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# 13.

Buckling of Columns
CHAPTER OBJECTIVES
Discuss the behavior of
columns.
Discuss the buckling of
columns.
needed to buckle an ideal
column.
Analyze the buckling with
bending of a column.
Discuss inelastic buckling of a column.
Discuss methods used to design concentric and
eccentric columns.
2005 Pearson Education South Asia Pte Ltd 1
13. Buckling of Columns
CHAPTER OUTLINE
2. Ideal Column with Pin Supports
3. Columns Having Various Types of Supports
4. *The Secant Formula
5. *Inelastic Buckling

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13. Buckling of Columns
Long slender members subjected to axial
compressive force are called columns.
The lateral deflection that occurs is
called buckling.
The maximum axial load a column can
support when it is on the verge of
buckling is called the critical load, Pcr.

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13. Buckling of Columns
Spring develops restoring force F = k, while
applied load P develops two horizontal
components, Px = P tan , which tends to push the
pin further out of equilibrium.
Since is small,
= (L/2) and tan .
Thus, restoring spring
force becomes
F = kL/2, and
disturbing force is
2Px = 2P.

## 2005 Pearson Education South Asia Pte Ltd 4

13. Buckling of Columns

## For kL/2 > 2P,

kL
P stable equilibriu m
4
For kL/2 < 2P,

kL
P unstable equilibrium
4

## For kL/2 = 2P,

kL
Pcr neutral equilibriu m
4
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13. Buckling of Columns
13.2 IDEAL COLUMN WITH PIN SUPPORTS

made of homogeneous material, and upon which
the load is applied through the centroid of the x-
section.
We also assume that the material behaves in a
linear-elastic manner and the column buckles or
bends in a single plane.

## 2005 Pearson Education South Asia Pte Ltd 6

13. Buckling of Columns
13.2 IDEAL COLUMN WITH PIN SUPPORTS

## In order to determine the critical load and buckled

shape of column, we apply Eqn 12-10,
d 2
EI 2 M 13 - 1
dx
Recall that this eqn assume
the slope of the elastic
curve is small and
deflections occur only in
bending. We assume that
the material behaves in a
linear-elastic manner and
the column buckles or
bends in a single plane.
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13. Buckling of Columns
13.2 IDEAL COLUMN WITH PIN SUPPORTS

## Summing moments, M = P, Eqn 13-1

becomes
d 2 P

2 0 13 - 2
dx EI
General solution is
P P
C1 sin x C2 cos x 13 - 3
EI EI
Since = 0 at x = 0, then C2 = 0.
Since = 0 at x = L, then
P
C1 sin L 0
EI
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13. Buckling of Columns
13.2 IDEAL COLUMN WITH PIN SUPPORTS

## Disregarding trivial soln for C1 = 0, we get

P
sin L 0
EI
Which is satisfied if
P
L n
EI
or
n 2 2 EI
P 2
n 1,2,3,...
L

## 2005 Pearson Education South Asia Pte Ltd 9

13. Buckling of Columns
13.2 IDEAL COLUMN WITH PIN SUPPORTS
Smallest value of P is obtained for n = 1, so critical load
for column is 2 EI
Pcr
L2
This load is also referred to
corresponding buckled
shape is defined by
x
C1 sin
L
C1 represents maximum
deflection, max, which occurs
at midpoint of the column.
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13. Buckling of Columns
13.2 IDEAL COLUMN WITH PIN SUPPORTS
A column will buckle about the principal axis of the
x-section having the least moment of inertia
(weakest axis).
For example, the meter stick shown will
buckle about the a-a axis and not
the b-b axis.
columns, and square tube or those
shapes having Ix Iy are selected
for columns.

## 2005 Pearson Education South Asia Pte Ltd 11

13. Buckling of Columns
13.2 IDEAL COLUMN WITH PIN SUPPORTS

column,
2 EI
Pcr 2 13 - 5
L

## Pcr = critical or maximum axial load on column just

before it begins to buckle. This load must not cause
the stress in column to exceed proportional limit.
E = modulus of elasticity of material
I = Least modulus of inertia for columns x-sectional
area.
L = unsupported length of pinned-end columns.
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13. Buckling of Columns
13.2 IDEAL COLUMN WITH PIN SUPPORTS
Expressing I = Ar2 where A is x-sectional area of
column and r is the radius of gyration of x-sectional
area. 2E
cr 13 - 6
L r 2
cr = critical stress, an average stress in column just
before the column buckles. This stress is an elastic
stress and therefore cr Y
E = modulus of elasticity of material
L = unsupported length of pinned-end columns.
r = smallest radius of gyration of column, determined from
r = (I/A), where I is least moment of inertia of columns
x-sectional area A.
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13. Buckling of Columns
13.2 IDEAL COLUMN WITH PIN SUPPORTS
The geometric ratio L/r in Eqn 13-6 is known as the
slenderness ratio.
It is a measure of the columns flexibility and will be
used to classify columns as long, intermediate or
short.

