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8,0K Aufrufe62 SeitenDesigned for use by Engineering Students, this book provides background reading for use with Altair's MotionView and MotionSolve. Together with the accompanying Projects and their Instructor's Manual, it provides a quick, complete and correct introduction to using this software to simulate the performance of Mechanical Systems, often called Mechanisms Analysis.
For more learning resources on HyperWorks and CAE, for both students and teachers, see http://www.altair-india.com/edu/students

Nov 27, 2008

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Designed for use by Engineering Students, this book provides background reading for use with Altair's MotionView and MotionSolve. Together with the accompanying Projects and their Instructor's Manual, it provides a quick, complete and correct introduction to using this software to simulate the performance of Mechanical Systems, often called Mechanisms Analysis.
For more learning resources on HyperWorks and CAE, for both students and teachers, see http://www.altair-india.com/edu/students

Attribution (BY)

Als PDF **herunterladen** oder online auf Scribd lesen

8,0K Aufrufe

Designed for use by Engineering Students, this book provides background reading for use with Altair's MotionView and MotionSolve. Together with the accompanying Projects and their Instructor's Manual, it provides a quick, complete and correct introduction to using this software to simulate the performance of Mechanical Systems, often called Mechanisms Analysis.
For more learning resources on HyperWorks and CAE, for both students and teachers, see http://www.altair-india.com/edu/students

Attribution (BY)

Als PDF **herunterladen** oder online auf Scribd lesen

- FEA Best and Worst Practices
- Altair's Student Guides - CAE and Design Optimization - Advanced
- Altair's Student Guides - CAE and Design Optimisation - Basics
- Altair's Student Guides - Managing the CAE Process
- Concepts of Computational Finite Elements and Methods of Static and Dynamic Analyses in MSC.NASTRAN and LS/DYNA
- control card HyperMesh and BatchMesher.pdf
- Altair's Student Guides - A Designer's Guide to Finite Element Analysis
- Altair's Student Guides - Instructor's Manual - CAE and Design Optimization - Basics
- Beckman - The Physics of Racing
- Altair Students Guides - Instructors Manual - A Designer's Guide to FEA
- Altair's Student Guides - Instructor's Manual - CAE and Multi Body Dynamics
- Hypermesh Basics Tutorials-1
- Nafems Dynamic Fea Webinar
- MotionView_2017_Tutorials.pdf
- HyperMesh 2017 Tutorials Abaqus Solver Interface
- LS Dyna Tutorial - Impact
- Altair's Student Guides - Instructor's Manual - CAE and Design Optimization - Advanced
- 0471489905_Multibody_DynamicsB
- Analysis of Racecar Chassis
- HM10 Intro Final

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Contents

Introduction ......................................................................................................2

About This Series ...........................................................................................2

About This Book .............................................................................................2

Supporting Material ........................................................................................3

Mechanics, Mechanisms and Machines ................................................................4

What is Multi-Body Dynamics? ........................................................................5

Learning MBD - Different Approaches ..............................................................6

Putting It All Together ....................................................................................6

Typical Design Issues.........................................................................................8

Product Liability..............................................................................................8

Some Application Areas ..................................................................................9

The MBD Modeling Philosophy ...................................................................... 13

Summary ..................................................................................................... 16

Theory: Basic, Essential and Advanced.............................................................. 17

Theory … ..................................................................................................... 18

… and Practice ............................................................................................. 30

The Virtuous Circle ....................................................................................... 31

Working with MBD Models................................................................................ 33

Different Strokes for Different Folks............................................................... 33

Basic Building Blocks .................................................................................... 34

Solution Control ........................................................................................... 37

Results - Verification and Validation............................................................... 38

Optimization ................................................................................................ 39

MBD Simulation with HyperWorks ..................................................................... 41

The Simulation Process................................................................................. 41

The Anatomy of a Model............................................................................... 43

Solution and Results ..................................................................................... 45

Integration with HyperWorks ........................................................................ 47

Advanced Topics ............................................................................................. 48

Flexibility ..................................................................................................... 48

Contact........................................................................................................ 50

Control Systems ........................................................................................... 52

Cams, Gears and other Higher Pairs .............................................................. 54

Glossary And References.................................................................................. 58

References................................................................................................... 58

Other Resources........................................................................................... 58

Types of Analyses ........................................................................................ 58

Formulae for the Moments of Inertia ............................................................. 59

Common Coefficients of Friction .................................................................... 61

1

Introduction CAE and Multi Body Dynamics

Introduction

About This Series

To make the most of this series you should be an engineering student, in

your third or final year of Mechanical Engineering. You should have access

to licenses of HyperWorks, to the Altair website, and to an instructor who

can guide you through your chosen projects or assignments.

volumes are only for your interest and further reading. You need not be

familiar with the Finite Element Method, with 3D Modeling or with Finite

Element Modeling. Depending on the volumes you choose to read, however,

you do need to be familiar with one or more of the relevant engineering

subjects: Design of Machine Elements, Strength of Materials, Kinematics of

Machinery, Dynamics of Machinery, Probability and Statistics, Manufacturing

Technology and Introduction to Programming. A course on Operations

Research or Linear Programming is useful but not essential.

This volume introduces techniques to model and analyze mechanisms, which

lie at the heart of machines.

If product design is your area of interest, you will find the companion

volumes, CAE And Design Optimization – Basics and CAE And Design

Optimization – Advanced useful. The techniques outlined in this book are

usually applied at the very early stage in product design, to be followed up

at a later stage in the design cycle with detailed analyses and optimization,

both to improve peak performance and to introduce robustness.

While it’s not essential, a good grasp of the basic principles of vector

mathematics will help you tremendously. Several essential aspects are

covered in this book, although in a qualitative fashion. You may want to

treat the chapter titled Theory: Basic, Essential and Advanced as a

reference. If you choose to adopt this approach, at least a cursory reading

of this chapter is strongly recommended.

2

CAE and Multi Body Dynamics Introduction

The various references cited in the book will probably be most useful after

you have worked through your project and are interpreting the results.

Supporting Material

Your instructor will have the Instructor’s Manual that accompanies these

volumes – it should certainly be made use of. Further reading and

references are indicated both in this book and in the Instructor’s Manual.

If you find the material interesting, you should also look up the HyperWorks

On-line Help System. The Altair website, www.altair.com, is also likely to be

of interest to you, both for an insight into the evolving technology and to

help you present your project better.

blasphemers.

Isaac Asimov

3

Mechanics, Mechanisms and Machines CAE and Multi Body Dynamics

The study of mechanisms can be a joy, if done

properly.

mathematics of the subject is tedious when done by

hand, and a beginner can be excused for feeling lost

in the headlong rush of vector notations and vector The South Pointing Chariot is widely

manipulations. Most engineers end up treating regarded as the most complex geared

mechanism of the ancient Chinese

mechanisms like poisonous snakes: worthy of a civilization. Invented sometime around

great deal of respect, and safe only when viewed 2600BC in China by the Yellow Emperor

from a distance. Huang Di, the first historical version was

created by Ma Jun (c. 200-265 AD). The

chariot is a two-wheeled vehicle, upon

Even more unfortunately for a core discipline in which is a pointing figure connected to

mechanical engineering, the study of mechanisms at the wheels by means of differential

the undergraduate level has probably benefited the gearing. Through careful selection of

least from the widespread developments in CAE1 wheel size, track and gear ratios, the

figure atop the chariot will always point

software and related technologies. In fact, a in the same direction, hence acting as a

mechanical engineer who uses an Internet-search non-magnetic compass vehicle.

engine to look for material on “mechanisms” is likely After being mocked that he could not

to give up the exercise as counterproductive. Most reproduce a non-historical and

search engines return references from economics nonsensical pursuit, Ma Jun retorted

and game theory, making a challenging subject "Empty arguments with words cannot

(in any way) compare with a test which

even more confusing! will show practical results". After

inventing the device and proving those

This is a shame. who were doubtful wrong, he was

praised by many.

The use of the word “mechanisms” in Game Theory The differential in the gear system

is a very good illustration of the power of the integrates the difference in wheel

various theories and approaches used in the design rotation between the two wheels and

thus detects the rotation of the base of

of machines. The methods used to construct the chariot. The mechanism

building blocks that allow the modeling of compensates this rotation by rotating

complicated machines are appealing in their the pointer in the opposite direction.

simplicity, and often stunning in their power. Hence

Adapted from The Wikipedia

their use in fields as far flung as Economics, where See Wikipedia, South Pointing Chariot

a mechanism is simply “the agency or means by

1

Short for Computer Aided Engineering – a term that usually covers design, analysis,

3D modeling, and testing in the course of product-design.

4

CAE and Multi Body Dynamics Mechanics, Mechanisms and Machines

At first glance, there are few design issues common between a fighter plane

in supersonic flight, a car rolling over as it crashes, a ship pitching in the

stormy seas and the micro-precision movement of the read / write head of a

hard-disk drive. If we apply the wider definition of “mechanisms” that we

have just seen, the effects are different, the purposes are different and the

agencies used are different.

investigation of the movement of, and impact of, multiple bodies. The jet

plane shoots missiles at other targets, and may even be a target itself. The

car bounces off the road or crashes into other vehicles or obstacles. The

ship contains several bodies – machinery, passengers, cargo, etc. And, as

anyone who has mistimed a dive into a swimming pool knows, at high

velocity water can be “hard” enough that it can be treated as a single body,

rather than a collection of droplets. Every computer owner knows that

sooner or later the disk-drive will “crash” – one form of this is a literal crash,

when the head makes contact with the platters themselves, destroying the

disk and any data the unfortunate user has placed there.

While the scale of movements, the sizes of the bodies and the forces

involved vary widely between these applications, in all these cases designers

need to understand how the forces affect the movement of the body, and

vice versa. And, of course, there are multiple bodies involved.

This aspect, together with advances in software technology over the recent

past has, in fact, led to the widespread adoption of the title Multi-body

Dynamics2 in the place of phrases like “Rigid Body Mechanics” and

“Mechanism Design”.

MBD finds applications in almost any field where there are moving

mechanical components: machine tools, packaging equipment, conveyor

belts, engines, road vehicles, elevators, railways, stereos, washing

machines, aircraft, spacecraft, pumps, robotics – the list can go on almost

indefinitely. One application that’s sometimes dismissed as trivial but throws

up several exquisite applications of this remarkable science is the design of

2

Often abbreviated to “MBD”

5

Mechanics, Mechanisms and Machines CAE and Multi Body Dynamics

toys, as can be attested to by anyone who has puzzled over the internal

workings of Rubik’s Cube.

The problems that designers grapple with are introduced in the next

chapter, but common to all of them is the need to deal with one or more of

the forces, displacements, velocities and accelerations of different parts of

the system. Some designers analyze mechanisms: that is, they find out the

values of parameters of interest under different operating conditions. Still

others synthesize mechanisms: they come up with designs that will provide

required movement.

the actuator – could be hydraulic. Study of the mechanical links or

components requires a strong hold on mechanics. The control system could

be electronic, while the sensors could be piezoelectric.

