2 Replies Latest reply on Jan 21, 2015 11:12 AM by Ryan McVay

    Best Practice For Structural Steel Weights

    Andre Nguyen

      Hello, I'd like to ask the community a question on best practice to determine structural steel weights.


      I have modeled plates, HSS and W sections structural steel railing (approx 33 meters in length) as part of an assembly in solidworks using a combination of weldments and parts.  I can determine the weight of the structure by assigning a material from the SW library, however I've found that in the past the weights from the library tend to be low so I've taken to creating a custom material with a manually calibrated density.


      The client has requested a tolerance of +/- 0.5 kg for the entire assembly. 


      I realize SW will calculate the mass based on volume, therefore the value will be highly dependent on density.  The weight also does not take into account things such weight from the welding itself. 


      Could anyone suggest a best practice to compute the weight of a large structural steel assembly?

        • Re: Best Practice For Structural Steel Weights
          Mike Pogue

          One place to start would be to find all of your manufacturing tolerances, all of you stock section tolerances, then compute the volume for MMC and LMC. Then find out the tolerance on density, and compute you max weight and min weight. You'll also need to get all of your bolts and weld beads with such a tight tolerance. However, that is a lot of work, and will probably not yield good results.


          I might just add lightening holes or steel weights after assembly, assuming you can weigh it. Then you can tweak the CG at the same time.

          • Re: Best Practice For Structural Steel Weights
            Ryan McVay

            I would first ensure that the values you are using for your structural shapes are the design dimensions and not the rounded detail dimensions. This can cause all sorts of headaches for you. Check out the AISC website where you can download some tools (xls) with the current acceptable values for steel shapes.