Bimodal Optimization of Compressed Columns on Elastic Foundations

[+] Author and Article Information
R. H. Plaut

Department of Civil Engineering, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg, Va 24061

L. W. Johnson

Department of Mathematics, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg, Va 24061

N. Olhoff

Aalborg University Center DK-9220 Aalborg, Denmark

J. Appl. Mech 53(1), 130-134 (Mar 01, 1986) (5 pages) doi:10.1115/1.3171699 History: Received March 23, 1984; Revised July 15, 1984; Online July 21, 2009


We consider columns attached to elastic foundations and compressed by axial end loads. Pinned-pinned, clamped-clamped, and pinned-clamped boundary conditions are treated. The columns have rectangular sandwich cross sections with a fixed lightweight core and identical face sheets of variable thickness. For given total volume, we optimize the variation of the thickness along the column so as to maximize the buckling load. In most cases, the optimal design is bimodal (i.e., associated with two buckling modes). The optimal designs depend on the foundation stiffness, and the largest increase in buckling load relative to a column with constant thickness is 22 percent.

Copyright © 1986 by ASME
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