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Homework Help: Maximum Vertical Column

  1. Jan 2, 2005 #1
    There is a maximum height of a uniform vertical column made of any material that can support itself without buckling, and it is independent of the cross sectional area (why?). Calculate this height for a) steel (density 7.8x10^3) b) Granite (density 2.7x10^3)

    I'm just really confused on how to even start this, what equation to use. Im guessing it has something to do with compressive strength but not sure at all
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 2, 2005 #2

    Andrew Mason

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    A material has a maximum compressive strength expressed as a force /unit area or pressure. What is the the force/unit area at the base of a column of material of uniform cross-section with density [itex]\rho[/itex]? Is it related to anything other than the height?

    Calculate this height for a) steel (density 7.8x10^3) b) Granite (density 2.7x10^3)[/QUOTE] Find the pressure at the base of a column of steel of height h and set the pressure to the yield pressure for steel (compressive strength). What is h? Do the same for granite.

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