Prokon Wind Loads Explained


Prokon Wind loads are very often critical in effective design and can be very complicated to determine and apply. Uplift forces (due to internal wind pressures) can be the critical forces to consider when designing steel structures and can results in catastrophe if overlooked.

To simplify the process of adding these loads Prokon has added the Wind Load command to the SUMO interface (not to be confused with the Wind Analysis module). The wind code (standard) and relevant parameters can be set by clicking on the Wind button located in the Standard section of the Loads ribbon – at the time of the publication eight (8) standards were available for selection.

Prokon Wind loads

These parameters affect the magnitude of the wind pressure that will be applied when the Wind Load command is used. Applying a wind load is exactly the same as with an area load: Select a start point and demarcate the area, ending off with the start point to close the polygon.

What differentiates the Wind Load from the Area Load is that the Wind Load is distributed to elements by their tributary areas, with central elements receiving a higher loads than edge elements – this can be viewed by changing to the Discretized Model View.

Prokon Wind loads
Prokon South Africa

When adding Wind Loads it is important to take note of the following:

  • The Wind Load will only distributed to similar elements; the same wind load cannot be distributed to beams and columns, but only to one of the two. You can view the loaded elements by clicking on the Loaded Elements options button located in the Properties Palette of the relevant Wind Load.
  • Internal- and External Pressure Coefficients are not taken into consideration when the magnitude of the load is determined.
  • Neither Zones nor Wind Friction are taken into consideration.

It is therefore recommended that, with more complicated structures, that Line Loads are applied of which the magnitudes are calculated by hand using the relevant codes.

In conclusion, the Wind Load command is a useful tool to use when modelling and loading small structures. With large structures it is best to make use of Line Loads applied as per the relevant code.

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