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LATERAL BUCKLING OF HORIZONTALLY CURVED BEAMS

_________________________________________________________

DISSERTATION

for the Degree of

DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY (Civil Engineering)

at the
POLYTECHNIC INSTITUTE OF NYU
by


Omar Elsherif

June 2009











UMI Number: 3373056


Copyright 2009 by
Elsherif, Omar


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To my family, my wife and my daughters
Iman, Mariam, Reem and Sarah
iii

Acknowledgments
First and Foremost, I want to thank my advisor Dr. Roula Maloof and all the PhD Committee
Members who were composed of Dr. Roger Roess, Dr. Masoud Ghandehari, Dr. Magued
Iskander, Dr. Nikhil Gupta and Dr. Feng_Bao Lin for their support and guidance, and that
includes taking time to read and comment on this thesis.

I also would like to thank Polytechnic students Thomas Moorhoff, Eugene Fuchs and Nguyen Q.
Nguyen who assisted me in the experimental and finite element work and dedicated their time
and effort, their dedication and persistence allowed me to accomplish my goals in attaining good
results.

Finally, I owe special gratitude to my mother and my wife for their continuous love and
unconditional support during the making of this work. I would also like to include my two
daughters Iman and Mariam for their love and the special joy I get when looking at them.
iv

Abstract
LATERAL BUCKLING OF HORIZONTALLY CURVED BEAMS
By

Omar Elsherif

Advisor: Roula Maloof, Ph.D.

Submitted in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements
for the Degree of Doctor of philosophy (Civil Engineering)

December 2008



Curved steel beams are commonly used in the construction of modern bridges, highway ramps
and interchanges, major buildings, ships, and air space structures and as of today there is no
closed-from solution to this class of problems. The mathematical expression of the problem as
shown in literature is very complex and its numerical solution may not be accurate.

This Thesis presents a closed form solution to the problem of the lateral stability against buckling
of horizontally curved beams with or without constant radius of curvature. This theoretical
analysis was performed under the assumption that, the lateral and angular displacements in the
buckling state are very small compared to the initial radius of curvature where the second order
terms can be neglected and the cross-section in the strained state retains its original shape.

Solving the differential equation of equilibrium for this type of elastic stability problem by
common methods was an improbable task. Therefore, it has become necessary to implement a
new method to overcome these difficulties.
v

Table of Contents
Acknowledgments.............................................................................................................. iii
Abstract .............................................................................................................................. iv
Table of Contents ................................................................................................................ v
List of Tables ................................................................................................................... viii
List of Figures ..................................................................................................................... x
Notations ........................................................................................................................... xii
Chapter 1 ............................................................................................................................. 1
Introduction ..................................................................................................................... 1
1.1 Historical Notes ............................................................................................... 4
1.2 Research Merit ................................................................................................. 7
1.3 Objective........................................................................................................ 10
1.4 Approach ....................................................................................................... 11
Chapter 2 ........................................................................................................................... 12
Theory of Elastic Stability ............................................................................................ 12
2.1 The Principle of Minimum Energy ......................................................................... 13
2.2 The Strain Energy ................................................................................................... 13
2.3 The Differential equation of equilibrium ................................................................ 15
2.4 Rayleigh-Ritz Method ............................................................................................. 16
2.5 Galerkins Method .................................................................................................. 19
2.6 Lagrange Multipliers Method ................................................................................. 19
2.7 The Geometric identity Method .............................................................................. 20
2.7.1 Integration Method ..................................................................................... 21
2.7.2 Differentiation Method ............................................................................... 23
2.7.3 Special Case ................................................................................................ 25
Chapter 3 ........................................................................................................................... 27
Lateral Instability of Straight Beams ............................................................................ 27
3.1 Lateral Instability of Straight Beams under Pure Bending ..................................... 27
3.2 Examples ................................................................................................................. 30
vi

3.2.1 Simply Supported Beam Laterally Fixed at Both Ends under Uniform Load
...................................................................................................................... 30
3.2.1A Solution by the geometric identity equation: (Integration method) ........ 32
3.2.1B Solution by the geometric identity equation: (differentiation method) ... 35
3.2.2 Simply Supported Beam Laterally Fixed at Both Ends under Concentrated
Load ............................................................................................................. 37
3.3 lateral Instability of Open Cross Section Straight Beams under Bending .............. 40
3.4 Lateral Instability of Straight Beams under Eccentric Load ................................... 42
3.4.1 Cantilever Beam under Uniform Load ....................................................... 44
Chapter 4 ........................................................................................................................... 47
Lateral Instability of a Circular Arc Beams .................................................................. 47
4.1 Differential equation of equilibrium for Circular Arc Beams ................................ 48
4.2 The energy equation induced from the equation of equilibrium ............................ 55
4.3 Examples ................................................................................................................. 57
4.3.1 Semi-circle Beam Fixed at Both Ends under Concentrated Load .............. 57
4.3.2 Semi-circle Beam Fixed at Both Ends under Uniform load ....................... 60
4.3.3 Portion of a Circular Ring Cantilever Beam under Concentrated Load ..... 62
4.3.4 Portion of a Circular Ring Cantilever Beam under Uniform Load ............ 66
4.3.5 Arc of a circle Beam Fixed at Both Ends under Concentrated Load ......... 69
4.3.6 Arc of a circle Beam Fixed at Both Ends under Uniform load .................. 74
4.4 Load not applied at the center of the beam ............................................................. 77
4.4.1 Semi-circle Beam Fixed at Both Ends under Uniform load ....................... 77
4.5 End Moments of Circular Arc Beams Subjected to Concentrated Loads ............... 80
4.6 End Moments of Circular Arc Beams Subjected to Uniformly Distributed Load .. 82
4.7 The Buckling Load when Warping is Considered .................................................. 85
4.7.1 Semi-circle open cross section Beam Fixed at Both Ends under
Concentrated Load ....................................................................................... 86
Chapter 5 ........................................................................................................................... 89
Lateral Instability of Curved Beams with an arbitrarily curvature ............................... 89
5.1 Lateral Instability of Parabolic Beams under concentrated load ............................ 91
5.1.1 Parabolic Beam under Concentrated Load ................................................. 93
vii

5.1.2 Parabolic Beam fixed at both ends under uniform load ............................. 97
Chapter 6 ......................................................................................................................... 100
Experiment and Finite Element Verification .............................................................. 100
6.1 Experiments and Descriptions .............................................................................. 101
6.1.1 Method of Testing .................................................................................... 103
6.1.2 Measurements Errors Cause Factors ........................................................ 104
6.1.3 Experimental Buckling Load .................................................................... 105
6.2 Finite Element Analysis (FEA) ............................................................................. 105
6.2.1 Element ..................................................................................................... 105
6.2.2 Geometry .................................................................................................. 106
6.2.3 Boundary Conditions ................................................................................ 106
6.2.4 Mesh ......................................................................................................... 106
6.2.5 Material properties .................................................................................... 107
6.2.6 Analysis Method ....................................................................................... 107
6.3 Experimental and FEA Results ............................................................................. 110
Chapter 7 ......................................................................................................................... 123
7.1 Conclusion ............................................................................................................ 123
7.3 References: ............................................................................................................ 126
Books: ................................................................................................................ 126
Journals: ............................................................................................................. 126
Technical Reports: ............................................................................................. 128
7.4 Bibliography ............................................................................................................. 129
Appendix A ..................................................................................................................... 131
The Elastica and Post Buckling of Initially Curved Columns .................................... 131

viii

List of Tables
Table 6.1: Aluminum Rectangular Solid Section Properties .......................................... 110
Table 6.2: Summary of Experimental and Theoretical Results ...................................... 110
Table 6.3: Specimen 1; Semi-circle Beam Properties .................................................... 111
Table 6.4: Specimen 1; Load Deformations ................................................................... 111
Table 6.5: Specimen 2; Semi-circle Beam Properties .................................................... 112
Table 6.6: Specimen 2; Load Deformations ................................................................... 112
Table 6.7: Specimen 3; Semi-circle Beam Properties .................................................... 113
Table 6.8: Specimen 3; Load Deformations ................................................................... 113
Table 6.9: Specimen 4; Semi-circle Beam Properties .................................................... 114
Table 6.10: Specimen 4; Load Deformations ................................................................. 114
Table 6.11: Specimen 5; Semi-circle Beam Properties .................................................. 115
Table 6.12: Specimen 5; Load Deformations ................................................................. 115
Table 6. 13: Specimen 6; Semi-circle Beam Properties ................................................. 116
Table 6.14: Specimen 6; Load Deformations ................................................................. 116
Table 6.15: Specimen 7; Semi-circle Beam Properties .................................................. 117
Table 6.16: Specimen 7; Load Deformations ................................................................. 117
Table 6. 17: Specimen 7; Roark Formula Factors .......................................................... 117
Table 6.18: Specimen 8; Semi-circle Beam Properties .................................................. 118
Table 6.19: Specimen 8; Load Deformations ................................................................. 118
Table 6.20: Specimen 8; Roark Formula Factors ........................................................... 118
Table 6.21: Specimen 9; Semi-circle Beam Properties .................................................. 119
Table 6.22: Specimen 9; Load Deformations ................................................................. 119
Table 6.23: Specimen 9; Roark Formula Factors ........................................................... 119
Table 6.24: Specimen 10; Semi-circle Beam Properties ................................................ 120
Table 6. 25: Specimen 10; Load Deformations .............................................................. 120
Table 6.26: Specimen 10; Roark Formula Factors ......................................................... 120
Table 6.27: Specimen 11; Semi-circle Beam Properties ................................................ 121
Table 6.28: Specimen 11; Load Deformations ............................................................... 121
ix

Table 6.29: Specimen 11; Roark Formula Factors ......................................................... 121
Table 6.30: Specimen 12; Semi-circle Beam Properties ................................................ 122
Table 6. 31: Specimen 12; Load Deformations .............................................................. 122
Table 6.32: Specimen 12; Roark Formula Factors ......................................................... 122
Table 7.1: Buckling Load Factor.123
x

List of Figures
Figure 3.1: Lateral Buckling Geometry of Straight Beams .............................................. 27
Figure 3.2: Simply supported beam under uniform load .................................................. 30
Figure 3.3: Deflection shape of buckled beam laterally fixed at both ends ...................... 30
Figure 3.4: Simply supported beam under concentrated load........................................... 37
Figure 3.5: Deflection shape of buckled beam laterally fixed at both ends ...................... 37
Figure 3.6: View and cross section of an I beam .............................................................. 41
Figure 3.7: Cantilever Beam under Uniform Load Applied at Height h .......................... 42

Figure 4.1: Circular Arc Beam in the horizontal plan ...................................................... 47
Figure 4.2: Lateral Buckling Geometry of Horizontally Curved Beams .......................... 48
Figure 4.3: Semi-circle Beam Fixed at Both Ends under Concentrated Load .................. 57
Figure 4.4: Semi-circle Beam Fixed at Both Ends under Uniform load ........................... 60
Figure 4.5: Portion of a Circular Ring Cantilever Beam under Concentrated Load ......... 63
Figure 4.6: Portion of a Circular Ring Cantilever Beam under Uniform Load ................ 66
Figure 4.7: Arc of a circle Beam Fixed at Both Ends under Concentrated Load ............. 69
Figure 4.8: Circular Arc Beam under Uniform load ......................................................... 74
Figure 4.9: Semi-circle Beam under Uniform load .......................................................... 77

Figure 5.1 Curved Parabolic beam under vertical concentrated load ............................... 91
Figure 5.2: Curved Parabolic beam under vertical uniform load ...................................... 97

Figure 6. 1 Depicts Eugene Fuchs clamping the beam to a loading machine. ............... 102
Figure 6. 2 Depicts Polytechnic student Thomas Moorhoff setting up the experiment. 102
Figure 6. 3 Semi-circle beam in the buckling state. ........................................................ 103
Figure 6. 4 Mesh geometry and loading of semi-circle beam ......................................... 108
Figure 6. 5 Mesh geometry and loading of 45 degree circular arc beam ........................ 108
Figure 6. 6 Pre-buckling deflection of semi-circle beam ................................................ 109
Figure 6. 7 Post buckling deflection of semi-circle beam .............................................. 109
xi

Figure 6. 8 Specimen 1, Load vs. angular displacement curve....................................... 111
Figure 6. 9 Specimen 2, Load vs. angular displacement curve....................................... 112
Figure 6. 10 Specimen 3, Load vs. angular displacement curve..................................... 113
Figure 6. 11 Specimen 4, Load vs. angular displacement curve..................................... 114
Figure 6. 12 Specimen 5, Load vs. angular displacement curve..................................... 115
Figure 6. 13 Specimen 6, Load vs. angular displacement curve..................................... 116
Figure 6. 14 Specimen 7, Load vs. angular displacement curve..................................... 117
Figure 6. 15 Specimen 8, Load vs. angular displacement curve..................................... 118
Figure 6. 16 Specimen 9, Load vs. angular displacement curve..................................... 119
Figure 6. 17 Specimen 10, Load vs. angular displacement curve ................................... 120
Figure 6. 18 Specimen 11, Load vs. angular displacement curve ................................... 121
Figure 6. 19 Specimen 12, Load vs. angular displacement curve ................................... 122

Figure 7.1 FEA, different curvature, Load vs. angular displacement curve .................. 125



xii

Notations
Throughout this Theoretical investigation, the Z-axis of the local coordinate system will be taken
in the longitudinal direction, tangent to the curve representing the centroid of the beam, and the
Y-axis will be taken in the vertical direction as usual. The small pre-buckling curvature of the
beam due to bending for both global and local buckling will be neglected.
Throughout this study the following notations will be used:
L Total length of the beam or the plate respectively
t
M Total twisting moment
M The applied bending moment
y
M Bending moment about y axis
N The end restraining moment in the horizontal plane
T The applied twisting moment
m
The fixed end bending moment factor
t
The fixed end twisting moment factor
P The applied vertical load
c
P The theoretical buckling load
e
P The experimental buckling load
V The shearing force at any cross section
W Work done by the applied load
U The strain energy function
The increase in the total energy
The load total potential energy function
LaGrange constrained function
q The vertical surcharge intensity, force per unit length
F The reaction at the support
Poissons ratio
E Modulus of elasticity
G Modulus of rigidity
w
K The warping constant
xiii

C The flexural-torsional rigidity, equal to GJ EI
y

w
C The flexural-warping rigidity, equal to GJ / Ek
w

y x
I , I The moment of inertia about X axis and Y axis respectively
x
S Section modulus about the X axis
J The polar moment of inertia
A The area of the cross section
D The flexural rigidity of plate, per unit length
ds Infinitesimal arc length of the curved beam
f
A The flange cross section area
cr
Critical buckling stress
y
f Yielding stress
v , u The lateral and vertical post-buckling displacements, respectively
x, y The lateral and vertical pre-buckling displacements, respectively

w The buckling displacement normal to the plate
s Arc length
R Initial radius of curvature of circular beams
r Radius of curvature
h Height of the applied load above center of the beam or the radius of the
polar coordinates (chapter 5)
The center angle in polar coordinates (chapter 5)
Pre-buckling angular displacement (chapter 4)
e Eccentricity of the applied load
Angle of twist in the buckling state
Angle of twist per unit length in the buckling state
The tangential angle of the arc at the support
The central angle of a circular arc in radians
Angle of curvature
The first derivative of with respect to s
The second derivative of with respect to s

1

Chapter 1
Introduction
Curved steel beams and girders are commonly used in the construction of modern bridges,
highway ramps and interchanges, major buildings, ships, and air space structures. Horizontally
curved bridges in particular constitute approximately more than a quarter of the existing steel
bridges in the United States. Several papers on the lateral stability of horizontally curved beams
in the elastic range exist in the literature of many engineering journals such as the American
Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), the Journal of Engineering Mechanics and the Journal of
Structure Engineering. Although in most of these papers, the researchers who attempted to
analyze this stability problem done so analytically, a closed form solution has not been presented.
Moreover, despite all the published work already in the structural stability analysis, very little
literature exists regarding the lateral instability of curved beams. It seems that this problem has
not received enough attention. Furthermore most of the structural engineering text books dealing
in this subject do not cover this topic this may be due to the lock of analytical expressions.

BMW Car Dealership, Wayne, New Jersey; Curve Beam Structure under Construction
The present design guides and specifications for such structures are not accurate and very often
difficult to use. In 1960 [29], the Consortium of University Research Teams (CURT) was formed
2

to study the behavior of horizontally curved bridges, where analytical and experimental
researches were performed as part of the CURT project that resulted in the AASHTO (American
Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials) Guide Specifications for Horizontally
Curved Highway Bridges [30]. These specifications were adopted in 1980 and have been used in
the same basic format, henceforth. However, there are large discrepancies in the compressive
strength formulations between compact and non-compact sections. The strength that the
compressive strength equations gives, do not approach the solutions predicted by the straight
girder equations as the curvature approaches zero. In general there are few methods of analysis
found in the literature [28] having been classified into two major categories namely approximate
and refined methods. First, the Approximate Method requires minimal effort, and is adequate for
preliminary analysis and design purposes. The approximate method is mainly used in the analysis
of curved beams and girders by the plane-grid method, the space-frame method and the V-load
method. The refined method, which requires intensive calculations, is applied using the finite-
element method, the finite-strip method, the finite-difference method, the analytical solution to
differential equations and the slope deflection method. Horizontally curved beams are also
classified according to their cross sectional shape, the closed section structural members such as
box or tube beams, which are able to resist significant torsion, and the open sections such as I
beams or plate girders, which have very little torsional stiffness. Curved I-girder beams are the
most commonly used for the construction of horizontally curved bridges.

The analysis and design of these curved structural members depend on how well their elastic
instability behavior is understood; hence, the latter (i.e. the behavior) depends on the flexural and
the torsional stiffness of the member. Curved beams and girders loaded in or out of the plane
buckle by deflecting laterally and torsionally out of its plane making these members unstable.
There are four distortion deformations to be analyzed when studying a curved structural member;
when the distortion is due to resistance, the bending moment, the shearing force, the St. Venant
torsion and the warping torsion. In most cases the shear and axial contribution are neglected when
studying the four distortion deformations. Furthermore, when these deformations are observed in
conjunction with the presence of the beam curvature, this phenomenon makes the lateral buckling
stability analysis of these members very complex to analyze due to the presence of the variable
coefficients in the differential equation of equilibrium. Moreover, when studying curved
structures the presence of curvature as well as end restrained conditions forge the occurrence of
different buckling, which greatly complicates the analysis procedures of such members [16].
This signifies that the local buckling stability of even the flanges and web plate has to be
3

investigated. It is evident that the local buckling of the flanges and web will depend on the
magnitude of the curvature [30], but curvature induces both warping of the cross-section and the
transverse displacement of the web. In turn, the warping and their displacement causes a
nonlinear distribution of the stress through the full depth of the web and results in an increase in
normal stress in the flanges. It is also expected in the stability analysis of curved beams that the
actual stresses in these flanges or web do not exceed the limiting or critical stress value (i.e. local
buckling). In order to achieve this objective, it is important to have a simple expression for the
local buckling of the web and the flanges plates, which is also curved in plane. Wagner [36,37]
showed that the torsional stiffness of an open section is equivalent to the torsional stiffness of the
plates from which it was made only if the warping of the cross section is not prevented. This
hypothesis is also true for curved I-beams and plate girder if the assumption used in the beam
theory is still admissible and the assumptions that the beam length and radius of curvature are
very large compared to the cross sectional dimensions. If the warping is prevented by the
presence of vertical web stiffeners, then there will be an increase in the longitudinal stresses and
an increase in the torsional resistance of the beam. As the number of these stiffeners increases, we
expect that the torsional resistance also increase. In the meantime, the values for the flexural
rigidity of these stiffeners, the minimum spacing between these stiffeners and the torsional
buckling stability are not well defined. In addition, the analytical evaluation of the overall finite
deformation or the distortion behavior of the web and flanges leads to a very complicated partial
differential equations of the forth order, in which some assumptions have to be made for an
approximate solution to be developed. It is evident that, in the case of curved beam with closed
cross section, the stability problem is simplified if the section is symmetrical about the major
axis, such as pipes, tubes and rectangular sections. If the beam cross section is not symmetrical,
then for both open and closed section, the problem becomes more complicated since the shear
center, and the centroid of the cross section do not coincides [17,18]. Therefore, it is imperative
that we conduct a review of the existing work and investigate the equations that represent the
effects of curvature on the global and local stability of these curved beams or girders. In like
manner, it is also important to perform more theoretical studies to provide sufficient information,
which enables us to understand the stability behavior of these structural members, and to develop
simplified analytical methods to analyze these members.
It is the objective of this research to present a closed form solution to the elastic stability
problems of curved beams and simplify the design analysis of these structural members.

4

1.1 Historical Notes
Theory of elastic stability is an extension to the theory of elasticity and both are a wide open
subject which attracted many scientists. Galileo Galilei (February 15, 1564January 8, 1642) was
the first to investigate beam failure with one end built into a wall, where he concluded that the
beam tends to turn about an axis perpendicular to its length, and in the plane of the wall. This
problem which includes the determination of this axis is known as Galileos problem. Robert
Hooke (1678) published his famous law of proportionality of stress and strain which bears his
name, and formed the bases of the theory of elasticity. Edme Mariotte (1680) remarked that the
resistance of a beam to flexure arises from the extension and contraction of its parts, some of its
longitudinal filaments being extended, and others contacted. His theory led him to assign the
position of the axis required in the solution of Galileos problem, at one-half the height of the
section above the base. The period that followed in retrospect to Hookes Law, by the
mathematicians who were interested in investigating this science, to chiefly focus on the solution
and extension of Galileos problem, the related theories of the vibrations of bars and plates, and
the stability of columns. The first investigation in the theory of elastic stability is that of the
elastica, by James Bernoulli (1705), in which the resistance of elastic rod to bending was shown
to be due to the contraction and extension of its longitudinal filaments and the bending resisting
couple is proportional to the curvature of the rod when bent. Later, Leonard Euler in his
treatment to the problem of the elastica or elastic curves and the vibration of thin rod arrived to
the same conclusion. Subsequently, Danial Bernoulli (1742) suggested to Euler that, the
differential equation of the elastica could be found by making the integral of the square of the
curvature taken along the rod, a minimum. By this, Euler was able to obtain the first differential
equation of the elastic curve. Further investigations led him to his famous column formula which
was the birth of the elastic stability theory [15].

In 1776, Columbus used Hookes Law to consider the flexural theory of beams, and he was
unable to obtain the true position of the neutral axis. Columbus was also the first to consider the
resistance of thin fibers to torsion, which Saint-Venant later used to study the theory of torsion.
Furthermore, the most important work of the period is the physical discussion of Elasticity, by
Thomas Young (June 13, 1773 May 10, 1829). Young was a naturalist, who besides defining a
modulus of elasticity was the first to consider shear as an elastic strain. Young also did not
introduce a distinct modulus of rigidity to express resistance to shear in his work. Later, Navier
(1821) formulated the general equation of equilibrium elasticity and investigated the vibration of
elastic bodies. By 1822, Cauchy had discovered most of the elements of the theory of elasticity,
5

where he introduced the notations of stress and strain at a point, and formulated their
mathematical relation. The work of Cauchy was followed by the work of Poisson as by then the
theory of elasticity was well established. The most important result of this theory was its
application to the theory of bending and twisting of beams.

Gustav Robert Kirchhoff (March 12, 1824 October 17, 1887) developed his kinematical theory
for bending of the rods and established the potential energy expression of bent plates and
introduced the solution to the elastica problem in the form of elliptical integral, cerca 1859. Later
Poincare (1885) laid the foundation of the general theory of elastic stability and was the first to
discuss the bifurcation buckling and snapping phenomenon, which attracted considerable
attention in the previous century. More technical treatments of the structural stability and
buckling behavior of structures followed. In brief, A. G. Greenhill (1838) obtained a formula to
obtain the value of the torque produces buckling of shafts: Saint-Venant (1843) developed the
theory of small deflection of naturally curved bars; Bresse (1866) obtained the value of the
critical load for a circular ring under uniformly distributed load; Lord Rayleigh (1881) in his
development to the theory of in extensional deformations of shells; J. Boussinesq (1888) studied
the buckling of compressed rings and curved bars; G. H. Bryan (1891) established the equation
that presents the strain energy in bending of plates under lateral load; F. Engesser (1898) was the
first to discuss the inelastic buckling of bars and bending beyond the elastic limit; L. Prandtl
(1899) in his dissertation considered the buckling of beams with narrow rectangular cross-
sections; J. Michell (1900) developed the exact theory of bending of plate, where the effect of the
shearing stress is considered; E. Hurlbrink (1910) obtained a solution to the buckling problem of
a uniformly compressed circular arch with hinged end supports.

Hurlbrink was also first to investigate the lateral buckling of compressed helical springs; A
Koroboff (1911) obtained the value of the buckling load of a beam under concentrated load
applied at mid-span and the point of application above or below the centroidal axis; R. Lorenz
(1911) investigated the buckling of a cylindrical shell under the action of uniform external lateral
pressure; R. Lorenz investigated the buckling of a cylindrical shell under the action of uniform
external lateral pressure; R. Southwell (1914) published work on the general theory of elastic
stability; G. H. Beyan (1915) investigated the buckling of circular plates and he is considered as
the first investigator who worked in this field; R. Zoelly (1915) in his dissertation studied the
buckling of spherical shells; E. L. Nicolai (1918) obtained a solution to the buckling problem of a
uniformly compressed circular arch with fixed end supports; H. Westergaard (1922) in his work
6

on buckling of elastic structures; R. Von Mises (1923) developed the theory of buckling of built-
up columns; B. Galerkin (1924) developed a method of calculating the buckling loads similar to
Rayleigh-Ritz method; A. Love (1927) developed a general theory for the bending of thin shells;
K. Federhofer (1930) investigated to the buckling of beams under variable distributed uniform
load; F. Bleich (1932) studied the application of the stability theory to the design of web made of
plate girders; C. F. Kollbrunner (1935) in his dissertation investigated the buckling of compressed
angles beyond the yield point; S. Timoshenko (1936) in his book titled Theory of Elastic
Stability, he popularized the field of elastic stability; R. Kappus (1937) developed the system of
equations for the Flexure-torsional buckling of the walled columns, K. Marguerre (1937) worked
on the effective width of the plate in compression, H. Wagner (1938) worked on the torsion and
buckling problems of open sections; E. Lunquist (1939) worked on the critical stress of buckled
plates; E. E. Lundquist (1939) worked on the buckling of uniformly compressed plates; A.
Kromm (1939) investigated the limit of stability of curved flat strip under shear and axial
stresses; V. Z Velasov (1940) worked on thin-walled elastic bars; C. B. Biezeno (1945) worked
on buckling of a ring under general system of loads; E. Reissner (1945) published a paper on the
buckling of plates under lateral load; J. Prescott (1946) published a book called Applied
Elasticity, B. Budiansky (1946) worked on the Lagrangian multiplier method in elastic-stability
analysis; A. van der Neut (1947) investigated the critical compressive force for the general case
of buckling of shells; F. R. Shanley (1947) developed the tangent modulus theory; W. Prager
(1947) developed The General Variational Principle of the Theory of Structural Stability; M.
Stein (1951) worked on buckling of plates with longitudinal stiffeners; F. Bleich (1952) published
a book titled Buckling Strength of Metal Structures, C. Wang (1953) in his book Applied
Elasticity, N. Hoff (1956) in his work on the bending and buckling of sandwich plates; L. H.
Donnell (1956) worked on the instability of eccentrically compressed cylindrical shells; Bijlaard
(1958) developed the theory of split rigidity, which was further studied by others such as Velasov
(1961) in his work on the buckling of thin walled elastic members; Trahair (1965) published a
paper titled Stability of I-beams with Elastic End Restraints; J. Zahn (1985) published a paper
entitled Lateral Stability of Beams with Elastic End Restraints; C. Yoo and J. Davison (1996)
worked on the buckling of out of plane curved beams and girders; M. Kim and M. Suh (2000)
worked on the spatial stability of thin-walled curved beams, and more other great authors, which
have contributed to the field of elastic stability of structures.


