Parametric vibrations occur in many mechanical systems such as gears where the stiffness variation and external excitations generally occur at integer multiples of the rotational speed. This paper describes a procedure based on the Ritz Averaging Method for developing closed form solutions for the response of such systems to harmonic excitations. Although the method is illustrated in the paper by the case of a linear system with harmonic stiffness fluctuation (defined by Mathieu’s equation) it can be readily applied to determine approximate solutions for systems with nonlinear characteristics and any periodic variations of parameters.

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