We consider the dynamic response of a single degree of freedom system with preloaded, or “setup,” springs. This is a simple model for systems where preload is used to suppress vibrations. The springs are taken to be linear and harmonic excitation is applied; damping is assumed to be of linear viscous type. Using the piecewise linear features of the model equations we determine the amplitude and stability of the periodic responses and carry out a bifurcation analysis for these motions. Some parameter regions which contain no simple stable periodic motions are shown to possess chaotic motions.

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