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 .
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