Tekla Structures – Surface treatment

This section explains how to create various surface treatments and finishes for steel and concrete parts. It contains the following topics:
Adding surface treatment to parts

Use the surface treatment tools to add surface treatment to parts. Surface treatment for concrete parts include flat finishes, surface mixes, and tiles. Surface treatment for steel parts include fire-proofing and unpainted areas.


Tekla Structures includes the following surface treatment tools in Detailing > Create Surface Treatment:


To Part Face


Adds a surface treatment to an entire face of a part.

To Selected Area on Part Face


Adds a surface treatment to a selected area on the face of a part.

To All Faces of Part


Adds a surface treatment to all faces of a part.




When you create overlapping surface treatments, the smaller surface treatment overrides the larger one.

The overlapping area is recognized in reports: only the topmost (visible) surface treatment is calculated.

Numbering To have Tekla Structures include surface treatment in numbering, click Drawings & Reports > Numbering > Numbering Settings…, and select the Surface treatment checkbox on the Numbering tab.
See also Z\ Synchronize with master model (save-numbering-save)
Defining surface treatment properties
To define the properties of a surface treatment:

1. Click Detailing > Properties > Surface Treatment… to open the Surface Treatment Properties dialog box:

2.     In the Type list box, select the type of surface treatment to use.

3.     In the Surface treatment name list box, select the specific surface treatment.

4.     Click the Select… button against Material to select a material from the catalog.

5.     Enter the Thickness of the surface treatment.

6.     Set the Color to use to display the surface treatment in rendered views.

7.     In the At depth list box, select the location of the surface treatment. The options are Middle, Front, and Behind.

8.     Click Apply or OK to save the surface treatment properties. To define the properties of a tiled surface treatment, continue as follows:

1.     On the Attributes tab, select Tile surface from the Type list box.

2.     On the Pattern tab, select the pattern from the Pattern type list box.

3.     The Definition table lists the properties of the pattern type.

When you redefine the properties of a part (e.g. you change the size of a part), Tekla Structures automatically modifies the surface treatment to fit the part.

See also Defining custom properties

To define your own surface treatment properties to use in reports and drawings, click the User-defined attributes… button and go to the Parameters tab. Adding properties in the online help explains how to add user-defined properties.

Adding tiled surface treatment to parts
See also Tekla Structures includes complex tile and brick surface treatment options, such as basketweave and herringbone patterns.

Tiled surface treatment options are based on repeating tile patterns that are stored in XML format. For more information creating tile patterns

You cannot use previous versions to edit surface treatments created in Tekla Structures version 11.2 or newer.
Defining tile patterns
Information about the predefined tile patterns in the Surface treatment properties dialog box are stored in the following files:
File Description
TilePatternCat-alog.xml •      Contains the tile pattern definitions.

•      Located in the model’s attributes folder, project folder, firm folder, and system folder.

File Description
TilePatternCat-alog.dtd •     Document Type Declaration (DTD) file that defines the elements allowed in the TilePatternCatalog.xml file.

•     Located in the same folder as the Tile-PatternCatalog.xml file.

Thumbnail images •      The images that appear in the Picture field in the Surface treatment properties dialog box.

•     Located in the ..\nt\bitmaps folder.

•     Filenames identify the pattern types, for example, herringbone.bmp illustrates the herringbone pattern type.

Example pattern This example explains how the Basketweave tile pattern is defined in the definition                  TilePatternCatalog.xml file and shows how the pattern options appear on the Pattern

tab of the Surface treatment properties dialog box:

94        TEKLA STRUCTURES 14.0


TEKLA STRUCTURES 14.0        95


PO The name of the pattern

/T\ The size of the pattern block in the x direction, after which the pattern


© The size of the pattern block in the y direction, after which the pattern repeats

The Basketweave pattern block is made up of eight tiles:

MJ Tile width

f2J Mortar width

f3J VOffset

(4) HOffset

Red marks indicate TileOrigin

^^ Angle value for vertical tiles is 90
f6J Tile height MM Mortar height
The pattern is repeated in the x and y direction of the surface treatment, starting from the origin of the surface treatment. You can run the pattern in different x directions:
TEKLA STRUCTURES 14.0        97


Defining your own tile patterns

XML file                       To define your own tile patterns:

1.    Open the TilePatternCatalog.xml file using any text editor. The file is located in the

..TeklaStructures\*version*\environments\*your_environment*\s ystem folder.

