Impacting systems are found in a great variety of mechanical constructions and they are intrinsically nonlinear. In this paper it is shown how near-grazing systems, i.e. systems in which the impacts take place at low speed, can be described by discrete mappings. The derivation of this mapping for a harmonic oscillator with a stop is dealt with in detail. It is found that the resulting mapping for rigid obstacles is somewhat different from those presented earlier in the literature. The derivations are extended to systems with a compliant obstacle. We find that the map for impacts with a compliant obstacle is very similar to the one describing collisions with a rigid obstacle. A notable difference is a change of scale of the bifurcation parameter. We illustrate our findings in the limit of large damping, where the mechanism of period adding can be analysed exactly. The relevance of our results to experiments on practical impact systems is indicated.
- border-collision bifurcations
- atomic-force microscopy