In this final post in this series on Column Buckling, we’ll look at more realistic buckling behaviour you’re likely to observe in reality. In particular we’ll explore the behaviour of columns subject to eccentric axial load and columns with an initial deformation, i.e. columns that don’t start out straight. It’s important to recognise that for a column with these characteristics, we do not observe the strict mathematical behaviour predicted for perfectly loaded perfectly straight columns
In this post we’ll start to consider more realistic column structures. In particular we’ll determine an expression for the critical load for an axially loaded column with pinned ends. Then we’ll explore other support conditions. We’ll also introduce some other key concepts such as buckling modes and effective length.
Long slender structural elements under the action of an axial load may fail due to buckling rather than direct compression. Buckling failure occurs when axial load induces a lateral deflection leading to a bending type failure. Buckling can also occur in plate and shell structures and is a relatively common cause of structural collapse. Depending on the geometry of the structural element, buckling can occur long before the material yields.