Stability of Structures
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In the previous chapters, we investigated the equilibrium (both static and dynamic) of various structural systems. Now we wish to consider a very important property of systems in equilibrium, namely, their stability. Basically, we are interested in what happens to the structure when it is slightly disturbed from its equilibrium position: as shown in Figure 6.1, does it return to its equilibrium position, or does it depart even further? We term the former case stable equilibrium and the latter unstable equilibrium clearly a load-carrying structure in a state of unstable equilibrium is unreliable and hazardous. Reference  gives a good background setting for the study of structural stability, whereas Reference is an excellent compendium of examples and solutions. Mention should also be made of References [74, 75, 85], which place stability in a much broader context.
KeywordsSingular Point Mode Shape Axial Force Critical Load Elastic Foundation
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