Kinematics and Compliance (K & C) Simulation Using a Nonlinear Finite Element Model 2010-01-0951
Kinematics and Compliance (K&C) testing is used to evaluate the ride and handling performance of an automobile. During a typical K&C test, the vehicle body is fixed while controlled forces or displacements are applied to the wheels. The results of the test include vehicle suspension parameters, such as toe, camber, etc. Numerical simulations of this test are usually performed using multibody dynamics software that introduces simplifying rigid body assumptions. However, the need for component flexibility in K&C simulation is increasing along with demand for more precise suspension system designs. In this paper, a new methodology for K&C simulation is proposed using Abaqus. First, rigid body suspension mechanism analyses are performed using Abaqus and Adams, and the results are compared. Then a nonlinear Abaqus finite element model, with flexible suspension components and vehicle body, is analyzed and the results are compared with the rigid body suspension analyses. Significant differences are observed between the results of these two models, which imply that flexibility plays an important role in K&C testing.