Nonlinear Dynamics

, Volume 77, Issue 1–2, pp 1–15 | Cite as

A piecewise beam element based on absolute nodal coordinate formulation

  • Zuqing Yu
  • Peng Lan
  • Nianli Lu
Original Paper


The element created in this investigation is based on the it absolute nodal coordinate formulation (ANCF) which has been successfully used in flexible multibody system dynamic and integration of computer aid design and analysis (ICADA). When modeling a B-spline curve with ANCF beam element, it is the common manner to convert this curve into a series of Bézier curves because the systematical conversion between ANCF beam element and a Bézier curve has already been built. In order to avoid the constrain equation produced in this method and to express a B-spline curve using only one element, an alternative approach is developed, leading to the piecewise ANCF (PANCF) beam element. It is demonstrated that when two ANCF beam elements are connected according to a particular continuity, they can constitute a PANCF element. Besides, a new PANCF element will be produced when an ANCF element is connected to an existing PANCF element. The continuity condition can be automatically ensured by the selection of nodal coordinates and the calculation of the piecewise continuous shape functions. The algorithm for converting a B-spline curve to a PANCF beam element is then given. There also are discussions on the features of PANCF element. When two neighboring segments of PANCF element have the same assumed length, the position vector at the interface cannot be expressed by the other coordinates so the position vector is preserved in the \(C^{2}\) continuous situation. Two examples are given to conclude the interpolation and continuity properties of the shape function and to demonstrate the feasibility of this PANCF in the ICADA.


Piecewise absolute nodal coordinate formulation Finite element method B-spline curve Flexible multibody system dynamics 



This research is supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant No. 11172076) and by Science and Technology Innovation Talent Foundation of Harbin (2012RFLXG020).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Mechatronic EngineeringHarbin Institute of TechnologyHarbin People’s Republic of China

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