Structural Analysis – An Overview

Structural analysis is a branch of civil engineering that deals with the mathematical modeling of structures, their properties and connections among other factors. It can be a tedious and time consuming job, but if you are looking to have a building or a structure evaluated then structural analysis is one of the best options. It is also a prerequisite to get a license in structural engineering. You need to start with understanding the various techniques and calculations involved in structural analysis before you actually start performing structural analysis.

Structural analysis plays a significant role in the design and planning stage of construction. A structure’s strength and weaknesses are determined by structural analysis. The best way to do this is through simulation. Simulations not only help in determining the loads and stresses that a structure will have to bear, it also helps in identifying any design flaws that could pose a problem once the structure is up. Most of the construction firms prefer to hire the services of an external firm for structural analysis as most of these firms to carry out the analysis themselves. However, if you want a little bit of independent analysis then you can perform structural analysis yourself using software.

While there are many advantages of outsourcing structural analysis, it is important to weigh the pros and cons first. Most of these outsourced firms use advanced simulation technology and tools that take a lot of time to analyze the results. Time is money and most construction firms spend a lot of money over a period of time. The cost of an outsourcing firm depends on the number of projects they perform, the complexity of the project and the rates they charge. Hence you must decide whether you require a structural analysis on a daily basis or not.

You can also perform structural analysis yourself. However, it is not as simple as it sounds. First of all you need to possess a good understanding about structural analysis and you also need to understand the relationship between structural analysis and optimization. Optimization mainly concerns about reducing the overall costs incurred while construction is carried out. By formulating a cost effective design you can ensure that your construction budget remains within limits.

Structural analysis is divided into various sub branches like stress transfer, fatigue analysis, creep analysis, buckling analysis, tensile strength analysis etc. Tension transfer basically refers to the rate at which a structure buckles under pressure. On the other hand, fatigue analysis deals with the rate at which a material can be deformed without causing any damage. For instance, buckling of a section of a column occurs due to tensile strength. Torsion analysis deals with bending of metal without causing any mechanical damage.

It is always better to hire a structural analysis contractor than doing it yourself. This is because construction contractors possess the expertise required for carrying out structural analysis efficiently. They also possess the necessary knowledge about designing the right columns, beams and supports. Furthermore, they possess good knowledge about proper sheet rock installation. Most importantly they have experience in dealing with both fresh and old construction work.

Before hiring the services of a contractor you need to put a few things in consideration. First of all, the amount that you are willing to pay should reflect the complexity of your construction project. Moreover, the contractor must be aware of your requirement and must be able to provide you with an accurate cost estimate. The contractor must also be in a position to discuss the entire issue with you without making any unnecessary comments. Last of all, he must be able to understand your needs and requirements completely and be able to prepare a cost-effective solution.

You can save money by avoiding hiring costly structural analysis consultants. However, if you hire the wrong consultant then you may just end up wasting a lot of time and money. So, it is always better to get estimates from at least three or four structural analysis consulting firms before proceeding further. Thus, you can eliminate any chance of waste and get things done the way you want them to be done without any hassle.

Structural Analysis – An Overview
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