There are two ways, then, to gain a command over the capabilities of MBD

tools. One approach is to focus on the theory, drawing comfort from the fact

that a robust theory can be applied widely, provided the fine-print is

followed meticulously. Another approach is to pick a specific application and

pay attention to the assumptions and data specific to this application.

approaches. At the “theoretical” level, all bodies can be modeled using a few

basic building blocks. At the applied level, each of these building blocks is

adapted to the requirements of the specific field. For instance pneumatics

and hydraulics both use similar building blocks – valves, pistons, etc. – but

the specific behaviors of the fluids varies.

property. It is fiercely guarded, since it is arrived at over the course of much

trial and error, and can make the critical difference between performance

that’s “just good enough” and performance that makes the product a

pleasure to use!

MBD, then, is about more than just machines and mechanisms, but

definitely involves mechanics. Unlike “simple” mechanism design, though, it

often involves a lot more. If the study of the approaches that MBD tools take

6

CAE and Multi Body Dynamics Mechanics, Mechanisms and Machines

the pennies and the pounds take care of themselves.

down complex objects into simpler blocks, and these into even simpler

blocks, and so on. The synthesis problems are solved by starting with known

blocks, and looking for ways to put them together to achieve complex

behaviors.

Our goal, then, is easy to state and vast in it’s coverage: we expect to be

able to design any mechanical system with moving parts!

The secret of getting ahead is getting started. The secret of getting started is

breaking your complex overwhelming tasks into small manageable tasks, and

then starting on the first one.

Mark Twain

7

Typical Design Issues CAE and Multi Body Dynamics

Practitioners in the engineering industry often complain that software tools

are used just for the sake of using the tools. All too often, these complaints

are justified. What is the point of spending time and effort, in addition to

money, on usage of tools if the results do not help the designer? To make

matters worse, the usage of the tools may even draw resources away from

the actual design goals!

Of course, this potential criticism of CAE tools applies to all the tools covered

in this series of books. What’s special about MBD? Why should we pay

special attention to this aspect when studying MBD?

extremely wide. And we will see later that the MBD modeling approach takes

a relatively abstract view of the behavior. It’s this abstraction that makes it

that much more important for you to keep track of what the design issues

are. Your entire model-building approach and results-interpretation should

be tailored to suit these.

some areas of application and the related design issues as relevant to MBD

modeling and analysis.

Product Liability

The lot of a product designer is often stressful, and not just because of

pressures on time, cost and quality. Laws in several countries are extremely

demanding, and the trend is towards stronger legal safeguards against

faulty products. In a review of the impact of legislative reforms on product-

liability risks in the Asia-Pacific region3,

in the number of product liability claims in the Asia-Pacific region

since the Reforms. One hundred percent reported that there had

been an increase in settlements.

3

Kellam, J and Nottage, L: "Report on Clayton Utz Asia-Pacific Product Liability

Survey" (2006) 17 (9) APLR 121, published in the Australian Product Liability

Reporter.

8

CAE and Multi Body Dynamics Typical Design Issues

Failures that can cause loss of life or grievous harm are often identified and

publicized voluntarily by the manufacturers themselves. Such product recalls

can be expensive both in terms of actual expenditure to fix the flaws and in

terms of the damage to the reputation of the company involved.

Legal protection for consumers mean that designers need to be alert even to

failures that are potentially less exacting, as illustrated in the extracts from

US Consumer Product Safety Commission’s recall notice reproduced below4:

(CPSC), JB Research Inc., of Bellflower, Calif., had voluntarily

recalled about 15,000 back massagers sold under the Relaxor,

Deep Knead™ Shiatsu brand name. The motor for the massager's

Deep Knead™ mechanism can jam and overheat. This will cause

scorching to the foam and fabric on back of the unit, presenting a

potential fire hazard to consumers…JB Research Inc. has received

46 reports of units overheating. No fires or injuries have been

reported.

Since JB Research Inc. is no longer in business, recalled massagers

should be discarded or destroyed to prevent fires and injuries.”

Machine Tools

Machine tools are often thought of as “old” technology, which in a sense

they are: the growth in use of various types of machine tools dates back to

the 100 years between 1860 and 1960. But that does not mean the

technology is trivial or that design is easy. High-precision jig-boring

machines, even in the 1940s, were designed so as to account for the effects

of heat generated by human operators and even the slightest tremors of the

earth.

precision.

4

The complete recall notice can be found at http://www.cpsc.gov

9

Typical Design Issues CAE and Multi Body Dynamics

provide control over these movements. Conditions of operation can

usually be maintained within specified ranges, particularly if the designer

can demonstrate a link between the operating conditions and the

precision of the machine. Attendant design issues are the life of the

machine, and its cost.

From a designer’s point of view, models that can calculate and predict

forces, loci of various points, and times of motion are particularly critical.

Packaging Machinery

The term itself usually covers machines that can do one or more of

wrapping, palletizing, taping, capping, filling, labeling and printing. If you

consider that almost any goods – from toothpaste to automobiles – need to

be packed, the size of the industry is extremely large. Environmental

concerns are prompting changes in the materials used, prompting designers

to exercise their ingenuity.

Conditions of operation can usually be controlled, and the movement needs

to be controlled automatically. The differences stem mainly from the scale of

usage. Packaging machinery is usually critical for mass-produced items,

where the volume of production is extremely high.

This means the design approach can often afford to sacrifice versatility of

motion for economy and precision – in a sense, this is similar to the design

approach that underlies Special Purpose Machines. And since the scale of

production of the goods being packaged is very large, a lot of design focus is

on the time of motion. A design that can reduce the filling time by 1 second

can be much more attractive if the filling time per package is of the order of

seconds!

brochure, which says “machine kinematics have been designed to allow a

very high speed, while at the same time leaving more time for the most

delicate phases of the filling process”. In the pharmaceutical industry,

speeds of 200,000 capsules per hour are not uncommon.

Engines

Most mechanical engineers are familiar with, if not extremely comfortable

with the working of, IC engines. What we sometimes fail to remember is

10

CAE and Multi Body Dynamics Typical Design Issues

that engines themselves can vary tremendously: from the enormous diesel

engines to the rotary-piston Wankel engine. The picture shows engineers

installing the thin-shell bearings for the Wartsila-Sulzer RTA96-C

turbocharged two-stroke diesel engine – an engine with a stroke of over 8

feet. The technicians shown in the picture show its size!

combustion, etc. Conditions of operation are less predictable than for

machine tools, so designers often have to investigate and allow for harsh

operations. Recommended ranges of operation are usually provided, such as

the “red-line” speed limit for IC engines.

a 4-stroke engine is run at a higher-than-recommended speed, the force

exerted on the return-springs may be high enough that the valves “float”.

That is, the valve-lifters lose contact with the lobes of the cam. This, in turn,

leads to lost horse-power.

movement as in calculating component forces at various operating

conditions. These forces are then used to

perform stress and fatigue verifications.

Advanced engines also require quite The baseline science scenario [for the design

sophisticated forms of motion-control. of a Mars airplane mission architecture]

requires completion of a controlled aerial

High performance engines, for example, survey, spanning a flight range of 500 km at

alter the valve timings and lift as the an altitude below 2 km. These requirements

engine speed changes. drive selection of a powered airplane as well

as the airplane propulsion and navigation

systems and aerodynamic configuration. The

Vehicles entire sequence of events (including pullout)

Lumping cars, trucks, buses, motorcycles, is approximately 5 minutes in duration.

Airplane extraction is initiated 7 seconds after

bicycles, ships, aircraft and spacecraft, heatshield release.

etc. into one group is obviously a

simplification, but one that is quite

effective from our current perspective. Six-degree of freedom multi-body simulations

have confirmed the 7-second delay is

The degrees of complexity vary – from a sufficient to mitigate the potential for re-

few dozen parts in a bicycle to several contact between the airplane and the

thousand parts in larger vehicles – but the heatshield.

vehicles themselves have fairly similar

From

requirements: stability, safety, comfort The Mars Airplane

and (in most, but not all, cases) economy IEEE, 2004

of operation.

11

Typical Design Issues CAE and Multi Body Dynamics

conditions tend to vary widely, a lot of design effort centers around issues of

providing proper control over the behavior of the motion, rather than the

motion itself. Remember that the motion is reasonably predictable. What is

unpredictable is the acceleration that the driver applies, the conditions that

the surface provides, and so on.

Car designers, for example, pay attention to the “toe curve”, since it is a

critical measure of drive quality of the vehicle. Modern designs have seen a

steady increase in the amount of “on board” electronics used to help steer

the vehicle safely. Many road vehicles, for instance, come with anti-lock

brakes, where a control system senses the motion and automatically adjusts

the brake pressure to prevent a skid.

some countries. Electronics stability controls may soon be mandatory in

many vehicles5.

Robotics

In his book “Inside the Robot Kingdom”, F.L.Schodt paints an impressive

picture of the Fanuc factory in Japan, where, under Mount Fiji, robots work

unattended at night – making other robots! The point, of course, is that

robots are not just inhabitants of Science-Fiction worlds. They are very much

here to stay.

robots themselves are so hard to categorize. Some work in controlled

environments, such as factories, while others are designed for harsh and

unpredictable environments such as the depths of the oceans. Some require

precision, such as those designed to help weak or ill humans, while others

are designed to work with more forgiving payloads.

synthesis: how to assemble mechanical elements that can describe various

motions. In several cases, inspiration is drawn from biology, mimicking

human or animal joints.

5

See http://www.consumeraffairs.com/news04/2006/09/nhtsa_stability.html, for

example.

12

CAE and Multi Body Dynamics Typical Design Issues

velocity of different parts of the assembly, and to predict forces that will be

experienced and that can be generated by the robot. A large degree of

integration with electronic control systems is also essential, given the current

state of technology in robotics design. Issues of stability, which have to be

handled by the control systems, have recently been addressed well enough

for a two-legged robot to climb stairs or catch a ball thrown at it.

There are many other areas, of course, where designers seek to understand

the forces experienced by and caused by multiple bodies. There are also

many modeling and analysis techniques other than MBD, some of which are

covered in other books in this series. As the figure below6 emphasizes, any

model is a part of a larger system, and can in turn be broken into smaller

sub-systems – all the way down to quantum mechanics

MBD methods are reduced order models that are best applied at the

“Product” and “Assembly” stages7.

6

Courtesy of Prof. Bert Bras, George W. Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering,

Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA 30332-0405, USA.

7

The Finite Element Method, covered in A Designr’s Guide to FEA, is most relevant at

the “Component” and “Assembly” stages.

13

Typical Design Issues CAE and Multi Body Dynamics

sequence – starting with a concept, going on to a rough design, and finally

the detailed design – it is useful to group the design issues into system level

issues and component level issues.

method. Here, the analyst requires the forces on the component as data for

the model.

Simulation of system level behavior is best done using the MBD approach.

Obviously, one benefit is that the forces calculated from an MBD analysis

can be used to provide data for a Finite Element analysis. However, there

are other reasons that make this a natural way to address several complex

design issues.

For one, MBD models take a ”lumped” approach. That is, the behavior of an

arbitrarily complex component or assembly is abstracted as a single

element. The abstraction may represent a single rigid link, the suspension

assembly of an automobile, or the undercarriage of an aircraft. In all these

cases, some accuracy is traded for speed of analysis. Where a Finite Element

analysis frequently requires minutes, if not hours or days of CPU time, an

MBD analysis is often complete in seconds.

Next, simple MBD models are used to build more complex models. In an

approach that follows the engineering practice of using simple tools to build

more complex tools, this provides the capability to quickly build complex

models that yield useful results without taking an inordinate amount of time.

