Calculating the Maximum Axial Capacity for a Pinned Steel Column

March 3, 2017 Abdul Siraj, P.E.

In this post, I will go over the first example in our mechanics of materials course covering column buckling. The goal of this example is to calculate the maximum axial capacity for a pinned steel column.


The engineering problem statement states,


The W8 x 31 column shown below is pinned at both ends. Find the largest axial load that it can support before it buckles or the steel materials begins to yield.


The column material is A-36 steel

Modulus of Elasticity, Es = 29000 ksi