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13. Buckling of Columns
13.2 IDEAL COLUMN WITH PIN SUPPORTS
IMPORTANT
Columns are long slender members that are
column can support when it is on the verge of
buckling.
equilibrium.

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13. Buckling of Columns
13.2 IDEAL COLUMN WITH PIN SUPPORTS
IMPORTANT
An ideal column is initially perfectly straight, made
of homogeneous material, and the load is applied
through the centroid of the x-section.
A pin-connected column will buckle about the
principal axis of the x-section having the least
moment of intertia.
The slenderness ratio L/r, where r is the smallest
radius of gyration of x-section. Buckling will occur
about the axis where this ratio gives the greatest
value.

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13. Buckling of Columns
EXAMPLE 13.1
A 7.2-m long A-36 steel tube
having the x-section shown is to
be used a pin-ended column.
Determine the maximum
can support so that it does not
buckle.

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13. Buckling of Columns
EXAMPLE 13.1 (SOLN)
Use Eqn 13-5 to obtain critical load with
Est = 200 GPa.
2 EI
Pcr
L2
2
1
4
6 2

200 10 kN/m 70 4 1 m / 1000 mm 4

7.2 m 2
228.2 kN

## 2005 Pearson Education South Asia Pte Ltd 18

13. Buckling of Columns
EXAMPLE 13.1 (SOLN)
This force creates an average compressive stress in
the column of
Pcr 228.2 kN1000 N/kN
cr
A

75 70 mm
2 2 2

is appropriate.

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13. Buckling of Columns
EXAMPLE 13.2
The A-36 steel W20046 member shown is to be
used as a pin-connected column. Determine the
largest axial load it can support
before it either begins to buckle
or the steel yields.

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13. Buckling of Columns
EXAMPLE 13.2 (SOLN)
From table in Appendix B, columns x-sectional area
and moments of inertia are A = 5890 mm2,
Ix = 45.5106 mm4,and Iy = 15.3106 mm4.
By inspection, buckling will occur about the y-y axis.
Applying Eqn 13-5, we have
2
EI
Pcr
L2

2 200 106 kN/m 2 15.3 104 mm 4 1 m / 1000 mm 4
4 m 2

1887.6 kN
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13. Buckling of Columns
EXAMPLE 13.2 (SOLN)
When fully loaded, average compressive stress in
column is Pcr 1887.6 kN1000 N/kN
cr
A 5890 mm 2
320.5 N/mm 2

## Since this stress exceeds yield stress (250 N/mm2),

the load P is determined from simple compression:
2 P
250 N/mm
5890 mm2
P 1472.5 kN

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13. Buckling of Columns
13.3 COLUMNS HAVING VARIOUS TYPES OF SUPPORTS

## From free-body diagram, M = P( ).

Differential eqn for the deflection curve is
P d 2
P
2
13 - 7
dx EI EI
Solving by using boundary conditions
and integration, we get
P
1 cos x 13 - 8
EI

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13. Buckling of Columns
13.3 COLUMNS HAVING VARIOUS TYPES OF SUPPORTS

## Thus, smallest critical load occurs when n = 1, so

that 2 EI
Pcr 2
13 - 9
4L
By comparing with Eqn 13-5, a column fixed-
supported at its base will carry only one-fourth the
critical load applied to a pin-supported column.

## 2005 Pearson Education South Asia Pte Ltd 24

13. Buckling of Columns
13.3 COLUMNS HAVING VARIOUS TYPES OF SUPPORTS

Effective length
If a column is not supported by pinned-ends, then
Eulers formula can also be used to determine the
L must then represent the distance between the
zero-moment points.
This distance is called the columns effective length,
L e.