Take, for example, a bearing that supports a rotating shaft. Both theory and

practice tell us that there are losses within the shaft, but it is well near

impossible to get an accurate model that can predict the losses in a

production-quality bearing within reasonable times and at reasonable

expense. The MBD approach is quite practical, yielding a usable model while

taking into account the absence of detailed mechanics8:

friction for all of the bearings in the transmission. The input signals to the

bearing module consist of the torque at each shaft location. The module

then calculates the torque loss due to friction with the relation:

8

From Design And Analysis Of A Modified Power Split Continuously Variable

Transmission, A.J.Fox, West Virginia University

14

CAE and Multi Body Dynamics Typical Design Issues

Tloss,n = Fndµ

and µ is the bearing coefficient of friction. Fn is calculated from the force

analysis on the shaft due to tangential gear forces and component weight.

The bearing module solves this relation for each bearing location, and the

output signals consist of the torque loss at each bearing location.

Note how simple the equation is. The simplicity is justified because there is

no complete theory of the specific mechanics that also lends itself to quick

calculations. Actual usage of this bearing module would only require that the

coefficient of friction be fed in, since the forces are calculated using the

equations of equilibrium. The model is not only simple, it is effective, since

several of these bearing modules can be employed in the model of the

overall transmission.

animated movies – such as the dinosaurs in Jurassic Park and its sequels.

Designers concentrate on capturing an adequate behavior of selected joints,

not on the body as a whole. Once they have the individual joints behaving

the way they want them to, they can assemble these to get the complete

body – and can be sure that the assembly will move in a “realistic” fashion.

A publication from the Aalborg University9 puts it well:

to as force-closed or form-closed, where the fastening of the pair

in a form-closed pair is maintained by the shape of the bones

themselves, and the fastening of a force-closed pair is maintained

by a superficially applied forces, such as a tendon. […] To limit the

amount of joints, [… some] joints have been combined. Bone

structure of [the figure] refers to the bone controlling the belly of

the orc, which makes it possible to animate a “jumping” belly

whenever the orc moves, walks, runs or jumps.

the heart of multi-body dynamics. Once we look at the building blocks that

are commonly available, our study will be almost complete!

9

An Orc’s Tale – Animation of a Virtual World, Aalborg University, Copenhagen

15

Typical Design Issues CAE and Multi Body Dynamics

Summary

Engineers working on CAE have several sources of worry, ranging from

potential legal complications to essential product performance. To make

things worse, the expectations change almost continuously during any

product-design project. Almost invariably, the quality of results expected

from the designers tends to get raised as the project progresses.

One benefit, however, is that early in the design cycle the analyses need not

be very precise. Later, when the detailed-design phases is undertaken,

results need to be more accurate – but at the early stage, quick results are

often of more value than accurate results.

The MBD approach is tailor-made for this. And if it can be coupled with

detailed-design tools such as Finite Element Analysis and Design

Optimization, the design engineer really can’t ask for very much more.

The fact that the man who gave the world electric light, motion pictures,

talking machines, and the Edison storage battery was responsible for this

utterly useless device should encourage inventors whose first attempts have

failed.

George Lee Dowd Jr

in Popular Science Monthly,1930, on Edison’s unsuccessful Helicopter

16

CAE and Multi Body Dynamics Theory: Basic, Essential and Advanced

The availability of easy-to-use and reliable simulation software, coupled with

high quality graphics, makes it easier to grasp the principles embodied in

much of engineering and engineering mathematics. A picture can be worth a

thousand lectures.

This does not mean, of course, that the software can be used without a

good grasp of the underlying theory. The previous chapter outlined the

importance of focusing on the requirements of design and on the

importance of proper abstraction of behavior. Using software without an

understanding of the fundamentals is an invitation to disaster, not to

mention being a waste of time, effort and money!

discussion. Our emphasis is on providing definitions with a minimum of

equations or other mathematical notations. The references listed at the end

of this book are an excellent (and strongly recommended) source of

complete theory, and should be referred to if any of the intentionally brief

definitions presented below are ambiguous or incomplete.

illuminating. In the early years, users had to understand internal details like

the equations of splines or the algorithms used to calculate surface

intersections. As usage and software matured, a lot of this could be taken

for granted: just as the way you can today drive a car without

understanding how an IC engine works. Of course, if the engine breaks

down, you either need to call for an expert, or develop the expertise

yourself! In a similar fashion, if the software fails to achieve a particular

task, a grasp of the theory used always helps.

While MBD tools have not been adopted as widely by the industry as CAD

tools, for a variety of reasons, the fact is that MBD tools today are both

capable and robust. The benefits are clear, the applications are clear, and

the tools are available.

To use MBD tools effectively, of course, you should make sure that you pay

attention to detail. When you work through the assignments that accompany

this book, you may want to turn back either to this chapter or to the

17

Theory: Basic, Essential and Advanced CAE and Multi Body Dynamics

references listed at the end of this book to make sure that you are correctly

correlating the software’s features with the theoretical underpinnings.

Finally, classroom studies are often limited to problems that can be solved

using trigonometry and vector algebra. Usually, this means the coverage is

restricted to Cams, Gears and 4-bar linkages. Non-linear equations, complex

numbers and mechanisms with more links are often omitted simply because

they are not tractable enough for hand-calculations. MBD software makes

such problems tractable, thereby making it easy for meaningful problems to

be modeled and analyzed even at the learning level.

Theory …

Basic Definitions

Statics, Kinetics, Kinematics and Dynamics

Mechanics (or, more correctly, Solid Mechanics10) has three branches:

Statics, Kinetics and Kinematics. Statics covers the effects of forces on

bodies in the absence of motion. Kinetics is the study of the action of forces

on bodies in motion. Kinematics is the study of the relative motion between

bodies. Kinetics and kinematics together are often referred to as dynamics.

Often designers use kinematics to determine the initial design to achieve the

required motion. Kinetics is then applied to investigate and improve weight,

stability, cost, control, etc. Kinematics is sometimes called the geometry of

pure motion – because there is no reference to mass or forces. Most CAD

packages use this approach to animate assemblies. Kinematics, for example,

can be used to calculate the motion required for a robot to pick up an

object, while dynamics can tell you the forces required for this.

right is the kinematic diagram of the folding steel chair on the left. The

procedure to derive a kinematic diagram from a mechanism can be

confusing, as can the process of visualizing a mechanism represented by a

given kinematic diagram. MBD software is very useful here, since it allows

you to add graphics to the kinematic diagram.

10

The kinematics of fluids is normally not called kinematics, and is considerably more

complicated than that of solids.

18

CAE and Multi Body Dynamics Theory: Basic, Essential and Advanced

Mechanisms

Engineering Mechanics differentiates between a structure and a mechanism

by calculating the mobility of the assembly. If the assembly is such that no

movement is possible, it is a structure. A good example is a simple plane

truss, where the dimensions of the links define the only relative position that

can be achieved.

motion from a source to a destination. From our point of view, a mechanism

consists of links and joints.

Machines

There is no clear-cut difference between a mechanism and a machine. Some

define a machine as a mechanism that does useful work, but that distinction

is not relevant to our study. One of the dictionary meanings for “machine”

is, not surprisingly, “mechanism”.

In the absence of external forces, the momentum of a body or set of bodies

remains constant. When applied to linear motion, this results in the familiar

equation F = m • a . Another way of stating the same, of course, is to say

that force involved in a collision is equal to the rate of change of

momentum.

energy but inelastic collisions don’t. Both, of course, conserve momentum.

has no units, since it is the ratio of the differences in velocities before and

after collision. It is 1 for a perfectly elastic collision and 0 for a perfectly

inelastic collision – that is, one in which the bodies stick together after the

collision.

If the law of conservation of momentum is applied to angular motion, it

leads the equation T = I • α , where T is the torque, I is the mass moment

of inertia about the axis of rotation, and α is the angular acceleration.

beginners who often forget the reliance on the axes (or coordinate systems)

used, particularly if the values are calculated automatically by a CAD

19

Theory: Basic, Essential and Advanced CAE and Multi Body Dynamics

package. See the Glossary and References section for more details on

Moments of Inertia.

Links

A link is a body that is a part of a mechanism. Some definitions of links

require that they be treated as rigid bodies (i.e. those that cannot deform

under the action of forces) but MBD removes this necessity.

how many other links they’re attached to. A binary link is attached to two

other links, a ternary link to 3 other links, and a quaternary link to 4.

Nodes

A node is the point at which one link is attached to another in a kinematic

drawing. (Do not confuse this with a node in a Finite Element model!). A

binary link has 2 nodes, a ternary link has 3, and a quaternary link has 4.

Degrees of Freedom

The DOFs (which is how the phrase degrees of freedom is usually

abbreviated) of a link is the number of independent inputs required to

determine its position with respect to the ground. The DOFs of a mechanism

are the number of independent inputs required to determine the positions of

all links (with respect to the ground) that make up the mechanism.

below.

when we discuss Gruebler’s Equation. A rigid body in 3D space has 6 DOFs –

translations along the 3 axes, and rotations about the 3 axes. In 2D space

(textbooks often refer to planar mechanisms, which are mechanisms

restricted to 2D space) a rigid body has 3 degrees of freedom: translations

along the 2 axis and rotation about the third axis (which is the cross product

of the two axes of translation).

Constraints

A constraint is a condition that removes one or more DOFs. In MBD, a

constraint is usually imposed by defining a joint.

For instance, if a system consists of 2 links that are not connected to each

other, the system has 12 dofs (6 for each link). If they are connected by a

20

CAE and Multi Body Dynamics Theory: Basic, Essential and Advanced

joint, however, the dofs will be less than 12. Which dofs are eliminated by

the joint is often a source of confusion to a beginner.

If the number of constraints is more than the dofs of the system, the system

is described as over-constrained. An over-constrained system cannot be

analyzed using MBD. If presented with an over-constrained system, many

programs arbitrarily discard as many constraints as necessary. A designer

should beware of such situations! It is far better to correct the joint

definitions yourself than to leave it to the software.

Joints

From a mathematical perspective, a joint is just a constraint – it relates the

motion between one or more DOFs of one or more bodies. In the context of

MBD modeling, a joint is usually defined using a physical equivalent.

Most joints eliminate one or more DOFs. However if the joint is redundant, it

does not affect the dofs of the system. Redundant constraints are also called

passive constraints: their presence or absence does not make any difference

to the behavior of the mechanism11.

Two links connected by a joint are called a pair. Pairs are classified as lower

pairs and higher pairs. A lower pair is one where interchanging the links does

not alter relative motion. For a higher pair, exchanging the links alters

relative motion.

There are only 6 lower pairs, while there are infinite types of higher pairs.

The 6 lower pairs are revolute (or pin-joint), prismatic (or slider joint), helical

(as in a nut-and-screw), cylindrical (as a shaft in a collar), spherical (or ball

joint) and planar12.

Cams, gears, belt-drives, etc. are higher pairs. Higher pairs normally need

additional equations, such as the gear-ratio, to fully-define them. Higher

pairs are also more susceptible to drawbacks such as backlash, slip, creep

and friction losses. Of course, manufacturing tolerances can introduce error

into lower pairs too.

