Column Instability under Weight and Follower Loads

by David J. McGill, Assoc. Prof.; School of Engrg. Sci. and Mech., Georgia Inst. of Technol., Atlanta GA,

Serial Information: Journal of the Engineering Mechanics Division, 1971, Vol. 97, Issue 3, Pg. 629-635

Document Type: Journal Paper


In this article, the interaction between two types of forces, causing instability of a vertically cantilevered column, is studied. These forces are the conservative force of the column's own weight, and a nonconservative distributed follower force. The effect of the weight on the flutter instability of the column, and of the follower force on its buckling instability, are examined. It is shown that: (1) the inclusion of the column's weight lowers the flutter load; (2) it is possible to destabilize certain columns, ordinarily stable under their own weights, by the addition of sufficiently large tensile followers; (3) it is possible to stabilize a column, ordinarily unstable under its own weight, by the addition of sufficiently large compressive followers.

Subject Headings: Columns | Load factors | Aerodynamic flutter | Cantilevers | Buckling | Ultimate strength | Compression | Vertical loads

Services: Buy this book/Buy this article


Return to search