Modeling Vehicle Suspension Structural Compliance at Ford Motor Company Using a Coupling of ADAMS™ and MSC/NASTRAN™ 941118

The Core Development Technology group at the Ford Motor Company is actively involved in correlating analytical (ADAMS) vehicle models with objective (telemetric) data from instrumented vehicles. In the past, vehicle compliances were introduced into the ADAMS model by using the ADAMS elements; TIREs, nonlinear BUSHINGs and BEAMs. With the advent of ADAMS/FEA™ [1], a data translator which provides a two-way interface between ADAMS and MSC/NASTRAN, vehicle models may now include the effects of geometrically complex component stiffness and total body compliance in the ADAMS full vehicle simulation. This paper examines the effects of these added compliances on an ADAMS vehicle model by comparing the dynamic toe and camber angles of a vehicle with rigid upper and lower control arms to a vehicle with flexible upper and lower control arms built from MSC/NASTRAN data. The results demonstrate that complex problems can be very efficiently modeled and simulated by combining finite element analysis (MSC/NASTRAN [2]) and mechanical system simulation (ADAMS [3]) technologies.


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