Generalized solutions of beams with jump discontinuities on elastic foundations
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The bending solutions of the Euler-Bernoulli and the Timoshenko beams with material and geometric discontinuities are developed in the space of generalized functions. Unlike the classical solutions of discontinuous beams, which are expressed in terms of multiple expressions that are valid in different regions of the beam, the generalized solutions are expressed in terms of a single expression on the entire domain. It is shown that the boundary-value problems describing the bending of beams with jump discontinuities on discontinuous elastic foundations have more compact forms in the space of generalized functions than they do in the space of classical functions. Also, fewer continuity conditions need to be satisfied if the problem is formulated in the space of generalized functions. It is demonstrated that using the theory of distributions (i.e. generalized functions) makes finding analytical solutions for this class of problems more efficient compared to the traditional methods, and, in some cases, the theory of distributions can lead to interesting qualitative results. Examples are presented to show the efficiency of using the theory of generalized functions.