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Shock and Vibration
Volume 17 (2010), Issue 4-5, Pages 397-405

Eigenpath Following for Systems with Symmetric Complex-Valued Stiffness Matrices

U. Miller, S. Bograd, A. Schmidt, and L. Gaul

Institute of Applied and Experimental Mechanics, University of Stuttgart, Pfaffenwaldring 9, 70550 Stuttgart, Germany

Received 17 June 2010; Accepted 17 June 2010

Copyright © 2010 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


A vibration analysis of a structure with joints is performed. The simulation is conducted with finite element software capable of performing a numeric modal analysis with hysteretic damping assumption. The joints are modeled with thin layer elements, representing dissipation and stiffness of the joints. The matrices describing the system consist of the mass, as well as real and complex-valued stiffness matrices. If the eigenvalues of this system are found in one step, due to the mode crossing occurring for the closely spaced modes, it is difficult and time consuming to assign calculated modal damping factors to the corresponding undamped eigenvalues. In order to avoid this problem, an eigenvalue following method is used. The outcome of the solution is the graphical presentation of continuous eigenvalue paths, showing the change in the eigenvalues from the undamped to the fully damped case. For every undamped eigenvalue exists its equivalent eigenfrequency and damping factor that can be used for further numerical analysis.

In scope of this article a Predictor-Corrector and a Rayleigh-Quotient Iteration algorithms are applied to the problem. The algorithms are tested specifically on the type of matrices resulting from the weakly damped hysteretic formulation arising from the simulation of metallic structures with joints.