MULTIBODY SIMULATION (MBS)
Unlike the already described methods DEM and SPH, Multibody simulation is not a particle method, even though it has a lot in common with these methods. Multibody simulation is also used to simulate the movements of dynamic objects. In Multibody simulations, however, they are usually connected to each other with joints. Collisions, which are typical between the freely moving objects in DEM simulations, usually play a less significant role. The connection between the simulated bodies by joints and bearings makes this method especially suited for simulating mechanisms of all kinds.
Multibody simulations are widely-used in many areas of engineering, vehicle development and robotics. They can easily be coupled with particle-based simulation methods like DEM or SPH for analyzing the interaction between machines and fluids or particle or component filling processes. Such a way of coupling methods can, e.g., be used to analyze the stresses and movements occurring for liquid loads sloshing in tank trucks. Analyzing the driving dynamics of the loaded vehicle helps to draw conclusions about the optimal geometry of the tank. Thus the safety margins of the tank truck can be optimized even for critical driving manoeuvers.
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Another project to which Inpartik contributed significantly with its software Pasimodo® probably appears as rather exotic to terrestrial engineers: Subject of the analysis was the tendency of an extra-terrestrial rover to get stuck in the soft sand of Mars. In these analyses, for which Pasimodo® is coupled with an external Multibody simulation program, some model parameters are defined fuzzily, since some information, like the properties of Mars soil can typically only be estimated.