A general methodology for the dynamic modeling and analysis of planar multibody systems with multiple clearance joints is presented. The inter-connecting bodies that constitute a real physical mechanical joint are modeled as colliding components, whose dynamic behavior is influenced by the geometric, physical and mechanical properties of the contacting surfaces. A continuous contact force model, based on the elastic Hertz theory, together with a dissipative term associated with the internal damping, is utilized to evaluate the intra-joint normal contact forces. The incorporation of the friction phenomenon, based on the classical Coulomb’s friction law, is also included in this study. The suitable contact force models are embedded into the dynamic equations of motion for the multibody systems. In the sequel of this process, the fundamental methods to deal with contact-impact events in mechanical systems are presented. Finally, two planar mechanisms with multiple revolute clearance joints are used to demonstrate the accuracy and efficiency of the presented approach and to discuss the main assumptions and procedures adopted. The effects of single versus multiple clearance revolute joints are discussed.

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