11

Passive constraints can cause trouble when manufacturing tolerances are taken

into account.

12

Planar, Revolute and Prismatic pairs can be treated as special cases of helical

pairs. A zero lead makes it a revolute joint, an infinite lead makes it a prismatic joint.

Moving the center of the helical pair to infinity gives a planar joint.

21

Theory: Basic, Essential and Advanced CAE and Multi Body Dynamics

Closure

Some joints ensure contacts between the links by means of the elements

themselves – a revolute joint is a good example. Such joints have form

closure. Other joints, such as cams, require external forces to maintain

contact, and have force closure. The external force can be supplied via a

spring, or by gravity, etc.

Chains

A chain is a series of pairs connected together, without a grounded link. A

chain is called a mechanism only if at least one link is grounded. This is

because force-transmission makes sense only if the “ground” provides the

support for the reactions that Newton’s Third Law guarantees. A chain can

be either closed or open. Two binary links connected by a joint are called a

dyad.

Inversion

The behavior of some mechanisms can change dramatically depending on

which links in the chain are fixed and which are left free to move. An

excellent example of this is the epicyclic gear train.

Calculating the DOFs of an assembly is not easy. If movement is restricted

to a plane (that is, if we have a planar mechanism), we can use Gruebler’s

Equation:

F = 3(n − 1) − 2l − h

of links (remember to include the ground or frame), l is the number of lower

pairs and h is the number of higher pairs.

Be careful when using the formula – it is not foolproof in the sense that it

cannot be applied blindly, but needs some judgment. The mechanism shown

below has 1 DOF although Gruebler’s equation would say it has none!13

13

n = 5 since there are 5 links including the ground, l = 6 since there are 6 lower

pairs. The formula fails due to redundancy: removal of the middle link has no affect

on the mechanism. The correct values of n and l should be 4 and 4, respectively,

which gives 1 dof.

22

CAE and Multi Body Dynamics Theory: Basic, Essential and Advanced

The DOFs of a mechanism are also called its mobility. This term is used

when we want to count the number of input parameters that must be

controlled independently to achieve a particular motion or position. The

Kutzbach Criterion, which is used to calculate the mobility allows for the

elimination of partial DOFs by a joint.

and mechanisms in 2D space. The equation used in 3D has a slightly

different form14.

misleading. Take, for instance, the slider-crank mechanism. If restricted to

2D, there are 4 links in all, with 3 dof each, for a total of 12 dof for the

system. If link is grounded, that leaves 9 dofs. The three revolute joints

remove 2 dof each, since they only permit rotation about the axis. This

leaves 9 – 6 = 3 dof. The slider joint too removes 2 dofs, since it only

permits translation along one axis. The system, then, has 1 dof.

dofs for each of the free links). The 3 revolute joints and the 1 slider joint

remove 5 dof each. As a result, the mechanism is over-constrained!

14

For details on the 3D form, see page 551 of Advanced Mechanism Design, Volume

2, Erdman and Sandor.

23

Theory: Basic, Essential and Advanced CAE and Multi Body Dynamics

spherical joints to avoid this situation15.

Essential Theory

Analysis vs. Synthesis Computational complexity theory is

Analysis involves calculating items of interest for a the study of the complexity of

given mechanism or system. Synthesis, on the problems - that is, the difficulty of

other hand, involves finding a mechanism that solving them. Some problems are

provides a required behavior. difficult to solve, while others are

easy. Take the traveling salesman

Synthesis can be extremely challenging, since it problem, for example. If the network

of cities grows by 1, the time needed

means choosing both the types and dimensions of

to solve the problem - that is,

links and joints – called type synthesis and construct the shortest route that

dimensional synthesis. Type synthesis is visits every city exactly once - is

sometimes referred to as number synthesis since multiplied by a factor of c, hence the

it determines the number of links in the time needed to find the route grows

mechanism. exponentially.

satisfy any given set of behaviors, so the chosen Even though a problem may be

computationally solvable in principle,

mechanism usually depends on the experience of

in actual practice it may not be that

the designer or the available links and joints. simple. These problems might require

Complexity of synthesis rises dramatically as the large amounts of time or an

number of links increases. Even for 4-bar inordinate amount of space.

mechanisms, Hrones and Nelson’s Atlas of Curves,

which presented several thousand coupler loci, is

often the starting point even today. The Atlas There exist a certain class of

itself was compiled in the 1950s! problems that require so much time

or space that it is not practical to

attempt to solve them although they

Depending on the specifications for synthesis, the

are solvable in principle. These

goal of the designer is one or more of function, problems are called Intractable.

path and motion. Function generation involves

synchronization of the motion of input and output From The Wikipedia

links, as in a Pantograph, for example. In path http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Complexity

generation, a point is required to trace a path

with respect to a reference frame. In some cases,

timings can also be a part of the specification. A

cricket-bowling machine is a good example of

15

See, for example, page 612 of Advanced Mechanism Design, Volume 2, Erdman

and Sandor.

24

CAE and Multi Body Dynamics Theory: Basic, Essential and Advanced

this. Motion generation involves guiding the entire body (or link) through a

prescribed sequence of motion. Consider the movement of the bucket of a

tipper machine. Not only must the bucket follow a particular path, the

rotation of the bucket must also be controlled.

Types of Analysis

Depending on the scenario being investigated, the analysis is classified as

one of the following:

mechanism

• Kinematic – used if there are zero dofs in the system. That is,

all possible movements are specified either by joints or by

input motion.

used mainly to calculate eigenvalues16 or for design of control

systems.

The data required to construct the model, the methods used to solve the

problem, and the type of results that can be computed vary according to the

type of the analysis. The last chapter of this book, Glossary and References,

contains a table that summarizes these.

In forward kinematics, given the forces and positions of some links, we want

to estimate the location / velocity / acceleration of the bodies or points of

interest. In inverse kinematics, we want to know what forces to apply to

achieve a required position / velocity / acceleration. The latter is often

required in robotics.

16

Eigenvalues are not discussed in this book. See the companion volume A

Designer’s Guide To Finite Element Analysis for more details on how and why we

calculate eigenvalues.

25

Theory: Basic, Essential and Advanced CAE and Multi Body Dynamics

Quaternions and Euler Angles

Any spatial movement can be expressed as a combination of rotations and

translations along 3 axes. Rotations, unfortunately, are not commutative –

that is, the final configuration depends on the order of the rotations about

different axes.

matrices, and Euler Angles are one convention used to specify angles of

rotation. A quaternion17 is an alternative representation of the

transformation.

This is useful to determine the relative velocities between two bodies. The

instantaneous center of rotation for two bodies in plane motion is a point,

common to both bodies, which has the same instantaneous velocity in each

body. The point can be a “virtual” point, located off the two bodies.

Damping Coefficient

Vibrating bodies experience damping, a force that retards movement. While

this is sometimes an adverse affect, in other cases it can be useful – as in

the case of shock-absorbers on a car. Damping coefficients are hard to

characterize. Testing is frequently used to establish reliable values.

(from the mechanical system) – it is converted to other forms such as sound

or heat. Numerical calculations sometimes introduce numerical damping.

This is a loss of energy due to the finite precision of computer-arithmetic or

because of other truncation errors.

Numerical Integration

The differential equation of motion is

ma + cv + ku = p

and u are the acceleration, velocity and displacement, respectively, while p

is the external force.

17

Discovered, invented or defined by W.R.Hamilton in 1843. The utility of the

quaternion has been a subject of lively debate since then, but most engineers

encounter H, the set of all quaternions, named for the illustrious mathematician.

26

CAE and Multi Body Dynamics Theory: Basic, Essential and Advanced

m&x& + cx& + kx = f (t )

Given the initial state of the body or bodies, we need to calculate the

configuration of the bodies as we move forwards in time. The initial state is

called the initial condition.

That is, we use the finite difference equations to replace the derivatives with

differences. For instance, we can write

du ∆u u j − ui

v= = =

dt ∆t t j − ti

That is, at t = 0. At the initial time, if we know the velocity vt=o, we can

solve the equation for uj. Then, substituting for in the equilibrium equation

we solve for acceleration. Now that the values at time tj are known, we

follow the same method to step forward.

problems. The numerical integration methods are classified as explicit and

implicit, single-step and multi-step, and corrector-predictor methods. For a

complete discussion, see the references listed at the end of this book.

Related Topics

Most mechanical components are relatively easy to deal with. You can touch,

see and feel the components, and what you see is at least an indicator of

what you will get. Electricity is less tangible18.

There is no single stuff called "electricity." ELECTRICITY DOES

NOT EXIST. Franklin, Edison, Thompson, and millions of science

teachers should've had a long talk with Mrs.McCave before they

decided to give a variety of independent science concepts just one

single name.

18

From an article by William J. Beaty. See http://amasci.com/miscon/whatis.html

27

Theory: Basic, Essential and Advanced CAE and Multi Body Dynamics

sons. She named them all "Dave."

Mrs.McCave "WHO IS DAVE?" How can she describe her son?

There can be no answer since the question itself is wrong. It's

wrong to ask "who is Dave?" because we are assuming that there

is only one Dave, when actually there are many different people.

They all just happen to be named Dave. Who is Dave? Mrs.McCave

cannot answer us until she first corrects our misunderstanding.

Understanding electrical systems is not essential for MBD, but can help when

working with the control of mechanisms. Electricity is a common means of

transmission of power, so in this section we’ll briefly review a few salient

aspects related to electrical actuation and control.

Transfer Function

A transfer function is simply an equation linking input and output of a

system. It is probably more common in electrical engineering than in

mechanical, but the principle is applicable to any system modeling.

For MBD systems, transfer functions are commonly used to represent the

effect of controllers – sensors and actuators, for example – which are often

electrical in nature.

In many mechanisms, the source of motion or force is an electrical motor.

Mechanical sources (hydraulic, pneumatic, etc.) are also used, but are often

less precise than electrical controllers.

The inner workings of motors are beyond the scope of our discussion, but it

is useful to be familiar with the characteristics of the most common types of

electrical motors. For example, you may need to calculate the time taken for

a motor to reach operating speed, to define the force-time variation in your

MBD model.

cage motors) typically run at 1500 rpm. They are simple, reliable and

relatively inexpensive. One drawback is that they need a transmission-

system to achieve different speeds. Speed and torque control are easier with

the more expensive DC motors, since the speed and torque are directly

28

CAE and Multi Body Dynamics Theory: Basic, Essential and Advanced

linked to the voltage and current. The disadvantage is that the brushes wear

out with usage. Brushless DC Motors (BLDCs) address this, but are even

more expensive.

Both these motors are less than ideal if position control is important. For

accurate position control, Servo or Stepper Motors are better choices. The

position of the armature of a servo motor is controlled by the electrical

input. They are widely used in robotics and radio-controlled toys. Stepper

motors are often used in open-loop systems.

Sensors

Applications in which precision is important usually use closed-loop control

systems. That is, the output values of parameters of interest are used to

decide the input signal. A sensor is a device that monitors the parameters of

interest.

Sensors often, but not always, use electrical signals. Gyrocompasses, for

instance, are mechanical devises that provide visual feedback.

sensor is a limit switch: you can use it to shut off input when a particular

position has been achieved.

Sampling Frequency

Sensors measure the parameters of interest. If the parameters vary with

time, the Nyquist criterion dictates the minimum sampling rate that should

be used. That is, if the interval between measurements is not small enough,

the sensed values will be unreliable.

