A linear two-degree-of-freedom system with slight viscous damping and subjected to nonconservative loading is analyzed with the aim of studying the effects of damping on stability of equilibrium. It is found that, in such systems, multiple ranges of stability and instability may exist in a richer variety than in corresponding systems without damping. Further, for certain systems, instability either by divergence (static buckling) or by flutter may occur first as the compressive load increases, depending upon the ratio of the damping coefficients in the two degrees of freedom. It is shown finally that systems exist for which the destabilizing effect of slight viscous damping cannot be removed completely whatever the ratio of the (positive) damping coefficients.

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