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1.

OBJECTIVE

This laboratory test is conducted to determine the buckling load for a pinned ended strut.
2.0

INTRODUCTION
A strut is a structural component designed to resist longitudinal compression.

Struts provide outwards-facing support in their lengthwise direction, which can be used
to keep two other components separate, performing the opposite function of a tie. When
the cross section area is not large compared to the length i.e. the member is slender, and
then the member will generally fail by buckling well before the compressive yield
strength is reached.
P

They are commonly used in architecture and engineering, and the term is
particularly frequently applied to components of automobile chassis, where they can be
passive braces to reinforce the chassis and/or body, or active components of the
suspension. Struts were commonly used in early aircraft to support wings, stabilizations
and landing gear. Starting from 1930s they were mostly replaced with cantilever
constructions, and became rarely used, mostly in light aircraft.
The 18th-century mathematician Leonhard Euler derived a formula which gives
the maximum axial load that a long, slender ideal column can carry without buckling. An
ideal column is one which is perfectly straight, homogeneous, and free from initial stress.
The maximum load, sometimes called the critical load, causes the column to be in a state

of unstable equilibrium, that is, any increase in the loads or the introduction of the
slightest lateral force will cause the column to fail by buckling. The Euler formula for
columns is:

Pcr=2EI/(L2)
Where
Pcr= critical buckling load
E = modulus of elasticity
I = area moment of inertia
L= unsupported length of column
The notes below relate to uniform straight members made from homogeneous
engineering materials used within the elastic operating range.

It is assumed that an end load is applied along the centroid of the ends. The strut
will remain straight until the end load reaches a critical value and buckling will be
initiated. Any increase in load will result in a catastrophic collapse and a reduction in
load will allow the strut to straighten. The value of the critical load depends upon the
slenderness ratio and the end fixing conditions.

3.0

APPARATUS
Top Platen
Screw Handle

Dial
Gauge
Groove

Screw Jack Handle

Digital Indicator

(a)
(b)
(c)
(d)

(e)

(a)
(b)
(c)
(d)
(e)

Vernier Caliper
Specimen
Steel Ruler
Rubber Ruler
Allen Keys

4.0

PROCEDURE
1. The digital indicator is switched on and warmed it up for at least 10 minutes.
2. A specimen is chosen and its length is measured. The width and thickness of
the beam is 3mm and 25mm respectively.
3. The theoretical buckling load for a strut with pinned end condition is
calculated. This is to ensure that the load applied to the strut does not exceed
the buckling load.
4. The grooved support is placed into the slot of the attachment for the end
conditions and the side screws are tightened. (Refer to appendix, Figure (a))
5. The top plate is moved upwards or downwards to bring the distance between
the two supports closer to the length of the strut.
6. The tare button on the digital indicator is pressed to set the reading to zero.
7. The specimen is placed in the groove of the top support. (Refer to appendix,
Figure (d))
8. While holding the specimen, the jack is adjusted so that the lower end of the
specimen just rest in the groove of the bottom support. (If the distance
between the two supports is slightly less than the length of the strut, the screw
jack handle is turned in counter clockwise. If the distance between the two
supports is slightly greater than the length of the strut, the screw jack handle is
turned in clockwise.) (Refer to appendix, Figure (e) and Figure (f))
9. The reading on the digital indicator is noted. If the load is greater than 10N,
the jack handle is turned counter clockwise to bring it to less than 10N. (Refer
to appendix, Figure (g))
10. The position of the dial gauge is checked to ensure that it is at the mid-length
of the specimen. The dial gauge reading is set to zero. (Refer to appendix,
Figure (j))
11. The tare button is pressed to set the load indicator to zero.
12. The specimen is loaded in small increments by turning the screw jack handle
slowly in the clockwise direction. (Refer to appendix, Figure (k))

13. For each load increment, the load and the corresponding mid-span deflection
are recorded. (Important: please ensure that the applied load is always less
than 80% of the buckling load.)
14. The specimen is unloaded by turning the jack handle in the counter clockwise
direction.
5.0

EXPERIMENTAL RESULTS & CALCULATION


Length of member,

Width of member,
Thickness of member,

= 650

= 25

=3

Moment of inertia of member,

mm

mm

mm

bd 3
12

=56.25
Dial gauge reading, 1

div

= 0.01

mm 4

mm

Table 1:
Load, P
N
14
25
32
40
44
50
55
59
69
77
83
89

Mid-Span Deflection, d
div
mm
10
0.1
19
0.19
26
0.26
31
0.31
37
0.37
45
0.45
50
0.50
55
0.55
66
0.66
76.5
0.765
85
0.85
95.5
0.955

d/P
mm/N
0.0071
0.0076
0.0081
0.0078
0.0084
0.0090
0.0091
0.0093
0.0096
0.0099
0.0102
0.0103

93
100

103.5
115

1.035
1.15

0.0111
0.0115

From the graph plotted, the gradient of the graph is 238.636.


By assuming the value of E as 200 GPa, the theoretical critical buckling load is
calculated from the following formula:
Pcr

2 * EI
L2

Pcr =

2 200 103 56.25


6502

= 262.8N

Therefore,
% error

theoretical exp erimental


100%
theoretical

% error =

262.8238.636
100
262.8

= 9.19%

6.0

DISCUSSION

The result obtained from the experiment contains error by comparing it to theory. There is
a small variation between experimental and theoretical data, 9.19% error. This is due to:
Readings are taken by more than one person in which gives different readings.
During adjustment of the screw handles (upper handle and jack handle)

Human error:

during adjustment of the screw handles

7.0

CONCLUSION

From the result obtained, we conclude that the experiments consist of a small variation
error which caused by few factors. By this, there are few suggestions in order to
determine an accuracy of buckling load for a pinned ended strut. Such as:

Care handling should be taken during adjustment of the screw handles


(upper handle and jack handle)

Readings are to be determined by only one person to gives an accurate


value.

In engineering, buckling is a failure mode characterized by a sudden failure of a


structural member that is subjected to high compressive stresses where the actual
compressive stresses at failure are smaller than the ultimate compressive stresses that the
material is capable of withstanding. This mode of failure is also described as failure due
to elastic instability. Mathematical analysis of buckling makes use of an eccentricity that
introduces a moment which does not form part of the primary forces to which the
member is subjected.
Therefore, if the value of error is more than the result obtained, a serious structure
deflection may happen in a real situation. In other words, the lesser the value, the safer
the structure to carry loads that applied.
8.0

REFERENCE
Hibbeler, R.C. Structural Analysis, 6th Edition in SI Units,; Prentice Hall; Pearson
Education South Asia Pte Ltd; Singapore, ISBN 0-13-197641-9, 2006.

9.0

APPENDIX

Adjusting the dial gauge


Strut Bucking apparatus

Specimen that we used for the experiment