Nonlinear dynamics of uniformly loaded Elastica: Experimental and numerical evidence of motion around curled stable equilibrium configurations

Djebar Baroudi, Ivan Giorgio, Antonio Battista, Emilio Turco, Leonid A. Igumnov

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34 Citations (Scopus)
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It has been numerically observed and mathematically proven that for a clamped Euler’s Elastica, which is uniformly loaded, there exist, in large deformations, some ‘undocumented’ equilibrium configurations which resemble a curled pending wire. Even if Elastica is one of the most studied model in mathematical physics, we could not find in the literature any description of an equilibrium like the one whose existence was forecast theoretically in [36].

In this paper, we prove that this kind of equilibrium configurations can be actually observed experimentally when using ‘soft’ beams. We mean with soft beams: Elasticae whose ratio between the applied load intensity and the bending stiffness is large enough. Moreover, we prove experimentally that such equilibrium configurations are actually stable, by observing their oscillations around the considered nonstandard equilibrium configuration.

To describe theoretically such oscillations we consider, instead of a ‘soft’ Elastica model, directly a Hencky-type discrete model, i.e. a ‘masses-springs’ finite dimensional Lagrangian model. In this way we formulate, avoiding the use of an intermediate continuum model, a model for which numerical simulations can be performed without the introduction of any further discretization. In this way, we can also predict quantitatively the motions of soft beams, in the regime of large displacements and deformations. Postponing to future investigations more careful quantitative measurements, we report here that it was possible to get a rather promising qualitative agreement between observed motions and predictive numerical simulations.
Original languageEnglish
Article number201800121
Number of pages20
Issue number7
Early online date26 Apr 2019
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2019
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • discrete modelling
  • Hencky bar-chain
  • nonlinear beam


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