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Name: Roll No: Euler Buckling Load of Column by South well Plot Aim:

M.Karthick AE12M009 3rd Group

The aim of the experiment is to find the Euler buckling load of an Aluminium column using south well plot method. Description: Buckling is an elastic instability problem. When a structural member like column is subjected to an axial compressive load (along its length axis) as shown in figure -1 and if a small lateral disturbance is introduced and removed the column will back to its equilibrium position (aligned to its length axis) until the value of axial load reaches a critical value. At the critical value of axial load (Pcr) the lateral deflection of column will increase and it collapses due to the elastic instability.

Figure -1, Elastic Stability In practical due to uncertainties in the column geometry, axis of loading (eccentricity) and boundary conditions the column will start deflect laterally at the start of application of load. The critical buckling load can be obtained from the plot of lateral deflection / compressive load vs lateral deflection. The slope of the curve will be the critical buckling load of the column. The method is found by southwell, the plot is called as southwell plot. The advantage of the southwell plot is that the test specimen (column) need not to be loaded till the critical load. Test Specimen: The Aluminium column used for the experiment is shown in figure -2. It has the dimensions of (555mm X 10mm X 6.2mm Length X Width X Depth). The youngs modulus (E) of the aluminium column is 70000 N/mm2. The moment of Inertia of the column (Ixx) is
3 12

10 6.23 12

= 198.61 4 .

Figure -2 Column Dimensions 1

Name: Roll No: Test Equipment:

M.Karthick AE12M009 3rd Group

The test setup is shown in the figure -3. Two rigid rods of length 1300mm are placed apart by 498mm and they are grounded. A platform is mounted between the rods on the top and it can move up and down along the rods by turning a screw rod. A calibrated spring is inserted in the screw which stiffness is (1 Kgf/mm). A fixed scale is mounted side by of the spring with the pointer. By turning the screw rod the whole setup moves up and down and the scale shows how much the spring got deflected under loading. A base channel (table) is placed below the moving platform and it is fixed. The specimen will be mounted between the movable and fixed platforms using bushes. The end conditions of the column (boundary conditions) can be simulated by appropriate end condition bushes shown in figure -3.

Figure -3 Test Setup Measuring Instruments: The fixed scale mounted along with the calibrated spring is used to measure the applied compressive load. The spring stiffness X the deflection measured in the scale will give the applied load. The midpoint lateral deflection of the column (test specimen) is measured using a dial gauge with magnetic base. The dial gauge with the magnetic base is placed side by the test specimen on the base channel. The plunger of the dial gauge is located at the middle of the column and using the magnetic base the dial gauge is locked. The least count of the dial gauge is (1 division on the dial) .01mm. 2

Name: Roll No: Test Procedure:

M.Karthick AE12M009 3rd Group

The test specimen along with the end condition bushes (Aluminium column) is with the placed between the moving and fixed platform slots by adjusting the moving platform. The simply supported end condition bushes are used for the experiment. The dial gauge plunger is located at the mid span of the test specimen and locked. The screw rod is rotated slowly to apply the compressive load to the aluminium column. If the spring moves by 1mm the applied load is 1kgf. The load is applied in steps of 5kgf and the lateral deflections are noted at every 5kgf of compressive load. 30Kgf load is applied (6 load steps). The unloading also done in 6 load steps again the lateral deflection readings from the dial indicator are noted. Theoretical Analysis: The aircraft structures are designed to achieve high strength to weight ratio, which lead to long slender structures (spars, longerons). The long slender structures are good when subjected to tensile loading, but they are very much weaker when subjected to compressive loadings. The slender structures suffer from elastic instability problem (buckling), they fail (form failure) much before the yield stress of the material is reached. Eulers classical buckling theory predicts the critical buckling load of the slender column based on the following assumptions. The column is homogenous, isotropic, perfectly straight (no geometrical imperfections), the loading axis is perfectly coincides with the centroid axis of the columns cross section, and there is no lateral deflection of the column till it reaches the critical buckling load. Buckling of columns will happen along its minor principal axis. The theoretical derivation to find the critical buckling load for a column with simply supported ends using equilibrium approach is as follows

Figure -4 Euler Column nomenclatures

M = Bending Moment, I = Moment of Inertia v = Lateral deflection

d2 v M = EI 2 dx

x = Length Axis
d2 v dx2

Name: Roll No:

problem is

v = A sin kx + B cos kx

+ k 2 v = 0 , k 2 = P/EI-----linear homogeneous differential equation, the general solution to the

v = 0 (@ x = 0) = (A sin 0) + (B cos 0) = B = 0 v = 0 (@ x = l) = A sin kl = 0 If A = 0 then it is a trivial solution, we need non trivial solution for critical buckling load, so Sin kl = 0, kl = n, n = 1,2,3 . The Critical buckling load Pcr and the deflected shape is given by


P = Compressive load

d2 v

+ Pv = 0

M = Pv

M.Karthick AE12M009 3rd Group

----Where A & B constants to be evaluated from boundary conditions.

