Strongly nonlinear beats in the dynamics of an elastic system with a strong local stiffness nonlinearity: Analysis and identification

Mehmet Kurt, Melih Eriten, D. Michael McFarland, Lawrence A. Bergman, Alexander F. Vakakis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


We consider a linear cantilever beam attached to ground through a strongly nonlinear stiffness at its free boundary, and study its dynamics computationally by the assumed-modes method. The nonlinear stiffness of this system has no linear component, so it is essentially nonlinear and nonlinearizable. We find that the strong nonlinearity mostly affects the lower-frequency bending modes and gives rise to strongly nonlinear beat phenomena. Analysis of these beats proves that they are caused by internal resonance interactions of nonlinear normal modes (NNMs) of the system. These internal resonances are not of the classical type since they occur between bending modes whose linearized natural frequencies are not necessarily related by rational ratios; rather, they are due to the strong energy-dependence of the frequency of oscillation of the corresponding NNMs of the beam (arising from the strong local stiffness nonlinearity) and occur at energy ranges where the frequencies of these NNMs are rationally related. Nonlinear effects start at a different energy level for each mode. Lower modes are influenced at lower energies due to larger modal displacements than higher modes and thus, at certain energy levels, the NNMs become rationally related, which results in internal resonance. The internal resonances of NNMs are studied using a reduced order model of the beam system. Then, a nonlinear system identification method is developed, capable of identifying this type of strongly nonlinear modal interactions. It is based on an adaptive step-by-step application of empirical mode decomposition (EMD) to the measured time series, which makes it valid for multi-frequency beating signals. Our work extends an earlier nonlinear system identification approach developed for nearly mono-frequency (monochromatic) signals. The extended system identification method is applied to the identification of the strongly nonlinear dynamics of the considered cantilever beam with the local strong nonlinear stiffness at its free end.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2054-2072
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Sound and Vibration
Issue number7
StatePublished - Mar 31 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Acoustics and Ultrasonics
  • Mechanical Engineering

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