The Structural Engineer > Archive > Volume 18 (1940) > Issues > Issue 3 > Correspondence. Discussion of "The Strength of Struts" by H. A. Warren
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Correspondence. Discussion of "The Strength of Struts" by H. A. Warren

Sir,-The problem of column design has been discussed with great thoroughness by Baker in the reports of the Steel Structures Research Committee, by the American Society Civil Engineers Committee1 on Steel Column Research, and by others. It would have been useful if Mr. Warren had indicated thextent to which his paper presents ideas not considered in the above studies. The chief value in the Euler formula as applied to practical columns is as an upper limit for the strength of very slender columns. Mr. Warren proposes to apply results for the effective length of struts derived from the equation for slender “ideal” struts to “practical” struts of intermediate slenderness ratio. The only justification for this is apparently contained in a table of nine examples (page 462). There is, however, no difficulty in picking an empirical formula to fit any group of results for axially loaded struts, and the fact that this can be done does not indicate that the method can properly be applied to eccentrically loaded members. Salmon has expressed the opinion that such a method can only be considered a very rough approximation; Baker and Holder have stated that it is not only inaccurate but is potentially dangerous.