Stability of Structures

  • James F. Doyle
Part of the Mechanical Engineering Series book series (MES)


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 [32] gives a good background setting for the study of structural stability, whereas Reference[77] 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.


Singular Point Mode Shape Axial Force Critical Load Elastic Foundation 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • James F. Doyle
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Aeronautics and AstronauticsPurdue UniversityWest LafayetteUSA

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