2.     Add a new <TilePattern> element to the file. A <TilePattern> element must have <HOffset> and <VOffset> elements and at least one <Tile> element. Other elements are optional. You may find it easier to copy one of the existing elements, then change it suit your needs.

The TilePatternCatalog.xml file can contain the following elements:

Element Description


The container for tile patterns. Required.
TilePattern Tile pattern element. Required. This element can contain the following elements listed in this table.

Horizontal offset of the tile pattern. Required.

VOffset Vertical offset of the tile pattern. Required.
Tile The individual tiles used in a tile pattern. At least one required.
Color Color of the tile or mortar, defined by the RGB values (0–255). Optional.
Parameter Creates an attribute for any element in the TilePattern. Optional.
Label The label that identifies a parameter in the dialog box. Optional.
TileOrigin The origin of an individual tile, defined from the origin of the pattern. Optional.
3.     Repeat adding <TilePattern> elements for all the patterns you want to define.

4.    Save the TilePatternCatalog.xml file.

Adding surface treatment to parts with cuts and recesses

To force Tekla Structures to consider openings and recesses in parts when adding surface treatment, select the Cut by father part cuts checkbox in the Surface Treatment Properties dialog box:

/T\ The green surface treatment has the Cut by father part cuts checkbox
/T\ The tiled surface treatment is not cut by the cut in the part: Cut by father
part cuts is not selected.
Surface treatment To

to cut faces


2. 3. 4.

add surface treatment to cut faces:

Click Detailing > Create Surface Treatment, and then click either To Part Face or To

Selected Area on Part Face.

Pick the origin of the surface treatment.

Pick the direction.

Select the cut face on which to apply the surface treatment:

5. For the To Selected Area on Part Face option, pick the points to define the area of the surface treatment.
rjl If you use the To All Faces of Part command and select the Cut by father part cuts checkbox, Tekla Structures automatically adds surface treatment also to the cut faces.
Cutting surface treatment To define the cut depth of a polygon cut, for example, to cut thick surface treatment, use the variable XS_POLYGON_CUT_EXTRA_THICKNESS:
1.     Click Tools > Advanced options…, and go to the Modeling properties category.

2.     Set the cut thickness for the variable XS_POLYGON_CUT_EXTRA_THICKNESS. The default value is 5.0 mm.

Adding surface treatment to chamfered parts

Take these things into account when adding surface treatment to chamfered parts:

•      Surface treatment does not work on sketched profiles with chamfers.

•      Add surface treatment before chamfering the part. If surface treatment is applied to a chamfered part, the surface treatment chamfer cannot be modified later on.

•      The chamfers for the main part and surface treatment are separate. Modifying the main part chamfer does not affect the surface treatment chamfer.

•      The orientation of unsymmetric chamfers depends on the face where it was created (such as top, bottom, left, or right). To change the orientation of an unsymmetric chamfer, you must swap the chamfer’s x and y values.

Creating and editing surface treatment options

To create new options in the Surface treatment name list box in the Surface treatment properties dialog box, or to edit existing names, edit the product_finishes.dat file, located in the ..environments\*your_environment*\system folder.

The first section of the file defines the available types of surface treatment. Do not edit this section:
// Product finishes

// ————————-


// Type : Type of surfacing

//                                       1 = concrete finish

//                                       2 = special mix

//                                       3 = tile surface

//                                       4 = steel finishes

The remaining sections define the options for each type of surface treatment. This is where you can edit existing options, or add rows to define new options:

// Concrete Finish
// ==============


// ———-

1 MF 1 SMF 1 WT

“Magnesium Float” “Smooth Magnesium Float” “Wet Trowel”
In this example:

•      1 is the surface treatment type (concrete finish)

•      MF is the code for the surface treatment option

•      “Magnesium Float” is the full name of the surface treatment option (remember to enclose the name in double quotes ” “)

Here is how this option appears in the dialog box:

© © Code
Full name
Adding surface treatment information to report templates

You can include the following surface treatment specific fields in report templates:

Name Explanation
CODE Code for the surface treatment defined in the product_finishes.dat file. For example, TS1.
MORTAR VOLUME Volume of mortar used in surface treatment.
NAME Text in the Name field in the Surface Treatment Properties dialog box.
NUMBER OF TILE TYPES Number of tiles used in a tile pattern.
SURFACING NAME Surface treatment name defined in the product_finishes.dat file.


Surface treatment type number defined in the product_finishes.dat file.
TILE VOLUME Volume of tiles used in surface treatment (without mortar volume).
TYPE Surface treatment type in the Surface Treatment Properties dialog box.
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