USA & Canada
Section properties are used in various design calculations. For convenience, the following are formulas to calculate the section properties of rectangular beam cross sections.
Neutral axis, in the cross section of a beam, is the line in which there is neither tension nor compression stress.
Moment of Inertia (I) of the cross section of beam is the sum of Table the products of each of its elementary areas multiplied by the square of their distance from the neutral axis of the section.
Section Modulus (S) is the moment of inertia divided by the distance from the neutral axis to the extreme fiber of the section.
Cross Section is a section taken through the member perpendicular to its longitudinal axis.
The following symbols and formulas apply to rectangular beam cross sections:
X-X= neutral axis for edgewise bending (load applied to narrow face)
Y-Y= Neutral axis for flatwise bending (load applied to narrow face)
b= breadth of rectangular bending member(in.)
d= depth of rectangular bending member (in.)
A= bd=area of cross section (in.2)
c= distance from neutral axis to extreme fiber of cross section (in.)
Ixx= bd3/12 = moment of inertia about the X-X axis (in.4)
Iyy= db3/12 = moment of inertia about the Y-Y axis (in.4)
rxx= Square root of (Ixx/A) = d/Square root of 12 = radius of gyration about the X-X axis (in.)
ryy= Square root of (Iyy/A) = b/Square root of 12 = radius of gyration about the Y-Y axis (in.)
sxx= Ixx /c = bd2/6 = section modulus about the X-X axis (in.3)
syy= Iyy /c = db2/6 = section modulus about the Y-Y axis (in.3)
Sizes of rough and dressed Western Red Cedar are shown in Tables 1 and 2.
Spans for Western Cedar lumber used as joists and rafters in residential and commercial structures are available as a download here.
Full specifications for Western Red Cedar can be found in the Designer’s Handbook and are available as a download here.
|Species||Size||Grade||Total Load (Pounds Per Lineal Foot)|
|Western Cedar||2×6||No. 2||127||60||31||18||11||—||—||—|
|Western Cedar||2×8||No. 2||204||115||71||41||26||17||12||—|
|Western Cedar||2×10||No. 2||305||172||110||76||53||36||25||18|
|Western Cedar||2×12||No. 2||410||231||148||103||75||58||45||33|
|Western Cedar||2-2×6||No. 2||255||120||62||36||22||15||11||—|
|Western Cedar||2-2×8||No. 2||409||230||141||82||51||34||24||18|
|Western Cedar||2-2×10||No. 2||610||343||220||153||107||72||50||37|
|Western Cedar||2-2×12||No. 2||820||461||295||205||151||115||90||66|
|Western Cedar||4×4||No. 2||86||36||19||—||—||—||—||—|
|Western Cedar||4×6||No. 2||297||140||72||42||26||18||—||—|
|Western Cedar||4×8||No. 2||517||291||165||95||60||40||28||21|
|Western Cedar||4×10||No. 2||776||437||280||194||125||83||49||43|
|Western Cedar||4×12||No. 2||1053||592||379||263||193||148||105||77|
|Western Cedar||6×6||No. 2||282||159||90||52||33||22||—||—|
|Western Cedar||6×8||No. 2||491||276||177||120||75||51||35||26|
|Western Cedar||6×10||No. 2||908||511||327||227||157||105||74||54|
|Western Cedar||6×12||No. 2||1343||755||483||336||247||189||133||97|
|Western Cedar||8×8||No. 2||647||364||233||158||99||67||47||34|
|Western Cedar||8×10||No. 2||1053||592||379||263||193||138||97||71|
|Western Cedar||8×12||No. 2||1770||996||637||443||325||249||175||127|
DESIGN CRITERIA: Strength – 30 lbs. per sq. ft. snow load, plus 10 lbs. per sq. ft. dead load
Deflection – Limited in span in inches divided by 240 for live load only
|Species||Size||Grade||12″ OC||16″ OC||19.2″ OC||24″ OC|
|Western Cedar||2×6||No. 2||11 – 7||10 – 6||9 – 9||8 – 9|
|Western Cedar||2×8||No. 2||15 – 3||13 – 6||12 – 4||11 – 0|
|Western Cedar||2×10||No. 2||19 – 1||16 – 6||15 – 1||13 – 6|
|Western Cedar||2×12||No. 2||22 – 1||19 – 2||17 – 6||15 – 7|
|Item||Thickness (in.)||Width (in.)|
*Surfaced timbers 10″ and larger available only on special order. Confirm before specifying.
To obtain the coverage of a specified width of siding from Table 3, perform the following calculations:
|Siding Type||Nominal Width (in.)||Dressed Width (in.)||Exposed Face Width (in.)||Linear Feet Factor||Board Feet Factor|
|Tongue and Groove Siding||4|
|Board and Batten Siding||2|
|varies with width of board||see footnote 2|
Since different sizes of visually-graded lumber have different values, the design values shown in Table 4 are tabulated in a base value approach. Base values are provided for a base size that depends on the grade. For Select Structural, No.1, No.2 and No.3 grades, the base strength values are published on a 2×12 basis. For Construction Standard and Utility grades, the base strength values are published on a 2×4 basis (the size factor is always 1.0). For Stud grade, the base strength values are published on a 2×6 basis. These values are for use in the United States only.
