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Cairo University

Faculty of Engineering
Aerospace Engineering

First Term 2014/2015


Second Year
Sheet No. (3)

Mechanics of Structures (A)


Structural Instability
Problem No. (1) :
The system shown in Figure 1 consists of
two bars AB and BC, each of bending
stiffness EI elastically hinged together at B
by a spring of stiffness K (i.e. bending
moment applied by spring = K * change in
slope across B).
Regarding A and C as simple pin-joints,
obtain an equation for the first buckling load
of the system. What are the lowest buckling
loads when :
(a) K
(b) EI .
Note that B is free to move vertically.

Stiffness K

C P
l

Figure 1. Problem No. (1)

[Ans. 2K/tan l]

Problem No. (2) :


A pin-ended column of length l and constant
flexural stiffness EI is reinforced to give a
flexural stiffness 4EI over its central half as
shown in Figure 2.
Considering symmetric modes of
buckling only, construct the characteristic
equation and solve for the lowest buckling
load.
[Ans. tan l/8=1/ 2 , P=2.456 2EI/L2]

EI

4EI

EI

l/4

l/2

l/4

Figure 2. Problem No. (2)

Problem No. (3) :


Obtain an approximate value of the critical load for the column given in Problem (2)
using Rayleigh-Ritz method.
[Ans. P=2.589 2EI/L2]

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Structural Instability

Problem No. (4) :


The uniform column shown in Figure 3 is of length l and bending stiffness EI is
built-in at one end and free at the other and has been designed so that its lowest flexural
buckling load is P.
Subsequently it has to carry an increased load, and for this it is provided with a lateral
spring at the free end. Determine the necessary spring stiffness k so that the buckling load
becomes 4P.
[Ans. k=4P /(l-tan l)]
EI

EI

4P
k

Figure 3. Problem No. (4)


Problem No. (5) :
Resolve problem (4) using Rayleigh-Ritz method.

Problem No. (6) :


The uniform column shown in Figure 4
is pin-ended , of length l and bending
stiffness EI . It has an initial curvature such
that the lateral displacement at any point
between the column and the straight line
joining its ends is given by
4 ax l x l 2

Show that the maximum bending


moment due to a compressive end load P is
given by :
M max

8aP
l

sec 1
2
l 2

where

Figure 4. Problem No. (6)

2 P EI

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Structural Instability

Problem No. (7) :


Figure 5 shows a straight uniform column
w / unit length
of length l and bending stiffness EI. It is
subjected to a uniform lateral loading
e
e
w/unit length. The end attachments do not P
P
l
restrict rotation of the column ends. The
longitudinal compressive force P has
Figure 5 . Problem No. (7)
eccentricity e from the centroids of the end
sections and is placed so as to oppose the
bending effect of the lateral loading as
shown. The eccentricity e can be varied and is to be adjusted to the value which, for given
values of P and w, will result in the least maximum bending moment on the column. Show
that then

e w P 2 tan 2 l / 4

where

2 P / EI

Deduce the end moment which will give the optimum condition when P tends to zero.
[Ans. wl2/16]

Problem No. (8) :


Construct formulas for deflection and
bending moment distributions along the
span of the pinned-pinned beam column
shown in Figure 6 and hence determine the
value of the critical load.
[Ans. P=PE]

P
a

Figure 6. Problem No. (8)

Problem No. (9) :


C
B

b
Figure 7. Problem No. (9)

Figure 7 illustrates an idealized representation of a part of an aircraft control system.


A uniform straight bar of length a and flexural stiffness EI is built-in at the end A and
hinged at B to a link BC, of length b, whose other end C is pinned so that it is free to slide

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Structural Instability

along the line ABC between smooth rigid guides. A, B and C are initially on a straight line
and the system carries a compression force P, as shown.
Assuming that the link BC has a sufficiently high flexural stiffness to prevent its buckling
as a pin-ended strut, show, by setting up and solving the differential equation for flexure of
AB, that buckling of the system, of the type illustrated in figure occurs when P has such a
value that : tan( a ) a b where 2 P EI

Problem No. (10) :


A straight uniform column of length l and
buckling stiffness EI. The end attachments
do not restrict rotation of the column ends.
The longitudinal compressive force P has
opposite eccentricities from the centroids of
the end sections and are of the same value e
as shown. It is required to :

Figure 8 . Problem No. (10)

a. Derive formulas for the lateral deflection and bending moment along the column
axis.
b. Determine the value of the critical load of the column.
c. For a value of P=Pcr/2 , determine the locations and values of the uppermost
positive and negative bending moments and plot the bending moment distribution
along the column axis.
e/l is assumed small so that (2e/l)2 can be neglected with respect to one.

Problem No. (11) :


A uniform, pin-ended column of length l
and buckling stiffness EI. The column has
initial curvature such that the lateral
displacement at any point between the
column and the straight line joining its ends
is given by :
vo e sin

y
e

vo=e sin x/l


x

l
Figure 9. Problem No. (11)

The end attachments do not restrict rotation of the column ends. The longitudinal
compressive force P has an eccentricity e from the centroids of the end sections. It is
required to :
a. Derive formulas for the lateral deflection and bending moment along the column
axis.
b. Determine the value of the critical load of the column.
c. For a value of P=Pcr/4 , plot the bending moment distribution along the column
axis.

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Structural Instability

Problem No. (12) :


A uniform, pin-ended column of length l
and buckling stiffness EI is shown in Figure
10 . The column has initial curvature such
that the lateral displacement at any point
between the column and the straight line
joining its ends is given by :
v vo sin

x
l

y
e

v vo sin x / l

Figure 10 . Problem No. (12)

The end attachments do not restrict rotation of the column ends. The longitudinal
compressive force P has an eccentricity e from the centroids of the end sections. It is
required to :
a. Derive formulas for the lateral deflection and bending moment along the column
axis.
b. Determine the value of the critical load of the column.
c. For a value of P=0.64 Pcr , determine the value of vo / e which result in the least
maximum bending moment on the column and for this value plot the bending
moment distribution along the column axis.

Problem No. (13) :


A uniform column of length l and
bending stiffness EI is clamped at one end
and free at the other one as shown in Figure
11. Subsequently, it has to carry an
increased load and for this one of its halves
has to be reinforced as shown to give a
flexural stiffness 2EI. Show that then
Pcr=0.419 2EI/L2.

2EI

EI

l/2

l/2

Figure 11. Problem No. (13)

Problem No. (14) :


Use Rayleigh-Ritz method to compare between the buckling loads of the column given in
Problem (13) for the cases when :
a. the root half is reinforced
b. the tip half is reinforced.
Obtain an improved solution for case a and hence comment on the convergence of the
Rayleigh-Ritz method.
__________________________________________________________________________

E.A.S.

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