Kinematics for unilateral constraints in multibody dynamics

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This paper is concerned with the kinematics of unilateral constraints in multibody dynamics. These constraints are related to the contact between parts and the principle of impenetrability of matter and have the property that they may be active, in which case they give rise to constraint forces, or passive, in which case they do not give rise to constraint forces. In order to check whether the constraint is active or passive a distance function between parts of the multibody is required. The paper gives a rigorous definition of the distance function and derives certain of its properties. The unilateral constraint may then be expressed in terms of this distance function. The paper analyses the transitions from passive constraints to active and vice versa. Sufficient regularity of the transplacements of the parts and their boundary surfaces will lead to specific properties of the time derivative of the distance function. When the unilateral constraint is active then the parts are geometrically in contact and there is a certain contact surface that, in specific cases, may degenerate into a point. If the parts are in mechanical contact over the contact surface then there will be an interaction between the parts given by contact forces, such as normal and friction forces. Parts in contact may be at rest relative to one another, over the contact surface, or they may be in relative sliding motion. The transition from non-sliding contact to sliding and from sliding to non-sliding is discussed and necessary conditions on the relative velocity and the traction vector are derived. Appropriate complementary conditions are then formulated. These are instrumental when the technique of linear complementarity is used in order to find solutions to the equations of motion.


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Sidor (från-till)1654-1687
Antal sidor34
TidskriftMathematics and Mechanics of Solids
Utgåva nummer8
StatusPublished - 2017 aug 1
Peer review utfördJa