Highway Sign Structural Engineering

Overhead Structural Highway Sign

Highway Sign Structural Engineering (HSE)

HSE Software

Highway Sign Structural Engineering (HSE)

The HSE Software is an automated Highway Sign Structures generation analysis and design program for latticed Highway Sign Structures, Overhead Sign Structures, Gantry structures, Cantilevers, Traffic Signals and Luminaire Support Structures.


Structural Analysis and Design Software for Overhead Highway Sign Support Structures

Advanced Solution for Highway Sign Analysis and Design

The HSE highway sign structural engineering software is an automated structural program for the analysis and design of highway overhead structural sign supports, traffic signal supports, high-mast lighting towers and poles.

Overhead sign structures

The HSE software allows users to design overhead sign structures with various road sign panels such as simple panel, reinforced panel, variable message sign (VMS), walkway or secondary panel. Wind, ice and gravity loads are automatically calculated by the program.

Traffic signal supports

The HSE software allows users to design various types of traffic light and signal mast arm structures. The program takes into consideration truck-induced gust loads and galloping force based on the frontal projected area of each traffic signal.

High-mast lighting towers

The HSE software allows users to design various types of lighting solutions such as street lighting poles, high-mast lighting towers and lamp posts. The program takes into consideration natural wind gusts that may induce cyclic loads in lighting structures.

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Learn about the features and functionality of the HSE Highway Sign Structural Engineering software. You will discover tremendous capabilities, intuitive modeling features and comprehensive analytical tools allowing to solve engineering challenges more efficiently.

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Highway Sign Structural Engineering (HSE)

Enjoy unlimited access for 1 year


The HSE Highway Sign Structural Engineering software is an automated Highway Sign Structures generation analysis and design program for latticed Highway Sign Structures, Overhead Sign Structures, Gantry structures, Cantilevers, Traffic Signals and Luminaire Support Structures.

The HSE software is a high-end parametric technology for the generation and design of various Sign Structures. It offers powerful and productive features for generating many types of latticed structural models and automated tools for determining wind and ice loads as well as any relevant design parameters such as slenderness ratios and force coefficients.

This engineering software solution is used worldwide by several notable international companies in production work for building innovative sign structures.

The HSE is a robust and reliable structural software based on more than 37 years of Research and Development. The program, designed with the latest technological innovations in its field, is equipped with a sophisticated and user friendly graphical interface.

The HSE program can calculate the resistance and various design parameters of all elements of a Highway Sign Structures model according to the Canadian, American and European Steel codes. The program supports the required specifications of the AASHTO LTS-13 ASD (6th edition), AASHTO LTS-15 LRFD (1st edition) and AISC 360-10 LRFD. The program supports the American Aluminum AA ADM-2015 (LRFD) and Aluminum AA ADM-2015 (ASD) for general structures and the Canadian aluminum codes CAN/CSA-S157.

The HSE Highway Sign Structural Engineering program supports ice loads, wind loads which can be defined according to various distribution methods ranging from uniform distribution and user defined distributions to sophisticated methods as the one proposed in the IEC-826 document.
The ice loads and wind loads are automatically distributed to the latticed structure and to the sign panels.

Loading features
· Automated self-weight
· Automated wind and ice loads
· Automated Concentrated and distributed loads
· Automated fatigue
· Thermal gradient loads
· Seismic analysis capabilities
· Automated Load combinations

The HSE software allows users to create load combinations.
A load combination results in an algebraic combination of distinct basic loads.
Each basic load is multiplied by a load factor. The resulting load combination acts on the structure to generate a specific structural response.
The load combination wizard in the program also allows creating load patterns.
The load combination wizard generates load combinations according to NBCC, UBC, ASCE 7, BOCA, Eurocode and ECC.
Loading for joints, members including concentrated, uniform, trapezoidal and thermal loads.
Pressure or concentrated floor loads with two-way, one-way and truss distribution using triangular or quadrilateral surfaces.
Pressure or concentrated loads on finite element plates.
Gravity loads in any global direction calculated by the program.
Imposed displacements at any joint.
User defined load combinations.
· Fatigue verification according to chapter 11 of AASHTO LTS-13 (ASD) and AASHTO LTS-15 (LRFD).
· Verification of stresses according to the Constant Amplitude Fatigue Threshold (CAFT).

