The aim of the thesis was to investigate the modeling of the manufacturing technique ‘Rubber Pad Bending’, using the finite element program, Abaqus. Abaqus has various inbuilt solution methods, and the feasibility of two methods was examined.
A large amount of time was spent studying the implicit method. This method is not really suitable for analyzing contact situations such as manufacturing process modeling. That being said, some valid results were obtained. The inability to accurately model the contact between various surfaces throughout the process created some limitations in the accuracy. Also, boundary conditions did not mimic the physical process accurately. This method was not able to utilize techniques, such as half modeling and mass scaling, for decreasing computation times, and was not able to incorporate analytically rigid bodies into the model.
The explicit method was also studied in detail. This method was far better suited to this manufacturing process. Contact modeling was able to model accurately the effect of various frictional coefficients. Realistic boundary conditions were able to be applied with accurate results being obtained. Analytically rigid bodies were able to be incorporated into the model, and techniques used for increasing computation times were able to be used successfully. Mass scaling was used successfully. This method did have large computation times, in excess of 12 hours in some cases. The technique of mass scaling was very good for reducing these times.
In summary, the purpose of the thesis was to investigate the ability of the program ‘Abaqus’ to model the rubber pad bending process. This work has shown that the program’s “explicit” method is very useful tool for modeling such situations.