Choosing between linear buckling and nonlinear buckling in given case can be difficult. Both approaches have positive and negative aspects. I explain here what are the differences, and when to use each analysis. I promise not to use complicated mathematics, nor highly theoretical approach. Instead, I will use a simple example to easily describe differences.

My first encounter with this problem

Linear vs nonlinear buckling dilemma got to me when I started my Ph.D. in shell stability. As a civil engineer, I wasn’t really trained in FEA during studies (apart from obvious programs for structural design). Modeling a shell for Abaqus or NX Nastran was definitely a challenge, but one I could quickly overcome. Problems started when I had to actually define an analysis type for my problem.

I quickly realized that there are far too many possibilities I have never heard about to choose from. Analysis called “buckling” obviously looked promising, and was my first bet 🙂 Later I realized that such approach was frown upon by some of the “scientific” crowd, so I have searched for an alternative. That way (and thanks to Cornelia Doerich Ph.D. thesis!) I managed to learn about nonlinear buckling! It was then when something “clicked” for me, and I simply never looked at any engineering problem in the same way as before. If you have no experience with nonlinear analysis, I would greatly advise you to take a look – you will be surprised how incredible it may be!

Linear vs nonlinear buckling: all you need to know

Below, you will see a short video, where I describe what are the differences in linear and nonlinear buckling on a simple shell example. If you have missed it, you can read on my blog about both linear buckling, and nonlinear buckling.

Happy watching 🙂

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