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International Journal of Railway Technology
ISSN 2049-5358
IJRT, Volume 1, Issue 1, 2012
Application of Absolute Nodal Coordinate Formulation Geometry to Railroad Vehicle System Dynamics
A.A. Shabana

Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering, University of Illinois at Chicago, United States of America

Full Bibliographic Reference for this paper
A.A. Shabana, "Application of Absolute Nodal Coordinate Formulation Geometry to Railroad Vehicle System Dynamics", International Journal of Railway Technology, 1(1), 221-230, 2012. doi:10.4203/ijrt.1.1.10
Keywords: railroad vehicles, finite element, geometry, absolute nodal coordinate formulation, floating frame of reference formulation, multibody system dynamics.

The absolute nodal coordinate formulation (ANCF) has been used in modelling the track geometry in railroad vehicle system applications. ANCF geometry can be related to B-spline and non-uniform rational B-spline (NURBS) geometry, and is therefore consistent with computational geometry methods widely used in CAD systems. Modelling of the wheel-rail contact requires the calculations of higher derivatives of the position vectors, therefore, the accurate ANCF interpolation is crucial in developing an efficient computational algorithm for the nonlinear dynamic analysis of railroad vehicle systems. This paper will address the following main issues:
  1. It will show that B-spline geometry can be converted to ANCF geometry in a straight forward manner, demonstrating how detailed CAD models can be converted to ANCF models without the loss of geometric details. The converse is not true, i.e. ANCF geometry cannot always be converted to B-spline geometry.
  2. The use of ANCF geometry in the solution of large deformation problems in railroad vehicle system applications will be discussed, and how ANCF finite elements can be used in modelling the pantograph/catenary systems and can be integrated with multi-body system (MBS) algorithms in order to obtain an optimum sparse matrix structure of the equations of motion.
  3. The integration of ANCF geometry with the floating frame of reference (FFR) formulation in order to develop flexible track models is another topic that will be discussed in this paper. A detailed finite element mesh can be developed for the track structure at a pre-processing stage. This finite element mesh can be integrated with ANCF track geometry in order to develop flexible body track models.

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