Simulation of a viscoelastic flexible multibody system using absolute nodal coordinate and fractional derivative methods

Yunqing Zhang, Qiang Tian, Liping Chen, Jingzhou Yang

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35 Scopus citations


This paper employs a new finite element formulation for dynamics analysis of a viscoelastic flexible multibody system. The viscoelastic constitutive equation used to describe the behavior of the system is a three-parameter fractional derivative model. Based on continuum mechanics, the three-parameter fractional derivative model is modified and the proposed new fractional derivative model can reduce to the widely used elastic constitutive model, which meets the continuum mechanics law strictly for pure elastic materials. The system equations of motion are derived based on the absolute nodal coordinate formulation (ANCF) and the principle of virtual work, which can relax the small deformation assumption in the traditional finite element implementation. In order to implement the viscoelastic model into the absolute nodal coordinate, the Grünwald definition of the fractional derivative is employed. Based on a comparison of the HHT-I3 method and the Newmark method, the HHT-I3 method is used to solve the equations of motion. Another particularity of the proposed method based on the ANCF method lies in the storage of displacement history only during the integration process, reducing the numerical computation considerably. Numerical examples are presented in order to analyze the effects of the truncation number of the Grünwald series (fading memory phenomena) and the value of several fractional model parameters and solution convergence aspects.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)281-303
Number of pages23
JournalMultibody System Dynamics
Issue number3
StatePublished - Apr 2009


  • Absolute nodal coordinate
  • Continuum mechanics
  • Fractional derivative
  • HHT-I3 method
  • Newmark method
  • Viscoelastic material


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