A new method is presented for determining periodic steady state response of piecewise linear dynamical systems with time varying coefficients. As an example mechanical model, a gear-pair system with backlash is examined, under the action of a constant torque. Originally, some useful insight is gained on the type of motions expected by investigating the response of a weakly nonlinear Mathieu-Duffing oscillator, subjected to a constant external load. The information obtained is then used in seeking the appropriate form of approximate periodic solutions of the piecewise linear system. Finally, these solutions are determined by developing a new analytical method. This method combines elements from approaches applied for piecewise linear systems with constant coefficients as well as classical perturbation techniques applied for systems with time varying coefficients. The validity and accuracy of the approach is verified by numerical results. In addition, response diagrams are presented, illustrating the effect of the constant load and the damping on the gear-pair response.

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