Non-Smooth Dynamics of Coil Contact in Valve Springs

J. Haslinger, Günter Offner, M. Sopouch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This contribution describes the dynamic simulation of the contact of coils of a valve spring within a multi-body system application. The spring is described by a multi-mass model. Contacting spring coils influence the dynamical properties of a valve spring significantly. The possible interaction between adjacent coils is modeled by means of non-smooth mechanics. Signorini conditions on displacement level are imposed on contact candidates. The set of inequality constraints is transformed into a set of equations by introducing a nonlinear complementarity function, which contains the semi-smooth maximum function. The set of equations of motion together with the contact constraints are integrated in time by a Backward Differentiation Formula (BDF) scheme. In each time step, the resulting nonlinear algebraic equation system is solved by a semi-smooth Newton method. The approach is evaluated by two examples. The first model represents a cylindrical helical spring. The performance of the algorithm is compared to an approach, where the coil contact is modeled by using spring-damper elements in between possible contact nodes. The proposed approach is not only running much faster, but also avoids the need of artificial parameters to calibrate the spring-damper elements. The second example deals with a full model of a single valvetrain system, demonstrating that the valve train dynamics is widely affected by the vibrational characteristics of the valve springs.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)957-967
JournalZeitschrift für Angewandte Mathematik und Mechanik
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes

Fields of Expertise

  • Mobility & Production


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