but the user can edit those tables to include those values if desired. See Section 8.4 of the RAM Manager Manual for a complete description of the new data format.
Note that existing models will not automatically use these revised tables. In order to update the tables used by a model, invoke the Criteria – Master Steel Table command in the RAM Manager, and follow the instructions given there.
If it is desired to use user-created Master tables with the Yield-Link feature it will be necessary to add the detailing values to those tables.
Updated Table of Decks – US
The ramdecks.dck file, the file that contains the composite decks used in the United States, has been updated based on the latest deck data made available by the deck manufacturers. The Wheeling decks were removed since that deck is no longer produced, and New Millennium decks were added. The values for Ybar (which only impacts the design of beams using the old ASD 9th Edition code) were slightly modified for ASC 3W and Vulcraft 1.5VL. The depth was changed from 2" to 2.0625" for Verco W2 Formlok, which also changed AcRib and Ybar (which will slightly impact designs, including loads from deck self-weight).
New models will use the updated values, existing models will continue to use the previous values. If it is desired to update the tables used by an existing model, invoke the Criteria – Design Steel Tables command in the RAM Manager, and follow the prompts given there.
Updated LH Joist Tables and 2.5K Joists
In the Steel Joist Institute’s recently released 45th Edition K-Series, LH-Series, DLH-Series, Joist Girders Standard Specifications Load Tables and Weight Tables for Steel Joists and Joist Girders Catalog, the load tables for the LH-series joists have been updated. The joist series has been expanded to include several new LH joist sizes, and the range of spans listed for each joist has been increased. In many cases the allowable loads have been increased. The RAMSJILH.JST and RAMSJI.JST tables have been updated to include these changes.
The SJI Catalog also includes 2.5K joist substitutes, a series of 2.5” deep members intended for spans of 10 ft. or less. These joist substitute members have been added to the RAMSJIK.JST and RAMSJI.JST tables.
Steel Joist Camber
In the Steel Joist Institute 45th Edition K-Series, LH-Series, DLH-Series, Joist Girders Standard Specifications Load Tables and Weight Tables for Steel Joists and Joist Girders Catalog, the standard joist camber is given in Table 4.6-1. When joists are fabricated, they are fabricated with the camber given in that table unless otherwise specified by the engineer. Typically, joists are designed for strength based on the Total Load, and for deflection based on the Live Load (typically L/360). It is not an SJI requirement to assign deflection limits on Dead Load or on Total Load, and the joist tables in the joist manual are based only on a deflection limit of L/360 on the Live Load. Because it would be fairly rare to specify a deflection limit on Total Load, the program for simplicity did not consider camber when checking a deflection limit on Total Load. This has now been enhanced. The Standard Joist Selection report now lists the standard SJI camber, and lists both the Total Load deflection and the Net Total Load deflection (which is the Total Load Deflection minus the camber). In the selection of the joist, if there is a Total Load deflection limit set by the user, the program compares that limit with the Net Total Load deflection. The Deflection Summary report also now lists the Net Total Load deflection and the camber.
Ground Level for Wind
In RAM Frame the Ground Level is assumed by default to be at a level below the lowest Story. However, the user has the ability to specify any level as the Ground Level, for example when a structure has a basement. Not only does this impact the lateral constraints for the analysis of levels at and below the Ground Level, it also impacts the generation of the wind loads. The program now allows the Ground Level for wind loads to be specified independently of the Ground Level for analysis.
Eurocode Seismic Forces
In RAM Frame seismic loads per Eurocode EN 1998-1:2004 + A1:2013 can now be generated. It is based on Section 126.96.36.199 Lateral Force Method of Analysis. The Eurocode dynamic response spectra analysis can also be performed. Both methods have the option to include the accidental torsional effects defined in Section 4.3.2.
Diaphragm Section Cuts Enhancement
The Diaphragm Forces report has been enhanced. Previously the report had a section that listed the combined Diaphragm and Frame Member Forces. That section of the report is still included, but when a section cut crosses one or more beams there is a new section of the report that lists the Diaphragm Only Forces. This makes it easier to identify the forces in the diaphragm itself.
The report has been expanded to also now show the force values at discrete points along the section cut.
Vertical Modal Response
When the option to Include nodal mass in Z-direction in the Criteria – General command is selected in RAM Frame, and the diaphragms have been specified as Semirigid, the Periods and Modes report has been modified: Z-direction (vertical) values have been added to Modal Participation Factors, Modal Direction Factors, and Modal Effective Mass Factors.
