The dynamic stability of a viscoelastic column subjected to a periodic longitudinal load is investigated. The viscoelastic behavior is given in terms of the Boltzmann superposition principle which yields an integro-differential equation of motion. The stability boundaries of this equation are determined analytically by using the multiplescales method. It is shown that due to the viscoelasticity the stability regions are expanded, relative to the elastic ones, and the time for which a stable system becomes unstable is given. In addition, the stability properties of the viscoelastic column are time dependent and an initially stable system can turn unstable after a finite time, unlike columns that are described by the elastic model.

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