Improved bushing models for general multibody systems and vehicle dynamics

Jorge Ambrósio, Paulo Verissimo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

89 Scopus citations


The development and computational implementation, on a multibody dynamics environment, of a constitutive relation to model bushing elements associated with mechanical joints used in the models of road and rail vehicles is presented here. These elements are used to eliminate vibrations in vehicles, due to road irregularities, to allow small misalignment of axes, to reduce noise from the transmission, or to decrease wear of the mechanical joints. Bushings are made of a special rubber, used generally in energy dissipation, which presents a nonlinear viscoelastic relationship between the forces and moments and their corresponding displacements and rotations. In the methodology proposed here a finite element model of the bushing is developed in the framework of the finite element code ABAQUS to obtain the constitutive relations of displacement/ rotation versus force/moment for different loading cases. The bushing is modeled in a multibody code as a nonlinear restrain that relates the relative displacements between the bodies connected with the joint reaction forces, and it is represented by a matrix constitutive relation. The basic ingredients of the multibody model are the same vectors and points relations used to define kinematic constraints in any multibody formulation. One particular, and relevant, characteristic of the formulation now presented is its ability to represent standard kinematic joints, clearance, and bushing joints just by defining appropriate constitutive relations. Spherical, revolution, cylindrical, and translational bushing joints are modeled, implemented, and demonstrated through the simulation of two multibody models of a road vehicle, one with perfect kinematic joints for the suspension sub-systems, and other with bushing joints. The tests conducted include an obstacle avoidance maneuver and a vehicle riding over bumps. It is shown that the bushing models for vehicle multibody models proposed here are accurate and computationally efficient so that they can be included in the vehicle models leading reliable simulations. © 2009 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)341-365
Number of pages25
JournalMultibody System Dynamics
Issue number4
StatePublished - Nov 1 2009
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Generated from Scopus record by KAUST IRTS on 2021-03-16

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Control and Optimization
  • Modeling and Simulation
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Aerospace Engineering


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