7

1.2 Research Merit
Curved steel beams and girders are commonly used in the construction of modern bridges,
highway ramps and interchanges, major buildings, ships, and air space structures.

In the present, there is no closed-form solution to these classes of problems and the mathematical
expressions pertaining to this class of problems is complex to solve [23]. Attempting to solve the
equations numerically, which it is actually the case, evolves a significant amount of efforts and is
a lengthy process which is prone to calculation errors, and in general a closed form solution is
impossible.

In order to circumvent this lengthy process when performing structural analysis and stability of
curved steel beams and girders engineers use structural analysis programs. The methods of
analysis utilized in all of these programs are based on the finite element analysis method and
since this method is only valid for obtaining the stress and strain at a point, then it cannot be used
in the analysis of the elastic stability of this class of structural members or in the analysis of post
buckling problems of curved or even straight beams.

Furthermore, when analyzing a structure by using a software program, engineers have to perform
data input. Engineers input section properties which are unknown and which have to be assumed.
Furthermore, to obtain a valid assumption you need a direct simplified method.

One can therefore say that the preliminary design stage, it is advantageous to have simplified
formulas, which can be used to choose the beam section properties rather than going through the
trial and error method when utilizing a finite elements programs to obtain the right section.

Another reason why a simplified formula is to our advantage is due to the effect of the
imperfection on the value of the critical load and on the stability of the assumed straight beams
which is not known normally. Not to mention that the stability analysis of slightly curved beams
due to the imperfection has not been yet done.

According to the paper written by Linzell, Hall and White [29], it was concluded that most of the
formulas presented in the AASHTO Guide Specifications for Horizontally Curved Highway
Bridges are based on data from experimental tests and finite element parametric studies, not from
analytical studies.
8

The existing methods of analysis that are currently being used do not use proven accurate
formulas that give the exact results expected, rather they give only an approximate estimation for
the maximum moment capacity of the curved beam. Based on the theory of local buckling,
AASHTO and National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP) provide standards
and specifications for the design provisions of curved girders [47,48]. As an example, the third
edition 2004 of the AASHTO-LRFD Design Specifications including the 2005 Interim gives the
following summarized guidelines for the design of Horizontally Curved Steel I Girders.

Article 2.5.2.6.3 sets the maximum span-to-depth ratio L/D to 25, where the specified minimum
yield stress is not greater than 50 ksi.

Article 6.10.2.1 sets the maximum web depth to thickness ratio D/t
w
to 150.

Article 6.10.2.2 recommends a minimum flange thickness of 1.1 times the web thickness and
minimum flange width of
12
2

f
f
t
b
AASHTO Eq. (6.10.2.2-1)
6
D
b
f
AASHTO Eq. (6.10.2.2-2)

Article C6.10.3.4 recommends for a maximum vertical moment M and a radius of curvature R a
theoretical lateral moment of
NRD
ML
M
lat
2
2
= AASHTO Eq. (C4.6.1.2.4b-1)
Where, L represents the beam length or the unbraced length of the top flange and N is a
numerical value depends on the cross section properties and the lateral bracing of the beam.

Article 6.10.1.6 sets the following condition for beam stability
yc
bu
b b
p b
F
f
R C
L . L or L 2 1 AASHTO Eq. (6.10.1.6-2)
Where, f
bu
is top flange stress due to lateral moment, F
yc
is the maximum yield strength, C
p
factor
depends on the end moments as in the case of straight beams, R
p
is the web load-shedding factor
and given by Article 6.10.1.10.2 and L
b
is the unbraced length given by
9

yc
t p
F
E
r L AASHTO Eq. (6.10.8.2.3-4)
Where, E is youngs modulus and

+
=
fc fc
w c
fc
t
t b
t D
b
r
3
1 12
AASHTO Eq. (6.10.8.2.3-9)
The lateral bending stress in the top flange is determined by
tf
lat
l
S
M
f =
1

Where, S
tf
is the elastic section modulus about the major-axis of the section of the flange under
consideration and the above computed stress must satisfy the following two conditions:
yc h f l bu
F R f f = + AASHTO Eq. (6.10.3.2.1-1)
nc f l bu
F f f = +
3
1
AASHTO Eq. (6.10.3.2.1-2)
Where the stresses in the left hand side of the above two equations are the major-axis bending and
flange lateral bending respectively. These Equations are derived by considering the isolated
flanges of an I-girder subjected to combined major-axis bending and lateral bending given by
1
1
1
85 0
l
f l
cr
bu
l
f
F
f
.
f

= AASHTO Eq. (6.10.1.6-4)


Where
2
2

=
t
b
b b
cr
r
L
E R C
F

AASHTO Eq. (6.10.1.6-4)
The above,
f
and R
h
are factors given respectively by Articles 6.5.4.2 and Article 6.10.1.10.1 and
F
nc
, which is the nominal flexural resistance of the compression flange, is taken as the smaller of
the local buckling resistance Article 6.10.8.2.2 and the lateral torsional buckling resistance Article
6.10.8.2.3 calculated as
yc h b
pf rf
pf f
yc h
yr
nc
F R R
F R
F
F

=


1 1 AASHTO Eq. (6.10.8.2.2-2)
10

yc h b yc h b
p r
p b
yc h
yr
b nc
F R R F R R
L L
L L
F R
F
C F

= 1 1 AASHTO Eq. (6.10.8.2.3-2)


Where
fc
fc
f
t
b
2
= AASHTO Eq. (6.10.8.2.2-3)
yc
pf
F
E
.38 0 = AASHTO Eq. (6.10.8.2.2-4)

The web slenderness according to Article 6.10.6.2.3 must satisfy the condition
yc w
c
F
E
.
t
D
7 5
2
AASHTO Eq. (6.10.6.2.3-1)

In the preceding provision when multiplying equation AASHTO (6.10.3.2.1-2) by the section
modulus of the beam about its major axis we obtain
nc x f l x bu x
F S f S f S = +
3
1

Putting
y nc f
F F = and rearrange, this gives the moment capacity or the critical moment
expressed as
x
l
y bu x p
S
f
F f S M

= =

3

This equation represents an approximate estimation for the buckling load or the critical load of
out-of-plane curved beams and girders given by AASHTO.

Furthermore, since all codes originate from analytic studies and are supported by experimental
studies, it is evident that more analytic studies are needed so as to support experimental studies.
1.3 Objective
The objective of this thesis is to present a closed form solutions to the problems of the lateral
stability against buckling of horizontally curved beams. This theoretical analysis will be
performed under the assumption that the lateral and angular displacements in the buckling state
are very small compared to the initial radius of curvature, where the second order terms can be
neglected and the cross-section in the strained state retains its original shape. These different
11

states are common assumptions in the theory of elastic stability. The study will provide a new
theoretical analysis to stability against buckling of horizontally curved beams and a solution to
many stability problems; where there is believe that a closed form solution may never exist.
1.4 Approach
It is noticed in most of the elastic stability problems that, the expression representing the
deflection curve of a structural member is a trigonometric function or functions, and that this
function(s) can be used as an agent to implement a new method to deal with the solution of the
elastic instability problems of most of the elastic members when subjected to end restraint
conditions. The same can be applied in the solution of the lateral instability problems of out-plan
curved elastic beams.
In chapter two this new method and which is known as the Geometric Identity Method is
explained mathematically. In chapter three the validity of the geometric identity method is tested
(or verified); whereas in the following chapters the geometric identity method is used as a method
of solution to the stability problem on hand.
12

Chapter 2
Theory of Elastic Stability
In what follows, we will discuss the concept of elastic stability and the classical analysis methods
used in solving this class of problems. It is well known that when a structure or one of its
members is compressed or bent, it may become unstable and buckle at some particular load. This
phenomenon involving the compression or bending of structural members are important factor in
the design of steel structures particularly when it is required to reduce the structural weight or
when thin-walled metal structure members are used. Furthermore, when we perform the stability
analysis of these structure members, we assume that the member is subjected to a single
conservative load, which increases in magnitude slowly with time, and we analyze the static
equilibrium under the different loading condition. This theoretical analysis enables us to predict
the stability or instability state of a structure. The success in performing this statical analysis
depends on our ability to define the equilibrium baths, and to identify the equilibrium state at
which the initial stability of this structure member is lost.

The equilibrium state or the stability state is the initial stable equilibrium bath [45], where under
some loading condition; the stability of the structural member may be lost if it yields to a local
maximum value equivalent to that of the load, and where further increase in the load at this point
will cause a dynamic snap of the member. If the equilibrium bath does not yield to a local
maximum, then the stability of the structure will be lost at the point of bifurcation (Poincare
1885), at which the path will intersect a second equilibrium bath and the member is said to buckle
at this point. In general, when an elastic structure becomes unstable it loses its stability by either
buckling or snapping, and the state of the structure is said to be at equilibrium. If in an adjacent
state the total potential energy cannot convert into kinetic energy provided that the system is
conservative, in other words the total energy is constant.

The elastic stability analysis can be classified as linear or non-linear. The linear analysis is
primarily concerned with the critical equilibrium states, and is not concerned with the exact
configuration details of this equilibrium bath. The non-linear analysis is concerned with the
configurations details of the equilibrium bath in the vicinity of a critical equilibrium state.
In most of structural design, we deal more with the linear analysis when we study the elastic
stability of the structure or its members. We also define the stability of a structure as a measure of
13

its tendency to persist in some state under the influence of the external load. On the other hand,
the instability of structure is defined as a measure of its tendency to abandon the initial state of
equilibrium due to the change in the internal deformations, and change of the structure
configuration.

When analyzing the stability of an elastic system theoretically there are mainly two approaches to
follow: the equilibrium approach and the energy approach from which other methods of analysis
are derived.
2.1 The Principle of Minimum Energy
This principle is known also as the minimum of the total potential [1,2,3,4a]. It states that if the
work done by the external loads drops, the change in the strain energy vanishes for every virtual
displacement. In other words, if for every virtual displacement the increase in the strain energy
equal to the increase in the potential energy of the external loads, then the elastic system is in
equilibrium. According to this principle, if the total energy of the structure , which is the sum
of the strain energy U and the potential energy of the external loads W is minimum, then for an
equilibrium position, the first variation must vanish ( o = ) for each variation of the
displacements. It follows that, if the total potential has a minimum or stationary value, then the
elastic body is in equilibrium. If the elastic body is in equilibrium then the total potential is a
minimum.
2.2 The Strain Energy
In the elastic stability against buckling where shear deformation is commonly neglected [5], if at
any point along the length the beam is the angle between the local Z axis of the local
coordinates in the strained state and the local Z axis in the unstrained state and is the angle of
twist at this point, then the increase in the strain energy in a total length L caused by the lateral
buckling of straight beams corresponding to the change from the initial configuration to the
deformed shape, this is expressed by
ds
ds
d T
ds
ds
d
M
U
L L
y

=

0 0 2 2
(2.1)
Where

ds
d
EI M M
y y

= = (2.2)
Now the twisting moment if warping of the cross section is prevented is expressed by
14

3
3
ds
d
EK
ds
d
GJ T
w

= (2.3)
Then by equations (2.2) and (2.3) equation (2.1) becomes
ds
ds
d
ds
d
EK
ds
d
GJ ds
ds
d
EI
U
L
w
L
y


=

0
3
3
0
2
2
1
2
(2.4)
Rearranging equation 2.4, we get
ds
ds
d
ds
d EK
ds
ds
d GJ
ds
ds
d
EI
U
L
w
L L
y


=

0
3
3
0
2
0
2
2 2 2
(2.5)
Now the last term in the right hand side of the above expression (i.e. Eq. 2.5) can be written as
ds
ds
d
ds
d EK
L
w

0
3
3
2

=
L
w
ds
d
d
ds
d EK
0
2
2
2
(2.6)
Integrating of the above expression (i.e. Eq. 2.6) we get
ds
ds
d
ds
d EK
L
w

0
3
3
2 ds
d
d
ds
d
2
EK
ds
d
ds
d
2
EK
L
0
2
2
w
L
0
2
2
w

=

(2.7)
Since the first term in the right hand side of the above expression must vanish at the boundaries
then Eq. 2.7 becomes
ds
ds
d
ds
d EK
L
w

0
3
3
2 ds
d
d
ds
d EK
L
w

=

0
2
2
2
ds
ds
d EK
L
w


=

0
2
2
2
2
(2.8)
Substituting of equation (2.8) into equation (2.5) gives
ds
ds
d EK
ds
ds
d GJ
ds
ds
d
EI
U
L
w
L L
y

=

0
2
2
2
0
2
0
2
2 2 2

(2.9)
And by equation (2.2) equation (2.9) becomes
ds
ds
d EK
ds
ds
d GJ
ds
EI
M
U
L
w
L L
y

=

0
2
2
2
0
2
0
2 2
2 2 2
(2.10)
Equation 2.10 is the final expression of the increase in the strain energy due to buckling. The first
term is the right hand side of the above expression is the increase in the flexural strain energy due
to lateral bending of the beam. The second term is the increase in the strain energy corresponding
to St-Venant theory of a uniform torsion. The third term is the increase in the strain energy due to
the warping rigidity of the beam cross section.

It is to be noticed that, since the buckling load is based on the small deflection theory, whereas
15

2
2
ds
u d
ds
d
=

(2.11)
The next quantity to be calculated is the increase in the potential of the applied load or the work
done by the external load due to lateral buckling in the strained state, which corresponds to the
strain energy of bending and twisting of the beam. This is expressed as
=


d M W
y
ds
ds
d
M d M
L


= =

0
(2.12)
And by equation (2.2) equation (2.12) becomes
ds
EI
M
W
L
y

0
2 2
(2.13)
Now, according to the conservation of energy law, the balance between the external and the
internal energy requires that U W = and accordingly equating of equation (2.10) and (2.13) yield
ds
d
d
EK
ds
d
GJ ds
EI
M
w
L L
y


2
2
2
2
0 0
2 2
(2.14)
If warping is not prevented equation (2.14) is reduced to
ds
ds
d
GJ ds
EI
M
L L
y


2
0 0
2 2
(2.15)
In determining the value of the buckling load using the above expressions, it is necessary to
assume an expression for the angular displacement which satisfies the boundary conditions.
Furthermore, in most of the problems of the elastic stability against buckling, the angles and
can be expressed by the form of the trigonometric series.
2.3 The Differential equation of equilibrium
It is well known from calculus of variations that, if we have a continuous function such that
( ) ( ) = = , , f W U (2.16)
Where ( ) , , are the variables, this means that is a function of , and . Now, if by
means of equation (2.10), the function U is said to represent represents the increase in the strain
energy, and by equation (2.13) the function W is said to represent the increase in the potential
energy of the load, then is the function representing the increase in the total energy at any
cross section in the buckling state. For to be minimum, it is necessary that
0 ds
ds
d
ds
d
2
2
L
0
=

(2.17)
16

This condition implies that
0
2
2
=


+



ds
d
ds
d
(2.18)
And upon substituting of equations (2.10) and (2.13) into equation (2.16) we get

y
EI
M
d
d EK
ds
d GJ
2 2 2
2 2
2
2
2
2


= (2.19)
Differentiation of equation (2.19) as required by the condition in equation (2.18) gives


y
EI
M
2

= (2.20)


ds
d

2
2
ds
d
GJ

= (2.21)


2
2
ds
d
4
4
ds
d
EK
w

= (2.22)
Now upon substituting of the above expressions (i.e. Eq. 2.22) into equation (2.18) we obtain
0
2
2
2
4
4
=

y
w
EI
M
ds
d
GJ
ds
d
EK (2.23)
This is the well known differential equation of equilibrium. Again, if warping is not considered,
this equation is reduced to
0
2
2
2
= +

y
EI
M
ds
d
GJ (2.24)
If there is a solution to the last two equations exist, then an exact value for the critical load could
be obtained in most of the cases, an exact solution is not possible, and therefore other methods are
used such to obtain a solution such as, making use of Bessels function or assuming an expression
for the angular displacement in the form of the infinite series or the trigonometric series.
2.4 Rayleigh-Ritz Method
This method is one of the approximate methods, and which is an improved technique to the
original Rayleigh method [4]. These two methods are based on the energy approach. In the
original Rayleigh method the deflection curve shape is assumed with one undetermined
coefficient, and in the Rayleigh-Ritz method the deflection curve shape is assumed as a set of
functions with more than one coefficient.
In general, the Rayleigh-Ritz method consists of the following steps:
17

1- The deflection curve of the buckled beam is expressed as a series or as a sum of an
infinite set of functions having undetermined coefficients.
2- The energy of the applied load is computed for an assumed deflection and then
minimized with respect to these coefficients.
3- From the above minimization, a set of linear equations using these coefficients is
obtained, and the determinate of the coefficients in these sets of equations must vanish,
from which the equation for the buckling load or buckling stress is developed.

The Rayleigh-Ritz method is an approximate mathematical formation, but it may be considered as
an exact one if we choose an infinite number of terms in the series or set of function. The
mathematical formulation of this method and its application to the lateral instability and buckling
of beams is as follow:

Suppose that we have a simply supported beam subjected to a vertical concentrated load acting at
the middle of a span and we are required to calculate the maximum load which the beam can
carry. The first step is to assume a deflection curve which represents the angular displacement
by remembering that this assumed function does not have to satisfy the boundary conditions. For
simplicity let us assume one that satisfy the boundary conditions which in this case may take the
form
L
s n
sin b
n
n
n

=

=1
nx sin b
n
n
n

=
=
1
(2.25)
Where
L
s
x

= And ds
L
dx

= (2.26)
Obviously vanishes at L s and s = = 0 or at = = x and x 0
Since the beam is simply supported, then the warping of the cross section is not prevented. Also,
since the load is symmetrical then one half of the beam length is considered, and by equation
(2.15) the total potential is represented by
ds
ds
d
GJ ds
EI
M
ds
L L
y
L

= =

2
2
0
2
0
2 2
2
0
2 (2.27)
Or in term of the variable x
dx
L
ds
d
GJ dx
L
EI
M
dx
L
y

=


2
2
0
2
0
2 2
2
0
2 (2.28)
18

The moment at any section along the beam is expressed by
s
P
M
2
=
If we divide equation (2.28) by GJ and

L
, and substituting of equations (2.25) into equation
(2.28) we obtain
dx nx cos nb
L
dx nx sin b x
L
C
P
LGJ
n
n
n
n
n
n
2
1
2
0
2
1
2
2
2
2
0
2
4

(2.29)
Upon integrating the last term in the right hand side of the above expression, we get
2 2
1
2
3
2
1
2 2
0
2
2 2
4 4
n
n
n
n
n
n
b n
L
ds nx sin b x
C
L P
LGJ

= =

(2.30)
In the above expression the total potential is expressed by the n unknown coefficients
n
b , and the
minimization requirement for this potential is to have a stationary value from which the partial
derivatives with respect to each coefficient vanish. For simplicity, let us choose only the first two
terms in the series of equations. Accordingly, for the first coefficient, we will have
( ) 0
2
2 2
4
1
2
3
2
2
1
2
0
2
2
2 2
1
=

b
L
dx x sin x sin b x sin b x
C
L P
b LGJ
(2.31)
And for the second coefficient we have
( ) 0
2
2 2 2
4
2
2
3
1
2
2
2
0
2
2
2 2
2
=

b
L
dx x sin x sin b x sin b x
C
L P
b LGJ
(2.32)
Simplifying equation (2.31) gives
( )
1
4
5
2
2
1
2
0
2 2
2
2 2 b
L
C
dx x sin x sin b x sin b x P

= +

(2.33)
Also, simplifying of equation (2.32) gives
( )
2
4
5
1
2
2
2
0
2 2
8
2 2 2 b
L
C
dx x sin x sin b x sin b x P

= +

(2.34)
Now rearranging equation (2.33) we get
( )
1
2 2 2
0
2
4
5
2
0
2 2
2
2
2
2 b dx x sin x P
L
C
dx x sin x sin x P b

=


(2.35)
Rearranging of equation (2.34) gives
19

( )
2
2 2 2
0
2
4
5
2
0
2 2
1
2 2
8
2 b dx x sin x P
L
C
dx x sin x sin x P b

=


(2.36)
If we multiply equation (2.35) by equation (2.36) and eliminate the coefficients we obtain
( ) =

2
2
0
2 2
2 dx x sin x sin x P

dx x sin x P
L
C
2 2 2
0
2
2
3
2
2

dx x sin x P
L
C
2 2
8
2 2 2
0
2
2
3
(2.37)
Now the buckling load is obtained by solving equation 2.37, where upon integrating the above
expressiona quadratic equation is developed and through the use of method of trial and error or
Newton method the smallest root we get the buckling. It is clear that the Rayleigh-Ritz method is
actually approximate, and by choosing more terms of the series given by (2.25), we approach the
exact value.
2.5 Galerkins Method
This method is also an approximate method as in the Rayleigh-Ritz method [44]. In the
Galerkins method we assume an expression to the deflection curve, and when substitute this
expression into the differential equation of equilibrium, we obtain an error. Since the assumed
deflection curve is not the exact deflection curve, the technique is to make this error as small as
possible.
2.6 Lagrange Multipliers Method
This method is used to calculate the upper and lower limits of the critical load [46], where in
some cases the exact solution to the elastic stability problem cannot be obtained, and we know
that the exact solution is the solution of the differential equation of equilibrium. In this method,
we follow the same steps as in Rayleigh-Ritz method, with one restriction applied at the first step.
The whole function representing the assumed deflection must satisfy the boundary conditions.
The mathematical expression for this method is described as follow:
If we have a single degree of freedom system, and we were to minimize a function of n variables
( )
n
b .. ,......... b , b
2 1
, where the b to
n
b variables are dependent and bound together with the
constrained function ( ) 0
2 1
=
n
b .. ,......... b , b , then the LaGrange multiplier method is to
20

minimize the function , where the quantity is the undetermined Lagrangian multiplier
and the condition for the minimization is expressed by:
0 =




i i
b b
Where ) n .., ,......... , , , i ( 4 3 2 1 =
If we have two degree of freedom system, then there will be a two constrain conditions given by
( ) 0
2 1 1
=
n
b .. ,......... b , b and ( ) 0
2 1 2
=
n
b .. ,......... b , b and we will need two multipliers, so the
function to be minimized becomes
2 2 1 1
V and the condition for the minimization will
be given by:
0
b b b
i
2
2
i
1
1
i
=

Where again ) n .., ,......... , , , i ( 4 3 2 1 =


And by solving the above equation and substituting the result into the constraint equation, an
expression for the critical load is obtained. As the number of terms in the assumed series
representing the deflection curve increases the lower limit and the upper limit, of the load
approaches each other, an exact solution to the problem may be obtained.

The function represents the total potential or the total energy, and the function represent
the equation of the undetermined coefficients of the assumed deflection function. From the
minimization equations these coefficients can be determined, and an expression for the critical
load is obtained.
2.7 The Geometric identity Method
The Geometric Method is considered as a powerful technique to solve the boundary value
problems involved in the elastic stability theory equations of equilibrium. In this method, the
differential equation of equilibrium is transformed to a non-dimension differential equation and it
is called the non-dimension equation of equilibrium. The solution to this new expression of this
boundary value problem is based on finding a geometric identity equation which must satisfy the
given boundary conditions. Upon equating the appropriate terms in both equations, one
expression for the dependent variable is obtained. Then upon differentiation of the new
expression representing the dependent variable or interrogation of its second derivatives, we
obtain new terms. When substituting these terms in the original equation of equilibrium, the final
solution to the problem is obtained.

As mentioned above, this method is used in two different ways either by interrogating one of the
terms which is the second derivatives or by differentiation of the other term which is the
21

dependant variable. The choice between the two methods comes from the fact that the boundary
conditions must be satisfied, the integration method are concern the actual deflection curve,
where the differentiation method, concern the second derivatives.
2.7.1 Integration Method
If the integration method is used, then when integrating, we must as usual, compute the values of
the constants of integration based on the given boundary conditions. In this case, we obtain a
new expression for the dependent variable, and by adding both expressions we obtain the final
solution to the differential equation. In other words, the first expression is the particular solution
and the second expression is the complimentary solution.
The mathematical expression is described as follow:
Suppose we have a differential equation of the form
q py y = + (2.38)
Where p and q are functions of the variable x , y is understood to be the second derivatives of
y with respect the variable x and of course y is the first derivative of y with respect x , then
the non- dimension equation of equilibrium is obtained upon dividing the above equation by its
right hand side
1
1
= + y
q
p
y
q
(2.39)
Then if we have a geometric identity equation of the form
1
2 1
= + F F (2.40)
Where
1
F and
2
F satisfies the given boundary conditions, and if we have
2
F y
q
p
= (2.41)
Then we must have
1
1
F y
q
= (2.42)
Therefore, equations (2.41) and (2.42) lead to
2
F
p
q
y = (2.43)
And
1
qF y = (2.44)
22

If the integration method is to be used in equation (2.44) we get
B Ax dx qF y + + =

1
(2.45)
Where A and B in the integral are the constants of integration. Upon adding the two expressions
representing the dependent variable y in (2.43) and (2.45), we get
B Ax dx qF F
p
q
y + + + =

1 2
(2.46)
This is the final solution to the boundary value problem.

