The present study generalises previous research work on the dynamics of discrete oscillators with piecewise linear characteristics and investigates the response of a continuous model system with clearance and motion-limiting constraints. More specifically, in the first part of this work, an analysis is presented for determining exact periodic response of a periodically excited deformable rod, whose motion is constrained by a flexible obstacle. This methodology is based on the exact solution form obtained within response intervals where the system parameters remain constant and its behavior is governed by a linear equation of motion. The unknowns of the problem are subsequently determined by imposing an appropriate set of periodicity and matching conditions. The analytical part is complemented by a suitable method for determining the stability properties of the located periodic motions. In the second part of the study, the analysis is applied to several cases in order to investigate the effect of the system parameters on its dynamics. Special emphasis is placed on comparing these results with results obtained for similar but rigid rods. Finally, direct integration of the equation of motion in selected areas reveals the existence of motions, which are more complicated than the periodic motions determined analytically.

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