Multibody System/Finite Element Simulation of Belt Drives and Rubber Tracked Vehicles 2008-01-2668
In this investigation, a new nonlinear finite element dynamic model for the analysis of three-dimensional belt drives and rubber chains in multibody tracked vehicles is developed. In the model developed in this investigation, belts and rubber chains are modeled as continuous deformable bodies using the finite element absolute nodal coordinate formulation (ANCF). Using this finite element formulation, nonlinear material constitutive equations can be used in a straight forward manner with structural elements such as beams and plates. In this study, a Mooney-Rivlin constitutive law that assumes incompressibility of the material is used to model the elastic behavior of the belts and rubber chains. The finite element formulation presented in this paper is implemented in a general purpose three-dimensional flexible multibody algorithm that allows for developing detailed models of mechanical systems subject to general loading conditions, nonlinear algebraic constraint equations, and arbitrary large displacements that characterize belt drives and tracked vehicle dynamics. A computer simulation of a three-dimensional 996-degree-of-freedom multibody tracked vehicle model that consists of twenty rigid bodies and two flexible rubber chains is used in order to demonstrate the use of the formulation presented in this investigation.