The contact analysis of multi-flexible-body dynamics (MFBD) has been an important issue in the area of computational dynamics because the realistic dynamic analysis of many mechanical systems includes the contacts among rigid and flexible bodies. But, until now, the contact analysis in the multi-flexible-body dynamics has still remained as a big, challenging area. Especially, the most of contact algorithms have been developed based on the facetted triangles. As a result, the contact force based on the facetted surface was not accurate and smooth because the geometrical error is already included in the contact surface representation stage. This kind of error can be very important in the precise mechanism such as gear contact or cam-valve contact problems. In order to resolve this problem, this study suggests a cubic spline surface representation method and related contact algorithms.
The proposed contact algorithms are using the compliant contact force model based on the Hertzian contact theory. In order to evaluate the smooth contact force, the penetration depth and contact normal directions are evaluated by using the cubic spline surface interpolation. Also, for the robust and efficient contact algorithm development, the contact algorithms are divided into four main parts which are a surface representation, a pre-search, a detailed search and a contact force generation. In the surface representation part, we propose a smooth surface representation method which can be used for smooth rigid and flexible bodies. In the pre-search, the algorithm performs collision detection and composes the expected contact pairs for the detailed search. In the detailed search, the penetration depth and contact reference frame are calculated with the cubic spline surface interpolation in order to generate the accurate and smooth contact force. Finally in the contact force generation part, we evaluate the contact force and Jacobian matrix for the implicit time integrator.