In particular, for elastic stability problems where the dependent variable y must vanishes as in
the cases of buckling of columns and the lateral instability of beams, equation (2.46) gives
B Ax dx qF F
p
q
+ + + =

1 2
0 (2.47)
Where upon arranging we obtain
( ) B Ax dx qF F
p
q
+ + =

1 2
(2.48)
And by inspection
2
F must be 1 or 0. If
2
F is 0, we have no solution since y already vanish at
the boundary with or without buckling. The condition of stability requires vanishing of y at any
point along the member. Consequently y vanishes at the point of maximum load or maximum
load potential or maximum stationary strain energy which is the point at which y is maximum.
By equation (2.43) the point at which
2
F is 1, therefore equation (2.48) becomes
( ) B Ax dx qF
p
q
+ + =

1
(2.49)
Where the values of all parameters in the above expression corresponds to the values at the point
where the function
2
F is a maximum, in other words at 1
2
= F and 0
1
= F

As an example, suppose we have the equation (2.38) with the boundary conditions
0 = y at 0 = x (2.50a)
0 = y at
2
L
x = (2.50b)
Then it is obvious that the following relations satisfies the above conditions
kx cos F
2
1
= and kx sin F
2
2
= (2.51)
Then by (2.43) and (2.44) we obtain
23

kx sin y
q
p
2
= (2.52)
ks cos y
q
2
1
= (2.53)
The above two expressions are equivalent to
kx sin
p
q
y
2
= (2.54)
ks cos q y
2
= (2.55)
Now upon integrating of the above expression we get
B Ax dx ks cos q y + + =

2
(2.56)
Then adding the two expressions given by equations (2.54) and (2.56), we get
kx sin
p
q
y
2
= B Ax dx ks cos q + + +

2
(2.57)
The value of the buckling load is obtained from the condition
kx
p
q
2
sin 0 = B Ax dx ks q + + +

2
cos (2.58)
Where at the point
2

= kx , we obtain
=
p
q
B Ax dx ks cos q + +

2
(2.59)
From which the final expression of the buckling load is obtained.
2.7.2 Differentiation Method
If the differentiation method is used, then upon equating the non-dimensional equation of
equilibrium with the geometrical identity equation, an expression for the second derivatives of the
dependent variable is obtained. Upon differentiating the dependent variable, a new expression for
the second derivative is obtained, after equating the two expressions representing the second
derivatives, a new equilibrium equation is obtained, and the solution to this new equilibrium
equation is the required solution.
The mathematical expression is described as follow:
If the differential equation under consideration is in the form
q py y = + (2.38)
24

Then if we have a geometric identity equation of the form
1
2 1
= + F F (2.40)
Upon following the same procedures as in the integration method we get
2
F
p
q
y = (2.43)
And
1
qF y = (2.44)
Now when equation (2.43) is differentiated once with respect to x we get
2 2
F
p
q
F
p
q
y

= (2.60)
If we differentiate again we get
2 2 2
2 F
p
q
F
p
q
F
p
q
y

= (2.61)
Upon equating the two expressions in (2.44) and (2.61), we obtain
2 2 2 1
2 F
p
q
F
p
q
F
p
q
qF

= (2.62)
This is the solution to the problem. As we mentioned before, in the case of elastic stability
problems y must vanish at the point of maximum potential or maximum stationary strain energy.
Since by equation (2.43) y is a function of
2
F , then the first term in the right hand side also
vanishes, and since
2
F is maximum, then its first derivative must also vanish, therefore the
second term in the above equation also vanishes, this gives
2 1
F
p
q
qF

=
2 1
1
F
p
F

= (2.63)
The solution to the above equation is the final solution to the problem. As an example, if the
differential equation under consideration is in the form
q py y = + (2.38)
Then dividing the above equation by the function q, we get

1 y
q
p
y
q
1
= + (2.39)
If the boundary conditions are such that
25

0 = y at 0 = x (2.50a)
0 = y at
2
L
x = (2.50b)
Then we may choose an identity equation in the form
1
2 2
= + kx sin kx cos (2.64)
Where
L
n
k

= , then by (2.39) and (2.64) we get
kx sin y
q
p
2
= (2.65)
Accordingly,
kx sin kx sin
p
q
y
2 2
= = (2.66a)
kx cos q y
2
= (2.66b)
Differentiate (2.66a) twice we obtain
( ) kx sin kx cos k kx cos kx sin k kx sin y
2 2 2 2
2 4 + + = (2.67)
Now equating the two expressions in (2.66b) and (2.67) we obtain
( ) kx sin kx cos k kx cos kx sin k kx sin kx cos q
2 2 2 2 2
2 4 + + = (2.68)
This is the new equation of equilibrium. By definition it should be valid at any point along the
curve. Therefore, it should be valid at the point where
or kx 0 = (2.69)
Accordingly Equation (2.68) gives
2
2k q = (2.70)
And by (2.66a) we obtain
2
2k
p
q
q = (2.71)
Therefore we must have at this point (otherwise no equilibrium)
2
2k p = (2.72)
This is the solution to the problem, from which the buckling load is obtained.
2.7.3 Special Case
Suppose we have another differential equation of the form
0 = + py y (2.73)
26

This case is similar to that of a column subjected to a vertical uniform load along its length. Then
upon dividing thru by the function p we get
0
1
= + y y
p
(2.74)
Now if the boundary conditions are the same as in (2.50a) and (2.50b), and if the integration
method is used, we may choose the identity equation
0 = + kx sin q kx sin q (2.75)
Where q is a constant its value has no meaning and upon equating the left hand sides of equations
(2.74) and (2.75) we get
kx sin q y = (2.76)
kx sin p q y = (2.77)
Integrating the above expression gives
B Ax dx kx sin p q y + + =

(2.78)
Again A and B are the arbitrarily constants of integration. This case differs from the previous
case, where the former does not have a particular function. Accordingly the stability condition
requires equating the two expression given by (2.76) and (2.78), and we obtain
B Ax dx kx sin p q kx sin q + + =

(2.79)
Eliminating the constant q from the above expression we get
B Ax dx kx sin p kx sin + + =

(2.80)
This is the new equation of equilibrium. Again since the above equation is true for any value of
x , then we may choose a value other than the boundary values such as
2
L
x = which is the point
of maximum and in this case we obtain
[ ] B
AL
dx kx sin p
L
x
+ + =
=

2
1
2
(2.81)
This gives the value of the buckling load of columns or simply supported beams in general with
hinged end under any symmetrical loading condition.

The geometric identity method paragraph (2.7) will be used in the next few chapters, in chapter
three as a verification of its validity in solving some of the known stability problems, where their
solutions were based on the integration by series method, and secondly as a powerful tool in
solving the lateral instability problems of out of plans curved beams.
27

Chapter 3
Lateral Instability of Straight Beams
The problem of the lateral stability of straight deep beams under pure bending has already been
treated analytically by Prandtl and Michell in 1899. Both researchers investigated this problem
and arrived to same conclusion. In general this subject is very well presented in the literature by
the symbol S. Timoshenko [8], F. Bleich [13], and J. Prescott [11], and of course many other
authors use the same symbol. In this chapter, we would like review the bases of the theory and the
mathematical expression for the differential equations of equilibrium.
3.1 Lateral Instability of Straight Beams under Pure Bending
It is well known that when a symmetrical straight deep beam with narrow cross section is bent
about its strong axis, it becomes unstable and may buckle laterally under certain critical load.

M
sin

Z
X
M
c
o
s

L
Y
X
u
v


Figure 3.1: Lateral Buckling Geometry of Straight Beams
If it is assumed that in the strained state the cross section is not prevented from warping and the
longitudinal extension of the beam is neglected, then the general expression for the critical load at
which the beam becomes unstable and lateral buckling may occur is expressed by
GJ EI
L
k qL or pL or M
y

=
2
(3.1)
Where M is the critical moment for the case of beam under constant bending moment, p is the
critical load for the case of beam subjected to concentrated load, q is the surcharge intensity for
28

the case of beam under uniform load along the entire length, and k is a coefficient depends on the
loading and end restraint conditions. The above expressions is obtained upon solving the
differential equation of equilibrium in the buckling or strained state these equations are
2
2
x x
ds
v d
EI cos cos M M = = (3.2)
2
2
y y
ds
u d
EI sin cos M M = = (3.3)
( )
ds
d
GJ u u V cos cos M
ds
du
0

= (3.4)
Where, the second term in the left hand side of the above expression is the twisting moment due
to shear force in the strained state. Since and are small angles, the above equations is
reduced to
2
2
ds
v d
EI M
x
= (3.5)
2
2
ds
u d
EI M
y
= (3.6)
( )
ds
d
GJ u u V M
ds
du
=
0
(3.7)
Differentiating the last equation gives
( )
ds
d
GJ
ds
dV
u u
ds
du
V
ds
dM
ds
du
M
ds
u d
= +
2
0
2
2
(3.8)
Since the last term in the left hand side of the above expression is a quantity of a small order, then
it can be neglected and equation (3.8) becomes
2
2
2
2
ds
d
GJ M
ds
u d
= (3.9)
By Substituting of equation (3.6) into equation (3.9) and Rearranging we obtain
0
GJ EI
M
ds
d
y
2
2
2
= +

(3.10)
The above equation is the well known differential equation of equilibrium, from which an
expression for the critical load is obtained. This expression is valid only if there is no fixed end
moment at the supports caused by lateral buckling. In other words, if there is no restraining
moment about the vertical axis due to lateral buckling. If this is not the case, then there will be an
end restrained moment N which is constant and equation (3.6) becomes
29

2
2
ds
u d
EI N M
y
= (3.11)
And by means of equation (3.11) equation (3.9) becomes
( )
ds
d
GJ MN M
EI
y

=
2
2
1
(3.12)
Rearranging we obtain
GJ EI
MN
GJ EI
M
ds
d
y y
= +

2
2
2
(3.13)
The restraining moment can be evaluated from integrating equation (3.11) once. Also, assuming
an expression for the angular displacement which satisfies the boundary conditions, this
integration can be performed, and the value of the restrained moment N is then obtained. This
procedures is expressed by
ds
du
d EI ds M ds N
y
L L L
=

2
0
2
0
2
0
(3.14)
In the above expression we have assumed that the load is symmetrical about the middle section.
The moment N under this above mentioned condition is expressed by
2
0
2
0
1
L
y
L
ds
du
EI ds M
L
N

=

(3.15)
Since the boundary conditions are
0 =
ds
du
At 0 = s
2
L
s = and L s = (3.16)
The restraining moment N is calculated from

=

ds M
L
N
L

2
0
1
(3.17)
In calculating the value of the critical load, the energy equation is used, where the total work done
on the beam in the strained state is expressed by
ds
ds
d
M W
L

0
ds
ds
u d
M
L
=
2
2
0
ds
ds
d
GJ
L

=
2
2
0
(3.18)
Where equation (3.9) has been used and upon multiply of equation (3.13) by GJ
2
1
we obtain
0
2 2 2
2 2
2
2
= +

y y
EI
MN
EI
M
ds
d GJ
(3.19)
30

In integration form
ds M
EI
N
ds
EI
M
ds
ds
d GJ
L
y y
L L
=

0
2 2
0
2
2
0
2 2 2
(3.20)
Then from the equality between half of the integrand in the right hand side of equation (3.18) and
the first term in the left hand side of equation (3.20), we see that the later represents the equality
between the increase in the strain energy and the work done by the external load in the buckling
state. Accordingly we obtain
=

ds
ds
d
L

2
2
0
ds M
GJ EI
N
ds
GJ EI
M
L
y y
L


0
2 2
0
(3.21)
Upon assuming a suitable expression representing the deflection curve and integrating, the value
of the critical is then obtained.
3.2 Examples
In what follows, we will solve two examples for which the solution is already known. But, since
their differential equation of equilibrium as given by equation (3.13) is similar to that one for
curved beams, then it is in our interest to attempt to obtain the solution by using our new method
as verification of its validity, and as an exercise.
3.2.1 Simply Supported Beam Laterally Fixed at Both Ends under Uniform Load
Let us take a beam which is subjected to a uniformly distributed load of intensity q

Z
Y
q

Figure 3.2: Simply supported beam under uniform load
Z
X

Figure 3.3: Deflection shape of buckled beam laterally fixed at both ends

31

In this case, the bending moment at any point along the beam length is given by
2
2 2
s
q
s
qL
M = (3.22)
The boundary conditions for the lateral displacements are shown in (3.16). The boundary
conditions for the angular displacement in this case are
0 = At 0 = s and l s = (3.23a)
0 =

ds
d
At
2
L
s = (3.23b)
0 =
ds
du
at 0 = s L s = (3.23c)
From these boundary conditions if the strain energy method is used, then the deflection curve
representing the angular displacement may take the form
L
s
sin b

=
2
(3.24)
Substitution of equations (3.22) and (3.24) into equation (3.17) gives
ds
L
s
sin s
q
s
qL
L
b
N
L

=

2 2
0 2 2
(3.25)
ds
L
s
sin s
qL
L
b
L

=

2
0 2
ds
L
s
sin s
q
L
b
L


2 2
0 2
(3.26)
And we obtain
2
054332 0 qL b . N = (3.27)
Now the energy equation (3.21) may be written as
=

ds
ds
d
L

2
2
0
ds M
C
N
ds M
C
L L



0
2 2
0
1
(3.28)
Substitution of equations (3.22) and (3.24) into equation (3.28) and differentiate as required gives
ds
L
s qs
s
qL
bC
N
ds
L
s qs
s
qL
C
ds
L
s
L
s
L
L
L L


2
2
0
4
2
2
0
2
2
2
0
4
4
sin
2 2
sin
2 2
1
sin sin 2 1
4
(3.29)
Upon integrating of the above expression, we obtain an approximate value for critical load. The
exact value of this load is obtained by solving the differential equation of equilibrium by the
integration in series method. It is given in some references by
32

2
2 51
L
C .
qL = (3.30)
3.2.1A Solution by the geometric identity equation: (Integration method)
The differential equation of equilibrium (3.13) can be written in simple form as
C
MN
C
M
ds
d
2
2
2
= +

(3.31)
The non-dimension equation of equilibrium is expressed by
1
N
M
ds
d
MN
C
2
2
= +

(3.32)
According to the given boundary conditions, the geometric identity equation may take the form
1 ks sin ks cos
2 2
= + (3.33)
Where in this case
L
k

=
Now, equating respectively the left hand sides of both equations (3.32) and (3.33), we get
kx sin
N
M
2
= (3.34)
ks cos
ds
d
NM
C
2
2
2
=

(3.35)
Equation (3.34) gives
kx sin
M
N
2
= (3.36)
Equation (3.35) gives
ks cos
C
NM
ds
d
2
2
2
=

(3.37)
Integrating the above expression, we obtain
A ds ks cos s
2
q
s
2
qL
C
N
ds
d
2 2
+

(3.38)
Where A is the arbitrarily constants of integration, and this integration gives
A
k 4
ks 2 cos s
ks 2 sin
k 8
1
k 4
s
6
s
C 2
qN
k 8
ks 2 cos
k 4
ks 2 sin s
4
s
C 2
qLN
ds
d
2 3
2 3
2
2
+

+ + =

(3.39)
The left hand side vanishes at mid span, where
2
L
s = this gives
33

A
8
L
48
L
C 2
qN
8
L
16
L
C 2
qLN
0
2
3 3
2
2 2
+

=

(3.40)
This also gives
24 2
3
L
C
qN
A = (3.41)
Accordingly equation (3.39) becomes
24 2
4
2
2
8
1
4 6 2
8
2
4
2
4 2
3
2 3
2 3
2
2
L
C
qN
k
ks cos s
ks sin
k
k
s s
C
qN
k
ks cos
k
ks sin s s
C
qLN
ds
d

+ + =

(3.42)
Integrating of the above expression gives
B s
L
C
qN
k
ks s
k
ks
k
ks
k
ks s
k
ks
k
ks s s
C
qN
k
ks
k
ks s
k
ks s
C
qLN
+

+
+

+ + +

+ =
24 2
8
2 sin
16
2 cos
16
2 cos
8
2 cos
16
2 cos
8
2 sin
24
2
16
2 sin
8
2 cos
16
2 sin
12 2
3
3 4
4 2
2
4 3
4
3 2 3
3

(3.43)
Simplify
B
sL
C
qN
k
ks s
k
ks
k
ks s s
C
qN
k
ks s
k
ks s
C
qLN
+

+ +

+ =
24 2 8
2 cos
16
2 cos 3
4
2 sin
24 2
8
2 cos
8
2 sin
12 2
3
2
2
4 3
4
2 3
3

(3.44)
Where B is the arbitrarily constants of integration, and will be determined from the boundary
conditions
0 = at 0 = s
This condition gives

=
4
4
16
3
2

L
C
qN
B (3.44)
And equation (3.44) becomes
34

4
4 3
2
2
4 3
4
2 3
3
16
3
2 24 2 8
2 cos
16
2 cos 3
4
2 sin
24 2
8
2 cos
8
2 sin
12 2

L
C
qN sL
C
qN
k
ks s
k
ks
k
ks s s
C
qN
k
ks s
k
ks s
C
qLN
+

+ +

+ =
(3.46)
Accordingly, upon adding the two expressions given by equations (3.36) and (3.46) we obtain the
final expression for the angular displacement, which is
4
4 3
2
2
4 3
4
2 3
3
2
16
3
2 24 2 8
2 cos
16
2 cos 3
4
2 sin
24 2
8
2 cos
8
2 sin
12 2
sin

L
C
qN sL
C
qN
k
ks s
k
ks
k
ks s s
C
qN
k
ks s
k
ks s
C
qLN
ks
M
N
+

+ +

+ + =
(3.47)
Multiply through by
qN
C 2
we get
4
4 3
2
2
4 3
4
2 3
3
2
16
3
24 8
2 cos
16
2 cos 3
4
2 sin
24
8
2 cos
8
2 sin
12
sin
2 2

L sL
k
ks s
k
ks
k
ks s s
k
ks s
k
ks s
L ks
qM
C
qN
C
+

+ +

+ + =
(3.48)
The condition of stability requires the vanishing of the angular displacements , this gives
4
4 3
2
2
4 3
4
2 3
3
2
16
3
24 8
2 cos
16
2 cos 3
4
2 sin
24
8
2 cos
8
2 sin
12
sin
2
0

L sL
k
ks s
k
ks
k
ks s s
k
ks s
k
ks s
L ks
qM
C
+

+ +

+ + =
(3.49)
The above expression is valid at any section along the beam length. Since the maximum moment
is at mid span, where at this point, we have
2
L
s = and
8
2
qL
M = (3.50)
Accordingly, equation (3.50) becomes
4
4 4
2
4
4
4 4
2
3 3
2 2
16
3
48 32 16
3
384 16 96
16
0

L L L L L L L
L
L q
C
+

+ + = (3.51)
Rearranging

+ =
8 . 76
1
8
3
32
1 16
4 2
4
2 2

L
L q
C
(3.52)
This give
35

65 166
16
4
2 2
.
L
L q
C
= (3.53)
The buckling load is given by
2 2
6 51
6 51
L
GJ EI .
L
C .
qL
y
= = (3.54)
3.2.1B Solution by the geometric identity equation: (differentiation method)
If the differentiation method is used, then we need to find a function which represents the second
derivatives of deflection curve. The function should satisfies all the boundary conditions of
(3.23a) and (3.23c) since the bending moment function in (3.22) is continuous with its first and
second derivatives along the beam length, then the deflection curve function must be also
continuous with its first and second derivatives. We have to bear on mind that, in the integration
method, we concern ourselves with the deflection curve only but in the differentiation method we
concern the second derivatives which must satisfy the given boundary conditions. The non-
dimension equation of equilibrium is expressed by
1
N
M
ds
d
MN
C
2
2
= +

(3.32)
According to the given boundary conditions (3.23a), the geometric identity equation may take the
form
1 ks sin ks cos
2 2
= + (3.33)
Then from the equality of the two equations (3.32 and 3.33) above that
ks sin
ds
d
MN
C
2
2
2
=

(3.55a)
ks cos
N
M
2
= (3.55b)
But the last expression does not satisfy the boundary condition in (3.23c), where by means of
equation (3.9) we have
2
2
2
2
ds
d
GJ M
ds
u d
= (3.9)
Then we must have
0
2
2
0
2
2
0
=

= =

ds
d
M
GJ
ds
u d
ds
du
L L
(3.56)
This can be accomplished if we choose
36

0 2
0
2
2
0
= =


ks cos
ds
d
M
GJ
L L
(3.57)
Multiply thru by
GJ
C

0 2
0
2
2
0
= =


ks cos
ds
d
MN
C
L L
(3.58)
Then we have
ks cos
ds
d
MN
C
2
2
2
=

(3.59)
Accordingly our identity equation is
( ) 1 2 1 2 = + ks cos ks cos (3.60)
This expression satisfies the boundary conditions in (3.23a), (3.23b) and (3.23c), upon
substituting this into the equation of equilibrium (3.32), we obtain
( ) ks cos
M
N
2 1 = (3.61)
ks cos
C
NM
ds
d
2
2
2
=

(3.62)
Then upon differentiating of equation (3.61) with respect to s we get
( ) ( ) ks sin k
M
N
ks cos
M
M N
2 2 2 1
2
+

= (3.63)
Differentiate again, we get
( ) ( ) ( ) ks cos k
M
N
ks sin k
M
M N
ks cos
M
M N
M
M N
2 4 2 2
2
2 1
2
2
2 2 3
2
+

= (3.64)
Equating of the above expression with the second derivatives in equation (3.62), we get
( ) ( ) ( ) ks cos k
M
N
ks sin k
M
M N
ks cos
M
M N
M
M N
ks cos
C
MN
2 4 2 4
2
2 1
2
2
2
2 2 3
2
+

= (3.65)
This is the new equation of equilibrium. Since the condition of stability requires vanishing of
angular displacement which must vanish at the boundary, then at 0 = s we get
( )
2
4k
M
N
C
MN
= (3.66)
This gives
2
4
k
M C
M
= (3.67)
37

This equation is valid at any point, and at the point of maximum positive moment, where
2
L
s = we have
8
2
qL
M = (3.68)
Then upon substituting of the above values into (3.66) we obtain
2
2
2
2
32
8
L qL
C
qL
= (3.69)
Whence, the value of the buckling load is
2
3 50
L
C .
qL = (3.70)
This is approximately two (2) percent less than the value previously obtained.
3.2.2 Simply Supported Beam Laterally Fixed at Both Ends under Concentrated Load
The beam is subjected to a vertical concentrated load P acting at middle of span.
Z
Y
P

Figure 3.4: Simply supported beam under concentrated load
Z
X

Figure 3.5: Deflection shape of buckled beam laterally fixed at both ends
Since the moment along the beam cannot be expressed by a single expression, then half of the
beam will be considered. The bending moment at any section in this case is expressed by
s
P
M
2
= (3.71)
If we apply the boundary conditions as in the previous case, then for only one half of the beam
length we have
38

0 = at 0 = s (3.72a)
0 =
ds
d
at
2
L
s = (3.72b)
0 =
ds
du
at 0 = s
2
L
s = (3.72c)
As in the previous example, the differential equation of equilibrium is

C
MN
C
M
ds
d
= +

2
2
2
(3.73)
The non dimension equation of equilibrium is expressed by
1
N
M
ds
d
MN
C
2
2
= +

(3.74)
Since the solution to the problem on hand is based on 3 boundary conditions, and the bending
moment cannot be represented by one continuous expression for the entire beam, then to satisfy
the boundary condition in (3.72c) as in the previous problem we must have
2
2
2
2
ds
d
GJ M
ds
u d
= (3.9)
This leads to
0
2
2
2
0
2
2
2
0
=

= =

ds
d
M
GJ
ds
u d
ds
du
L L
(3.75)
Then we may choose the expression
ks cos
ds
d
M
GJ
L L
2
2
0
2
2
2
0

=

(3.76)
Where again
L
k

= and this leads to the expression
ks cos
ds
d
M
GJ
2
2
2
=

(3.77)
Then
ks cos
GJ
M
ds
d
2
2
2
=

(3.78)
Upon substituting this expression into equation of equilibrium (3.74) we obtain
1 2 = +


N
M
ks cos
GJ
M
MN
C
(3.79)
Rearranging
39

= ks cos
NGJ
C
M
N
2 1 (3.80)
This give

= ks cos
C
NGJ
GJM
C
2 (3.81)
Differentiate the above expression with respect to s gives
( ) ks sin k
GJM
C
ks cos
C
NGJ
GJM
M C
2 2 2
2
+

= (3.82)
Differentiate again with respect to s
( ) ( ) ks cos k
GJM
C
ks sin k
GJM
M C
ks cos
C
NGJ
GJM
M C
GJM
M C
2 4 2 2
2
2
2
2
2 2 3
2
+

= (3.83)
Upon Equating of the above equation with equation (3.78) we obtain
( ) ( ) ks cos k
GJM
C
ks sin k
GJM
M C
ks cos
C
NGJ
GJM
M C
GJM
M C
ks cos
GJ
M
2 4 2 2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2 3
2
+

=
(3.84)
This can be written as
( ) ( ) ks cos k
GJM
C
ks sin k
GJM
M C
ks cos
C
NGJ
GJM
C
M
M
M
M
ks cos
GJ
M
2 4 2 2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2 3
2
+

=
(3.85)
Now, the first term in the right hand side is a function of the angular displacement , accordingly
the above expression may also be written as
( ) ( ) ks cos k
GJM
C
ks sin k
GJM
M C
M
M
M
M
ks cos
GJ
M
2 4 2 2
2 1 2
2
2
2 2
2
+

= (3.86)
Since the condition of stability requires vanishing of , accordingly the above equation is
reduced to the stability equation
( ) ( ) ks cos k
GJM
C
ks sin k
GJM
M C
ks cos
GJ
M
2 4 2 2
2
2
2
2
+

= (3.87)
This is the final expression for the equation of stability and the unstrained point with maximum
moment is the middle point, where at this point
2
L
s = and
4
PL
M = (3.88)
40

And
1 2 = ks cos 0 2 = ks sin (3.89)
Then (3.87) becomes
( )
2
4k
GJM
C
GJ
M
= (3.90)
Then upon substituting of the above values into (3.90) we obtain
( ) ( )
2
4
4
1
4
k
PL
C PL
= (3.91)
Therefore

=
2
2
2
2
4 16
L L
C
P

(3.92)
Whence, the value of the buckling load is then given by
2
13 . 25
L
C
P = (3.93)
In this case as shown by other references, the value of the critical load using the method of
integration by series has to be
2
9 25
L
GJ EI .
P
y
= (3.94)
In obtaining the above value four functions were involved. These functions must satisfy a
constrained equation, where for different value of the load the values of these functions is
calculated and substituted in this constrained equation. By the trial and error method, the value of
the critical load is obtained.
As mentioned earlier in this section, we are interested in showing the validity of our method to
solve the differential equation of equilibrium.
3.3 lateral Instability of Open Cross Section Straight Beams under Bending
In the preceding discussion, we have assumed that the beam is prismatic or the beam cross
section is not prevented from warping. Open cross section beams by definition refer to the
structural elements with small thickness walls; therefore the element may undergo a local
buckling and the cross-section of the beam exhibits significant out-of-plane warping in response
to twisting of the cross section.
41


Figure 3.6: View and cross section of an I beam
In the linear instability analysis of these beams, the warping rigidity must be considered in
computing the critical load which the beam can carry, the equations of equilibrium must be
modified, and the term correspond to the warping rigidity should be added. Accordingly, in pure
elastic torsion of a uniform beam, if the shortening effect of the beam due to torsion is neglected
and the beam cross section is symmetrical about its shear center, the shear force due to lateral
bending is given by
3
3
ds
u d
EI
ds
M d
ds
dM
V
y
y
y
= = =

(3.95)
Where equation (3.6) has been used, and u in this equation is expressed as
=
2
h
u (3.96)
Since the shear force at each flange is one half of the value of the total shear force above;
accordingly, the total twisting moment produced by these forces is expressed as
3
3
2 2
ds
u d h
EI
h
V
y y
= (3.97)
By equation (3.95), the above expression takes the form
3
3
3
3 2
4 2
ds
d
EK
ds
d h
EI
h
V
w y y

= = (3.98)
Accordingly, equation (3.7) becomes
( )
3
3
0
ds
d
EK
ds
d
GJ u u V M
ds
du
w

= (3.99)
Upon differentiation and eliminate quantity of small order, we obtain
4
4 2
2
2
ds
d
EK
ds
d
GJ M
ds
u d
w

= (3.100)
By following the same procedures used in obtaining equation (3.10), this equation takes the form
42

0
2
2
2
4
4
=

GJ EI
M
ds
d
ds
d
GJ
EK
y
w
(3.101)
In a simple form, equation 3.101 cab be written as
0
2
2
2
4
4
=

C
M
ds
d
ds
d
C
w
(3.102)
Equation 3.102 is the differential equation of equilibrium this equation is valid or it is valid if
warping is not allowed and the final expression for the critical load given by the solution will
contain two terms one for the pure elastic torsion and the other term for the warping of the cross
section of the beam.

It is to be noticed that, since the deflection curve shape does not change by considering the
warping rigidity in the solution, the solution of this equation can be simplified and performed in
two steps:
1- Find a solution to this problem for the case where warping is not considered.
2- From the expression obtained for the angular displacement , back substitution of this
expression into the equation of equilibrium (3.86), from which the final expression for
the critical load is then obtained.
3.4 Lateral Instability of Straight Beams under Eccentric Load
Y
X
u
v

h

Figure 3.7: Cantilever Beam under Uniform Load Applied at Height h
In the previous discussion, we have assumed that the loads acting on the beam were applied at the
center of gravity. If the load is applied at a distance from the beam center of gravity, then in
addition to the torsional moment caused by the lateral buckling, there will be a twisting moments
43

caused by the eccentricity. In deriving the differential equation of equilibrium, the additional
external torsion and the corresponding increase in the angular displacement must be considered.


