Nonlinear flexural response of a slender cantilever beam of constant thickness and linearly-varying width to a primary resonance excitation

Clodoaldo J. Silva, Mohammed F. Daqaq

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Despite the shear amount of research studies on nonlinear flexural dynamics of cantilever beams, very few efforts address the practical geometry involving a constant thickness and linearly-varying width. This stems from the nature of the associated linear eigenvalue problem which cannot be easily solved in closed form. In this paper, we present a closed-form solution to this particular linear eigenvalue problem in the form of a general Meijer-G differential equation for which a solution is readily available in the shape of the Meijer-G functions. Using this approach, the exact linear modal frequencies and shapes are obtained and used in the discretization of the nonlinear partial-differential equation describing the dynamics of the system. The discretized system of ordinary-differential equations is then solved using the method of multiple scales to obtain an approximate analytical solution describing the primary resonance behavior of a given vibration mode. An analytical expression for the modal effective nonlinearity is obtained and used to analyze the influence of the beam's tapering on the nonlinear primary resonance behavior of the response (softening/hardening). Results are then compared to a finite element (FE) solution of the linear eigenvalue problem in which the modal shapes obtained using the FE method are fit into a set of orthogonal polynomial functions and used to discretize the nonlinear problem. It is shown that, while the modal frequencies obtained using the FE method approximate those obtained analytically with negligible error (less than 1%), there is a substantial error in the resulting estimates of the modal effective nonlinearity. This indicates that, even negligible errors in the approximate solution of the linear problem, can propagate to become significant when analyzing the nonlinear problem further reinforcing the importance of the exact solution.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)438-453
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Sound and Vibration
StatePublished - Feb 17 2017


  • Effective nonlinearity
  • Exact solution
  • Meijer-G function
  • Tapered beams

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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