What is the Stability of Structures?
Stability means simply how the structure withstands the stresses due to external loads. During the application of load, it might not be able to withstand the effect of load; such a structure is called an unstable structure.
Stability of Structures Meaning
A structure is said to be stable if it has sufficient reactions when subjected to external loading. The stability of structures can also be defined based on the determinacy of the structure. If the degree of determinacy is greater or equal to zero, then the structure is said to be stable, but if it is less than zero, it is said to be unstable.
The stability of structures shows a basic problem in solid mechanics, which is considered for the safety of structures against their failure. Failure can be of many types, like collapse, buckling, etc. Therefore, stability theory is important in designing space structures, foundations, etc.
What are the Types of Stability of Structures?
The stability of structures can be classified into internal and external stability of structures. External stability deals with support reaction, and internal stability deals with the degree of freedom of structure.
External Stability of Structures
The external stability of structures can be understood with the help of the following points.
- The minimum number of reactions required for a structure to be stable externally is 3.
- These three reactions must be non-concurrent and non-parallel.
- If three reactions are parallel, then rigid body translation takes place. If they are concurrent, then rigid body rotation takes place.
- If the structure becomes unstable due to the improper arrangement of three reactions, it is known as geometrically unstable.
- If the structure becomes unstable due to less than three support reactions, it is called statically unstable.
Internal stability of structures
We can say Internal stability if a structure becomes unstable due to its internal reactions. For example, We can understand internal stability with the help of the following cases.
Case 1: Internal Stability of Beams
Internal floating hinge: In the case of an internal hinge structure can rotate about the hinge point and hence become unstable internally.
Case 2: Internal Stability of Trusses
In the case of trusses, if the following condition exists, it is classified as an unstable truss.
- m = number of members in truss structure.
- j = number of joints in truss structure.
Case 3: Internal Stability of Frames
If reactions are parallel, the frame structure will be termed unstable. Because resisting capacity in this condition becomes zero, hence structure becomes unstable.
When can it be said that the Structure is Stable?
A stable structure can maintain its shape when subjected to any load. However, to maintain its shape, it should be able to resist the stresses induced in the structure due to external loads.
It is important to establish the stability criteria to understand whether a structure is in a stable condition or an unstable condition. For example, if, on the application of load, the structure will not go into any permanent deformation, then it can be said that the structure is in its stable condition. On the other hand, if it goes through a significant amount of deformation, it can be said that the structure is unstable. An unstable structure can also be said to be a mechanism, and it can not resist any load and can not be used for civil engineering structures.
How to Check the Structural Stability of a Building?
The design of civil engineering structure should be a stable structure for the proper dispersion of loads through it. Here some points are given which can be used to check the stability of structures.
- Check the determinacy of the structure; if determinacy is greater or equal to zero, then it can be said to be a stable structure.
- For the stable structure, there should be non-parallel and non-concurrent support reactions.
Effect of Stability of Structures
As we now understand the meaning of stable structure and unstable structure. And we also understand the causes of stability and instability of the structure. So let's understand the effect of stability of the structure.
Stability means how the structure withstands the stresses caused by the external loads. If a structure is more stable, it implies that it has more redundant reactions, making it more capable of withstanding external loads.
Related Important Links
|Fixed Beams||Solid Mechanics|
|Moment Of Inertia||Proof Resilience|
|Modulus Of Rigidity||Mohr's Circle|
|Shear Force||Strain Gauge|