FAQs


General | Network | spColumn | spSlab | spMats | spWall | spBeam | spFrame

What is the difference between spMats and pcaMats?

pcaMats, also formerly known as MATS, was renamed spMats to better relate and support the registered trade name of the publisher, StructurePoint, formerly the PCA's Engineering Software Group.

What method does the program use?

spMats uses the plate-bending theory and the Finite Element Method (FEM) to model the behavior of the mat or slab

Which design codes are supported?

Currently, the codes ACI 318-14/11/08/05/02 and CSA A23.3-14/04/94 are supported and they are easily interchangeable. For information on supported codes please visit spMats features.

What units are supported in spMats?

English and Metric unit systems are supported, and they are easily interchangeable.

Can I change the material properties for different elements?

Yes, you may change the material properties from element to element along with design criteria and other features.

How can I show node numbers and element numbers on my grid view?

Option 1: Right click on the main model window, and select Show Node Numbers or Show Element Numbers from the pop-up menu.
Option 2: From the menu, select Options | Display... and check Show Node Numbers or Show Element Numbers.

I checked Display Node Numbers and Display Element Numbers, but I still cannot see them on grid view. Why?

You may not have any finite elements. Please assign thickness to grid cells in the grid view first and they will become visible.

What is the relationship between grid lines and finite elements?

A grid line cell (empty rectangular space surrounded by grid line) is a potential finite element. Assigning a thickness to a grid cell turns it into a finite element that can then receive additional design parameters such as steel and concrete properties as well as soil support data.

What are the directions of the rebar Asx and Asy?

Asx refers to the rebar in the X-direction (parallel to X-axis). Asy refers to the rebar in the Y-direction (parallel to Y-axis).

Does the program check punching shear around columns and piles?

Yes. Punching shear around columns and piles are checked in version 6.0 and higher. One way shear is not checked by the program and additional hand calculation may be required if needed.

What is the maximum amount of nodes and load combinations?

spMats can accommodate up to 65,000 nodes and up to 255 service and ultimate load combinations with 26 basic load cases.

What type of load can be transferred from a column or a wall to a mat foundation?

Axial loads can be modeled as concentrated loads (in Z-direction). Overturning moments can be applied to the interface of a column or a wall and mat foundation.

How can I model the in-plane (X-Y mat plane) force transferred from a column or a wall to mat foundation?

In-plane forces are not applicable in spMats models. Hand calculations are required to document that their negligible effect on concrete and steel stresses may be needed.

How do I limit the output of my results for printing purposes?

After solving, click the View Results tab. From there, you can select the type and range for the results you'd like to print.

How can I export my results to a file?

Select Solve on the left toolbar, and then select the Report tab. Select Print to File rather than Print to Printer. Type in a path and file name for the output file (e.g., C:\MyResults\Mats_1.txt). Press the Print button. The saved file is a plain text file that can be opened and edited by any word processing software (e.g., Wordpad).

Why does spMats freeze after analysis completion? And why don't contours show up right away?

When running larger models on a network drive, output results storage/retrieval may be delayed. It is recommended to run the model locally for fastest response.