The HSE software includes the fatigue limit states.
All fatigue parameters for the structure can be set into the highway sign wizard . The CAFT (Constant Amplitude Fatigue Threshold) or (DF)TH for infinite life for the different fatigue detail categories are found in AASHTO LTS-13 (ASD) Table and AASHTO LTS-15 (LRFD) Table
Learn more

The Highway Sign Wizard assigns these values when generating the model according to the input data. If the model has not been generated or after the model generation is done, the user can edit this table to change the fatigue parameters for the connection details for both ends of the member.

Generating Fatigue Loads
The Fatigue load combinations are required to compute the equivalent static forces and stresses range due to cyclic loading. The fatigue resistance is specified in AASHTO LTS-15 LRFD clause 11.9 and AASHTO LTS-13 ASD clause 11.9.

This main option activates the input required for fatigue verification. Depending on the type of structures, the fatigue verifications (Galloping, Natural Wind Gust, Truck-Induced Gust) may be activated or not. Users must check on the applicable fatigue loads according to its type of structure based on the requirements of the AASHTO LTS code.
Automated Structural Models
The HSE software allows users to create different type of structures automatically. In addition, a manually made model mode is available where many different types of structures can be created including high-mast lighting towers, traffic signal roadside signs and others.

Here are a few examples of the automated models:
Latticed column with 4-sided latticed beam
Latticed column with 3-sided latticed beam
Pole column with 4-sided latticed beam
Pole column with 3-sided latticed beam
Pole column with flat latticed beam
Manually made models
Polygonal Sections
In addition to all the existing section shapes (circular, rectangular, I, L, 2L, T …), the tubular polygonal sections are also available:

18-sided tube
16-sided tube
12-sided tube
8-sided tube
6-sided tube
Powerful beam generator
Many features for the generation of beams are available to HSE users. For example, it is possible to select different panel models (Warren, Pony Warren or Pratt) for the beam diagonals. These panel models can be reverted with the Discontinuous diagonals option.

When the invert opposite face option is unchecked, it is possible to align the arrangement of the diagonals on the opposite face of the beam. It is possible to specify different panel models for the vertical faces of the beam and for the horizontal faces of the beam. By default, horizontal panels are identical to vertical panels.

It is possible to specify different panel models for the vertical faces of the beam and for the horizontal faces of the beam. By default, horizontal panels are identical to vertical panels. The HSE software provides various options for the interior diagonals such as:

At ends only
By default, the interior diagonals are repeated at each panel. When this option is checked, the diagonals are generated only at the segment ends.

Offset (ΔD)
The first and last interior diagonal of a segment can be offset toward the inside of the beam by a distance of ΔD.

The HSE software also allows to automatically generate beams made of single angle sections.
Computation of base plates
The HSE software allows to compute the resistance and/or the thickness of base plates with levelling nuts.

HSE Base Plates

Design verifications
· Structure design for compression, tension, bending, shear, torsion and warping, slenderness, deflection and fatigue.
· Anchor rods verification.
· Base plate design and verification.

Anchor rods
The command Highway Sign Anchorages allows to define the input data for the anchorages.

The anchorage resistances and limit states are computed according to the following clauses according to the selected standard.
-AASHTO LTS-15 (LRFD) clause 5.16.3
-AASHTO LTS-13 (ASD) clauses to

The fatigue verification for the anchorage rods is also computed according to the specified allowable stress range (DF)TH.
The program calculates the bending, compression, tension, shear and combined resistance of aluminum based on the results of a linear, P-Delta, non-linear, seismic, dynamic or moving load analysis. Singly symmetric, asymmetric and built-up section shapes are covered for all design codes.

