Software Comparison


Comparison

The following table compares the features of spBeam 5.xx and its predecessors pcaBeam and PCA-Beam.


FEATURE

PCA-Beam
v1.01

pcaBeam
v1.51

pcaBeam
v2.0x

pcaBeam
v2.5x

spBeam
v3.xx
spBeam
v5.xx

General

Operating System

Microsoft Windows 3.1 or above. Compatibility issues with 32 bit platform.

Microsoft Windows 98 or above. Fully compatible with 32 bit platform

Microsoft Windows XP, Vista, and Windows 7 (32/64 bit) Microsoft Windows Vista SP2, and Windows 7/8/10 (32/64 bit)

Evaluation Version

No

Yes

Electronic documentation

WinHelp (.HLP)

 

WinHelp (.HLP)
Context Sensitive


Manual (.PDF)

WinHelp (.HLP) - XP
(Context
Sensitive)
HtmlHelp
(.CHM) – Vista
(Not Context
Sensitive)
Manual (.PDF)
HtmlHelp (.CHM) (Context Sensitive)
Manual (.PDF)

Printed Documentation

Printed Manual

On demand

Floating Toolbar

No

Yes

Status bar

No

Yes

Auto Input (Wizard)

Yes. Forward functionality only

Yes. Works in both directions

Input Data File Format

PCA-Beam (.BMS)

spSlab/pcaSlab (.SLB)
PCA-Beam v1.x (.BMS) File Import Filter

Input Data Examples

2

Over 40

Long File Names

No

Yes

Recent Files Menu

No

Yes

Modeling and Calculation

Concrete Design Code ACI 318

1989

2002
1999
 

2005
2002
1999
2011*
2008
2005
2002
1999

*spBeam v3.5

2014
2011
2008
2005
2002
1999

Concrete Design Code CSA A23.3

1994

1994 1994
2004
2014
2004
1994

Metric Units

Yes

Yes

US customary units

Yes

Yes

Investigation mode

Yes

Yes

Reinforcing Bar Tables

ASTM A615 U.S. Bar Sizes
ASTM A615 Metric Bar Sizes
CSA G30.18 Metric Bar Sizes

ASTM A615 - U.S. Bar Sizes
ASTM A615 - Metric Bar Sizes
CSA G30.18 - Metric Bar Sizes
prEN 10080 - Eurocode Metric
User Defined

Torsion Analysis and Design

No

Yes

Moment Redistribution

Yes

Yes

Maximum Number of Spans

14

20

Cantilevers

Yes. Always present in a model.

Yes. Selectable.

Load Cases

3, Fixed: Dead, Live, Lateral

Up to 6, Default:
Self, Dead, Live, Wind, EQ
Up to 6, Default:
Self, Dead, Live, Snow, Wind, EQ
Load Combinations

3

Up to 20 Up to 50
Self-weight Automatically Computed

Yes

Yes Yes
(Optional)

 

Lateral Load Cases

Yes.
One lateral load case only.

Yes. Multiple lateral load cases possible

Loads per load case (DL or LL)

Up to 100 partial loads.

Up to 100 partial loads.

Pattern live loading

Yes

Yes

Number of segments per span

20

Up to 100.
Variable segment lengths depending on span geometry.

Proportioning of Longitudinal Reinforcement for Combined Flexure, Shear, and Torsion No No Yes
(CSA A23.3-04/14 only with M-V-T Design option)

Compression Reinforcement

No

Yes

Displacements Instantaneous Instantaneous Instantaneous
Long-term

Visualization and Reporting

Geometry View - Isometric

Yes

Yes

Geometry View - Plan

Yes

Yes

Geometry View - Elevation

Yes

Yes

Geometry View - Side

No

Yes

Bending Moment Graph

Yes. Selectable for single span.

Yes. Selectable for whole structure or single span.

Moment Capacity Graph

No

Yes. Selectable for whole structure or single span. Each strip shown individually.

Longitudinal Reinforcement Capacity Graph for Combined Flexure, Shear, and Torsion No No Yes
(CSA A23.3-04 only with M-V-T Design option)

Shear Force Graph

Yes. Selectable for single span.

Yes. Selectable for whole structure or single span.

Shear Capacity Graph

No

Yes. Combined with Shear Force Graph.

Reactions Envelope values of column moments at joints Column reactions at joints and far ends for all load cases (including patterns) Column reactions at joints and far ends and spring reactions for all load cases (including patterns) and all load combinations (including patterns)
Cracked section properties Yes No Yes (extensive info)

Deflection Graph

Yes. Selectable for single span.

Yes. Selectable for whole structure or single span.

Longitudinal and transverse
reinforcement graph

No

Yes. Selectable for whole structure or single span.

Surface Loads Graph

Yes. Fixed for whole structure.

Yes. Selectable for whole structure or single span.

Dead Loads Graph

Yes. Fixed for whole structure

Yes. Selectable for whole structure or single span.

Live Loads Graph

Yes. Fixed for whole structure

Yes. Selectable for whole structure or single span. Yes. Selectable for a load pattern and whole structure or single span.
Units Shown on Load Graph No No Yes

Graphical Screen Copy

No

Yes. Can be saved as bitmap (.BMP) or metafile (.EMF).

Graph Customization (popup menu)

No

Yes

Print Preview

No

Yes. Available for graphical windows.

Zoom Window

Yes. Only geometry view windows.

Yes

Zoom In / Zoom Out

No

Yes

Panning

No

Yes

Selectable angles for isometric view

Yes

Yes

Rotating and panning
using key strokes

No

Yes

Selective view of structural members

Yes

Yes

Text Report

Yes. Page layout customizable
before executing calculations.

No font selection.

Yes. Page layout customizable after executing calculations. Font can be selected.

Segmental Output for Internal Forces and Deflections

Yes

Yes

Segmental Output for Longitudinal Reinforcement No No Yes

Text Screen Copy

No

Yes

Text Report File

Yes. ASCII text file (.OUT )
Generated during execution of calculations.

Yes. ASCII text file (.OUT )
Generated on viewing the results report window.

Customization

User-controlled color settings

Yes

Yes

User-controlled default data directory

Yes

Yes

User-controlled default design code

Yes

Yes

User-controlled default rebar table

No

Yes