In this case the equations of equilibrium are then expressed by
2
2
ds
v d
EI M
x
= (3.103)
2
2
ds
u d
EI M
y
= (3.104)
s d
d
EK
ds
d
GJ M
w t
3
3

= (3.105)
Differentiating the last equation with respect to s gives

4
4
2
2
ds
d
EK
ds
d
GJ
ds
dM
w
t

= (3.106)
Where the twisting moment in this case is expressed by
( ) u u V
ds
du
M T M
o t
= (3.91)
By differentiation of the above expression, we obtain
( )
ds
dV
u u
ds
du
V
ds
dM
ds
du
M
ds
u d
ds
dT
ds
dM
0
2
2
t
+ = (3.107)
The last term on the right hand side of the above expression will be neglected in accordance with
the concept of the small deflection in buckling problems. Accordingly,
M
ds
u d
ds
dT
ds
dM
2
2
t
= (3.108)
Substituting equations (3.104) into the above equation we get
y
t
EI
M
ds
dT
ds
dM
2

= (3.109)
Upon substation of equation (3.109) into equation (3.106) and Rearranging, we obtain
ds
dT
GJ GJ EI
M
ds
d
ds
d
GJ
EK
y
w
1
2
2
2
4
4
=

(3.110)
If warping is not considered, this equation becomes
ds
dT
GJ GJ EI
M
ds
d
y
1
2
2
2
= +

(3.111)
44

Or in a simple form as
ds
dT
GJ C
M
ds
d 1
2
2
2
= +

(3.112)
The above expression is the differential equation of equilibrium. The solution to this non-linear
differential equation is laborious and based on the integration by series only, where by using our
proposed method we obtain an exact and simple solution to this problems. In the above equation,
the right hand side is the torsional effect, from which the buckling load either increases or
decreases, and the final expression for the buckling load is expressed as
GJ
qhL
k GJ EI
L
k qL or PL or M
y
2
2
' 1 =

(3.113)
Where equation (3.1) has been used, and in the above equation h is the height of load
point of application above the center of gravity. k and ' k are constants depend on the
loading and end restraint conditions.
3.4.1 Cantilever Beam under Uniform Load
A cantilever beam fixed at L s = and free at 0 = s is subjected to a uniformly distributed load of
intensity q at constant height h and distance e from its center of gravity.
In this case, when the beam buckles in addition to the bending moment
2
2
s
q
M = (3.114)
We have an incremental twisting moment about the Z axis due to the eccentricity and the height
of the load and it is given by
( ) h e ds q dT + = (3.115)
This gives
( ) h e q
ds
dT
+ = (3.116)
If warping is not considered, then upon substituting of the above expression into the equation of
equilibrium (3.112), we obtain
( )

h e
GJ
q
C
M
ds
d
+ = +
2
2
2
(3.117)
Rearranging, we obtain
GJ
qe
GJ
qh
C
M
ds
d
=

+ +

2
2
2
(3.118)
45

Then the complementary equation is
0
2
2
2
=

+ +

GJ
qh
C
M
ds
d
(3.119)
The boundary conditions are
0 = at L s = (3.120)
0 =
ds
d
at 0 = s (3.121)
According to these boundary conditions and equation (3.119) we may choose the identity
equation
0 = + ks cos b ks cos b (3.122)
Where
2

= k (3.123)
Now equating respectively the left hand sides of both equations (3.119) and (3.122) we get
ks cos
qhC GJM
GJC
b

+
=
2
1
(3.124)
ks cos
ds
d
b
=
2
2
1
(3.125)
Where the particular integral is omitted since it is a constant. Now let
m
GJ
qh
= (3.126)
Then equation (3.124) becomes
ks cos
mC M
C
b
+
=
2
1
(3.127)
Upon integrating of equation (3.125) we get
A ks sin
k b
+ =
1 1
(3.128)
Where A is the constant of integration, the term A vanish by the condition in (3.121), then we get
ks sin
k b
1 1
= (3.129)
Integrating again gives
B cos
k
b
+ =
2
1 1
(3.130)
46

Where B is the second constant of integration, and it also vanishes by the boundary condition in
(3.120), accordingly the above expression becomes
cos
1 1
2
k b
= (3.131)
Then upon equating the above equation to that of equation (3.127) we get
ks
mC M
C
ks
k
cos cos
1
2 2
+
= (3.132)
This gives
mC C k M =
2 2
(3.133)
Therefore
2
1
k
m
C k M = (3.134)
Then by means of equations (3.133) and (3.126) the above equation gives
GJ
qhL
L
C
M
2
2
4
1
2

= (3.135)
Now according to the principle of minimum or maximum energy the critical moment is at the
point where M is maximum, which is the middle point, since vanishes at the end when the
moment is the maximum, and it is a maximum at the free end when the moment is zero,
accordingly at
8 2
2
qL
M
L
s = = (3.136)
Therefore
GJ
qhL
L
C qL
2
2 2
4
1
2 8

= (3.137)
Whence, the critical load is expressed by
GJ
qhL
L
C
qL
2
2
4 . 0
1
6 . 12
= (3.138)
This is the expression for the critical load, when the load is applied at a height h from the center
of gravity of the beam and it is clear that the eccentricity has no effect in the buckling load, and
by the use of the identity equation method a solution to this complicated elastic stability problems
was easily obtained.
47

Chapter 4
Lateral Instability of a Circular Arc Beams
The advantage of this type of beam geometry is the constant value of the beam radius of
curvature in the unstrained state, where in the non-circular beams as we known the curvature of
the beam varies at each point along the beam length, and the complexity of their analysis comes
from the fact that the end torque is a function of the these variable coefficients. In this chapter
based on Euler- Bernoulli approximation in the beam theory an expression for the differential
equation of equilibrium for the circular arc beams is obtained, and by means of the geometric
identity equation a solution to this equation is also obtained for some of the lateral instability
problems of the out of planes curved beams under different loading and end restrained conditions.

The whole idea behind the method mentioned above in solving any lateral instability problem of
straight or curved beams is that, the actual expression representing the actual deflection curve is a
sum of an linearly independent functions, each function represent one single curve, and since
these functions are independent then one curve can be used as an agent to represent all other
functions and this agent must satisfy the boundary conditions, where upon substituting its value in
the deferential equation of equilibrium an expression for one of the terms in this equation is
obtained, and by differentiating or integrating of this new expression we obtain another new
expression which by the condition of equilibrium it must be equal to the original one, and since
the stability condition requires vanishing of the angular displacement, then by eliminating the
term or terms involving this angle we obtain the expression for the final stability equation, from
which we obtain the expression for critical load.

Z
X
Y

Figure 4.1: Circular Arc Beam in the horizontal plan

48

4.1 Differential equation of equilibrium for Circular Arc Beams
This case is a special case where general case will be discussed in the next chapter. In analyzing
the stability of horizontally curved circular arc beams against buckling, it may be seen that in the
buckling state the pre-buckling vertical deflection produces an angular displacement along with
the post-buckling angular displacement, both twisting angles produces some additional bending
moment about the Z axis in the vertical plane YZ. Since the pre-buckling is independent from the
buckling or post-buckling state, then it is not of our interest to analyze the pre-buckling state.
Y
X
x
y

O
R
R
u
v

Figure 4.2: Lateral Buckling Geometry of Horizontally Curved Beams
To obtain the relation between the radius of curvature and the angular displacements in the pre-
buckling state, we first assume that the beam is subjected to a vertical bending moment sin M
applied at any cross section, where is a fictitious twisting angle between the moment M and
the horizontal X axis, second we assume that the radius of curvature of the bent beam is R when
equal to 2 / then from the elementary bending theory we have
R
EI
M sin M
x
= =
2

(4.1)
It follows that when equal to we have

r
EI
sin M
x
= (4.2)
And from these two expressions we get
49

R sin r =

(4.3a)
This gives the increase in the curvature due to a curvature equivalent to the initial curvature of the
beam and for the buckling state we should also have
R sin r =

(4.3b)
Moreover according to the concept of the small deflection in the elastic stability theory we have
= sin (4.4)
Then equation (4.3b) becomes
R r =

(4.5)
And the increase of curvature in the YZ plane due to the initial curvature is then expressed by
R
sin
r

=
1
(4.6a)
R r

=
1
(4.6b)
Then by equations (4.6a), (4.6b) and (3.5) the total curvature in the local YZ plane for both the
pre-buckling and the buckling states is given by
2
2
1 1
ds
y d
r r
y
+ =


2
2
ds
y d
R
sin
+ =

(4.7a)
2
2
1 1
ds
v d
r r
v
+ =


2
2
ds
v d
R
+ =

(4.7b)
And in the buckling state the total twist per unit length is expressed by
s d
d
GJ
EI
ds
d
w
3
3

= (4.8)
Moreover, to obtain an expression for the increase of the curvature in the local horizontal XZ plan
due to lateral buckling of the beam, we assume that the initial curvature is due to a fictitious
horizontal moment M, and again the relation between the moment and curvature is given by
R
EI
M
y
= (4.9)
If the moment increased by the amount M , then under the assumption that the beam geometry
in the strained state does not change, the radius of curvature decreases by the amount u , which is
the lateral horizontal displacement, accordingly the relation between the total moment and the
corresponding curvature is expressed by
50

u R
EI
M M
y

= + (4.10)
Therefore, the increase in the curvature is obtained by subtracting of (4.9) from (4.10) this gives

= 1
1
1
R
u R
EI
R
EI
u R
EI
M
y y y
(4.11)
And since R u << the above expression is reduced to
2
1 1
R
u
EI
R
u
R
EI
M
y
y
=

+ = (4.12)
Which is equivalent to that obtained from the deformation of circular rings under in-plane loading
and the total curvature is obtained by adding the expression in (4.12) to the expression in (3.6)
and we get
2
2
2
1
ds
u d
R
u
r
u
+ = (4.13)
Then, the new equilibrium equations are expressed as

+ =
2
2
ds
y d
R
sin
EI M
x

(4.14a)

+ =
2
2
ds
v d
R
EI cos M
x

(4.14b)

+ ==
2
2
2
ds
u d
R
u
EI cos M
. y
(4.14c)
s d
d
EI
ds
d
GJ GJ M
w t
3
3

= = (4.14d)
Equation (4.14a) represents the relation between bending moment and deformations just before
buckling. Equation (4.14b) is used to determine the actual value of the bending moment at
buckling state. By these two equations when vanishes we must have
sin
R
EI
cos M M
x
= (4.15a)
This gives
1
1
+

=
A
A
cos where
2

=
x
EI
RM
A (4.15b)
51

Accordingly, for structure beams where deflection is small compared to radius of curvature the
above expressions may be neglected and the equations of equilibrium becomes

+ =
2
2
ds
v d
R
EI M
x

(4.16a)

+ ==
2
2
2
ds
u d
R
u
EI cos M
. y
(4.16b)
s d
d
EI
ds
d
GJ GJ M
w t 3
3

= = (4.16c)
In the above expression the twisting due to pre-buckling deflection has been neglected since in
equation (4.16b) we have considered the actual bending moment in the buckling state.
Ddifferentiation of the expression in (4.16c) with respect to s gives
s d
d
EI
ds
d
GJ
ds
dM
w
t
4
4
2
2

= (4.17)
And the general expression for the twisting moment at any section along the length of the beam
about the Z axis in the XY plane is expressed by
u V
ds
du
M T M
t
+ = (4.18)
Upon differentiation of the above expression, we get
ds
dV
u
ds
du
V
ds
du
ds
dM
ds
u d
M
ds
dT
ds
dM
t
+ + =
2
2
(4.19a)
ds
dT
R
u
ds
M d
u
ds
du
R
T
ds
du
ds
dM
ds
du
ds
dM
ds
u d
M
ds
dT
ds
dM
t
+ + + + =
2
2
2
2
(4.19b)
The third and forth terms in the right hand side of the above expression are equivalent and if we
neglect the torsion shear and by the concept of the small deflection theory in buckling problems
the last three terms which are of a small orders and opposite signs may be neglected. Therefore,
equations (4.180 and (4.19b) may be written as
ds
du
M T M
t
= (4.20)
2
2
ds
u d
M
ds
dT
ds
dM
t
= (4.21)
Equating of equations (4.17) and (4.21) gives
2
2
2
2
ds
d
GJ
ds
u d
M
ds
dT
=
s d
d
EI
w
4
4

(4.22)
52

Substitution of equation (4.16b) into equation (4.22) gives
2
2
2
2
ds
d
GJ
R
Mu
EI
cos M
ds
dT
y

= +
s d
d
EI
w
4
4

(4.23)
Divide through by GJ we get
4
4
2
2
2
2
1
ds
d
GJ
EI
ds
d
GJR
Mu
GJ EI
cos M
ds
dT
GJ
w
y

= + (4.24)
Rearranging
= + +

C
cos M
ds
d
ds
d
GJ
EI
w
2
2
2
4
4
2
GJR
Mu
ds
dT
GJ
1
+ (4.25)
Moreover, if the beam is subjected to a vertical concentrated load acting in the middle, then the
moment at any section along the center line of the beam about the X axis in the vertical principle
plane YZ is given by
sin
2
sin cos
0 0
R
P
T M M = (4.26)
The twisting moment at any section along the beam length about the Z axis is given by
( ) cos 1
2
cos sin
0 0
+ = R
P
T M T (4.27)
Differentiation of the above expression with respect to s gives
ds
d
R
P
ds
d
T
ds
d
M
ds
dT

sin
2
sin cos
0 0
= (4.28)
The above expression can be written as

= sin
2
sin cos
1
0 0
R
P
T M
R ds
dT
(4.29)
Substitution of equation (4.26) into (4.29) gives
R
M
ds
dT
= (4.30)
Now upon substitution of (4.30) into (4.25) we get
= + +

C
M
ds
cos d
ds
d
GJ
EI
w
2
2
2
4
4
2
1
GJR
Mu
R
M
GJ
+ (4.31)
This equation can be written as
= + +

C
cos M
ds
d
ds
d
GJ
EI
w
2
2
2
4
4

+
R
u
R
M
GJ
1
1
(4.32)
Again according to the concept of the small deflection in the elastic stability theory ( ) R u << ,
then this term can be neglected and the above expression is reduced to
53

R
M
GJ C
cos M
ds
d
ds
d
GJ
EI
w
1
2
2
2
4
4
= + +

(4.33)
Or in term of we have
GJ
RM
C
cos M R
d
d
d
d
GJ R
EI
w
= + +

2 2
2
2
4
4
2
(4.34)
The above equation is considered as the general differential equation of equilibrium for the out-
of-plane circular arc beams when warping is prevented. The solution to this equation depends on
the loading and end restraint conditions. It is to be noticed that warping does not change the shape
of the deflection curve, in other words, the shape of the deflection curve is the same of warping is
or is not prevented, accordingly the solution of the above equation can be done in two steps, the
first step is to solve the differential equation without the warping term and obtain an expression
for the angular displacement , the second step is back substitution of this expression into the
original differential equation, and from this the final expression for the buckling load is obtained.
Now, for structural beams 1 cos and we may neglect its term in the above two equations.
It follows that when warping is not considered equation (4.33) is reduced to
= +

C
M
ds
d
2
2
2
R
M
GJ
1
(4.35)
And equation (4.34) is also reduced to

GJ
RM
C
M R
d
d
= +

2 2
2
2
(4.36)
Furthermore, equation (4.35) is similar to equation (3.13) in the previous chapter, accordingly the
beam is considered as laterally fixed, accordingly in the solution to this problem there is an extra
boundary condition must be satisfied, and since the beam is curved, then this condition differ
from that for straight beams, that is
2
0 0
L
s and s at
ds
du
= = = (4.37)
Where is the angle of curvature, this means that, the beam seems to be flat relative to its
original center line, in other words the curvature at the support or at the middle point in the
strained state equal to the initial curvature, and as the case of straight beams in the previous
chapter, we have the following condition to be satisfied
=

ds
ds
u d
ds
dT
M
L
2
2
2
0
1
0
2
2
2
0
=

ds
ds
d
M
GJ
L

(4.38)
Where warping term has been neglected, accordingly we may assume that
54

ks
ds
d
M
GJR
2 cos
2
2
=

(4.39)
Which satisfies the boundary condition in (4.37) and the above expression is equivalent to

2 cos
2
2
GJ
RM
d
d
= (4.40)
Substituting the above expression into equation of equilibrium (4.36) gives
2 cos
GJ
RM

GJ
RM
C
M R
= +
2 2
(4.41)
Rearranging
GJ
RM
GJ
RM
C
M R
= 2 cos
2 2
(4.42)
Therefore
( ) 2 cos 1 =
GJRM
C
(4.43)
This is one of the solution from which the final solution is obtained and it is clear that the above
expression satisfies the boundary conditions, where the boundary conditions in these classes of
problems if the loading is symmetrical are expressed as
L s and s at = = = 0 0 (4.44)
2
0
L
s at
ds
d
= =

(4.45)
If the beam is fixed at both ends, and
L s at = = 0 (4.46)
0 0 = = s at
ds
d
(4.47)
If the beam is fixed at one end and free at the other and the free edge is our coordinates origin.

It is to be noticed that warping does not change the shape of the deflection curve, in other words,
the shape of the deflection curve is the same of warping is or is not prevented, accordingly the
solution of the above equation can be done in two steps, the first step is to solve the differential
equation without the warping term and obtain an expression for the angular displacement , the
second step is back substitution of this expression into the original differential equation and from
this the final expression for the buckling load is obtained.

55

4.2 The energy equation induced from the equation of equilibrium
The solution to the equation of equilibrium (4.35) can be also obtained by choosing another type
of geometric identity equation, where we first divide (4.35) the equation thru by its right hand
side
1
2
2
=

C
GJRM
d
d
RM
GJ
(4.48)
This equation is equivalent to the identity equations
1 sin cos
2 2
= + (4.49)
Where
L
s
= (4.50)
Now suppose that the boundary conditions such that
L s and s at = = = 0 0 (4.51)
2
0
L
s at
ds
d
= =

(4.52)
Then upon equating the left hand sides of equations (4.48) and (4.49), we obtain

2
sin
GJRM
C
= (4.53)
And

2
2
2
cos
GJ
RM
d
d
= (4.54)
The last two expressions can be used to induce the energy equation, where upon multiplying
equation (4.53) by M and squaring we get
( )
2
2
2
2 2
sin

R
EI
EI
M
y
y
= (4.55)
Where the substitution of GJ EI C
y
= has been used and multiplying equation (4.54) by
2
R
GJ

gives
( )

2
2
2
2
cos
R
M
d
d
R
GJ
= (4.56)
Upon Integrating of the above expression we get
( ) A d
R
M
d
d
R
GJ
+ =

2
2
cos (4.57)
Where A is the arbitrarily constant of integration and squaring of the above expression gives
56

( )
2
2
2
2
2
cos

+ =

A d
R
M
GJ
R
d
d
R
GJ

(4.58)
Moreover, when multiplying of equation (4.35) by we get
GJR
M
C
M
ds
d

= +
2
2
2
2
(4.59)
And integrating of the above expression gives
ds
GJR
M
ds
C
M
ds
ds
d
ds
d
L L L
L
= +

0
2
2
0
2
0
0
(4.60)
Since at the boundary either or
ds
d
must vanish then the above expression is reduced to
ds
GJR
M
ds
C
M
ds
ds
d
L L L
= +

0
2
2
0
2
0
(4.61)
Multiply through by
2
GJ
we obtain
ds M
R
ds M
EI
ds
ds
d GJ
L L
y
L
= +

0
2 2
0
2
0
2
1
2
1
2
(4.62)
This is equivalent to

d M
R
d M
EI
d
d
d
R
GJ
L L
y
L
= +


0
2 2
0
2
0
2
2
1
2
1
2
(4.63)
It is clear that the integral in the right hand side of the above expression is of small order, since
the integrand in the left hand side is squared then it is always positive, in the mean time the
integrand in the right hand side change signs according to the sign of bending moment, and when
integrated the negative value eliminate portion of the positive value and the remaining is small
quantity compared to the other two terms in the left hand side, accordingly the above energy
equation becomes
0
2
1
2
2 2
0
2
0
2
= +

d M
EI
d
d
d
R
GJ
L
y
L
(4.64)
Rearranging we get
=

d M
EI
L
y
2 2
0
2
1

d
d
d
R
GJ
L

2
0
2
2
(4.65)
Then upon substituting the two expressions in (4.55) and (4.58) into the above equation we obtain
( ) d
R
EI
y
L

2
2
2
0
sin ( ) d A d
R
M
GJ
R
L

+ =

2
2
2
0
cos (4.66)
57

We are now in a position to solve the instability problems by solving the differential equation of
equilibrium (4.36) where the identity equation method can be used, or by solving the energy
equation above.
4.3 Examples
In what follows a closed form solution to some of the major stability problems of the circular arc
beams, where as mentioned before the method of differentiation and integration by the geometric
identity equation well be used.
4.3.1 Semi-circle Beam Fixed at Both Ends under Concentrated Load
A semi-circular beam with fixed ends subjected to concentrated load P at mid-span, and acting on
its axis of symmetry, and perpendicular to the plane of curvature and fixed against twisting at
both ends.
P
Z
Y
X
O

R

Figure 4.3: Semi-circle Beam Fixed at Both Ends under Concentrated Load
The moment at any point along the center line of the beam in the vertical principle plane YZ is
given by
sin
2
sin cos
0 0
R
P
T M M = (4.67)

cos
2
cos sin
0 0
R
P
T M M
d
dM
= = (4.68)

sin
2
sin cos
0 0
2
2
R
P
T M M
d
M d
+ + = = (4.69)
The equation of equilibrium is again given by
M
GJ
R
C
M R
d
d
= +

2 2
2
2
(4.70)
58

The above equation is exact to the expression for straight beams under lateral end restrained, and
since the moments cannot be expressed by a uniform function, then we will only consider half of
the beam length and the boundary conditions in this case are
0 0 = = at (4.71)
2
0

= = at
d
d
(4.72)
Solution:
If the differentiation by the geometric identity method is to be used in the solution of this
problem, then our concern will be with the second derivatives of the actual deflection curve and
from the boundary conditions above and by means of equation (4.38) our identity equation is will
take the form
1 2 1 2 = + ) cos ( cos (4.72)
And we obtain

2 cos
2
2
GJ
RM
d
d
= (4.73)
And
( ) 2 cos 1 =
GJRM
C
(4.74)
Now differentiation of the above equation with respect to gives
( )

2 sin
2
2 cos 1
2
M M
M
GJR
C
d
d
(4.75)
Differentiate again of the above equation we get
( )
( )

2 cos
4
2 sin
4
2 cos 1
2
2 2 3
2
2
2
M M
M
M
M
M
M
GJR
C
d
d
(4.76)
Equating the above expression with that in (4.73) we obtain
( )
( )

= 2
4
2
4
2 1
2
2
2 2 3
2
cos
M
sin
M
M
cos
M
M
M
M
GJR
C
cos
GJ
RM
(4.77)
This is equivalent to
( )
( )

= 2 cos
4
2 sin
4
2 cos 1
2
2 cos
2 2
2
M M
M
GJRM
C
M
M
M
M
GJ
RM
(4.78)
And by means of (4.74) is written as
59

( )

= 2 cos
4
2 sin
4 2
2 cos
2 2
2
M M
M
M
M
M
M
GJ
RM
(4.79)
Now the condition of stability requires vanishing of the angular displacement , and the first
term in the right hand side of the above expression is a function of , then this term must vanish,
accordingly the above equation gives the stability equation

= 2 cos
4
2 sin
4
2 cos
2
M M
M
R
C
RM (4.80)
Rearranging

= 2 cos 4 2 sin
4
2 cos
2
2
M
M
R
C
M (4.81)
Now the left hand side of the above expression is a maximum, when the first term in the right
hand side vanishes, also the strain energy is a maximum at mid-span, accordingly at
=
2


2
0
PR
T M = (4.82)
Where equation (4.67) has been used, and equation (4.81) gives
2
2
4
R
C
M = (4.83)
Therefore
2
2
0
4
2 R
C PR
T =

(4.84)
And we also have
PR T 18 . 0
0
= (4.85)
Then upon substituting of (4.85) into (4.84) we obtain
2
2
R
C 4
2
PR
PR 182 . 0 =

(4.86)
Whence, the value of the critical is expressed by
2
3 . 6
R
C
P = (4.87)
It is to be noticed that, when R is very large and approaches infinity the length of the beam L
approaches the value of R 2 and when substituting this value in the above expression we obtain
4
3 . 6
2
L
C
P =
2
L
C 2 . 25
= (4.88)
60

Which is almost exact as the value previously obtained in chapter three for the case of straight
beam laterally fixed at both ends and is given by equation (3.77)
4.3.2 Semi-circle Beam Fixed at Both Ends under Uniform load
A semi-circular beam with fixed ends subjected to uniformly distributed load of intensity q along
the length of the span, and acting on its axis of symmetry, and perpendicular to the plane of
curvature.
Z
X
Y
q
R



Figure 4.4: Semi-circle Beam Fixed at Both Ends under Uniform load
In this case the moment at any cross section along the length of the beam about the X axis in the
vertical principle plane YZ is given by


sin R qds sin R
2
qL
sin T cos M M
0
0 0
+ =

(4.89)
Upon integrating we obtain
( ) cos qR sin R
qL
sin T cos M M + = 1
2
2
0 0
(4.90)
The twisting moment at any section is given by
( ) ( )

cos R qds cos R
qL
cos T sin M T + + =

1 1
2 0
0 0
(4.91)
When integrating gives
( ) ( ) sin qR cos 1 R
2
qL
cos T sin M T
2
0 0
+ + = (4.92)
Differentiation of the above expression with respect to s gives
( )
ds
d
cos qR
ds
d
sin R
qL
ds
d
sin T
ds
d
cos M
ds
dT

+ = 1
2
2
0 0
(4.93)
Also written as
61

( )
R
qR R
qL
T M
ds
dT 1
cos 1 sin
2
sin cos
2
0 0

+ = (4.94)
Then by means of equations (4.90) and (4.94) we obtain
R
M
ds
dT
= (4.95)
This is an exact expression to that in equation (4.30), and since the boundary conditions are the
same as in the previous problem, then the solution is just the same since the equation of
equilibrium is the same.
Solution:
The boundary conditions in this problem are
0 = at 0 = = (4.96)
0 =

d
d
at
2

= (4.97)
As in the previous chapter for the case of straight beam, we choose the right identity equation
( ) 1 2 1 2 = + cos cos (4.98)
And upon equating of the terms in (4.70) and (4.98) we obtain

2
2
2
cos
GJ
RM
d
d
= (4.99)
And
( ) 2 1 cos
GJRM
C
= ( ) 2 1 cos = (4.100)
Now differentiation of the above equation with respect to gives
( ) ( )

2 2 2 1 sin cos
d
d
d
d
+ = (4.101)
Differentiate again of the above equation we get
( ) ( ) ( )

2 4 2 2 2 2 1
2
2
2
2
cos sin
d
d
cos
d
d
d
d
+ + = (4.102)
Equating the above expression with that in (4.99) we obtain
( ) ( ) ( )

2 4 2 2 2 2 1 2
2
2
cos sin
d
d
cos
d
d
cos
GJ
RM
+ + = (4.103)
Now the condition of stability requires vanishing of the angular displacement , which also
vanishes at the boundaries, therefore this condition e gives the stability equation
62

( ) ( ) 4 4
GJRM
C
GJ
RM
= = (4.104)
Where the substitution in (4.101) has been used and we obtain
2
2
4
R
C
M = (4.105)
Where the value of the moment in the above equation is the value at mid-span, where also the
strain energy is a maximum, then substituting the value of the moment M, which is given by
( ) cos qR sin R
qL
sin T cos M M + = 1
2
2
0 0
(4.106)
And at mid-span where
2

