Multibody Dynamics and Drivetrain Simulation

Xi have used numerical simulation to help design and optimise the performance of drivetrains in a variety of applications including wind turbines, compressors, gas turbines and transportation systems.  These models have been used to identify potential problems such as fatigue of drivetrain components such as bearings and support structures through cyclic loading, effects on rotational speed on natural frequencies of components, and acoustic output and its effects on the environment. 

Drivetrains by their nature are multicomponent devices often affected by the different physical processes such as electromagnetics and aerodynamics.  Simulating their behaviour often therefore requires a multiphysics approach.  Xi also provide onsite measurement which can be used to validate and give confidence to simulations.

Xi Engineering Consultants use multibody dynamics to efficiently model drivetrains. The multibody dynamics approach allows the simulation of mixed systems of flexible and rigid bodies, where each body may be the subject of large rotational or translational displacements. The approach uses a library of joints to replicate the interactions of assembled components, where conditions such as friction, relative velocity and adhesion can be modified during the model run based on predefined conditions.  In this way, the knock-on effects from behaviour such as transmission errors in gearboxes can be simulated on the drivetrain as a whole.  The drivetrain model can be coupled to other physical phenomena such as electromagnetics in the case where cogging torque from electrical motor or generators is of interest, or acoustics where the effect of gear whine and gear rattle is required.