INSTANT steel application involves different utilities that can either be used individually or combined. These utilities are the following:
- The main part that is used in order to define the topology and the analysis data (INSTANT – Linear 3D). In this menu the user defines the topology, selects the sections for the static model and also defines the different loading cases in order to run the analysis for the structure.
- The second part is referred to the results obtained from the analysis of the above step (INSTANT – Results). In this menu, the user can define the seismic loading and the run of the spectral analysis. In addition, the user can create the combinations for the number of loading cases that has defined in the above step and create an envelope for different set of combinations. In this menu are also presented to the user the internal forces of the beam elements, the nodal displacements and the nodes reactions from the analysis that took place in this step.
- The third part includes the presentation of the results and the model topology (INSTANT – Reports). Here the user makes selections to obtain detailed or summary reports regarding the model topology and also the results obtained from the analysis for the specified members and nodes.
- The next part involves the member design of the members (INSTANT – EC3 Members). In this menu, the user can define the member topology and perform dimensioning of the specified members according to EC3 regulations. The results from the dimensioning of the members are presented in a table or in a detailed format – report. This utility can be used either together with the above INSTANT steel applications or separately. In the latter case, the user defines the member data (length, section, quality) and the loading cases of the specified member in order to continue with the dimensioning of the member.
- The part that involves the member design of Cold Formed Sections (INSTANT – EC3 Cold Formed Member Design) according to EC3 regulations. The only difference from the above part is that the sections must be Cold Formed Sections in order to take place the dimensioning of the user defined member.
- The last part involves the dimensioning of the user defined steel connections (INSTANT – EC3 Connections). In this menu, the user can select from a variety of steel connection library the appropriate type of connection in order to design the selected connection according to EC3 regulations. All the basic types of steel connections are included in the library. The results from the dimensioning of the connections are presented in a Table or in a detailed format – report. This utility can be used either together with the above INSTANT steel applications or separately. In the latter case, the user defines the connection type, describes the connection topology and the loading cases of the specified connection in order to continue with the dimensioning.
Image: The main window of INSTANT steel – Linear 3D
In INSTANT steel – Linear the user can use different methods in order to define a model topology. One method is to start by initially fully defining a single frame in 2D and then proceeding to multiply it along the structure axis and assembling it in the complete 3D model. In the case of standardized structures, there is a module that can allow the definition of parametric templates to further enhance this process. However, the most direct and general method is the definition of the model in full 3D from the start. In order to fully define a model, the user can follow the order of menu commands presented in the “Data” menu, or the corresponding toolbar shown below.
Image: One of the toolbars on the Linear 3D window
The steps that will be taken in order to create a structural model in the INSTANT steel application suite are the following:
Structure topology (geometry)
- Beam attributes
- Degrees of freedom
- Static loads
- Modal analysis
- Dynamic loads
Image: Right side of structure topology
The measurement units used during data entry are displayed in the lower right part of the screen, in the status bar as shown above. They can be changed at any time using the Options > Units menu, or the toolbar icon, or by a left click on the status bar units text.
Image: Units window
Each of the icons shown previously is associated with groups of commands that become accessible on the vertical toolbar appearing to the right of the screen when a command is selected.