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Chapter 9

Buckling of Columns

9.0 INTRODUCTION TO BCUKLING (SI&4 th :649-652)

In discussing the analysis and design of various structures in the previous chapters, we had two primary concerns: (1) the strength of the structure, i.e. its ability to support a specified load without experiencing excessive stresses; (2) the ability of the structure to support a specified load without undergoing unacceptable deformations. In this chapter, we shall be concerned with stability of the structure, i.e. with its ability to support a given load without experiencing a sudden change in its configuration. Our discussion will relate mainly to column, i.e. to the analysis and design of vertical prismatic members supporting axial loads.

If a beam element is under a compressive load and its length if the orders of magnitude are larger than either of its other dimensions such a beam is called a columns. Due to its size its axial displacement is going to be very small compared to its lateral deflection called buckling. Quite often the buckling of column can lead to sudden and dramatic failure. And as a result, special attention must be given to design of column so that they can safely support the loads.

In looking at columns under this type of loading we are only going to look at three different types of supports: pin-ended, doubly built-in and cantilever.

9.1 SLENDER PIN-ENDED COLUMN (SI 649-657; 4 th :652-657; 3 rd Ed p.653-

661)

Due to imperfections no column is really straight. At some critical compressive load it will buckle. To determine the maximum compressive load (Buckling Load) we assume that buckling has occurred as shown in Fig. 9.1,

y,v P P x
y,v
P
P
x

L

Fig. 9.1 Deflection column due to applied compressive load P

Look closely at the FBD of the left hand end of the beam as in Fig. 9.2:

M(x) y,v P v V(x) P x
M(x)
y,v
P
v
V(x)
P
x

Fig. 9.2 FBD of section of length x of deflected column

Equating moments at the cut end:

M

= 0 =

Pv

+

M x

()=

0

M (x) = −Pv

(9.1)

But since the deflection of a beam is related with its bending moment distribution, then:

EI

d

2

v

dx

2

= − Pv

which simplifies to:

d

2

v

+   P   v = 0

EI

dx

2

(9.2)

(9.3)

where P/EI is a constant. This expression is in the form of a second order differential equation of the following type:

d

2

v

dx

2

2

v = 0

P

EI

where:

The solution of this equation is:

2

α =

v = Acos()αx + B sin()αx

(9.4)

(9.5)

(9.6)

where A and B are constants, which can be determined using the column’s kinematic boundary conditions.

Kinematic Boundary Conditions

at x = 0, v = 0:

at x = L , v = 0, then: 0 = B sin(αL)

0 = A + 0, giving that A = 0

If B = 0, No bending moment exists, so the only logical solution is for: sin(αL) = 0 and the only way that this can happen is if :

αL = nπ ,

where n = 1,2,3,L. But since:

2

α =

P

EI

=   π

n

L

2

then we get that buckling load as:

P

=

n

2

π 2 EI

L

2

(9.7)

(9.8)

(9.9)

The values of 'n' define the buckling mode shapes, as in Fig. 9.3:

P 1 2 P 1 π EI First mode of buckling P = 1 2
P 1
2
P 1
π
EI
First mode of buckling
P
=
1
2
L
P 2
P 2
4 π
2 EI
Second mode of buckling
P
=
2
2
L
P 3
P 3
9 π
2 EI
Third mode of buckling
P
=
3
2
L

Fig. 9.3 First three modes of buckling loads

Critical Buckling Load However, since P 1 < P 2 < P 3 , the column buckles at P 1 and never gets to P 2 or P 3 unless bracing is placed at the points where v = 0 to prevent buckling at lower loads. The critical load for a pin ended column is therefore:

π 2 EI

=

2

P

Crit

= P

E

L

which is also called Euler Buckling Load,

(9.10)

P Crit

Critical or maximum axial load on the column just before it begins to buckle

E

Young’s modulus of elasticity

I

least second moment of area for the column’s cross sectional area

L

unsupported length of the column, whose ends are pinned

9.2 BUILT-IN COLUMN (SI&4 th : 658-668; 3 rd Ed p.662-672) The critical load for other columns can be expressed in terms of the critical buckling load for a pin- ended column P E . A built-in column looks like Fig. 9.4:

L P A B P Zero Bending Moment L/4 L/2 L/4 P P L E
L
P
A
B
P
Zero Bending Moment
L/4
L/2
L/4
P
P
L
E

Fig. 9.4 Built-in column at both ends showing the effective pin-ended length

From symmetry conditions, at the points of inflection

d

2

dx

v = 0 =

2

M (x)

which occurs at 1/4L points. Thus the middle half of the column can be taken out and treated as a pin-ended column of length L E = L/2 as shown in Fig. 9.4. The critical load for this half length is then :

