Calculating the Maximum Axial Capacity for a Steel Column Braced About the Weak Axis

March 3, 2017 Abdul Siraj, P.E.

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


The engineering problem statement states,


The W6 x 15 steel column shown below is 30 ft long and fixed at both ends. It is braced at midheight about the y-y axis. The bracing is assumed to be pin connected to the column. Find the largest axial load that it can support before it buckles or the steel materials begins to yield.


Yield Stress, Fy = 60 ksi

Modulus of Elasticity, Es = 29000 ksi