= we obtain
2
0
2
qR R
qL
T M + = (4.107a)
Then
[ ]
2
1 5 0 3 0 qR . . M + = (4.107b)
Where the value of the twisting moment above obtained from equation (4.235), therefore
2
27 . 0 qR M = (4.107c)
Upon substituting of the above value into equation (4.105b) we obtain
( )
2
2
2
4
27 0
R
C
qR . = (4.107d)
Whence, the value of the critical is expressed by
2
4 7
R
C .
qR = (4.108)
It is to be noticed also that, when R is very large and approaches infinity the length of the beam L
approaches the value of R 2 and when substituting the value in the above expression we obtain
4
4 7
2
2
L
C . qL
=
2
3 59
L
C .
= (4.109)
This value is close to the value given by equation (3.54) for straight beams.
4.3.3 Portion of a Circular Ring Cantilever Beam under Concentrated Load
A Portion of a circular ring beam fixed at one end and free at the other, subjected to concentrated
load P at the free end, and acting on its axis of symmetry, and perpendicular to the plane of
curvature.
63


Z
X
Y
P


Figure 4.5: Portion of a Circular Ring Cantilever Beam under Concentrated Load
In this problem if we choose or origin to be the free end, then the moment at any point along the
center line of the beam is expressed by
sin PR M = (4.110a)
The twisting moment at any section along the beam length is expressed by
( ) cos PR T = 1 (4.110b)
Differentiation of the above expression with respect to s gives
ds
d
sin PR
ds
dT
= (4.111)
Substitution of equation (4.109) into the above equation gives
R
M
ds
dT
= (4.112)
Then the equation of equilibrium is
M
GJ
R
C
M R
d
d
= +

2 2
2
2
(4.113)
If we take our origin is the free end, the boundary conditions in this problem are
= = at 0 (1.114a)
0 0 = =

at
d
d
(4.114b)
= = at
ds
du
0 (4.114c)
If the differentiation by the geometric identity method is to be used in the solution of this
problem, then from the boundary conditions in the geometric identity equation takes the form
1 cos ) cos 1 ( = + k k (4.115)
64

Where is understood to be the angle of the circular arc in radians, and

2
= k (4.116)
Then upon dividing equation (4.113) by its right hand side we obtain
1
2
2
=

C
GJRM
d
d
RM
GJ
(4.117)
Equating terms in both equations (4.117) and (4.115) gives
k
C
GJRM
cos = (4.118)
And

k
d
d
RM
GJ
cos 1
2
2
= (4.119)
Rearranging we get
( ) k
M GJR
C
cos
1
= (4.120)
And
( )

k
GJ
RM
d
d
cos 1
2
2
= (4.121)
Upon differentiation of equation (4.120) with respect to we get
( )

+ =

k k
M
k M
M GJR
C
d
d
sin 2
1
cos
1
2
(4.122)
Differentiate again
( ) ( )

+ =

k
M
k
k M
M
k
k M
M GJR
C
d
d
cos
2
sin
4
cos
2
2
2
2
3 2
2
(4.123)
Equating the above expression to the one in (4.121) we obtain
( ) k
GJ
RM
cos 1 ( ) ( )

+ = k
M
k
k M
M
k
k M
M GJR
C
cos
2
sin
4
cos
2
2
2
2
3
(4.124)
Now the condition of stability requires vanishing of the angular displacement , then all terms in
the right hand side of the above expression which are a function of must also vanish,
accordingly the above expression yield to the stability equation
( ) k cos
GJ
RM
1 ( )

= k sin M
M
k
GJR
C
2
4
(4.125)
This is equivalent to
65

( ) ( ) k sin
M
M
R
kC
k cos M


=
2
2
4
1 (4.126)
And by equation (4.110a) the above equation becomes
( )

k sin
sin PR
cos PR
R
kC
k cos sin R P

=
2
2 2 2
4
1 (4.127)
Then
( )


3 2
2 2
4
1
sin
cos
k sin
R
kC
k cos R P (4.128)
Therefore at
2

= we get


2
2
4
4
4
1
3
2
2 2


sin
cos
sin
R
kC
cos R P (4.129)
Where (4.116) has been used and
2

is the angle represents the location of maximum strain


energy, where at this location M is a maximum, then by inspection of the term inside the
parenthesis in the above equation we conclude that the critical load is as the case of straight
beams, and then we have

=
2
2
175 15
3
2
2 2

sin
cos
R
C .
R P (4.130)
Therefore
2
1
3
2
2
sin
2
cos
9 . 3

R
C
P (4.131)
It is to be noticed that in the special case when
2

= (4.134)
The value of the critical load in this special case is
2
4 . 4
R
C
P = (4.135)
And since the length of an equivalent straight beam is given by
66

L R When R (4.136)
Then, upon substituting this value into equation (4.135) we obtain the value of the critical load for
an equivalent straight beam, which is given by
2
4 . 4
L
C
P = (4.137)
The actual value of the critical load for a straight cantilever beam with the same length is given
by the well known equation (see reference [11] page 510)
2
01 4
L
C .
P = (4.138)
The value given by equation (4.137) is as expected since the moment at the supported end in the
case of straight beam is greater than that for a quarter of a circle beam.
4.3.4 Portion of a Circular Ring Cantilever Beam under Uniform Load
A Portion of a circular ring beam fixed at one end and free at the other, subjected to uniformly
distributed load of intensity q along the length of the span, and acting on its axis of symmetry,
and perpendicular to the plane of curvature.

sin R qds M =

0
(4.139)
Upon integration gives
( ) cos qR M = 1
2
(4.140)
The twisting moment at any section is given by
( )

cos 1
0
=

R qds T (4.141)

Z
X
Y
q


Figure 4.6: Portion of a Circular Ring Cantilever Beam under Uniform Load

67

When integrating gives
( ) sin
2
= qR T (4.142)
Differentiation of the above expression with respect to s gives
( )
ds
d
cos qR
ds
dT
= 1
2
(4.143)
Then by equations (4.140) and (4.143) we obtain
R
M
ds
dT
= (4.144)
Which is exact as equation (4.36), and the boundary conditions for the problem are the same as in
the previous problem, then the equilibrium identity equation is
1
2
2
=

C
GJRM
d
d
RM
GJ
(4.145)
And the geometric identity equation is
1 cos sin
2 2
= + k k (4.146)
Then
( ) = k cos
M GJR
C
2
1
(4.147)
And
( )

k
GJ
RM
d
d
2
2
2
sin = (4.148)
Differentiation of equation (4.147) with respect to gives
( )

+ =

k k k
M
k M
M GJR
C
d
d
cos sin 2
1
cos
1
2
2
(4.149)
Differentiate again
( ) ( )
( )

+
+
=

k sin
M
k
k cos
M
k
k cos k sin M
M
k
k cos k sin M
M
k
k cos M
M
k cos M
M
GJR
C
d
d
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2 2
3
2
2
2 2 2
2 1 2
(4.150)
Equating the above expression to the one in (4.148) we obtain
k
GJ
RM
2
sin
( ) ( )
( )

+
+
=


k sin
M
k
k cos
M
k
k cos k sin M
M
k
k cos k sin M
M
k
k cos M
M
k cos M
M
GJR
C
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2 2
3
2 2 2
2 1 2
(4.151)
68

Now the condition of stability requires vanishing of the angular displacement , then all terms
which are a function of must also vanish, accordingly the above expression yield to the
stability equation
[ ] ks sin k
R
C
k sin M
2 2
2
2 2
2 = (4.152)
This is equivalent to
2
2
2
2
R
C k
M = (4.153)
Upon substituting the expression for the moment as given by (4.140) we obtain
( )
2 4 2
1 cos R q
2
2
2
R
C k
= (4.154)
And the expression for the buckling load is
( )
2 4 2
cos 1 R q
2
2
2
R
C k
= (4.155)
Where again is the angle represents the location of maximum or the minimum strain energy,
where at this location M is maximum, and since cannot be zero since at this location M is
zero and of course cannot be since the is zero, then by inspection of the term inside the
parenthesis in the above equation we conclude that the maximum load is obtained at
2

= and
equation (4.155) becomes
2
4 2
2
cos 1



R q
2 2
2
4
2
R
C

= (4.156a)
Simplify


2
1
2

cos qR C
R

2
= (4.156b)

Therefore the buckling load is given by
2
2
1 2 R cos
C
qR

(4.157)
Then in the special case when
2

= , we obtain
69

2
66 . 11
R
C
qR = (4.158)
And since the length of an equivalent straight beam is given by
L R When R
Then, upon substituting this value into equation (4.158) we obtain the value of the critical load for
an equivalent straight beam, which is given by
2
65 11
L
C .
qL = (4.159)

The actual value of the critical load for a straight cantilever beam with the same length is given
by the well known equation (see reference [11] page 515).
2
85 . 12
L
C
qL = (4.160)
4.3.5 Arc of a circle Beam Fixed at Both Ends under Concentrated Load
An arc of a circular beam fixed at both ends subjected to concentrated load P at mid-span, and
acting on its axis of symmetry, and perpendicular to the plane of curvature. The central angle of
the arc in this problem is taken as 2 .

P
Z
Y X
R


Figure 4.7: Arc of a circle Beam Fixed at Both Ends under Concentrated Load
The moment at any point along the center line of the beam in the vertical principle plane YZ is
given by
= sin
2
sin cos
0 0
R
P
T M M (4.161)
And the twisting moment is given by
( ) + = cos 1
2
cos sin
0 0
R
P
T M T (4.162)
70

The equation of equilibrium is again given by
M
GJ
R
C
M R
d
d
= +

2 2
2
2
(4.163)
Where for simplicity it may be written as
NM
C
M R
d
d
= +

2 2
2
2
(4.164)
Since the beam is fixed at both ends, and we will only consider half of the beam length, then the
boundary conditions are
0 0 = = at (4.165a)

= = at
d
d
0 (4.165b)
= = = and at
ds
du
0 0 (4.165c)
Solution:
If the differentiation by the geometric identity method is to be used in the solution of this
problem, then from the boundary conditions above, then as in the case of problem 4.3.1 we may
assume that

k
GJ
RM
d
d
2 cos
2
2
= (4.166)
Upon substituting of the above expression into equation of equilibrium (4.164) we obtain
NM
C
M R
k
GJ
RM
= +
2 2
2 cos (4.167)
This is equivalent to
( ) k
GJRM
C
2 cos 1 = (4.168)
Then upon following the same procedures as in the case of semi-circle beam we obtain an
equation similar to (4.81) and is expressed as

+ = k k k
M
M k
R
C
k M 2 cos 4 2 sin
4
2 cos
2
2
2
(4.169)
Then at mid span when the positive moment is maximum and the above expression gives
2
2
2
4
R
C k
M = (4.170)
Upon substituting the value of M as given by equation (4.161) we obtain
71

sin
2
sin cos
0 0
PR
T M M = (4.171)
Let us put
PR T
t
=
0
and PR M
m
=
0
(4.172)
Accordingly (4.171) becomes
( ) sin . sin cos PR M
t m
5 0 = (4.173)
Therefore equation (4.170) also becomes
( )
R
C k 2
sin PR 5 . 0 sin cos PR
t m
= (4.174)
Where in this problem we must have

2
= k (4.175)
Whence, the value of the critical is expressed by
( )
2
5 0
R
C
sin . sin cos
P
t m



= (4.176)
Now what left in the problem is finding the value of the end bending and twisting moments,
where the strain energy method must be used, and the expression for the strain energy is well
known and is expressed by

Rd
GJ
T
EI
M
U

+ =

2 2
2
2 2
0
(4.177)
And we have

Rd
T
T
GJ
T
T
M
EI
M
T
U

0 0
0
0
2 2
2 (4.178a)

Rd
M
T
GJ
T
M
M
EI
M
M
U

0 0
0
0
2 2
2 (4.178b)
Where the value of the end moment and torque is obtained by using the condition
0
0
=

T
U
(4.179a)
0
0
=

M
U
(4.179b)
Then as required by the above condition partial differentiation of equations (4.161) and (4.162)
gives
72

sin
T
M
=

0
(4.180a)
cos
M
M
=

0
(4.180b)
cos
T
T
=

0
(4.180c)
sin
M
T
=

0
(4.180d)
Then by means of equations (4.177) and (4.178a) equation (4.179a) gives
( ) 0 cos cos 1
2
cos sin
1
sin sin
2
sin cos
1
0 0
0
0 0
0
=

+
+

d
PR
T M
GJ
d
PR
T M
EI
(4.181)
And by means of equations (4.177) and (4.178b) equation (4.179b) gives
( ) 0 sin cos 1
2
cos sin
1
cos sin
2
sin cos
1
0 0
0
0 0
0
=

+
+

d
PR
T M
GJ
d
PR
T M
EI
(4.182)
Upon integrating of the above two equations and solve for the end bending and twisting moments
an expressions for their values. The result of the above two integrals are shown in the end of this
chapter.

The value of these moments can also be obtained by the use of Reference [14] Roark and Young
Formula for Stress and Strain pages 252, 256 and the value of factors
m
and
t
equation (4.172)
respectively are given by
( ) ( ) ( )
( ) ( ) ( )
5 3 6 2 7 9 2 8 3 4 8 6 9 5 1
5 3 6 2 9 9 2 8 3 6 8 6 9 5 3
c c c c c c c c c c c c c c c
c c c c c c c c c c c c c c c
a a a
m
+ +
+ +
= (4.183)
( ) ( ) ( )
( ) ( ) ( )
5 3 6 2 7 9 2 8 3 4 8 6 9 5 1
6 1 4 3 9 7 3 9 1 6 9 4 7 6 3
c c c c c c c c c c c c c c c
c c c c c c c c c c c c c c c
a a a
t
+ +
+ +
= (4.184)
Where,
( ) ( ) 2 1 2 1
1
cos sin c + = (4.185a)
( )
( )

2 2 2
2
1
2
sin cos c
+
= (4.185b)
73

( ) ( )

2 2 2
2
1
2 2
3
sin cos sin c
+
= (4.185c)
( )

2
2
1
2 1
4
sin cos c

+ + = (4.185d)
( ) 2 1
5
sin c + = (4.185d)
1 6
c c = (4.185e)
5 7
c c = (4.185f)
( )
( )

2 1 2
2
1
8
cos sin c +
+
= (4.185g)
2 9
c c = (4.185h)
( )

cos sin c
a

+
= 1
2
1
1
(4.185i)
( )

sin cos c
a

+
=
2
1
2
(4.185j)
( )
2 3 a a
c sin c = (4.185k)
( )
2 4
2
1
a a
c sin c
+
=

(4.185l)

sin c
a
2
1
5
+
= (4.185m)
2 6 a a
c c = (4.185n)
5 7 a a
c c = (4.185o)

cos sin c
a
2
1
2
1
8

= (4.185p)
2 9 a a
c c = (4.185q)
( )

cos cos c
a
2 2
2
1
12
+
+
= (4.185u)
12
2
13
2
1
a a
c cos c

=

(4.185s)
( )

cos sin c
a

+
=
2
1
15
(4.185t)
( )
15 16 a a
c sin c = (4.185u)

sin cos c
a
2
1
1
18
+
= (4.185v)
74

12 19 a a
c c = (4.185w)
GJ
EI
x
= (4.185x)
4.3.6 Arc of a circle Beam Fixed at Both Ends under Uniform load
An arc of a circular beam fixed at both ends subjected to uniformly distributed load of intensity q
along the length of the span, and acting on its axis of symmetry, and perpendicular to the plane of
curvature.

Z
Y
X
q
R


Figure 4.8: Circular Arc Beam under Uniform load
The moment at any cross section along the length of the beam about the X axis in the vertical
principle plane YZ is given by
( ) cos qR sin R
qL
sin T cos M M + = 1
2
2
0 0
(4.186)
The twisting moment at any section is given by
( ) ( ) sin qR cos 1 R
2
qL
cos T sin M T
2
0 0
+ + = (4.187)
The boundary conditions are the same as in the previous problem and is given by
L s and s at = = = 0 0 (4.188a)
2
0
L
s at
d
d
= =

(4.188b)
L s and
L
s s at
ds
du
= = = =
2
0 0 (4.188c)
The non-dimension equilibrium equation is
M
GJ
R
C
M R
d
d
= +

2 2
2
2
(4.70)
And the identity equation which is similar to that for semi-circular beam is given by
75

( ) 1 2 1 2 = + k cos k cos (4.98)
Where

2
= k (4.189)
And upon equating of the terms in (4.70) and (4.98) we obtain

k cos
GJ
RM
d
d
2
2
2
= (4.190)
And
( ) k cos
GJRM
C
2 1 = ( ) k cos 2 1 = (4.191)
Now differentiation of the above equation with respect to gives
( ) ( ) k sin k k cos 2 2 2 1 + = (4.192)
Differentiate again of the above equation we get
( ) ( ) ( ) k cos k k sin k k cos 2 4 2 2 2 2 1
2
+ + = (4.193)
Equating the above expression with that in (4.190) we obtain
( ) ( ) ( ) k cos k k sin k k cos k cos
GJ
RM
2 4 2 2 2 2 1 2
2
+ + = (4.194)
Now the condition of stability requires vanishing of the angular displacement , which vanishes
at the boundary, therefore the above equation gives the stability equation
( )
2
4k
GJR
C
GJ
RM
= (4.195)
Where the expression in (4.191) has been used and we obtain
2
2
2
4
R
C k
M = (4.196)
This is similar to the expression for the semi-circular beam case, then
R
C k
M
2
= =
R
C

(4.197)
Where equitation (4.189b) has been used and upon substituting the value of M as given by
equation (4.186) which correspond to moment at mid-span we obtain
( ) cos 1 sin
2
sin cos
2
0 0
+ = qR R
qL
T M M (4.198a)
Let
2
0
qR k T
t
=
2
0
qR k M
m
= (4.198b)
76

This gives
( ) ( ) cos sin sin k cos k qR M
t m
+ = 1
2
(4.199a)
Therefore equation (4.197) becomes
( ) ( ) cos sin sin k cos k qR
t m
+ 1
2
R
C

= (4.199b)
Hence
( )
2
1 R cos sin sin k cos k
C
qR
t m


+ +

= (4.200)
As in the previous problem, what left in the problem is finding the value of the end bending and
twisting moments, where the strain energy method must be used, and the expression for the strain
energy is well known and is expressed by

Rd
GJ
T
EI
M
U

+ =

2 2
2
2 2
0
(4.177)
And we have

Rd
T
T
GJ
T
T
M
EI
M
T
U

0 0
0
0
2 2
2 (4.178a)

Rd
M
T
GJ
T
M
M
EI
M
M
U

0 0
0
0
2 2
2 (4.178b)
Where the bending and twisting moments are expressed as
( ) + = cos 1 sin
2
sin cos
2
0 0
qR R
qL
T M M (4.186)
( ) ( ) + + = sin cos 1
2
cos sin
2
0 0
qR R
qL
T M T (4.187)
Then by the last two expressions and by means of equation (4.178a) and equation (4.178b) we get
( )
( ) ( ) 0 1
2
1
1
2
1
2
0 0
0
2
0 0
0
=

+ +
+

d cos sin qR cos R


qL
cos T sin M
GJ
d sin cos qR sin R
qL
sin T cos M
EI
(4.201)
And
( )
( ) ( ) 0 1
2
1
1
2
1
2
0 0
0
2
0 0
0
=

+ +
+

d sin sin qR cos R


qL
cos T sin M
GJ
d cos cos qR sin R
qL
sin T cos M
EI
(4.202)
77

Upon integrating of the above two equations and solve for the end bending and twisting moments
an expressions for their values. The result of the above two integrals are shown at the end of
Chapter 4.

From Reference [14] Roark and Young Formula for Stress and Strain pages 270 and 272, the
value of factors
m
k and
t
k above are given by
( ) ( ) ( )
( ) ( ) ( )
5 3 6 2 7 9 2 8 3 4 8 6 9 5 1
5 3 6 2 19 9 2 8 3 16 8 6 9 5 13
c c c c c c c c c c c c c c c
c c c c c c c c c c c c c c c
a a a
m
+ +
+ +
= (4.203)
( ) ( ) ( )
( ) ( ) ( )
5 3 6 2 7 9 2 8 3 4 8 6 9 5 1
6 1 4 3 19 7 3 9 1 16 9 4 7 6 13
c c c c c c c c c c c c c c c
c c c c c c c c c c c c c c c
a a a
t
+ +
+ +
= (4.204)
Where, the value of the factors are shown in equations (4.185a) to (4.185w)
4.4 Load not applied at the center of the beam
Since in reality the loads are never applied at the center of gravity of beams, then we may
consider the case when the load is applied at a height h above the center of the beam.

Z
X
Y
q
h

Figure 4.9: Semi-circle Beam under Uniform load
applied at a height h above the center of the beam
4.4.1 Semi-circle Beam Fixed at Both Ends under Uniform load
A semi-circular beam with fixed ends subjected to uniformly distributed load of intensity q along
the length of the span, and acting at a constant height h above its center of the beam, and
perpendicular to the plane of curvature figure 4.67.
In this case the moment at any cross section along the length of the beam about the X axis in the
vertical principle plane YZ is given by
78

( ) cos qR sin R
qL
sin T cos M M + = 1
2
2
0 0
(4.205)
The equation of equilibrium is

d
dT
GJ
R
C
M R
d
d
= +
2 2
2
2
(4.206)
Where equation (4.36) has been used, then we have
qh
R
M
ds
dT
+ = (4.207)
Substituting this into (4.206) gives
( )

qhR M
GJ
R
C
M R
d
d
+ = +
2 2
2
2
(4.208)
Then the equation of equilibrium takes the form
GJ
RM
GJ
qhR
C
M R
d
d
=

+ +

2 2 2
2
2
(4.209)
The boundary conditions are
L and at = = = 0 0 (4.210a)
2
0

= = at
d
d
(4.210b)
2
0 0
L
and at
d
du
= = =

(4.210c)
Solution:
Differentiation by the geometric identity method to find the solution to this problem, then from
the boundary conditions above we may choose an identity equation of the form
( ) 1 2 1 2 = + cos cos (4.211)
Where

2
= k , and upon equating terms in both equations (4.209) and (4.211) we get

2
2
2
cos
GJ
RM
d
d
= (4.212)
And
( ) 2 1
2 2 2
cos
EI qhR M R
C
GJ
RM
y

+
= (4.213a)
This may be written as
79

( ) 2 1 cos = (4.213b)
Now differentiation of the above equation with respect to gives
( ) ( ) 2 2 2 1 sin cos + = (4.214)
Differentiate again of the above equation we obtain
( ) ( )
( )

2 4
2 2 2 2 1
cos
sin cos
+
+ =
(4.215)
Equating the above expression with that in (4.212) we obtain
( ) ( ) ( ) 2 4 2 2 2 2 1 2 cos sin cos cos
GJ
RM
+ + = (4.216)
Now the condition of stability requires vanishing of the angular displacement , which vanishes
at the boundary, therefore the above equation gives the stability equation
( ) 4 =
GJ
RM
(4.217)
Then

+
=
y
EI qhR M R
C
GJ
RM
GJ
RM
2 2 2
4
(4.218)
Where the expression in (4.213b) has been used and upon rearranging we obtain
1
4
2 2 2
=

+
y
EI qhR M R
C
(4.219)
This gives
C EI qhR M R
y
4
2 2 2
= + (4.220)
Rearranging and simplify
y
qhEI
R
C
M =
2
2
4
(4.221)
Now at mid-span the positive moment is maximum, than at

=
2


2
27 0 qR . M = (4.222)
Then (4.221) gives
( )
y
EI qhR C qR .
2
2
2
4 27 0 = (4.223)
Whence, the value of the critical is expressed by
GJ
qhR
R
C .
qR
4
1
4 7
2
2
= (4.224)
80

4.5 End Moments of Circular Arc Beams Subjected to Concentrated Loads
The Solution to the problem of circular beam fixed at both ends subjected to concentrated load by
means of equations (4.181) and (4.182)

Equation (4.181) is expressed as
( ) 0 1
2
1
2
1
0 0
0
0 0
0
=

+
+

d cos cos
PR
cos T sin M
GJ
d sin sin
PR
sin T cos M
EI
(4.2.25)
Rearranging and simplify we obtain
( ) 0
2
1
2
1
2 2
0 0
0
0
2
0
2
0
=

+
+

d cos cos
PR
cos T cos sin M
GJ
d cos sin M sin T sin
PR
EI
(4.226)
Integrating
0
2 4
2
2 2 2
1
2 4
2
2 2
1
0
2 0
2 0
0
=

+ +
+


sin
PR sin
T
PR
sin
M
GJ
sin
M sin
T
PR
EI
(4.227)
Let
=
GJ
EI
(4.228)
Rearranging and simplify
( ) + =

+ sin
2
sin 1
2 4
2 sin
2 4
2 sin
2 2
2 0
0
PR M
T
PR
(4.229)
Multiply through by 4 we obtain
( ) ( ) [ ] ( ) + = + +

+ sin 2 sin 1 2 2 sin 2 2 sin 2


2
2
0 0
PR M T
PR
` (4.230)
The above equation may be written as
( )
( ) ( ) + +
+
=

+
2 sin 2 2 sin 2
sin 2 sin 1 2
2
2
0
0
PR M
T
PR
` (4.231)
Moreover, equation (4.182) is expressed as
81

( ) 0 sin cos 1
2
cos sin
1
cos sin
2
sin cos
1
0 0
0
0 0
0
=

+
+

d
PR
T M
GJ
d
PR
T M
EI
(4.232)
Rearranging and simplify we obtain
0 sin
2
cos sin
2
sin
1
cos cos sin
2
1
0
2
0
0
2
0 0
0
=

+ +
+

d
PR
T
PR
M
GJ
d M T
PR
EI
(4.233)
Integrating
( ) 0 1 cos
2 2
sin
2 4
2 sin
2
1
4
2 sin
2 2
sin
2
1
2
0 0
0
2
0
=

+ +

+
PR
T
P
M
GJ
M T
PR
EI
(4.234)
Rearranging and simplify
( ) ( ) 1 cos
2 4
2 sin
2 4
2 sin
2 2
sin
1
2
0
2
0
+

+
PR
M T
PR
(4.235)
Multiply through by 4
( ) ( ) ( ) [ ] ( ) 1 cos 2 2 sin 2 2 sin 2 sin 1 2
2
0
2
0
+ + =

+ PR M T
PR
(4.236)
Rearranging we obtain
( ) ( ) [ ] ( )
( )
+ + +
=

+
2
0
0
sin 1 2
1 cos 2 2 sin 2 2 sin 2
2
PR M
T
PR
(4.237)
Equating equations (4.231) and (4.237) gives
( )
( ) ( ) + +
+
2 sin 2 2 sin 2
sin 2 sin 1 2
2
0
PR M

( ) ( ) [ ] ( )
( )
+ + +
=
2
0
sin 1 2
1 cos 2 2 sin 2 2 sin 2 PR M
(4.238)
Let
( ) =
2
1
sin 1 2 b (4.239a)
( ) ( ) + + = 2 sin 2 2 sin 2
2
b (4.239b)
( ) ( ) + + = 2 sin 2 2 sin 2
3
b (4.239c)
( ) 1 cos 2
4
= b (4.239d)
= sin 2
5
b (4.239e)
82

Accordingly equation (4.238) becomes

1
4 2 0
3
5 1 0
b
PRb b M
b
PRb b M +
=
+
(4.240)
Rearranging
4 3 3 2 0 5 1
2
1 0
b PRb b b M b PRb b M + = + (4.241)
Then
( ) ( )
5 1 4 3 3 2
2
1 0
b b b b PR b b b M = (4.242)
Therefore
( )
( )
PR PR
b b b
b b b b
M
m
=

=
3 2
2
1
5 1 4 3
0
(4.243)
Hence
( )
( )
3 2
2
1
5 1 4 3
b b b
b b b b
m

= (4.244)
Substitution of equation (4.243) into (4.231) gives
3
5 1
0
2 b
PR b PR b
T
PR
m
+
=

+ ` (4.245)
Rearranging
2
3
5 1
0
PR
b
PR b PR b
T
m

+
= ` (4.246)
Then
PR PR
b
b b
T
t
m
=

+
=
2
1
3
5 1
0
` (4.247)
Hence

+
=
2
1
3
5 1
b
b b
m
t
` (4.248)
4.6 End Moments of Circular Arc Beams Subjected to Uniformly Distributed Load
The Solution to the problem of circular arc beam fixed at both ends subjected to uniformly
distributed load by means of equations (4.201) and (4.202)
Equation (4.201) is expressed as
83

