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Introduction to ANSYS
Rigid Body Dynamics
Customer Training Material
Lecture 4
“Transient Structural”
Analysis
(Rigid/Flexible Multibody
Dynamics )
Introduction to ANSYS Rigid Body Dynamics
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Topics Covered
A. Introduction to “Transient Structural” Analyses
B. Time Stepping
C. Including Nonlinearities
D. Part Specification and Meshing
E. Contact; Joints; and Springs
F. Initial Conditions
G. Loads; Supports; and Joint Conditions
H. Damping
I. Transient Structural Analysis Settings
J. Reviewing Results
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… Introduction
• “ Transient Structural” analysis provides users with the ability to
determine the dynamic response of the system under any type of
time-varying loads.
– Unlike “Rigid Dynamics” analyses, bodies can be either rigid or flexible.
For flexible bodies, nonlinear materials can be included, and stresses and
strains can be output.
– To perform Flexible
Dynamic Analyses, an
ANSYS Structural,
ANSYS Mechanical, or
ANSYS Multiphysics
license is required
Assembly shown here is from an Autodesk Inventor sample model
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… Introduction
• In a Transient Structural analysis, Workbench Simulation solves the
general equation of motion:
Some points of interest:
– Applied loads and joint conditions may be a function of time.
– As seen above, inertial and damping effects are now included. Hence, the
user should include density and damping in the model.
– Nonlinear effects, such as geometric, material, and/or contact nonlinearities,
are included by updating the stiffness matrix.
• “Transient Structural” analyses are needed to evaluate the response of
deformable bodies when inertial effects become significant.
– If inertial and damping effects can be ignored, consider performing a linear or
nonlinear static analysis instead
– If the loading is purely sinusoidal and the response is linear, a harmonic
response analysis is more efficient
– If the bodies can be assumed to be rigid and the kinematics of the system is
of interest, rigid dynamic analysis is more cost-effective
– In all other cases, Transient Structural analyses should be used, as it is the
most general type of dynamic analysis
| |{ } | |{ } ( ) | |{ } ( ) { } t F x x K x C x M = + +
  
Introduction to ANSYS Rigid Body Dynamics
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… Introduction
• Transient Structural analysis encompasses static structural analysis
and rigid dynamic analysis, and it allows for all types of Connections,
Loads, and Supports.
• However, one of the important considerations of performing
Transient Structural analysis is the time step size:
– The time step should be small enough to correctly describe the time-
varying loads
– The time step size controls the accuracy of capturing the dynamic
response. Hence, running a preliminary modal analysis is suggested in
Section E of Appendix-1.
– The time step size also controls the accuracy and convergence behavior
of nonlinear systems. Background information on the Newton-Raphson
method is presented in Section F of Appendix-1.
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B. Time step sizes
• While Transient Structural analyses use automatic time-stepping,
proper selection of the initial, minimum, and maximum time steps is
important to represent the dynamic response accurately:
– Unlike rigid dynamic analyses which use explicit time integration,
Transient Structural analyses use implicit time integration. Hence, the
time steps are usually larger for Transient Structural analyses
– The dynamic response can be thought of as various modeshapes of the
structure being excited by a loading. The initial time step should be
based on the modes (or frequency content) of the system.
– It is recommended to use automatic time-stepping (default):
• The maximum time step can be chosen based on accuracy concerns. This
value can be defined as the same or slightly larger than the initial time step
• The minimum time step can be input to prevent Workbench Simulation from
solving indefinitely. This minimum time step can be input as 1/100 or 1/1000 of
the initial time step
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C. Including Nonlinearities
• There are several sources of nonlinear behavior, and a Transient
Structural analysis may often include nonlinearities:
– Geometric nonlinearities: If a structure
experiences large deformations, its
changing geometric configuration can
cause nonlinear behavior.
– Material nonlinearities: A nonlinear stress-strain
relationship, such as metal plasticity shown on
the right, is another source of nonlinearities.
– Contact: Include effects of contact is a type
of “changing status” nonlinearity, where an
abrupt change in stiffness may occur when
bodies come in or out of contact with each other.
