TSENG
Senior Engineer,
Northern Research and
Engineering Company,
Cambri dge, Mass.
J . DUGUNDJ I
Professor,
Department of Aeronautics
and Astronautics,
Massachusetts Institute of Technology,
Cambri dge, Mass.
Nonlinear V ibrations of a B uck led
B eam Under H armonic Ex citation
1
A buckled beam with fixed ends, excited by the harmonic motion of its supporting base,
was investigated analytically and experimentally. Using Galerkin's method the govern
ing partial differential equation reduced to a modified Duffing equation, which was
solved by the harmonic balance method. Besides the solution of simple harmonic mo
tion (SHM), other branch solutions involving superharmonic motion (SPHM) were
found experimentally and analytically. The stability of the steadystate SHM and
SPHM solutions were analyzed by solving a variational Hilltype equation. The im
portance of the second mode on these results was examined by a similar stability analysis.
The RungeKutta numerical integration method was used to investigate the snapthrough
problem. Intermittent, as well as continuous, snapthrough behavior was obtained.
The theoretical residts agreed well with the experiments.
L I H E dynamic behavior of a buckled beam with fixed
ends, excited by t he harmonic motion of its supporting base, is
considered here. This is an extension of the straight beam case
examined previously by the same authors [ l ] ,
2
and relates to the
general problem of the dynamic stability of thin arch and shell
structures.
The thin arch problem has been studied bot h theoretically and
experimentally by a number of authors in the past few years
[212], H umphreys [4] examined a circular arch under im\
pulsestep and rectangular pulse loading by using the analog com
puter. Lock [5] determined t he critical steppressure loads of an
arch by t he numerical integration of t he equations of motions
and by an infinitesimal stability analysis. Some authors [6, 7]
have applied an energy criterion for t he snapthrough problem of
an arch, but this is less successful. Mettler [8] applied the
method of averaging to investigate t he stability and t he vibration
1
This research was sponsored by the Air Force Office of Scientific
Research under AFOSR Contract No. F4462069C0091 and is part
of a PhD thesis by the first author, "WuYang Tseng.
2
Numbers in brackets designate References at end of paper.
Contributed by the Applied Mechanics Division and presented at
the Winter Annual Meeting, New York, N. Y., November 29
December 3, 1970, of TH E AMEBI CAN SOCI ETY or MECHANI CAL E NGI 
NE E BS.
Discussion on this paper should be addressed to the Editorial De
partment, ASME, United Engineering Center, 345
E a s t
47th Street,
New York, N. Y. 10017, and will be accepted until July 20, 1971.
Discussion received after the closing date will be returned. Manu
script received by ASME Applied Mechanics Division, January 12,
1970. Paper No. 70WA/APM48.
of a sine arch under harmonic excitation. I n this investigation,
he found the j ump phenomenon of t he simple harmonic motion
(SH M), superharmonic motion (SPH M) and subharmonic mo
tion (SBH M) resonances. H is observation t hat t he j ump phe
nomenon is the kinetic snapthrough in analogy to t he static
snapthrough seems inaccurate since this j ump to a higher branch
solution may not necessarily cause t he arch to snapthrough.
To obtain information on snapthrough, one should include t he
dynamic overshoot effect due to transient response. Generally,
t he method of averaging gives little information about t he snap
through. Also, i t is noted t hat little experimental work exists
on t he problem of an arch under harmonic excitation.
The present investigation will include:
1 The steadystate solutions of SH M and SPH M.
2 Snapthrough analysis.
3 The effects of t he initial static deflection.
Both analytical and experimental work are considered here.
The present article is a partial condensation of a longer report by
one of t he authors [13].
Formulation and General Solution
The governing differential equation of a buckled beam (the
beam originally flat, which has been compressed past t he critical
buckling load, P
or
, to a static deflection position Wo) with fixed
ends and excited by the base motion W
B
is (see Fig. 1)
EI (W + Wo)
N
X
(W + W<
cto
> ]
\ d
2
+ d<
2
} dt
(1)
J ournal of Applied Mechanics
J U N E 1 9 7 1 / 467 Copyright 1971 by ASME
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Not e: Gravi t at i on f orce 1 paper.
W 0 = 0 f or t he st r ai ght beam case.
