The postbuckling response of perfect and geometrically imperfect elastic columns resting on an elastic Winkler type foundation is thoroughly discussed. This is established by employing an approximate analytic technique leading to very reliable results in the vicinity of the critical state. It was found that the critical state of perfect columns is a stable symmetric bifurcation point and consequently there is no sensitivity to initial geometrical imperfections. Moreover, a simple but readily analyzed mechanical model is proposed to simulate the salient features of buckling mechanism of the column on elastic foundation with those of the model. The simplicity, reliability and efficiency of the proposed analysis as well as the successful modeling of the buckling mechanism of the column by that of a single mode mechanical model are illustrated with the aid of numerical examples.
Postbuckling analysisColumnsElastic foundationEquivalent model