PID Control

After acquiring the signal from a sensor, how should the input signal be

corrected? If we define the error as the difference between the sensed value

of the parameter and the desired value, positive feedback means input

signal is increased in proportion to the error while negative feedback means

the input signal is decreased in proportion to the error. This is called

Proportional control.

In some cases, the cumulative value of the error and the rate of change of

the error are also important. In this case, simple proportional control is not

enough. We also use Integral and Derivative control – that is, the input

signal is modified based on the integral of the error (thereby taking into

29

Theory: Basic, Essential and Advanced CAE and Multi Body Dynamics

account the cumulative error) and the derivative of the error (which is

nothing but the rate of change of the error).

Closed loop systems often come with PID Controllers. These incorporate all

three elements – proportional, integral and derivative – and need to be

tuned. Depending on the actual situation, the gain for each measure of error

is chosen or adjusted.

… and Practice

Remember that MBD models are models of

physical systems. Their value lies in their ability

to represent the behavior of systems in the real “Conventional aerodynamics seemed to

suggest that the insect should not generate

world. The models, however, are built using

enough lift to fly. The bees stayed resolutely

theory, and as we know theory is always built airborne and the sums caused

on some assumptions19. As the bumble-bee consternation.

paradox illustrates, our knowledge of theory,

The underlying problem turned out to be

while powerful and useful, is far from complete.

treating a wing as if it was fixed, like in an

aeroplane and, thanks to studies over the

It’s important, therefore, to keep in mind the past few years, including the construction of

reasons that a model of the physical world can robotic bees, this "bumble-bee paradox" has

been solved: extra lift comes when flexible

differ from actual behavior.

insect wings slice through the air at a high

angle of attack, creating a large swirling

Precision Points vortex at their leading edge.

Consider, for instance, function generation. In this way, insect wings produce the

That is, you have to correlate the motion of vortices – spinning masses of air – which

input and output links. A 4-bar mechanism is generate lift and help them move. Today,

Prof Ismet Gursul of the University of Bath

often chosen because it can be synthesized

will describe another step on the way for

easily (relative to linkages with more links, that engineers to make air vehicles smaller than

is!), and is often easy to construct. a human hand that can be used for

Unfortunately, a 4-bar mechanism is not detecting chemicals leaks and

reconnaissance.”

capable of error-free generation of arbitrary

curves. Roger Highfield,

Science Editor

As an acceptable solution, we settle for The Telegraph

correlation at a selected set of points. These

points are called the precision points. The

location and spacing of these points can be

19

See Godel, Escher, Bach: an Eternal Golden Braid by D.R.Hofstadter for an

entertaining, challenging and comprehensive discussion of the Incompleteness

Theorem.

30

CAE and Multi Body Dynamics Theory: Basic, Essential and Advanced

book20.

Remember to keep this in mind when working with either the synthesis of a

mechanism or the verification of a proposed mechanism. Since a linkage

only has finite significant dimensions, there can only be a finite number of

precision points.

Beginners have a tendency to take published data as the Gospel Truth. This

is, quite simply, wrong. At the other end of the spectrum is a stubborn and

unreasonable refusal to build a model unless all data is available at the

required precision.

Designers, like the rest of the human race, have to live in a world that is less

than perfect. Data is not always available at the right time. It may be

insufficient. It may be unreliable. And so on.

To deal with this, one approach is to look for robust designs. In this

approach, we look for a design that will produce the required output even if

the specified inputs vary. Obviously, this is not always possible. This is

particularly true if we are looking for an optimum design – one that provides

the best possible performance at the least possible cost.

as to build robust and optimal designs. More details on these can be found

in the companion volumes in this series.

One approach in particular is very useful for MBD modeling: the method

called parameter identification21. This refers to the extraction of information

about a system using measured input-and-output data. It is particularly

useful when the transfer-function approach is used, or if a high degree of

abstraction is involved.

MBD tools are easier to use if the fundamentals are clear, and fundamentals

are easier to grasp if MBD tools can be used to demonstrate the

20

See Advanced Mechanism Design: Analysis and Synthesis by G.N.Sandor and

A.G.Erdman for an excellent discussion.

21

Covered in the companion volume CAE and Design Optimization - Advanced

31

Theory: Basic, Essential and Advanced CAE and Multi Body Dynamics

study and use MBD tools for CAE!

is.

Yogi Berra

32

CAE and Multi Body Dynamics Working with MBD Models

Based on the previous chapters, we now have an idea as to the design

issues involved in several different types of MBD scenarios, and are familiar

with the terminology and underlying theory. In this chapter, we’ll look at

how software helps us eliminate a lot of the tedium from the process of

applying the theory to design problems.

A Machine-design Approach

MCAE, short for Mechanical Computer Aided Engineering, covers the various

tasks involved with design of mechanical components. Solid modeling, CNC

tool-path generation, creation of manufacturing drawings, Finite Element

Analysis, etc. For all of these, the 3D solid model usually serves as the basis.

That is, the 3D model is the central source of data on which all other

applications draw.

MBD too falls under the umbrella of MCAE, particularly when the approach

or goal is to design a mechanism.

It’s only natural, then, for a designer to expect to follow the same approach:

to expect to use the 3D model as the starting point for MBD modeling and

analysis.

As we have seen in the previous chapter, solid models are indeed useful

when it comes to tasks like the calculation of the mass moments of inertia of

geometrically complex objects. But as we have also seen, a lot of

mechanisms-theory uses kinematic representations to perform various

calculations. In this approach, the detailed shape of the body is immaterial.

You only need to specify the locations of the nodes and the moments of

inertia of each of the links22.

subsequently when we study problems that involve contact. But MBD models

22

Those familiar with FEM will recognize the parallel with beam elements.

33

Working with MBD Models CAE and Multi Body Dynamics

for many scenarios can be built without using any 3D graphics (of the

“shaded” variety) whatsoever.

Provided the tools support it, it is useful to include 3D graphics even if the

modeling does not require it, simply because it makes it so much easier to

visualize the performance and to catch modeling errors.

A Control-System Approach

There are some elements, however, particularly those representing electrical

systems such as motors, where 3D graphics hurts more than it helps. It

makes little sense to take the effort of building even a representative model

of a motor when the only data to be visualized is the rotation of a shaft!

conduits like links or pipes, electrical power transmission cables need no 3D

modeling. Electrical designers, in fact, often prefer to use symbolic tools for

design simulation.

The thing to remember, then, is that there are two distinct parts to any MBD

model, and effective usage brings both together.

of links or transfer functions, and constraints between them. This is

sufficient for all electrical components, and is often used by experienced

mechanical designers to quickly build MBD models of mechanical parts too.

bodies that are represented by the links. This is rarely, if ever, required for

an electrical component. The graphics are usually derived from a CAD

model, but the task of integrating these into the MBD model requires an

understanding of the abstractions involved in and represented by the various

elements of the model.

Just as CAD modelers give you the power to use simple construction

primitives to build intricate and accurate models of almost any geometry,

one of the best things about MBD tools for CAE is that we can start with

34

CAE and Multi Body Dynamics Working with MBD Models

simulations of very complicated assemblies.

Once you understand the data required for the “primitives”, it is easy to

work forwards. Pay attention, therefore, not only to the building blocks

required, but also to the data that is required for these.

Bodies

A body is the same as a link. Graphics can be associated with a body if

required, but it’s not essential. The mass properties of the body are

essential. These properties consist of the mass and the 6 mass moments of

inertia and the coordinates of the center of gravity of the body.

Further, for a dynamic analysis, the initial velocity of the body must be

specified. The initial position is defined by the joints, while the accelerations

are computed as a part of the solution.

In some cases, the body may have no appreciable moment of inertia. This

occurs when the mass is so closely concentrated at the center of gravity

compared to the overall dimensions involved in the model.

technology includes the capability to define bodies as flexible23.

Constraints or Joints

A joint represents a constraint on the bodies that are connected to it. A

revolute joint, for example, only leaves 1 dof free – the bodies can only

rotate with respect to each other about the axis of rotation of the joint.

The 6 lower pairs are essential for modeling. Higher pairs are not essential,

since they do not form a finite set. In the absence of available elements,

they can sometimes be constructed using combinations of other building

blocks.

Forces

A concentrated force, at its most basic, can de defined as a vector: the

magnitude, orientation and point of application are enough to completely

specify the force. Other forces, require more general definitions, since not all

forces can be modeled as point forces.

23

This aspect is covered in more detail subsequently.

35

Working with MBD Models CAE and Multi Body Dynamics

For modeling of physical systems, for instance, one force that is widely

required is gravity. In mechanics, gravity is called a body force since it acts

at all points in the body, and the force experienced by the body depends on

the distribution of mass within the body.

From a numerical-calculation point of view, the “smoother” the force is, the

easier it is to calculate the solution. The smoothness of a function is usually

measured by its continuity: a function with n derivates that exist is smoother

than one that has n-1 derivatives that exist.

time derivatives. Since MBD models take a lumped-approach by abstracting

the bodies as pairs (that is, links connected at nodes and constrained by

joints), for MBD the smoothness normally relates to the time-derivatives of

the prescribed forces. A force that has a sudden jump in time like a step-

function is less tractable than a ramp function, for example. The derivatives

of the step function, shown in red, are not defined24 at the time where the

force steps up.

Motions

A prescribed motion, strictly speaking, is a constraint: it removes the

necessity to calculate one or more dofs. Since the motion dictates how the

dofs move, the dofs are no longer “free”. Usually specified for a joint,

prescribed motion can be arbitrarily complex both in space and in time.

Sensors

In several situations the forces acting on the body depend on how it

responds to the force applied initially. It is not always reasonable to expect

the statement of the problem to specify the values of forces against time:

what the statement should include is what forces will be applied if certain

events taken place.

gap that can trigger a change in one or more forces – or variables such as

the velocity, so that a control system can change state based on the value.

24

Strictly speaking, the derivative at these points is the Dirac Delta function, which

defines the integral of the derivative – not the derivative itself.

36

CAE and Multi Body Dynamics Working with MBD Models

Controllers

Control systems are usually defined by transfer functions. The transfer

function can be quite complex, but broadly fall into two categories: SISO

and MIMO. The former is short for Single-Input-Single-Output, while the

latter stands for Multiple-Input-Multiple-Output.

Reference Entities

Coordinate systems are critical in MBD analyses. Displacements of bodies

are almost always large, so bodies may change orientation during the period

of interest. We know that properties like the moments of inertia are strongly

dependent on the coordinate system used.

coordinate system does not make sense. Local coordinate systems

associated with a joint or a body are usually used instead.

User routines

While not essential, user routines are often useful, particularly if the

behavior of a design-entity needs to be protected from external scrutiny. If a

user-routine is used, it is often saved as a Dynamic Link Library (or DLL)

that is called by the MBD solver at each time step.

Other Entities

Design-chains nowadays consist of an Original Equipment Manufacturer

(OEM) and several levels of suppliers, often called Tier-1 suppliers, Tier-2

suppliers, and so on in decreasing order of design complexity, with

component suppliers at the end of the chain.

segments or applications tend to use standard definitions, and share these

definitions across several levels of the design-chain. Such data can be

“published” and shared as special purpose entities.

