Last year’s hot summer saw an increased number of reported buckling failures of rail track. Similar restrained thermal buckling problems are experienced in concrete road pavements, buried land-based and subsea pipelines, bituminous pavements, parquet and laminate floors, the earth’s crust and even ice sheets. For all of these phenomena the underlying mechanics is very closely related, of considerable analytical challenge in its complexity and yet capable of a fairly simple interpretation. The following short note outlines an alternative way of representing the non-linear buckling behaviour that has the merit of being both simple and yet capable of producing explicit analytical representations of the imperfection sensitive buckling loads. Since a similar form of buckling can be exhibited in many commonly employed structural components, for example in sandwich composite panels, this approach may be of interest.
Prof. James G. A. Croll
BE, PhD, CEng, FREng, FIStructE, FICE
Department of Civil and Environmental Engng, University College London