( )
( ) ( ) 0 cos sin cos 1
2
cos sin
1
sin cos 1 sin
2
sin cos
1
2
0 0
0
2
0 0
0
=

+ +
+

d qR R
qL
T M
GJ
d qR R
qL
T M
EI
(4.249)
Rearranging and simplify we obtain
( )
( ) 0
2 2
1
2
1
2
0
2
0
0
2
0
2
0
0
=

+ +

+
+

d cos sin cos qR cos sin M cos R


qL
cos R
qL
T
GJ
d sin cos sin qR sin cos M sin R
qL
T
EI
(4.250)
Integrating
0
2
1
2
2 4
2
2 2
1
1
2 2 4
2
2 2
1
2
2
2
0
0
2
2
2
0 0
=

+ +
+

+
+


sin
cos sin qR
sin
M
sin R
qL sin qLR
T
GJ
cos
sin
qR
sin
M
sin qLR
T
EI
(4.251)
Rearranging and simplify
( ) ( )


+
+

+
2
sin
1 cos
2
sin
1 cos
2
sin
1
4
2 sin
2 4
2 sin
2
2 2
2
2
0
2
0
qR
M qR T
(4.252)
Where the expression for the beam length has been used, and upon multiplying through by 4 we
obtain
( ) ( ) ( ) [ ] ( )
( ) ( ) [ ]

2 2 2
2
0
2
0
2 4 4 2 4 4
1 2 2 2 2 2
sin cos sin cos qR
sin M sin sin qR T
+
+ = + + +
(4.253)
Rearranging
( )
( ) ( ) ( ) [ ]
( ) ( )

2 2 2 2
2 4 4 2 4 4 1 2
2 2 2 2
0 2
0
sin sin
sin cos sin cos qR sin M
qR T
+ +
+ +
= + (4.254)
Moreover, equation (4.202) is expressed as
( )
( ) ( ) 0 1
2
1
1
2
1
2
0 0
0
2
0 0
0
=

+ +
+

d sin sin qR cos R


qL
cos T sin M
GJ
d cos cos qR sin R
qL
sin T cos M
EI
(4.255)
Rearranging and simplify we obtain
84

( )
( ) 0
2 2
1
2
1
2 2 2
0 0
0
2 2 2
0 0
0
=

+ +

+
+

+ +

d sin sin qR sin M sin R


qL
cos sin R
qL
T
GJ
d cos cos qR cos M cos sin R
qL
T
EI
(4.256)
Integrating
( )
0
4
2
2
4
2
2
1
2 2 2
4
2
2 4
2
2 2 2
2
0
2
0
2
0
2
0
=

+ +
+

+ +

+
+

+ +

+ +


sin
sin cos qR
sin
M cos R
qL sin qLR
T
sin
sin qR
sin
M
sin qLR
T
(4.257)
Multiply through by and Rearranging
( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) [ ]
( ) ( )

2 2 4 4 2 2 4
2 2 2 2 1 2
2 2 2
0
2 2
0
sin sin qR qR sin sin qR
sin sin M sin qR T
+ + +
+ + + = +
(4.258)
Simplify
( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) [ ]
( ) ( )

4 2 2 4 2 2 4
2 2 2 2 1 2
2 2
0
2 2
0
qR sin sin sin sin qR
sin sin M sin qR T
+ +
+ + + = +
(4.259)
Then
( )
( ) ( ) [ ] ( )( )
( )


2
2 2
0
2
0
1 2
4 2 2 4 1 2 2 2 2
sin
qR sin sin qR sin sin M
qR T

+ + + +
= +
(4.260)
And we have from equation (4.254)
( )
( ) ( ) ( ) [ ]
( ) ( )

2 2 2 2
2 4 4 2 4 4 1 2
2 2 2 2
0
2
0
sin sin
sin cos sin cos qR sin M
qR T
+ +
+ +
= +
(4.261)
Let
( ) =
2
1
sin 1 2 b (4.262a)
( ) ( ) + + = 2 sin 2 2 sin 2
2
b (4.262b)
( ) ( ) + + = 2 sin 2 2 sin 2
3
b (4.262c)
( )( ) + = 2 2 4 1
6
sin sin b (4.262d)
( ) + =
2
7
sin 2 4 cos 4 b (4.262e)
( ) =
2
8
sin 2 4 cos 4 b (4.262f)
85

= 4
9
b (4.262g)
Accordingly, (4.260) and (4.261) becomes
( )
1
9
2
6
2
2 0 2
0
b
b qR b qR b M
qR T

= + (4.263)
( )
3
8
2
7
2
1 0 2
0
b
b qR b qR b M
qR T

= + (4.264)
Equating the above equations
1
9
2
6
2
2 0
b
b qR b qR b M
3
8
2
7
2
1 0
b
b qR b qR b M
= (4.265)
Rearranging we obtain
m
k qR
b b b
b b b b b b b
qR M
2
3 2
2
1
9 3 6 3 8 1
2
1 2
0
=

+
= (4.266)
Hence
3 2
2
1
9 3 6 3 8 1
2
1
b b b
b b b b b b b
k
m

+
= (4.267)
Subsuming of the above equation into (4.263) gives


=
2
1
9
2
6
2
2
2
0
qR
b
b qR b qR b k qR
T
m
(4.268)
Simplify
t
m
k qR
b
b b b k
qR T
2
1
9 6 2 2
0
=



= (4.269)
Hence


=
1
9 6 2
b
b b b k
k
m
t
(4.270)
4.7 The Buckling Load when Warping is Considered
If the beam section is an open section, then warping must be considered, the general expression of
the differential equation of equilibrium in this case is give by equations (4.33) and (4.34)
R
M
GJ C
M
ds
d
ds
d
GJ
EI
w
1
2
2
2
4
4
= + +

(4.33)
Or in terms of we have
86

GJ
RM
C
M R
d
d
d
d
GJ R
EI
w
= + +

2 2
2
2
4
4
2
(4.34)
The solution to the problem can be found in two steps. First, we solve the problem without the
warping effect. Second, we substitute the expression of the deflection curve into one of the two
above equations. This will be illustrated in the following examples.
4.7.1 Semi-circle open cross section Beam Fixed at Both Ends under Concentrated Load
A semi-circular open cross section beam with fixed ends subjected to concentrated load P at mid-
span, and acting on its axis of symmetry and perpendicular to the plane of curvature and fixed
against twisting at both ends. In this problem the boundary conditions are similar to example
(4.3.1).

The moment at any point along the center line of the beam in the vertical principle plane YZ is
given by
sin
2
sin cos
0 0
R
P
T M M = (4.67)
Solution:

Since warping does not change the deflection curve shape, then the identity equation
1 2 1 2 = + ) cos ( cos (4.72)
Is valid if warping is or is not considered, therefore we get

2
2
2
4
4
2
cos
GJ
RM
d
d
d
d
GJ R
EI
w
= + (4.271)
Or in a simple form as
2
2
cos
GJ
RM
GJ R
EI
w
= + (4.272)
And
( ) 2 cos 1 =
GJRM
C
(4.273)
Let
( ) 2 1 cos = (4.274)
Differentiate twice with respect to we obtain
( ) 2 4 2 4 2 1 cos sin cos + + = (4.275)
Differentiate again twice with respect to we obtain
87

( )


2 16 2 4 2 16
2 4 2 4 2 4 2 1
cos cos sin
sin cos sin cos
+
+ + + =
(4.276)
This gives
( ) 2 16 2 16 2 8 2 8 2 1 cos sin cos sin cos + + = (4.277)
Substitute (4.275), (4.277) into (4.272) we obtain
( ) [ ]
( )

cos
GJ
RM
cos sin cos
cos sin cos sin cos
GJ R
EI
w
= + +
+ + +
2 4 2 4 2 1
2 16 2 16 2 8 2 8 2 1
2
(4.278)
This equation is valid at any point along the beam length and the condition of stability requires
vanishing of the angular displacement, which vanishes at the boundary, therefore at the boundary
we have
[ ]
GJ
RM
GJ R
EI
w
= + 4 16 8
2
(4.279)
And by means of (4.273) and (2.274) we have
GJRM
C
= (4.280)
Then


=
3
2
2
M
M M M
GJR
C
(4.281)
Where at the point of maximum moment we have


=
3
M
M M
GJR
C
= =
GJRM
C
(4.282)
Therefore equation (4.279) becomes
GJ
RM
GJ R
EI
w
= + 4 8
2
(4.283)
Rearranging

+ =
GJ R
EI
GJ
RM
w
2
2
1 4 (4.284)
And by (4.280) this gives

+ =
GJ R
EI
GJRM
C
GJ
RM
w
2
2
1
4
(4.285)
Then
88

+ =
GJ R
EI
R
C
M
w
2 4
2
2
1
4
(4.286)
And we obtain
2
1
2 2
2
1
2

+ =
GJ R
EI
R
C
M
w
(4.287)

Whence, the value of the critical is expressed by
2
1
2 2
2
1
3 6

+ =
GJ R
EI
R
C .
P
w
(4.288)
It is to be noticed that, when R is very large and approaches infinity the length of the beam L
approaches the value of R 2 and when substituting this value in the above expression we obtain
2
1
2 2
8
1
2 25

+ =
GJ L
EI
L
C .
P
w
(4.289)
This value is almost exact to the value for the case of straight beam laterally fixed at both ends.
89

Chapter 5
Lateral Instability of Curved Beams with an arbitrarily curvature
Since in this type of structural member the curvature of the beam varies at each point along the
beam length, then the complexity of their analysis comes from the fact that the right hand side of
the differential equation of equilibrium will contains two functions, and each function is
differentiated or integrated along the process of the solution. For simplicity some assumptions
may be used and based on Euler- Bernoulli approximation in the beam theory an expression for
the differential equation of equilibrium for some of the non-circular beams is obtained, and by
means of the geometric identity equation a solution to this equation is obtained for different
loading conditions.

As mentioned in Chapter 4, when analyzing horizontally curved beams, it may be seen that the
post-buckling twisting angle produces some additional bending moments in the vertical plane YZ,
and the relation between radius of curvature and this angular displacement is expressed as
r r
v
= sin (5.1)
Where r is the variable initial radius of curvature and in polar coordinates is given by
d
ds
r = (5.2)
And since is a small angle then equation (5.1) becomes
r r
v

=
1
(5.3)
And the total twist per unit length is then expressed by
= =
ds
d
(5.4)
Furthermore, the increase of the curvature in the horizontal XZ plane due to buckling moment is
equivalent to that obtained from the deformation of rings under in-plane loading and is given by
2
2
2
1
ds
u d
r
u
r
u
+ = (5.5)
Now by adding the increase in the curvature due to the initial curvature to the equations of
equilibrium of straight beams results in the new equations of equilibrium given by

+ =
2
2
ds
v d
r
EI M
x

(5.6)
90

+ =
2
2
2
.
ds
u d
r
u
EI M
y
(5.7)
ds
d
GJ M
t

= (5.8)
And differentiation of the above equation with respect to s gives
2
2
ds
d
GJ
ds
dM
t

= (5.9)
Additionally, the general expression for the twisting moment at any section along the length of
the beam in the XY plane is given by
( ) u u V
ds
du
M T M
o t
+ = (5.10)
Upon differentiation of the above expression, we obtain
( )
ds
dV
u u
ds
du
V
ds
du
ds
dM
ds
u d
M
ds
dT
ds
dM
t
+ =
0
2
2
(5.11)
According to the concept of small deflection in buckling problems, which requires that the last
term in the above expressions (5.10) and (5.11) are of small order and may be neglected,
accordingly we will have
ds
du
M T M
t
= (5.12)
And
M
ds
u d
ds
dT
ds
dM
t
2
2
= (5.13)
Equating of equation (5.9) and equation (5.13) gives
2
2
2
2
ds
d
GJ
ds
u d
M
ds
dT
= (5.14)

Substitution equation (5.7) into equation the above equation gives
2
2
2
2
ds
d
GJ
r
Mu
EI
M
ds
dT
y

= + (5.15)
Where upon dividing thru by And by GJ and Rearranging we obtain
2
2
2
2
1
GJr
Mu
ds
dT
GJ C
M
ds
d
+ = +

(5.16)
91

And since r u << , the last term may be neglected and we obtain
ds
dT
GJ C
M
ds
d 1
2
2
2
= +

(5.17)
This equation is written in polar coordinates as
ds
dT
GJ
r
C
M r
d
d
2 2 2
2
2
= +

(5.18)
This is an exact expression to equation (4.32) in Chapter 4 but the problem with the former is its
variable radius of curvature.
5.1 Lateral Instability of Parabolic Beams under concentrated load

Z
X
Y
P
z0

x
r
0


Figure 5.1 Curved Parabolic beam under vertical concentrated load
If the parabolic beam under consideration is subjected to a vertical concentrated load acting in the
middle, and the polar angle of the polar coordinates is measured counter-clockwise, then the
moment at any section along any curved beam length in the vertical principle plane YZ is
( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) + + + = cos cos z h
P
sin sin z
P
sin T cos M M
0 0 0 0
2 2
(5.19a)
This is equivalent to
( ) ( ) ( ) + + = cos h
P
cos z
P
sin T cos M M
2 2
0 0 0
(5.19b)
Where and is the angle the tangent makes with the horizontal axis,
0
z is the maximum
ordinate and r is the polar radius of curvature. The twisting moment at any section is given by

( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) + + + = sin cos z h
P
cos sin z
P
cos T sin M T
0 0 0 0
2 2
(5.20a)
Rearranging we obtain
92

( ) ( ) ( ) + + + = sin h
P
sin z
P
cos T sin M T
2 2
0 0 0
(5.20b)

Differentiation of the above equation with respect to s gives
( ) ( ) ( )
( ) ( )
ds
dh
sin
ds
d
cos h
P
cos h
P
cos z
P
sin T cos M
ds
d
ds
dT

+ + +

+ + + =

2
2 2
0 0 0
(5.21)

We have
( ) + = cos
ds
dh

r ds
d
ds
d 1
=


h ds
d 1
=

= hd rd (5.22)
Therefore equation (5.21) becomes
( ) ( ) ( ) [ ] + + + + = cos sin cos
P
r
M
ds
dT
2
(5.23)
Where equation (5.19) has been used, and upon substituting of the above expression into the
differential equation (5.17) we obtain
( ) [ ] ( )

+ + + + = +

cos sin
P
r
M
GJ C
M
ds
d
1
2
1
2
2
2
(5.24)
And by equation (5.22)
( ) [ ] ( )

+ + + +

= +

cos sin
P
d
d
h
M
GJ C
M
ds
d
1
2
1
2
2
2
(5.24)

Or in a simple form as
= +

GJ
rM
C
M
ds
d
2
2
2
(5.26)
Where
( ) ( ) ( ) + + + = cos sin
M
Pr
1
2
1 (5.27)
Equation (5.26) is the general form of the equation of equilibrium for any out of plan curved
beam with variable curvature under concentrated vertical load, and the final solution of this
problem depends on the expression of the moment and its curvature.
The first problem we will analyze in this chapter is the stability of the parabolic beams under
symmetrical loading, then later on the chapter other type of beam geometry will be analyzed.
93

5.1.1 Parabolic Beam under Concentrated Load
A parabolic beam with fixed ends subjected to concentrated load P at mid-span, and acting on its
axis of symmetry, and perpendicular to the plane of curvature.
The equation of this parabola is assumed to be
2
bz a x = (5.28)
Where b and a positive numbers and the coordinates of the equation in polar coordinates are
x sin h = (5.29a)
z cos h = (5.29b)
z
x
tan = (5.30)
2 2 2
z x h + = (5.31)
And the maximum ordinate is given by
b
a
x bx a = =
0
2
0 and a z =
0
(5.32)
The boundary conditions in the problem as the same as that for circular beams and expressed as
L s and s at = = = 0 0 (5.33)
2
0
L
s at
ds
d
= =

(5.34)
2
0 0
L
s and s at
ds
du
= = = (5.35)
Solution:
As in the case of semi-circle beam in chapter three, for all the boundary conditions to be satisfied,
we must satisfy the condition
0
2
2
2
0
=

ds
ds
d
M
GJ
L
(5.36)
Where by means of equation (5.30) the above condition becomes
ds
ds
d
M
GJ
L

2
2
2
0
(5.37)
Where warping term has been neglected, and by (5.22) the above equation can be written as
0
2
2
0
=

d
d
d
rM
GJ
(5.38)
To satisfy the above equation we may have
94

=

k cos
d
d
rM
GJ
2
2
where

= k (5.39)
Accordingly, we may choose the identity equation
( ) 1 1 = + k cos k cos (5.40)
And upon equating of (5.40) and (5.26)
( )

= k cos
GJrM
C
1 (5.41)

k cos
GJ
rM
d
d
2
2
(5.42)
Now equation (5.41) can be written in the simple form
( ) = k cos 1 (5.43)
Where
GJrM
C
= (5.44)

Upon differentiating of this expression in (5.43) with respect to we obtain
( ) + = k sin k k cos 1 (5.45)
Differentiate again we get
( ) + + = k cos k k sin k k cos
2
2 1 (5.46)
Now equating the second derivatives in the above equation with equation (5.42), we obtain
( ) + + =

k cos k k sin k k cos k cos


GJ
rM
2
2 1 (5.47)
Now the condition of stability requires vanishing of the angle , accordingly the first term in the
right hand side of the above equation must vanish since it is a function of and the above
equation becomes
+ =

k cos k k sin k k cos


GJ
rM
2
2 (5.48)
This is the stability equation and it is valid at any section along the beam length and the
maximum positive moment is at the middle, where at
= we have 0 = k sin
2

= 0 = R r = (5.47)
Then equation (5.27) leads to
95

( ) ( ) 1 0
2
1
2
1 =

+ + = cos sin
M
Pr
(5.48)
And the expression in (5.44) becomes
GJRM
C
= (5.49)
Therefore, at mid-span equation (5.47) gives
= k cos k
GJRM
C
k cos
GJ
RM
2

2
k
GJRM
C
GJ
RM
= (5.50)
And we obtain
2
2 2

=
C
M R
(5.51)
Hence, the expression for the critical load is
R
C
M

= (5.52)
The final step in our solution is to determine the radius of curvature and the value of the moment
at the middle point. The moment can be determined by using one of the structural engineering
software such as STAAD, SAP200, GTSTRUDAL etc., we can also do this mathematically
where the strain energy method has to be used as shown in the previous chapter and it is also
possible to approximate the value of the positive moment, where by means of equation (5.19) the
maximum moment at mid span is given by
+ = cos x
P
z
P
sin T cos M M
0 0 0 0
2 2
(5.53)
Let
2
0
0
Pz
T
t
= and
2
0
0
Px
M
m
= (5.54)
Accordingly equation (5.53) becomes
( ) ( ) 1
2
1
2
0 0
+ + = sin
Pz
cos
Px
M
t m
(5.55)
Then equation (5.49) can be written as
( ) ( )
R
C
sin
Pz
cos
Px
M
t m

= + + = 1
2
1
2
0 0
(5.56)
Therefore, the buckling load is then expressed by
( ) ( ) ( )
2
0 0
1 1
2
R
C
sin z cos x R
P
t m
+ +

= (4.57)
96

The end moment factors
t
and
m
can be determined following same procedures as in the case
of circular arc beams, where the strain energy method must be used, and the expression for the
strain energy is well known and is expressed by

+ =

Rd
GJ
T
EI
M
U
2 2
2
2 2
0
(4.58)
And we have

= =

Rd
T
T
GJ
T
T
M
EI
M
T
U
0 0
0
0
2 2
2 0 (4.59a)

= =

Rd
M
T
GJ
T
M
M
EI
M
M
U
0 0
0
0
2 2
2 0 (4.59b)
The last step is determine the value of the radius of curvature at mid-span, where at this point we
have
0 = z
0
x x = (4.60)
The expression for the curvature of a curve is given by the will known formula
( )
2 3
2
1
1
/
x
x
r
+

= Where
2
2
dx
z d
x = (4.61)
And by the given expression in (5.28) we have

bz x 2 = b x 2 = (5.62)
Then by (4.61) the curvature at any point is
( )
2 3
2 2
4 1
2 1
/
z b
b
r
+

= (5.63)
It follows that at the middle point or mid-span we have
b
R
2
1
=
b
R
2
1
= (5.64)
Accordingly, by (5.52) the final expression of the buckling load is

=
C b
M
2
(5.65)
Or by (5.57) we obtain
( ) ( ) ( )
2
0 0
1 1
2
R
C
sin z cos x
b
P
t m
+ +

= (4.66)

97

5.1.2 Parabolic Beam fixed at both ends under uniform load
A parabolic beam with fixed ends subjected to a uniformly distributed load of intensity q along
the length of the span, and acting on its axis of symmetry, and perpendicular to the plane of
curvature. The equation of this parabola is assumed to be
2
bz a x = (5.67)
The boundary conditions in the problem as the same as that in the previous problem and
expressed as
L s and s at = = = 0 0 (5.68a)
2
0
L
s at
ds
d
= =

(5.68b)
2
0 0
L
s and L s or s at
ds
du
= = = = (5.68c)

Z
X
Y
q
z
0

x
r
0


Figure 5.2: Curved Parabolic beam under vertical uniform load
Solution:
The moment at any section along any curved beam length in the vertical principle plane YZ is
( ) ( ) ( )
( ) ( ) cos h z qds cos sin h x qds sin
cos h
qL
cos z
qL
sin T cos M M



+
+ + =

0 0
0 0 0
2 2
(5.69)
The twisting moment is given by
( ) ( ) ( )
( ) ( )


cos h z qds sin sin h x qds cos
sin h
qL
sin z
qL
cos T sin M T

+ + + =

0 0
0 0 0
2 2
(5.70)
Differentiate the above equation with respect to s we obtain
98

( ) ( ) ( )
( ) ( )
( ) ( ) ( ) ( )
ds
dh
sin
qL
ds
d
cos h
qL
sin cos h z q cos sin h x q
cos h z qds cos sin h x qds sin
cos h
qL
cos z
qL
sin T cos M
ds
d
ds
dT

+ + +
+


+ + + +
=

2 2
2 2
0
0 0 0
(5.71)
Then by equations (5.22) and (5.69) the above expression becomes

( ) ( )
( ) ( ) ( ) cos sin
qL
cos
qL
sin cos h z q cos sin h x q
r
M
ds
dT


+ + + +
+ + =
2 2
(5.72)
Or in a simple form as
=
r
M
ds
dT
(5.73)
Where
( ) ( )
( ) ( ) ( )

+ + + +
+
=

cos sin
qL
cos
qL
sin cos h z q cos sin h x q
M
r
2 2
1 (5.74)
Then the differential equation of equilibrium (5.18) will take the form
= +

GJ
rM
C
M r
d
d
2 2
2
2
(5.74)
Let us choose the geometric identity equation
( ) 1 1 = + k cos k cos (5.75)
Where

= k (5.76)
And upon equating the appropriate terms in (5.74) and (5.76) we should have
( ) k cos
GJMr
C
= 1 (5.77)
And

k cos
GJ
rM
d
d
=
2
2
(5.78)
Equations (5.77) may be written as
( ) k cos = 1 (5.79)
Where
99

=
GJMr
C
(5.80)
Differentiation of the equation (5.79) twice with respect to gives
( ) k cos k k sin k k cos
2
2 1 + + = (5.81)
Equating the second derivatives given by the above equation and equation (5.70) gives
( ) k cos k k sin k k cos k cos
GJ
rM
2
2 1 + + = (5.82)
Now the condition of stability requires vanishing of the angle , accordingly the first term in the
right hand side of the above equation must vanish since it is a function of and the above
equation becomes
+ =

k cos k k sin k k cos


GJ
rM
2
2 (5.48)
This is the stability equation and it is valid at any section along the beam length and the
maximum positive moment is at the middle, where at
= we have 0 = k sin 0 = R r = 1 = (5.47)
This give

2
k
GJ
rM
= (5.84)
Therefore, by (5.80) we obtain
2
2
2
R
C k
M = (5.86)
Hence the expression for the buckling load is represented by the maximum positive moment

C b
R
C
R
C k
M
2
= = = (5.87)
It will take extensive work to determine the expression of this moment, aforementioned in the
previous problem, it is easier if we use any of the structural engineering programs to calculate this
moment and compare it with the corresponding value in the right hand side.
100

Chapter 6
Experiment and Finite Element Verification
Herein, an experimental study of the lateral buckling of out-of-plane curved beams is reported.
The purpose of these tests is to determine the value of the buckling load and find the deviation
from the theoretical buckling load. It is to be noticed, buckling occurs when the initial radius of
curvature of the beam is larger than a certain value. In other words, for each cross section and
loading condition there is a certain radius of curvature at which their exist a balance or equality
between the buckling load and the yielding load, this equality can be described as follow:

The buckling load for a semi-circle beam under concentrated load acting at the mid-point of its
span and is given by equation (4.87) in Chapter 4.
2
3 6
R
GJ EI .
P
y
= (6.1)
If the stress due to twisting moment is neglected, then yielding load is approximately computed
from
x x
y
S
PR y
I
M
f
2 2
= = (6.2)
Where, the moment M in the above expression is the maximum bending moment, which is the
fixed end moment, then equation (6.2) leads to
R
f S
P
y x
2
= (6.3)
Upon equating (6.1) and (6.3) we obtain

2
3 6
R
GJ EI .
y
R
f S
y x
2
= (6.4)

Therefore, the minimum radius is then given by
y x
y
y
f S
GJ EI .
R R
2
3 6
= = (6.5)
This equation gives the radius of curvature at which the buckling load is equivalent to the
yielding load, for semi-circle beams, accordingly and in general when
y
R R > Stability control (6.6a)
101

y
R R < Yielding control (6.6b)
Therefore, in performing our experiments the radius of curvatures of the tested beams were
chosen in accordance with the expression in (6.6a), also the following relationships will be used:
The section modulus about the strong axis X is given by
6
2
hb
S
x
= (6.7)
The moment of inertia about the week axis Y is given by
12
3
bh
I I
y
= = (6.8)
The Polar Moment of Inertia is given by

=
b
h
.
bh
J 63 0 1
3
3
(6.9)
The Yielding Radius of Curvature is given by
y x
y
y
f S
GJ EI .
R
2
3 6
= (6.10)
The Torsion-Bending Factor C is given by EIGJ C = (6.11)
The Theoretical buckling load for semi-circle beams is
2
3 6
R
C .
P
c
= (6.12)
The Theoretical buckling load for circular arc beams is equation (4.176) in Chapter 4

( )
2
5 0
R
C
sin . sin cos
P
t m
c



= (6.13)
The fixed end bending moment factor is

( ) ( ) ( )
( ) ( ) ( )
5 3 6 2 7 9 2 8 3 4 8 6 9 5 1
5 3 6 2 9 9 2 8 3 6 8 6 9 5 3
c c c c c c c c c c c c c c c
c c c c c c c c c c c c c c c
a a a
m
+ +
+ +
= (6.14a)
The fixed end twisting moment factor is

( ) ( ) ( )
( ) ( ) ( )
5 3 6 2 7 9 2 8 3 4 8 6 9 5 1
6 1 4 3 9 7 3 9 1 6 9 4 7 6 3
c c c c c c c c c c c c c c c
c c c c c c c c c c c c c c c
a a a
t
+ +
+ +
= (6.14b)
Where the expression for the c factors in the above two equation are shown on page 72 of Chapter
4. These factors are taken from reference [14] Roark and Young Formulas for Stress and Strain.
6.1 Experiments and Descriptions
The experiments were performed at the Structural Mechanic Lab at Polytechnic University. The
specimens were a solid rectangular cross section shape of small cross section sizes from 1/8x1
to 1/8x3 and consisting of high strength aluminum alloy 6061 as shown in the accompanying
table 6.1. The specimens were carefully bent around the week axis to give it the desired initial
radius of curvature. The fixed end conditions of the beams were obtained by using of steel shim
plates and mechanical clamps as shown in the following images.
102



Figure 6. 1 Depicts Eugene Fuchs clamping the beam to a loading machine.



