Space-time perturbation modes for non-linear dynamic analysis of beams

Olivier Bauchau, Carlo Bottasso

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


In this work an attempt is made at bridging the powerful perturbation methods of analytical dynamics to the versatile finite element techniques which can readily handle arbitrarily complex structures. The proposed analysis methodology has two distinguishing features. First, a space-time finite element formulation is used, and hence the concept of modes is here naturally extended to that of space-time modes, where the time dependency is implied in the assumed modes. As a result, the partial differential equations of motion are directly reduced to purely algebraic non-linear simultaneous equations. Second, perturbation modes, rather than the usual vibration mode shapes are used and shown to be an appropriate basis for non-linear dynamic analysis. These modes bring information about the non-linearities of the system through the higher order derivatives of the strain and kinetic energies. The procedure is illustrated on non-linear beam problems and the results are compared with those of a full finite element model, i.e., when all the degrees of freedom are considered, as well as with analytical results, when available.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)21-35
Number of pages15
JournalNonlinear Dynamics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 1994
Externally publishedYes


  • Beams
  • non-linear dynamics
  • perturbation modes


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