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Software Program that designs base plates supported on Leveling Nuts and not a grout pad.

Software Program that designs base plates supported on Leveling Nuts and not a grout pad.

Software Program that designs base plates supported on Leveling Nuts and not a grout pad.

I work in the Utility industry for a consulting engineering company. We are trying to find a software program that designs base plates that are supported on leveling nuts, not base plates that are supported on grout.

In the past we have always developed internal spreadsheets to run these calculations and they have worked fine. However, as codes change and the design equations need updating these spreadsheets require modifications. Again this is no big problem but when the engineer who built a number of these spreadsheet leaves the company it leaves the remaining engineers piecing through excel commands trying to determine the best way to update the spreadsheets. One work around would be to purchase a software program that can perform these calculation and the software company would be responsible to update the design equations for current codes. So that is what I am looking into

What we are hoping to find is a software package that can design the following with simple inputs from the user:

1) Designs a square base plate that typically supports a Square HSS section. This base plate will be supported on Leveling Nuts which are threaded onto anchor bolts cast into a drilled pier foundation.
2) Designs the weld between the square base plate and square HSS section, for the inputted loads.
3) Designs the required size of the supporting anchor bolts for the imputed loads.
3) Designs the required embedment depth for the anchor bolts

All of the steel calculations need to have the option of designing in ASD or LRFD.

Does anyone know of such a software program that does some if not all of the tasks listed above?


RE: Software Program that designs base plates supported on Leveling Nuts and not a grout pad.

Contact the support team for this software. It's probably a possibility.


RE: Software Program that designs base plates supported on Leveling Nuts and not a grout pad.

This one is another option you might want to check:

RE: Software Program that designs base plates supported on Leveling Nuts and not a grout pad.

I've designed base plates on leveling nuts in the utility industry for many years, and I'm not sure if there is any industry standard software. I chair the ASCE 113 committee and we are revising this guide right now and are tackling the base plate design problem. Traditionally ASCE 10 and ASCE 48 have allowed you to neglect anchor rod bending if the gap between the bottom of the base plate and top of the concrete foundation is less than 2 times the nominal bolt diameter.

Base plate design has always been up to Engineering judgment and depending on a canned program to tell you how thick a plate to use will probably give you some very thick plates. When you get down to the minutia of plate bending stresses, you can mesh up a FEM and apply the loads to the member that is loading up the plate and then look at the stress at the nodes. I use GTSTRUDL which has a Base Plate Wizard that will allow you to connect most any structural shape to the plate and it will automatically mesh up the plate and you then run the analysis and it will tell you the max stress at each node and report any nodes above yield.

Using this method you can ensure that no node in the mesh is above yield but it does not capture the average stress on a bending plane through the maximum stress point because of stress concentration points. Yes, you can make the plate thicker until the max stress is below yield, but when your HSS tube is welded to a 4 inch thick plate because you used this method, your competitor may have picked a 2" plate using a hand calculation with an assumed bending plane.

Using the fundamentals of Engineering to design plates and documenting the design in a spreadsheet, Mathcad, or some other tool is what makes Engineering fun for me anyway. If you work for a fabricator, and design structures daily to satisfy a bid request, then you may have to develop your methods based on accepted principles in the AISC, ASCE 48, or ASCE 113.

The anchor bolt embedment length is a joint problem between the foundation designer and the structural designer. As the ACI changes the code for development length, your anchor bolts (nut on the bottom) have to develop the vertical bars in the foundation.

Our utility industry is a very niche part of the design of structures. The building and bridge design folks that put huge OLF on the loads because they cannot accept any structural failure, dominate the AISC and ASCE. You don't want a building to fail and kill people and they start looking for people to sue. If one of our T-Line or Substation structures fall down in an extreme event, we go out and see what might have caused it and we restore power as quickly as possible so you can go charge your iPhone. Loss of life rarely happens when one of our structures fall over. We keep designing with lower OLF to keep the costs down for electricity.


I have been called "A storehouse of worthless information" many times.

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