The pulley is used in a number of structures for the mechanical advantage it gives. This paper presents an approach for the calculation of a pulley-cable system using a special pulley element in the finite element method. The Lagrange Multiplier method and Penalty method are used to define the pulley element, as described in this paper. Both approaches are easy to implement in general FEM codes.
The cable-pulley system is widely used for its advantages. In this paper, application of a new algorithm for the calculation of cables on pulleys is presented. Unlike other algorithms, this algorithm enables to take the magnitude of the radius of each pulley into account. This new algorithm is implemented in the RFEM program because of its higher accuracy and efficiency. Comparison of the commonly used algorithm, which ignores pulley radius, and the new algorithm is presented.