Good model and result visualization leads to better understanding and correct interpretation of any data model compared to texts or tables. With the help of Coloring by section feature, you will be able to switch to a new model view where the members get colours from their cross-section type. Watch the feature preview below and learn how to use the Coloring to make your model more perscpicuous.

Introduction of Consteel Superbeam

In general, Consteel uses 7 DOF beam elements for finite element analysis of steel structures which are adequate for most everyday design situations. It is also capable of using shell elements in order to get more precise results in cases where beam finite elements are not sufficient enough. With the new Superbeam function it is now possible to examine structural parts with the accuracy of shell elements but with the ease of using a beam element concerning definition, modification, model handling, etc. In practice, it means that 7DOF beams can be switched to shell elements (and back) at any stage of the design process.


The validation program aims to verify the full mechanical behavior of the Superbeam switched to and analyzed as shell elements within a structural model composed of 7DOF beam elements. The validation of the analysis of the shell finite elements was done before and it is clear that in the case of correctly set boundary conditions the results are the same as the beam model provided that the local web buckling effect is avoided because it can not be modeled with beam-theory. Therefore the accuracy of the mechanical behavior of the Superbeam basically depends on two major factors:

The validation studies prove that the beam analysis model is mechanically equivalent to the shell analysis model within the Superbeam by comparing the results of the two models. It is shown that

Part 1

In this first part of the validation, we examined simply supported beams of welded I-sections with several different profile geometries. The full length of the beams was changed to Superbeam shell and so the consistency of results of both the shell elements and the constraints could be analyzed.

Structural models and analysis

In every case, the beam was first calculated with 7 DOF beam finite elements, after with Superbeam shell elements, and finally also as a full shell model with the same finite element sizes as the Superbeam shell. In full shell models, we applied rigid bodies along the edge of the web.

Linear buckling analysis was executed in order to compare the first buckling eigenvalues.

Our expectation was that the two kinds of shell models would produce very similar results which are by nature somewhat less favorable than the 7 DOF beam results, meaning that alfa critical values should be lower when using shell elements. To be able to compare the results related to global (lateral-torsional) buckling, the effect of local buckling of the web was to be avoided as much as possible so the examples were chosen accordingly.


Steel grade S235


Two loading scenarios were considered on every section

Uniform moment:

Uniform moment

Linear moment:

Linear moment

Result tables

First global buckling eigenvalue – αcrit

Consteel version CS15.1095

Unifrom member – uniform moment
Uniform member – linear moment
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Uniform member with unequal flanges – uniform moment
Uniform member with unequal flanges – linear moment
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Tapered member – uniform moment
Tapered member – linear moment
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Haunched member – uniform moment
Haunched member – linear moment
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As expected, the critical load parameters of beam models are always higher than the ones from the shell models. The difference between the results of the beam and shell models increases when the difference between the top and bottom flanges becomes more and more significant. It is because the straightness of the web starts to deviate (section distortion) which is already outside of beam theory, and so it is impossible to model with beam finite elements.

Despite the very different modeling techniques, the αcrit parameters of the two types of shell models are very similar – differences are within +/-3% which proves the applicability of the Suprerbeam as an alternative to the usual 7DOF beam finite elements for structural analysis. The use of Superbeam is recommended in cases where a more accurate analysis is desired by the designer.

Comparison of chosen methods for estimation of critical lateral torsional buckling bending moment of web-tapered I-beams. In this article, the elastic critical bending moments of the web-tapered I-beams calculated by the analytical and numerical solutions developed last years by researchers involved in the topic were compared with own calculations carried out with available common tools. The main goal was to verify the accuracy and convergence of the results provided by different modern methods and different finite bar elements 1D with 7 degrees od freedom at the node (7DOF).

Click the button bellow to download and read the full article. (PL)

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D. Czepiżak, A. Machowiak: Comparison of chosen methods for estimation of critical lateral torsional buckling bending moment of web-tapered I-beams. Inżynieria i Budownictwo Nr 5–6/2021

Consteel 14 is a powerful analysis and design software for structural engineers. Watch our video how to get started with Consteel.



As you may already know, you can check the max, min and min-max envelope diagrams for (first and second order) analysis results in Consteel. But you can also create your own envelope figures…



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