DuraFuse Option for Rigid Panel
For the DuraFuse moment frame connection there is now an option to specify the Panel Zone Stiffness to be considered rigid in the analysis (rather than using the Calculated Spring Stiffness). Contact DuraFuse Frames, LLC, for information on when it is appropriate to assume that the panel is rigid.
Stress Display in Concrete Wall
In the option to display stress contours (the Mesh Options button in the View/Update command in the Concrete Wall module), options to show the contours for SVMax, SavgMax, and S Von Misses have been added. Options have also been added to show the stresses on the Primary Face versus the Secondary Face.
The Data Extractor is invoked using the Post-Processing – Extract Data command; it provides a powerful means of extracting model, design, and analysis results data. Several improvements have been made, both in this version and in version V17.01 but were not documented. It has been enhanced to extract additional data. For more information, see Appendix D RAM Data Extractor in the RAM Manager Manual.
The following new fields have been added to existing tables in the Geometry category:
The following new fields have been added to an existing table in the Criteria category:
Several new tables have been added to the Geometry category:
A new table has been added to the Criteria category:
Several new tables have been added to the Loads category.:
ISM – Typical Layout Types
Previously if a model used a layout type on more than one story it was necessary to modify the model such that each story had its own layout type before the model could be exported to ISM. That is no longer necessary; a model in which a layout type is used on two or more stories can be exported to ISM, and the relationship of the stories and layout types will be preserved.
Technology Preview Features:
Technology Preview features are features that are still under development, and have not been completely certified. They are made available because they may offer significant benefits to the user, even in their current state. If you use these features, please provide feedback so that we can refine the features.
In the Modeler, the Integrity – DataCheck command has been enhanced to include additional checks:
If any of these warnings are given it is recommended that the model be modified to eliminate the condition, or that the engineer carefully inspect the resulting designs to verify that properties and loads were properly and correctly assigned and distributed, not only to the member referenced, but to surrounding members as well.
These conditions are rare when the model has been created in the Modeler, but are more prevalent when the model has been imported from Revit, which does a poor job of enforcing modeling precision unless great care and effort is taken there by the person creating that model.
Note that that because these new checks are still Technology Preview features, these new checks are not included in the checks performed by the Datacheck by default. See Appendix D at the end of this document for instructions on setting up the program to include these checks when the Datacheck is invoked.
Some program errors have been corrected for this version. 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 un-conservative designs are shown with an asterisk. We know these errors are disruptive, we apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.
SNOW VS ROOF LIVE LOAD*: In the Criteria – Member Loads command, if the selection for Snow vs Roof Live Load was Consider Roof Live Loads, Ignore Snow Loads, and the Code for Live Load Reduction selection was changed to NBC of Canada, BS 6399, Eurocode, Eurocode UK NA, AS/NZS, China, or Hong Kong, the selection for Snow vs Roof Live Load changed to Consider Snow Loads, Ignore Roof Live Loads.
Effect: If the Code for Live Load Reduction selection was changed to any of the codes listed, the selection for Snow vs Roof Live Load may have unintentionally switched to Consider Snow, Ignore Roof Live Load, resulting in Roof Live Loads being ignored in analysis and design.
FRAME COLUMNS ON GRAVITY WALLS: If the end of a Gravity wall shared the same point as a Frame column, and a Frame column above was supported by that Frame column, a DataCheck warning was erroneously being displayed indicating that a Frame column was supported by a gravity member (referring to the Gravity wall). The warning should not have been displayed since there was also a Frame column at that location.
Effect: Erroneous DataCheck warning for an acceptable configuration.
WEB OPENING TEE BUCKLING CAPACITY CHECK: In the design of beams with web openings per AISC Design Guide #2, it is not required to perform the buckling capacity check of tees with an aspect ratio less than 4.0. However, the program incorrectly and unnecessarily calculated the demand/capacity ratio for that check and potentially listed that value as the controlling demand/capacity ratio for the opening, but correctly did not flag the opening as failing if that ratio exceeded 1.0. Hence it was possible that the program listed a demand/capacity ratio greater than 1.0 but did not indicate that the opening failed.
Effect: Potentially, in View/Update and on-screen, an incorrect demand/capacity ratio greater than 1.0 was listed for the opening, even if the opening passed all of the necessary design checks (the design report listed the correct value).
CASTELLATED BEAMS FREEZING: While optimizing castellated beam sizes for a range of opening spacing, e, the program may have failed to correctly determine an e-max for some beams’ designs.
Effect: The optimization process for certain castellated beam designs stalled during a Design All, the design of the remaining beams could not be obtained.
