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.
Structural analysis is the process of using mathematical and mechanical principles to determine the magnitude of internal forces in a structure. One of the main roles of a civil or structural engineer is carrying out structural analysis as the first step to designing a safe structure. In this tutorial we’ll demonstrate exactly how this process works for a real world structure.
A truss is a structure that consists of a collection of elements connected at pin joints or nodes. In theory, the pin joints provide no rotational resistance and behave as hinges. In practice this is not always the case.
In this tutorial, we’ll discuss common forms of truss, their features, approximate methods of analysis and the key assumptions that relate to our analysis.