### Refine

In this paper, we present a viscoelastic rod model that is suitable for fast and sufficiently accurate dynamic simulations. It is based on Cosserat’s geometrically exact theory of rods and is able to represent extension, shearing (’stiff ’ dof), bending and torsion (’soft’ dof). For inner dissipation, a consistent damping potential from Antman is chosen. Our discrete model is based on a finite difference discretisation on a staggered grid. The right-hand side function f and the Jacobian ∂f/∂(q, v, t) of the dynamical system q˙ = v, v˙ = f(q, v, t) – after index reduction from three to zero – is free of higher algebraic (e.g. root) or transcendent (e.g. trigonometric or exponential) functions and is therefore cheap to evaluate. For the time integration of the system, we use well established stiff solvers like RADAU5 or DASPK. As our model yields computation times within milliseconds, it is suitable for interactivemanipulation in ’virtual reality’ applications. In contrast to fast common VR rod models, our model reflects the structural mechanics solutions sufficiently correct, as comparison with ABAQUS finite element results shows.

Classical geometrically exact Kirchhoff and Cosserat models are used to study the nonlinear deformation of rods. Extension, bending and torsion of the rod may be represented by the Kirchhoff model. The Cosserat model additionally takes into account shearing effects. Second order finite differences on a staggered grid define discrete viscoelastic versions of these classical models. Since the rotations are parametrised by unit quaternions, the space discretisation results in differential-algebraic equations that are solved numerically by standard techniques like index reduction and projection methods. Using absolute coordinates, the mass and constraint matrices are sparse and this sparsity may be exploited to speed-up time integration. Further improvements are possible in the Cosserat model, because the constraints are just the normalisation conditions for unit quaternions such that the null space of the constraint matrix can be given analytically. The results of the theoretical investigations are illustrated by numerical tests.