Simulation of Soil-Tool Interaction

Boden- und Wechselwirkungssimulation
© Photo ITWM

Simulation of soil-tool interaction

The high variability of construction and agricultural machinery leads to high demands on the product development. In particular, the interaction of the tool with the ground during excavation or plowing but also the interaction of a harvesting machine with the corp, etc. are hardly predictable. Until now, such complex interactions are usually determined by measurement and are therefore difficult to integrate into the virtual product development.

The activities in this area are, therefore, focused on the integration of the complex behavior of such materials. This makes it possible to compare variants of a machine under same conditions. Design changes may be analyzed for their impacts on the load on the machine or the flow of corp material through the machine.

Simulation of Particles

Methods of classical soil mechanics, e.g. Finite Element Method (FEM) with special material models for the nonlinear material behavior of the soil, fail in this application. A particular challenge is the separation of the material during excavation. New simulation approaches, such as particle simulation can better deal with these conditions. In particular, the Discrete Element Method (DEM) has been proven for simulations of this kind.

Besides the use of the DEM in industrial projects we also work on the development of particle methods.

Tire Simulation

Another important aspect of the interaction between a vehicle and the ground is the tire-soil interaction. The existing tire models developed at the ITWM have been updated to include the behavior of deformable soil. This allows to assess the vehicle dynamics, sinkage and loading in off-road applications.