Solution Control

The first part of the MBD-Simulation cycle involves building the model. The

second part, which we have largely taken for granted in our discussion,

relates to the methods used to solve the equations of motion. A complete

discussion of the various methodologies employed is beyond the scope of

this book, but one aspect is worth discussing.

37

Working with MBD Models CAE and Multi Body Dynamics

accuracy and efficiency.

and disk space the solver requires to carry out the calculations.

Stability and accuracy are a little harder both to understand and to measure.

A stable method need not be accurate, while a method can be unstable and

still yield accurate results at particular combinations of circumstances. To

understand this, reflect for a moment on which you would rather have – a

watch that has stopped or a watch that loses 5 seconds a day? The former

is 100% accurate twice a day, but you have no idea when. The latter gets

more and more inaccurate as time passes, but you can always tell how

inaccurate it is, and therefore correct accordingly.

knowledge that we can predict the effect on accuracy. Accuracy without

stability is meaningless.

numerical integration. Apart from the choice of the algorithm itself, the time

step (∆t) used for the integration also matters.

solution algorithms tend to be “tuned” for specific applications.

MBD analysis is a fairly simple in the types of outputs generated: animations

of movement and plots of forces, accelerations, velocities, displacements

against time are the main data generated.

be very tempting to accept the results as “right”, when it is usually more

correct to use them to gain an insight. Accepting the results of an MBD

simulation without some correlation with other sources of information like

physical tests is rarely a good idea.

distinct, though they go hand in hand.

25

Monotonic convergence of series is a related topic.

38

CAE and Multi Body Dynamics Working with MBD Models

Validation consists of asking whether the right equations have been solved.

correctly.

Data like the coefficient of restitution or the coefficients of friction should not

be taken for granted. It is always sensible to check the design for

performance over a range of values, rather than for single values of data.

home:

model contains springs which naturally have some damping. How

would I go about determining the damping coefficient?

The answer, of course, lies in a judicious mix of theory and practice. A test

can suggest values, but tests are rarely repeatable. A wise designer would

first check the theory underlying the model used in the solver, then “tune”

the model by selecting a value that does a good job of reproducing the test

results without violating the assumptions implicit in the theory. System

Identification and Design Of Experiment are techniques well suited to this

task26.

Optimization

The Monaco Grand Prix, an annual event that is one of

the more celebrated races on the Formula 1 circuit, puts

drivers and their racers on the streets of Monaco. Normal

traffic is off the roads, of course, while the drivers attain

speeds that are breathtaking even to the casual observer.

For engineers on the design teams, they represent a

formidable challenge.

MBD tools help calculate critical parameters such as the lateral forces on the

tires, of course, but it’s not enough to just predict the values. What the

Formula 1 driver, who’s pitting his or her life against equally skilled and

competitive drivers, needs is an optimum design. Stories of losing drivers

26

Both are discussed in the companion volume CAE and Design Optimization -

Advanced

39

Working with MBD Models CAE and Multi Body Dynamics

a part of the folklore of Formula 1 racing!

only to analyze the forces, but to calculate how much

which parameters need to be changed to give the

driver that edge that can make the difference

between winning and losing. And, in some cases,

between life and death.

raise the scepter of life-and-death, the loss of a craft can mean a huge loss

in terms of money and time.

Fortunately for the health of design engineers, not all MBD designs are so

demanding. But in a competitive marketplace, the struggle to design better

products cheaper and faster is never ending. Techniques to achieve such

designs are discussed in the other books27 in this series.

explanations are offered for a phenomenon, the simplest full explanation is

preferable.

Occam’s Razor, a principle popularized by William of Ockham

27

See CAE and Design Optimization – Basics and CAE and Design Optimization –

Advanced

40

CAE and Multi Body Dynamics MBD Simulation with HyperWorks

We now have a fair understanding of both the design issues and the

theoretical basis for MBD simulation. We also know that MBD problems

originate from 3D CAD in several, but not all, cases. We have seen the 3

distinct phases involved in the process. We start by creating the model, go

on to solve it in the second step, and then move on to the third stage,

results-interpretation. Finally, we have seen that it would be nice to have the

ability to optimize a design and to check how robust it is in terms of

tolerance to deviations in operating conditions or data.

With this background, let’s look at the problem from a HyperWorks point of

view.

The various modules of HyperWorks can be used in a variety of ways for

MBD Simulation, depending on the problem specification and complexity.

We’ll review the different approaches, and correlate these with our

understanding of how MBD is used in the Product Design cycle.

The first stage, model preparation, can be done using either HyperMesh or

MotionView. HyperMesh is perhaps better used if the components are

mechanical in nature and are flexible. That is, if stresses in the components

are to be calculated in addition to the forces and velocities. MotionView is

more of a “traditional” MBD preprocessor. It is less 3D-graphics-intensive

than HyperMesh, since it allows the definition of models using MDL – the

Model Definition Language – in which graphical representations of the

surfaces and volumes of the bodies are an option, not a necessity. This

capability, which is similar to using kinematic diagrams, is not available in

HyperMesh. Since MotionView also allows us to simulate the behavior of

flexible bodies and add graphics, our focus in this book and in the

accompanying exercises is on MotionView, not on HyperMesh28.

28

See A Designer’s Guide to Finite Element Analysis – Student Project Summaries for

an example of how HyperMesh can be used for the analysis of flexible MBD systems.

41

MBD Simulation with HyperWorks CAE and Multi Body Dynamics

Once the model has been built, the center of attention shifts to the solver.

This is where the equations of motion are drawn up, parameters chosen for

the numerical algorithms, and the numbers are crunched.

but can also be used as a standalone application that reads an input file and

generates output data.

optimization of linear problems and for linear finite element analysis.

However if a problem statement requires the kinds of analyses that are a

part of MBD, OptiStruct can call MotionSolve. The process by which

OptiStruct invokes MotionSolve and interacts with it is transparent to the

user: except for records in the log file, there is nothing you need to do to

manage this process.

Since our goal is to see how MBD theory and MBD practice come together,

we will restrict our attention to MotionSolve. If you’re comfortable with Finite

Element Analysis, the companion volumes in this series discuss the use of

OptiStruct for MBD problems.

The data generated by the solver depends not just on the statement of the

problem, but also on what you have asked to review. For a dynamics

problem for example, you may choose to generate printed results at specific

time steps.

provides a variety of facilities for 3D viewing: animation, vector plots, and so

on. HyperGraph comes in handy to generate plots. For cam design for

instance, you need to plot the velocity-vs. time.

As we have seen above, OptiStruct can invoke MotionSolve transparently, as

needed. This is useful not only to when the MBD model contains flexible

links, but also to run optimization. Look up the online documentation for a

discussion on techniques like the Equivalent Static Load Method for the

optimization of problems involving dynamic stresses.

42

CAE and Multi Body Dynamics MBD Simulation with HyperWorks

mass. In the case of synthesis of mechanisms, position control may be a

more important objective. HyperStudy, which supports DOE and other

techniques for non-linear optimization and robust design, can be used with

MotionSolve to address these requirements. A discussion of this approach is

contained in CAE and Design Optimization – Advanced.

MotionView provides all the building blocks we listed as essential and

desirable for MBD modeling. Remember that one of the recommended

approaches in MBD is to build validated libraries of systems, and to use

these as sub-systems in the construction of more complex assemblies. To

promote this approach, MotionView stores model-definitions in files.

Statements 1 to8 are definition-statements. Every entity is defined by at

What the Files least a name and a label. Entities such as joints require additional data.

Contain 1. *BeginMDL (pendulum, "Pendulum Model")

2. *point (p_pendu_pivot, "Pivot Point")

The principle storage 3. *point ( p_pendu_cm, "Pendulum CM")

structure for MBD models 4. *Body (b_link, "Ball", p_pendu_cm)

follows the MDL (Model The joint connects the ground (default name is B_Ground) and the body

defined on line 4. The axis of rotation is the X axis, centered at the point

Definition Language) format. defined on line 2

An MDL file, which usually 5. *RevJoint (j_joint, "New Joint", B_Ground,

carries the suffix mdl is an b_link, p_pendu_pivot, V_Global_X)

ASCII file that can be Graphics are purely for visual appeal. The sphere’s radius is set to 1, and

the cylinder’s radius to 0.5.

opened using any text 6. *Graphic (gr_sphere, "pendulum sphere

editor29. These files can be graphic", SPHERE, b_link,

created without using p_pendu_cm, 1 )

7. *Graphic (gr_link, "pendulum link graphic",

MotionView at all. This

CYLINDER, b_link, p_pendu_pivot,

approach requires that you p_pendu_cm, 0.5, CAPBOTH )

be familiar with the syntax This is where we specify the output: we want the displacement history of

of the MDL statements. the link defined on line 4

8. *Output (o_pendu, "Disp Output", DISP,

b_link)

For instance, a revolute joint Here we assign coordinates to the points, and mass and moments of

is defined using the inertia to the link

statement *RevJoint(…) 9. *setsystem (MODEL)

10. *setpoint (p_pendu_pivot, 0, 5, 5)

where the items in brackets 11. *setpoint (p_pendu_cm, 0, 10, 10)

should be replaced with the 12. *setbody ( b_link, 1, 1000, 1000, 1000, 0, 0, 0)

relevant values, as shown in With this, we have finished defining our model

the annotated file displayed 13. *EndMDL ()

alongside.

29

MDL files can be encrypted, to protect their contents.

43

MBD Simulation with HyperWorks CAE and Multi Body Dynamics

In the MDL syntax, the name is used by other MDL statements, while the

label is used in the interactive-editor. For example, in the annotated MDL

file, the name of the point defined on line 3 (p_pendu_cm) is used in the

link definition on line 4. In MotionView, you would see it referred to by its

label (that is, as Pendulum CM).

You will see that there are two types of statements for each entity. The first

names it, the second assigns data to it. The definition statement must

always precede the assignation statement, of course. It is customary, but

not essential, to group all definition statements followed by all assignment

statements. It is also customary, but not essential, that names follow a

pattern. This makes it easier to read an MDL file, as you will have to from

time to time. In the annotated example, the first letter of the variable name

indicates its type – p for points, b for bodies, and so on.

Note that the “ball” of the pendulum is not modeled as a link at all from a

kinematic point of view. To make the graphic display realistic, however,

graphic primitives are assigned to the link. In general, graphics can be

assigned either from predefined primitives (such as the cylinder and sphere

used in the example) or by importing graphics from files. The latter is

common for complex geometry, and ways to do this are covered in the

accompanying projects.

construction may well take more than one session, it is often useful to save

the definition of the “desktop” – the windows, their contents, the last view

of the model, and so on. These items are relevant only to the interactive

graphics environment. They are of no use to the construction of hierarchical

systems (systems that are built using other systems).

this data. Session files usually have the suffix mvw, and contain the

complete MDL definition of the model in addition to the state of the desktop.

The MDL statements can be saved either in the MVW file or as a separate

MDL file that is referenced by the MVW file.

MotionView and MotionSolve together provide several building blocks, some

of which are more than the “basic” blocks we discussed in the earlier

chapter. Some of these are essential for the modeling of higher pairs. For

44

CAE and Multi Body Dynamics MBD Simulation with HyperWorks

a cam and its follower.

A complete list of the entities and their properties is contained in the online

documentation. The table below summarizes some of the more commonly

used entities.

