Wave dispersion in periodic post-buckled structures
Wave propagation in pinned-supported, post-buckled beams can be described with the Korteweg de Vries (KdV) equation. Finite-element simulations however show that the KdV is applicable only to post-buckled beams with strong pre-compression. For weak and moderate pre-stress, a dispersive front is present and it is the aim of the current paper to analyze sources of dispersion beyond periodicity given three support types: guided, pinned, and free. Bloch theorem and a transfer-matrix method are employed to obtain numerical dispersion relations and characteristic wave modes, which are used to analyze the effects of pre-stress, initial curvature, and the influence of support types. Additionally, a new method is proposed to obtain a semi-analytical dispersion equation for the acoustic branch. Powers of frequency and the propagation constant are explicitly expressed and their coefficients are based on stiffness and mass-matrix components obtained from finite elements. This allows a physical interpretation of the dispersion sources, based on which, equivalent mass-spring models of post-buckled beam are proposed. It is found that mass and stiffness coupling are significant dispersion sources. In the present paper, a reduced form of Bloch theorem is presented exploiting glide-reflection symmetries, reducing the size of the unit cell and allowing an easier representation and interpretation of results.