On the Validation and Applications of a Parallel Flexible Multi-Body Dynamics Implementation

Daniel J. Melanz
University of Wisconsin – Madison
University of Wisconsin – Madison, 2012


   title={On the Validation and Applications of a Parallel Flexible Multi-body Dynamics Implementation},

   author={Melanz, D.J.},




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This work discusses how a flexible body formalism, specifically, the Absolute Nodal Coordinate Formulation (ANCF), is combined with the Discrete Element Method (DEM) and the Newmark implicit integration method to address many-body dynamics problems; i.e., problems with hundreds of thousands of rigid and deformable bodies. DEM is used to model friction and contact between elements, while the Newmark implicit integration method allows constraints to be created between nodes and allows for large integration time steps. Since the computational effort associated with these problems is significant, the analytical framework is implemented to leverage the computational power available on the Graphical Processing Unit (GPU) cards. The developed code is validated against existing commercial and research finite element analysis software and its efficiency is compared against that of a serial implementation. Several applications are simulated to demonstrate the capabilities of the implementation.
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