Rankine Gordon formula (Maximum axial load that a column will buckle)


Column or pillar in architecture and structural engineering is a structural element that transmits, through compression, the weight of the structure above to other structural elements below. An ideal column is one that is perfectly straight, homogeneous, and free from initial stress. Buckling is characterized by a sudden failure of a structural member subjected to high compressive stress, where the actual compressive stress at the point of failure is less than the ultimate compressive stresses that the material is capable of withstanding. The maximum load, sometimes called the critical load, causes the column to be in a state of unstable equilibrium; that is, the introduction of the slightest lateral force will cause the column to fail by buckling. Euler’s formula gives the maximum axial load that a long, slender, ideal column can carry without buckling. The Rankine Gordon formula suggests that the maximum compressive load interferes and produces a new conservative estimate of Fmax.

Related formulas


FmaxThe maximum or critical force (based on experimental results) (N)
FeThe Euler maximum load (N)
FcThe maximum compressive load (N)