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The

Slenderness
Ratio

And the Effect it has on the critical load


Presented by: Arthur Almeida, Meghan Cottam, Andy Johnson,
Josue Rodriguez

Introduction
The critical load is the maximum
compressive load that can be applied
to a column or rod, before it buckles.
Columns are essential for large
structures, so it is important to know
the effect the thickness and length
have on the critical load. In our
experiment we will buckle several
copper-coated steel specimens with
different slenderness ratios, to see
how accurately they follow the Euler
and Parabolic curves.

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whats The situation?


Objective
The objective of our experiment
is to show how the slenderness
ratio of a rod affects the critical
load, and how our data compares
to the expected Euler and
parabolic curve.
In our experiment we took
several 1/8 diameter specimens
of different lengths, and found
their critical load. Then we
plotted the unit load vs the
slenderness ratio to compare the
values of our graph to those of
the Euler and Parabolic curves.
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A pinned
pinned rod in
compression.
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Background
Slenderness ratio
The slenderness ratio is the
ratio of the length of the
column or rod and the radius
of gyration of its cross section.

Algebraic
Expression
Where

L = Length of Specimen
k = Radius of Gyration
I = Moment of Inertia
A = Cross Sectional Area

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Background
Euler and parabolic
curves
critical load of a column is
The
analyzed through two curves.
The first is the Euler curve, and
the second is the Parabolic
curve. Once the slenderness
ratio is less than , the unit load
no longer follows the Euler
curve, but rather the Parabolic
curve.
We expect the longer rods
(higher slenderness ratio) to
follow the Euler curve, and the
shorter rods to follow the
Parabolic curve.
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Background
The point where the Unit
load follows the Parabolic
curve rather than the
Euler curve is found
through the following
equation:

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Background
Euler EQUATION

parabolic equation
with

Where:
Pcr = Critical Load.
A = Cross Sectional Area
E = Modulus of Elasticity
L = Length of the Rod
k = Radius of Gyration
C = End Condition
Sy = Yield Strength
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Experiment Process
Pre - Tests

Results

To achieve more accurate


results, we found the yield
strength and modulus of
elasticity by yielding a
specimen of our rod in
tension using the Instron
machine.

Sy = 97.7 ksi

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E = 30.2 Msi

Experiment PROCESS
Our Experiment consisted of three steps
Cut the
Rod

The 1/8 diameter


rod was cut into 11
different lengths
ranging from 0.5
to 10

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Round
Ends of
Specime
ns
All the ends were
then rounded with
a grinder to create
a rounded
rounded situation
(C=1) , and to
avoid bending in
the rod.

Buckle
Specime
ns

The rods were


then buckled by
the Instron
machine one by
one and the
critical load was
recorded.
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Experiment PROCESS

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Experiment Process
Data
Lengths (in) Pcr (lbf)
10.0
46.2
8.88
59.6
7.91
70.9
6.97
92.9
5.98
108
4.94
153
3.81
248
2.92
542
1.94
793
1.00
1137
0.563
1290

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Data Analysis

After
finding the critical load of
each specimen, we graphed the
Unit Load vs the slenderness
ratio and compared the results
with the expected Euler and
Parabolic curve.

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Data Analysis
97.7

Parabolic Curve
Euler's Curve
Test 1
Test 2

78.1

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Results And conclusions


Reasons for the error
The ends were rounded by
hand, so inexact rounding
may have caused concentric
loading.
We used more than 3 different
rods of same material, but
only tested the yield strength
and modulus of elasticity of
one.

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Results And conclusions


Observations
The data for the specimens with a slenderness ratio
greater than showed to lie exactly on, or very close to,
the Euler curve. When the slenderness ratio was less
than the data points started following the parabolic
curve instead.
We were limited, due to the equipment, so the smallest
sample we could test was 0.5 inches.
Ran multiple tests for the specimen lengths we assumed
problematic readings from our first test.

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Results And conclusions

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Thank you!

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