SuperBeam: 2001 and earlier changes

Latest changes . 2012 . 2011 ... 2002 . -2001

Release 4.20d, Dec 2001

This mirrors a number of changes made during the final development of ProSteel 5, which is now shipping.

  1. The PDF extension is now added automatically to any PDF file name you enter that does not include it

  2. The quality of text alignment and the rendering of the beam diagrams in PDF files has been improved significantly.

  3. On systems with no printer installed you can now produce PDF files (previously the Print option was disabled)

  4. When 'printing' to a PDF file you can now select one copy allocation only (it made no sense to put more than one copy of the report(s) in one PDF file)

  5. If both bearings on a steel beam are identical, the details and/or calculations are not repeated; instead the printout says "R2: as R1"

  6. Pressing F3 in the beam edit dialog load table duplicates the current line

  7. For Beam B/F loads, the first standard load description was erroneously used by default: fixed - it now says 'Reaction B/F' as in pre-4.20a-c releases.

  8. The stanchion edit dialog now includes a separate field for the own weight of the member, particularly useful where the axial load is a B/F expression

  9. If a timber post had a moment on it, a spurious error message was shown - fixed

  10. In the timber post edit dialog moment field you can now enter 'W' to denote the load - this is of particular use where the load is a B/F expression. For example if the load on a 100mm post is assumed to act at the edge of the post, you can enter a moment expression of 'W x 0.05' [m.]

  11. A new Window menu option, Expand, [F8], expands the window without maximising it. This saves the 'flash' when swapping from one maximised window to another. The 'Zoom' button in the Project Manager has been replaced by one labelled 'Expand' which expands windows as selected. Another option, Window, Expand All, [Shift+F8], does what you might expect: you can then step through the expanded item windows with [F6] and [F7]

  12. The Project Manager now uses the default font (changeable in Configuration, Screen Fonts)

  13. Mouse wheel support has been added

  14. The default installation directory on virgin installations (i.e. no other SDA applications already installed) is to C:\Program Files\SDA

  15. Bug fixed that would cause repeated Access Violation errors on projects containing timber posts if Project Manager not visible

Release 4.20c, 29 Oct 2001

This fixes (this time properly) the problem with B/F loads on beams: the fix in 4.20b only worked for total load beams.

We have had a comment back from a user that the new bearing plate sizing calculation introduced in 4.20a is too conservative and gives a thicker plate thickness than is necessary. The suggestions made are:

  1. The plastic modulus (Sx) for the section should be used, rather than the elastic modulus (Zx), and

  2. In calculating the plate thickness two calculations should be done, one considering the plate thickness (only) and projection beyond the end of the beam flange, the second considering the projection beyond the stiff bearing length, but with the bending apportioned between the plate and beam flange in proportion to their Sx values.

However the method used is identical to that used to calculate the thickness of stanchion baseplates so it is hard to argue that a different approach should be used for beam bearing plates

We will be discussing this with the checking engineer who originally raised the comment that led to the program being changed; comments from other users would also be welcome. Please email us

Release 4.20b, 22 Oct 2001

This contain three fixes for problems reported by users:

  1. Various odd error messages reported by one user: fixed by compressing main program file with a newer version of UPX

  2. Using B/F beam load facility displayed error message: fixed

  3. Copying a steel beam, turning the copy into a timber beam, then pressing the Tile All button did not tile windows correctly: fixed

  4. Zx and Zy values for CHS and SHS columns could be shown as marginally different (due to the former being taken from tables, the latter being calculated): fixed - table value is used for these section types

Release 4.20a, 17 Oct 2001

Download the version 4.2 manual supplement (PDF 32K)

  1. Adobe Acrobat PDF file output option: When printing you can now choose whether to send the output to your printer or have it written to a PDF file. This will be particularly useful if you need to email a copy of your calculations to someone.

  2. Hollow section support: Steel beam and column design options now let you choose or check hot rolled hollow sections(user request)

  3. Web update option: For the period of your update cover you can now (assuming that you have Internet access) be able to download the latest release instead of waiting for your update disk to arrive

  4. Standard note library: Store all those standard notes you put at the end of your calculation sheets and recall them with a couple of mouse clicks.(user request)

  5. The beam load description field has been increased to 20 characters (on printouts, column widths are now adjusted to suit the maximum length of data entered in each column) (user request)

  6. Standard load descriptions (such as 'o.w.', 'wall', floor'): Just pick them from a drop down list - your decide the content (user request)

  7. If you enter a load and forget to enter the start and/or end positions, default values of 0 and L (part UDLs and VLs) and L/2 are entered - a warning message is displayed to tell you that this has been done. Previously the blank field was taken as 0 which meant that the load was ignored.(user request)

  8. The height of the beam load edit dialog can now be changed: increasing it shows more loads or makes the notes pane larger, depending on the page selected. (user request)

  9. For non-hollow steel beams, a check is now made on the unstiffened web capacity at supports. If the reaction is greater than this, the required stiff bearing length is calculated. If this cannot be provided, web stiffeners will be required (this is highly unlikely in domestic scale building structures) (user request)

  10. Steel bearing plate thicknesses are now calculated using the plate projection beyond the stiff bearing length across the section (taken as t + 1.6r + 2T). This will give a slightly greater plate thickness. (changed following query raised by checking authority)

  11. Bug fixed that caused a crash if you tried to calculate a beam bearing plate with a negative reaction at R1 (due to load on cantilever extension of beam)

  12. The steel check section dialog now remembers last sort order

  13. For stanchions you can now enter separate effective lengths for the major and minor axes.(user request)

  14. Where a stanchion includes moments calculated from applied reactions, a section schematic is now printed to make it clear which reaction is which. (user request - reinstates facility included in SuperBeam 2)

  15. Where a menu item has a toolbar equivalent the toolbar icon is shown on the menu

  16. The Project Manager can now be accessed from the keyboard: press [F12] and the focus jumps to the listbox, whose background turns yellow. Select an item with the Up and Down keys and press Enter to select it; press Tab to move round the buttons.

