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10.1.

1 Examples
www.ah-engr.com /som/10_buckling/ex_10-1.htm
Example 10.1.1
Given: An aluminum (E = 70 GPa) column built into the ground has length, L = 2.2 m, and is under axial
compressive load P. The dimensions of the cross-section are b = 210 mm and d = 280 mm.
Req'd:
(a) The critical load to buckle the column.
(b) If the allowable compressive stress in the Aluminum is 240 MPa, is the column more likely to buckle or
yield?
(c) If the factor of safety is F.S.=1.95, what is the allowable buckling load.
Sol'n:
Step 1: The Euler Buckling Formula is given by:

Pcr =

p2EI
Le 2

Where Le is the effective length of the column. Here, the column is fixed-free in
both x- and y-directions. For a fixed-free column, the effective length is:
L e = 2L = 4.4 m
The column may buckle about the x- or y- axis. The Moment of Inertia for a
rectangle is:
I = (base)(height)3/12
For our values of b and d, we have:
Ix = 3.84 x 10 8mm4 and Iy = 2.16 x 10 8 mm4
The
smaller Moment of Inertia governs since it results in the smaller Euler Buckling
load. This load is:
Pcr = 7711 kN

Effective length of a
fixed-free column is Le
=2L

Step 2: Will the column Buckle or Yield?


The Critical Buckling Stress is the Euler Buckling Load divided by the area, A=bd. This results in a Buckling
Stress of:
scr = 131.1 MPa
If scr < 240 MPa, the column will buckle (since as the load is applied, the buckling stress is reached
first);
If scr > 240 MPa, the column will yield since the yield stress, SY is reached first.
Step 3:
With respect to buckling only, the Allowable Load on the column, P allow, for a Factor of Safety is F.S. = 1.95.
The Factor of Safety is defined as: F.S. = Failure Load / Allowable Load
Pallow = Pcr / F.S. = (7711 kN)/(1.95) = 3954 kN