NON-COMPOSITE BEAM SPAN/DEFLECTION DISPLAY VALUES: When the Show Values option of the Process – Design Colors command was invoked, non-composite beams did not show the correct deflection interaction value if the deflection criteria for the beam only included a limit on the Live Load L/d ratio.
Effect: The designs were correct; the beam designs correctly considered the Live Load L/d deflection limit for non-composite beams. However, the Process – Design Colors command did not show the correct deflection interaction value in the display if the deflection criteria for the beam only included a limit on the Live Load L/d ratio.
AISC 360-16 DESIGN WARNING: In the calculation of the P-delta multiplier, B1y, if alphaPr was greater than Pe1y the warning given by the program incorrectly stated that alphaPr was greater than Pe1x.
Effect: Warning text error only. The warning incorrectly referenced Pe1x rather than Pe1y.
ACI 318 SEISMIC PROVISION DESIGN SHEAR, Ve*: When only some of the load cases were analyzed in RAM Frame, the portion of Ve attributed to the gravity load cases was sometimes greater than the actual gravity load case shear.
Effect: Design shear, Ve, used in ACI 318-11 Section 188.8.131.52 and ACI 318-14 Section 184.108.40.206, may have been wrong; when the error occurred, it was almost always conservative, but not necessarily, so in rare cases may have resulted in an unconservative design. If all of the load cases in RAM Frame were analyzed, the error did not occur.
CONCRETE BEAM FORCE ENVELOPES*: If not all cases were analyzed in RAM Frame, the Force Envelopes in Concrete Beam were calculated incorrectly.
Effect: Incorrect results.
COLUMNS UNBRACED OVER MULTIPLE STORIES*: When calculating the special provision shear requirement of ACI 318-14 Section 220.127.116.11.1 (or analogous clauses in earlier codes), if a column was unbraced over multiple stories, the program did not take into consideration the probable moment contribution from beams in the upper story segments of the column when designing the lower story segments of the column.
Effect: Potentially there was an underestimation of special provision shear.
ACI 318-11 SECTION 10.3.5 LIMIT ON NET TENSILE STRAIN: The limit of 0.004 on the net tensile strain of the reinforcement for lightly loaded columns was not being applied.
Effect: The maximum reinforcement ratio for columns imposed by the minimum limit on the tensile strain at nominal strength was not being considered.
COUPLING BEAMS COMPOSED OF DIFFERENT WALL PANELS*: If a coupling beam was composed of portions of two wall panels (i.e., the upper portion of the coupling beam was from the panel above and the lower portion of the coupling beam was from the panel below), the design forces may have been incorrect, only including the forces in the lower portion of the coupling beam.
Effect: Incorrect design of coupling beams for the condition described.
COUPLING BEAM UPDATE DATABASE: If changes were made to the reinforcing for coupling beams, and then saved using the Update Database command, the original design results were not cleared, and a subsequent View/Update would show the results from the original configuration rather than the saved configuration.
Effect: Incorrect design results were shown in View/Update after the coupling beam reinforcement was changed and updated.
HORIZONTAL SECTION CUT FORCES BETA ANGLE*: When a designed and saved model is re-opened, the program recalculates the beta angle of the resultant horizontal section cut forces. These global forces were not converted to the local axes of the wall prior to the calculation of the beta angle.
Effect: An incorrect beta angle was calculated and displayed for the resultant forces. Generally, this was only a display error. However, subsequent optimizations may have been based on calculations using this erroneous beta angle, resulting in incorrect designs.
Frame – Analysis
USER-DEFINED WIND LOADS ON SEMIRIGID DIAPHRAGM*: When the wind loads were user-defined rather than generated and the diaphragm was specified as Semirigid, the wind load distribution on skewed diaphragm geometries were not correct because the program used real building lengths instead of projected lengths. Even though the total applied load was correct, the wind load profile (wind load distribution along building surfaces) was not correct.
Effect: For diaphragm geometries with skewed faces, total wind load was correct, but the wind load distribution along any given face was not.
USER-DEFINED WIND LOADS ON SEMIRIGID DIAPHRAGM*: If deck assignment (deck polygon) did not fully extend out to the end of slab edges and the deck was specified as Semirigid, the program applied user-defined wind loads at wrong locations. It was expected such wind point loads should be applied to mesh nodes close to edges, but they were applied to nodes at other locations.
Effect: Wind loads were not assigned to nodes along edges if the deck polygon did not extend out to that slab edge. The error was generally very obvious if the Process – Results – Applied Story Forces command was invoked to display the loads on the diaphragms.
