Many continuous systems can be approximated by periodic structures where periodic structures are structures consisting of identical substructures, connected to each other in identical manner. An efficient algorithm developed by these authors for the response of periodic structures is adapted to the treatment of continuous systems. The method is capable of deriving the response of damped or undamped systems subject to harmonic distributed loads. The length of the substructure can be made arbitrarily small without increasing the computational effort. Furthermore, the number of degrees of freedom of the substructure can be reasonably large.

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