Figure 6. 2 Depicts Polytechnic student Thomas Moorhoff setting up the experiment.
103



Figure 6. 3 Semi-circle beam in the buckling state.

6.1.1 Method of Testing
Two methods of testing were used in the experiments:
1. In the first method the specimens were subjected to a vertical load applied at the middle
through by testing machine, and the value of the load and the corresponding vertical
deflection were measured by the machines computer.

2. In the second method the vertical load was applied manually and the corresponding
vertical deflection was measured manually. The total horizontal displacement is obtained
by measuring the difference between the original height of the middle point before and
after load application.

In both methods the horizontal displacement was measured by the aide of leaser pin attached to
the beam using glue and pointed downward to a graphic paper. As the beam deflects the middle
section rotates and the point of intersection between the light beam and the graphic paper moves
horizontally. The horizontal distance between the point of intersection and the original point
(point of zero load) is then measured and the angle of rotation is measured from its tangent which
is the ratio between the horizontal displacement x and the actual height y of the middle section.
104

When performing the experiment using a testing machine, we ran into a few problems and as
described below.

1. The applied load is transferred to the beam by the loading machines 3 diameter
cylinder, then as the load increases the friction force between cylinder and beam
increases which prevents the beam from moving laterally.

2. Since the load is applied at the top not at the neutral axis of the beam cross section, when
the beam rotates an additional twisting moment is created which increases the stress and
the possibility of local buckling of the beam before reaching the expected global buckling
load.

The first problem was solved by connecting a small wheel to the tested beam at the
middle section or mid-span section. This technique eliminated only the friction part of the
problem but does not eliminate the additional torque, which increased due to the increase
in the eccentricity of the applied load. We found that the additional torque is proportional
to the wheel size. This was one of the main reasons for us to choose the second method of
testing.
6.1.2 Measurements Errors Cause Factors
1. The friction between the loading machine and the testing beam which increases the angle
of rotation and reduces the lateral displacements.
2. The load is not applied at the neutral axis of the beam when using a loading machine.
3. The load is applied with an incremental value of 5 or 10 pounds, therefore it is not
possible to precisely predict the actual value of the buckling load if it is not multiple of 5.
4. Due to the limiting recourse it was not possible to measure the horizontal displacement of
the beam, this displacement must be subtracted from the horizontal distance x in the
following tables.
5. The height of the middle point at each load was measured manually using regular
measuring tape, and due to the rotation and the horizontal displacement the value cannot
be 100% accurate.
6. The tensile modulus of elasticity of aluminum is 2% less than its compressive modulus.
105

6.1.3 Experimental Buckling Load
It has been proven experimentally that the load-rotation curve has three different configurations:
1. Linear, which is the pre-buckling shape.
2. Nonlinear, which is the buckling shape.
3. Linear, which is the post-buckling shape.
The value of the experimental buckling load can be defined as the value of the load at the point of
intersection between the pre-buckling linear portion and the non-linear portion of the curve. See
figures 6.1 to 6.12
6.2 Finite Element Analysis (FEA)
Element which has been used in these analysis is 3D quadratic finite strain Beam189 which is
suitable for analyzing slender to moderately thick beams. Beam189 can work with any beam
cross-sections and can be used for flexural, lateral and torsional loading. The element consists of
3 nodes and each node has 6 DOF (3 translations and 3 rotations).
The semi-circle or the circular arc beam model is created with predefined radius and angle in the
x-z plane. The 2 ends of the beam are set claimed conditions (zero translation and rotation in all
directions). The force is applied at the middle of the beam in y-direction. The mesh size is
generated by divided the curve into two hundred (200) segments which correspond to two
hundred (200) beam elements.
Non-linear buckling analysis is used in the FEA in which, load is increased by steps until it
reaches the predefined value. Load step is calculated automatically by the program using
Newton-Raphson method. The convergence condition is that each step runs for maximum two
thousand (2000) iterations. The solution is set to run in one hundred (100) steps.
Now, since the non-linear FEA models do not give a value for the buckling load. In contrast, we
are able to obtain the deflection curve with respect to the load applied. The critical load can be
determined approximately by the instance when the curve is no longer linear. Therefore, the
rotation at the middle of the beam are tracked for each load step, the curves are then plotted
versus force applied load to compare with experimental data as shown in the following charts.
6.2.1 Element
The element used in the analysis is 3D quadratic finite strain Beam189. Beam189 is quadratic
beam element, constituted by 3 nodes, 2 ends and one mid-side node, interpolated in between by
a quadratic polynomial. By using 2
nd
order beam element, the element is well-suited to model the
106

curved structure like the present beam. Each node has 6 degree of freedoms (DOF), 3 translations
and 3 rotations in the x, y and z directions. This element is suitable for analyzing slender to
moderate thick beam structure.

Beam189 elements are based on Timoshenko beam theory, which takes into account the shear
deformation effect. The assumption is that the transverse shear strain is constant through the cross
section; that is, cross-section remains plane and undistorted after deformation. Beam189 can work
with any beam cross-sections and can be used for flexural, lateral and torsional loading. In
additions, this element is appropriate for linear, large rotation and/or large strain nonlinear
structure. In present buckling analysis, this element is used in large strain deformation.
6.2.2 Geometry
A semi-circle or an arc is created with predefined radius and angle in the x-z plane to the negative
z-axis. Since the beam is slender, a curve line is used to model the beam. Thus, the beam
elements are one-dimensional line elements in space. The element shape in the present case,
rectangular and constant along the beam, are provided separately. Photo 6.4 and Photo 6.5 show
the elements with their shape and boundary conditions in the actual geometry problem for semi-
circle and arc beam, respectively.
For a semi-circle beam, a half circle is generated in x-z plane, with the center at the origin and
predefined radius. However, more calculation is required to create an arc beam. The arc is created
by three key points, two at the ends and one at the middle of the arc. The two end key points is
located at (R sin) while the mid one location is (R - R cos), in which R and are the radius
and angle (in inch and radian) of the arc beam. These parameters are calculated in experiments
and ready to use in the finite analysis.
6.2.3 Boundary Conditions
For all cases in the analysis, boundary conditions are set claimed conditions at the 2 ends of the
beam, in plane z=0. Claimed conditions define as zero translation and rotation in all x, y and z
directions. The lateral force is applied in term of nodal concentrated force, at the middle of the
beam, toward the negative direction of y-axis. To initial the buckling, a small force (of order 10
-5

the vertical applied force) is implemented in z-direction at the same middle node.
6.2.4 Mesh
The mesh size is generated by dividing the curve into 200 segments which correspond to 200
beam elements. Several simulations are run to check the convergent mesh size. It has been shown
107

that 200 segment model is representing well the model. 401 nodes are generated with such mesh
size used in the analysis.
6.2.5 Material properties
Finite element model is used the same material properties with those in experiment. Only elastic
properties are concerned in the model. Material properties used in the analysis are determined for
aluminum, listed in US unit:
Young Modulus = 10
7
psi
Shear modulus = 10
7
/2.6 psi
Poisson ratio = 0.35 (aluminum)
6.2.6 Analysis Method
Linear buckling methods predict less accurate critical buckling load compared to non-linear
methods. Additionally, in non-linear buckling, load-deflection curves are attainable and allowed
to calculate to a large value of applied load. Therefore non-linear buckling is used in present
model to model the buckling of a curved beam. Buckling value is determined whether the load-
deflection relationship is no longer linear.

A non-linear buckling analysis is a static analysis with large deflection, extended to a point where
the structure reaches its maximum load. The basic approach in a non-linear buckling analysis is to
constantly increment the applied loads until the solution begin to diverge. When automatic time
stepping is used, the program automatically seeks out the buckling load. If the solution does not
converge at a given load by using automatic time stepping, the program bisects the load step
increment and attempts a new solution at a smaller load. The program converges to the limiting
load as the process of bisection continues to the point at which the minimum time step increment
is achieved. The minimum step increment is determined by dividing the limiting load to the
number of sub-step, selected as 100 for all the models. Newton-Raphson method is used to obtain
the load-deflection curve in each step of loading. The convergence condition is set such that each
step runs for maximum 2000 iterations, which is quite enough for convergence in all
configurations. The deflection and rotation of the middle section of the beam are tracked for each
load step. The curves are then plotted versus force applied to compare with experimental data.
Figure 6.6 and Figure 6.7 show the y-deflection of all nodes in the beam in the case of experiment
5 at 38 lbs (pre-buckling) and 86 lbs loading (post-buckling) respectively.

108


Figure 6. 4 Mesh geometry and loading of semi-circle beam



Figure 6. 5 Mesh geometry and loading of 45 degree circular arc beam

109


Figure 6. 6 Pre-buckling deflection of semi-circle beam



Figure 6. 7 Post buckling deflection of semi-circle beam

110

6.3 Experimental and FEA Results
Table 6.1: Aluminum Rectangular Solid Section Properties
Section b h f
y
E I
y
J G S
x
R
y
1/8" x 1" 1 0.125 20000 10000000 0.00016 0.00060 3846154 0.021 14.6
1/8" x 1.5" 1.5 0.125 20000 10000000 0.00024 0.00093 3846154 0.047 9.9
1/8" x 2" 2 0.125 20000 10000000 0.00033 0.00125 3846154 0.083 7.5
1/8" x 2.5" 2.5 0.125 20000 10000000 0.00041 0.00158 3846154 0.130 6.0
1/8" x 3" 3 0.125 20000 10000000 0.00049 0.00190 3846154 0.188 5.0


Table 6.2: Summary of Experimental and Theoretical Results
Experiment Section

(deg)
R C
Yeilding
Load P
y
Theoretical
Load P
c
Experiment
al Load P
e
P
c
/P
e
1 1/8x3x74 90.0 23.6 5976.4 318.3 67.8 69 0.98
2 1/8x1.5x75 90.0 23.9 2947.6 78.5 32.5 30 1.08
3 1/8x2x76 90.0 24.2 3957.3 137.8 43.0 40 1.08
4 1/8x2x60 90.0 19.1 3957.3 174.5 68.3 64 1.07
5 1/8x2x64 90.0 20.4 3957.3 163.6 67.0 69 0.97
6 1/8x2x72 90.0 22.9 3957.3 145.4 47.4 44 1.08
7 1/8x2x72 45.0 45.8 3957.3 295.0 49.8 50 1.00
8 1/8x2x74 36.4 58.3 3957.3 288.5 47.2 48 0.98
9 1/8x2x76 45.0 48.4 3957.3 279.5 44.7 44 1.01
10 1/8x2x72 24.0 86.0 3957.3 300.3 49.5 50 0.99
11 1/8x3x70 45.0 44.6 5976.4 681.6 79.8 76 1.05
12 1/8x2x67 45.0 42.7 3957.3 317.1 57.5 60 0.96


Where all units throughout are in inches and pounds, and
b (inch) beam width
h (inch) beam height
f
y
(lb/ft^2) yielding stress
E (lb/ft^2) modulus of elasticity
I
y
(inch^4) moment of inertia about the week axis
J (inch^4) section torsion factor
G (lb/ft^2) modulus of rigidity
S
x
(inch^3) section modulus about the strong axis
R
y
(inch) minimum radius of curvature
C (lb*ft^2) Flexural-Torsion Rigidity, equal to GJ EI
y

c
P ,
e
P (lbs) theoretical and experimental buckling load respectively
111

Experiment 1:
Table 6.3: Specimen 1; Semi-circle Beam Properties
L b h E I
y
G J C
74.0 3.0 0.125 1.E+07 0.0005 3846154 0.0019 5976.36

(deg)

(rad)
R
m

t
Theoretical
Load P
c
Experimental
Load P
e
P
c
/P
e
90.0 1.6 23.6 0.500 -0.182 67.8 69.0 0.98


Table 6.4: Specimen 1; Load Deformations
P 0.00 20.00 40.00 60.00 70.00 80.00 90.00 110.00 130.00
y 21.00 19.00 18.00 16.75 15.75 14.90 14.00 12.50 10.75
v 0.00 2.00 3.00 4.25 5.25 6.10 7.00 8.50 10.25
x 0.00 1.50 3.00 4.80 5.30 6.80 8.30 12.70 21.00
tan 0.00 0.08 0.17 0.29 0.34 0.46 0.59 1.02 1.95


0.00
20.00
40.00
60.00
80.00
100.00
120.00
140.00
160.00
180.00
0.00 0.50 1.00 1.50 2.00 2.50
L
o
a
d

(
P
)

,
l
b
s
Tan (x/y)
LoadvsRotation
TheorrticalLoad
FEA

Figure 6. 8 Specimen 1, Load vs. angular displacement curve
Experimental Load
112

Experiment 2:
Table 6.5: Specimen 2; Semi-circle Beam Properties
L b h E I
y
G J C
75.0 1.5 0.125 10000000 0.0002 3846154 0.0009 2947.63

(deg)

(rad)
R
m

t
Theoretical
Load P
c
Experimenta
l Load P
e
P
c
/P
e
90.0 1.6 23.9 0.500 -0.182 32.5 30.0 1.08

Table 6.6: Specimen 2; Load Deformations
P 0.00 10.00 20.00 30.00 35.00 40.00 45.00 50.00
y 31.75 31.00 30.00 29.00 27.50 26.00 23.00 15.00
v 0.00 0.75 1.75 2.75 4.25 5.75 8.75 16.75
x 0.00 2.75 5.30 8.50 10.50 13.80 20.00 25.00
tan 0.00 0.09 0.18 0.29 0.38 0.53 0.87 1.67


0.00
10.00
20.00
30.00
40.00
50.00
60.00
70.00
0.00 0.50 1.00 1.50 2.00
L
o
a
d

(
P
)

,
l
b
s
Tan (x/y)
LoadvsRotation
TheorrticalLoad
FEA

Figure 6. 9 Specimen 2, Load vs. angular displacement curve
Experimental Load
113

Experiment 3:
Table 6.7: Specimen 3; Semi-circle Beam Properties
L b h E I
y
G J C
76.0 2.0 0.125 10000000 0.0003 3846154 0.0013 3957.30

(deg)

(rad)
R
m

t
Theoretical
Load P
c
Experimenta
l Load P
e
P
c
/P
e
90.0 1.6 24.2 0.500 -0.182 43.0 40.0 1.08

Table 6.8: Specimen 3; Load Deformations
P 0.00 20.00 25.00 30.00 36.00 38.00 41.00 43.00 46.00 49.00 50.00 52.00
y 19.50 18.60 18.26 17.70 17.27 16.87 16.56 16.11 15.76 15.25 14.60 14.17
v 0.00 0.90 1.24 1.80 2.23 2.63 2.94 3.39 3.74 4.25 4.90 5.33
x 0.00 2.30 2.90 3.40 4.20 4.40 4.70 4.90 5.40 6.20 6.60 8.00
tan 0.00 0.12 0.16 0.19 0.24 0.26 0.28 0.30 0.34 0.41 0.45 0.56


0.00
10.00
20.00
30.00
40.00
50.00
60.00
70.00
0.00 0.20 0.40 0.60
L
o
a
d

(
P
)

,
l
b
s
Tan (x/y)
LoadvsRotation
TheorrticalLoad
FEA

Figure 6. 10 Specimen 3, Load vs. angular displacement curve
Experimental Load
114

Experiment 4:
Table 6.9: Specimen 4; Semi-circle Beam Properties
L b h E I
y
G J C
60.0 2.0 0.125 10000000 0.0003 3846154 0.0013 3957.30

(deg.)

(rad)
R
m

t
Theoretical
Load P
c
Experimenta
l Load P
e
P
c
/P
e
90.0 1.6 19.1 0.500 -0.182 68.3 63.0 1.08

Table 6.10: Specimen 4; Load Deformations
P 0.00 10.00 20.00 30.00 40.00 50.00 60.00 65.00 70.00 75.00 80.00 85.00 90.00
y 29.75 29.25 28.75 28.50 28.00 27.50 26.75 26.25 25.75 25.50 24.25 22.35 19.25
v 0.00 0.50 1.00 1.25 1.75 2.25 3.00 3.50 4.00 4.25 5.50 7.40 10.50
x 0 1.25 2.60 3.85 5.25 6.85 8.30 9.25 10.20 11.40 12.90 15.90 20.10
tan 0.00 0.04 0.09 0.14 0.19 0.25 0.31 0.35 0.40 0.45 0.53 0.71 1.04


0.00
20.00
40.00
60.00
80.00
100.00
120.00
140.00
160.00
0.00 0.50 1.00 1.50 2.00
L
o
a
d

(
P
)

,
l
b
s
Tan (x/y)
LoadvsRotation
TheorrticalLoad
FEA

Figure 6. 11 Specimen 4, Load vs. angular displacement curve
Experimental Load
115

Experiment 5:
Table 6.11: Specimen 5; Semi-circle Beam Properties
L b h E I
y
G J C
64.0 2.0 0.125 10000000 0.0003 3846154 0.0013 3957.30

(deg.)

(rad)
R
m

t
Theoretical
Load P
c
Experimenta
l Load P
e
P
c
/P
e
90.0 1.6 20.4 0.500 -0.182 67.0 63.0 1.06

Table 6.12: Specimen 5; Load Deformations
P 0.00 20.00 40.00 60.00 70.00 80.00 90.00 95.00 100.00 105.00
y 31.60 31.20 30.80 30.00 29.50 28.80 27.70 26.50 24.5 21.00
v 0.00 0.30 0.70 1.50 2.00 2.70 3.80 5.00 7.00 10.50
x 0 2.20 4.80 7.90 9.90 13.20 16.80 18.90 20.10 23.00
tan 0.00 0.07 0.16 0.26 0.34 0.46 0.61 0.71 0.82 1.10

0.00
20.00
40.00
60.00
80.00
100.00
120.00
140.00
0.00 0.50 1.00 1.50
L
o
a
d

(
P
)

,
l
b
s
Tan (x/y)
LoadvsRotation
TheorrticalLoad
FEA

Figure 6. 12 Specimen 5, Load vs. angular displacement curve

Experimental Load
116

Experiment 6:
Table 6. 13: Specimen 6; Semi-circle Beam Properties
L b h E I
y
G J C
72.0 2.0 0.125 10000000 0.0003 3846154 0.0013 3957.30

(deg.)

(rad)
R
m

t
Theoretical
Load P
c
Experimenta
l Load P
e
P
c
/P
e
90.0 1.6 22.9 0.500 -0.182 47.4 44.0 1.08

Table 6.14: Specimen 6; Load Deformations
P 0.00 20.00 40.00 46.00 50.00 53.00 55.00 56.00 57.00 58.00 59.00
y 18.50 17.58 15.78 15.06 14.65 14.30 13.98 13.70 13.28 12.98 11.70
v 0.00 0.92 2.72 3.44 3.85 4.20 4.52 4.80 5.22 5.52 6.80
x 0 1.90 3.60 4.10 4.60 5.10 5.60 5.90 6.60 7.70 8.90
tan 0.00 0.11 0.23 0.27 0.31 0.36 0.40 0.43 0.50 0.59 0.76


0.00
10.00
20.00
30.00
40.00
50.00
60.00
70.00
80.00
0.00 0.20 0.40 0.60 0.80
L
o
a
d

(
P
)

,
l
b
s
Tan (x/y)
LoadvsRotation
TheorrticalLoad
FEA

Figure 6. 13 Specimen 6, Load vs. angular displacement curve
Experimental Load
117

Experiment 7:
Table 6.15: Specimen 7; Semi-circle Beam Properties
L b h E I
y
G J C
72.0 2.0 0.125 10000000 0.0003 3846154 0.0013 3957.30

(deg.)

(rad)
R
m

t
Theoretical
Load P
c
Experimenta
l Load P
e
P
c
/P
e
45.0 0.8 45.8 0.246 -0.039 49.8 55.0 0.90

Table 6.16: Specimen 7; Load Deformations
P 0.00 10.00 20.00 30.00 40.00 50.00 55.00 60.00 65.00 70.00 75.00 80.00 85.00
y 30.50 30.25 30.00 29.75 29.50 29.25 29.00 28.75 28.40 28.25 27.50 26.75 25.75
v 0.00 0.25 0.50 0.75 1.00 1.25 1.50 1.75 2.10 2.25 3.00 3.75 4.75
x 0 0.60 1.30 2.10 3.00 3.90 4.40 5.10 6.10 7.20 8.10 9.70 12.30
tan 0.00 0.02 0.04 0.07 0.10 0.13 0.15 0.18 0.21 0.25 0.29 0.36 0.48


0.00
20.00
40.00
60.00
80.00
100.00
120.00
0.00 0.20 0.40 0.60 0.80
L
o
a
d

(
P
)

,
l
b
s
Tan (x/y)
LoadvsRotation
TheorrticalLoad
FEA

Figure 6. 14 Specimen 7, Load vs. angular displacement curve


Table 6. 17: Specimen 7; Roark Formula Factors
c
2
c
3
c
4
c
5
c
6
c
7
c
8
c
9
-87.1 -11.8 -86.1 -136.8 -36.4 -136.8 -86.2 -87.1
c
a1
c
a2
c
a3
c
a4
c
a5
c
a6
c
a7
c
a8
c
a9
c
a12
c
a13
c
a15
c
a16
c
a18
c
a19
-2.4 -13.2 -0.3 -12.5 -48.4 -2.4 -48.4 -109.3 -13.2 -2.6 0.0 -13.2 -0.3 -48.1 -2.6

Experimental Load
118

Experiment 8:
Table 6.18: Specimen 8; Semi-circle Beam Properties
L b h E I
y
G J C
74.0 2.0 0.125 10000000 0.0003 3846154 0.0013 3957.30

(deg.)

(rad)
R
m

t
Theoretical
Load P
c
Experimenta
l Load P
e
P
c
/P
e
36.4 0.6 58.3 0.198 -0.025 47.2 50.0 0.94

Table 6.19: Specimen 8; Load Deformations
P 0.00 20.00 30.00 40.00 50.00 60.00 64.00 67.00 70.00 72.00 75.00 80.00
y 19.50 19.30 19.12 18.85 18.45 17.72 17.42 17.08 16.60 16.21 15.22 13.75
v 0.00 0.20 0.38 0.65 1.05 1.78 2.08 2.42 2.90 3.29 4.28 5.75
x 0.00 0.90 1.30 1.70 2.20 3.10 4.10 4.70 5.60 6.00 7.00 9.00
tan 0.00 0.05 0.07 0.09 0.12 0.17 0.24 0.28 0.34 0.37 0.46 0.65


0.00
20.00
40.00
60.00
80.00
100.00
120.00
0.00 0.20 0.40 0.60 0.80
L
o
a
d

(
P
)

,
l
b
s
Tan (x/y)
LoadvsRotation
TheorrticalLoad
FEA

Figure 6. 15 Specimen 8, Load vs. angular displacement curve


Table 6.20: Specimen 8; Roark Formula Factors
c
1
c
2
c
3
c
4
c
5
c
6
c
7
c
8
c
9
-16.3 -50.5 -4.1 -49.5 -105.7 -16.3 -105.7 -115.0 -50.5
c
a1
c
a2
c
a3
c
a4
c
a5
c
a6
c
a7
c
a8
c
a9
c
a12
c
a13
c
a15
c
a16
c
a18
c
a19
-1.0 -7.1 -0.1 -6.6 -32.8 -1.0 -32.8 -95.6 -7.1 -1.2 0.0 -7.1 -0.1 -32.6 -1.2


Experimental Load
119

Experiment 9:
Table 6.21: Specimen 9; Semi-circle Beam Properties
L b h E I
y
G J C
76.0 2.0 0.125 10000000 0.0003 3846154 0.0013 3957.30

(deg.)

(rad)
R
m

t
Theoretical
Load P
c
Experimenta
l Load P
e
P
c
/P
e
45.0 0.8 48.4 0.246 -0.039 44.7 44.0 1.01

Table 6.22: Specimen 9; Load Deformations
P 0.00 10.00 20.00 30.00 40.00 50.00 60.00 70.00 80.00 90.00 100.00
y 30.50 30.00 29.75 29.25 29.00 28.75 28.25 26.50 25.9 24.00 22.00
v 0.00 0.50 0.75 1.25 1.50 1.75 2.25 4.00 4.60 6.50 8.50
x 0 0.70 1.20 1.90 2.80 4.10 6.60 9.70 15.30 22.00 33.00
tan 0.00 0.02 0.04 0.06 0.10 0.14 0.23 0.37 0.59 0.92 1.50


0.00
20.00
40.00
60.00
80.00
100.00
120.00
0.00 0.50 1.00 1.50 2.00
L
o
a
d

(
P
)

,
l
b
s
Tan (x/y)
LoadvsRotation
TheorrticalLoad
FEA

Figure 6. 16 Specimen 9, Load vs. angular displacement curve


Table 6.23: Specimen 9; Roark Formula Factors
c
1
c
2
c
3
c
4
c
5
c
6
c
7
c
8
c
9
-36.4 -87.1 -11.8 -86.1 -136.8 -36.4 -136.8 -86.2 -87.1
c
a1
c
a2
c
a3
c
a4
c
a5
c
a6
c
a7
c
a8
c
a9
c
a12
c
a13
c
a15
c
a16
c
a18
c
a19
-2.4 -13.2 -0.3 -12.5 -48.4 -2.4 -48.4 -109.3 -13.2 -2.6 0.0 -13.2 -0.3 -48.1 -2.6


Experimental Load
120

Experiment 10:
Table 6.24: Specimen 10; Semi-circle Beam Properties
L b h E I
y
G J C
72.0 2.0 0.125 10000000 0.0003 3846154 0.0013 3957.30

(deg.)

(rad)
R
m

t
Theoretical
Load P
c
Experimenta
l Load P
e
P
c
/P
e
24.0 0.4 86.0 0.129 -0.010 49.5 50.0 0.99

Table 6. 25: Specimen 10; Load Deformations
P 0.00 15.00 19.00 28.00 33.00 38.00 40.00 50.00 55.00 57.00 60.00 65.00
y 18.50 17.80 17.58 16.93 16.50 16.06 15.84 14.83 14.23 13.33 12.30 10.50
v 0.00 0.70 0.92 1.57 2.00 2.44 2.66 3.67 4.27 5.17 6.20 8.00
x 0.00 0.40 0.60 0.80 1.00 1.10 1.20 1.50 2.50 3.70 6.00 12.00
tan 0.00 0.02 0.03 0.05 0.06 0.07 0.08 0.10 0.18 0.28 0.49 1.14


0.00
20.00
40.00
60.00
80.00
100.00
120.00
0.00 0.50 1.00 1.50
L
o
a
d

(
P
)

,
l
b
s
Tan (x/y)
LoadvsRotation
TheorrticalLoad
FEA

Figure 6. 17 Specimen 10, Load vs. angular displacement curve


Table 6.26: Specimen 10; Roark Formula Factors
c
1
c
2
c
3
c
4
c
5
c
6
c
7
c
8
c
9
-3.1 -15.9 -0.5 -15.2 -54.2 -3.1 -54.2 -112.8 -15.9
c
a1
c
a2
c
a3
c
a4
c
a5
c
a6
c
a7
c
a8
c
a9
c
a12
c
a13
c
a15
c
a16
c
a18
c
a19
-0.1 -2.1 0.0 -1.7 -14.8 -0.1 -14.8 -68.3 -2.1 -0.2 0.0 -2.1 0.0 -14.7 -0.2
Experimental Load
121

Experiment 11:
Table 6.27: Specimen 11; Semi-circle Beam Properties
L b h E I
y
G J C
70.0 3.0 0.125 10000000 0.0005 3846154 0.0019 5976.36

(deg.)