•Aluminum design codes
• Member Attributes – Aluminum
• Bending Parameters
• Compression and Tension parameters
• Welds parameters
• Recalculate
• Redesign selected members
• Design summary

The bending resistance (Mr) of a member is calculated according to clauses 9.5.2 (resistance of the cross section) and 9.5.3 (lateral torsional buckling). The slenderness of the plates is determined according to clauses 8.2.1, 8.2.2, 8.3.1, 8.3.2 and 10.2.1.

The lateral torsional buckling resistance is calculated using the general lateral torsional buckling equation. The equation presented in clause is a simplification of this general equation.

The compressive resistance (Cr) of a member is calculated according to clauses 9.4.1, 9.4.2 and 9.4.3. The slenderness of the plates is determined according to clauses 8.2.1, 8.2.2, 8.3.1, 8.3.2 and 10.2.1.

The torsional buckling stress is calculated using the method presented in clause 13.3.2 of the CAN/CSA S16 code from where the equations of clauses and of the CAN/CSA-S157 code are taken (see commentary C9.4.3.3).

The compressive resistance of a built-up section is calculated according to clause 9.8.2.

The welds have an important influence on the resistance of aluminum elements. The program distinguishes two types of welds which are end welds and in-span welds. Each of these types of welds may be full (affecting the entire cross section) or partial (affecting a portion of the cross section).

In the case of full welds, R Ag, R Ix and R Iy are not used.

In the case of partial welds, ratios must be specified.
Perform Advanced Structural Analysis
The HSE software has comprehensive structural analysis methods such as:
FEA Finite Elements Analysis, Static Analysis, Linear and Nonlinear Analysis, P-Delta Analysis, Natural Frequency Analysis, Static Equivalent Seismic Analysis, Dynamic Time-History Analysis, Seismic Time-History Analysis, Modal Analysis, Spatial Objects and Spatial Loads, Buckling Analysis, Response Spectrum Analysis, Advanced Section Stress Analysis, Torsion and Warping, Built Up Sections, Catenary Cables, Nonlinear springs, Diaphragm Analysis, Horizontal Notional Loads, Loads and Load Combinations.

State-of-the-art analysis tools
FEA including plates and shell elements Torsion including restrained warping of open sections Linear and exact non-linear cable elements (catenary cables)

Non-linear analysis using load control and displacement control strategy for better convergence Possibility to add non-structural components using spatial objects

Complying with seismic requirements
Seismic response spectrum, seismic time-history, and dynamic time-history analysis
Customized response spectrums and accelerograms
Fully customizable analysis parameters
Maximal response using CQC and SRSS methods
Automated or user defined damping
Graphical display of response spectrums and accelerograms
User defined incidence angle of seismic loads and vertical components
Customized analysis and output time steps
Time-history results can be provided for selected parts of the models
The HSE software allows users to animate results from different types of analysis such as:
Static linear analysis
Static P-Delta analysis
Buckling analysis
Natural frequencies analysis
Seismic and dynamic analysis

Users are able to animate various static linear and P-Delta analysis results such as:
Structure displacements
Internal forces
Support reactions

Frequency and Buckling
The frequency and buckling analysis provide multiple mode shapes describing multiple behaviors of the structure. With large models, the animation is helpful to discern and understand the mode shapes. It is easier to determine if the buckling mode is a local or global phenomenon. It also provides a very accurate interpretation of the participating mass of each mode in a seismic spectral analysis.

The animation function displays every saved time-step to provide an accurate representation of the displacements, velocities, accelerations and internal forces acting on the structure.

This will provide users a better understanding of the structure behavior during the dynamic event, such as finding the critical time of the dynamic loading.

Animating the envelopes helps minimizing the amount of information on the screen. Users can focus on the most critical regions of the model.

Learn more about the Animation Feature
Intuitive modeling features

Users can model structures using an intuitive graphical user interface powered by DirectX 11 and OpenGL 2.0 for increased speed and capabilities and generate executive and customizable formatted reports in Microsoft Word and Excel worksheets.

