Powered by the advanced and flexible graphical interface of new spSection Module for creating and modifying irregular sections, spColumn v5.50 is widely used for design and investigation of columns, shear walls, bridge piers as well as typical framing elements in buildings and other structures. Equipped with latest American (ACI 318-14) and Canadian (CSA A23.3-14) Concrete codes, spColumn is developed to design and investigate any reinforced concrete sections subject to combined axial and flexural loads. Formerly pcaColumn, PCACOL, and IrrCOL, spColumn investigates sections that are impossible to find on design charts or to do by hand. The section can be rectangular, round or irregular, with any reinforcement layout or pattern. The program offers investigation of irregularly shaped, reinforced concrete column sections that may contain openings or boundary elements. Top selling worldwide, spColumn provides a full featured 3D visualization of the nominal and factored failure surface. Import/export of DXF files, nominal interaction diagrams, and display of capacities at your load point are just a few of the rich program features.

spColumn - User Interface
spColumn Interface
New spSection - User Interface
spSection Interface
Reinforced Concrete Column Systems
Based on Slenderness
Slender Column – Sway Frame
Slender Column – Sway Frame
Slender Column – Nonsway Frame
Slender Column – Nonsway Frame
Slenderness to be Considered




Short Column
Short column
Slenderness NOT to be Considered
Based on Loading
Column under axial loading only
Column under axial loading only
Run axis - About X-Axis or Y-Axis if both section and reinforcement are symmetric




Column under axial loading plus biaxial bending
Column under axial loading plus biaxial bending
Run axis - Biaxial, regardless of section and/or reinforcement being symmetric
Column under axial loading plus bending
Column under axial loading plus bending
Run axis - About X-Axis or Y-Axis if both section and reinforcement are symmetric




Column under axial loading plus biaxial bending
Column under axial loading plus biaxial bending
Run axis - Biaxial, if either section or reinforcement are unsymmetrical regardless of loading being biaxial
Based on Shape
Square Column
Square Column
Rectangular Column
Rectangular Column
Circular Column
Circular Column
Regular Shape Column Sections - Design or Investigation Mode




Oval Shaped Column
Oval Shaped Column
Rectangular Tube Column
Rectangular Tube Column
U-Shaped Precast Trench
U-Shaped Precast Trench
Irregular Shape Column Sections - Investigation Mode
Based on Reinforcement Layout
All Sides Equal Option
All Sides Equal Option
Design reinforcement by maintaining equal number of bars on all sides
Equal Spacing Option
Equal Spacing Option
Design reinforcement by maintaining nearly equal bar spacing on all sides
Sides Different Option
Sides Different Option
In design number of top/bottom bars can be different than number of bars on sides
Regular Pattern Reinforcement - Design or Investigation Mode




Irregular Pattern Reinforcement
Irregular Pattern Reinforcement
Investigation Mode Only
Based on Confinement Type
Confinement: Spiral
Confinement: Spiral
Determines capacity reduction factors based on "Spiral" confinement
Confinement: Tied
Confinement: Tied
Determines capacity reduction factors based on "Tied" confinement
Confinement: Other
Confinement: Other
Deterimes capacity reduction factors based on "Other" confinement
Based on Application
Building Columns
Building Columns
Square column
Building Columns
Rectangular Column
Building Columns
Circular Column




Shear Walls




Bridges




Piers/Pilasters




Sound Walls




Architectural Columns




Beams
L-Beam
L-Beam
T-Beam
T-Beam
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Analysis & Design
Section Analysis

The analysis of the reinforced concrete section performed by spColumn conforms to the provisions of the Strength Design Method (CSA A23.3) and Unified Design Provisions (ACI 318). All conditions of strength satisfy the applicable conditions of equilibrium and strain compatibility.

Analysis of Reinforced Section
Analysis of Reinforced Concrete Section
Reduction Factors

For the ACI codes, the nominal (unreduced) capacity of the section is first computed. Then, the nominal capacity is reduced to the design capacity using the strength reduction factor, Φ.

