Refined Analytical Approximations to Limit Cycles for Non-Linear Multi-Degree-of-Freedom Systems

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This paper presents analytical higher order approximations to limit cycles of an autonomous multi-degree-of-freedom system based on an integro-differential equation method for obtaining periodic solutions to nonlinear differential equations. The stability of the limit cycles obtained was then investigated using a method for carrying out Floquet analysis based on developments to extensions of the method for solving Hill's Determinant arising in analysing the Mathieu equation, which have previously been reported in the literature. The results of the Floquet analysis, together with the limit cycle predictions, have then been used to provide some estimates of points on the boundary of the domain of attraction of stable equilibrium points arising from a sub-critical Hopf bifurcation. This was achieved by producing a local approximation to the stable manifold of the unstable limit cycle that occurs. The integro-differential equation to be solved for the limit cycles involves no approximations. These only arise through the iterative approach adopted for its solution in which the first approximation is that which would be obtained from the harmonic balance method using only fundamental frequency terms. The higher order approximations are shown to give significantly improved predictions for the limit cycles for the cases considered. The Floquet analysis based approach to predicting the boundary of domains of attraction met with some success for conditions just following a sub-critical Hopf bifurcation. Although this study has focussed on cubic non-linearities, the method presented here could equally be used to refine limit cycle predictions for other non-linearity types.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberNLM_3132
Pages (from-to)58-68
Number of pages11
JournalInternational Journal of Non-Linear Mechanics
Early online date7 Jan 2019
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2019


  • Floquet analysis
  • Limit cycle oscillations
  • Stability domains


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