Free planar motion of flexible beams in MBS - A comparison of models

R. Zander, H. Ulbrich

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Two approaches for the description of free planar motion of elastic beam structures are studied: a method using redundant coordinate sets to maintain a moving frame of reference (MFR) discretization in a finite element formulation and the absolute nodal coordinate formulation (ANCF). Both are treated within the modern framework for multi-body systems including bi- and unilateral constraints as well as non-smooth dynamics. Numerical efficiency and accuracy of the models are investigated using two examples: A slider-crank mechanism with a flexible beam is used to study computational cost and the convergence for finer spatial discretizations. Non-smooth dynamics is studied for an elastic rocking rod built of an elastic beam bouncing on two fixed point obstacles.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)365-387
Number of pages23
JournalMechanics Based Design of Structures and Machines
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2006


  • Absolute nodal coordinate formulation
  • Elastic multibody system
  • Finite element
  • Non-smooth dynamics
  • Numerical efficiency
  • Unilateral and bilateral constraints


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