Predicting the behavior of machinery before expensive prototypes are built is invaluable in saving time and money, especially when considering the high-volume or large-scale aspects of some applications. RecurDyn Multibody Dynamics Simulation software has built-in toolkits that automate the simulation of belts, chains, and gears, which are commonly found in machinery. But RecurDyn’s general ability to simulate contact of complex-shaped bodies with high efficiency, as well as the ability to model flexible bodies that can come into contact with other bodies, makes RecurDyn an incredibly useful all-purpose simulation tool. This has allowed analysts to apply it in novel ways to situations that have never been simulated before with any other simulation software.

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General Multibody Dynamic Simulation:

Flexible Body Modeling:

Belt, Chain, and Gear Modeling:


Fluid Interaction with Multibody Dynamics Model:

Interaction with Dry Particles (i.e. Rocks, Grain, etc.):

Research Success Stories

GeneralBelts, Chains, and Cables

Commercial Success Stories

Commercial Success Stories

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Commercial Success Stories

High Speed Electrical Switching Mechanism

At a major provider of industrial products and solutions, the Advanced Development Department has used RecurDyn for the development and optimization of circuit breaker mechanisms since 2004.

“Advanced development and simulation are closely tied together…The greatest benefits of RecurDyn simulation for us in Advanced Development are in the areas of model generation, development and evaluation…RecurDyn is THE tool for combined, MFBD analysis,” confirms the Director of Advanced Development and Simulation.

With RecurDyn’s help engineers can investigate the highly-dynamic motion of breakers in a timely, goal-oriented manner without resorting to physical prototypes. In particular, the RecurDyn/FFlex (Full Flex) module is used to perform a combination of multi-body and finite-element analysis, known as multi- flexible body dynamics, or MFBD.

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Automotive Latch Mechanism

A company developed a complex yet compact latch mechanism that guided a hook through a carefully prescribed path. This subassembly was part of a much larger product. Physical testing of the latch mechanism was done a few months before product launch. The physical testing showed that the latch assembly failed early because of a breaking actuator rod.

There was no time to redesign the latch mechanism. The initial thought of the engineers was to strengthen the actuator rod. The heavier rod also failed. Some notching was noticed inside the assembly where sliding contact occurred. One of the parts was redesigned to smooth out the geometry and reduce notching. That helped, but the latch mechanism continued to fail early in the testing.

The engineers turned to simulation. The latch mechanism was evaluated with RecurDyn. It was quickly determined that the latch mechanism was locking up using the internal load data produced by RecurDyn. A design study was done to assess the effect of varying levels of friction. It was found that the lock-up could be avoided by reducing friction in the mechanism. Further work was done to isolate the pin-in-slot where friction was most critical. Lubricant was applied to that area in a prototype and the latch mechanism immediately passed all durability testing.

RecurDyn provided high value to the company because:

  • RecurDyn outputs allowed the root cause of the problem to be identified quickly.
  • The durability problem was solved without a complete redesign of the mechanism.
  • The product was put into production on schedule.

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