A Flexible Multibody Pantograph Model for the Analysis of the Catenary-Pantograph Contact

Joao Pombo, Jorge Ambrósio, Frederico Rauter, Manuel S. Pereira

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

45 Citations (Scopus)


The pantograph-catenary system is still the most reliable form of collecting electric energy for running trains. This system should ideally run with relatively low contact forces, in order to minimize wear and damage of the contacting elements but without contact loss to avoid power supply interruption and electric arching. However, the quality of the pantograph-catenary contact may be affected by operational conditions, defects on the overhead equipment, environmental conditions or by the flexibility of the pantograph components. In this work a flexible multibody methodology based on the use of the mean-axis conditions, as reference conditions, mode component synthesis, as a form of reducing the number of generalized coordinates of the system and virtual bodies, as a methodology to allow the use of all kinematic joints available for multibody modeling and application of external forces, are used to allow building the flexible multibody pantograph models. The catenary model is built in a linear finite element code developed in a Matlab environment, which is co-simulated with the multibody code to represent the complete system interaction. A thorough description of rigid-flexible multibody pantograph models is presented in a way that the proposed methodology can be used. Several flexible multibody models of the pantograph are described and proposed and the quality of the pantograph-catenary contact is analyzed and discussed in face of the flexibility of the overhead components.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMultibody Dynamics
Subtitle of host publicationComputational Methods and Applications
PublisherSpringer Netherland
Number of pages27
ISBN (Print)9789048199709
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2011
Externally publishedYes

Publication series

NameComputational Methods in Applied Sciences
ISSN (Print)1871-3033


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