A Unified Approach for Beam-to-Beam Contact

29 Jul 2016  ·  Meier Christoph, Wall Wolfgang A., Popp Alexander ·

Existing beam contact formulations can be categorized in point contact models that consider a discrete contact force at the closest point of the beams, and line contact models that assume distributed contact forces. In this work, it will be shown that line contact formulations provide accurate and robust mechanical models in the range of small contact angles, whereas the computational efficiency considerably decreases with increasing contact angles... On the other hand, point contact formulations serve as sufficiently accurate and very efficient models in the regime of large contact angles, while they are not applicable for small contact angles as a consequence of non-unique closest point projections. In order to combine the advantages of these basic formulations, a novel all-angle beam contact (ABC) formulation is developed that applies a point contact formulation for large contact angles and a recently developed line contact formulation for small contact angles, the two being smoothly connected by means of a variationally consistent model transition. Based on a stringent analysis, two different transition laws are investigated, optimal algorithmic parameters are suggested and conservation of energy and momentum is shown. All configuration-dependent quantities are consistently linearized, thus allowing for their application within implicit time integration schemes. Furthermore, a step size control of the nonlinear solution scheme that allows for large displacement increments per time step and an efficient two-stage contact search based on dynamically adapted search segments are proposed. A series of numerical test cases is analyzed in order to verify the accuracy and consistency of the proposed contact model transition regarding contact force distributions and conservation properties, but also for quantifying the efficiency gains as compared to standard beam contact formulations. read more

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Computational Engineering, Finance, and Science


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