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13. Buckling of Columns
13.3 COLUMNS HAVING VARIOUS TYPES OF SUPPORTS

Effective length

## 2005 Pearson Education South Asia Pte Ltd 26

13. Buckling of Columns
13.3 COLUMNS HAVING VARIOUS TYPES OF SUPPORTS

Effective length
Many design codes provide column formulae that
use a dimensionless coefficient K, known as thee
effective-length factor.
Le KL 13 - 10
Thus, Eulers formula can be expressed as
2 EI
Pcr 13 - 11
KL 2

2E
cr 13 - 12
KL r 2

## 2005 Pearson Education South Asia Pte Ltd 27

13. Buckling of Columns
13.3 COLUMNS HAVING VARIOUS TYPES OF SUPPORTS

Effective length
Here (KL/r) is the columns effective-slenderness
ratio.

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13. Buckling of Columns
EXAMPLE 13.3
A W15024 steel column is 8 m
long and is fixed at its ends as
is increased by bracing it about
the y-y axis using struts that are
assumed to be pin-connected
to its mid-height. Determine the
load it can support sp that the
column does not buckle nor
material exceed the yield stress.
Take Est = 200 GPa and Y = 410 MPa.

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13. Buckling of Columns
EXAMPLE 13.3 (SOLN)
Buckling behavior is
different about the x and y
axes due to bracing.
Buckled shape for each
case is shown.
The effective length for
is (KL)x = 0.5(8 m) = 4 m.
axis, (KL)y = 0.7(8 m/2) = 2.8 m.
We get Ix = 13.4106 mm4 and Iy = 1.83106 mm4
from Appendix B.
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13. Buckling of Columns
EXAMPLE 13.3 (SOLN)
Applying Eqn 13-11,

Pcr x

2 EI x 2 200 106 kN/m 2 13.4 106 m 4

KL x
2
4 m 2

Pcr x 1653.2 kN

Pcr y
2 EI y
2 200 106 kN/m 2 1.83 106 m 4
KL y
2
2.8 m 2
Pcr y 460.8 kN
By comparison, buckling will occur about the y-y
axis.

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13. Buckling of Columns
EXAMPLE 13.3 (SOLN)
Area of x-section is 3060 mm2, so average
compressive stress in column will be

cr

Pcr 460.8 103 N
150 . 6 N/mm 2
A 2
3060 m

## Since cr < Y = 410 MPa, buckling will occur before

the material yields.

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13. Buckling of Columns
EXAMPLE 13.3 (SOLN)
NOTE: From Eqn 13-11, we see that buckling always
occur about the column axis having the largest
slenderness ratio. Thus using data for the radius of
gyration from table in Appendix B,
KL 4 m1000 mm/m 60.4

r x 66.2 mm
KL 2.8 m1000 mm/m 114.3

r y 24.5 mm
Hence, y-y axis buckling will occur, which is the same
conclusion reached by comparing Eqns 13-11 for
both axes.
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13. Buckling of Columns
*13.4 THE SECANT FORMULA

## The actual criterion for load application on a column

is limited to either a specified deflection of the
column or by not allowing the maximum stress in
the column exceed an
allowable stress.
We apply a load P to column
at a short eccentric distance
e from centroid of x-section.
This is equivalent to applying
M = Pe.

## 2005 Pearson Education South Asia Pte Ltd 34

13. Buckling of Columns
*13.4 THE SECANT FORMULA

## From free-body diagram, internal moment in column

is M P e 13 - 13
Thus, the general solution for the differential eqn of
the deflection curve is
P P
C1 sin x C2 cos xe 13 - 14
EI EI
Applying boundary conditions to determine the
constants, deflection curve is written as
P L P P
e tan sin s cos x 1 13 - 15
EI 2 EI EI

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13. Buckling of Columns
*13.4 THE SECANT FORMULA

Maximum deflection
deflection and maximum stress occur at columns
midpoint. Therefore, when x = L/2, = max, so

P L
max e sec 1 13 - 16
EI 2

## 2005 Pearson Education South Asia Pte Ltd 36

13. Buckling of Columns
*13.4 THE SECANT FORMULA

Maximum deflection
Therefore, to find Pcr, we require
Pcr L
sec
EI 2
Pcr L

EI 2 2
2 EI
Pcr 2 13 - 17
L

## 2005 Pearson Education South Asia Pte Ltd 37

13. Buckling of Columns
*13.4 THE SECANT FORMULA

## The secant formula

Maximum stress in column occur when
maximum moment occurs at the
columns midpoint.
Using Eqns 13-13 and 13-16,
M P e max
P L
M Pe sec 13 - 18
EI 2
Maximum stress is compressive and
P Mc P Pec P L
max ; max sec
A I A I EI 2
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13. Buckling of Columns
*13.4 THE SECANT FORMULA

