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# Lecture 4 Joints, Springs and Beams

14. 0 Release

Introduction to ANSYS Mechanical Part 2
1 © 2011 ANSYS, Inc. August 26, 2013 Release 14.0

Chapter Overview In this chapter we introduce the use of joints. Using Joints 2 © 2011 ANSYS. August 26. Modifying Joint Coordinate Systems F. Springs and Beams H. The Joint Feature B. Joint Stops and Locks G. 2013 Release 14. Joint Definitions C. Workshop 4. Joint Configuration E. Inc. Joint Coordinate Systems D. springs and beams in Mechanical: A.0 .

August 26. 2013 Release 14. Inc. Advanced courses in nonlinear. dynamic and rigid body analysis are available. Contact pairs are defined as “contact” and “target” while joints use the terms “reference” and “mobile” to describe each “side” of a joint (for body to ground joints the ground is assumed to be the reference). Joints are attached to bodies by scoping to a specific region of the part. a surface for example. The Joint Feature The joint feature in Mechanical can provide a fast and simple alternative to contact when simulating the interaction between bodies or constraints to ground: • • While used extensively in rigid body analysis joints are not limited by body type and can be used in flexible and mixed rigid/flex models. Joints are defined in terms of their degrees of freedom with respect to a specific coordinate system (e. • • Note.g. because this material is meant to be an introduction to the joint feature. just like contact. not all aspects of it will be covered in detail.A.0 . translation in the X direction or rotation about the Z axis). 3 © 2011 ANSYS.

Inc. August 26. This is the joint’s line of action. The Joint Feature In the example shown here. • Degrees of freedom shown in grey are constrained. .. . 4 © 2011 ANSYS. 2013 Release 14. • The “Reference Coordinate System” listed in the details is shown at the origin of the joint.0 . a body to ground revolute joint is scoped to a cylinder: • The legend shows the “RZ” or rotation about Z is free.

August 26.B. Joint Definitions There are 9 joint types available in Mechanical which can be either body to body or body to ground. grey indicates a fixed DOF. 2013 Release 14. The legend displays the joints behavior with respect to the reference coordinate system. 5 © 2011 ANSYS.0 . In the revolute joint example below notice the reference and mobile regions are color coded. Colored DOF are free. Inc.

6 © 2011 ANSYS. Inc. 2013 Release 14.C. If the mobile coordinate system is set to “Override” it will be displayed both graphically and in the tree. By default the mobile coordinate system is assumed to be coincident with the reference and is not displayed. August 26.0 . the reference and mobile CS. Joint Coordinate Systems • • • • All joints are defined in terms of 2 coordinate systems. The CS are associated with each part scoped to the joint. It’s the relationship between the CS that controls the joints motions.

7 © 2011 ANSYS. 2013 Release 14. Joint Configuration Configuring a joint allows the initial relationship between the reference and mobile coordinate systems to be changed: • Begin by highlighting the joint to be configured in the tree. • When a joint is in configure mode its position can be changed by dragging the DOF handle shown below. Inc.0 .D. August 26. • Now click the “Configure” icon in the context menu.

. A joint can be locked into a new position if desired: • After setting a new configuration for the joint.0 . The new configuration becomes the starting position when solved. Inc. • In addition to manually configuring a joint. . choose “Set” from the context menu. 8 © 2011 ANSYS. August 26. 2013 Release 14. a value can be entered into the field next to the configure icon. Toggle off the configure tool and the joint will return to its original configuration. Joint Configuration Joint configuration may be used to merely “test” the effect of the joint’s motion. • The “Revert” icon can be used to cancel the operation..

. . August 26..0 . 10 degrees).g. Inc. Joint Configuration Example: • When configuring angular joints. 9 © 2011 ANSYS. 2013 Release 14. holding the control key will cause the joint to move in increments set in WB > Tools > Options > Graphics interaction (e.

Modifying Joint Coordinate Systems Recall that a joint’s motions are determined according the joint’s coordinate systems. 10 © 2011 ANSYS. August 26.0 . In some instances it will be necessary to reorient these systems to obtain the correct joint behavior. Inc. Notice the CS graphically expands while editing. • Click in the Coordinate System field in the details to bring up the apply/cancel buttons and place the coordinate system in edit mode. 2013 Release 14.E.

Modifying Joint Coordinate Systems While in edit mode click on the CS axis to be modified: • With that axis “active” you can click on another axis. . • Note the negative axes show as well while editing directions. etc. . 2013 Release 14. Inc. face.. 11 © 2011 ANSYS. August 26. edge. to establish a new direction. • Complete the change by pressing the “Apply” button in the joint details.0 .

the X axis is selected. the original orientation of the translational joint’s X axis is incorrect for the desired motion: • With the CS in edit mode. 2013 Release 14. Modifying Joint Coordinate Systems In the example below. . • The local negative Y axis is then selected as the new direction for the X axis. August 26. Inc.. 12 © 2011 ANSYS.0 . .

Inc. August 26. Modifying Joint Coordinate Systems In addition to manually reorienting a joint coordinate system the same transforms used in creating and modifying local coordinate systems are available. 2013 Release 14.0 . .. . 13 © 2011 ANSYS.

August 26. 14 © 2011 ANSYS.0 . Most joints can also employ stops and/or locks to limit the range of joint motion (see table below). Inc. Joint Stops and Locks For the Revolute and Cylindrical joint types a torsional stiffness and/or damping can be defined in the joint’s details.F. 2013 Release 14.

August 26. 2013 Release 14. Inc.G. • For grounded springs it is often useful to create local coordinate systems to control the ground location. • Damping may be added to the spring’s definition. compressive or both.0 . for flexible bodies. Springs and Beams A longitudinal spring can be defined as another form of connection. 15 © 2011 ANSYS. • A preload may be added using either a free length or load value. Note. a springs behavior is always tensile and compressive (both). Rigid body analyses allow a spring to be tensile. Springs can be of the body to body or body to ground type: • Springs are assumed to be in their free state (unloaded) by default.

Inc. Springs and Beams As mentioned before a spring represents a remote boundary condition.. • A pinball region can be defined to limit the creation of constraint equations. . • The behavior can be rigid or deformable. . Many of the same features discussed earlier are available when defining springs: • Springs are defined in terms of reference and mobile sides. 16 © 2011 ANSYS.0 . August 26. 2013 Release 14.

. August 26. Although not limited to this purpose. • A pinball region can be defined to limit the creation of constraint equations. Inc. As with springs. . bolts). Springs and Beams The Beam feature allows connections from body to body or body to ground. beams share many of the same features as the other remote boundary conditions already discussed: • Beams are defined in terms of reference and mobile sides.0 . 2013 Release 14. • The behavior can be rigid or deformable.g. . 17 © 2011 ANSYS. beams are often useful in simulating various fasteners (e.

August 26. . As with springs. 2013 Release 14. Springs and Beams In the beam details choose both a material and radius for the section (note current beams are only defined using a circular cross section). . Again for body to ground beams local coordinate systems allow the ground location to be specified. beams share many of the same features as the other remote boundary conditions already discussed. 18 © 2011 ANSYS.0 .. Inc.

2013 Release 14. Inc.0 . Using Joints 19 © 2011 ANSYS.Workshop 4 Workshop 4. August 26.