Compression member
A compression member is a general class of structural elements of which a column
A column or pillar in architecture and structural engineering is a vertical structural element that transmits, through compression, the weight of the structure above to other structural elements below. For the purpose of wind or earthquake engineering, columns may be designed to resist lateral forces...

  is the most common specific example.


For a compression member, such as a column, the principal stress comes mainly from axial
Axial may mean:* Along the same line as an axis of rotation in geometry* A type of modal frame in music* One of several anatomical directions in an animal body* Axial age, the period from 800 to 200 BC in China, India and the western world...

 forces, that is forces that fall along one line, usually the centerline.

The loading capacity of a short column is determined by strength limit of the material. The strength of a column of intermediate size is limited by its degree of inelasticity. A long column is constrained by the elastic limit (that is by amount of buckling
In science, buckling is a mathematical instability, leading to a failure mode.Theoretically, buckling is caused by a bifurcation in the solution to the equations of static equilibrium...


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