Manipulate models graphically with extreme flexibility.
The unmatched graphical user interface of the HSE software allows to create, analyze and design large and complex models quickly and easily. Models can be shown as lines, wire frames, or can be rendered as 3D solids. Functionalities of the HSE program allow to generate automatically detail elements in an automatically generated mesh perimeter. An object transparency option is available for various components such as current selection, solid members, plates, surfaces, spatial objects, panels.

Versatile modelling tools to create various types of structures
The HSE software includes powerful and productive features to generate any type of models: Local coordinate systems
Linear or circular lines of constructions for model creations
Automated commands for model creation such as move, rotate, extrude, copy, attach, subdivide and others
Models can be edited either graphically or by means of spreadsheets
Elements can be created in batch or one by one
Elements of the models can be selected either graphically or according to a set of criterions
Persistent groups of selected objects can be created and edited graphically or by means of spreadsheets
Powerful edition and automatic generation tools
Similar connected members can be merged together
Elements of the structure can be renumbered according to several criterions
Element attributes can be set graphically or by means of spreadsheets (sections, analysis parameters, rotation angles, etc.)
Surfaces can be used for load transfer and self-weight calculation.

Unit systems
Metric, imperial, and mixed unit systems are allowed and can be modified at any time. Reports are printed according to any unit system.
Display features

The program manages to scale the size of the various pictures including toolbar buttons in order to make the user interface easy to use on every monitor, even on very high-resolution monitors.
3D solid display of all section shapes.
Ultra-fast 3D visualization in wire frame or solid modes.
Customized display of all graphical objects.
Partial model visualization.
Results can be displayed on screen for the whole or a part of the structure.
Results can be displayed for each element separately by means of graphics and numerical results spreadsheets.
Results can be displayed for a set of elements by means of numerical results spreadsheets.
Graphical display of seismic and dynamic analysis results.
Model size limited only to the physical capacity of the computer.
Objects transparency for various components such as current selection, solid members, plates, surfaces, spatial objects, panels.
The level of transparency may be customized for each type of object from the Display Options command.
Functionalities of the HSE program allow to generate automatically detail elements in an automatically generated mesh perimeter.
These functionalities are specifically related to the refinement area, the opening, the linear constraint and the punctual constraint.
All detail elements added to the HSE model will be automatically connected to the finite element mesh.
The mesh perimeter will also connect any elements already in the model to the mesh perimeter automatically if they are in the plane of the mesh contour.
Comprehensive reports

Results can be visualized either graphically or numerically.
Input data and results may be printed for the whole structure or partial structures using a graphical selection or a range of elements.
Customized list of input data and results to be printed.
Reports are available in several formats including SAFI™ reports, Microsoft Excel worksheets, Microsoft Access databases and ASCII text files.
All graphics can be printed or copied to the clipboard for use in external programs.
File import and data exchange

IFC (INDUSTRY FOUNDATION CLASSES) The integration of the IFC in the HSE program enables importation of models from a large number of architectural and structural software. IFC-Architecture interface for importing models from Revit or other IFC compliant programs. IFC (Industry Foundation Classes) is an open and neutral data format allowing the definition of related classes to all construction objects. It is dedicated to the building sector and aims to software interoperability (all editors, all applications). IFC is the most widely used protocol for information exchange and sharing between different platforms of BIM (Building Information Modeling).

AutoCAD interface to import and export models by way of a DXF file. The solid view of the structure may also be exported when exporting to AutoCAD. The SDNF (Steel Detailing Neutral File) interface exports beams, columns and braces to SDNF compatible detailing software. The KISS (Keep It Simple Steel) interface exports beams, columns and braces to KISS compatible estimation software. If required, members subdivision and account for physical elements will be carried out automatically.

Optimize workflow efficiency and achieve better results using a versatile solution

The HSE (Highway Sign Structural Engineering) software provides a powerful and flexible platform for structural engineers to streamline their design workflows and optimize design time.

The HSE  Software is specifically built to suit your workflow and optimize design time. With both graphical and numerical table definition of highway sign structures, you can design and complete projects faster than ever.

HSE Software

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HSE - Highway Sign Structural Engineering software

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