F i g. 1 B asic configuration
N
x
=  P o +
EA
21
Jo U
(W + Wo) dx (2)
Boundary conditions are W = i>W/dx = 0, at x = 0 and I, where
E = Young' s modulus; I = moment of inertia; N
x
= t ot al ten
sion force on beam; W = beam displacements; Wo = initial static
deflection; m = mass/ uni t length; W
B
= base displacement;
c = damping coefficient; A = beam cross section, I = length
of beam, x = longitudinal axis; t = time in seconds; P
0
is a fic
titious compressive force on t he beam defined by
Po = Per +
AE
21
/ : (
i
m < '
(3)
Since P
o r
is t he fundamental buckling load of a clampedclamped
beam, i.e., P
c r
= <br
2
EI/l
2
, t he initial static deflection Wo of the
buckled beam is
W,
ah ( 2irx\
=
1^1  c o s J
(4)
where h is t he beam thickness and "a" is t he ratio WJ h, with
W. = Wo{l/2).
For t he present range of initial static deflections, i.e., a < 2,
the solution of (1) may be written as
W(j c, 0 = <(*)?(<)
ns=l
(5)
where <ji and 2 are generalized coordinates and 0i and 02 are the
first and second buckling modes of the beam, respectively,
0i =  (1  cos 2TTS) (60)
02 = afc[j8(fcf  sin fc) + cos fc  1] (66)
where k = 8.986, /3 = 2/fc and = z/Z. Applying Galerkin' s
method and assuming harmonic excitation of the base, W
B
= AP
sin o>
F
t leads to t he equations
d% c ddi 3 1
^
+
m ^
+
^
1 +
2 ^
2
+ 2 ^
1 3
+ 2.263co
1
a
(rJ
1
+ 1)
2
2
= u
F
2
A
F
sin w
f
< (7)
o
d
2
q
2
c dq
2
5.05
 ^  + " T7 + i
!
fc + 6.356
Wl
2
g
2
s
dt
2
m at a
2
+ 1.404t0i
!
(5i
2
+ 2q
t
)q
2
= 0 (8)
where A
F
= Ap
t
/ah and coi is t he nat ural frequency of t he first
mode in infinitesimal amplitude and has t he value
W,
z
=
8T*EI
ml*
(9)
15
10
S 35
C 30
l 25
> 
u
g 20
0
LJ i c
u_
10
5

1
/
X
1
1 1 1
"S
/ o
1 1 1
1 1
/
/ BVEI
>  / ^
1 1




1.0 1.5 2.0
I NI TI AL STATIC DEFLECTION ~ 0
F i g. 2 Linear natural frequency
I t is noticed from (9) t hat Wi is linearly proportional to "a" and
equal t o zero when o = 0, which corresponds t o classical buckling
theory. This was the purpose of choosing t he first and second
buckling modes.
3
The nat ural frequency of the second mode in
infinitesimal amplitude is found from (8) to be
5.05 EI
o)i
2
= o>i
2
= 3940 
a
2
ml*
(10)
The numerical results of (9) and (10) are shown in Fig. 2. I t is
interesting to note t hat Wi = co
2
at a = 2.25.
Now let o>
F
t = nr and gi = ffi 1, 2 = ?2, then (7) and (8) be
come simply
d
2
q, dqi
f + 2nf \/a ^ + n
2
Kiaqi + n
2
K
2
aqi
3
+ n
2
Kiaqiq2
s
or
2
dr
= n
2
K
3
A
F
sin m (11)
d\i ,
0 y
r dqi n
2
K
ia
~ + 2
W
fVS + ~^~^
+ n
2
KoaqJ + n
2
7f,a(gi
2
 l)r/, = 0 (12)
where Ki =  0 . 5 , K
2
= 0.5, K
3
= 1.333, K
k
= 2.263, K
h
= 5.05,
7T
6
= 6.356, K, = 1.404, a = (wi/a>
F
)
2
= "1/Q", f = c/(2ma>i) and
n is any integer. I t is readily seen t hat q
2
= 0 is a solution of
(11) and (12). The governing differential equation for q
lt
when
q
2
= 0, becomes
r 2n\/a + n
2
Kiaqi + n
2
K
2
aqi
z
dr
2
or
= n
2
K
3
A
F
sin nr (13)
This equation is t he same form as Duffing's equation [1], except
here K\ is negative. The general solution of (13) before snapping
through is t he same as in reference [1]; i.e., the solution of (13)
can be approximated as
3
91 = 2/0 + J ] (**
sin kr
+ y>>
cos
fc
T
) (
14
)
fc = l
Substituting (14) into (13) and using the method of harmonic'
balance for the constant and t he first three harmonics will give
seven nonlinear coupled algebraic equations [1, 13]. For
simplicity and ease of explanation, only t he nodamping case
(f = 0) will be considered. For this case, 2/1 = za = 2/3 = 0 and
Xi = n, 2/2 = r
2
, Xz = r
3
. The seven equations, for n = 1, then
reduce to the following four equations:
3
The choice of the first and second vibration modes of the beam
would give a slight difference in coefficients of (7) and (8), but would
not make col = 0 at a = 0.
