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Notes from Tony's desk Random thoughts from Tony Bryer

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Old 5th September 2010, 10:37 AM   #1
Tony Bryer
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Default Why I hate Eurocode 3!

If you've been to one or more Eurocode courses you'll no doubt have been warned that Eurocodes are much less user friendly than the British Standards they replace. How true! If progress on our EuroBeam program is less than I would wish it's because Eurocode 3 is such hard work - it's like trying to dig a hole in a tar lake: you go to bed and next morning have to start all over again.

Just as an example, Table 5.2 gives the limiting dimensions that determine section classifications - it's not dissimilar to Table 11 in BS5950. For sections subject to axial compression and bending Table 11 has r1 and r2 factors whose derivation immediately follows the table. EC3 Table 5.2 has an alpha factor. How this is to be calculated may or may not appear in EC3, but so far I've not found it. Fortunately the SCI publication Concise Eurocodes P362 puts the derivation of alpha at the bottom of the table. Saved! Until my test calculation didn't agree with the one in SCI Worked Examples - Open Sections P364. Then I spot a note on p.142 which says that -1.0 < alpha < 1.0. All is explained. But it's far from obvious (if I'm wrong I apologise in advance).

This happens time and again with Eurocode 3 and for now I stand by the advice I have given a number of you by email. If you're prepared to put in a huge amount of work trying to make sense of Eurocode obfuscation then sign up for our EuroBeam Early Experience programme (you need to have SuperBeam or ProSteel with current update cover to be eligible) and hopefully we can work together to get a proper understanding of Eurocode design. Otherwise I would advise sticking with design to British Standards for as long as is possible: we know they deliver safe designs and they are well understood.
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Old 6th September 2010, 07:33 AM   #2
Tony Bryer
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Default Re: Why I hate Eurocode 3!

Please don't take my rant as being critical of the Steel Construction Institute. I would have struggled even more with EC3 had it not been for the free publications sent to SCI members, and being able to get my numerous questions answered by their [member-only] Advisory Desk service (thanks guys). It just would have been nice to have a code that didn't leave one needing to ask so many questions!
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Old 17th September 2013, 01:53 PM   #3
Monobod
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Default Re: Why I hate Eurocode 3!

I design domestic extensions. Please don't misunderstand me, most are complex and need careful engineering, but I have spoken to all of the local Authority Building Control departments in my area and they all are continuing to accept British Standards design. One said to me; 'has anything fallen down?'. Well of course not.

EuroCodes are a bridge too far for my liking, I cannot afford the hundreds of pounds it costs to go on courses and I do not have much spare time for 'Private Study'. I'm too busy producing robust designs for my clients to the current(?) codes.

I have been working in Structural Engineering for over fifty years and I have seen many changes, from BS449 to BS5950 and beyond, so I am not a Luddite, I just want to earn a living and give a good service to my clients without unnecessary obstructions.

s that so wrong?
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Old 18th September 2013, 01:26 AM   #4
Tony Bryer
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Default Re: Why I hate Eurocode 3!

No, you're not wrong and DCLG Building Regulations appear to be of the same mind as you - see our web page http://www.superbeam.co.uk/bs449.htm, last section particularly.
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