To determine the value for a given size, the designer selects a base value for a given grade then multiplies the base value by a size factor from Table 5.
The base design values apply to Western Red Cedar manufactured by members of the Western Red Cedar Lumber Association and graded to National Lumber Grading Authority (NLGA), West Coast Lumber Inspection Bureau (WCLIB) or Western Wood Products Association (WWPA) rules. Grades and sizes of Canadian dimension lumber are identical to those in use throughout the United States and conform to the requirements of applicable American Standards.
Base values in pounds per square inch (psi) – Use with Adjustment Factors (see Tables 5 to 9)
|Grade||Extreme Fiber Stress in Bending|
|Tension Parallel to Grain|
|Horizontal Shear Fv||Compression||Modulus of Elasticity|
|Perpndcular. to Grain|
|Parallel to Grain|
725 / 700
425 / 425
825 / 650
1.0 / 1.0
|Grades||Nominal Width (depth in in.)||Fb less than 4″ thick||Fb 4″ thick nominal||Ft||Fc||Other Properties|
|4 & less|
14 & wider
|Construction & Standard||4 & less||1.0||1.0||1.0||1.0||1.0|
|Stud*||4 & less|
5 & 6
|MSR and plank|
All grades & sizes
*Factors are for Stud grade widths 6″ and less. For studs wider than 6″, use the design values and size factors for No. 3 grade.
The recommended design values are for applications where the moisture content of the wood does not exceed 19%. For use conditions where the moisture content of dimension lumber will exceed 19%, the Wet Use Adjustment Factors below are recommended.
|Fb Extreme Fiber Stress in Bending||0.85*|
|Ft Tension Parallel to Grain||1.0|
|Fc Compression Parellel to Grain||0.8**|
|Fv Horizontal Shear||0.97|
|Fc1 Compression Perpendicular to Grain||0.67|
|E Modulus of Elasticity||0.9|
* Bending Wet Use Factor = 1.0 where Fb CF
(Base Value x Size Factor) does not exceed 1,150 psi.
** Compression Parallel Wet Use Factor=1.0 where Fc CF
(Base Value x Size Factor) does not exceed 750 psi.
Apply to Tabulated Design Values for Extreme Fiber Stress in Bending Where Lumber is used Flatwise Rather than on Edge.
|Nominal Width (in.)||Nominal Thickness (in.)|
|Less than 4||4|
|Less than 4||1.00||–|
|10 & Wider||1.20||1.10|
Note: These factors apply to all dimension lumber except tongue-and-grove decking grades. For T & G decking, the following adjustments may be used:
|Flat use factor||1.10||1.04||1.00|
Applies to Tabulated Design Values for Extreme Fiber Stress in Bending when members are used as joists, truss chords, rafters, studs, planks, decking or similar members which are in contact or spaced not more than 24″ on centers, are not less than 3 in number and are joined by floor, roof or other load distributing elements adequate to support the design load.
|Ten Years (normal load)||1.0|
|Two Months (snow load)||1.15|
|Ten Minutes (wind, earthquake)||1.6|
Note: Confirm load requirements with local codes. Refer to Model Building Codes or the National Design Specification for high-temperature or fire-retardant treated adjustment factors.
All horizontal shear base values are established as if a piece were split full length and as such the values are reduced from those permitted to be assigned in accordance with ASTM standards. This reduction is made to compensate for any degree of shake, check or split that might develop in a piece.
|2 in. Thick|
|3 in. and Thicker|
|For convenience, the table below may be used to determine horizontal shear values for any grade of 2″ thick lumber in any species when the length of split or check is known:||Horizontal shear values for 3″ and thicker lumber also are established as if a piece were split full length. When specific lengths of splits are known and any increase in them is not anticipated, the following adjustments may be applied:|
|When length of split on wide face does not exceed:||Multiply tabulated Fv value by:||When length of split on wide face does not exceed||Multiply tabulated Fv value by:|
1/2 x wide face
3/4 x wide face
1 x wide face
1-1/2 x wide face or more
1/2 x narrow face1 x narrow face
1-1/2 x narrow face or more
Design values for compression perpendicular to grain are established in accordance with the procedures set forth in ASTM D 2555 and D 245. ASTM procedures consider deformation under bearing loads as a serviceability limit state comparable to bending deflection because bearing loads rarely cause structural failures. Therefore, ASTM procedures for determining compression perpendicular to grain values are based on a deformation of 0.04″ and are considered adequate for most classes of structures. Where more stringent measures need be taken in design, the following permits the designer to adjust design values to a more conservative deformation basis of 0.02″.
|Y02 = 0.73Y04 + 5.60|
|Design values in pounds per square inch (psi)|
|Classification||Extreme Fiber Stress in Bending Fb||Tension Parallel to Grain F1||Shear Parallel to Grain Fv||Compression Perpendicular to Grain Fc||Compression Parallel to Grain Fc||Modulus of Elasticity E|