Euler-Bernoulli beams with contact forces: existence, uniqueness, and numerical solutions

by   Mohamed A. Serry, et al.

In this paper, we investigate the Euler-Bernoulli fourth-order boundary value problem (BVP) w^(4)=f(x,w), x∈a,b, with specified values of w and w” at the end points, where the behaviour of the right-hand side f is motivated by biomechanical, electromechanical, and structural applications incorporating contact forces. In particular, we consider the case when f is bounded above and monotonically decreasing with respect to its second argument. First, we prove the existence and uniqueness of solutions to the BVP. We then study numerical solutions to the BVP, where we resort to spatial discretization by means of finite difference. Similar to the original continuous-space problem, the discrete problem always possesses a unique solution. In the case of a piecewise linear instance of f, the discrete problem is an example of the absolute value equation. We show that solutions to this absolute value equation can be obtained by means of fixed-point iterations, and that solutions to the absolute value equation converge to solutions of the continuous BVP. We also illustrate the performance of the fixed-point iterations through a numerical example.


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