468 / J UNE 1 97 1 Transactions of the ASME
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0.4
0.3
3 0.2
2
<
0.1
1


"
_





1
r
3
r.
t*
1
1
r
a
\
i
i
1
n
T
\
1
X
mm
' \ '
I
ri
i
<?
I
1
'
/+t)c
x / y\
T i
V
,1

k
;
i
i
i
1
!
r
*2
vl \ ' \
\ \ \
\ \
\ \
t \
1 \
1 \
I \
1 \
In \
/ \
/ > 0 5 1
1
1
JT[
* * F
' 1
S H M +
S H M x
SPH M 3 n. .
SPH M 2 o
V
^ \  9
5
= 0
i
l
AF =2 
AF=.3 "
Ap=.3 "
AF=.2 




1
0.2 0.4 0.6 0.8 1.0
FREQUENCY ~ J2
Fig. 3 Overall steadyslate solutions
1.2 1.4
Aoyo + 2sr
2
a(2W3  nVs) = 0 (15a)
A,ri + 3K
2
a(ij
3
r
2
r
3

W
v
2
 in
2
r
3
 ?
2
2
r
3
) = K
3
A
F
(156)
A
2
r
2
+ "SK
2
a{y,,i\r
3
 gWi
2
 j f i Vi ) = 0 (15c)
A
3
r
3
+ 3K
2
a(y
0
nr
2
 &&* 
T
Vn
3
) = 0 (15d)
where
A
0
= aftf, + K
2
[y^ + f ( n
2
+ rS + r
3
2
)]}
A, = Kx  1 + fK
2
a(4]/
0
2
+ i
2
+ 2r
2
2
+ 2r
3
2
)
A
2
= / ^ a  4 + f ^ a ^ j / o
2
+ 2d
2
+ r
2
2
+ 2r
3
2
)
E quation (13) is valid only when g
2
= 0. This means t hat q
2
does not become parametrically excited by the firstmode oscilla
tions of q
u
i.e., any infinitesimal disturbance in q
2
will eventually
die out . The st udy of the unstable regions for q
2
will be discussed
later. The specific cases to be studied will deal with the q
2
= 0
solution, i.e., (13)(15).
The numerical results of (19) and (20) are shown in Fig. 3 by
t he solid curves. From t he figure, one can see t hat (19) is a soft
springtype solution and there exist j ump points which are the
basic information to investigate dynamic snapthrough criteria
to be discussed later.
The SH M solution, (18) and (19), gives a good approximation
to the complete solution with small forcing term, A
F
< 0.2 and 0
not close to
1
/
2
and
1
/
3
. For t he A
F
> 0.2 case, t he n component
becomes significant, although ?
2
 is still less t han )'i. Also t he
solution of (18) and (19) is a good approximation for the small f
case, say f < 0.01.
SPHM Order 3. For t he SPH M order 3 solution, one assumes
l^ l 2> *i 2> 

s. Then, neglecting t he r
2
component aiid dis
carding t he associated equation (15c) leads to t he equations
(21a)
(21b)
(21c)
Aoyo = 0
AiTi  fK
2
ari
2
r
3
= K
3
A
F
K
2
a
Specific Cases
4
SHM Solution. For t he SH M case, i.e., \n\ \r
2
\ and \r
3
\,
further simplification of (15) can be made by neglecting r
2
and r
3
components and discarding t he associated equations (15c) and
(15d), which leads to the equations
Aoyo = 0
Air i = K
3
A
F
Since y ^ 0, (16) and (17) yield
( "
K
2
2K
t
a 1 ; r > ' A n = K
S
A
F
(16)
(17)
(18)
(19)
The nonlinear nat ural frequency relation can be obtained from
(19) by setting A
F
= 0 and n ^ 0, which gives the "backbone
curve" as
n' = T^{2K
1
a + l)=~{2K
l
+ Q.') (20)
15i t
2
a 15it
2
where 0 = CO/OJI , is the nonlinear nat ural frequency.
Since y
0
^ 0, (21a) gives
'o
2
=  ^   (ri
2
+ r
3
2
)
J\2 /
Also (21c) can be rewritten as
K
ia
9 +  K
2
a(4:yo
2
+ r
3
2
)
(22)
r
3
=  f  (
ri
 6r,)n* (23)
4
Since \r
3
\ S>  n j t he boldfaced terms can be neglected, which
yields
A
3
0
Placing (22) into (24) gives
 4 ( 2 Xi + 9) 4
r
3
< =
15X
2
a
 r{'
5
(24)
(25)
I t is seen from (25) t hat SPH M order 3 solution exists only at
0 < 1/3. By t he assumption r
3
  n , (25) can be further ap
proximated as
r
3
'
 4 ( 2 g i + 9)
15K
2
a
(26)
4
The effects of SPH M order
3
/
2
is less important than those of
SPH M order 2 and 3 and will not be discussed here.
