Short columns subjected to repeated loading or in which permanent deformation is not permissible should be designed on the basis of maximum fiber stress. This stress may vary considerably in apparently identical columns owing to small inaccuracies of shape and application of load. The effects of all probable deviations of both column and load can be represented by an “equivalent eccentricity of loading” or by an “equivalent curvature of the column” (1, 2). These equivalents are so chosen that calculated fiber stresses will equal the maximum probable stress encountered in the actual column. In the paper, analytical formulas in terms of equivalent eccentricity are developed for two and three-section short columns. These may be considered as extensions of the secant column formula (3) to more complicated shapes. Specific numerical examples of sectional short columns may be analyzed by a relaxation method (4). Sectional long columns have been treated by Thompson (5) and Radomski (6).

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