Random Behavior of Columns

by Paul H. Wirsching, Assoc. Prof. of Aerospace and Mech. Engrg.; Univ. of Arizona, Tucson, Ariz.; formerly, NSF Sci.-Fac. Fellow and Grad. Student in Civ. Engrg., Univ. of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM,
James T. P. Yao, (M.ASCE), Prof. of Civ. Engrg.; Univ. of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM,

Serial Information: Journal of the Engineering Mechanics Division, 1971, Vol. 97, Issue 3, Pg. 605-618

Document Type: Journal Paper


Using an analog computer for simulations, an empirical relationship is developed for the stability condition of a pin-ended column, which is excited by a physical white noise. The effect of initial curvature to the random behavior of columns is also considered. This relationship is then applied in two practical examples. In the first example, the column stability of a typical building subjected to earthquake loads is considered. The results of this example suggest that dynamic instability caused by earthquake excitation is not likely to be a problem in structures designed according to the current AISC specifications. In the second example, a hypothetic column for a spacecraft structure is subjected to the Saturn V random vibration design environment. In this example, it is found that under certain conditions, dynamic instability may be a problem.

Subject Headings: Structural behavior | Columns | Earthquakes | Analogs | Computer models | Empirical equations | Curvature | Seismic loads

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