Chapter 11. Stability of Columns

11.1 Introduction

We have up to now dealt primarily with the prediction of stress and deformation in structural elements subject to various load configurations. Failure criteria have been based on a number of theories relying on the attainment of a particular stress, strain, or energy level within the body. This chapter demonstrates that the beginnings of structural failure may occur prior to the onset of any seriously high levels of stress. We thus explore failure owing to buckling or elastic instability and seek to determine those conditions of load and geometry that lead to a compromise of structural integrity.

We are concerned only with beams and slender members subject to axial compression. The problem is ...

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