Point Coordinates Usually used to define nodes

Body Mass, Moments of Inertia Local Coordinate Systems can be

defined if the moment of inertia’s

origin is not the same as the center-

of-mass

Spring Stiffness, Damping, Preload, Springs can be either helical or

Free length / angle torsional

Revolute Joint Names of the two bodies Leaves only 1 free dof – rotation

connected by the joint, and about the axis

the axis of revolution

Translational Joint Names of the two bodies Leaves only 1 dof free – translation

connected by the joint, and along the axis

the axis of sliding

Ball Joint Names of the two bodies Leaves 3 dofs free – rotations about

connected by the joint, and the 3 axes

the center of rotation

Marker Body it is connected to, A marker is a Local Coordinate

origin and orientation System, but is treated as a distinct

entity. You can attach a marker to a

point on a link, and request output

for that marker!

System Points of attachment, These are roughly similar to

orientation and initial subroutines in a programming

conditions. language. A system can be saved in

a separate MDL file

Several more entities – joints, bodies, forces, etc. – are supported. See the

online documentation for details.

MotionSolve can solve several different classes of problems. The most

general class consists of problems in dynamic analysis, where the system

can have more than one uncontrolled dof.

30

These are called PTSF and PTCV constraints, respectively.

45

MBD Simulation with HyperWorks CAE and Multi Body Dynamics

of a mechanism. Kinematic analysis, used for systems that have no

uncontrolled dofs, is typically used early in the design cycle, at the concept

stage. Quasi-static analysis is applicable when the forces change with time,

but do so slowly. This means inertial forces can be ignored, and the static-

equilibrium equations can be solved at each instant of time. Stability analysis

is a good example of its usage.

MotionSolve does not read MDL or MVW files. Instead, MotionView creates

an XML file that is used as input by MotionSolve. Several different output

files can be generated. The important ones are:

good practice to review the log files after every analysis, checking

for errors or warnings.

animations in MotionView

HyperWorks, using the free player

HyperGraph

numerically integrate the differential equations of motion. The numerical

solution of the non-linear equations is iterative. That is, the solver first

guesses at a set of values and checks whether these form the solution at

that instant of time or not. If there’s an error, the software corrects the

guess and repeats the cycle until the error is within an acceptable tolerance.

Once this happens, the software concludes that the iteration has converged,

and moves onto the next time step. If the error does not fall within the

specified tolerance within a specified set of iterations, the software

concludes that the solution has diverged (i.e. not converged) and gives up

the hunt for the answer.

adequate, but in advanced situations, you will need to choose between the

Maximum Kinetic Energy Attrition method and the Force Imbalance method,

between the Adams-Bashforth-Adams-Moulton and VSTIFF / MSTIFF

integrators, the integration-time-step size, the iteration tolerance etc.

46

CAE and Multi Body Dynamics MBD Simulation with HyperWorks

Familiarity with the mathematics is, of course, essential for proper choice of

these settings. The online documentation and the references listed at the

end of this book are a good place to cover these topics.

One warning, however, is that the default settings work well for a wide

range of physically realistic problems. That is, for problems where the

properties of various entities in the system are realistic. Entering

meaningless values, or neglecting to check for consistency in units are the

first things to check for if MotionSolve fails to converge.

MotionView and MotionSolve are quite closely integrated with the other

HyperWorks applications. For instance, it is possible to use MotionView,

together with HyperForm, to construct extremely realistic and useful

simulations of stamping transfer presses.

world over. Several samples can be found on the website listed at the end of

this book.

Freedom is not worth having if it does not include the freedom to make

mistakes.

Mahatma Gandhi

47

Advanced Topics CAE and Multi Body Dynamics

Advanced Topics

Modeling physical systems can be extremely satisfying, but it is quite a

challenging task. As Tom Clancy put it31, “The difference between fiction and

reality? Fiction has to make sense.”

limited by several things: the assumptions inherent in the model that

generates the equations to be solved, the algorithms used to solve the

equations, the precision of the computer if numerical methods are used, and

so on.

can be swept under the carpet. That is, the errors introduced by the

abstraction can be compensated for by tuning the model, as outlined earlier.

However there are some situations in which more detail has to be included,

for the simulation to be realistic and useful. Some of these are discussed

briefly in the pages that follow.

Flexibility

When asked “Is light a particle or a wave?”, Einstein is supposed to have

answered, wholly seriously, “Yes”. Wondering whether a body is rigid or

flexible is a similar question, and deserves the same answer.

The sheer complexity of including the effects of the elasticity of links has led

to the widely used assumption of rigid links but that is not always accurate

enough.

Compliant Joints

The pin-joint in a link can be a major source of error, as any designer who

has analyzed tolerance stackup can attest. As we have seen, designers

usually try to reduce the number of links in a chain. In some applications

such as the “scissor linkage” or in several open loop mechanisms, however,

the number of links is deliberately large. In cases like these, or in case

where precision is extremely important, including the compliance of a joint

in the model can make a significant difference.

31

In a similar vein, Mark Twain observed that “It's no wonder that truth is stranger

than fiction. Fiction has to make sense.”

48

CAE and Multi Body Dynamics Advanced Topics

At high speeds, the effects of inertial forces are large enough that the

deformation of the links may be significant. Neglecting these may well lead

to failure of the mechanism: it may jam, vibrate too much, generate too

much noise, and so on.

Compliant Links

An interest in high precision makes it preferable that the deflection of the

links because of elastic deformation be included in the model. In

mechanisms that involve bodies of different materials, some materials may

be much less stiff than others – which means the stiffer ones can be

considered rigid, while the more flexible ones should, preferably, be

compliant.

Finite Element Analysis is widely used to calculate stresses and deformations

due to elastic effects, and it is only natural that an interface between FEA

and MBD is the preferred way to include the effect of link-compliance in MD

simulation.

One challenge, of course, is that the very approaches of FEM and MBD are

different. One uses a distributed model while the other uses a lumped

model. The first results in partial differential equations while the latter yields

ordinary differential equations.

But there is one approach, used even in “pure” FEA to reduce the size of the

problem, that allows us to elegantly mix the two methods. Called

Component Mode Synthesis (CMS), it involves representing a set of

elements as a black-box. That is, the set of elements is reduced to a matrix,

the size of which is defined by the number of modes that are employed in

the abstraction. A complete discussion of the theory of the method is

beyond the scope of this book. An excellent description that is both

complete and very comprehensible can be found in Structural Dynamics, by

R.R.Craig32.

32

The Craig-Bampton and Craig-Chang methods, the most widely used CMS

methods, both bear his name.

49

Advanced Topics CAE and Multi Body Dynamics

Contact

The very nature of MBD means that in many cases bodies move through

large distances during the periods of interest. The movement may cause

contact to occur between different bodies, or between different surfaces of

the same body. In turn, the contacts give rise to forces.

designed to make and break contact. The duration of contact is a critical

parameter, particularly for high-voltage equipment.

The problem, then, is for the simulation tool to figure out whether contact

has been made or contact has been broken. This necessarily complicates the

MBD modeling approach, since such a calculation is based on a knowledge

of where one body ends and another begins. In other words, the definitions

of the surfaces that make up the outer volumes of the bodies are essential.

This is quite a departure from the approach we have seen so far, where the

surface definitions of the body are dispensable for the calculations. In the

absence of contact, the inclusion of the surfaces is mainly to aid

visualization.

surfaces are no longer optional. They are an essential part of the problem

definition.

you are sure that two links are always going to be in contact, then it is more

efficient to use a constraint such as a point-to-curve or a point-to-surface

constraint. It is when you are unsure of whether the bodies will be in

contact with each other or not that a full modeling of contact becomes

essential.

And since the establishment of contact is a collision, the COR must be

specified whenever contact is used.

There’s another bit of data that makes a larger difference to the solution

than the COR. And unfortunately, is even harder to characterize. This is the

coefficient of friction.

50

CAE and Multi Body Dynamics Advanced Topics

When one object rolls against another, it is important to establish whether

slip is involved or the motion is pure rolling. For involute gears, for instance,

slip is involved at all points of contact except at the pitch point. If slip is

involved, the coefficient of friction is different than if the motion is pure

rolling.

The “Laws” of solid friction are probably better referred to as “Theories” of

solid friction. The study of the mechanics of friction dates back at least to

Leonardo da Vinci’s times, but the accepted “Law” of friction is not as useful

as we would like it to be. David Kessler put it quite clearly when he wrote33

physicists can tell you a lot about quarks, quasars and other

exotica, there is still no universally accepted explanation of the

basic laws of friction."

two types: static and dynamic. Static Friction occurs when there is no

relative motion between the surfaces in contact with each other, while

Dynamic Friction applies if there is relative motion. What of the transition

zone between static and dynamic friction? This is sometimes referred to as

Stiction, probably derived from “sticky friction”, which is seen when a body

is just beginning to move: it is also sometimes called the Limiting Friction.

F = µ • RN

where µ is the coefficient of friction, and RN is the normal reaction at the

point or surface of contact.

33

In the journal Nature (413, 285-288, 20 September 2001)

51

Advanced Topics CAE and Multi Body Dynamics

where µs is the static coefficient of friction, µd is the dynamic coefficient of

friction, vs is the stiction transition velocity, and vd is the friction transition

velocity.

Control Systems

In 196os, several spacecraft, the Ranger series, were

dispatched to explore the surface of the moon. The craft

were supposed to rough-land on the moon, so needed some

way to stabilize and control their descent from second-stage

ejection till the lunar landing. Signals from Earth were used to

control the system, but one of the problems34 in particular is

relevant to our discussion.

Given the gyro’s time constant and inertia, the designer’s

problem is to estimate the gain so that the response of the

Ranger to a step input (sent from earth) would overshoot by

less than 5%.

manual transmission” systems used in high-performance cars. This is of a

manual transmission, but without a clutch pedal. When the driver shifts

gears, a control system manages the clutch – the actuation force is usually

provided using either electronic or hydraulic actuators. This approach

reduces the time it takes to change gears.

the MBD model. Including the control system and supplying input to the

system is more realistic than omitting it from the model and applying the

motion or forces directly to the mechanical component.

concepts in Control Theory is in order.

34

Described here in simplified terms

52

CAE and Multi Body Dynamics Advanced Topics

If the behavior of a system is represented by an nth order differential

equation, the State Space approach involves reducing this to a set of n

coupled first order differential equations. The forms are entirely equivalent,

but the latter is better suited for computer simulation.

m&x& + cx& + kx = f (t )

x& = v

( m)x − (b m)v

v& = f (t ) − k

Here, x and v are the state variables, and the set of equations involves only

first derivatives of the state variables. (The second equation is obtained from

the equilibrium equation by simple substitution for x& and &x& , followed by

rearrangement of terms to leave only v& on the left hand side).

the response to specified inputs, and calculation of the transfer-function. It

is particularly convenient when the system has multiple inputs and multiple

outputs – a MIMO control system.

form, uses 4 matrices named A, B, C and D. This nomenclature is used by

MotionSolve for the definition of MIMO systems.