(Note: for stable solution, r
3
is positive). E liminating ?/o and r
3
components in (216) by using (22) and (26) gives
J ournal of Applied Mechanics
JUNE 1 9 7 1 / 469
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. 30 .32 34
FREQUENCY ~ a
Fig. 4 Detail of transition of SPH M 3
6.2  0.47^ 0:  K
M
3.75>!
2
+ J :
2.4(27fia + 9)
7f
2
a
= K
3
A
F
(27)
For t he small A
F
case, say A*. < 0.2, (22), (26), and (27) give
almost identical results for y
0
, n and r
s
as from (21a, 6, and c).
The numerical results of (22), (26) and (27) for n and r
8
corre
sponding to SPH M order 3 are shown in Fig. 3. They appear to
bifurcate from t he main SH M solution near where the "shifted
backbone curve order 3; " i.e., (26) intersects t he SH M solution.
The details of t he actual transition between these two solu
tions,  ri > \r
3
\ and r
3
 > \n\, can be found by solving (15)
numerically using a Newton iteration method, and are shown in
Fig. 4. [Note: (15) gives a very small r
2
component while not
affecting y
0
, r
h
and r
s
of (21). This negligible r
2
component is
not shown in t he figure.]
For t he f ^ 0 case t he complete seven equations have to be
solved. I n order to obtain t he solution of SPH M order 3, t he
critical damping ratio, f, must be very small [1, 13]. Similarly
(22), (26), and (27) give a good approximation for t he f < 0.001
case.
SPHM Order 2. For t he SPH M order 2 solution, one assumes
H fi ?
3
. Then, neglecting the n component and discard
ing t he associated equation (15d), leads to the equations
A
0
y
0
 pTaCWVi
2
= 0
Ain 3Kiayonr2 = K
3
A
F
Atf\  ^K
2
atj
0
ri
2
= 0
(28a)
(286)
(28c)
E quations (28a and c) can be rearranged as
K
ia
y
a
+ Kza (y
0
* + fn' yo + f^ S/o  f r A) = 0 (29)
(Kict  4)r
2
+ fX2a(4j/
0
2
)2 + 2n
2
r
2
+ r
2
3
 2y
0
n
2
) = 0 (30)
For \y
0
\ > \n\ 'i, t he boldfaced terms in (29) and (30) will
drop out leaving t he following two simple equations as
Ki 3
* '   *  2 *
KM  4 + 7f
2
a(42/
2
+ r
2
2
) = 0
Solving (31) and (32) will give
Ki 2(2K
1
a + 4)
y < >
2 =
~IF + ^
K
2
57t
2
a
(31)
(32)
(33)
r
2
2
=
4(2g
1
o: + 4)
157<:
2
a
(34)
E quat i on (34) is the "shifted backbone curve order 2, " which
shows t hat t he SPH M order 2 solution exists only for fl < 0.5.
Substituting (33) and (34) into (286) yields a simple equation in n
as (Note: for stable solution r
2
is negative)
2.2  0 . 4 *
i a
+ 47f
2
  ^ +
2 ( 2 K i a
+
4 ) n V 2
X
L K,
4(2K
ia
+ 4) T
/ !
5K
2
a
)T
[ =* ^f + *H
n
= K,A
F
(35)
For t he A
F
< 0.2 case, equations (33)(35) give a close result as
from (28).
The numerical results of (33)(35) are shown in Fig. 3. Bi
furcation from SH M solution is also seen. Near U = 0.5, t he
complete solution of (15) showed a transition to the SPH M order
2 solution similar to t hat given in Fig. 4 for the SPH M order 3
case. This solution of (15) now gives a very small )'
3
com
ponent, while not affecting y
0
, n and ?'
2
of (28). Also, equations
(33)(35) give a good approximation for small damping f < 0.001
present.
