Dynamic response of multi-degree-of-freedom systems with a Coulomb friction contact under harmonic excitation

Luca Marino*, Alice Cicirello

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
35 Downloads (Pure)


This paper investigates the steady-state response of a harmonically excited multi-degree-of-freedom (MDOF) system with a Coulomb contact between: (1) a mass and a fixed wall; (2) two different masses; (3) a mass and an oscillating base. Although discrete MDOF models are commonly used at early design stages to analyse the dynamic performances of engineering structures, the current understanding of the friction damping effects on MDOF behaviour is still limited due to the absence of analytical solutions. In this contribution, closed-form expressions of the continuous time response, the displacement transmissibility and the phase angle of each mass of the system are derived and validated numerically for 2DOF and 5DOF systems. Moreover, the features of the analytical response are investigated, obtaining the following results: (i) the determination of the minimum amounts of friction for which the resonant peaks become finite and (ii) for which stick-slip motion can be observed at high frequencies; (iii) an equation for the evaluation of invariant points for the displacement transmissibilities; (iv) a better understanding of phenomena such as the inversions of the transmissibility curves and the onset of additional resonant peaks due to the permanent sticking of the mass in contact. All these results show that MDOF systems exhibit significantly different dynamic behaviours depending on whether the friction contact and the harmonic excitation are applied to the same or different masses.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1675-1709
Number of pages35
JournalNonlinear Dynamics
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • Coulomb damping
  • Displacement transmissibility
  • Finite resonance
  • Invariant points
  • Response features
  • Stick-slip


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