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Mechanics Of Material

Column (Types Of Column)

Submitted By:
Muhammad Adnan

Submitted To:
Eng. Qasim Ali


Column is a long cylindrical member subjected to axial compression. Column carries
self-weight and load coming on it. Generally, load transfers through its longitudinal
direction. Column is categorized based on its height. These are;

Short Column
Long Column

If the length of column is 15 times the least dimension of its cross-section, then
column will be short column. Slenderness ratio of short column is up to 80.
Slenderness ratio is the ratio between effective length of column and radius of

If the length of column is more than 15 times the least dimension of its cross-section,
then column will be categorized as long column. Slenderness ratio of long column is
more than 80.

If cross-sectional geometry of column is other than simple shapes like circle, square,
rectangle etc. Then radius of gyration is required for the calculation of ultimate load
that column can carry. Minimum value of radius of gyration is adopted during the
design of columns. For getting minimum value, use minimum value of moment of
inertia in the formula. Radius of gyration is directly proportional to the moment of
Radius of Gyration is the minimum radius from the centroid of column cross-section. It
is denoted by K or r. It is measured in millimeter, centimeter, inches etc..


K =

( I/A)0.5

Mathematically, Radius of gyration can be represented as;

K = Radius of Gyration
I = Moment of Inertia
A = Cross-sectional Area.


Failure pattern of short column is totally different than long column patterns. Short
column directly fails at the maximum value of direct stress it can take. In result of this,
column material fails and get crushed. Long column buckles on the application of load.

Bending stress produces in result of buckling which results in column failure. Short
column of same material and same cross section will carry more load as compared to
longer column.


There are two types of column loading patterns. Patterns depend on the location
where load is acting. These are;

Axially Loaded Column

Eccentric Loaded Column


Axially loaded columns are the one where load acts at the centroid of column crosssection. This is also known as concentric loaded column. Resistance of axial loaded
column is more against buckling than eccentric loaded column. As shown in figure


If load acts away from centroid of column cross-section, then such column is known as
eccentric loaded column. Resistance of eccentric loaded column against buckling is
very less than concentrically loaded column. If both types of loaded columns have
same cross-section and material, then axially loaded column will be considered as

In science, buckling is a mathematical instability, leading to a failure mode.
When a structure is subjected to compressive stress bucking may occur. Buckling is characterized by a
sudden sideways deflection of a structural member. This may occur even though the stresses that develop
in the structure are well below those needed to cause failure of the material of which the structure is
composed. As an applied load is increased on a member, such as a column, it will ultimately become large
enough to cause the member to become unstable and it is said to have buckled.


Euler Buckling Theory is the classical theory presented in textbooks and classrooms. It begins
simply by noting that the internal bending moment in a loaded and deformed column
is Ply where P is the compressive load and y is the column deflection. So insert Py in for M in
the beam bending equation, Ely =M.

This produces the following differential equation


Which has the solution y=Asin

(PEIx) +Bcos (PEIx)

Where A and B are constants determined from the boundary conditions.

The boundary conditions are y=0 at x=0 and x=L.
The first boundary condition, y=0 at x=0, leads to the conclusion that B=0. And this leaves

y=Asin (PEIx)
So far, so good. But it's at this point that the classical derivation tends to leave physical intuition behind and
become overtly mathematical...
Things become very interesting with the 2nd boundary condition because, as we will see, it does not lead to
determination of the unknown constant, A. To see this, insert the second boundary condition as follows.

Y (L) =0=Asin (PEIL)

There are basically two possibilities here. In the first case, A=0, but this is boring because it leads to the
result that all displacements are zero. This is just the nonbuckled solution. Before the column buckles, its
lateral displacements are simply zero.
The second case is the interesting one, and the one directly related to column buckling. The second method
of satisfying the boundary condition is to note that sin

() =0. Therefore the way to satisfy the boundary

condition is to require that the argument in the equation, (PEIL) must equal . Doing so gives


And solving for P gives

This is the classical Euler buckling theory result. It gives the critical value of load P, called Pcr, above

which, the column will buckle.

This result is perfectly legit. However, as should be evident by now, it is very mathematical in nature, and
provides little physical insight as a result. The up-coming derivation below will present an alternative
method of arriving at the same equation that I believe provides a much more direct physical connection to
the buckling process than the above derivation did.

Buckling load is the minimum load which produces buckling in a column.

Crushing load is the minimum load which crushes the column material. Value of
buckling load will be smaller than crushing load on the same column. During the
design of column, neither crushing load nor buckling is load considered. But, little
lesser value of load is considered which is coming on column. That value of load is
known as safe load. Structures remain safe under safe load.