Tata Steel launches Eurocode compliant ‘ComFlor® 9′ Composite Floor Design Software
The new Tata Steel composite floor design software ‘ComFlor® 9’ which is now Eurocode compliant has been developed by the Steel Construction Institute (SCI) and is now available to the design engineer. This blog introduces the new design software and highlights the main changes from the previous British Standard compliant design software Comdek.
The ComFlor® 9 software analyses the Tata Steel’s range of deep (e.g. ComFlor® 225) and shallow (e.g. ComFlor® 51+, 60, and ComFlor® 80) decks in composite floor construction. ComFlor® 9 is the first update to this widely used Comdek software since 2009, and presents a major step forward in terms of both usability and functionality.
The most obvious enhancements involve the user interface, which features a modern style, more logical layout, and improved user feedback. Cross-section and general arrangement graphics are generated parametrically as the project is defined. Concentrated loads are shown on a plan view of the deck, graphs of forces and deflections are shown alongside the results summary.
The key features of ComFlor® 9 are:
Design to the Eurocodes, including localisation for UK, Ireland and The Netherlands,
Customised deck profile selections for multiple design locations worldwide; selection of a region will present the profiles currently available in that region.
The new Eurocode design option is in accordance with EN1991, EN1993, and EN1994 as implemented by local National Annexes and includes:
Bending resistance using either ‘m&k’ approach or the partial interaction method.
Selection of load category and automatic population of corresponding psi factors.
Fire design to NCCI PN005c-GB, which includes design of both bar reinforced and mesh-only composite floors.
Explicit specification of slab continuity at the composite stage.
Design to BS5950 provides matching functionality with the previous Comdek.
When using ComFlor® 9, the first choice should be design code and location. Defaults are Eurocode, and United Kingdom, which will provide Eurocode design to the UK National Annexes and the profile range available in the UK.
The description of the design inputs required by the designer can be broken down into the 4 selector tabs, namely the Structure, Loading, Design and Results Tab.
Screen shot of the ComFlor® 9 software showing the ‘structure’ tab
The first tab is used to specify the general arrangement of the slab; a new feature here is the separate specification of the profile span type and the concrete span type. The concrete span type is used to determine continuity of the slab for fire limit state calculations.
When the deck is specified as single span, the designer has the choice of either single, end or internal concrete span type. When the deck is specified as either double or multi span, the designer has the choice of either end or internal concrete span type. Slab reinforcement is also specified on this tab.
Loading is specified on the next tab. It is now possible to specify point loads and parallel load separately. Construction stage loading is automatically included in the analysis, which runs several load arrangements in order to identify the critical case for each construction stage design check.
The final input design tab is used to specify design control parameters. Fire design can be carried out to ‘Fire Mesh and Deck Method’ which is mesh-only design including a tensile contribution from the deck profile, or ‘Fire Bar Method’ which uses bar reinforcement only and ignores any contribution for the deck profile. Composite bending resistance can be calculated using either the ‘m&k’ method or the partial interaction method. The partial interaction method is introduced with the Eurocodes. The bending resistance based on the design longitudinal shear resistance from tests is evaluated at multiple locations along the span; this is compared to the design bending moment to establish the critical location.
Running an analysis will make the results tab available which displays the critical unity factor, together with a detailed break-down of results for each design criteria. A printed report is also available which provides a more detailed breakdown of the calculations. ‘Help Topics’ can be found within the drop-down box of the ‘Help’ tab, which provides a detailed description of the design methodologies used within the design software. Both designs to BS 5950 and Eurocode are described here. Within BS5950 help file, the following subjects are provided: Loading, ULS checks, Fire Design (including Fibre Design within Comdek), SLS Checks and treatment of unequal spans. For Eurocode design, the list is more detailed, whereby the following subjects are provided: nationally determined parameters, material properties, construction stage loading/load arrangements/moment resistance/shear/SLS verification, normal stage loading/moment resistance/longitudinal and vertical shear/punching shear and Fire Limit State.
Default parameters sets are provided which are compatible with each design and location, however ComFlor® 9 also provides a template option, providing immediate startup with the users preferred parameter set.
ComFlor® used in Union Square car park
ComFlor® 9 presents a major step forward in terms of underlying technology, being the first version of ComFlor® to be wholly based on the Microsoft.NET framework, providing assured compatibility with the latest Microsoft operating system.
Should you require any further support or assistance regarding the use of ComFlor® 9 please contact:
Mark Davies ComFlor Manager (BEng MRes)
Tata Building Systems UK
Tel: +44 (0) 1244 89 2131 (direct)
Mob: +44 (0) 7917 210257