Panel Zone Output Conventions

Internally in the analysis model, SAP2000 creates two joints at locations where panel zones are assigned to point objects. If the panel zone is between columns and other objects, one of the joints is connected to the columns and one is connected to the other object. Brace-to-other-object panel zones are similar.

SAP2000 reports panel zone displacements (using the Display menu > Show Miscellaneous Assigns > Joints command and the Panel Zone option), panel zone internal deformations and panel zone internal forces (using the Display menu > Show Tables command and the Analysis Results, Element Output, Panel Output option). Do not confuse panel zone displacements and internal deformations. They are different.

SAP2000 reports displacements for a point object with a panel zone assignment as follows:

Panel zone displacements are reported in the global coordinate system. Positive translational displacements are in the same direction as the positive global axes. The sense of positive rotations can be determined using the right-hand rule.

Panel zone internal deformations are reported in the panel zone local coordinate system. The following conventions are used by SAP2000:

The panel zone internal forces indicate how much unbalanced load is transferred through the panel zone. For example, in a panel zone with beam-to-other-object connectivity the internal forces indicate how much unbalanced moment is transferred from the beams to the other objects.

Panel zone internal forces are calculated as described for link element internal forces. Since panel zone elements are zero length, elements M2 = M2b and M3 = M3b. The panel zone internal forces are reported in the panel zone local coordinate system.