Applications of Structural Instabilities — Lesson 4

Let's look at some practical examples where instabilities are studied and corrected for using different simulation methods. We will explore three examples: one for dynamic instabilities, one for buckling instabilities and one for local buckling.

Example 1: Tuned Mass Dampers

Tuned mass dampers are an ingenious way of stabilizing structures by absorbing and dissipating most of the kinetic energy in the system.

Many famous tall buildings such as Taipei 101 in Taiwan, One Wall Center in Canada and many more have tuned mass dampers.

In this example, we'll use a tuned mass damper to make a four-story building stable under earthquake loading.

Lecture: Part 1

Alternate video link.

Example 2: Buckling of a turbine blade

Wind turbines are heavy structures mounted high above the ground and exposed to strong wind loads. Their rotation adds to the challenges in stabilizing them. Apart from the column that supports them, the turbine blades themselves are prone to failure due to buckling. In this example, we study one such example to see at what load the blade buckles and how we can use the analysis to identify the areas that need design improvements.

Lecture: Part 2

Alternate video link.

Example 3: Vacuum Cleaner Pipe

We mentioned earlier that instabilities are not always bad news; if used properly they can aid us in engineering design. This example discusses one such instance.

Lecture: Part 3

Alternate video link.


Here are the accompanying handout slides for this lesson.