Multibody Modeling of Pantographs for Pantograph-Catenary Interaction

Joao Pombo, Frederico Grases Rauter, Jorge Ambrósio, Manuel Pereira

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

27 Citations (Scopus)


In the great majority of railway networks the electrical power is provided to the locomotives by the pantograph-catenary system. From the mechanical point of view, the single most important feature of this system consists in the quality of the contact between the contact wire(s) of the catenary and the contact strips of the pantograph. Therefore not only the correct modeling of the catenary and of the pantograph must be achieved but also a suitable contact model to describe the interaction between the two systems must be devised. The work proposed here aims at enhancing the understanding of the dynamic behavior of the pantograph and of the interaction phenomena in the pantograph-catenary system. The catenary system is described by a detailed finite element model of the complete subsystem while the pantograph system is described by a detailed multibody model. The dynamics of each one of these models requires the use of different time integration algorithms. In particular the dynamics of the finite element model of the catenary uses a Newmark type of integration algorithm while the multibody model uses a Gear integration algorithm, which is variable order and variable time step. Therefore, an extra difficulty that arises in study of the complete catenary-pantograph interaction concerns the need for the cosimulation of finite element and multibody models. As the gluing element between the two models is the contact model, it is through the representation of the contact and of the integration schemes applied for the finite and multibody models that the co-simulation is carried on. The work presented here proposes an integrated methodology to represent the contact between the finite element and multibody models based on a continuous contact force model that takes into account the cosimulation requirements of the integration algorithms used for each subsystem model.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationIUTAM Symposium on Multiscale Problems in Multibody System Contacts - Proceedings of the IUTAM Symposium
Number of pages22
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2007
Externally publishedYes

Publication series

NameSolid Mechanics and its Applications
ISSN (Print)1875-3507


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