A symmetrically piecewise linear oscillator: design and measurement

V W T Sin, M Wiercigroch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

19 Citations (Scopus)


A simple piecewise linear system with symmetrical flexible constraints was designed and manufactured to carry out a wide range of experimental dynamic analysis and ultimately to validate piecewise models. The design choice was based on the following criteria: accuracy in representing the mathematical model, manufacturing simplicity, flexibility in terms of parameter changes and cost effectiveness. The system consists of a block mass attached to two leaf springs, the stiffness of which can easily be varied by changing their length. The secondary stiffness in the form of cantilever beams can be widely varied in the same way. The clearance between the mass and secondary springs can also be varied by adjusting the screws at the ends of the beams. A variable pneumatic damper is mounted on the upper surface of the mass and provides a means of changing the viscous damping coefficient. The experimental set-up, calibration procedures and typical results are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)241-249
Number of pages9
JournalProceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers - Part C: Journal of Mechanical Engineering Science
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 1999


  • piecewise oscillator
  • non-linear dynamics design
  • measurements


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