Columns and Struts
Such structural members that carry compressive loads are classified as columns and struts. Short members that are thick i.e. their transverse dimensions are not small in comparison with their length are often referred to as columns. On the other hand thin or slender members are known as struts. However, the recent practice is to use term column for both short and long members.
The columns and struts under compression loads are identified by their end conditions which are described as (i) free (ii) pinned or pivot and (iii) fixed. Fig. 13.1 shows these end conditions schematically and it can be seen that while a fixed end (like fixed end of a beam) does not allow the column or strut to take a slope, ...