You are on page 1of 29



A large proportion of an aircraft s structure comprises thin webs stiffened by slender longerons or stringers Both are susceptible to failure by buckling at a buckling stress or critical stress, Clearly, for this type of structure, buckling is the most critical mode of failure the prediction of buckling loads of columns, thin plates and stiffened panels is extremely important in aircraft design

Types of structural instability

Two types of structural instability arise: primary and secondary Primary:-no change in cross-sectional area while the wave length of the buckle is of the same order as the length of the element solid and thick-walled columns experience this type of failure

Secondary:-Changes in cross-sectional area occur and the wavelength of the buckle is of the order of the cross-sectional dimensions of the element Thin-walled columns and stiffened plates may fail in this manner

Euler buckling of columns

The well-known solution of Equation

where 2 =PCR/EI and A and B are unknown constants. The boundary conditions for this particular case are v=0 at z=0 and l. Thus A=0 and B sin l=0 For a non-trivial solution (i.e. v =0) then sin l =0 or l = n where n = 1, 2, 3, . . .

The smallest value of buckling load, in other words the smallest value of P which can maintain the column in a neutral equilibrium state is obtained by substituting n=1, hence
Other values of PCR corresponding to n=2, 3, . . . , are

The critical stress, CR, corresponding to PCR, is, from Eq. (8.5)
The term l/r is known as the slenderness ratio of the column

where is the effective length of the column. This is the length of a pin-ended column that would have the same critical load as that of a column of length l, but with different end conditions


Inelastic Buckling

Above the elastic limit d /d depends upon the value of stress and whether the stress is increasing or decreasing. Thus, in Figure the elastic modulus at the point A is the tangent modulus Et if the stress is increasing but E if the stress is decreasing.

Determination of reduced elastic modulus

Continued and get similar result except E

The above method for predicting critical loads and stresses outside the elastic range is known as the reduced modulus theory

Effect of initial imperfections

Obviously it is impossible in practice to obtain a perfectly straight homogeneous column and to ensure that it is exactly axially loaded. An actual column may be bent with some eccentricity of load. Such imperfections influence to a large degree the behavior of the column which, unlike the perfect column, begins to bend immediately the axial load is applied.

Let us suppose that a column, initially bent, is subjected to an increasing axial load P as shown in Fig.

Initially bent column

Example 8.2 The pin-jointed column shown in Figure carries a compressive load P applied eccentrically at a distance e from the axis of the column. Determine the maximum bending moment in the column.

Stability of beams under transverse and axial loads

Beams supporting both axial and transverse loads are sometimes known as beam-columns or simply as transversely loaded columns.