Linearization of dynamic equations of flexible mechanisms - a finite element approach

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A finite element based method is presented for evaluation of linearized dynamic equations of flexible mechanisms about a nominal trajectory. The coefficient matrices of the linearized equations of motion are evaluated as explicit analytical expressions involving mixed sets of generalized co-ordinates of the mechanism with rigid links and deformation mode co-ordinates that characterize deformation of flexible link elements. This task is accomplished by employing the general framework of the geometric transfer function formalism. The proposed method is general in nature and can be applied to spatial mechanisms and manipulators having revolute and prismatic joints. The method also permits investigation of the dynamics of flexible rotors and spinning shafts. Application of the theory is illustrated through a detailed model development of a four-bar mechanism and the analysis of bending vibrations of two single link mechanisms in which the link is considered as a rotating flexible arm or as an unsymmetrical rotating shaft, respectively. The algorithm for the calculation of the matrix coefficients is directly emenable to numerical computation and has been incorporated into the linearization module of the computer program SPACAR.
Original languageUndefined
Pages (from-to)1375-1392
JournalInternational journal for numerical methods in engineering
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 1991


  • IR-70940

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