Finite Element Approach to Modeling the Dynamics Response of Rubber-Belted Tractor
This research project investigates the feasibility of using a commercial finite element code to capture the dynamic response of a typical rubber-belted tractor for agricultural applications. The investigation focused on one of Caterpillar Inc.'s Ag Challenger Series tractors. A feasibility study concluded that Abaqus/Explicit , a finite element code utilizing the explicit scheme, had the desirable features needed to develop such a large-scale tractor model. These features include an efficient time integration scheme, three-dimensional generalized multiple contacts, and nonlinear material characterization. The fully-assembled tractor model was successful in simulating the forward motion. A preliminary validation indicated that the tractor model was able to predict a trend which was observed in field tests accurately.