USER-DEFINED WIND LOADS ON SEMIRIGID DIAPHRAGM: When the wind loads were user-defined rather than generated and the diaphragm was specified as Semirigid, the applied loads were greater than necessary if the diaphragm had a concave geometry.
Effect: The applied wind loads were greater than what the user had defined.
INCORRECT MEMBER FORCES FOR BEAM WITH SPRING CONNECTION AND SEMIRIGID DECK*: The program produced incorrect member forces for beams if the beam had been assigned a spring connection and the deck was Semirigid.
Effect: Member forces for beam were incorrect.
INCORRECT FORCE/MOMENT DIAGRAGMS FOR BEAM WITH SPRING CONNECTION: Member Force diagrams were incorrect on beams if the beam had been assigned a Spring connection type and the option to Include Effects for rigid end zones was selected.
Effect: The diagram was shifted and the program was not consistent in properly displaying the values at rigid-end-zone distances versus at the face of joint.
WRONG SIGN REPORTED FOR BEAM AXIAL AND MINOR MOMENT FOR DYNAMIC CASES*: Beam axial force and minor moment for dynamic load cases were reported with the wrong sign if the "Apply sign" option was selected for dynamic analysis results and member forces were reported at face of joint.
Effect: Wrong sign reported for beam dynamic axial force and minor moment.
CRASH WHILE ATTEMPTING TO DISPLAY GRAVITY WALL STRESS: Gravity walls are included in the analysis if they support two-way decks and the option to include them in analysis is selected. However, if gravity walls were included in a previous analysis and then not in the current analysis, the program subsequently crashed if the Process – Results – Stress and Internal Force Contours command was invoked.
Effect: Program crash.
USER-DEFINED STORY WIND AND SEISMIC LOADS*: In a very rare case, user entered values for user-defined story forces were lost either upon closing the load case dialog or after an analysis was performed.
Effect: User entered values for wind and seismic forces were lost.
NBC OF CANADA 95 WIND LOAD CASE REPORT: For the NBC of Canada 1995 wind load case, the Loads and Applied Forces report only listed the building frequency for the X-direction even if both X- and Y-direction wind cases were analyzed.
Effect: Report error only, the Y-direction frequency was not listed.
EUROCODE 1991-1-4:2005 AND EUROCODE 1991-1-4:2005 UK NA WIND CASE: The program crashed for Eurocode 1991-1-4:2005 and Eurocode 1991-1-4:2005 UK NA wind load cases if the ground level was not At Base in the Criteria – Ground Level command.
EUROCODE ENV 1991-2-4:1995 WIND LOAD CASE*: For Eurocode ENV 1991-2-4:1995 wind load case, the program did not immediately recognize changes to the Ground Level selection in the Criteria – Ground Level command, the program continued to use the ground level from the previous run.
Effect: Calculated wind forces were not correctly reflecting ground level set for that run.
ZERO WIND PRESSURE FOR CHINA GB50011 WIND LOAD CASE*: The China GB50011 wind load generator was not generating any wind loads.
Effect: No wind pressure and forces calculated for the load case.
DISPLAYING MEMBER FORCES ENVELOPE VALUES: The Process – Results – Member Forces Envelope command took an exceptionally long to display member force envelope values on screen if the model included dynamic load cases.
Effect: Prohibited viewing of member forces envelopes if there were dynamic load cases.
CRASH WHEN SWITCHING BETWEEN MODES: The program would sometimes crash when switching between the various modes (Load Combinations, Steel, Drift, and Shear Wall Forces).
DURAFUSE PANEL ZONE ROTATION FOR DYNAMIC LOAD CASE: For dynamic load cases, the Member Forces report for a column in a moment frame using the DuraFuse moment frame connection reported incorrect Panel Zone Rotation values.
Effect: Incorrect Rotation values reported.
STRESS CONTOUR VALUES NOT DISPLAYED IN PLAN VIEW: When displaying stress contours in Plan View, the option to Show Stress Contour Values did not work, the values were not displayed.
Effect: Stress contour values could only be displayed in 3D View, not in Plan View.
STRESS CONTOUR DISPLAY IGNORED EXTENTS: If the extents of the view had been limited using the View – Extents command, those extents were ignored when the stress contours were displayed.
Effect: Wall and diaphragm stress contours were displayed for all levels, even if the user had attempted to limit the stories being displayed using the View – Extents command
PROGRAM FREEZE WHEN DISPLAYING STRESS CONTOURS FOR LOAD COMBINATIONS: In Load Combinations mode, the program become unresponsive when the Process – Results – Stress and Internal Force Contour command was invoked.