n =1 corresponds to first critical buckling load and first mode shape (figure -4), n = 2 corresponds to second critical buckling load (figure -5) and so on.

n2 2 EI Pcr = , l2

v = A sin

nx l

n=1 n=2 n=3 Figure -5 Buckling Mode shapes

Figure 6 Compressive Load - vs - Lateral Deflection In practical the first critical buckling load is important and the column will collapse for the first load itself, the second mode is not possible for columns in practise. It is not practical to have column with perfectly straight (geometrical imperfections) and the loading axis exactly coincides with the centre of gravity axis of the column. The eccentricity of the load can be modelled mathematically as follows. The presence of the moment due to eccentricity of the load at one end will cause the horizontal reactions at the both end as shown in figure -7. 4

Name: Roll No:

M.Karthick AE12M009 3rd Group

d2 v Pe EI 2 + Pv = x dx l

Figure -7 Description of Eccentricity in Load

v = 0 (@ x = l) = (A sin kl) e = 0, A = e/ sin kl, the solution is a trivial solution and the deflection is given by vmid = e / The midpoint deflection (x =l/2) of the beam with relation to critical buckling load can be written as
P vmid

v = A sin kx + B cos kx x
e l

e = Eccentricity of loading (figure -5). v = 0 (@ x = 0) = (A sin 0) + (B cos 0)

sin kx sin kl x l

---Where A & B constants to be evaluated from boundary conditions.


straight line equation y = mx + b. The slope of the curve ( vs vmid ) gives the critical buckling load P of the column, and the intercept (b) of the curve represents the eccentricity of the load. Experiment Readings & Calculation: Table -1 presents the readings taken from the scale attached to spring (spring deflection) and the dial indicator readings (mid span deflection). Spring Position on the scale (mm) Initial Position 100 95 90 85 80 75 70 Dial Indicator readings (divisions) Loading Un Loading 15 17 22 19 28 25 37 34 46 42 57 54 72 72 Table -1 Experimental Readings


1 the equation can be re arranged as vmid = Pcr

, v = (0 < x < l) for kl = . (first mode)




e which is in form of a

Applied Load (kgf) = Spring Stiffness (kgf /mm) X (Initial Position of the spring - Spring Position on the scale) mm 5

M.Karthick AE12M009 3rd Group Mid Span Deflection (mm) = (Initial Position on dial indicator dial reader) X least count of the dial indicator (mm) Average = (loading deflection + unloading deflection) / 2 Table - 2 gives calculated applied load, mid span deflection from the experimental readings and mid span v deflection / applied load mid . Mid Span Deflection (mm) (Y-axis) 0.045 0.105 0.195 0.280 0.395 0.560

Name: Roll No:

Applied Load (kgf) 5 10 15 20 25 30

Deflection / load (X-axis) 0.0090 0.0105 0.0130 0.0140 0.0158 0.0187

Point Numbers 1 2 3 4 5 6

The Straight line equation from the experimental readings is obtained using the formula below

y = mx + b.

------ The goodness of fit

Table -3 presents the straight line equation calculation x-x 0.013494 y-y

x 0.009 0.0105 0.013 0.014 0.0158 0.018667

y 0.045 0.105 0.195 0.28 0.395 0.56

-0.00449 -0.00299 -0.00049 0.000506 0.002306 0.005172 Sum b &

-0.21833 -0.15833 -0.06833 0.016667 0.131667 0.296667

(x - x) (y - y) 0.00098129 0.00047412 3.3787E-05 8.4259E-06 0.00030356 0.00153443 0.00333561 r2

0.263333 (x - x)2

2.02E-05 8.97E-06 2.44E-07 2.56E-07 5.32E-06 2.68E-05 6.17E-05 0.984678


-0.4658 e = 0.466mm

Pcr,Exp = 54.032kgf

Name: Roll No:

M.Karthick AE12M009 3rd Group

The Eulers classical buckling load = Pcr =

Pcr,Theory = 45.40775kgf.

2 EI l2

Graph -1

2 70e3 198.61 5552

= 445.45N Experiment 54.032

Buckling Load of the Column (Kgf)

Observations & Conclusion:

Theory 45.408

The critical buckling load of the aluminium column estimated from the southwell plot method is 20% more than the theoretical calculated value. The southwell plot will get affected by the imperfections in the test setup and readings. The curve fitting method used for fitting the data into a linear curve is an approximation method. The loading device uses the spring to estimate the applied force, some other methods like hydraulic devices can be employed for better control of rate of loading, and it can be automated. The screw rod controls the direction of loading, some precision techniques like hydraulic pistons can be used for better control in the eccentricity of loading. Dial indicator is used for lateral deflection measurement of the column, which is not so reliable, LVDT sensors along with the digital output can be employed to get better lateral deflection readings. The imperfection is only thought of due to loading (eccentric loading), the imperfection in the geometry of the column should be measured using advanced techniques (laser measurements) to improve the theoretical calculation by taking the initial geometric imperfection into account.