Inderscience Publishers

Experiment and non-linear analysis of stainless steel columns having variable cross-sections

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A useful numerical scheme, based on finite difference technique, has been devised and used to trace the load-deflection curves (equilibrium configuration paths) of a column that has highly non-linear stress-strain curves. Two theorems of Thompson and Hunt are used to interpret the existence of critical load for the column from those load-deflection curves. To make the study more comprehensive, a varying cross-section has been considered along the column's span. The devised method can be used to calculate buckling loads of any column having varying cross-section together with material non-linearity. To prove the fruitfulness of the devised method, experiments have been accomplished for columns with varying cross-sections; the results of simulations have been compared. The comparison shows good agreement between the present results of finite difference technique with those obtained from the experiments.

Keywords: finite difference technique, nonlinear stress-strain curves, nonlinearly elastic deformation, variable cross-sections, load-deflection curves, critical loads, stainless steel columns, structural engineering, buckling loads

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