# Understanding the Effective Sectional Area of a Compression Member

The effective sectional area of a compression member is an important concept to understand when it comes to designing structural elements. It is an indication of how much load a member can bear. It’s also important to note that the effective sectional area of a compression member is not the same as the actual area of the member itself. In this article, we will take a look at what makes up the effective sectional area of a compression member.

## What is a Compression Member?

A compression member is a structural element that is designed to support a vertical load. Examples of compression members include columns, struts, and beams. Compression members are usually made of steel, concrete, or timber. When designing a compression member, the effective sectional area of the member must be taken into account.

## Calculating the Effective Sectional Area

The effective sectional area of a compression member is calculated by taking the actual area of the member and multiplying it by a factor known as the “reduction factor”. This factor takes into account certain design parameters, such as the shape of the member and any changes in the cross-sectional area due to the manufacturing process. The reduction factor is commonly determined using the formula:

Reduction Factor = (1 + (1/A))/2

Where A is the area of the compression member in square meters.

The reduction factor is then multiplied by the actual area of the compression member to determine the effective sectional area:

Effective Sectional Area = Reduction Factor x Actual Area

The effective sectional area of a compression member is then used to calculate the maximum load that the compression member can bear. The maximum load is calculated using the formula:

Maximum Load = Effective Sectional Area x Pressure

Where Pressure is the maximum pressure the member can bear.

## Conclusion

The effective sectional area of a compression member is an important concept to understand when it comes to designing structural elements. It is calculated by taking the actual area of the member and multiplying it by a factor known as the “reduction factor”. This factor takes into account certain design parameters, such as the shape of the member and any changes in the cross-sectional area due to the manufacturing process. The reduction factor is then multiplied by the actual area of the compression member to determine the effective sectional area, which is then used to calculate the maximum load that the compression member can bear.

• Structural Engineering