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D. Part Specification
• In a Transient Structural analysis, parts may be rigid or flexible:
– Under the “Geometry” branch, the “Stiffness Behavior” can be toggled
from “Flexible” to “Rigid” on a per-part basis
– Rigid and flexible parts can co-exist in the same model
• Consideration for flexible parts are the same as in static analyses:
– Specify appropriate material properties, such as density, Young’s
Modulus, and Poisson’s ratio
– Nonlinear materials, such as plasticity or hyperelasticity, can also be
included
• For rigid parts, the following apply:
– Density is the only material property needed to
calculate mass properties. All other material
specifications will be ignored.
– An “Inertial Coordinate System” will automatically
be defined at the centroid of the part
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… Part Specification
• For flexible bodies, the mesh density is based on the following:
– The mesh should be fine enough to capture the mode shapes of the
structure (dynamic response)
– If stresses and strains are of interest, the mesh should be fine enough to
capture these gradients accurately
• For rigid bodies, no mesh is produced
– Rigid bodies are rigid, so no
stresses, strains, or relative
deformation is calculated.
Hence, no mesh is required
– Internally, rigid bodies are
represented as point masses
located at the center of its
“Inertial Coordinate System”
Assembly shown here is from an Autodesk Inventor sample model
On the figure on the right, one can
see flexible bodies (meshed) and
rigid bodies (not meshed) in the
same model.
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E. Contact; Joints; Springs
• Contact, joints, or springs can be defined under the “Connections”
branch in Transient Structural analyses
– Contact is only defined between 2D or 3D flexible bodies. Contact is
used when parts can come in and out of contact or if frictional effects are
important.
• Nonlinear contact (rough, frictionless, frictional) is only available for faces of
3D bodies or edges of 2D bodies
– Joints can be defined between two bodies or from one body to ground.
Joints are meant to model mechanisms where the part(s) are always
touching but relative motion is possible.
• Joints are defined only on faces of 3D bodies
– Springs are defined for 3D rigid or flexible bodies. Springs provide
longitudinal stiffness and damping for the scoped region(s), meant to
represent stiffness/damping effects of parts not explicitly modeled.
• Springs can be defined on vertices, edges, or faces of 3D bodies
• Defined springs cannot have zero length
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… Contact
• In contact, parts are prevented from penetrating into each other. The
different type of contact describe behavior in the separation and
sliding directions:
Normal Direction Tangential Direction
Contact Type Separate Slide
Bonded no no
No Separation no yes
Rough yes no
Frictionless yes yes
Frictional yes
yes (when F
t

µ
N)
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… Contact
• Different contact formulations allow for establishing the mathematical
relationship between contacting solid bodies:
– For bonded and no separation contact, the contacting areas are known
beforehand based on the geometry and pinball region
• The recommended contact formulation to use is either “Pure Penalty” (default)
or “MPC”
– For rough, frictionless, and frictional contact,
the actual contacting areas are not known
a priori, so an iterative approach is required
• The recommended contact formulation to use
is “Augmented Lagrange”
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… Joints
• Joints can be defined between bodies or from a body to ground:
– Joints define the allowed motion (kinematic constraint) on surface(s)
– Various types of joints can be defined for flexible or rigid bodies:
• Fixed, Revolute, Cylindrical, Translational, Slot, Universal, Spherical, Planar, or
General Joints
– Definition and configuration of joints was covered in an earlier section
– Unlike rigid dynamic analysis, the actual – not relative – degrees of
freedom are specified
The animation on the right shows
an assembly using cylindrical and
revolute joints
Assembly shown here is from an Autodesk Inventor sample model
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… Joints
• In Transient Structural analyses, the user has an additional option of
specifying the behavior of the joint:
– “Rigid” (default) behavior means that the scoped surface(s) will not
deform but be treated as rigid surface(s). This means that a scoped
cylindrical surface will remain cylindrical throughout the analysis.
