Buckling is defined as collapse due to compressive instability. It is most common when long, slender columns are compressed in an axial direction, or when thin-walled tubes are compressed in either an axial direction or a diagonal direction as a result of torsional loading. This type of failure also can occur on the compressive (concave) side of a member under a bending load, such as a thin-walled tube or a flange of a channel or I-beam section.
A vital fact must be recognized in considering a part that has buckled or in preventing buckling: the load at which a component buckles does not depend upon the strength of the material, but upon the dimensions of the part and the modulus of elasticity of the material at the operating temperature. This means that the buckling load cannot be increased by heat treating the metal to increase the strength and hardness, or by using stronger mater.
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