Statics: Buckling

Buckling of an empty aluminum can

This demonstration shows that local buckling occurred on a drinks can causes the global collapse of the can.

(a)                                                                                                                 (b)
Fig. 10-8: Buckling failure of empty drinks cans

The phenomenon of buckling is not limited to columns. Buckling can occur in many kinds of structures and can take many forms. Fig. 10-8a shows that two empty drinks cans can carry a standing person of 65 kg. However, this is close to the critical loads of the two cans. When the standing person slightly moved his body, which caused a small shift of some of the body weight from one can to the other, the thin cylindrical wall of one can buckled and the cans then collapsed completely as shown in Fig. 10-8b.