IDEA CONNECTIONS software strutturale per calcolo di connessioni in acciaio

Steel joints design and check

Design and check all your steel connections according to the code, in minutes.

IDEA Connection

IDEA Connection – for the structural design and the check of steel structure joints, connections and details of steel structures.

IDEA Connection enables engineers to design steel joints of general shape, connections and base plates with no limitation in shape and loading. It is based on a unique design and analysis method called CBFEM (component based finite element model) which provides precise checks, results of strength, stiffness and buckling analysis of steel joint. Bolts, welds, concrete blocks are checked according to common design formulas.


Compatibility with other software: IDEA StatiCa BIM

IDEA StatiCa Steel has a BIM link to AxisVM, MIDAS, RFEM, SCIA Engineer, Advance Steel, Robot, Tekla structures and many others software.

IDEA StatiCa Steel enables engineers to design every new steel construction cheaper and safer by:

  • Minimizing risks of structural defects
  • Decreasing material consumption of steel members/details by up to 30%
  • Reducing time spent on designing of steel members/details by up to 50%
  • Providing 100% “white box” results for engineers, general contractors, checkers and construction authorities


Key features of IDEA Connection

• Joints with various numbers of beams in multiple directions and loads

• Analysis model created according to manufacturing operations used – cuts, plates, stiffeners, ribs,

openings, cleats, welds, bolts etc.

• Automatic generation of joint’s FE model, user does not handle with FEA

• Calculation of internal stress/forces in joints based on elastic/plastic FE analysis

• Stiffness analysis of any kind of connection

• Local buckling analysis of steel joint, critical load factor

• Efficient FEA solver delivers result faster than current methods

• More than 90% of calculations is national-code independent

• Checks of bolts, anchors, welds and concrete using standard component method

• Clear information about behaviour of the joint/connection

• Both simple (1 connection = 1 A4) and detailed output reports

• Wide range of predefined joint/connection templates; easy definition of user templates

esempi di connessioni


Component Based Finite Element Model of steel joints (CBFEM)

• Joint is divided into components

• All steel plates are modelled by Finite Element method assuming ideal elastic-plastic material

• Bolts, welds, concrete blocks are modelled as nonlinear springs

• FE Model is used for investigating of internal forces in each component

• Plates are checked for limit plastic strain – 5% acc. to EC3

• Each component is checked according to specific formulas as in Component Method

CBFEM Modello a Elementi Finiti basato sulle Componenti  dell’unione di acciaio

       Bolted joint                                                Component model                                              CBFEM model


R&D project IDEA Connection

R&D project has started in 2013 with a question: “Can we analyse steel joints in a more precise and general way?”

We know the answer today: “YES, we can!”

Research and development team was formed by core employees of IDEA RS and academic staff from two Czech universities.

Our technical background:

– Long-term experience with development of component method (CM)

– Practical experience with design of steel structures

– Proven professional experience with FEM and SW development

The goal was to develop a method and tools for analysis and check of steel joints of general shapes and loadings.

New CBFEM method is:           

general so that it is useable for most of joints, anchors, and details used in building practice

simple and fast so that it provides results in time comparable with currently existing methods and tools

comprehensible so that structural engineer gets clear information about joint behaviour, stress, strain and reserves of individual components and about overall safety and reliability

Test del nuovo modello CBFEM

Metodo del materiale con diagramma ideale elasto/plastico                            Test del nuovo modello CBFEM


Geometry  of  joint,  manufacturing  operations

• 3D geometry, rolled, welded or cold formed cross-sections

• Model of a joint is created by operations according to real-life manufacturing

• All steel plates have precise shapes which can be used for drawings or in CAD/CAM

Operazioni di produzione


Joint  templates

Any joint designed in IDEA Connection can be saved „as template“
Any template can be reused for joint of similar topology.
• Different angles of members
• Different cross-section dimensions
• Different cross-sections type
Fast work with typical connections.

Welds  and  bolts

• Bolts and welds are modelled as special members with predefined diagram
• Connecting components use unique interpolation constrains
• Each bolt or weld of the joint is checked thoroughly

Saldature e bulloniSaldature e bulloni

Welded  joints

• Frame or truss joints
• Optimization of stiffener positions can be done.

Unioni saldate


Bolted  joints

• Frame joints, truss joints. Can be combined with all welded joints
• Interaction of more connections in one joint
• End plates, splice plates, gusset plates, cleats
• Unique models of bolts in tension and shear
• Check of each bolt according to component method.

Unioni imbullonate


Base  plates

• Columns can be loaded in 2D or 3D (all 6 internal forces)
• Contact stress under base plate is analysed and average stress in effective area is calculated
• Check of anchors bolts, break out cones, shear check (iron, friction, and bolts), mortar joint.

Piastre di base


Local  buckling  analysis  of  joint

• Local buckling prediction is important for slender plates in the joint
• Critical load factor is provided

Calcolo della stabilità locale dell’unione

        Bolted frame corner                                              Gusset connection

Stiffness  analysis  of  connections

• Rotational and translational stiffness of any connection in joint can be determined
• Classification of connection is done. Stiffness of connection can be used as a flexible hinge in global analysis of the structure.
• Ultimate capacity of the joint can be analysed.

Design and check outputs

• Report, drawings, bill of material
• Overall report is composed in several levels of detail: 1 line / 1 page A4/ Detailed
• Bill of all steel plates, bolts and welds is provided
• Shop drawings of all plates are generated

Output del progetto e delle verifiche


Design and check

• IDEA Connection runs proper checks according to EN 1993-1-8.
• Steel plates are check against the requirement of maximal equivalent strain
• Bolts and anchors are checked both on normal and shear force like separate components
• Stress in each weld is properly evaluated and weld is checked
• Interaction of base plate and concrete block is analysed – effective stress is checked.

Progetto e verifica connessioni in acciaio



VIDEO IDEA Steel - IDEA Connections

Brief introduction about Idea Connection.

Presentazione IDEA Connection

Brief introduction about Idea Steel.

Design of steel members of the structure calculated by Idea Statica, AxisVM, EPW

video introduttivo software IDEA Steel

Workshop for new users of IDEA Connection. Technical aspects of calculation, examples, design of elements.

istruzioni software di calcolo nodi in acciaio

Tutorial for the creation, design and verification of a joint of a 3D steel frame. 
The type of connection, the loads, the verifications and the report of results are done using the software IDEA Connection.
Nodo telaio acciaio 3D

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