Surface-to-surface contact capability

Aircraft Engineering and Aerospace Technology

ISSN: 0002-2667

Article publication date: 1 June 2000




(2000), "Surface-to-surface contact capability", Aircraft Engineering and Aerospace Technology, Vol. 72 No. 3.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2000, MCB UP Limited

Surface-to-surface contact capability

Keywords Algor, Software, Simulation, Mechanical engineering

Algor, Inc., a maker of software for mechanical engineers, informs us that a new general surface-to-surface contact capability is now available for its Accupak Mechanical Event Simulation (MES) family of products. Engineers use Accupak MES products to simulate real-world behavior of mechanical designs involving motion or impact in order to obtain a stress analysis at each instant in time. General surface-to-surface contact enables engineers to set up contact scenarios very quickly and easily, including the effects of friction, in an MES.

"The new general surface-to-surface contact capability enables engineers to set up more quickly and easily mechanical events involving contact and impact", said Michael L. Bussler, president of Pittsburgh-based Algor. "It will enable mechanical engineers to develop products that are more reliable and less costly to produce with faster times-to-market."

According to Algor, to use the general surface-to-surface contact capability, an engineer only needs to specify the parts of the model which might touch or impact one another - no other input parameters are required. If friction is applicable, a friction coefficient can be entered. Although the parameters for surface-to-surface contact are set by default, advanced parameters such as stiffness and contact tolerances are available for engineers who wish to specify these parameters.

There is said to be no limit on the number of surface-to-surface contact pairs that can be defined in an MES. To reduce processing time, engineers may select a specific surface on each part or an area of a surface when selecting the parts of the model which might touch or impact one another.

This new surface-based type of contact supplements Algor's existing contact capabilities for MES, including impact planes and general contact elements. Surface-to-surface contact is thought to be the quickest and easiest contact and impact method for most contact scenarios and is necessary if friction needs to be considered. In Algor's opinion its impact planes remain the fastest way to simulate contact against a flat vertical or horizontal surface. General contact elements are said to be best used when an engineer wishes to consider damping or simulate a mechanism's behavior, such as coupling.

Surface-to-surface contact is available across the entire Accupak family of products for PC workstations running Windows NT, 95 or 98. However, it is most useful for engineers who use Accupak/VE or Accupak/MES to conduct Mechanical Event Simulations. In an Accupak/NLM nonlinear static stress analysis using nonlinear material models to predict material deflection, deformation and displacement, surface-to-surface contact simulates instantaneous contact between parts.

Algor's most recent invention, FEA-based Accupak/VE Mechanical Event Simulation software with linear and nonlinear material models, is said to replace physical prototype testing with virtual prototype testing because it realistically simulates motion and flexing in mechanical events, eliminates the need to input dynamic loads and computes and shows resulting stresses on the computer model at each instant in time. Algor's new kinematic finite element technology reportedly makes it practical to perform mechanical event simulations with Accupak/VE on CAD solid models or assemblies. Algor offers a range of other FEA capabilities including linear stress, vibration and natural frequencies, heat transfer, electrostatics, fluid flow, piping design and composite materials. Algor's software interchanges data with products from ANSYS, Inc. (Nasdaq:ANSS), Autodesk, Inc. (Nasdaq:ADSK), CADKEY Corporation, MSC.Software Corporation (NYSE:MNS), Parametric Technology Corporation (Nasdaq:PMTC), Structural Dynamics Research Corporation (Nasdaq:SDRC), Unigraphics Solutions, Inc. (NYSE:UGS), SolidWorks Corporation, a Dassault SystÉmes S.A. (Nasdaq:DASTY) company and others.

Details available from: Algor, Inc. Tel: +1 412 967 2700.

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