Working with Sections

There are several ways to create a Section Window such as: create a new section with the Section Wizard, open an existing section (cfss) file, or open a section from a section library (cfsl) file. The section window contains a graphic of the cross sectional shape.

All the inputs for a section are contained in the Section Inputs window. These inputs are grouped into four categories, each on a separate tab in the window. The Section Tab contains inputs that apply to the entire section. The Part Tab contains inputs that apply to each individual part. The Elements Tab contains inputs that define the elements for each part. The Direct Strength Tab conatins factors applied with the Direct Strength Method.

Many useful editing features are available to quickly modify shapes. In addition to ordinary cut, copy, paste, insert, and delete functions, you may also rotate and mirror parts and entire sections, add stiffening ribs to elements of a section, and generate the second half of a symmetrical part. You may also undo the last change you make. See the Edit menu.

A section also has a specific set of material properties associated with it. These properties are defined on the Section Tab, and apply to all parts in the section. CFS provides several carbon steel and stainless steel material types to choose from. Additionally, you may define a custom carbon steel or custom stainless steel material for a section.

There are several computations that may be performed for a section. These are accessed from the Compute menu. Full and net section properties are computed using the Properties command. The fully braced strength is computed using the Strength command. A member check can be performed using the Member Check command. This check requires some additional inputs defining the member parameters and the internal forces. A web crippling check can be performed using the Web Crippling command. This check also requires some additional inputs defining parameters and loads. The Torsion Properties command provides key properties for calculating torsional stresses. And finally, a finite strip elastic buckling analysis can be performed on any section containing one part.