This paper deals with the improvement in efficiency of simulations in flexible multibody system dynamics. On the basis of concepts from component mode synthesis techniques some improved elements for planar beams which are hinged at one or both ends are developed. These elements show a considerable increase in accuracy, or alternatively allow a reduction of the number of elements, with respect to a standard element with cubic polynomial interpolation. The use of the elements is demonstrated in two examples: a planar slider-crank mechanism with a flexible connecting rod and a cantilevered beam in a spin-up motion.

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