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Integration Of Concepts In Mechanism And Finite Element Analyses Using Advanced Cae Tools

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2009 Annual Conference & Exposition


Austin, Texas

Publication Date

June 14, 2009

Start Date

June 14, 2009

End Date

June 17, 2009



Conference Session

Improving Mechanics & Structural Modeling Courses

Tagged Division

Mechanical Engineering

Page Count


Page Numbers

14.774.1 - 14.774.10

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Paper Authors


Raghu Echempati Kettering University

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Dr. Echempati is a Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Kettering University, Flint, MI. His area of expertise is Design and CAE. He is a member of ASME, SAE and ASEE.

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Andrew Fox Kettering University

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Mr. Fox is Graduate student in Mechanical Engineering at Kettering University, Flint, MI. His area of expertise is Design and CAE.

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract



This paper is a work in progress that discusses the possibility of creating a single course that combines topics and concepts from rigid body dynamics and finite element analysis with emphasis on integrating theory with advanced CAE tools. At this point in time, this course is not yet developed but rather it is in a conceptual stage. Therefore, a data-driven assessment of this course, if offered, would take some more time which will be reported in a future conference or a technical meeting.


The ultimate goal of this work is an attempt to develop an undergraduate course that integrates kinematics, dynamics and finite element analysis of mechanical assemblies. This is also called multi-body analysis which is usually taught at the graduate level. Several industrial establishments use multi-body dynamics on a regular basis (for example using the MSC/ADAMS or ANSYS products) to analyze complicated 2D and 3D mechanisms. From a teaching perspective, one of the main reasons for attempting to integrate two course topics is to give the undergraduate students an experience of how to better design engineering products. Several industrial applications of this concept can be realized. For example, the piston cylinder and the over-head valve linkage mechanisms of a conventional automobile engine. Other applications in the bio-engineering and other high-speed machinery can be mentioned.

The flexible body (mechanism) theory and analysis, however, is more difficult to teach at the undergraduate or even at the graduate levels. Numerous studies were reported in the past by analyzing the ‘instantaneous structure’ of the mechanism in different orientations to identify the most critical orientation(s) of the mechanism and the high stress or high deflection locations in the members of the flexible mechanisms. Several special purpose computer programs have also been written by different academic and industry researchers that address this issue to some extent1,2 (for example), but there seems to be no evidence of an undergraduate course that combines these two approaches. Simplified theory that covers the important mechanism design and FEA concepts can be complimented by validation using simulation tools. This may be a good starting point before a fully-blown course may be attempted. Availability of a CAE lab with state of the art CAE software is one of the very important ingredients for the success of implementing this idea.

This paper discusses this novel conceptual idea and presents a simple mechanism example that is analyzed for rigid body analysis using Maple software. For the flexible body and finite element analyses (FEA), firstly, UG-NX3 is used to model the parts while HyperMesh is used to develop the finite element model (FEM). LS-DYNA has been used to solve the linkage for stresses that uses the co-rotational FEM. Typically the stresses in

Echempati, R., & Fox, A. (2009, June), Integration Of Concepts In Mechanism And Finite Element Analyses Using Advanced Cae Tools Paper presented at 2009 Annual Conference & Exposition, Austin, Texas.

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