# The Direct Strength Method in Cold-Formed Steel Design

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Wednesday, May 10, 2023
2:00 AM

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## A practical guide to understanding and using the Direct Strength Method in CFS design to AS/NZS 4600:2018

With the increasing price of wood material in construction, cold-formed steel framing is rapidly becoming the material of choice in sustainable construction due to being lightweight, strong, non-combustible, and recyclable.

CFS is unique in its design due to complex buckling considerations which must be accounted for. Traditionally, the Effective Width Method (EWM) was used to account for buckling considerations, but now the newer and more accurate Direct Strength Method (DSM) is available and encouraged by AS/NZS 4600.

Join ClearCalcs’ Head of Engineering R&D, Brooks Smith, as we teach you all about the Direct Strength Method and take you through how to practically make use of it in real-world designs.

Normally, to produce a compliant design, many engineers need to either use overconservative span tables or figure out the incredibly complex CFS engineering standards. ClearCalcs makes figuring out the standard easy with our integration of the Direct Strength Method in CFS design calculations.

### In this webinar, we will cover:

• What is the Direct Strength Method, and how does it differ from the old Effective Width Method?
• Understanding finite strip analysis results, including signature curves and buckling modes - and how to most easily obtain these in CUFSM, THIN-WALL, or pyCUFSM
• Practically using the Direct Strength Method in real-world designs
• Worked examples in ClearCalcs

### Webinar summary

The webinar on The Direct Strength Method in Cold-Formed Steel (CFS) Design provided attendees with valuable insights into this advanced design approach. The webinar covered various topics including the differences between the Direct Strength Method and the old Effective Width Method, understanding finite strip analysis results using tools like CUFSM, THIN-WALL, or pyCUFSM, practical implementation of the Direct Strength Method in real-world designs, and worked examples using ClearCalcs. Additionally, the webinar highlighted the newly released capability of loading C-shaped CFS beams about the minor axis and its potential benefits for design workflows.

The webinar began by explaining the Direct Strength Method and its distinctions from the Effective Width Method, which was previously used in CFS design. The Direct Strength Method provides a more accurate and efficient approach by directly considering the strength of individual elements in the cross-section, rather than relying on effective width approximations. This method allows for more precise calculations and better prediction of the behavior of CFS members.

The session then delved into understanding finite strip analysis results, focusing on signature curves and buckling modes. The webinar showcased different tools such as CUFSM, THIN-WALL, and pyCUFSM that assist in obtaining these analysis results. Participants learned about interpreting the signature curves to identify critical buckling modes and understand the structural behavior of CFS members under various loading conditions.

Practical implementation of the Direct Strength Method was a significant aspect of the webinar. Attendees gained insights into integrating this method into their real-world designs, including considerations for different types of CFS members such as beams, columns, and wall studs. The webinar emphasized the advantages of the Direct Strength Method, such as its ability to handle complex geometries and material properties, leading to more efficient and optimized designs.

To illustrate the concepts discussed, the webinar included worked examples using ClearCalcs, a popular engineering software. Attendees were able to see firsthand how to apply the Direct Strength Method in practice and verify their designs through calculations and simulations.

Lastly, the webinar focused on the newly released capability of loading C-shaped CFS beams about the minor axis. This feature expanded the design possibilities and streamlined the workflow for engineers working with CFS structures. The webinar explained the benefits of this enhancement, including improved efficiency, reduced material usage, and enhanced structural performance.

In conclusion, the webinar on The Direct Strength Method in Cold-Formed Steel Design provided attendees with a comprehensive understanding of this advanced design approach. Participants learned about the differences between the Direct Strength Method and the old Effective Width Method, gained insights into interpreting finite strip analysis results, and discovered practical implementation techniques. The worked examples and emphasis on the newly released capability of loading C-shaped CFS beams about the minor axis added practical value to the webinar, equipping attendees with the knowledge and tools to enhance their CFS design workflows.