Structural Dynamic Response of a Track Chain Complete Under-carriage System Using a Virtual Proving Ground Approach

The ITM Group Engineering Department uses advanced tools as finite element methods for static structural analyses of undercarriages, side frames or undercarriage components, as track chain, rollers and tension devices. In order to integrate the recent prototype concepts into this design process combining full system real time dynamic simulations able to represent a typical situation in operation manoeuvre, experimental test information and 30 years experience of the ITM group, a new design procedure is proposed to design and to develop complete undercarriage systems. This paper focuses on the application of the explicit finite element code LS-DYNA for predicting reliably the structural behavior of a track chain undercarriage system during usual road obstacles impacts and on subsequent fatigue life damage analyses of all undercarriage components using eta/VPG concepts and tools. Part of the activity is also to investigate how the new simulation procedure could be implemented into the ITM Group Engineering Department for increasing design chain efficiency. While the considerable technical challenge is related to model representation of particular components and to the application of standard operating conditions. Stress and strain field results for the full structure and its components are presented, the fatigue life of all structures is determined and the integrity is evaluated. Finally, a merits and limits analysis is performed in terms of quality simulation results, numerical model complexity, design procedure efforts and computational time consuming in comparison to the ITM Group Engineering Department experiences.

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