This paper presents an experimental analysis of the dynamic response of bistable composite laminates that are harmonically excited. Bistable composite laminates are unsymmetric thin laminates that possess two self-equilibrated positions at room temperature. The resonant frequencies of bending under small harmonic excitations have been identified to serve as natural frequencies of the underlying linear system. Amplitude sweep and frequency sweep have been performed and the plate’s dynamics has been identified and analyzed. Four-ply and eight-ply laminates have been tested and showed similar behavior. The main conclusion is that when the cross-ply bistable laminates are harmonically excited and either the excitation amplitude or resonant frequency is varied, the single-well dynamic response experiences a period-doubling bifurcation and a cross-well harmonic response is obtained. Chaotic cross-well response was also identified.

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