Relationship between Euler buckling and unstable equilibria of buckled beams
Classic snap-through of curved beams, plates, and shells has long been an object of attention in structural engineering. Euler buckling under axial loading is perhaps an even more entrenched part of the canon of engineering education and practice. In this paper we introduce a relationship between the two phenomena, that to our knowledge has not been directly addressed before. The relationship shows that Euler buckling configurations are connected by the force–displacement curve under transverse loading. The results are used to develop a very simple metric to estimate the number of unstable static equilibria of a buckled structure based only on its geometry with no need for static or dynamic solvers. The study is focused on beams as this allows for an unambiguous discussion of the idea on the simplest possible structure.
snap-through; Euler buckling; stability; arc-length method; structural mechanics