A continuous contact force model for the impact analysis of a two-particle collision is presented. The model uses the general trend of the Hertz contact law. A hysteresis damping function is incorporated in the model which represents the dissipated energy in impact. The parameters in the model are determined, and the validity of the model is established. The model is then generalized to the impact analysis between two bodies of a multibody system. A continuous analysis is performed using the equations of motion of either the multibody system or an equivalent two-particle model of the colliding bodies. For the latter, the concept of effective mass is presented in order to compensate for the effects of joint forces in the system. For illustration, the impact situation between a slider-crank mechanism and another sliding block is considered.

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