Finite element-based software-in-the-loop for offline post-processing and real-time simulations

Oveisi, A. and Sukhairi, T.A. and Nestorović, T.

Volume: 67 Pages: 643-658
DOI: 10.12989/sem.2018.67.6.643
Published: 2018

In this paper, we introduce a new framework for running the finite element (FE) packages inside an online Loop together with MATLAB. Contrary to the Hardware-in-the-Loop techniques (HiL), in the proposed Software-in-the-Loop framework (SiL), the FE package represents a simulation platform replicating the real system which can be out of access due to several strategic reasons, e.g., costs and accessibility. Practically, SiL for sophisticated structural design and multi-physical simulations provides a platform for preliminary tests before prototyping and mass production. This feature may reduce the new product's costs significantly and may add several flexibilities in implementing different instruments with the goal of shortlisting the most cost-effective ones before moving to real-time experiments for the civil and mechanical systems. The proposed SiL interconnection is not limited to ABAQUS as long as the host FE package is capable of executing user-defined commands in FORTRAN language. The focal point of this research is on using the compiled FORTRAN subroutine as a messenger between ABAQUS/CAE kernel and MATLAB Engine. In order to show the generality of the proposed scheme, the limitations of the available SiL schemes in the literature are addressed in this paper. Additionally, all technical details for establishing the connection between FEM and MATLAB are provided for the interested reader. Finally, two numerical sub-problems are defined for offline and online post-processing, i.e., offline optimization and closed-loop system performance analysis in control theory. © 2018 Techno-Press, Ltd.

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