Wave propagation in periodic buckled beams

Folding of the earth's crust, wrinkling of the skin, rippling of fruits, vegetables and leaves are all examples of natural structures that can have periodic buckling. Periodic buckling is also present in engineering structures such as compressed lattices, cylinders, thin films, stretchable electronics, tissues, etc., and the question is to understand how wave propagation is affected by such media. These structures possess geometrical nonlinearities and intrinsic dispersive sources, two conditions which are necessary to the formation of stable, nonlinear waves called solitary waves. These waves are particular since dispersive effects are balanced by nonlinear ones, such that the wave characteristics remain constant during the propagation, without any decay or modification in the shape. It is the goal of this thesis to demonstrate that solitary waves can propagate in periodic buckled structures. This manuscript focuses specifically on periodically buckled beams that require either guided or pinned supports for stability purposes. Buckling is initially considered statically and investigations are made on stability, role played by imperfections, shape of the deflection, etc. Linear dispersion is analyzed employing the semi-analytical dispersion equation, a new method that relates the frequency explicitly to the propagation constant of the acoustic branch. This allows the quantification of the different dispersive sources and it is found that in addition to periodicity, transverse inertial and coupling effects are playing a dominant role. Modeling the system by a mass-spring chain that accounts for additional dispersive sources, homogenization and asymptotic procedures lead to the double-dispersion Boussinesq equation. Varying the pre-compression level and the support type, the main result of this thesis is to show that four different waves are possible, namely compressive supersonic, rarefaction (tension) supersonic, compressive subsonic and rarefaction subsonic solitary waves. For high-amplitude waves, models based on strongly-nonlinear PDEs as the one modeling wave propagation in granular media (Hertz power law) are more appropriate and adaptation of existing work is done. Analytical model results are then compared to finite-element simulations of the structure and experiments, and are found in excellent agreement. In this thesis, in addition to the semi-analytical dispersion equation, two other new methods are proposed. For periodic structures by translation with additional glide symmetries (e.g. buckled beams), Bloch theorem is revisited and allows the use of a smaller unit cell. Advantages are dispersion curves easier to interpret and computational cost reduced. Finally, the last contribution of this thesis is the use of NURBS-based isogeometric analysis (IGA) to solve the extensible-elastica problem requiring at least C1-continuous basis functions, which was not possible before with classical finite-element methods. The formulation is found efficient to solve dynamic problems involving slender beams as buckling.

Curtin, William
Lausanne, EPFL
Other identifiers:
urn: urn:nbn:ch:bel-epfl-thesis6845-0

 Record created 2015-12-14, last modified 2018-03-17

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