– “Deformable” behavior means that while the
joint constraint is satisfied, the scoped
surface(s) are free to deform. This means that
a scoped cylindrical surface may not remain
cylindrical throughout the analysis.
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… Springs
• Springs can be defined between bodies or from body to ground:
– Springs define the stiffness and/or damping of surface(s)
• Refer to Section I for additional details on damping
– Springs can be defined for rigid or flexible bodies
– These are longitudinal springs, so the stiffness or damping is related to
the change in length of the spring
• The spring must not have zero length
• Springs can be defined on vertices, edges, or surfaces
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F. Initial Conditions
– Initial displacement = 0, initial velocity ≠ 0
• Ramp a very small displacement value over a small time interval to produce the
desired initial velocity. Deactivate it for Step 2.
– Initial displacement ≠ 0, initial velocity ≠ 0
• Ramp the desired initial displacement over a time interval to produce the
desired initial velocity. Deactivate it for Step 2.
– Initial displacement ≠ 0, initial velocity = 0
• Step apply the desired initial displacement over a time interval to ensure that
initial velocity is zero. Deactivate it for Step 2, if necessary.
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G. Loads; Supports; Conditions
• For rigid bodies, just as in a rigid dynamic analysis, only inertial
loads and joint conditions are supported.
– Rigid bodies do not deform, so structural & thermal loads do not apply
• For deformable bodies, any type of load can be used:
– Inertial and structural loads
• PSD Base Excitation load is only applicable to Random Vibration Analysis, so
that is not an applicable structural loading
– Structural supports
– Joint (for defined joints) and thermal conditions
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… Time-Varying Loads
• Structural loads and joint conditions can be input as time-dependent
load histories
– When adding a Load or Joint Condition, the
magnitude can be defined as a constant,
tabular value, or function.
– The values can be entered directly in the
Workbench Simulation GUI or entered in
the Engineering Data page
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H. Damping
• As noted in Section A, the equations solved for in Transient
Structural analyses also include a damping term
• There are three different types of damping available:
– Material damping
• This is damping specified per material
– Element damping
• A Spring connection can include a dampening effect on scoped entities
– Global damping
• Damping that affects the entire model
• The effect of damping is cumulative. Hence, if 2% material damping
and 3% system damping is defined, that part will have 5% damping.
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I. Analysis Settings
• Besides damping, there are various other
options the user can set under the “Analysis
Settings” branch.
• It is important that the user specify the
solution times in the “Step Controls” section
– The “Number of Steps” controls how the load
history is divided. One can impose initial
conditions with multiple load steps – use “Time
Integration” to toggle whether inertial effects
are active for that step
– The “Step End Time” is the actual simulation
ending time for the “Current Step Number”
– The initial, minimum, and maximum timesteps
should be defined as noted in previous
Sections.
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… Analysis Settings
• The “Solver Controls” section allows the user
to choose the equation solver, use of weak
springs, and use of large deflection effects
– Transient Structural analyses may typically
involve large deformations, so “Large
Deflection: On” should be used (default
behavior). Also, in the case of large deflection,
one would usually turn on weak springs.
– “Output Controls” allows users to control how
frequently data is saved to the ANSYS result
file. For multiple step analyses, one can save
results only for the end of the step. Also, one
can also save results at intervals that are as
evenly-spaced as possible (depending on
automatic time-stepping)
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J. Reviewing Results
• After completion of the solution, reviewing Transient Structural
analysis results typically involves the following output:
– Contour plots and animations
– Probe plots and charts
• Generating contour plots and animations are similar to other
structural analyses
– Note that the displaced position of rigid
bodies will be shown in the contour result,
but the rigid bodies will not show any
contour result for deformation, stress, or
strain since they are rigid entities
– Typically, animations are generated using
the actual result sets, not distributed sets
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… Reviewing Results
• Probes are useful in generating time-history charts
to understand the transient response of the system.
Some useful probe results are as follows:
– Deformation, stresses, strains, velocities, accelerations
– Force and moment reactions
– Joint, spring, and bolt pretension results
• Chart objects, based on probes, can also be added
to include in reports or as independent figures