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# S1- STRUT BUCKLING

INTRODUCTION
Column or strut is a structural member that carries axial compressive load. As per
definition, a strut may be horizontal, inclined or even vertical member. Vertical strut,
used in buildings or frames, is called a column.

The main criteria in designing compression members depend on the stability against
buckling slender. Strut or column usually failed because of buckling before direct
compression stress reached its yield point. The buckling theory in columns was
developed by EULER in the 18th century.

## In general, column is subjected to a compressive load or stress. If the load is gradually

increased, the column will reach a stage, where it starts to buckle. The load at which

OBJECTIVE
The main objective of this experiment is to determine the buckling load for pinned
ended strut and for a fixed end strut.

THEORY
Euler Theory assumed that:

## 1. Strut is perfectly straight at the beginning

2. The load applied is truly axial.
3. The strut material is perfectly elastic, homogeneous and isotropic.

In an ideal case, the strut will remain straight when the load is increased slowly until it
reaches the critical load. At this point when it is disturbed the strut will suddenly buckle.
If more loads are added, the strut will fail. However, if the load is decreased, the strut
will be straight again. The conditions described are not fulfilled if the strut bend just
a) Both ends pinned (Figure S1)

Figure S1
Bending moment, M, at any z cross-section

S1-1

S1-2
Solving equation (S1-1) yields;

S1-3

S1-4

So, the smallest value from the buckling load is when n = 1 in equation (S1-4), which
is;

## Where Le = L for both ends pinned

From the result, if the load, P is smaller than Pcr, the strut will remain in a straight
condition i.e y = 0. But if P reached at Pcr, the strut will start to buckle.
(b) Both end fixed (Figure S2)

Buckle
d
shape

Figure S2

When a member is clamped (fixed) at both ends and subjected to a compressive load
P, the member will buckle. When the load exceeds the theoretical buckling load given
by the following equation:
If both ends fixed, then Le = 0.5L, thus
APPARATUS:

Top platen

Specimen

Column

Digital indicator

## Figure 3: The Strut Apparatus

PROCEDURE
(a) Both end pin
1. Switch on the digital indicator and warm it up for at least 10 minutes.
2. Choose a strut and measure its length, width and thickness.
3. Calculate the theoretical buckling load for a strut with pinned end condition. This
is to ensure that the load applied to the strut does not exceed the buckling load.
4. Placed the grooved support into the slot of the attachment for the end conditions
and tightened the side screws. Refer to the appendix for proper installation of the
support.
5. Move the top platen upwards or downwards to suit with length of the strut.
6. Press the tare button on the digital indicator to set the reading to zero.
7. Place the strut in the groove of the top support.
8. While holding the strut, adjust the jack so that the lower end of the strut 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, turn the screw jack handle counter
clockwise. If the distance between the two supports is slightly greater than the
length of the strut, turn the screw jack handle clockwise.
9. Note the reading on the digital indicator. If the load is greater than 10 N turn the
jack handle counter clockwise to bring it to less than 10N.
10. Check the position of the dial gauge to ensure that it is at the mid-length of the
strut. Set the dial gauge reading to zero.
11. Press the tare button to set the load indicator to zero.
12. Load the strut in small increments by turning the screw jack handle slowly in the
clockwise direction.
13. For each load increment record the load and the corresponding mid-span
deflection (Table 1) . (Important: please ensure that the applied load is
always less than 80 % of the buckling load.)
14. Unload the strut by turning the jack handle in the counter clockwise direction.

## (b) Both end fixed

1. Switch on the digital indicator and warm it up for at least 10 minutes.
2. Choose a strut and measure its length, width and thickness.
3. Calculate the theoretical buckling load for a strut with fixed end condition.
4. Move the top platen upwards or downwards to suit with the length of the strut.
5. Press the tare button on the digital indicator to set the reading to zero.
6. Placed the strut in the slot of the upper attachment for end conditions. Refer
appendix for proper installation of the specimen.
7. lf the distance between the two attachments is less than the length of the strut,
turn the screw jack handle counter-clockwise to lower the position of the
attachment for the end condition. If the distance is greater than the length of the
strut, turn the screw jack handle clockwise to close the gap.
8. Note the reading on the digital indicator. If the load is greater than 10 N turn the
jack handle counter clockwise to bring it to less than 10N.
9. Check the position of the dial gauge to ensure that it is at the mid-span. Set the
10. Press the tare button to set the load indicator to zero.
11. Load the strut in small increments by turning the screw jack handle slowly in the
clockwise direction.
12. For each load increment record the load and the corresponding mid-span
always less than 80 % of the buckling load.)
13. Unload the strut by turning the jack handle in the counter clockwise direction.
DATA/RESULTS
Length of strut = mm
Width of strut = mm
Thickness of strut = mm
Moment of inertia of member = mm
Dial gauge reading, 1 div = 0.01 mm

Mid-span deflection,
Load, P (N) Division Mm /P (mm/P)

1. From the above data plot the graph of deflection versus (deflection/load).
2. Draw the best straight line through the points plotted
3. From the plot determine the slope of the line. This represents the buckling load of
the specimen
4. Compare the theoretical and the experimental value