Chapter 11 Elastic Stability

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 elastic instability and seek to determine those conditions of load and geometry that lead to a compromise of structural integrity.

We shall deal only with beam and slender members subject to axial compression. The problem is essentially one of ...

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