The 3D dynamics of a cantilever beam undergoing large displacements under a sinusoidally varying, concentrated, vertical force at its free end are analyzed in this paper. The Partial Differential Equations (PDEs) of the motion are obtained by using the Principle of Virtual Power. Then a reduced 4 degrees-of-freedom model is obtained using, in a Galerkin approximation, four eigenfunctions of the linearized model. The obtained four Ordinary Differential Equations (ODEs) of the motion are expanded by means of a 3rd order Multiple Time Scales perturbation technique to obtain Amplitude and Phase Modulation Equations (APMEs). The role of the inertial-elastic nonlinear terms, responsible for the coupling of the mass matrix, and of the viscous-elastic nonlinear terms, both usually neglected in the literature, is discussed. A path following procedure applied to the APMEs is used to describe the global dynamical behavior in the plane of the excitation control parameters. The results obtained using the 4 d.o.f. analytical model are compared with those of an experimental aluminium model of the cantilever. The regions of instability of the 1-modal planar solution, in which the nonlinear modal coupling excites out of plane and/or torsional components, are studied.

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