(rad)
R
m

t
Theoretical
Load P
c
Experimenta
l Load P
e
P
c
/P
e
45.0 0.8 44.6 0.247 -0.040 79.8 72.0 1.11

Table 6.28: Specimen 11; Load Deformations
P 0.00 10.00 20.00 30.00 40.00 50.00 60.00 70.00 80.00 85.00 90.00 95.00 100.00
y 31.75 31.55 31.30 31.15 31.00 30.60 30.00 29.70 29.30 29 28.50 28.25 27.80
v 0.00 0.20 0.45 0.60 0.75 1.15 1.75 2.05 2.45 2.75 3.25 3.50 3.95
x 0.00 0.60 1.10 1.60 2.10 2.70 3.30 3.90 4.70 5.60 6.30 7.20 8.10
tan 0.00 0.02 0.04 0.05 0.07 0.09 0.11 0.13 0.16 0.19 0.22 0.25 0.29


0.00
20.00
40.00
60.00
80.00
100.00
120.00
140.00
0.00 0.20 0.40 0.60 0.80
L
o
a
d

(
P
)

,
l
b
s
Tan (x/y)
LoadvsRotation
TheorrticalLoad
FEA

Figure 6. 18 Specimen 11, Load vs. angular displacement curve


Table 6.29: Specimen 11; Roark Formula Factors
c
1
c
2
c
3
c
4
c
5
c
6
c
7
c
8
c
9
-81.7 -192.7 -26.7 -191.7 -302.7 -81.7 -302.7 -191.8 -192.7
c
a1
c
a2
c
a3
c
a4
c
a5
c
a6
c
a7
c
a8
c
a9
c
a12
c
a13
c
a15
c
a16
c
a18
c
a19
-5.6 -29.2 -0.9 -28.5 -107.0 -5.6 -107.0 -242.6 -29.2 -5.9 -0.1 -29.2 -0.9 -106.7 -5.9
Experimental Load
122

Experiment 12:

Table 6.30: Specimen 12; Semi-circle Beam Properties
L b h E I
y
G J C
67.0 2.0 0.125 10000000 0.0003 3846154 0.0013 3957.30

(deg.)

(rad)
R
m

t
Theoretical
Load P
c
Experimenta
l Load P
e
P
c
/P
e
45.0 0.8 42.7 0.246 -0.039 57.5 60.0 0.96

Table 6. 31: Specimen 12; Load Deformations
P 0.00 10.00 20.00 40.00 60.00 80.00 90.00 100.00 105.00 110.00 115.00
y 30.50 30.25 30.00 29.50 29.00 28.25 28.00 27.75 27.5 27.25 26.5
v 0.00 0.25 0.50 1.00 1.50 2.25 2.50 2.75 3.00 3.25 4.00
x 0 0.40 0.80 2.10 3.70 6.70 8.90 12.10 14.70 17.10 22.50
tan 0.00 0.01 0.03 0.07 0.13 0.24 0.32 0.44 0.53 0.63 0.85


0.00
20.00
40.00
60.00
80.00
100.00
120.00
140.00
0.00 0.50 1.00 1.50
L
o
a
d

(
P
)

,
l
b
s
Tan (x/y)
LoadvsRotation
TheorrticalLoad
FEA

Figure 6. 19 Specimen 12, Load vs. angular displacement curve


Table 6.32: Specimen 12; Roark Formula Factors
c
1
c
2
c
3
c
4
c
5
c
6
c
7
c
8
c
9
-36.4 -87.1 -11.8 -86.1 -136.8 -36.4 -136.8 -86.2 -87.1
c
a1
c
a2
c
a3
c
a4
c
a5
c
a6
c
a7
c
a8
c
a9
c
a12
c
a13
c
a15
c
a16
c
a18
c
a19
-2.4 -13.2 -0.3 -12.5 -48.4 -2.4 -48.4 -109.3 -13.2 -2.6 0.0 -13.2 -0.3 -48.1 -2.6

Experimental Load
123

Chapter 7
7.1 Conclusion
A close form solution to the lateral instability problem of horizontally curved beams is presented.
An exact solution to the lateral instability problem of curved beams with both ends fixed and
others with one end free is provided. It is clear that the identity equation differentiation method
gives an exact solution to these types of boundary value problems in a form as an Eigen function
and the buckling load is obtained by solving for the Eigen value which is our bending moment.
In Chapter 4, solutions are given for the semi-circular and arc of a circle beams, where in some
cases, the beam is subjected to concentrated load P at mid-span and acting on its axis of
symmetry and perpendicular to the plane of curvature, and in the other cases the beam is
subjected to a vertical uniformly distributed load of intensity q along the length of the span, and
acting on its axis of symmetry, and perpendicular to the plane of curvature. In Chapter 5 we have
dealt with the general cases when the curvature varies along the beam length as in the case of
parabolic beams, this class of problems requires more research.
It is evident that:
When the radius of curvature approaches infinity or in other words becomes very large
the value of the critical load approaches straight beams values. This can be seen in
chapter 4 equations (4.88), (4.109), (4.137), (4.159) and (4.289).
The post-buckling response curve of the FEA (finite element analysis) differs from that
of the experimental curve. The reason why is beyond the scope of this research.
The experimental results are compatible with the analytical solutions and the equation
presented in this analytical solution for circular arc beams equation (4.176) which is
expressed as
( )
2
5 0
R
C
sin . sin cos
P
t m



= (7.1)
If it is written in the form
( )
C
L L
C
sin . sin cos
P
t m
2 2
4 4
5 0



=

= (7.2)
We notice that, the value of the parameter (the buckling load factor) which corresponds to each
value of the angle , varies slightly as shown in the following table:
124

Table 7.1: Buckling Load Factor
(deg.) 90 80 70 60 50 45 30 20 10 5
-4.93 -5.00 -5.07 -5.13 -5.17 -5.19 -5.19 -5.10 -4.76 -4.33

Hence, beam length as in the case of straight beams is the dominant factor in determining the
buckling load of curved beams.
We may use the following formula to determine the value of the buckling load for any out of
plane curved beam under concentrated load:
2
c
L
C 20
P

=

(7.3)
This can be easily verified by inspection of table 6.2 shown below, where the value of the
buckling loads of specimens 6, 7 and 10 have shown slight variations. The experimental buckling
loads have been shown to be within the range of 44 to 50 pounds and the theoretical buckling
loads within the range of 47 to 50 pounds.
Table 6.2: Summary of Experimental and Theoretical Results
Experiment Section

(deg)
R C
Yeilding
Load P
y
Theoretical
Load P
c
Experiment
al Load P
e
P
c
/P
e
1 1/8x3x74 90.0 23.6 5976.4 318.3 67.8 69 0.98
2 1/8x1.5x75 90.0 23.9 2947.6 78.5 32.5 30 1.08
3 1/8x2x76 90.0 24.2 3957.3 137.8 43.0 40 1.08
4 1/8x2x60 90.0 19.1 3957.3 174.5 68.3 64 1.07
5 1/8x2x64 90.0 20.4 3957.3 163.6 67.0 69 0.97
6 1/8x2x72 90.0 22.9 3957.3 145.4 47.4 44 1.08
7 1/8x2x72 45.0 45.8 3957.3 295.0 49.8 50 1.00
8 1/8x2x74 36.4 58.3 3957.3 288.5 47.2 48 0.98
9 1/8x2x76 45.0 48.4 3957.3 279.5 44.7 44 1.01
10 1/8x2x72 24.0 86.0 3957.3 300.3 49.5 50 0.99
11 1/8x3x70 45.0 44.6 5976.4 681.6 79.8 76 1.05
12 1/8x2x67 45.0 42.7 3957.3 317.1 57.5 60 0.96


To confirm the above results a FEA (finite element analysis) was performed, in this analysis we
have choose a 72 inches long aluminum beam with 1/8 inch x 2 inch cross section.

We analyzed this beam under different radius of curvature (different polar angles; 20, 30, 40, 50,
60, 70, 80, and 90 degree). The results of this analysis are shown in the chart below.

125

0
20
40
60
80
100
120
0 0.5 1 1.5 2
L
o
a
d

(
l
b
)
Tan
20
30
40
50
60
70
80
90

Figure 7.1 FEA, Specimen 6, different curvature, Load vs. angular displacement curve

It is shown in this chart and in chapter 6 that, FEA gives post-buckling response curve different
than that of the experimental results. In addition the buckling load is not well defined by FEA.
Therefore, if we define the point of intersection between the pre-buckling and the post-buckling
linear portions of the curve as the upper bound or upper limit of the FEA buckling loads, then
Figure 7.1 can be utilized as a comparison between these loads. Accordingly, in this figure the
estimated value of the buckling load for each case is greater than 75 pounds and less than 95
pounds. This variation is compatible with the experimental results.
126

7.3 References:
Books:
[1] Bazant, Zdenek P, and Cedolin, Luigi (2003). Stability of Structures, Dover Publications.
[2] Alexander Chajes (1974). Principles of Structural Stability Theory, Prentice-Hall, Inc.
[3] W. Chen and E. Lui (1987). Structural Stability Theory and implementation, Elsevier
Publishing .
[4] N. Hoff (1956). The Analysis of Structures, John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
[5] H. Langhaar (1962), Energy Methods in Applied Mechanics, John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
[6] Timoshenko S. and J. Goodier (1970). Theory of Elasticity, McGraw-Hill Co.
[7] Timoshenko S. (1936). Theory of Elastic Stability, McGraw-Hill Co.
[8] Timoshenko S. and Gere M. (1961). Theory of Elastic Stability, McGraw-Hill Co.
[9] Timoshenko S. (1955). Strength of Materials, part I, D. Van Nostrand Co., Inc.
[10] Timoshenko S. (1956). Strength of Materials, part II, D. Van Nostrand Co., Inc.
[11] Prescott, John (1946). Applied Elasticity, Dover Publications.
[12] Chi-Teh Wang (1953). Applied Elasticity, McGraw-Hill Co.
[13] Friedrich Bleich (1952). Buckling Strength of Metal Structures, McGraw-Hill Co.
[14] Roark and Young. Fifth Edition. Formula for Stress and Strain, McGraw-Hill Co.
[15] A. Love (1944). A Treatise on the Mathematical Theory of Elasticity, Dover
Publications.
Journals:
[16] Young J. Kang and Chai H. Yoo. Thin-Walled Curved Beams. I: Formulation of
Nonlinear Equations, Journal of Engineering Mechanics, Vol. 120, No. 10, October,
1994.
[17] Moon-Young Kim, Byoung-Cheol Min and Myung-Won Suh, Spatial Stability of
Nonsymmetric Thin-Walled Curved Beams. I: Analytic Approach, Journal of
Engineering Mechanics, Vol. 126, No. 5, May, 2000.
[18] Moon-Young Kim, Byoung-Cheol Min and Myung-Won Suh. Spatial Stability of
Nonsymmetric Thin-Walled Curved Beams. II Numerical Approach Journal of
Engineering Mechanics, Vol. 126, No. 5, May, 2000.
127

[19] A. Andrade and D. Camotim. LateralTorsional Buckling of Singly Symmetric Tapered
Beams: Theory and Applications, Journal of Engineering Mechanics, Vol. 131, No. 6,
June 1, 2005.
[20] Y. Pi, and N Trahair. Nonlinear Elastic Behaviour of I Beams Curved in Plane, Journal
of Structural Engineering, Vol. 123, No. 9, September, 1997.
[21] Ronaid Y. S. Pak and Eric J. Stauffer. Nonlinear Finite DeformationAnalysis of Beams
and Columns, Journal of Engineering Mechanics, Vol. 120, No. 10, October, 1994.
[22] Young J. Kang and Chai H. YOO. Thin-Walled Curved Beams. II: Analytical Solutions
for Buckling of Arches Journal of Engineering Mechanics, Vol. 120, No. 10, October,
1994.
[23] C. Yoo, Y. Kang and J. Davidson. Buckling Analysis of Curved Beams by Finite
Element Discretization, Journal of Engineering Mechanics, vol. 122, No. 8 August
1996.
[24] Y. Goto, X. Li and T. Kasugai. Buckling Analysis of Elastic Rods under Torsional
Moment, Journal of Engineering Mechanics, vol. 122, No. 9 September, 1996.
[25] E. Tufekci and O. Y. Dogruer. Exact Solution of Out-of-Plane Problems of an Arch with
Varying Curvature and Cross Section, Journal of Engineering Mechanics, Vol. 132, No.
6, June, 2006.
[26] Yong-Lin Pi, Mark A. Bradford and Nicholas S. Trahair. Inelastic Analysis and
Behavior of Steel I-Beams Curved in Plan, Journal of Engineering Mechanics, Vol. 126,
No. 7, July, 2000.
[27] B. Phungpaingam, S. Chucheepsakul, and C. M. Wang, Post-buckling of Beam
Subjected to Intermediate Follower Force Journal of Engineering Mechanics, Vol. 132,
No. 1, January 2006.
[28] A. Zureick and R. Naqib, Horizontally Curved Steel I-Girders State-of-The-Art Analysis
Methods, Journal of Bridge Engineering, Vol. 4, No. 1, February 1999.
[29] D. Linzell, D. Hall, and D. White, Historical Perspective on Horizontally Curved I
Girder Bridge, Design in the United States, Journal of Bridge Engineering, Vol. 9, No.
3, June 2004.
[30] J. Davidson and C. Yoo, Local Buckling of Curved I-Girder Flanges, Journal of
Structural Engineering Mechanics, Vol. 122, No. 8, August 1996.
128

[31] R. Plaut and A. Guran, Buckling of Plates with Stiffening Elastically Restrained Edges,
Journal of Engineering Mechanics, Vol. 120, No. 2, February 1994.
[32] M. Kim, K. Chang and G. Lee Elastic and Inelastic Buckling Analysis of Then-Walled
Tapered Members, Journal of Engineering Mechanics, Vol. 123, No. 7, July 1997.
[33] Alexander Chajes, Stability Behavior Illustrated by Simple Model Journal of the
Structural Division, ASCE, Vol. 95, No. st6, June 1968.
Technical Reports:
[34] George Trayer and H. March. Elastic Instability of Members Having Section Common
in Aircraft Construction, NACA, TN 382, October 1930.
[35] George Trayer and H. March. The Torsion of Members Having Sections Common in
Aircraft Construction, NACA, TN 334, October 1930.
[36] H. Wagner and W. Pretschner, Torsion and Buckling of Open Sections, NACA, TM
784, 1934.
[37] H. Wagner, Torsion and Buckling of Open Sections, NACA, TM 807, 1934.
[38] W. Hoff, Commutative Examination of Bending Strength of Girders Originally Curved
and Subjected to Longitudinal Compression, NACA, TN 151, April 1922.
[39] Eugene Lundquist and Walter Burke, General Equations for the Stress Analysis of
Rings, NACA, TN 509, August 1934.
[40] Bernaed Budiansky and Pai Hu, The Lagrangian Multiplier Method Of Finding Upper
and Lower Limits to Critical Stresses of Clamped Plates, NACA, TN 848, May 1946.
[41] Y. Fung and A. Kaplan, Buckling of Low Arches or Curved Beams of Small
Curvature, NACA, TN2840, November 1952.
[42] Bernaed Budiansky, Manuel Stein and Arther Gilbert, Buckling of A Long Square Tube
in Torsion, NACA, TN 1751, September 1948.
[43] L. Donnell, Stability of Thin-Walled Tubes under Torsion, NACA, TN 479, May 1933.
[44] J. Thompson, Eigen value Branching Configurations and the Rayleigh-Ritz procedure,
NACA TR 8, June 1963.
[45] J. Thompson, Basic Concepts of Elastic Stability, NACA TR 6, February 1963.
[46] B. Budiansky, P. Hu and R. Connor, Notes on the Lagrangian Multiplier Method in
Elastic Stability Analysis, NACA, TN 1558, May 1948.
129

[47] National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP), Improved Design
Specifications for Horizontally Curved Steel Girder Highway Bridges, reports number
NCHRP 12-38, June 1999.
[48] National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP), LRFD Specifications for
Horizontally Curved Steel Girder Highway Bridges, reports number NCHRP 12-52,
October 2005
7.4 Bibliography
[1] A. R. Forsyth (1951). Sixth Edition. A Treatise on Differential Equations, MacMillan and
Co., Limited.
[2] Bartholomew Price (1856). A Treatise on Infinitesimal Calculus, Oxford at the
University Press.
[3] George Boole (1859). Fifth Edition. A Treatise on Differential Equations, Chelsea
Publishing Co.
[4] S. Britvec (1973). The Stability of Elastic Systems, Pergamon Press Inc.
[5] A. Ugural and S. Fenster (1987). Advanced Strength and Applied Elasticity, Elsevier
Publishing.
[6] I. Sokolnikoff (1956). Mathematical Theory of Elasticity, McGraw-Hill Co.
[7] Elbridge Stowell, Critical Compressive Stress for Curved Sheet Supported Along All
Edges and Elastically Restrained Against Rotation Along the Unloaded Edges NACA,
RB 3107, September 1943.
[8] N. Hoff, Bending and Buckling of Rectangular Sandwich Plates, NACA, TN 2225,
May 1949.
[9] E. Reissner and M. Stein, Torsion and Transverse Bending of Cantilever Plates,
NACA, TN 2369, March 1951.
[10] P. Hu, E. Lundquist and S. Batdorf, Effect of Small Deviations from Flatness on
Effective width and Buckling of Plates in Compression, NACA, TN 1124, September
1946.
[11] N. Hoff, P. Libby and B. Klein, Calculation of the Bending Moment in Fuselage
Frames, NACA, TN 998, April, 1946.
[12] A. H. Sheikh. New Concept to Include Shear Deformation in a Curved Beam Element,
Journal of Structural Engineering, Vol. 128, No. 3, March, 2002.
130

[13] J. Daro Aristizbal-Ochoa, Large Deflection Stability of Slender Beam-Columns with
Semirigid Connections: Elastica Approach, Journal of Engineering Mechanics, Vol.
130, No. 3, March 2004.
[14] S. Chucheepsakul, S. Buncharoen and C. Wang, Elastica of Simple Variable-Arc-
Length Beam Subjected to End Moment Journal of Engineering Mechanics, Vol. 121,
No. 7, July 1995.
[15] Somchai Chucheepsakul, Suraphan Buncharoen, and Tseng Huang Elastica of Simple
Variable-Arc-Length Beam Subjected to End Moment Journal of Engineering.
Mechanics, Vol. 121, No. 7, July 1995.
[16] Raymond H. Plaut, David A. Dillard, and Lawrence N. Virgin, "Post-buckling of Elastic
Columns with Second-Mode Imperfection Journal of Engineering Mechanics, Vol. 132,
No. 8, August 2006.
[17] Wibisono Hartono, Discussion: Elastica of Simple Variable-Arc-Length Beam
Subjected to End Moment Journal of Engineering Mechanics, January 1997.
[18] John J. Zahn, Lateral Stability of Beams with Elastic End restraints, Journal of
Engineering Mechanics, Vol. 111, No. 4, April, 1985.
[19] John J. Zahn,Loss of Torsional Stiffness Caused by Beam Loading, Journal of
Structural Engineering, Vol. 110, No. 1, January 1984.
[20] A. Kounadis and G. Ioannidis Lateral Post-buckling Analysis of Beam Column,
Journal of Engineering Mechanics, Vol. 120, No. 4, April, 1994.



131

Appendix A
The Elastica and Post Buckling of Initially Curved Columns
Although the elastica phenomenon has been known for more than two centuries and the exact
solution has been obtained by Kirchhoff in 1859, interest on this topic still remains. NASA in
building Space station uses a large light weight truss structure members. At the design stage in
some Offshore Structures and Deep Ocean mining the total strut length cannot be specified due to
the large deflection. Buckled elastic column in some cases can be used as a compression spring,
since after buckling the column will continue to support its buckling load, while over a
considerable deflection range the slope of its load-shorting curve may satisfy some test
requirements. In this paper an approximate method is presented to analyze this class of large
deflection problems, of course this is an old structural stability problems, and the most common
solutions to this class of problems is the elliptical integral, where tables are utilized to obtain the
numerical values for the critical loads and the corresponding deflection parameters.
P
+
0
y
y
P
Y
X
Figure A.1: Imperfect Elastic Strut Under Axial Comprission



Let us consider an initially curved in extensional elastic slender column, hinged at both ends and
free to slide on one end with constant EI , and is subjected to an axial compressive force P . Let
y denote the deformed shape or deflection and
0
y is the initial imperfection of the column, taking
the coordinate axes as shown figure A.1, then the exact differential equation of equilibrium is
( )
o
y y P
s d
d
EI + =

(A.1)
Where s denotes the arc length of the deflection curve measured from one end, and is angle
between the tangent to the curve and the horizontal x axis.
Let the initial imperfection be expressed by the half-sine
132

L
s
y
o

sin = (A.2)
And we have the relation
s d
d
d
d
s d
y d
s d
d
s d
y d

sin
2
2
= = (A.3)
The above expression gives
2
2
sec
s d
y d
s d
d

= (B.4)
Substituting equation (A.4) into equation (A.1) and rearranging
( ) 0 cos
2
2
2
= + +
o
y y k
s d
y d
(A.5)
Where, the following expressions have been used
EI
P
k =
2
And sin =
s d
y d

The variable coefficient cos in equation (A.5) makes the problem very difficult and we can
overcome this difficulty by small substitution, since the domain of the angle is [ ] , , then
it is possible with a high degree of accuracy to assume the value 2 / as the mean domain value,
i.e. (see below for proof of this approximation)
2 2
0
=

+
= (A.6)
The relation for the mean value of cos will be given by

2
cos
2
cos cos


= == (A.7)
Then the second term in the left hand side of equation (A.5) can be written as
( ) ( )ds y y ds y y
o
L L
+ +

0
0
0
2
cos cos

(A.8)
From the above discussion, equation (A.5) becomes
( ) 0
2
cos
2
2
2
= + +
o
y y k
s d
y d
(A.9)
Equation (A.9) is the new differential equation of equilibrium in the linear form, with a constant
coefficient, and the solution is well known. Substitution of equation (A.2) in to equation (A.9)
gives
133

L
s
k y k
s d
y d

sin
2
cos
2
cos
2 2
2
2
= + (A.10)
The general solution to equation (A.10) is given by
L
s
C s B s A y

sin cos sin + + = (A.11a)
Where
2
cos
2 2

k = and
1
1
2 2
2

=
L
C

(A.11b)
And the arbitrary constants in equation (A.11) are evaluated from the boundary conditions, and
the final solution is
L
s
L
y


sin
1
2 2
2

= (A.12)
From equation (A.12) we obtain
e
P
L
EI
P
2
sec
2
sec
2
2

= = (A.13)
Where P is the post buckling load,
0
P is the well known Euler Load multiplied by the load
magnification factor. The maximum deflection is simply obtained as follow:
Multiplying equation (A.1) thru by dy gives
( )dy y y k dy
ds
d
o
+ =
2

(A.14)
Rearranging we get
( )dy y y k d
o
+ =
2
sin (A.15)
Integration of the above expression gives
( ) C y y
2
k
cos
2
o
2
2
+ + =
(A.16)
Where C is an arbitrary constant, applying the boundary condition we obtain
( )
2 2
2
2
cos cos
o
y y
k
+ = (A.17)
Rearranging we obtain
( )
2
2
2
cos cos
2
o
y
k
y = (A.18)
The deflection at any point in the curve is
134

( )
2
2
cos cos
2
o
y
k
y = (A.19)
The deflection at mid-height is given by
( )
2
2
m
cos 1
k
2
y =
(A.20)
The total deflection at mid-height is

+ =
m
y y
(A.21)
( )

+ =
2
2
cos 1
2
k
y (A.22)
In term of Eulers load
( )

+ =
2 e
cos 1 2
P
P L
y
(A.23)
Substituting equation (B.13) in equation (B.23) gives
( )

+ =
2
cos 1
2
cos 2
1
L
y
(A.24)
In the case where there is no initial imperfection we have
( )

cos 1
2
cos 2
1
L
y
=
(A.25)
The coordinate

x can be calculated as follows:


ds cos ds
ds
dx
dx x

= = =

(A.26)
Substituting equation (A.17) in to equation (A.26) we get
( ) ds cos y y
2
k
x
2
o
2
2

+ + =

(A.27)
Let us assume that the deflection curve can be represented by the simple half-sine curve
L
s
sin y y

=
(A.28)
Substitution of equations (B.2) and (B.28) into equation (B.27) gives
( ) ds
L
s
sin y
2
k
cos x
2 2 2
2

+ + =




(A.29)
Upon integration we obtain
135

( )
2
L
y
2
k
L cos x
2 2
2


+ + =
(A.30)
Rearranging and simplifying
( )
2 2
2
2
2
2
y
L
L EI 4
p
cos
L
x

+ + =
(A.31)
Then we will have

+ =
2 2
2
e
L L
y
4 P
p
cos
L
x


(A.32)
In the case where there is no initial imperfection curve the relation takes the reduced form
2
2
e
L
y
4 P
p
cos
L
x

+ =

(A.33)
Equations (A.13), (A.23) and (A.32) can be used to evaluate the post buckling behavior of the
elastica. The following tables give comparison with data obtained by elliptical integral method as
shown in reference 5 for an elastic bar with no initial imperfection.

Table A.1 Post buckling Load data for the buckled column


20 40 60 80 100 120 140
e
P P

1.015 1.064 1.154 1.305 1.555 2.000 2.924
Ref. 5 1.015 1.063 1.152 1.293 1.518 1.884 2.541

Table A.2 Post buckling deflection data


20 40 60 80 100 120 140
L y


0.109 0.211 0.296 0.358 0.391 0.390 0.350
Ref. 5 0.11 0.211 0.296 0.359 0.396 0.402 0.375

Table A.3 Post buckling x coordinates data


20 40 60 80 100 120 140
L x


0.969 0.883 0.749 0.586 0.413 0.25 0.11
Ref. 5 0.970 0.881 0.741 0.560 0.349 0.123 -0.1

136

Proof of equation (A.9)
Equation (A.5) can be written as
( ) 0 cos
2
= + + ds y y k
s d
dy
d
o
(A.1.1)
Upon integration we get
( ) 0 cos
0
2
= + +

ds y y k
s d
dy
o
L
(A.1.2)
Which is equivalent to
( ) 0
0
2
= + +

dx y y k
s d
dy
o
L
(A.1.3)
Where the expression cos =
s d
x d
have been used, and it is clear from equation (A.1.3) that
( ) f dx y y
o
L
= +

0
(A.1.4)
Where, f is the area bounded by the deflection curve, then by definition f is a continuous
function defined over the interval [ ] , and can be expressed by the sum of small
infinitesimal areas, i.e.
( )dx y y f
o
L
0
+ =

i
n
1 i
i i i
n
1 i
i
s y cos x y

= =
= (A.1.5)
Let us choose the area
i i
s y such that
i i 2 2 1 1
s y s y s y = = = (A.1.6)
From equations (A.1.5) and (A.1.6) we should have

= =
=
n
i
i i i i
n
i
i i
s y s y
1 1
cos cos (A.1.7)
The last term in the right hand side of equation (A.1.7) can be written as
cos n cos n cos
n
1 i
i
= =

=
(A.1.8)
Where and cos is the mean values, then we have

=
=
n
1 i
i
n

(A.1.9)
137

Since n is an arbitrary number, then equation (A.1.9) is true for any value of n, let n be equal to
2, then = =
2 1
0 and
And we should have
2 2
0
=
+
= (A.1.10)
Then by equations (A.1.9), (A.1.8), and (A.1.5), we obtain
i
n i
i
i i i
s y
n
s y n f =

=
=1
cos
2
cos

(A.1.11)
And we obtain
( )ds y y f
o

+
2
cos

(A.1.12)
The proof is complete at this point