Log In

Come Join Us!

Are you an
Engineering professional?
Join Eng-Tips Forums!
  • Talk With Other Members
  • Be Notified Of Responses
    To Your Posts
  • Keyword Search
  • One-Click Access To Your
    Favorite Forums
  • Automated Signatures
    On Your Posts
  • Best Of All, It's Free!
  • Students Click Here

*Eng-Tips's functionality depends on members receiving e-mail. By joining you are opting in to receive e-mail.

Posting Guidelines

Promoting, selling, recruiting, coursework and thesis posting is forbidden.

Students Click Here

rod buckling calculation

rod buckling calculation

rod buckling calculation

Can anyone give me the calculations (or send me to a site) necessary to compute the critical buckling stress for a hydraulic cylinder.


RE: rod buckling calculation

Any respectible cylinder manufacturer catalog should include the formulas for buckling calculations. You can use any other mechanical engineering habdbook such as Machinery's Handbook. Goggle search should give results too.

RE: rod buckling calculation

I've been looking in Machinery's Handbook and it gives me the calculations for a structural column (i.e. Euler's formula), but I don't know how to relate that to a cylinder. For example, what to substitute for your "k" and "l" values. The google search turned up nothing.


RE: rod buckling calculation


I didn't use buckling analysis for a long time. But the info in Mchinery's handbook should be enough. You can also look at any machine design book such a Shigley, Norton. This is a very basic subject. What version of Macinery's handbook you have?

RE: rod buckling calculation

I have the 24th ed.  It shows the formula P=(pi^2*I*E)/l^2.
I just don't know what to use for the effective length "l".
The cylinder is mounted by two pins (one at end of rod, the other at rear of cyl.) and the open center-center is 202".

I appreciate your help israelkk

RE: rod buckling calculation

The effective length will be the maximum piston rod length between the piston head (with the seals) and the support guide (with the seals) in the cylinder body. The worst case is when the piston rod is not extended meaning when its most length is still inside the cylinder and the piston starts its pushing. Your "problem" is to decide what type of "ending" you have (fixed, free etc). Here, a manufacturer technical info may help. To be on the safe side you can take the "both ends free" case.

RE: rod buckling calculation

Since the cylinder is supported at the two extremes (rod end and rear end), I don't understand why the effective length wouldn't be the distance from pineye to pineye when the rod is fully extended.

Wouldn't the worst case be when the rod is fully extended out of the cylinder?  That seems to be the most likely time for buckling failure to occur.

So let's say I used the "both ends free" case. What would that make my "k" factor?


RE: rod buckling calculation

In Euler formula there is no "K". Look at page 251 at the bottom of the table and use the "Both ends rounded" you can see that all you need is:

E - Modulus of elasticity
I - Rod section ineria = Pi*d^4/64
l - column maximum length


RE: rod buckling calculation

So then what should my "l" be? You were saying earlier that it is from the piston to the rod bearing surface. But shouldn't it be taken from pin to pin when the cylinder is fully extended?

RE: rod buckling calculation

I am not familiar with the cylinder design. Is it open on the side where the rod extend from? Is the rod supported or guided between the two "pins"? If not then you are correct.

RE: rod buckling calculation

There is no support b/t pins. Well, that should definitely
answer my question. Thanks for your help israelkk!

RE: rod buckling calculation

hi there
eulers formula can be adapted for cylinders,

Fcr = pi2 x E X I/L2 ----- (eULERS )
sub. pi x d4/64 for I ( solid round shaft )
and 2.07 x 10*5 foe E (steel )

Fcr = pi*3 x d*4 x 2.07 x 10*5/l*2 x 64

then Fcr = d*4 x 10*5/l*2
then d*4 = Fcr x l*2/1 x 10*5

d = 4th root of Fcr x l*2/1 x 10*5
where Fcr = critical force in newtons
      E = modulus of elasticity, N/mm*2
      I = moment of inertia of rod mm*4
      l = effective length

this gives rod dia for criticalforce, that is the force at which the rod may start to buckle, you must apply a safety factor to be sur that it doe's not collapse

d >  4th root of Fa x l*2 x sf/1 x 10*5

Fa is allowable force in newtons
sf is safety factor
cyl is 125mm dia p = 20Mpa extended rod 1000mm fixed at bottom free at end load factor 1,5  sf is 4

cyl force  = 0,7854x(125)*2x20
           = 2,45x10*5 N
          Fa = 2,45x10*5x1,5
             3,68x10*5 N
           rod l = 1000x4
                 = 4000mm
               d = 4th root 3,68x10*5x(4000)*2x4/1x10*5
               d = 125mm dia rod
I hope this was of help to you.


Red Flag This Post

Please let us know here why this post is inappropriate. Reasons such as off-topic, duplicates, flames, illegal, vulgar, or students posting their homework.

Red Flag Submitted

Thank you for helping keep Eng-Tips Forums free from inappropriate posts.
The Eng-Tips staff will check this out and take appropriate action.

Reply To This Thread

Posting in the Eng-Tips forums is a member-only feature.

Click Here to join Eng-Tips and talk with other members! Already a Member? Login


eBook - Integrating the Engineering Ecosystem
Aras Innovator provides multiple options for integrating data between systems, depending on the scenario. Utilizing the right approach to meet specific business requirements is vital. These needs range from authoring tools, federating data from various and dissimilar databases, and triggering processes and workflows. Download Now
White Paper - Industry 4.0 and the Future of Engineering Education
With industries becoming more automated, more tech-driven and more complex, engineers need to keep their skills and knowledge up to date in order to stay on top of this wave—and to be prepared for the Industry 4.0 future. The University of Cincinnati offers two online Master of Engineering degree programs designed specifically for practicing engineers. Download Now
White Paper - Comparing Multi-Patterning at 5nm: SADP, SAQP, and SALELE
Self-aligned multi-patterning techniques such as SADP, SAQP, and SALELE are increasingly popular at advanced nodes, but each process has its pros and cons. IMEC and Mentor, a Siemens business collaborated to identify potentially less-obvious process and design limitations and trade-offs between the three SAMP techniques. Learn more in this paper. Download Now

Close Box

Join Eng-Tips® Today!

Join your peers on the Internet's largest technical engineering professional community.
It's easy to join and it's free.

Here's Why Members Love Eng-Tips Forums:

Register now while it's still free!

Already a member? Close this window and log in.

Join Us             Close