Simultaneous buckling, contact, and load-carrying capacity


This paper considers the case of a relatively large number of parallel columns that buckle simultaneously. The close proximity between columns results in the possibility of contact between adjacent columns as buckling proceeds, and this brings with it some interesting observations on load-carrying capacity. Some experimental results verify the theoretical development based on the versatility of high-fidelity 3D printing, but also highlights the difficulty of applying purely axial loading. The sensitive nature of initial geometric imperfections (slight lack of straightness) and load eccentricity strongly influence postbuckled contact, load-carrying capacity, and, as the number of columns is increased, a statistically based evaluation of anticipated behavior is explored and ultimately found to be unrealistic.