Structural Analysis

tower-inspection-415-277Varcon has analysed several thousand tower structures across Canada ranging from large, older, heavily loaded structures to small, newer, sparsely loaded masts—including mobile towers. As a major component of our service portfolio, we ensure that the structural analysis provided to tower owners is second to none.

This assessment includes special software and hand calculations to verify structural capacity for design load considerations. Tower drawings and structural mappings are used to assess whether the tower meets the strength requirements of the most recent codes and standards. When accurate drawings are unavailable, Varcon can complete detailed in-field structural mapping of towers to obtain the required information for structural analysis.

Before we begin our tower analysis, we ensure all data necessary to complete a thorough structural analysis has been provided. If possible, outstanding information is gathered from the client, tower designer or manufacturer. Otherwise, assumptions have to be made to complete the analysis. The more complete and accurate the information, the more quickly and reliably the analysis can be performed.

Taking data from the drawings, photographs and other information provided by the client we model the tower geometry, member sizes and appurtenances (including transmission lines, antennas and appropriate wind and ice loadings) in specialized software that calculates wind, ice and gravity loads and creates a profile of the tower in question. All input and output files are checked for accuracy, and corrections made as needed.

Next, member, guy and foundation capacities are calculated under the methods outlined in the relevant design Standard. A comparison of capacity to calculated loads under design load conditions, will yield any overloads present. Modelling output is shown in graphical format for all tower members, guys and foundations. Maximum tower deflections, tilt and twist values are also shown for any location on the tower profile.

After the analysis has been thoroughly checked by another engineer, the results and data from each structural analysis are submitted in the form of a detailed report complete with graphical printouts of leg compression, face shear, foundation loads, guy loads, member sizes, and so on. The configuration under consideration and analytical results are presented in schematic and graphical format within the structural analysis report. Much time and care is put into this step to ensure that the report is clear and concise. Depending on the results of our analysis and the client’s requirements, the report may include a Recommendations section outlining the upgrades necessary to bring the tower into compliance with the design Standard.

Our work does not end with delivery of the report. We remain available to answer the client’s questions, and we keep the information handy so that follow-up analyses can be performed quickly and efficiently.