Exact Solution of Free Vibration. The freevibration solu
tion equation can be easily obtained from (13) and f
and n
2
a = Wi
2
, which gives
cPq
~ + tfiwrfy + Xj Oi V = 0
at'
0,A
t
(36)
Wi t h initial conditions taken as qi = q
u
, dqi/dt = 0 at t = 0, the
period, T, of a complete cycle is obtained from (36) as the elliptic
integral,
T = 2
J Ql
dqi
o>Mlu* ~ ?i
2
)[#i + 0.57C
2
(a
2
+ qS]\Y
h
(37)
The lower bound g, of t he integral is determined as the position
at which the value of t he square root in (37) becomes zero, i.e.,
the position at which dqi/dt = 0, q
t
= q
t
. For t he case of small
vibrations without snapthrough, t he lower bound, q is t aken to
be t he root of t he equation
K, + 0.5X
2
(a
u
2
+ q,
s
) = 0 (38)
470 / J U N E 1 9 7 1
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1 1 1 1 1 1
/
y?
^*^T* ' ' ^  wi t h snapt hrou gh
IT ** " "
"*


1
r^ r^ ^ wi t hou l snu p I hrou yli
i i i i i i
1 y 1 1
EXACT
APPROX.
'r
2
1 1 1








"
.6 .8 1.0 1.2
FREQUENCY ~ S I
F ig. 5 N onl i near natural frequency
1.8 2. 0
4J
2 KL
(39)
(Note: q, is taken to have t he same sign as q
u
.) Since t he
quant i t y in t he square root must be positive, free vibrations with
out snapthrough exist if and only if
(40)
For \q
u
\ > 2, free vibrations wi t h snapthrough will t ake place
and the lower bound q
t
in (37) becomes qi = q
u
which is the
root of g
2
 gi
2
= 0i n( 37) .
The numerical results of t he exact freevibration solutions are
shown in Fig. 5, plotted as 'i = 0.5(5 qi)\ versus fi = w/wi
where w = 2TT/T. Fig. 5 also shows t he approximate solution
for free vibrations without snapthrough as obtained from t he
"backbone curve" of (20). The approximate solution of free
vibrations with snapthrough can be obtained from (15) by
setting A
F
= y
0
= r
2
= 0 and neglecting r
3
component and its
associated equation (15rf) which gives
= 3 F
2
( f i 2
 ^
(41)
These results are also shown in Fig. 5. I t is seen t hat approxi
mat e solution is good for  n > 1.8.
A related free vibrations analysis is given by Eisley [14].
Stability Conditions
Stability of the FirstMode Solution. To investigate stability a
small variation ri from the periodic st at e of equilibrium is con
sidered. Substituting qi = qo + 17, where q
0
is the steadystate
solution (14) which satisfies (13) into (13) and keeping only first
order terms of 77 gives
 ^ 7 + 2nf V a ~ r + (.n*K
lCX
+ 3n'K
ia
q
a
')v = 0 (42)
dr
2
dr
Then, placing t he steadystate solution q
0
of (14) into (42) and
using new variable f = r / 2, will result in the extended form of the
MathieuHill equation
7 + 4 n r V  j r
dr
2
dr
0o + 2 J 2 (0, sin 2vf + d
cv
cos 2vt) 77 = 0 (43)
where 0
O
, #wi and di are functions of (1/0, x
u
y
u
xi, y% , x
3
, y
3
, a, Ki
and Ki).
Following the same procedures as in H ayashi [15], except here
more terms are involved for better accuracy [1, 13]. The dimen
sion of t he characteristic determinant is t aken as 7 X 7 for t he
even stability regions and 6 X 6 for t he odd stability regions.
For stable solutions t he two determinants
A
e
n
(0) .= (7 X 7\
Aodd(0) = 6 X 6
(44)
must bot h be greater t han zero.
The stability investigation showed t hat SH M solutions were
stable except in t he usual overhanging portion near ii = 1 and in
the vicinity of ft = 1/m, where m = 3/2, 2, 3 . . . . For t he small
f < 0.001 case, t he SPH M solutions, which bifurcated from t he
unstable SH M vicinities, were found to be stable up to large
amplitudes. The unstable solutions studied by this analysis are
plotted with dash lines in t he previous mentioned figures.
Stability of the SecondMode Solution. As mentioned in t he sec
tion, "Formulation and General Solution," to insure t he only
existence of the firstmode solution qi, t he secondmode solution
52 in (12) must not be parametrically excited by t he firstmode
oscillations. To investigate t he stability of q
2
in (12), one may
employ t he method used by Lock [5], in which qi is taken as an
infinitesimal variational variable. Substituting t he steady
st at e solution q
L
which satisfies (13) into (12) and neglecting
higherorder terms, q^, one obtains the same equation as (43)
with t he same time variable r, except here one has now
5.05
K
t
= 1.404
a
2
IU = 0.468
(45)
Then, t he stability criterion for g
2
is readily obtained by substi
tuting t he new variables of (45) into (43) and (44).
