Exploring the Dynamics of Base-Excited Structures Impacting a Rigid Stop
This paper explores the nonlinear dynamics of a multidegree of freedom (MDoF) structure impacting a rigid stop. The contact mechanics is simplified by continuous sigmoid function idealisation of a lossless spring. By introducing a smooth nonlinear formulation, we avoid the computational expense of event-driven, piecewise, nonsmooth dynamics. A large parametric study using high-performance computing is undertaken. The nondimensional equations of motion suggest one primary structural parameter, contact-to-storey stiffness ratio, and two excitation parameters, nondimensional ground amplitude and frequency. Bifurcation plots indicate an extremely rich and complex behaviour, particularly in the cases where at least two-floor degrees of freedom (DoFs) impact the stop and when the contact-to-storey stiffness ratio is large. When considering interstorey drift as a performance measure, period-1 impacting solutions are generally favourable when compared to an analogous nonimpacting case. This paper also discusses whether chaotic impacting can be favourable. Finally, we consider the question of whether higher modes are significantly excited, at a linear resonance, for impacting solutions to this system.