P

Crit

=

π

2 EI

4 π

2 EI

=

L

2

E

L

2

=

4 P

E

(9.11)

9.3 CANTILEVER COLUMN

L=L E /2 P A B P
L=L E /2
P
A
B P
L E
L E

Fig. 9.5 Cantilever column and its effective length

This is similar to previous case. However, this span is equivalent to 1/2 of the Euler span L E , as illustrated in Fig. 9.5, thus:

P

Crit

=

π

2

EI

=

π

2

EI

=

P

E

L

2

4 L

2

4

E

(9.12)

Note: Since P Crit is proportional to I, the column will buckle in the direction corresponding to the minimum value of I, as shown in Fig. 9.6:

Buckling Direction P y P x z
Buckling Direction
P
y
P
x
z
Cross-section y A z h b
Cross-section
y
A
z
h
b

I y > I z

Fig. 9.6 Column cross section showing the direction of buckling (here:

I z

=

bh

3

hb

3

12

y

12

<

I

=

)

9.4 CRITICAL COLUMN STRESS

A column can either fail due to the material yielding, or because the column buckles, it is of

interest to the engineer to determine when this point of transition occurs.

Consider the Euler buckling equation 9.10

P E

π 2 EI

=

L

2

Because of the large deflection caused by buckling, the least second moment of area term I can be expressed as follows:

I = Ar

2

(9.13)

where: A is the cross sectional area and r is called radius of gyration of the cross sectional

r is called radius of gyration of the cross sectional area, i.e. r = I /

area, i.e. r = I / A . Note that the smallest radius of gyration of the column, i.e. the least second moment of area I should be taken in order to find the critical stress. Dividing the buckling equation by A, gives:

σ =

E

P E

A

=

π

2

E

(

L / r

) 2

(9.14)

where: σ E is the compressive stress in the column and must not exceed the yield stress σ Y of the

material, i.e. σ E <σ Y , L / r is called the slenderness ratio, it is a measure of the column's flexibility.

If this equation is plotted for steel it gives:

σ x

240MPa

σ Y 2 π E σ = Crit ( L / r ) 2
σ
Y
2
π
E
σ
=
Crit
(
L / r
) 2

89

L/r

Fig. 9.7 Critical stress vs slenderness ratio for steel

For a column not to fail by either yielding or buckling, its stress must remain underneath this diagram in Fig. 9.7.

Example 9.1 A 2m long pin ended column of square cross section. Assuming E=12.5GPa, σ allow =12MPa for compression parallel to the grain, and using a factor of safety of 2.5 in computing Euler’s critical load for buckling, determining the size of the cross section if the column is to safely support (a) a P = 100kN load and (b) a P = 200kN load.

Section a-a y I P A a B P s a s
Section a-a
y
I
P
A
a B
P
s
a
s

Part (a)

z

Second moment of area

Buckling criterion

I

z

=

I

y

=

1 3

ss

s

4

=

12

12

FS =

F

fail

F

allow

, we make the required critical load as

3 N

Using given Factor of Safety FS=2.5

P

Crit

FS

×

P

= 2 5 ×100

.

kN

= 250 ×10

Based on Euler’s formula, Eq. (9.10), we have

or:

s B

1

3 π 2 EI 250 × 10 L 2 3 = 250 ×10 ≥ N
3
π 2 EI
250
× 10
L 2
3
= 250 ×10
N ∴ I ≥
P Crit
2
2
L
π
E
3
3
2
4 250
× 10
L 2
250
×
10
×
2
×
12 =
4
×
12
= 0 0993
.
m
=
99 3
.
2
2
9
π π ×
E
12 5
.
×
10

mm

Stress criterion

σ

P

= =≤ σ

A

allow

A

= s

2

P

σ allow

i.e.

s

σ

1

3 P 100 × 10 = 6 12 × 10 σ allow
3
P 100
× 10
=
6
12
× 10
σ allow

=

0 0913

.

m

=

91 3

.

mm

Comparing the results from these two criteria, we have s

. In this

case, the design is taken against the buckling criterion. Finally, one may select a round-up amount, e.g. s = 100mm, as the design of the size of cross section.

max{s

B

2

,s

σ

2

}

=

99 3

.

mm

Part (b)