## The secant formula

Since radius of gyration r2 = I/A,
P ec L P
max 1 2 sec 13 - 19
A r 2r EA
max = maximum elastic stress in column, at inner
concave side of midpoint (compressive).
P = vertical load applied to the column. P < Pcr
unless e = 0, then P = Pcr (Eqn 13-5)
e = eccentricity of load P, measured from the neutral
axis of columns x-sectional area to line of action of
P.
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13. Buckling of Columns
*13.4 THE SECANT FORMULA

## The secant formula

c = distance from neutral axis to outer fiber of
column where maximum compressive stress max
occurs.
A = x-sectional area of column
L = unsupported length of column in plane of
bending. For non pin-supported columns, Le should
be used.
E = modulus of elasticity of material.
r = radius of gyration, r = (I/A), where I is computed
about the neutral or bending axis.
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13. Buckling of Columns
*13.4 THE SECANT FORMULA

Design
Once eccentricity ratio has been determined,
column data can be substituted into Eqn 13-19.
For max = Y, corresponding load PY is determined
from a trial-and-error procedure, since eqn is
transcendental and cannot be solved explicitly for
PY.
Note that PY will always be smaller than the critical
load Pcr, since Eulers formula assumes
unrealistically that column is axially loaded without
eccentricity.
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13. Buckling of Columns
*13.4 THE SECANT FORMULA
IMPORTANT
Due to imperfections in manufacturing or application
of the load, a column will never suddenly buckle,
The load applied to a column is related to its
deflections in a nonlinear manner, so the principle of
superposition does not apply.
As the slenderness ratio increases, eccentrically
loaded columns tend to fail at or near the Euler

## 2005 Pearson Education South Asia Pte Ltd 42

13. Buckling of Columns
EXAMPLE 13.6
The W20059 A-36 steel
column shown is fixed at its
base and braced at the top so
that it is fixed from
displacement, yet free to
Also, it can sway to the side in
the y-z plane. Determine the
column can support before it
either begins to buckle or the
steel yields.
2005 Pearson Education South Asia Pte Ltd 43
13. Buckling of Columns
EXAMPLE 13.6 (SOLN)
From support conditions, about the y-y
axis, the column behaves as if it was
pinned at the top, fixed at the base and
subjected to an axial load P.
About the x-x axis, the column is free at
the top and fixed at the base, and
subjected to both axial load P and
moment M = P(200 mm).

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13. Buckling of Columns
EXAMPLE 13.6 (SOLN)
y-y axis buckling:
Effective length factor is Ky = 0.7, so (KL)y = 0.7(4 m)
= 2.8 m = 2800 mm. Using table in Appendix B to
determine Iy for the section and applying Eqn 13-11,

Pcr y
2 EI y
2 200 103 N/mm2 20.4 106 mm4
KL y
2
2800 mm 2

5136247 N 5136 kN

## 2005 Pearson Education South Asia Pte Ltd 45

13. Buckling of Columns
EXAMPLE 13.6 (SOLN)
x-x axis yielding:
Kx = 2, so (KL)x = 2(4 m) = 8 m = 8000 mm. From
table in Appendix B, A = 7580 mm2, c = 210 mm/2 =
105 mm, and rx = 89.9 mm, applying secant formula,
Px ec KL x Px
Y 1 2 sec
A rx 2rx EA
Px 200 105 8000 Px
250 1 sec
2 89.9 200 103 7580
7580 2
89.9

1.895 106 Px 1 2.598 sec 1.143 103 Px
2005 Pearson Education South Asia Pte Ltd 46
13. Buckling of Columns
EXAMPLE 13.6 (SOLN)
x-x axis yielding:
Solving for Px by trial and error, noting that argument
for secant is in radians, we get
Px 419368 N 419.4 kN

## Since this value is less than (Pcr)y = 5136 kN, failure

will occur about the x-x axis.
Also, = 419.4103 N / 7580 mm2
= 55.3 MPa < Y = 250 MPa.