Previously, I was told by someone I trust well that a column can avoid buckling at the first critical load by applying the load "instantaneously" with a magnitude between the first and second critical loads. Of course nothing is instantaneous, so an idealization would be applying the load as a step function. I am an undergraduate mechanical engineer with no practical background with buckling failures and was hoping someone can shed some light on this problem.

I'm sorry I have few details or sources backing this question up, I have been trying to confirm it and have been unable to find it online.

Is this true? Can buckling be avoided at the first critical load by instantaneously applying a load between the first and second critical loads?

Thank you!

• pulse step loads resist more buckling than static loads. Reminds me when 5 MPH bumpers were invented in the early 70's, an ME student friend of mine design a precrushed array of coke cans and drove his car at 5MPH into a brick wall, backed by concrete and soil. The car chassis survived and the cans crushed the prescribed amount but the g levels were significant . My Rule of Thumb is the g shock level in a linear spring is the ratio of free fall height/stop height =g so since 5MPH = free fall from 255mm and the can was precrushed to yield 100mm deflection, it should have only been 2.5 g shock May 18 '17 at 22:23
• but it was a much higher jerk than he expected since the buckling force was dynamic and not constant. May 18 '17 at 22:24