Buckling criterion

≥ FS × P = 2 5 × 200 . kN = 500 ×10 3
≥ FS
×
P
= 2 5 × 200
.
kN
= 500 ×10
3 N
P Crit
3
π
2 EI
500
× 10
L 2
3
Step 2: Euler’s formula
= ≥ 500 ×10
N
∴ I ≥
P Crit
2
2
L
π
E
3
3
2
4 500
×
10
L 2
500
×
10
×
2
or:
×
12 =
4
×
12
=
0 1181
.
m
=
118 1
.
mm
s B
2 ≥
2
9
π
2 E
π ×
12 5
.
×
10
P
P
Stress criterion
σ =
=≤ σ
∴ A
= s
2 ≥
allow
A
σ allow
3
P 200
× 10
i.e.
s
=
=
0 1291
.
m
=
129 1
.
mm
2 ≥
σ
6
12
× 10
σ allow
Comparing the results from these two criteria, we have s
max{s
,s
} =
129 1
.
mm
. In this
B 2
σ 2

case, the design is taken against the stress criterion. One may select s = 130mm as the design of the size of cross section.

Example 9.2 Determine the largest load P which may be applied to the structure as shown. Assume that E=200GPa, allowable vertical deflection at point A δ allow =0.5mm and allowable compressive and tensile stress σ allow =50MPa.

A

Pin A 30º P
Pin A
30º
P

F AB

F AC

A

B 3m C 30º 8m P
B
3m
C
30º
8m
P

Cross section for AB & AC

h=50mm y
h=50mm
y

b=100mm

z

Step 1: Determine the members’ internal forces

+↑

+ →

F

y

F

x

=

0

=

F

AB

sin

30

°−

P

=

0

= F

AB

cos

30

° + F

AC

∴ F = 2 P AB ∴ F = − 3 P AC
∴ F
= 2
P
AB
∴ F
= − 3
P
AC

(+ tensile force)

(- compressive force)

Step 2: Buckling criterion F AB is in tension, we do not considered its buckling. But bar AC is a strut and we need to check for buckling. I about y and z is computed respectively

I z

=

bh

3

=

.

0 1

×

.

0 5

3

<

200

  

×

I y

10

hb

3

3

=

1 04267

.

×

AC

I

AC

10

=

6

m

4

(

.

0 5

×

.

0 1

12

12

P

Crit ,AC

But

=

π

2

E

9

12

)(

×

12

×

10

6

)

=

3 = 18 55

.

=

=

=

41 667

.

32 128

.

kN

2

π ×

1 04267

.

F AC

L

= P

2

AC

Crit ,AC

. 32 128 . kN 2 π × 1 04267 . F AC L = P

= − 3P ,

B

8

P

B

2

=

P

Crit

/

L = P 2 AC Crit ,AC = − 3 P , B 8 ∴ P

×

10

kN

6

4

m

Step 3: Strength criterion Consider tensile and compressive stresses in AB and AC respectively.

F AB

2 P

50

×

10 6

σ

σ

AB

AC

=

=

=

0 . 05 × 0 . 1 A AB 3 P F AC =
0 . 05
×
0 . 1
A AB
3 P
F AC
=

A

AC

0 . 05

0 . 1

≤σ

≤σ

=

=

50

50

×

×

10

6

10

6

P

P

=

400

50

×

10 6

=

400

= 125kN

= 144.3kN

allow

allow

× From stress criterion, the maximum allowable load should be the smallest one i.e. P σ =125kN

Step 4: Stiffness criterion Consider vertical deflection at point A using Castigliano’s method.

Total strain energy due to axial forces:

U =

The displacement can be then computed as:

F

2

E A

i

∆ =

=

i

F

2

i

L

i

2

AB

L

AB

+

F

=

i

2

AC

L

AC

i

P

i

2

A

E

AB

2

i

F

L

i

AB

2 E

AC

(

F

i

)

A

 ∂ F  

P

AC

i

L

i

P

2 E A

i

i

E A

i

i

Member

F i (N)

i
i

F

P

L

i (m)

A i (m 2 )

F

i

(L

i
i

E A

i

i

)(

i
i

F

P)

AB

 

2P

 

2

 

6

0.05

 

2.4×10 -9 P

 

AC

-

3 P

3 P

 

-

3
3
 

8

0.05

 

2.4×10 -9 P

 

Thus we have:

=

P

( )(

2 4

.

×

10

9

P

+

2 4

.

×

10

P

δ

=

0 0005

.

9 =

4 8

.

×

10

104 17

.

kN

9

P

)

=

4 8

.

×

10

9

P δ

allow

Step 5: Determine the maximum allowable load P from the above three criteria Clearly, for the safety reason, we should pick the lowest level as the allowable load

P

=

min{P ,P ,P

B

σ

δ

}

= 18 55

.

kN