Numerical evaluations of these stability determinants, (44),
were carried out for t he SH M, SPH M order 3 and SPH M order 2
J ournal of Applied Mechanics J UNE 1 97 1 / 471
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1.0 
.t.e '
I
UJ
o
.61
1
1
'S
L;
L;
'\
L;
1 I 1 I I
. SHM Snop  through
 .  SPHM 2 Snap  through
0
 SPHM 3 Snap  through t::.

IL
:;:
<{
0'\
Snop  through
CJ
Z
U .41
0:
o
LL
.2 f
.2
No
O"i
Snop Ihrough
0
J I
.3 .4

/<.
L .1 I
'

.5 .6 ,7 .8 .9 1.0
FREQUENCY  fi
Fig.6 Snapthrough regions
1.7
A
F
=.025. Jl=.892, ,=.001
I.C.: Q
I
= 1.0 , Q
I
= 0
\
.7
f
1.5 11"
o 9 18 27 36 45 54 68
TIME  ... /3 (rods.)
Fig. 7 SHM snapthrough response
solutions. These were evalllated for the range Q < 1.2, hi < 0,4
and the initial static deflection variable a = 0.55,0. These
numerical results showed that unstable solution of q2 appeared
only when a > 2.0. For an experimental and theoretical cases
considered here, "a" was less than 2.0 and, hence, the second
mode did not play any role here. It is of interest to recall that,
at a = 2,25, the natural frequency of the first mode WI equals that
of the seeond mode W2; see Fig, 2,
Further details of these first and secondmode stability investi
gations are given in reference [13],
Snap Through Analysis
Numerical Analysis of Snapping Phenomenon. From the previous
stability analysis, one can find two stable steadystate solutions
for the buckled beam at frequencies just below Q = 11k, where
k = 1, 2, 3, ... etc. In reality the upper branch solution may not
be obtained due to the dynamic overshoot in the transient re
sponse, which causes the beam to snapthrough during its attempt
to achieve this upper branch solution. This snapping phe
nomenOl) generally occurs near jump points. To study this
phenomenon, one may solve (13) for the transient response
directly by numerical methods and observe when snapthrough
occurs. Accordingly, the RungeKutta numerical integration
472jJUNE1971
method was employed using a time increment I1r = 0.05 rad.
The calcullLtions were performed in t.he vicinity of jump points, a
damping ratio of about S = 0.001 was considered, and the follow
ing initial condition (Ie), corresponding to the beam at rest, was
employed:
1.0, 0; at r o (46)
The snapthrough regions are shown in Fig. 6, plotted as forcing
amplitude AF versus frequency Q. The snapthrough boundary
gives the frequency Q for which a given forcing amplitude AF
will first encounter snapthrough. It is noted that, in addition
to SHM snapthrough, there also occur snapthroughs of SPH]H
order 2 and 3.
Some typical snapthrough responses are shown in Figs. 7 and
8. For the SHM snapthrough, the predominant SHIH com
ponent before snapt.hrough is noted. Also, when AF < 0.02
approximately, no SUM snapthrough occurs and the upper
branch solution Can be obtained. For the SPH1'vI order 3 snap
through, the development of a significant SPHM order 3 com
ponent is clearly evident before snapthrough.
The pi'esence of small damping doesn't affect the SHM snap
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AF= . 9 , ft= .3l5 , = . 0 0 0 7
I .C . : q, = 1.0 , q, =0
27 36
T I M E ~ T / 3 (rods.)
F ig. 8 S PH M 3 snap through response
.6 .8 1.0
FREQUENCY ~ i l
F ig. 9 Overal l behavior of S H M solution
through, but it may inhibit t he SPH M order 3 snapthrough in
t he example shown in Fig. 8.
Continuous SHM SnapThrough. The preceding discussion related
to the first onset of snapthrough, and t he response was charac
terized by an intermittent snapping; see Figs. 7 and 8. This in
t ermi t t ent snapping also persists generally at higher forcing
amplitudes A
F
and higher frequencies Q. However, under cer
t ai n conditions, a welldefined continuous snapthrough behavior
may exist.
An approximate solution for continuous SH M snapthrough can
be obtained from (15) by setting J/
0
= ?'2 = 0 and neglecting the r
3
component and its associated (15d). This gives
(Kia  1 + fK
2
ari
2
)ri = K
3
A
F
(47)
Numerical results for this continuous SH M snapthrough solution
(47) are shown in Fig. 9, together with t he previous without snap
through solution (19). Only the stable branches of each solution
are shown. I t is noted t hat the condition \ri\ = i/
0
 acts as a
cutoff to the without snapthrough solution, since above this )'i,
the onesided vibrations spill over to t he other side and cause
snapthrough.
