PulCalc® Structural FRP Design Software 

PulCalc ® Version 2.12 Released!

V2.12 – we improved the Connections worksheets to allow more bolts and we auto-fill much of the data to reduce design time.   Send us a note to get a copy of PulCalc ® V2.12 Instructions.

PulCalc ® is a proprietary generic structural FRP Design Program that interfaces with structural modeling software.  Together, the result is a design for pultruded FRP members and connections and therefore a complete design.  The user inputs data from the modeling software data, such as RISA3D or Staad into PulCalc®. Therefore PulCalc® completes or analyzes the FRP design process that standard modeling design software cannot.  PulCalc ® computes capacity checks for FRP members in spreadsheet form.  Design sheets are are all common FRP shapes including angles, box sections, “i” sections etc.  Additionally we also have a connections page that looks at various FRP connection capacities.  FiberDesign offers PulCalc ® with FRP Management (design or vendor contract) or by subscription.  Support includes help with models, setting up models and general use of PulCalc® A 30 day trial is also offered.

PulCalc ® worksheets are now available in both English and Metric.

FEA/modeling Software Companies Who Cooperate with FiberDesign on PulCalc ®:

RISA is working with FiberDesign to enhance and speed up importing structural member data into PulCalc ®.  Stay tuned for a future update.  We also have submitted a White Paper that will be shown on their site.  Thank you to the RISA crew!

FRP/ PulCalc® Presentation

We have a FRP Presentation that describes the PulCalc ® program and how to use the program with models.  We also discuss working with models and connections.  We can drive to most locations in northern New England.  For everyone else we can set up a Skype call or whatever you wish to use.

PulCalc ® Client Comments

Chris L. – This is a good price for the level of support you offer and especially reviews of models.

For pricing go HERE.

Why Use PulCalc ® FRP Design Program?

If you design using a structural modeling program like RISA, they output a code check for each member.  However, you cannot use the steel code check as it will not work for FRP.  Therefore PulCalc ® takes some of the modeling data and outputs a FRP code check for axial and bending stresses.

Pricing includes support for models and set-up of your modeling software.  We will send you the files with your subscription/order.

Latest Version: V2.11

PulCalc ® Support (contract or subscription)

  • Product support and how-to instruction via telephone, email, chat or Skype (visual).
  • Support for your FRP projects, send us your model and we’ll help
  • Full instructions (PDF)

PulCalc ® Structural FRP Software Features

  • FRP Beams
  • FRP Columns
  • FRP Braces
  • FRP Connections including bolts, shear, Bearing and FRP Clips capacities
  • Easy to use with drop down lists and auto-populated allowables
  • i, HSS, Wide flange, angle and channel spreadsheet for most common profiles
  • Use inputs from modeling software such as RISA/Staad and output FRP Member data capacity
  • Up to 40 members on 1 sheet
  • FRP shapes and lengths are chosen from a simple pull down list
  • Allowables are auto-populated for a chosen member and length
  • Axial and buckling Data is calculated
  • Generic load tables cover most any pultruded FRP manufacturer
  • Connections sheets that checks bolted connections, shear and clip capacity

PulCalc ® Spreadsheet (partial) Screenshot

PulCalc ®  Q&A

Q. Can PulCalc ® work with other modeling programs?

A. Yes, the functionality is the same. Most modeling programs should work such as Staad.

Q.  Is there a Tutorial?  Yes!  For the pultruded profiles spreadsheet go HERE.  For the composite laminate program go HERE.

Q.  What is the difference between Contract and Subscription?

A.  Subscription is based on product support.  You do your own designs and we assist with modeling support. For Contract (normally as a Retainer Contract), we provide  design  for your projects with model design and CAD.  Note: contracts may not be available in certain market segments and/or areas due to contract restrictions by current contracts.

Q. Can I use the AISC Code Check for FRP?

A. No, the code check is for steel only. Do not use!  Ignore the code check data.  The code check in RISA (or any other modeling program) is designed around AISC and is for steel only.

Q. I would like to see a new feature in PulCalc ®?

A. Send us your idea and we will be pleased to look at it and possibly add in a future

Q. My model gets instabilities in certain FRP members. Can I change connections from pinned to fixed?

A. Fixed or moment connections are difficult in FRP. Some connections have
excessive moments and we may need to add braces to reduce the moments on
specific connections. For example, a beam that supports a FRP wall, exposed to
wind loads, likely will require in plane braces to better restrain the members. The
brace connections can be considered fixed if 4 bolts are used (each end) for the brace
connections. If you need an example of in plane bracing, contact FiberDesign for
a detail.

Q. We need to design our FRP connections for FRP bolts.

A. PulCalc ® includes FRP bolt data and runs calcs for these type of bolts

Q. Does PulCalc ® list data for all pultruded FRP manufacturers?

A. PulCalc ® uses generic data which covers a broad selection of pultruded products and manufacturers.   For example, the Young’s Modulus (E) ranges from 2600 KSI to 3200 KSI for most profiles. We use 2600 KSI in our figures, but you can plug in any value. However, be careful there to be sure that the actual designed project actually uses the designed properties. If you specify, for example, a 3200 KSI modulus (E), you want to be sure that the contractor actually uses this product for the build.

Q. I have a project that used FRP framing that is molded into FRP wall panels. How
do I analyze this?

A. You should contact the manufacturer for their design data of the FRP panel. But
if that is unknown, you can use the wall panel analysis in RISA (or FEA/modeling program) and embed the framing into the panels. We recommend using the General tab in the materials tool box as it does not use a code check algorithm. Also we recommend using a Young’s modulus of 1000 KSI for the panel if it unknown. This will give you a
rough idea of the stability of the project, but not exact. We can also analyze a given laminate if we know the manufacturing details (resin, fabrics, process etc)

Q. On running a model in my modeling program, a member shows a certain deflection. I
also manually ran a deflection check. The numbers are close but not exact. Why?

A. The FRP manufacturers all use slightly different formulas for deflection depending on
the application. We looked at this extensively and concluded that the figures are
very close between RISA and hand calcs. If your deflection is close to your
design limit such as L/200, you may want to check it manually. We list a generic
deflection formula (and calculator) for simple supported beams within PulCalc ®.
You could also reference a manufacturer’s Design Manual for additional
deflection formulas for your application.

Q. Do you offer a metric version?

A. Its in the works.  See note above.

Q. Do the beam and column worksheets take into consideration both global and local
buckling? Yes, if the local buckling figure is lower than the global buckling figure, the calcs will choose the local buckling figure first. See the FRP Buckling section and definitions in the Instructions.

Q.  Can I analyze or design FRP angles under a wind load application?

A.  Yes, there is a Beam Angles spreadsheet.  But be careful.  FRP angles are not designed for flexural loads, which is why there are no load tables or local buckling data in the manufacturers’ published property data.   FRP angles are most exposed to Lateral Torsion Buckling.  So at least one flange should be continually braced for lateral support.   See the FRP Buckling section in the Instructions for more information about this subject.

Q.  What languages to you support?

A.  Only English at this time.

Q.  Is the allowable stress data shown in PulCalc ® in ASD or LRFD?

A.  ASD. V2.0 will address LRFD and is coming soo.  There isn’t a structural FRP code available as yet through ASCE or others.  However, in 2010 ASCE released a LRFD pre-standard.  Our contacts tell us that the ad hoc committee is nearly finished with the final standard.  So it could become a standard soon.

Q.  Can you set up PulCalc ® for a specific manufacturer?

A.  Yes.  Contact us for details.