Dynamics of Nonlinear Cyclic Systems with Structural Irregularity

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Abstract

The dynamics of weakly coupled, nonlinear cyclic assemblies are investigated in the presence of weak structural mistuning. The method of multiple scales is used to obtain a set of nonlinear algebraic equations which govern the steady-state, synchronous (‘modal-like’) motions for the structures. Considering a degenerate assembly of uncoupled oscillators, spatially localized modes are computed corresponding to motions during which vibrational energy is spatially confined to one oscillator (strong localization) or a subset of oscillators (weak localization). In the limit of weak substructural coupling, asymptotic solutions are obtained which correspond to (i) spatially extended, (ii) strongly localized, and (iii) weakly localized modes for fully coupled systems. Throughout the analysis, the influence of structural mistunings on the resulting solutions are discussed. Additionally, numerical solutions (including linearized stability characteristics) are obtained for prototypical two- and three-degree-of-freedom (DoF) systems with various structural mistunings. The numerical results provide insight into the strong influence of structural irregularities on the dynamical behavior of nonlinear cyclic systems, and demonstrate that the combined influences of structural mistunings and nonlinearities do not lead to uniform improvement of motion confinement characteristics.

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