Multi-degree-of-freedom systems with a Coulomb friction contact: Analytical boundaries of motion regimes

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This paper proposes an approach for the determination of the analytical boundaries of continuous, stick-slip and no motion regimes for the steady-state response of a multi-degree-of-freedom (MDOF) system with a single Coulomb contact to harmonic excitation. While these boundaries have been previously investigated for single-degree-of-freedom (SDOF) systems, they are mostly unexplored for MDOF systems. Closed-form expressions of the boundaries of motion regimes are derived and validated numerically for two-degree-of-freedom (2DOF) systems. Different configurations are observed by changing the mass in contact and by connecting the rubbing wall to: (i) the ground, (ii) the base or (iii) the other mass. A procedure for extending these results to systems with more than 2DOFs is also proposed for (i)–(ii) and validated numerically in the case of a 5DOF system with a ground-fixed contact. The boundary between continuous and stick-slip regimes is obtained as an extension of Den Hartog’s formulation for SDOF systems with Coulomb damping (Trans Am Soc Mech Eng 53: 107–115, 1931). The boundary between motion and no motion regimes is derived with an ad hoc procedure, based on the comparison between the overall dynamic load and the friction force acting on the mass in contact. The boundaries are finally represented in a two-dimensional parameter space, showing that the shape and the extension of the regions associated with the three motion regimes can change significantly when different physical parameters and contact configurations are considered.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)35-63
Number of pages29
JournalNonlinear Dynamics
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2021

Bibliographical note

Correction DOI: 10.1007/s11071-021-06366-7


  • Base motion
  • Coulomb damping
  • Friction
  • Joined base-wall motion
  • Motion regimes
  • Multi-degree of freedom
  • Stick-slip


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