Structural dynamic finite element models typically use multipoint constraints (MPC) to condense the degrees of freedom (DOF) near bolted joints down to a single node, which can then be joined to neighboring structures with linear springs or nonlinear elements. Scalability becomes an issue when multiple joints are present in a system, because each requires its own model to capture the nonlinear behavior. While this increases the computational cost, the larger problem is that the parameters of the joint models are not known, and so one must solve a nonlinear model updating problem with potentially hundreds of unknown variables to fit the model to measurements. Furthermore, traditional MPC approaches are limited in how the flexibility of the interface is treated (i.e. with rigid bar elements the interface has no flexibility). To resolve this shortcoming, this work presents an alternative approach where the contact interface is reduced to a set of modal DOF which retain the flexibility of the interface and are capable of modeling multiple joints simultaneously. Specifically, system-level characteristic constraint (S-CC) reduction is used to reduce the motion at the contact interface to a small number of shapes. To capture the hysteresis and energy dissipation that is present during microslip of joints, a hysteretic element is applied to a small number of the S-CC Shapes. This method is compared against a traditional MPC method (using rigid bar elements) on a two-dimensional finite element model of a cantilever beam with a single joint near the free end. For all methods, a four-parameter Iwan element is applied to the interface DOF to capture how the amplitude dependent modal frequency and damping change with vibration amplitude.

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