Using Altair EDEM for Off-road Vehicle Design

Watch examples of applications of EDEM coupled with MotionSolve and Activate in the design of tracked and wheeled vehicles.

EDEM software, powered by the Discrete Element Method (DEM), accurately represents the behavior or rocks, soils and ores and can realistically model a variety of terrains from soft-soil, dry sand, to rugged gravel surfaces. Integrating EDEM with Multi-body Dynamics tools provides great realism in vehicle mobility simulations and enable engineers to predict the behavior and performance of off-road vehicles in a variety of off-road environments and to study complex maneuvers which otherwise might be restricted.

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Off-road Vehicle Design using EDEM, MotionSolve, and PM-FlexTire

Off-road mobility vehicle manufacturers face a wide range of challenges when it comes to testing design modifications and different maneuvers for different terrains.

There are also huge costs associated to physical testing of vehicles - the full vehicle including all components have to be manufactured and shipped to the testing site; it is therefore highly expensive to make modifications to the vehicle after each round of physical testing is done. Additionally, during testing periods, it is virtually impossible to reproduce the same terrain conditions each time.

Using Altair® EDEM™, automotive and defense industry OEMs can virtually test their vehicles in an almost infinite range of terrain types with repeatability through simulation. These tests can be done in a time and cost effective manner as seen in this video example.

In this case, EDEM has been coupled to Altair® MotionSolve® alongside PM-FlexTire® by Pratt Miller, to model the dynamics of the vehicle to a high level of accuracy. By conducting the tests with this coupling, it also allows engineers to obtain relevant information on the effect that the bulk material has on the vehicle components when the tires interact with the terrain.

Use Cases

Off-road buggy simulation using EDEM coupled with MotionSolve

In this video EDEM is coupled with MotionSolve to accurately predict the performance of an off-road buggy on different terrains. With EDEM, an extensive range of terrains can be modeled to suit the vehicle test requirements, including sand, gravel or soft soils. The coupling enables engineers to validate the system dynamics under realistic operating conditions. Additionally, analysis on the vehicle component’s performance and the terrain can be conducted to fully understand the test results.

Use Cases

Off-road Mobility of an 8x8 Light Armored Vehicle

EDEM, MotionSolve and Activate are used to assess the performance of a 8x8 light armored vehicle (LAV) and to perform stress validation.

Use Cases

Mobility of a Military Tank Vehicle on Soft Terrains

EDEM, MotionSolve and Activate are used to predict the behavior and performance of a tank vehicle on a sand dune and to study complex maneuvers live a pivot turn.

Use Cases

PM-FlexTire™ by Pratt Miller Deformable Tire Model

PM-FlexTire deformable tire model for use with EDEM soil models and ADAMS or Motion Solve. PM-FlexTire is an finite element-based tire model that is integrated with the Altair® EDEM™ soft-soil simulation platform and significantly expands what is possible in virtual development of soft-soil mobility. The model provides realistic deformation and high fidelity forces and moments through co-simulation between EDEM and multi-body dynamics (MBD) codes. Included time-varying air pressure model and detailed tread pattern interaction with particles are features unique to PM-FlexTire. Users can create models from tire CAD using various meshing solutions including Altair® HyperMesh® and Gmsh integrations, or use meshes generated from other third party meshing tools. Comprehensive integration with discrete element method (DEM) simulation provides a high level of utility relative to alternatives to support increased scope of virtual development. Simulation complexity and licensing cost of PM-FlexTire and the corresponding integrations are "best fit" for virtual mobility development in soft-soil DEM simulation environments.

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