Shabana, A., Jayakumar, P., and Letherwood, M., "Development of New Generation of Multibody System Computer Software," SAE Technical Paper 2013-01-1192, 2013, doi:10.4271/2013-01-1192.
This paper discusses a new Department of Defense (DoD) initiative focused on the development of new generation of MBS computer software that have capabilities and features that are not provided by existing MBS software technology. This three-decade old technology fails to meet new challenges of developing more detailed models in which the effects of significant changes in geometry and large deformations cannot be ignored. New applications require accurate continuum mechanics based vehicle/soil interaction models, belt and chain drive models, efficient and accurate continuum based tire models, cable models used in rescue missions, models that accurately capture large deformations due to thermal and excessive loads, more accurate bio-mechanics models for ligaments, muscles, and soft tissues (LMST), etc. Addressing these modeling and virtual prototyping challenges is necessary in order for industries and federal laboratories to have a new generation of MBS software that will serve their mission. The development of such a new software technology will require a successful integration of computational geometry (CG), FE, and MBS algorithms. Existing MBS algorithms have a structure and formulations that do not allow for such a successful CG/FE/MBS integration. Furthermore, the FE kinematic description is not consistent with CG methods (B-spline and NURBS) used in CAD, that is, the geometry of CAD models is not preserved when these models are converted to a FE mesh for performing the analysis. On the other hand, the use of CG methods as analysis tools is also not recommended for MBS applications that require certain treatments of the joints and constraints. For this reason, a fundamentally different FE approach is required for the new integration of CG, large displacement FE, and MBS algorithm.