Effect: The contours could not be viewed in Load Combination mode.
ECCENTRIC GRAVITY MOMENT AT TILT-UP WALL GAP JOINTS: Eccentric gravity moment from gravity beams framing into the joint was intended to be equally distributed to the tilt-up wall panels common to the joint. If both (or all, if more than two panels converged at a joint) panels had been assigned to have a gap there, the moment was equally distributed properly, but if one of the panels had not been assigned to have a gap there, it was not assigned any eccentric gravity moment; it was all assigned to the panel with the gap assignment.
Effect: Tilt-up panels without gap assignments may not have been designed for the intended eccentric gravity moments from beams framing into the wall end.
CRASH AFTER DELETING LOAD CASES: If load cases were deleted after they had been analyzed the program was susceptible to crashing on the subsequent analysis.
CRASH WHEN SWITCHING BETWEEN MODES: Program crashes were common after invoking the Shear Wall Forces mode and then switching to another mode.
Frame – Steel Standard Provisions
VIEW/UPDATE WITH DYNAMIC LOAD CASES: Investigation of different beam sizes in the View Update dialog for models with dynamic load cases was often unresponsive, leading users to believe a crash had occurred.
Effect: While investigating other beam sizes in View Update dialog box, the program became unresponsive while internally processing combinations with dynamic load cases. Models without dynamic combinations did not result in delays when investigating alternate beam sizes.
SIDEPLATE OR DURAFUSE CONNECTION UNBRACED LENGTH: For the SidePlate and DuraFuse connections, the unbraced length of beams and columns should be the clear distance between faces of members (regardless of the selections for Rigid End Zones in the Criteria – General Criteria command). However, the program was calculating the unbraced lengths based on those selections.
Effect: For SidePlate and DuraFuse connections, the unbraced length of members used in design was correct if the option to Include Effects was selected with 0% reduction, but any other selection would result in a conservative (longer) unbraced length. The analysis was correct, only the unbraced length may have been incorrect.
SCBF COLUMNS - MAX COMPRESSIVE FORCE: The 0.75 reduction factor was not applied to the transient load combinations for SCBF Columns designed according to AISC 341-10 and -16 ASD.
Effect: The max compression design force for SCBF Columns designed according to AISC 341-10 and -16 ASD and governed by combinations with transient loads was not reduced by the transient load reduction factor of 0.75. Designs may have reported incorrect controlling load combinations.
Frame – Steel Seismic Provisions
AISC 341-16 BASIC REQUIREMENTS FOR SCBF BEAMS*: AISC 341-16 Section F2.5a Basic Requirements requires that SCBF members satisfy the requirements of Section D1.1 for highly ductile members; however, the program was only applying the moderately ductile limits on SCBF beams.
Effect: SCBF beams checked according to AISC 341-16 Basic Requirements, Section D1.1, used Moderately Ductile rather than Highly Ductile limits. Some beams should have failed under the more stringent flange b/tf limit for highly ductile members.
CONTINUITY PLATE CHECK STATUS: When a Joint Code Check for IMF and SMF joints was performed and it was determined that continuity/stiffener plates were required but web plates were not, the symbol displayed for the joint was incorrect, indicating that web plates were required. Also, the Seismic Provisions Joint Code Check report incorrectly stated that both web plates and stiffeners were required although it correctly only listed the stiffener plate information.
Effect: When stiffeners were required, both the symbol displayed for the joint and the report incorrectly indicated that web plates were required.
ROUND HSS REQUIRED COLUMN STRENGTH: The reported required column strength per the requirements of Section D1.4a of AISC 341-10 and AISC 341-16 for SCBF and BRBF with round HSS columns with different orientations for columns within a multi-story stack was calculated incorrectly; the amplified seismic load Emh or Ecl in certain chevron bracing configurations was incorrect.
Effect: The amplified seismic load, Emh or Ecl, determined respectively according to Sections D1.4a of AISC 341-10 and AISC 341-16 for SCBF-V and BRBF-V for round HSS columns was incorrect when columns within a multi-story column stack had varying column orientations. When no braces frame into the top of column in a given axis, the column is designed for an accumulation of axial loads from supported stories and any unbalanced beam shear reactions. When braces frame into the top of the column in a given axis, only the vertical reaction of the braces and any accumulated axial loads from supported stories are considered. When the column orientation for a round column changed from level to level, these values were incorrectly mixed.
DURAFUSE HSS JOINT CHECK*: Some DuraFuse joint configurations at HSS columns were incorrectly considered invalid and so were not designed.
Effect: The joint check for the DuraFuse connection was not performed in many cases when the column was an HSS.
