The dynamics of a cantilever beam undergoing vibro-impact, near its second linear natural frequency, is the focus of this paper. The flexible beam undergoes vibro-impact with two other flexible beams at its free end. Both experimental and computational methods are used for the study. From this it is shown that the computational model is able to capture the experimental vibro-impact behavior very well when the excitation amplitudes are reasonably high. Further, the presence of chaos through the period doubling route is demonstrated in the experimental studies. By using independent acceleration and velocity measurements, it is demonstrated that smoothing filters suggested in the literature for generating derivatives (acceleration from velocity) does not work very well for vibro-impact problems. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.