Sensitivity analysis is one of the most prominent gradient based optimization techniques for mechanical systems. Model sensitivities are the derivatives of the generalized coordinates defining the motion of the system in time with respect to the system design parameters. These sensitivities can be calculated using finite differences, but the accuracy and computational inefficiency of this method limits its use. Hence, the methodologies of direct and adjoint sensitivity analysis have gained prominence. Recent research has presented computationally efficient methodologies for both direct and adjoint sensitivity analysis of complex multibody dynamic systems. The contribution of this article is in the development of the mathematical framework for conducting the direct sensitivity analysis of multibody dynamic systems with joint friction using the index-1 formulation. For modeling friction in multibody systems, the Brown and McPhee friction model has been used. This model incorporates the effects of both static and dynamic friction on the model dynamics. A case study has been conducted on a spatial slider-crank mechanism to illustrate the application of this methodology to real-world systems. Using computer models, with and without joint friction, effect of friction on the dynamics and model sensitivities has been demonstrated. The sensitivities of slider velocity have been computed with respect to the design parameters of crank length, rod length, and the parameters defining the friction model. Due to the highly non-linear nature of friction, the model dynamics are more sensitive during the transition phases, where the friction coefficient changes from static to dynamic and vice versa.

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