The critical compression load for a universal testing machine when the specimen is loaded through knife edges

Lundquist, Eugene E Schwartz, Edward B
September 1942

The results of a theoretical and experimental investigation to determine the critical compression load for a universal testing machine are presented for specimens loaded through knife edges. The critical load for the testing machine is the load at which one of the loading heads becomes laterally instable in relation to the other. For very short specimens the critical load was found to be less than the rated capacity given by the manufacturer for the machine. A load-length diagram is proposed for defining the safe limits of the test region for the machine. Although this report is particularly concerned with a universal testing machine of a certain type, the basic theory which led to the derivation of the general equation for the critical load, P (sub cr) = alpha L can be applied to any testing machine operated in compression where the specimen is loaded through knife edges. In this equation, L is the length of the specimen between knife edges and alpha is the force necessary to displace the upper end of the specimen unit horizontal distance relative to the lower end of the specimen in a direction normal to the knife edges through which the specimen is loaded.

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