Design engineers generally use common first-order section analysis tools to calculate section properties which enable them to evaluate the flexural and torsional stiffness and load carrying capacity of structural members, and to quickly resize or redesign the section to meet the desired performance targets.
In the special case of automotive body and chassis development, structural members are typically designed with thin wall sections for mass efficiency. The most common failure mode in these members is plate buckling, which ultimately results in a reduced load capacity of the member. Consequently, common section analysis tools will not be sufficient to accurately predict the maximum load capacity of these components under complex external loads.
GAS2.0 is a Windows Application which is used to model behavior of thin walled automotive beam sections. In addition to calculating typical area section properties, the software provides the ability to model plate buckling behavior, and to estimate the load capacity of thin wall sections based on the effective section method. The primary use of the software is during the early phases of automotive body and chassis structure design to help establish appropriate section shapes and sizes that will meet the desired performance targets. It can also be used in later stages to provide fast responses to urgent validation requests and to mitigate performance issues by recommending updates to section wall thicknesses, section features, and steel grade distribution.
This GUI based software allows users to import, construct, or modify sections for analysis and interrogation including defining steel grades, wall thicknesses, and welds. It enables engineers, through plate buckling analysis, to better utilize and distribute steel grades in their design. Although final designs will still be validated using more elaborate computer aided analysis (CAE) tools, using GAS2.0 can result in investigating and creating section designs which are more likely to meet requirements with fewer problems to fix.
About: GAS2.0 is a standalone Windows software requiring installation, but does not require third party add-ins or supporting software. This analysis software is made available to the engineering and educational community by AISI without license fees.
More details can be found here: http://www.steel.org/GAS2/