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    Cylindrical Hinge Constraint

    The Cylindrical hinge constraint boundary condition replicates the behavior of a fixed hinge. The assigned surface is constrained such that only rotational motion around the hinge axis is free. SimScale can automatically detect the axis of the hinge based on an assigned cylindrical surface, but the boundary condition also allows for a user-defined input.

    Supported Analysis Types

    The following analysis types support the usage of the cylindrical hinge boundary condition:

    Defining in the Workbench

    The settings panel for the cylindrical hinge constraint boundary condition, with automatic detection of the axis origin and direction, is shown in Figure 1:

    Cylindrical Hinge Constraint with automatic axis definition
    Figure 1: Automatic detection of the axis direction and axis origin
    1. Assigned Faces: Select a face or a topological entity.

    Figure 2 shows the setup options for a custom axis definition.

    Cylindrical hinge constrain pick custom axis
    Figure 2: Custom axis definition for noncylindrical faces
    1. Assigned Faces: Select a face or a topological entity.
    2. Axis Origin: Define the reference point of the axis.
    3. Axis direction: Define the axis direction as a vector.

    When using the automatic axis definition, only select cylindrical faces, as this is a requirement to accurately detect the rotating axis. When a custom axis is defined, noncylindrical faces can also be selected.

    Assignment of Faces

    Please be aware that the cylindrical hinge constraint only allows for single face assignment. Assigning more than one face will lead to the following warning.
    “Only one face assignment is allowed. Problematic boundary condition: Cylindrical hinge constraint 1”

    The following constraints for displacement \( D\) and rotation \( R\) will be applied to the selected face in the X, Y, and Z directions.

    \( DX = 0 \)
    \( DY = 0\)
    \( DZ = 0\)
    \( RX = about\ X-axis\ only\) or
    \( RY = about\ Y-axis\ only\) or
    \( RZ = about\ Z-axis\ only\)

    Large Rotating Motions

    Please be aware that the the cylindrical hinge boundary condition only allows for small rotating motions.


    Below is an example of the usage of the cylindrical hinge constraint boundary condition. The part is fixed with two hinges in points A and B and a force F of 1 \( kN\) is applied. So when applying the load the deformed part can rotate on these two hinge points.

    Cylindrical Hinge Contraint Example
    Figure 3: Example of the usage of a cylindrical hinge constraint

    The setup for point A can be seen in Figure 4 below. Here the automatic detection of the axis origin and axis direction is used. Equivalent point B is also set up this way.

    Cylindrical Hinge Contraint Panel Example
    Figure 4: Setup of the Cylindrical hinge constraint for point A

    The result of the simulation can be seen in the image below. As expected the beam can rotate on the two hinge points forming an arch between the two hinge points.

    Cylindrical Hinge Contraint Example result
    Figure 5: Deformation of a beam on two hinge points

    Alternative for setting up a cylindrical hinge constraint boundary condition

    As an alternative to the Cylindircal Hinge boundary condition a Remote displacement boundary condition can be used.

    Last updated: July 14th, 2023