The modelling of flexible elements in mechanical systems has been investigated through several methods issuing from both the field of multi-body dynamics and the area of structural mechanics and vibration theory. Concerning the multibody approach, recursive formulations in relative coordinates have been widely claimed to be most suitable and efficient for a large variety of applications. Such a formalism is developed here for a general multibody system containing flexible plates and in such a way that its full symbolic generation is possible within the ROBOTRAN program (Maes et al. 1989).

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