Piezocomposite beams are often modeled using linear constitutive equations describing the electromechanical coupling of the material. In nearly all experimental identification processes, nonlinearities in these equations are ignored, which can lead to significant errors in the identified models. Following a common practice in the literature, a piezocomposite cantilever beam is modeled as a single degree of freedom system, with strain induced harmonic excitation governed by linear piezoelectric constitutive relationships. The validity of the linear property assumptions is investigated. It is experimentally demonstrated that the relationship between input and response of the beam is significantly nonlinear. The impact of this nonlinear behavior on the parameter identification of the system is shown for three different testing methods, (1) Open Loop Excitation, (2) Constant Input, and (3) Constant Response. For each method, the command amplitude is varied which yields different parameter estimates for the single degree of freedom beam model. These results demonstrate that the assumed linear constitutive relationships lead to parameter estimates which are only accurate for the specific testing method and the specific commanded input or response amplitude, even under highly controlled testing procedures. The paper concludes with comments on the system identification of a single degree of freedom model given this nonlinear system behavior.

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