Distributed Deformation: a Finite Element Method

  • Jorge Ambrósio
Part of the CISM International Centre for Mechanical Sciences book series (CISM, volume 511)


The finite element method has been established as the most important computational procedure to describe deformations of structural systems. But, the limitation of the finite element method to describe large deformations accurately is also well known. The use of multibody dynamics is the most general and accurate computational methodology to describe the large relative rotations of the systems components. The use of the finite element method in the framework of multibody dynamics leads to the ability to model flexible multibody systems that not only describe the large gross motion of the system components but also their deformations, as those shown in Figure 17.1. Finite element based approaches to describe flexible multibody systems, experiencing small and large deformations and the formulation of kinematic joints are discussed here. Several examples are introduced to be used, later, in optimization of flexible multibody systems.
Figure 17.1.

Selected systems in which the flexibility plays important roles (a) Robot; (b) Road vehicle; (c) Train pantograph


Multibody System Absolute Nodal Coordinate Formulation Kinematic Joint Flexible Body Flexible Multibody System 
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© CISM, Udine 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jorge Ambrósio
    • 1
  1. 1.IDMEC, Instituto Superior TécnicoTechnical University of LisbonLisbonPortugal

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