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Virtual testing of the front driving axle of an agricultural machine


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The problem and the task formulation

Our client designed a family of front driving axles for a vehicle and started their production. The proposed design included some innovations and technical solutions never applied before.

To be sure before making a pilot sample that the unit is reliable (not only in summarized loads used for design calculations of the basic model, but also in real operation conditions, including most enduring), it was necessary to make virtual tests that allowed prediction of the machine behavior and its possible failures.

Problem-solving technique

To perform the project, the client provided to us a detailed design of the product and a general characterization of the vehicle, including a tentative description of the operating conditions. First, a 3D model of the axle and auxiliary models were prepared, and then virtual tests were made. Dynamic and structural analysis facilities and programs for calculation of transmissions and individual structural elements were used jointly, giving maximum possible description of the product behavior. All procedures were performed under CAD/CAE/PDM. Analysis and calculation was carried out using NASTRAN and ADAMS Software by MSC Company.

Our scenario methodologies allowed us to take into account a range of external factors that affect the work of the front axle and are not considered during ordinary design calculations.

During virtual tests we simulated movement of the machine during all basic agricultural and transport operations under respective loads of the front axle. All operation conditions of the machine were described using 16 design behavior scenarios, which allowed the client to assess the range of operational parameters of the product.

Stress and strain analyses using FEA helped in assessing the strength of the axle beam and identify and eliminate weak points, while kinematic analysis and dynamic analysis allowed prediction of the transmission and steering mechanism behavior.


Virtual tests of the front driving axle made it possible to predict, within a brief time and with a high precision, its operation in all conditions of the tractor operation, without using expensive stands and specialized equipment.

The structure that we helped calculate has been used for one year already on machines of different power, demonstrating excellent consumer qualities.


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