Nonlinear Dynamics

, Volume 54, Issue 4, pp 283–296 | Cite as

Implicit and explicit integration in the solution of the absolute nodal coordinate differential/algebraic equations

  • Bassam Hussein
  • Dan Negrut
  • Ahmed A. Shabana
Original Paper


This investigation is concerned with the use of an implicit integration method with adjustable numerical damping properties in the simulation of flexible multibody systems. The flexible bodies in the system are modeled using the finite element absolute nodal coordinate formulation (ANCF), which can be used in the simulation of large deformations and rotations of flexible bodies. This formulation, when used with the general continuum mechanics theory, leads to displacement modes, such as Poisson modes, that couple the cross section deformations, and bending and extension of structural elements such as beams. While these modes can be significant in the case of large deformations, and they have no significant effect on the CPU time for very flexible bodies; in the case of thin and stiff structures, the ANCF coupled deformation modes can be associated with very high frequencies that can be a source of numerical problems when explicit integration methods are used. The implicit integration method used in this investigation is the Hilber–Hughes–Taylor method applied in the context of Index 3 differential-algebraic equations (HHT-I3). The results obtained using this integration method are compared with the results obtained using an explicit Adams-predictor-corrector method, which has no adjustable numerical damping. Numerical examples that include bodies with different degrees of flexibility are solved in order to examine the performance of the HHT-I3 implicit integration method when the finite element absolute nodal coordinate formulation is used. The results obtained in this study show that for very flexible structures there is no significant difference in accuracy and CPU time between the solutions obtained using the implicit and explicit integrators. As the stiffness increases, the effect of some ANCF coupled deformation modes becomes more significant, leading to a stiff system of equations. The resulting high frequencies are filtered out when the HHT-I3 integrator is used due to its numerical damping properties. The results of this study also show that the CPU time associated with the HHT-I3 integrator does not change significantly when the stiffness of the bodies increases, while in the case of the explicit Adams method the CPU time increases exponentially. The fundamental differences between the solution procedures used with the implicit and explicit integrations are also discussed in this paper.


Implicit and explicit integration HHT-I3 method Adams method Absolute nodal coordinate formulation Finite element method 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Mechanical EngineeringUniversity of Illinois at ChicagoChicagoUSA
  2. 2.Department of Mechanical EngineeringUniversity of WisconsinMadisonUSA

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