An analytical model of the post-buckling behavior of a beam under contact constraints was derived. Experiments were carried out in order to characterize the various phenomenon involved in the problem. Two experiments with symmetric response with various contact surface and initial imperfection, and one experiment of asymmetric behavior were chosen for validation of the analytical results. The theory is based on a nonlinear kinematic approach and on the moving boundary procedure. The nonlinear equations are derived by the variational principle and solved through truncated approximating functions. A modification of an “arc-length” procedure was developed for solving the equation which incorporates the snapping effect. A comprehensive parametric study of the dominant parameters (distance between the beam and the contact surface, initial imperfections, contact location, magnitude of the contact forces, etc.) is carried out through numerical examples. Very good agreement with experimental results for the various phenomena involved in the problem was obtained for a clamped beam.

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