INCORRECT DATA EXPORTED FOR GRAVITY BEAM REACTIONS: In the GravLoadReactionsOnBeams tab of the Loads tables, there were several columns that should have been expanded to show an array of values rather than a single value. For example, Columns BC-BH listed the tributary areas on the beam; however there are three such values for each beam corresponding to the left cantilever, the span, and the right cantilever. But only a single value was listed, and it was incorrect, it didn’t even correspond to the value for any of those segments. There were several other columns with similar problems, notably Columns CA-CB listing the MultiLevelFlag. These columns have now been expanded to contain the full arrays of values.
Effect: Columns BC-BH, BQ-BT, CC-CN, CA-CB and CU-CZ had erroneous values. The correction required that several existing columns of data were relocated to the right. Of note, Column DS, that contained the StoryID, is now Column EQ.
NOTE: The format of the table on the BravLoadReactionsOnBeams tab has been modified! If you have written any spreadsheets or programs that use any of the columns to the right of Column BB you will need to correct your program to use the relocated columns. Review the documentation carefully to see the new format.
INCORRECT DATA EXPORTED FOR GRAVITY COLUMN REACTIONS: In the GravLoadReactionsOnColumn tab of the Loads tables, there were several columns that should have been expanded to show an array of values rather than a single value. For example, Columns Q-AB listed beam reactions on the sides of the columns, used for skip loading and unbalance moments; however only a single side’s value was listed rather than all four sides’ values, and that value that was listed was wrong. All of the columns to the left of AU had a similar problem. These columns have now been relocated and expanded to contain the full arrays of values.
Effect: Columns Q-AB and AV-CQ had erroneous values. Columns Q-AB have been abandoned (filled with 0.0 and labeled as unused), and the values in Columns Q-AB and AV-CQ have been expanded and relocated to the right of Column AU.
NOTE: Values in Columns A-P and AC-AU remain unchanged, but all other Columns have been reformatted. If you have written any spreadsheets or programs that use any of the affected columns you will need to correct your program to use the relocated columns. Review the documentation carefully to see the new format.
Bentley CONNECT Licensing – Subscription Entitlement Service
Bentley CONNECT Licensing has now been renamed Subscription Entitlement Service. CONNECT Licensing was first implemented in the RAM Structural in v16.00. This licensing monitors current usage and, if an attempt is made to use a program or module for which there is no available license, the program will give a warning. Important information is given in the v16.00 Release Notes.
More information on CONNECT Licensing / Subscription Entitlement Service can be found at:
User and Administrator instructions can be found here:
and a short guide has been posted here:
CONNECT License / Subscription Entitlement Service requires all users to sign-in in order to use any Bentley programs. If you do not already have a Bentley ID, go to http://www.bentley.com/profile and select the Sign Up Now link.
NOTE: If you haven’t done so already, before using any version 16.0 or newer, the person at your company that has the role of Administrator for the Bentley products must configure the license so that it gives the overuse warnings. Otherwise, by default no warnings will be given. Instructions can be found here:
Review all of the information, but in particular, note the section on Entitlement Management, and in that document note the instructions on License Alerting. Generally, for License Alerting you will want to Enable Alerts, and then input the number of licenses that you own for the particular product.
CONNECT Licensing / Subscription Entitlement Service is revolutionary. It warns you against incidental overuse of the program, but when you have a temporary heavier work load it allows you to intentionally use more licenses than you own, at a fraction of the cost of purchasing an additional copy. Subscription Entitlement Service gives you the information you need to control usage and make those decisions.
In addition to providing the overuse warning described above, Bentley CONNECT offers several benefits. Listed here are three key features:
CONNECT Advisor provides links to pertinent articles, short training videos, courses and webinars. It can be accessed by selecting the Bentley Cloud Services – CONNECT Advisor command in the RAM Manager, or by selecting the CONNECT Advisor icon from the tool bar in any of the modules.
When you sign in to your Bentley account you now have easy access to CONNECT Center. This personalized portal gives you access to Usage reports, site configuration information, downloads, and Learning information on webinars, seminars and events, and includes a transcript listing the Bentley courses that you have completed. Your personal portal also lists your recent projects with a portal into analytics on that project. CONNECT Center can be accessed by selecting the Bentley Cloud Services – CONNECT Center command or by selecting the Sign In command in the upper right corner of the RAM Manager screen.
All of Bentley’s CONNECT Edition programs, including RAM Structural System, allow models to be associated with a project. Multiple models, from any of the Bentley products, can be associated with a given project. This simplifies the process of keeping track of work done for a project, and will enable analytics to be performed and reported for the project.