  17. The 'Combine load and section calculations' option has been removed from the Project Details dialog. Beam loads and steel or timber beam calculations are now always shown in one window,

  18. The 'keep windows on screen at all times' options have been removed from the Project Details dialog. When you close a window it is now always closed, not minimised. The old arrangement was a hangover from DOS days and has been redundant since the new style Project Manager was added

  19. We are now using UPX compression instead of Shrinker which makes the main program file much smaller - now only 575K!

Release 4.12e, 20 Apr 2001

This fixes a problem reported by one user: when using an earlier release of version 4.12 to read in an affected pre-version 4.12 project file, only the first part of the file is read in.

Release 4.12d, 12 Apr 2001

A few minor changes:

  1. Electing to change a project to/from Dead+Live loads then cancelling the operation was not handled correctly. This has been fixed.

  2. An extra indicator on the status bar shows 'Tot' or 'D+L' to indicate whether the current project uses total load or separate dead and live load entry

  3. If a the selected member size for a flitch beam is not suitable, the individual check(s) that fail were marked with the usual '!!!', but in earlier 4.12 releases the failure message was not shown at the bottom of the printout or in the item hint window.

Release 4.12b, 23 Mar 2001

This fixes two small bugs that have surfaced in release 4.12a:

  1. R2 bearing width spin button in beam edit dialog changed R1 width

  2. Closing a project having displayed a beam load diagram containing one or more point loads could cause an Access Violation error (fix redone in v.4.12c)

Release 4.12a, 15 Mar 2001

The key change in this release is a completely rewritten flitch beam module which includes bolting calculations. There are also significant 'under the skin' changes throughout the program which should improve speed and stability. Other changes and fixes

  1. The 'Latest Information' text is now issued in HTML format, also accessible through a separate entry on the Start Menu, Programs, SDA Applications menu.

  2. Right clicking on calculation windows now puts up a popup menu containing the most likely options.

  3. If you change a project from total loads to separate dead + live loads (or vice versa) this is now handled much better, particularly if you have any B/F load expressions. We would still advise you to check you data very carefully if you make such a change.

  4. Beam and stanchion notes containing line breaks were erroneously reformatted when the project was reloaded - fixed.

  5. Numeric entry fields in the beam and stanchion edit dialogs now allow you to enter data in a more conventional manner, instead of calculator style (numbers entered from right).

  6. If you click on a disabled tab in the beam edit dialog you are now asked whether you wish to change the beam type (e.g. from loads only to timber)

  7. A bug that could prevent beam load entry being correctly accepted has been fixed.

  8. All the fields on the Bearings page of the beam edit dialog now have spinners next to them.

  9. Timber beam calculations now show bending, shear and deflection in that order (as steel beams) instead of bending, deflection, shear.

  10. The post edit dialog has been redesigned slightly so that the grade, number of members and K3 loading duration boxes appear in the same order as on the timber page of the beam edit dialog.

  11. Timber post and stud calculation sheets now show the grade next to the member size, and if you have entered the width as (for example) '2No50' it is shown this way on the printout (as for beams)

  12. The Paths and Files page of the User Setup dialog now includes a button which automatically creates a program shortcut icon on your Windows desktop

  13. The calculator now includes inverse trig functions and lets you select the number of decimal points in the output.

  14. The Catalogue option was skipping files containing OLE pages - fixed.

We will progressively be sending copies of this version to all users with current update cover. If you regularly use the flitch beam option please contact us for priority replacement. If you no longer have current update cover please check our ordering information page to see the cost of taking out a fresh 12 month's cover.

Releases 3.03d/4.11c, 30 Nov 2000

This fixes one bug and adds one small enhancement:

  1. Once you accessed the steel check dialog other edit dialogs could appear when they should not have done - fixed

  2. The 'Details' field in the bearings dialog can now be used to enter a one-line note relating to padstone or bearing plate details.


And some key enhancements from earlier years

  • 4.12a: 8 March 2001: Flitch beam checking routines rewritten

  • 4.10a: 1 June 2000: Beam loading diagram and ability to print diagrams added

  • 4.02a 23 November 1999: Docked Project Manager added

  • 4.00h : 5 June 1999: OLE object pages added

  • SuperBeam 3/4: December 1998: First Windows versions for Windows 3.1 and Windows 95/98 systems respectively

  • 2.60a: 12 November 1998: Column design and checking added

  • 2.52b: 7 November 1997: Fixes bug that stops earlier releases of SuperBeam 2 running on Pentium 233 or faster

  • 2.51a: 13 February 1997: C16 and C24 timber grades substituted for SC3/SC4: Windows installer first used

  • 2.50a: 10 October 1995: Variable load type added. B/F load facility added

  • 2.10: April 1994: Checking of beams extended as cantilevers added

  • SuperBeam 2: July 1993: Concept of a project with multiple items introduced (with SuperBeam 1 you checked or designed one beam at a time, saved it, then did the next one)

  • 1.50: March 1991: Flitch beam and steel beam bearing design added

  • 1.41: July 1990: Steel stresses revised in accordance with BS449 Amendment 8 (AMD6255)

  • 1.40: Facility to save beam loads to disk added (in the earliest versions you checked a beam, printed the calculation and once you started a new one or exited it was lost)

  • 1.20: July 1989: User text page option added

  • 1.12: April 1989: First copy of SuperBeam sold


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