Some continuous SH M snapthrough responses were also ob
tained as before using the E unge Kut t a numerical integration
method and t he initial conditions of (46). A typical such re
sponse is given in reference [13] for the A
F
= 0.1, $] = 0.8 and
f = 0.001 case.
Ex periment
A spring steel beam with 18in. length and 0.021 in. X 0.5 in.
cross section was compressed to buckle with t he nondimensional
initial static deflection "a" approximately equal to 1.5. The
buckled beam then was rigidly clamped at bot h ends and mounted
J ournal of Applied Mechanics J UNE 1 97 1 / 473
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iPlj
ij
l i i i l
liilli!!!
gill!!
[iiiiiiiii^ iii
S h
I I HI
Hill
# 
M
H
ilfflfflfflmlft
fflfllfl
Hi
Hlfflj
I MBI
i * .
SPHM 3
SPHM Z
Fig. 1 0 Ex perimental SH M, SPH M response
(response cont nuej )
Fig. 1 1 Ex perimental freevibration response
on a shake table. Checking the symmetric property about the
straight beam position, it was found that the initial static deflec
tion "a" was equal on either side and so was the natural fre
quency, Wi, on either side. The critical damping ratio f was
found to be approximately 0.0007 from a transient decay test.
The table was oscillated over a frequency range from 250 cps.
The amplitude and frequency of the shake table were measured
using strain gages and the response of the beam was recorded by
a capacitor probe at the midpoint of the beam. A twochannel
Sanborn recorder was used to record the responses of the shake
table and the beam. Further details of the test setup are given in
reference [13].
The experimental points for linear natural frequency versus
initial static deflection "a" are shown in Fig. 2. No experimental
points with a > 2.0 were obtained due to the second mode be
coming unstable. The experimental points for nonlinear natural
frequency without and with snapthrough are plotted in Fig. 5,
where now Q = co/coi.
Some experimentally obtained points for the steadystate
SHM and SPHM responses are plotted in Fig. 3. Typical
records of these steadystate SHM and SPHM responses are
given in Fig. 10, where the top trace shows the beam response and
the lower trace shows the base motion. Fig. 11 shows an experi
mental record of freevibration response of the beam. The
transition from the hard spring behavior with snapthrough to the
soft spring behavior without snapthrough is readily apparent
474 / J U N E 19 7 1
Transactions of the ASME
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! !
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= iil!iiiiii
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i'f.p
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Hi!;;; j j i .
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i i i i i i i i i
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i l : l ! ! i ; i
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l l l pi i
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MTH i rr M:!
ill'iSI Iill
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/ l i l l ^ I
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i l l i!
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i t i ^ i
silt If
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Fi g. 12 Ex per i ment al SHM snap t hr ou gh
Fi g. 13 Ex per i ment al SPHM 3 snap t hr ou gh
^ o
I
m
if!
n n H ' i i
yd. = .023" . 03, =/ro OJ F = /O.?
/ j ^ i = .0045"
l l
fl
\AA/VVVVV\AAAAAAAAAAAAAAA/W VVVVW \/VV\AA
'iti
I sec
Fi g. 14 Ex peri ment al cont i nu ou s SHM snap t hr ou gh
J ournal of Applied Mechanics
JUNE 1 9 7 1 / 475
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(recall Fig. 5). Some experimental points for t he SH M and
SPH M snapthrough boundaries are shown in Fig. 6. Typical
records of t he SH M snapthrough, SPH M order 3 snapthrough,
and continuous SH M snapthrough are given in Figs. 1214, re
spectively.
Conclusions
1 The buckled beam displays a soff^ springtype behavior at
small amplitudes before snappingthrough, and a hardspring
t ype behavior after snappingthrough.
2 For small amplitudes without snapthrough, there exist in
addition to t he conventional SH M solution, other solutions of
SPH M order k = 2, 3, . . . . These solutions give SPH M com
ponent amplitudes near the "shifted backbone curve order k,"
i.e., replacing 12 by kQ in the basic backbone curve n
2
= i(2Ki
+ S2
2
)/15K
2
. For smaD A
F
and very small damping, all these
additional solutions are dominated by the SPH M components and
tend t o have t he system oscillate near its own nat ural frequency
0)i. For large A
F
these additional solutions involve substantial
forcing frequency components as well as the SPH M components.
3 These solutions of SPH M are stable. They seem to bi
furcate from the SH M solution near where the shifted backbone
curve intersects the SH M solution. For small A
F
, these bifurca
tion points would be near Q = l/k. The SH M solution itself is
unstable near these bifurcation points.
