American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI) Specifications, Standards, Manuals and Research Reports (1946 - present)

Alternative Title

Research Report RP21-05


New product development is crucial to allow innovation in the cold-formed steel structural industry. However, the required physical testing of new components and assemblies are often a cost barrier which prevents implementation and slows new product development. Testing by analysis can be a good alternative to physical testing as it reduces the expense and time for performing physical experiments, however, two considerations are necessary to ensure accurate results. First, it requires a rational engineering analysis to calculate the capacities and deformations of the system, and the requirements to produce accurate analyses must be explicitly stated. Second, it is necessary to understand if the software used is capable of correctly modeling the behavior of standard thin walled and nonsymmetric structural members and systems. Although the computational capability for testing by analysis has been developed in recent years, the current US design code for cold-formed steel, AISI S100, lacks a standardized approach. This project aims to evaluate existing design standards that include numerical test-based design for both cold-formed steel and other industries. Recommendations for the use of testing by analysis based on the design standards, a survey for understanding the current commonly used software and software capabilities, and recent research relevant to testing by analysis are presented. The results of this report will assist with potential future codification of testing by analysis in the AISI standards.


Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering


American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI)

Publication Date

March 2021

Document Version

Final Version


© 2021 American Iron and Steel Institute, All rights reserved.

Document Type

Technical Report

File Type




Technical Report Number

Research Report RP21-05