Reduction Factors for Flexural and Axial Capacity per ACI code
Reduction Factors for Flexural and Axial Capacity per ACI code
Section Investigation

spColumn computes the interaction diagram (uniaxial runs) or the three-dimensional failure surface (biaxial runs) of the input section. The values of maximum compressive axial load capacity and maximum tensile load capacity are computed. These two values set the range within which the moment capacities are computed for a predetermined number of axial load values.

  1. For uniaxial runs, positive and negative moment capacities about only the selected axis are computed. Moment capacities about the orthogonal axis are ignored. To compute the moment capacity at a certain level of axial load, the neutral axis angle is held constant, parallel to the selected axis. The neutral axis depth is adjusted to arrive at the desired axial load capacity. This is done for all the predetermined values of axial load.

  2. For biaxial runs, the same predetermined values of axial load are utilized. For each level of axial load, the section is rotated in 10-degree increments from 0 degrees to 360 degrees and the Mx and My moment capacities are computed. Thus for each level of axial load, an Mx-My contour is developed. Repeating this for the entire range of axial loads, the three-dimensional failure surface is computed. A three-dimensional visualization of the resulting entire nominal and factored failure surface is provided to support enhanced understanding of the section capacity.
Interaction Surface for Combined Axial Load and Biaxial Bending
Interaction Surface for Combined Axial Load and Biaxial Bending
Section Design

Based on the specified minimum, maximum and increment specified for the section and the reinforcing bars, the program selects the smallest section with the least amount of reinforcement for which the load-moment capacity exceeds the applied loads. Depending on the design criteria the user selects, the least amount of reinforcement the program searches for means either the smallest number of bars or the smallest steel area.

The program starts the design by trying the smallest section (minimum dimensions) and the least amount of reinforcing bars. The program verifies that the ratio of provided reinforcement is always within the specified minimum and maximum ratios. Furthermore, unless otherwise specified by the user, the bar spacing is always kept greater than or equal to the larger of 1.5 times the bar diameter or 1.5 in. [40 mm] for ACI and 1.4 times the bar diameter or 1.2 in [30 mm] for CSA.

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Results Output
Graphical Output
P-M Diagram - Full
P-M Diagram - M Positive
P-M Diagram - M Negative
Mx-My Diagram [Biaxial Runs Only]
3D View [Biaxial Runs Only]
Text Output
Slenderness
Moment Magnification Factors
Factored Moment due to First-Order and Second-order Effects
Factored Loads and Moments with Corresponding Capacities
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Advanced Features
Slenderness Effects

Slenderness effects producing magnified moments through moment magnification procedure (ACI 318-14, 6.6.4, CSA A23.3-14, 10.15, 10.16) can be considered both for design and investigation of sections in lieu of complicated and time consuming 3D analytical models.

Slenderness - Design Column Menu
Slenderness - Design Column Menu
 
Sway and Nonsway Frame

Since ACI 318-08 moments in compression members in sway frames are magnified both at ends (ACI 318-14, 6.6.4.6) and along the length (ACI 318-14, 6.6.4.5). In ACI 318-02/05, and CSA A23.3-94/04/14, magnification along length applied only if lu/r > [35/sqrt(Pu/(f’c*Ag))]. Moments in compression members in nonsway frames are magnified along the length only. See flowchart below.

Flowchart for determining column slenderness effects
Flowchart for determining column slenderness effects* (References to ACI 318-11 and ACI 318-08

* Excerpt from " Observations in Shear Wall Strength in Tall Buildings" presented by StructurePoint at ACI Spring 2012 Convention in Dallas, Texas

The above mentioned procedure is now shown in ACI 318-14 with a flowchart (ACI 318-14, Fig. R6.2.6).

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Additional 20% discount available for multi-product bundle purchase spMats, spBeam, spColumn, spSlab, spWall, spFrame (formerly pcaMats, pcaBeam, pcaColumn, pcaSlab, pcaWall, pcaFrame). Email us at info@StructurePoint.org for more information on pricing and licensing.