Low-frequency wave propagation in post-buckled structures
Nonlinear wave propagation in solids and material structures provides a physical basis to derive nonlinear canonical equations which govern disparate phenomena such as vortex filaments, plasma waves, and traveling loops. Nonlinear waves in solids however remain a challenging proposition since nonlinearity is often associated with irreversible processes, such as plastic deformations. Finite deformations, also a source of nonlinearity, may be reversible as for hyperelastic materials. In this work, we consider geometric bucking as a source of reversible nonlinear behavior. Namely, we investigate wave propagation in initially compressed and post-buckled structures with linear-elastic material behavior. Such structures present both intrinsic dispersion, due to buckling wavelengths, and nonlinear behavior. We find that dispersion is strongly dependent on pre-compression and we compute waves with a dispersive front or tail. In the case of post-buckled structures with large initial pre-compression, we find that wave propagation is well described by the KdV equation. We employ finite-element, difference-differential, and analytical models to support our conclusions.