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Columns

&
Struts

Date : 14 Oct 2015

Introduction
COLUMNS are vertical members used to carry axial compression loads. Such
structural elements are found, for example, in buildings supporting floors, roofs or
cranes. If they are subjected to significant bending moments in addition to the axial
loads, they are called beam-columns.
A Structural member subjected to axial compressive force is called STRUT.
Compared to columns, the strut cross-sectional dimensions are small.
Examples of struts are connecting rods, piston rods etc.,

Maximum stress region.

Modes of failure of the columns


Long columns are known as slender columns, when subjected to compression,
deflects or bends in a lateral direction. The lateral deflection of the long column is
called buckling.
The long column fails when there is excessive buckling i.e, when the load on the
column exceeds critical load .
The load carrying capacity of long column depends upon several factors like the
length of the column, MI of its cross section, modulus of elasticity of the material,
nature of its support, in addition to area of cross section and the crushing strength of
the material.

Modes of failure of the columns


Short Columns : A short column buckles under compression and fails by crushing.
The load causing failure is called crushing load.

The safe load on a column is obtained by dividing the


crushing load by suitable factor of safety

Different end conditions of a column


Crippling loads in terms of actual length

(a) Both ends hinged

(b) Both ends fixed

(c) One end is fixed and


other is free

(d) One end is fixed


and other is hinged

Crippling load at different terms


Crippling load for any type of end condition is given by,

Crippling load and crippling stress in terms of effective length and radius of gyration,

Different modes of buckling


The value selected before is so called the fundamental mode value and is the lowest critical load producing
the single bow buckling condition.
The solution nL = 2pi produces buckling in two half waves, 3pi in three half-waves etc.

If load is applied sufficiently quickly to the strut, then it is possible to pass through the fundamental mode
and to achieve at least one of the other modes which are theoretically possible. In practical loading situations,
however, this is rarely achieved since the high stress associated with the first critical condition generally
ensures immediate collapse.

Where do we see columns or struts ?


In a automobile suspension system.

Where do we see columns or struts ?


In a aeroplane/aircraft landing gear, which is under a constant compressive stress.

Where do we see columns or struts ?


Hundreds of tubes and channels in a bus structure are subjected to buckle during the
vehicle impacts or rolls over.

Where do we see columns or struts ?


Crushing load due to front impact in the automobile crash box as shown below.

Where do we see columns or struts ?

Stresses induced in the


automobile due to front
impact on the body in white
parts (BIW)

Stresses induced in the


automobile due to side
impact on the body in white
parts (BIW)

Where do we see columns or struts ?


Behaviour of columns in few below cross-sections
I-Section

C-Section
Square section

C & L-Section