PolyBeam - A Simple Beam Calculator
Determine sectional forces and design statically indeterminate beams with high precision using PolyBeam, a simple beam calculator!
Choose the Optimal Plan
The PolyBeam starter license is available for free and will never expire! Download it now and try all the pro features free the first 7-days.
Steel- and timber design
Natural Frequency Analysis
Multi user access
Frequently asked questions
How to get started with PolyBeam?
Who is the beam calculator made for?
The beam calculator is made by engineers for engineers!
PolyBeam include a Eurocode design check, which makes it ideal for structural engineers operating within Europe.
PolyBeam Lite is a cheaper alternative, which includes the basic beam calculations and is used to determine reactions, sectional forces and deflections. PolyBeam Lite has a broad application and can be used in many different industries.
What are some of the key features?
Easy to Use Beam Calculator
The first thing our users associate with PolyBeam is simplicity. PolyBeam is a very simple and intuitive beam calculator, which makes it very easy to use – even if you are not familiar with IT and software. Supports, loads and section properties are inserted with a minimum amount of user input. Simultaneously, PolyBeam will draw a graphical representation of the beam with the applied loads, calculate sectional forces and determine the utilization of the beam.
Lateral Torsional Buckling
The critical bending moment from lateral torsional buckling is determined based on an energy method, which accounts for the load attack height, the sectional forces and the restrains. Using this method, the critical moment is determined with high precision. This often leads to a higher load bearing capacity compared with traditional calculations.
Elastic and Plastic Sectional forces
As opposed to traditional engineering software PolyBeam determines sectional forces both elastic and plastically. This allows for a higher utilization of the most commonly used steel sections for statically indeterminate beams.
Ultimate Limit State Design (ULS)
An ULS load combination can be specified. If this is done PolyBeam will check the sectional forces from the beam calculation with the load bearing capacity of the chosen section and determine the utilization. For more details about what is included in the ULS design check see the question “What does the design check include?“.
Serviceability Limit State Design (SLS)
Two different types of SLS load combinations can be specified, Natural frequency analysis or deflection analysis. The natural frequency analysis determines the first natural frequency of the beam and allows the user to specify a threshold – this is very useful when dealing with vibration requirements. similarly, a deflection threshold can be specified, as default L/400 is used.
If a fire load combination is specified PolyBeam calculates the steel temperature based on the duration of the fire and determines the load bearing capacity. If the section is unable to withstand the load a critical steel temperature can be found and used to determine the required fire insulation.
When you have finished your beam calculation it is very easy to document your work. Simply click on export, chose which content you want to include and let PolyBeam create a short and elegant PDF document for you. This feature is one of the most liked features among our users. See example.
How does the beam calculator work?
The beam calculator, PolyBeam, separates the beam into a finite amount of beam elements. It then uses the finite element method to determine reactions and displacements from which the sectional forces are calculated. Based on these the cross section along the whole beam is checked according to the applied ULS, SLS and fire design requirements.
Which materials can be used?
There are currently two materials available in PolyBeam, steel and custom material. We are planning to include timber and concrete within the near future.
The steel beam calculator lets you choose from the most commonly used steel sections in Europe (IPE, HEA, HEB and HEM) or create your own section using the custom section tool.
The timber beam calculator includes many strength classes for both glue wood and solid timber. It lets you choose from the standard timber sections or create a section with your own dimensions.
The custom material allows you to specify a material stiffness (young’s modulus and moment of inertia), material behavior (linear elastic or elastic perfectly plastic) and a load bearing capacity. The load bearing capacity is used for the ULS design check and to determine the yield moment if an elastic perfectly plastic material behavior is chosen.
What does the design check include?
There are three design checks included in PolyBeam ULS, SLS and fire.
The Steel ULS design check includes Bending moment (EN 1993-1-1 6.2.5), shear (EN 1993-1-1 6.2.6), combined bending and shear (EN 1993-1-1 6.2.8) and lateral torsional buckling (EN 1993-1-1 126.96.36.199).
The SLS design check includes a deflection analysis and a natural frequency analysis where thresholds can be specified by the user.
The Steel fire design check includes reduction factors (EN 1993-1-2 3.2.1), Bending moment (EN 1993-1-2 188.8.131.52), shear (EN 1993-1-184.108.40.206) and Lateral torsional buckling (EN 1993-1-2 220.127.116.11).
Custom materials can be checked for both bending moment and shear if the appropriate section capacities are defined by the user.
Can I get a discount if I buy multiple licenses?
Yes, if you are interested in multiple licenses please contact us and let us know how many licenses you need. We will then get back to you as soon as possible with a quote.
Is PolyBeam available outside Europe?
PolyBeam calculates utilization of steel sections based on a Eurocode design check. Furthermore, the steel section catalog in PolyBeam is based on the standard European steel sections. Currently, we are not planning on including other design codes, so if the main part of your business is located outside of Europe then PolyBeam might not be the best option for you.
A better alternative might be PolyBeam Lite, which is a cheaper alternative to PolyBeam with a limited amount of features, where you can determine sectional forces, reactions and deflections.
PolyBeam is used by both students and professionals worldwide across a wide range of industries. The majority of our clients are consulting engineering companies.
If you are unsure whether PolyBeam is the right software for you, then click the button below and try it out for yourself.