A ProjectWise Projects portal enables you and your project teams to see project details required to evaluate team activity and understand project performance.
When a model is Saved in this version the program will ask for a Project to which the file is to be associated. Projects can be registered (created) from your Personal Portal, or from the Assign Project dialog by selecting the + Register Project command.
Product Licensing FAQ – RAM Structural System: Blocking Use of Modules and Programs
VERSIONS 17.00 AND NEWER
The RAM Structural System contains links to three related Bentley products, RAM SBeam, RAM Concept and RAM Connection, providing design interoperability. Each of those programs have their own licenses. It is possible for a client to have licenses for some programs but not for the others. Because of the ease with which these programs can be invoked, a method of restricting the use of each has been incorporated in order to prevent unwanted or inadvertent usage by an unsuspecting user from being logged against the licenses that the company actually owns.
Note that if you have installed CONNECT versions of these programs and have correctly set up the warnings on entitlements you will receive a warning if overuse is about to occur; you may find it advantageous to rely on these warnings rather than blocking their use entirely as described below.
RAM SBeam is invoked using the Process – Export to SBeam command in the Steel Beam module. RAM Concept and RAM Connection are invoked using the tool bar buttons on the left of the RAM Manager screen:
or by using the Model or Design menu items:
If RAM SBeam, RAM Concept, or RAM Connection are not installed, they will not be available to be selected.
In RAM Manager, the Tools – Manage License Restrictions command opens the following dialog:
This provides a mechanism for the user to prevent a program from being inadvertently executed. When the RAM Structural System is first installed all of these options are selected. It is important therefore to execute this command and deselect any links for which the user wants to restrict access.
To prevent a program link from being executed, deselect that item.
If a link is deselected here and that link is subsequently invoked, the following dialog appears:
If Allow is selected the program will open, and usage will be logged. If Cancel is selected the program will not open and no usage will be logged. Settings opens the previous command, allowing the user to modify the selections of the allowed programs.
Note that there is also a link to Bentley’s ProjectWise for project management. It is available through the File – ProjectWise command. Its use is not restricted through the Tools – Manage License Restrictions command described above. It should only be invoked if you have a license for it.
VERSIONS 14.07 Through 16.01
The RAM Structural System is composed of several modules, each of which has their own license. The program also contains links to two related Bentley products, RAM Concept and RAM Connection, providing design interoperability, as well as a link to Bentley’s ProjectWise for project management. Each of those programs also have their own licenses. It is possible to have several licenses of one or more modules, and few or no licenses of other modules. Because of the ease with which these various modules and programs can be invoked, a method of restricting the use of each has been incorporated in order to prevent unwanted or inadvertent usage by an unsuspecting user from being logged against the licenses that the company actually owns.
These modules are invoked using the tool bar buttons on the left of the RAM Manager screen:
If RAM Concept or RAM Connection are not installed, they will not be available to be selected.
There is no license associated with RAM Manager, so no usage data is logged against it, but usage data is logged against each of the other modules as soon as they are invoked.
This provides a mechanism for the user to prevent a module from being inadvertently executed. When the program is first installed all of these options are selected. It is important therefore to execute this command and deselect any modules or links for which the user wants to restrict access.
To prevent a module or program link from being executed, deselect that item.
If a module is deselected here and that module or link is subsequently invoked, the following dialog appears:
If Allow is selected the module will open, and usage will be logged. If Cancel is selected the module will not open and no usage will be logged. Settings opens the previous command, allowing the user to modify the selections of the allowed modules.
VERSIONS 14.06 AND EARLIER
Versions prior to V14.07 lacked the ability to manage these license restrictions, restrictions could only be achieved by deleting the module from the installation Prog directory. If you are using an earlier version and want to prevent use of a module, delete the file(s) listed here for the module to be prevented:
RAMConcAnalysis.dll, RAMConcreteBeam.dll, RAMConcreteColumn.dll, RAMConcreteShearWall.dll
RAM Frame Analysis:
Beginning with RAM Structural System V17.00 the licensing has changed; the licenses on the individual modules (e.g., RAM Steel, RAM Concrete, RAM Frame, RAM Foundation) have been consolidated into a single package, RAM Structural System. See the RAM Structural System V17.00 Release Notes on Bentley Communities for a more detailed description and important instructions:
For more complete and updated information, go to the RAM Structural System V17.0 License Consolidation wiki on Bentley Communities:
Datacheck Enhancements – Technology Preview
In order to include the new Datacheck checks, you must modify the ramis.ini file (located in the C:\ProgramData\Bentley\Engineering\RAM Structural System directory) to include the following section:
DatacheckOffset = 1
DatacheckOffsetLowerTol = 0.00000001
DatacheckOffsetUpperTol = 1.0
DatacheckHorizVert = 1
DatacheckHorizVertLowerTol = 0.000000000001
DatacheckHorizVertUpperTol = 0.001
DatacheckOffMember = 1
DatacheckOffMemberLowerTol = 0.0001
DatacheckOffMemberUpperTol = 0.1
DatacheckOffMemberLowerAngleTol = 0.1
DatacheckOffMemberUpperAngleTol = 4.0
This section should be added after the [Tip] section. Use Notepad or other simple text editor (not Word, for example) when editing the ramis.ini file.
