The nonlinear analysis of a common beam system was performed, and the method for such, outlined and presented. Nonlinear terms for the governing dynamic equations were extracted and the behaviour of the system was investigated. The analysis was carried out with and without physically realistic parameters, to show the characteristics of the system, and the physically realistic responses. Also, the response as part of a more complex system was considered, in order to investigate the cumulative effects of nonlinearities.
Chaos, as well as periodic motion was found readily for the physically unrealistic parameters. In addition, nonlinear behaviour such as co-existence of attractors was found even at modest oscillation levels during investigations with realistic parameters. When considered as part of a more complex system with further nonlinearities, comparisons with linear beam theory show the classical approach to be lacking in accuracy of qualitative predictions, even at weak oscillations. (C) 2004 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.