Laplace Transforms

The Laplace transform of a function is defined by the equation

∞

Y ( s ) = L( y (t )) = ∫ y (τ )e − sτ dτ

0

53

Advanced Topics CAE and Multi Body Dynamics

have several advantages including the fact that they are distributive, which

means

L[r (t ) + s (t )] = L[r (t )] + L( s (t )}

differentiation of a signal is equivalent to multiplication of its Laplace

transform by s, while its integration is equivalent to multiplying its transform

by s.

Block Diagrams

The Laplace transform of the transfer functions of the various elements of a

control-loop are usually represented by a block diagram, such as that shown

below:

electrical-systems. They are less common in modeling of mechanical

systems.

With MotionView and MotionSolve, you can include control systems in your

model, though not as a block diagram. Look up the online documentation for

MotionSolve for details on how to build MBD models that include Single-

Input-Single-Output (SISO) and Multiple Input Multiple Output (MIMO)

systems using the Laplace transform and state-space representations.

There are only 6 lower pairs, but any number of higher pairs can be

constructed. Several higher pairs are fairly esoteric, which means their

applications are restricted to specific domains. Modeling elements for tires,

for instance, are called for almost exclusively by vehicle-dynamics designers.

the modeling tool supports programmatic control. For instance, a one-way

54

CAE and Multi Body Dynamics Advanced Topics

change properties based on the direction of rotation35.

Two higher-pairs that are extremely common are cams and gears.

Cams

A cam rotates about an axis and pushes a follower. The cam usually rotates

at a uniform speed, and the profile of the cam is chosen so as to deliver the

required motion to the follower. There are various classifications of both

cams and followers, most of which reflect the topology or shape of the

respective elements36. The follower is usually spring loaded to ensure that it

stays in contact with the cam all through the rotation cycle.

1. the profile the cam should have to achieve a required motion – the rise,

dwell and return

2. the velocities and accelerations of the follower, and the resulting forces

on the various components in the assembly

The first is usually the more interesting problem, but the second is no less

challenging. Sometimes the cam profile is determined to match a specified

follower-motion, but such cams can be expensive to manufacture. Often a

predetermined cam profile is chosen and the follower of the motion is to be

determined so that the design of the rest of the assembly can be tailored

accordingly. In 4-stroke IC engines, for instance, designers need to

determine the forces on the tappet.

Positive Return Cam,

from the KMODDL

The joint between the cam and its follower is maintained by contact. General

contact can be used, but this approach is subject to the difficulties discussed

above, in the section on Contact. It is usually more computationally efficient

to use point-to-curve (PTCV) or point-to-surface (PTSF) constraints. This

approach does sacrifice some of the generality offered by a full-fledged

contact model. For instance, the PTCV constraint does not allow for contact

to be broken. But at the concept design stage, the analysis is usually a

kinematic analysis, since the goal is to derive the required profile of the cam.

Once this is done constraints like the PTCV can be used to verify that there

35

MotionView provides support both for bushes and for programmatic control. See

the companion volume Managing the CAE Process – Basics.

36

Details can be found in any undergraduate-text on Machine Design.

55

Advanced Topics CAE and Multi Body Dynamics

has been no loss of contact. If there is indeed loss of contact, full fledged

contact modeling is essential.

Contact between the cam and follower can break if the spring-load is not

enough to compensate for the inertial forces (that is, forces due to the

accelerations the bodies experience). In engine-design this commonly called

valve float, because cams are mainly used in the engine to control the valve-

timing of four-stroke engines. The term lift-off is also used in several

applications.

Gears

There are two distinct problems posed by gears, which serve to transmit

torque between different axes of rotation.

Accordingly, the tooth itself needs to be designed for strength. The design of

gear teeth is a subject that is normally not covered by MBD simulation. MBD

analysis can help calculate the tooth-loads, and these loads can then be

used as input for a stress analysis program – usually using Finite Element

Analysis.

The other main class of problems deals with the design of the gear train

itself. Gear trains range from the aptly named simple gear trains to the

amazingly complex epicyclic gear trains. In these cases, analyzing the

motion of the output shaft and calculating the ratio of input and output

torques are the main areas of interest. An excellent range of models and

animations at the KMODDL shows how complex the motion of gear trains

can be. The images of a 4-bar mechanism with two gears, taken from an

animation at the KMODDL, illustrate how complex the motion can be.

Designers of planetary gear trains need to calculate the loads on each gear.

Several gearboxes allow for multiple inversions of the gear train – that is,

different gears are held “fixed” to generate different motion. MBD models go

a long way towards eliminating the tedium and error in this demanding task.

MBD models also make it easier to estimate the efficiency of the gear train.

A detailed discussion of this aspect is beyond the scope of this book37.

37

See, for instance, Gear Handbook: The Design, Manufacture, and Application of

Gears by Dudley, D

56

CAE and Multi Body Dynamics Advanced Topics

Epicyclic gears are over 300 years old, and are widely used today in a

variety of applications, ranging from almost all propeller and turbine driven

aircraft to lawn-mowers. While they are more challenging to design, the

present a host of advantages, principally a lower weight and volume.

Calculating the efficiency of the gear train is an important but tedious task

even for gears whose axes of rotation are fixed, like the worm-driven helical-

rack-and-pinion shown alongside38.

Revolute joints define the axes of rotation of the

shafts, while the gear joint represents the constraint

between the two revolute joints.

If everything seems under control, you're just not going fast enough

Mario Andretti

38

This image too, is from a model at the KMODDL.

57

Glossary and References CAE and Multi Body Dynamics

References

Applied Kinematics, Kurt Hain

G.N.Erdman

A.G.Sandor, G.N.Erdman

of Machines and Mechanisms , Robert L. Norton

Other Resources

www.altair-india.com/edu, which is periodically updated, contains case

studies of actual usage. It also carries tips on software usage.

(http://kmoddl.library.cornell.edu) is an excellent resource both for a

historical coverage of mechanisms, animations of models and for several e-

books, including da Vinci’s Codex Madrid I and Hartenburg’s Kinematic

Synthesis of Linkages.

Types of Analyses

The table below39, is a convenient way to summarize the types of analyses,

the data required for each, the principles involved in finding the solutions,

and the types of results that can be calculated.

Method

Statics Kinetostatics Dynamics

39

From Advanced Mechanism Design, Erdman and Sandor

58

CAE and Multi Body Dynamics Glossary and References

Weight of links

Masses / may be required

Required Required

Inertias but the inertia is

not

Specified in

Input

terms of

Information Specified at

Loading Specified position,

and each position

velocity, and /

assumptions

or time

Position,

Positions velocity and

Motion Unknown

specified acceleration

specified

Position,

Force required to Force required velocity and

balance load, to sustain acceleration of

mechanical assumed each member

Output Information

advantage at motion, as a function

each position, reactions in of time – that

reactions in joints joints is, the actual

motion

D’Alembert’s

Differential

Statics, Linear principle,

Required analytical tools equations of

Algebra statics, linear

motion

algebra

In these days of 3D CAD, we often pay little attention to the geometric and

mass properties of the bodies we’re working with. Most CAD packages can

quickly and accurately give you these properties even for complicated

shapes.

However this reliance on CAD calculations often leads to mistakes which can

critically affect the analysis. The most common mistake is to forget that the

Moments of Inertia are strongly orientation dependent. A moment’s

reflection will remind you that this is only to be expected, since Mass

Moments of Inertia are related to angular acceleration by40

T = Iα

40

Similar to F = ma for linear acceleration. Look up Euler’s Equations of Motion for a

more complete treatment of the variables involved.

59

Glossary and References CAE and Multi Body Dynamics

acceleration. Which Moment of Inertia should be chosen depends on the

axis of rotation.

I xx = ∫∫∫ ( y 2 + z 2 )dm

I yy = ∫∫∫ ( x 2 + z 2 )dm

I zz = ∫∫∫ ( y 2 + x 2 )dm

I xy = ∫∫∫ z 2 dm

I xz = ∫∫∫ y 2 dm

I yz = ∫∫∫ x 2 dm

Ix

rx =

mass

When you build a model, it’s useful to run a first analysis with approximate

bodies – cylinders, boxes, etc. – both to reduce computation time and to

verify that the range that the properties lie in is acceptable to the Solver’s

default settings.

The Moments of Inertia of some “primitives” are listed below. All the values

are about the center of gravity. Refer to any text on Statics for details – see,

for example, Theoretical Mechanics by P.F.Smith and W.R.Longley. Note that

the units are mass*length2. In SI units, therefore, the mass moment of

inertia would be in kg-m2.

Mass moments of inertia should not be confused with the area moments of

inertia, used for example in the formulae for beam bending. The area

moment of inertia uses a different formula, and has the units m4.

60

CAE and Multi Body Dynamics Glossary and References

Cylinder with open ends

The z axis is along the axis of the cylinder. The x and y axes are any

diameters.

1

Iz = m(r1 + r2 )

2 2

2

1

I x = I y = m(3r1 + 3r2 + h 2 )

2 2

12

where m is the mass, r1 is the inner diameter, r2 is the outer diameter, and h

is the height.

Solid Sphere

2mr 2

I=

5

Cuboid

1

Ih = m( w 2 + d 2 )

12

1

I d = m( w 2 + h 2 )

12

1

I w = m( h 2 + d 2 )

12

where m is the mass, and h, d and w are the dimensions along the 3

principal directions. The origin of the 3 axes is at the center of mass of the

cuboid.

Friction coefficients are extremely sensitive to the presence / absence of

lubrication, as well as to other factors like the pressure between the

surfaces, surface finish, etc. The values in this table should be treated with

corresponding care. Several websites provide similar information (see, for

instance, http://www.roymech.co.uk/Useful_Tables/Tribology/co_of_frict.htm)

which are useful for preliminary design. For further analyses, nothing beats

lab tests.

61

Glossary and References CAE and Multi Body Dynamics

Coefficient Of Friction

Material 1 Material 2 Dry Greasy

Static Sliding St at ic Sliding

Aluminum Aluminum 1.05- 1.4 0.3

Aluminum Mild Steel 0.61 0.47

Brake Material Cast Iron 0.4

Brake Material Cast Iron (Wet) 0.2

Bronze Cast Iron 0.22

Bronze Steel 0.16

Cadmium Cadmium 0.5 0.05

Cadmium Mild Steel 0.46

Cast Iron Cast Iron 1.1 0.15 0.07

Chromium Chromium 0.41 0.34

Copper Cast Iron 1.05 0.29

Copper Copper 1.0 0.08

Copper Mild Steel 0.53 0.36 0.18

Copper Steel 0.8

Copper Steel (304 stainless) 0.23 0.21

Copper-Lead Alloy Steel 0.22 -

Glass Glass 0.9 - 1.0 0.4 0.1 - 0.09-

Glass Metal 0.5 - 0.7 0.2 -

Glass Nickel 0.78 0.56

Graphite Steel 0.1 0.1

Plexiglas Plexiglas 0.8 0.8

Plexiglas Steel 0.4 - 0.5 0.4 -

Polystyrene Polystyrene 0.5 0.5

Steel Brass 0.35 0.19

Steel Cast Iron 0.4 0.21

Steel Phos Bros 0.35

Steel(Hard) Polystyrene 0.3-0.35 0.3-

Steel (Mild) Steel (Mild) 0.74 0.57 0.09-

Steel(Hard) Steel (Hard) 0.78 0.42 0.05 - 0.029-

Teflon Steel 0.04 0.04 0.04

Teflon Teflon 0.04 0.04 0.04

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