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What is the Allowable Unit Stress in Timber Columns?

Timber coloums are seldom used singly. Mostly they are a group of lumber which are stick together to form a single member. The allowable unit stress on timber is calculated by using the following formula


When the Columns have square or rectangular cross section

When the Columns have circular cross section

P= total allowable load, lb (N)
A= area of column cross section, in2 (mm2)
c= allowable unit stress in compression parallel to grain, lb/in2 (MPa)
d= dimension of least side of column, in (mm)
l= unsupported length of column between points of lateral support, in (mm)
E= modulus of elasticity, lb/in2 (MPa)
r= least radius of gyration of column, in (mm)

Specific Conditions to be kept in mind
1) The allowable unit stress(P/A) may not exceed the allowable compressive stress c.
2) 1/d must not exceed 50.


Note: The allowable unit stresses for bearing on end grain are published by lumber associations.

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Kanwarjot Singh

Kanwarjot Singh is the founder of Civil Engineering Portal, a leading civil engineering website which has been awarded as the best online publication by CIDC. He did his BE civil from Thapar University, Patiala and has been working on this website with his team of Civil Engineers.

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One comment on "What is the Allowable Unit Stress in Timber Columns?"

Anil Rawat says:

Is non-Destructive testing of concrete of reliable adequately?

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