EuroBeam - Eurocode-based beam design software

British Standards and Eurocodes compared

Eurocodes EC3 and EC5 compared with BS449, BS528 and BS5950

The following examples compare the load carrying capacities of various members when checked using SuperBeam (BS449/BS5268), ProSteel (BS5950) and EuroBeam (EC3/EC5). In each case member capacities are stated as dead+live, kN/m for beams and kN for columns. They have been calculated using equation 6.10b, i.e. factors of 1.25 (dead) and 1.5 (live), as against 1.4/1.6 in BS5950. With unrestrained steel beams, a C1 factor of 1.12 has been used.

In each case - glulam beams excepted - the highest member capacity is arrived at when using Eurocodes. Remember though - as David Brown of SCI has noted many times - that changing the code used does not make a member any stronger: what these figures show is that using Eurocodes allows higher loadings and/or the use of lighter sections by reducing what was presumably judged to be an unnecessarily high factor of safety.

4m span restrained steel beam, 254x146x31 UB S275 15.8+15.8 18.0+18.0 19.6+19.6
Required S275 UB for load of 15.8+15.8 254x146x31 305x102x28 305x102x28
4m span unrestrained steel beam, 254x146x31 UB S275 9.4+9.4 10.1+10.1 14.4+14.4
4m span, lightest S275 UB for load of 9.4+9.4 254x146x31 254x146x31 203x133x30
5m span, lightest S275 UB for load of 20.0+20.0 457x191x67 356x171x67 406x178x54
Axially loaded steel column, 3m long, 152x152x23 UC S275 157.5+157.5 154.9+154.9 169.1+169.1
Cap connection column 5m long, bending about major axis, 203x133x25 UB S275 38.4+38.4 46.5+46.5 48.7+48.7
Solid C24 timber beam, 115x270, 5m span long term loading (bending) 8.5+8.5 N/A 10.5+10.5
C30 beam 115x270 as above 12.4+12.4 N/A 13.2+13.2
GL28c glulam beam 115x270 (6x45) as above 16.4+16.4 N/A 13.8+13.8
Note that when using BS5268, glulam is significantly stronger than solid timber; using EC5 the difference is minimal
GL28c glulam beam 115x450 (10x45) 8m span, otherwise as above 26.0+26.0 N/A 22.8+22.8

E&OE: more examples to follow