New AISC Design Guide Focuses on Curved Steel Design

Despite the widespread use of curved structural steel members, detailed guidance relative to U.S. design practice is scarce. AISC’s new Design Guide 33: Curved Member Design brings all of the latest information on curved members into a single document that is compatible with the 2016 AISC Specification for Structural Steel Buildings. Although most of the guidance is focused on structural design, architects, fabricators and detailers will also find the document to be a great resource full of critical information on using curved members in steel structures.

"In addition to providing design guidance for both vertically and horizontally curved members, the guide offers valuable practical information on detailing, fabrication and contract document requirements," said Bo Dowswell, a principal with ARC International, LLC, a consultant to AISC's Steel Solutions Center and author of Design Guide 33. "In the guide, curved members are treated as equivalent straight members where the strength is calculated with AISC Specification equations, which allows engineers to use their existing commercial software to design curved members." Connection design is discussed as well as stability and serviceability concerns. Detailed design examples are also included.

A downloadable PDF of the guide is available for free to AISC members (and $60 for nonmembers) here. A printed version is also available for purchase here; the cost is $40 for members and $80 for nonmembers. For more information related to curved members, visit

AISC has produced more than 30 design guides to provide detailed information on various topics related to structural steel design and construction. All of the guides are available in printed format and as downloadable PDF documents. Downloads are free for AISC members. Browse the collection at