This paper presents a new 3-dimensional multi-body dynamic model of a chain-type continuously variable unit (CVU). The modeling requirements and assumptions are presented first. Then, the paper discusses the approaches developed to mathematically represent the chain, pulleys, and their interactions in terms of contact and friction. Three dimensional representation of the chain is given. Actual geometries of the pins and pulleys are captured, including crowning on either member. The model is then used to investigate the effects of different operating conditions, including speed ratio and torque, on the quasi-static performance of a CVU. Several metrics are discussed to characterize the behavior of an example CVU under practical operating conditions; these include torque capacity and the ratio of clamping forces. The predictions presented show the sensitivity of the model to these operating conditions. Finally, trends that describe the CVU quasi-static behavior are explained in context of the parameters studied.

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