These variables associated with the checks are defined below.
Members slightly offset from grids. If a member is very nearly but not exactly attached to a nearby grid intersection, it is often an indication that the member is not attached to the intended snap point, but rather to a nearby point. This is generally not a problem, such conditions are allowed, but when the other framing around this member use the correct grid point, in very rare cases this condition can cause gravity loads to be incorrectly distributed or cause the analysis to terminate.
DatacheckOffset: Set equal to 1 to include this check, set equal to 0 to exclude this check.
DatacheckOffsetLowerTol: Distance (inches), the lower tolerance on the check.
DatacheckOffsetUpperTol: Distance (inches), the upper tolerance on the check.
Members very nearly horizontal or vertical. If a beam or wall is very nearly but not exactly horizontal in plan, it is often an indication that the member end is not attached to the intended snap point, but rather to a nearby point. Same for a member that is very nearly but not exactly vertical in plan. This is generally not a problem, such conditions are allowed, and in some cases intended, but when the other framing around this member use the correct snap point, in very rare cases this condition can cause gravity loads to be incorrectly distributed or cause the analysis to terminate.
DatacheckHorizVert: Set equal to 1 to include this check, set equal to 0 to exclude this check.
DatacheckHorizVertLowerTol: Difference (in.) between the coordinate at each end of beam or wall, the lower tolerance on the check.
DatacheckHorizVertUpperTol: Difference (in.) between the coordinate at each end of beam or wall, the upper tolerance on the check.
Deck or Load polygon edges misaligned with member. If the edge of a Deck or Surface Load polygon very nearly but not exactly coincides with a beam or wall, it is often an indication that the polygon vertex was not attached to the intended snap point, but rather to a nearby snap point. Alternatively, it may be an indication that the beam or wall was not modeled exactly as intended. Deck polygon edges should coincide precisely with beams and walls; surface load polygons are not required to coincide with beams and walls, but this condition, in which the edge very slightly diverges from the beam or wall, should be avoided. The program generally deals with this problem correctly, but in rare cases this condition can cause composite properties to be incorrectly assigned to a beam, cause gravity loads to be incorrectly distributed, or cause the analysis to terminate.
DatacheckOffMember: Set equal to 1 to include this check, set equal to 0 to exclude this check.
DatacheckOffMemberLowerTol: Distance (in.) between the polygon edge and the member; the lower tolerance on the check.
DatacheckOffMemberUpperTol: Distance (in.) between the polygon edge and the member; the upper tolerance on the check.
DatacheckOffMemberLowerAngleTol: When the polygon edge and the member are skewed with respect to each other, the angle between the two; the lower tolerance on the check.
DatacheckOffMemberUpperAngleTol: When the polygon edge and the member are skewed with respect to each other, the angle between the two; the upper tolerance on the check.
The program analysis can handle some degree of imperfection; it is not necessary that member and polygon coordinates are exactly precise, but very small offsets generally indicate unintended modeling conditions. There appears to be a range of distances and angles that sometimes are problematic for the analysis to perform correctly. The goal of this Technology Preview is to determine the proper range of values necessary to catch the critical conditions without producing an excessive amount of unnecessary warnings. For the lower tolerance value, the goal is to find the largest acceptable value; if the value is too small it will result in unnecessary warnings, if the value is too large it will miss conditions that might be a problem. For the upper tolerance value, the goal is to find the smallest acceptable value; if the value is too large it will result in unnecessary warnings, if the value is too small it will miss conditions that might be a problem.
If you find that the Datacheck is giving numerous unnecessary warnings, try tightening the tolerances; if it is missing problem conditions, try loosening the tolerances. Please report to us your experience with this feature so that we can finalize it and make it a regular part of the Datacheck.
Check this site periodically, the recommended values may change as testing and usage indicate better values.