4 Multiple solutions may exist at a fixed 12 depending on the
initial conditions.
5 Onemode approximation is good for initial static deflection,
a < 2.0 and 12 < 1. Second mode must be included for a > 2.0
case, since it may be parametrically excited by t he firstmode
oscillations at 12 < 1.
6 Linear nat ural frequency coi is linearly proportional to the
initial static deflection, a, with coi = 0 at o = 0 and on = a)
2
at
a = 2.25.
7 The steadystate solution is valid for the maximum response
amplitude to be less t han 0.4 approximately.
8 Dynami c overshoot in t he transient period will cause the
beam to snapthrough. The snapping phenomenon generally
occurs at j ump points of SH M and SPH M solutions.
9 The snapthrough behavior is usually intermittent. Under
certain conditions a welldefined continuous SH M snapthrough
exists.
10 The theoretical analysis agrees well with t he experiment.
11 The present investigation has attempted to show the im
portance of superharmonics and snapthrough in understanding
the vibration behavior of buckled beams. The techniques and
the results here can be extended to plates, curved panels, and
shells in order to better understand their vibration behavior.
References
1 Tseng, W. Y., and Dugundji, J., "Nonlinear Vibrations of a
Beam Under Harmonic Excitation," JOURNAL or APPLI E D MECHANI CS
Vol. 37, No. 2, TRANS. ASME , Vol. 92, Series E , June 1970, pp. 292
297.
2 Bolotin, V. V., Dynamic Stability of Elastic Systems, Holden
Day I nc., San Francisco, Calif., 1964.
3 Herrmann, G.
t
"Dynamic Stability of Structures," Proceedings
of the International Conference, Northwestern University, Evanston,
111., October 1820, 1965; Pergamon Press, 1967.
4 Humphreys, J. S., "Dynamic Snap Buckling of Shallow
Arches," AIAA J ournal, May 1966, pp. 878886.
5 Lock, M. H., "Snapping of a Shallow Sinusoidal Arch Under a
Step Pressure Load," AIAA J ournal, July 1966, pp. 12491256.
6 Humphreys, J. S., "The Adequacy of Energy Criterion for Dy
namic Buckling," AIAA J ournal, May 1966, pp. 921923.
7 Gjelsvik, A., and Bodner, S. R., "The Energy Criterion and
SnapBuckling of Arches,'' J ournal of Engineering Mechanics Division,
ASCE, Oct. 1962, pp. 89134.
8 Mettler, E., "Stability and Vibration Problems of Mechanical
Systems Under Harmonic Excitation," Dynamics Stability of Struc
tures, Proceedings of the International Conference, Northwestern Uni
versity, Evanston, 111., Oct. 1965; Pergamon Press, 1967, pp. 169188.
9 Anderson, D. L., and Lindberg, H. E., "Dynamic Pulse
Buckling of Cylindrical Shells Under Transient Lateral Pressures,"
AIAA J ournal, Apr. 1968, pp. 589598.
10 Navaratna, D. R,, Pian, T. H . H., and Witmer, E . A., "Stabil
ity Analysis of Shells of Revolution by the Finite Element Method,"
AIAA J ournal, Feb. 1968, pp. 355361.
11 Budiansky, B., and Roth, R. S., "Axisymmetric Dynamic
Buckling of Clamped Shallow Spherical Shells,'' Collected Papers on
Instability of Shell Structures 1962, NASA Langley Research Center
TND1510, Dec. 1962.
12 Goodier, J. N., and Mclvor, I . J., "The Elastic Cylindrical
Shell Under Nearly Uniform Radial I mpulse," JOURNAL OF APPLI E D
MECHANI CS, Vol. 3, TRANS. ASME, Vol. 86, Series E, 1964, pp. 259
266.
13 Tseng, W. Y., "Nonlinear Vibrations of Straight and Buckled
Beams Under Harmonic Excitation," M.I .T., Aeroelastic and Struc
tures Research Lab. Report TR 1591, Air Force Office of Scientific
Research, AFOSR 692157 TR, Nov. 1969; also written under same
title as PhD thesis, M.I .T., Department of Aeronautics and Astro
nautics, Nov. 1969.
14 Eisley, J. G., "Large Amplitude Vibration of Buckled Beams
and Rectangular Plates," AIAA J ournal, Dec. 1964, pp. 22072209.
15 Hayashi, C, Nonlinear Oscillations in Physical Systems, Mc
GrawHill, New York, 1964.
476 / J U N E 1 9 7 1 Transactions of the AS ME
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