The Structural Engineer > Archive > Volume 54 (1976) > Issues > Issue 11 > Correspondence (1) on A Simple Understanding of Elastic Critical Loads by A. Bolton
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Correspondence (1) on A Simple Understanding of Elastic Critical Loads by A. Bolton

Professor Bolton gives an exposition of the stability of frames that may well commend itself to engineers seeking an elementary understanding of the phenomenon. Precisely for this reason it is a misleading and even potentially dangerous paper. Although far from the intention of the author, it in fact conveys the impression that frame stability is a local phenomenon, calculable from the stiffness of a single symmetrical joint in a 'no-shear' frame on the assumption that the remote ends of the columns are direction-fixed. To attempt to derive the sway stability of a frame by considering one joint is just as inadequate as the procedure common in Codes, and criticised by Bolton, of merely dealing with crudely calculated effective lengths of single members. By contrast, in discussing our approximate methods, Wood and the contributor both give explicit recognition to the fact that sway stability is an overall frame behaviour problem, thereby deriving more consistent results for derived critical loads. M.R. Horne, R.H. Wood and J.W. Bunce