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Full Vehicle Durability Using Abaqus/Standard to Abaqus/Explicit Co-simulation 2011

Full Vehicle Durability Using Abaqus/Standard to Abaqus/Explicit Co-simulation 2011

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Published by SIMULIACorp
In this Technology Brief, a co-simulation approach between Abaqus/Standard and Abaqus/Explicit is used to predict vehicle behavior on durability test tracks. The vehicle body and suspension, which typically respond in a mildly nonlinear manner, are solved using the implicit solution technique.
In this Technology Brief, a co-simulation approach between Abaqus/Standard and Abaqus/Explicit is used to predict vehicle behavior on durability test tracks. The vehicle body and suspension, which typically respond in a mildly nonlinear manner, are solved using the implicit solution technique.

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Published by: SIMULIACorp on Aug 17, 2012
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Abaqus Technology Brief 
TB-11-FVD-1Revised: November 2011
Finite element simulation of full vehicle behavior can pro-vide significant savings of time and money in the automo-bile development cycle. Realistic analyses offer valuableinsight into vehicle durability and can eliminate costly de-sign changes.When a vehicle traverses road irregularities or obstacles,it may experience highly dynamic loading, and the differ-ent subsystems respond with varying degrees of nonlin-earity. High fidelity system-level simulation requires abroad range of analysis functionality such as nonlinear material behavior, contact interactions, and mechanismswith complex kinematic constraints.In this Technology Brief, a co-simulation approach be-tween Abaqus/Standard and Abaqus/Explicit is used topredict vehicle behavior on durability test tracks. The ve-hicle body and suspension, which typically respond in amildly nonlinear manner, are solved using the implicit so-lution technique. The tires, which experience impact load-ing and rapid changes in contact state, are solved usingthe explicit solution technique. The co-simulation ap-proach allows for an efficient analysis by capitalizing onthe strengths of both solution techniques simultaneously.
 An automobile is a complex system consisting of variousmechanical, electronic, and logical subsystems. The vehi-cle experiences a wide range of service loads: road haz-ards, wind, thermal cycles, etc. From a mechanicalstrength and durability perspective, the loads of primaryconcern are those caused by irregularities and obstacleson the road.
 A schematic of the vehicle durability workflow is shown inFigure 1. The starting point is the road loading acting atthe wheel centers. At the beginning of the design cycle,physical prototypes are not available and in the absenceof test data, load information from previous prototypeshas to be used. This data might not be very representa-tive of the vehicle under development. Since building pro-totypes and executing long duration trials on fatigue refer-ence roads and other scenarios is expensive and timeconsuming, there is growing emphasis on a simulation-based approach to obtaining road load data [1].
Finite Element Analysis Approach
Finite element (FE) software is widely used in vehicledurability programs. While the use of FE software has
Full Vehicle Durability Using Abaqus/Standard to Abaqus/ExplicitCo-simulation
traditionally been limited to component level simulations,rapid progress in the area of high performance computingis enabling its use in full vehicle simulations.The equation solution phase of an FE analysis can use animplicit or explicit technique. The implicit technique is ide-ally suited for long duration problems where the responseis moderately nonlinear. While each time increment asso-ciated with the implicit solver is relatively large, it is com-putationally expensive and may pose convergence chal-lenges.
Key Abaqus Features and Benefits
Co-simulation capability combines the uniquestrengths of Abaqus/Standard and Abaqus/Explicit to more effectively perform complexsimulations
General contact capability in Abaqus/Explicitallows for handling of rapid changes in contactconditions between the tire and the road
Substructures in Abaqus/Standard provide acost-effective way to model the linear responseof the body for long duration events
Connector elements for modeling complex kine-matic connections in the suspension and steer-ing systems
The explicit technique is very robust and ideal for model-ing short duration, highly nonlinear events involving rapidchanges in contact state and large material deformation.While each time increment associated with the explicitsolver is relatively inexpensive, numerical stability re-quires that it be very small. A large number of incrementsis thus required for typical durability scenarios, imposing avery long simulation time.When a vehicle travels over an obstacle, the tires are im-pacted and can experience large, rapid deformations. Thebody, because it is isolated from the impact by the sus-pension, responds in a linear or mildly nonlinear way rela-tive to the tire. When taken as a whole, the vehicle exhib-its a range of responses to the road load; some are ide-ally suited to Abaqus/Standard, some to Abaqus/Explicit. Abaqus/Standard to Abaqus/Explicit co-simulationallows the complete finite element mesh to be strategi-cally divided into two parts, one to be solved with the im-plicit technique and the other with the explicit technique.The two parts are solved as independent problems andcoupled together to ensure continuity of the global solu-tion across the interface boundaries. A detailed descrip-tion of the coupling algorithm can be found in [2].
Validation of Co-simulation Model 
The accuracy of the Abaqus co-simulation scheme is firstdemonstrated using a full vehicle model running over anobstacle 80 mm high at 30 km/h (Figure 2). The vehiclebody and suspension are solved using the implicit dy-namic solution technique in Abaqus/Standard, whereasthe tires and their contact with the road are simulated in Abaqus/Explicit.Four co-simulation interface nodes are used, correspond-ing to the four wheel centers. For simplicity and computa-tional performance, the vehicle body and the suspensioncomponents are assumed to be rigid. The results ob-tained from co-simulation are compared against thosefrom a standalone Abaqus/Explicit simulation modelingthe full vehicle. The vehicle body and the suspensioncomponents are assumed to be rigid in the standalone Abaqus/Explicit simulation as well.
Figure 1: Durability workflow 
Fatigue Reference Road Test 
The co-simulation scheme is then used to study the be-havior of a full vehicle running on a section of test tracklaid with Belgian blocks. The vehicles moves at 30 km/hfor a total distance of 65 meters. The event duration is 10seconds. The loading scenario is of moderate severity:the strains experienced by the vehicle body and suspen-sion components are not severe enough to cause plasticstrains. Under these conditions, the body as well as thesuspension components can be represented using sub-structures. Substructures in Abaqus/Standard allow a col-lection of elements to be grouped together and all but theretained degrees of freedom eliminated on the basis of linear response within the group. The dynamic behavior of the substructure is improved by including the eigenmodesof the system (Figure 3). Converting the body and sus-pension components into substructures reduces the over-all model size by a few orders of magnitude, thereby re-ducing the turnaround time drastically.The kinematic joints, bushings, springs and dampersin the suspension are modeled using connector elements.The contact interaction between the tires and the road ismodeled directly in Abaqus/Explicit. A schematic diagram of the simulation process is shownin Figure 4. The first step in the workflow is to perform thetire inflation and gravity settling of the vehicle. This load-ing scenario is performed quasi-statically in Abaqus/Standard using a loading rate slow enough to eliminatethe effects of inertia.
Figure 2: Co-simulation analysis of a vehicle traveling over an obstacleFigure 3: The dynamic response of the sub structure isenhanced by including eigenmodes
Figure 4: Fatigue reference road simulation workflow Figure 5: Comparison between Implicit-Explicit co-simulation (blue) and standalone Explicit simulation (red) at the left wheel center: (a) Longitudinal acceleration (b) Vertical acceleration (c) Vertical velocity (d) Vertical displacement 
The second step is to remove the tires from the vehiclemodel in Abaqus/Standard and transfer them to Abaqus/Explicit, leaving the body and suspension components for analysis in Abaqus/Standard. The finite element model of the test track is added to the Abaqus/Explicit analysis andcontact interactions between the tire and the road are de-fined. The final step is to perform the co-simulation analy-sis between the two models.

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