Geometric singular perturbation analysis of systems with friction

Elena Bossolini

Research output: Book/ReportPh.D. thesis

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This thesis is concerned with the application of geometric singular perturbation theory to mechanical systems with friction. The mathematical background on geometric singular perturbation theory, on the blow-up method, on non-smooth dynamical systems and on regularization is presented. Thereafter, two mechanical problems with two different formulations of the friction force are introduced and analysed. The first mechanical problem is a one-dimensional spring-block model describing earthquake faulting. The dynamics of earthquakes is naturally a multiple timescale problem: the timescale of earthquake ruptures is very short, when compared to the time interval between two consecutive ruptures. We identify a small parameter ε that describes the separation between the timescales, so that ε = 0 idealises the complete timescale separation. Earthquake faulting problems also have multiple spatial scales. The action of friction is generally explained as the loss and restoration of linkages between the surface asperities at the molecular scale. However, the consequences of friction are noticeable at much larger scales, like hundreds of kilometers. By using geometric singular perturbation theory and the blow-up method, we provide a detailed description of the periodicity of the earthquake episodes. In particular, we show that attracting limit cycles arise from a degenerate Hopf bifurcation, whose degeneracy is due to an underlying Hamiltonian structure that leads to large amplitude oscillations. We use a Poincaré compactification to study the system near infinity. At infinity, the critical manifold loses hyperbolicity with an exponential rate. We use an adaptation of the blow-up method to recover the hyperbolicity. This enables the identification of a new attracting manifold, that organises the dynamics at infinity for ε = 0. This in turn leads to the formulation of a conjecture on the behaviour of the limit cycles as the timescale separation increases for 0 < ε 1. We illustrate our findings with numerics, and outline the proof of the conjecture. We also discuss how our results can be used to study a similar class of problems. The second mechanical problem is a friction oscillator subject to stiction. The vector field of this discontinuous model does not follow the Filippov convention, and the concept of Filippov solutions cannot be used. Furthermore, some Carathéodory solutions are unphysical. Therefore, we introduce the concept of stiction solutions: these are the Carathéodory solutions that are physically relevant, i.e. the ones that follow the stiction law. However, we find that some of the stiction solutions are forward non-unique in subregions of the slip onset. We call these solutions singular, in contrast to the regular stiction solutions that are forward unique. In order to further the understanding of the non-unique dynamics, we introduce a regularization of the model. This gives a singularly perturbed problem that captures the main features of the original discontinuous problem. We identify a repelling slow manifold that separates the forward slipping to forward sticking solutions, leading to a high sensitivity to the initial conditions. On this slow manifold we find canard trajectories, that have the physical interpretation of delaying the slip onset. We show numerically that the regularized problem has a family of periodic orbits interacting with the canards. We observe that this family is unstable of saddle type and that it connects, in the rigid body limit, the two regular, slip-stick branches of the discontinuous problem, that were otherwise disconnected.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherDTU Compute
Number of pages146
Publication statusPublished - 2018
SeriesDTU Compute PHD-2017

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