Nonlinear Dynamics

, Volume 88, Issue 1, pp 131–143

A validated model for a pin-slot clearance joint

Original Paper


The numerical modeling of joints with a certain amount of clearance and a subsequent validation of the model are important for accurate multibody simulations. For such validated modeling, not only the kinematic constraints, but also the contact models, are important. If a joint has no clearance, it is assumed to be ideal. However, in real applications, there is frequently some clearance in the joints. Adding clearance and kinematic conditions to a pin-slot joint significantly increases the number of kinematic and contact parameters. Consequently, the resulting kinematics and the contact forces can vary significantly with regard to the selection of those parameters. This research covers the development of a validated model for a pin-slot clearance joint. Different kinematic constraints and contact models are discussed. The presented model is an experimentally validated one for a pin-slot clearance joint that is commonly used in safety-critical applications like electrical circuit breakers. Special attention is given to the Hertz, Kelvin–Voigt, Johnson, and Lankarani–Nikravesh contact models. When comparing different contact models within numerical approaches and comparing the results with experimental data, significant differences in the results were observed. With a validated model of a pin-slot clearance joint, a physically consistent numerical simulation was obtained.


Clearance joints Multibody dynamics Contact models Measured impact forces 

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.ETI Elektroelement d. d.IzlakeSlovenia
  2. 2.Faculty of Mechanical EngineeringUniversity of LjubljanaLjubljanaSlovenia

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