Date of Award

Summer 2016

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering

Committee Director

Onur Bilgen

Committee Member

Sebastian Y. Bawab

Committee Member

Mounir Laroussi

Committee Member

Dipankar Ghosh


Bistable structures have two stable equilibrium positions and can be utilized to maintain a specific static shape with no energy consumption. This dissertation focuses on the minimum required energy for performing snap-through of a bistable structure. Snap-through is the motion of a bistable structure from one stable equilibrium position to the other. This research uses the Duffing-Holmes equation as a one-degree-of-freedom representative model of a bistable structure, and this nonlinear equation is solved to calculate the required energy for cross-well oscillation. The research identifies several unique features of the response of a bistable system subjected to force and energy constraints. The research also shows how the required energy for cross-well oscillation varies as a function of damping ratio, frequency ratio, and for different values of excitation force amplitudes. The response of the bistable system is compared to a mono-stable linear system with the same parameters. A magneto-elastic bistable beam was fabricated and tested to validate theoretical predictions.


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