This paper discusses and further investigates a new methodology, “Static Modes Switching” (SMS), improving computational efficiency for elastic multibody (EMBS) systems. This method focuses on mechanisms in which loading is possible in many degrees of freedom, but only few of them are simultaneously loaded at a given moment in time (e.g. sliding elements, gear contact, etc.). The methodology adapts during simulation the mode set used to represent component flexibility, by judiciously choosing only those static modes that are contributing actively to the body deformation. First, the general methodology is presented, then the current work and its original contributions are discussed; namely SMS is tested on a 3D mechanism including multiple flexible bodies on which sliding elements are present. Moreover, as opposed to previous studies, the locations where external excitation is acting is not known a priori. Finally, some limitations of the proposed methodology are treated with focus on the numerical discontinuities introduced by the switching of the modal base and their propagation to neighbouring bodies.

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