Dynamic Stability Critical State of Pin-Ended Arches under Sudden Central Concentrated Load


  • Kai QIN College of Civil Engineering and Architecture, Zhejiang University
  • Jingyuan LI Department of Civil Engineering, Tsinghua University
  • Mengsha LIU College of Water Resources and Civil Engineering, China Agricultural University
  • Jinsan JU College of Water Resources and Civil Engineering, China Agricultural University




arch; dynamic buckling; energy method; material nonlin-earity


The dynamic in-plane instability process of extreme point type for pin-ended arches when a central radial load applied suddenly with infinite duration is analyzed with finite element method in this study. The state of arch can be determined by the crown’s vertical displacement varied with time and the critical load can be obtained by repeating trial-calculation. When the arch structure reaches the dynamically stable critical state, the kinetic energy of the structure is very small or even zero. The dynamic critical load of elastic arch calculated with the theoretical analysis method which is based on energy principle is proved accuracy enough by comparing with the finite element calculation results and the percentage of the differences between them are no more than 4.5 %. The maximal elastic strain energy is certain for the elastic-plastic arch in certain geometry under both a sudden load and static load. The maximal elastic strain energy in static calculation can be used in determining the state of the elastic-plastic arch under dynamic sudden loads applied and this method is more accurate which errors won’t exceed 3.5 %. The accuracy of dynamic critical load calculation method for elastic arch is verified by numerical calculation in this study, and based on the characteristic of elastic strain energy in critical state, a method for determining the stability of elastic-plastic arch is presented.