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Exercise 15

Introduction to
Contact
Contact 33, 34, 36, 46

Problem description
Outline Creation of a pen and a plane model, and different contact types are
used for presenting their function

Analysis type(s): Explicit, 3D analysis

Element type(s): Solid, Shell

Materials law(s): Elastic_Plastic_Solid; Elastic_Plastic_Shell

Model options: Boundary conditions, Nodal loads, Hourglass control

Key results: Displacements, Shear Force, Normal Force

Prepared by: Wang Kunpeng, Pierre Culiere

Date: February 2008

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Background information
Contact-impact phenomena occur in many fields of applied mechanics. For reasons of
computational economy or accuracy, however, distinctions are often made in the numerical
treatments.

Contact interfaces work in two phases:

- Contact search: detecting the objects that should not interpenetrate.

- Contact treatment: applying forces (penalty methods) or monitoring node


positions/velocities (kinematic methods).

The computer time of contact-intensive models (e.g. crash simulation) may be dominated by
the contact algorithm used. It is therefore of prime importance to achieve computational
efficiency, and much effort has been devoted to this subject: specific types of interfaces have
been developed for some problems, and parallel efficiency is regularly increased.

In this tutorial, the four basic types of contacts used in crash simulation will be introduced.

Problem data and description

Units: kN, mm, kg, ms, Kelvin

Description: The pen has an initial velocity, and


moves towards the plane’s center, which is also the
center of an element.

This model demonstrates the basic contact interface


between master segments and slave nodes.

This document does not describe how to create the


pen model, but you can get the model for free.

The following image shows the configuration of the pen and plane model.

Plane Model
Pen Model

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Plane’s boundary condition
Pen’s imposed velocity curve

Material:

Plane: Elastic_Plastic_Shell (type


103, parameters are shown in right
picture)

Pen: Elastic_Plastic_Solid (type 1,


parameters are shown in right
picture)

Remark: Assign the created material to Pen and Plane through PART card.

Supplied datasets

It is recommended that you use the following names for the PAM-CRASH input and results
files:

- For surface-to-surface contact (type 33): Pen_Model_33.pc.

- For node-to-surface contact (type 34): Pen_Model_34.pc.

- For the self contact (type 36): Pen_Model_36.pc.

- For edge-to-edge contact (type 46): Pen_Model_46.pc.

In each case, completed PAM-CRASH datasets are available.

Part 1: Background Information of Contact


Terminology

Contact Interface Types

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• Contact Surface: Set of segments that contact themselves or each other.

• Contact Segment: Three or four node polygons composing the contact surface.

In general the contacts are eventually


reduced to a node to segment treatment.

• Contact pair: One slave node and one


Master segment that are potentially in
contact.

• Master Segment and Slave node: ”Slave”


usually indicates the impacting node, and
“Master” indicates the impacted segment.

• You can check the contacting surfaces


through right-hand image.

Penetration: A slave node is within a


distance less than the contact thickness of
the master segment.

Perforation: (also inter penetration) A slave


node has penetrated beyond the mid
surface of the master segment. Intersections
will then occur as well.

Introduction to Contact type 34, 33, 36 and 46

Nodes-to-Surface (Contact 34)


A contact interface of type 34 is defined as a set of
(slave) nodes contacting a (master) surface. The
slave nodes should not penetrate the master
segments. This treatment is not symmetric. Using
this contact you must choose the slave and master
parts wisely, otherwise it will not effectively prevent
penetration.

Surface to Surface (Contact 33)

A contact interface of type 33 is


defined as a (slave) surface contacting
another (master) surface. However,
here, master and slave have
absolutely symmetric roles and can be
exchanged: a contact type 33 actually works as two contacts of type 34, using the nodes of
each surface as slave of the other surface.. It will be use more computations than type 34, but
it can prevent more potential penetrations and perforations.

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Self Impacting (contact 36)

In a self contact interface of type 36, each slave


node sees non-connected segments of the
same surface as masters.

Edge to Edge (Contact 46)

The close search of contact 46 finds the closest


point between two finite lines, which can prevent
penetration between edges. This kind of contact
can be used in the following cases:

• Model contact in bar/beam structures;

• Improve contact for Shell/Solid structures with sharp edges or corners (to be used in
addition to a node-surface type)

• Improve contact in structures where sharp edges can be formed, especially membrane
structures.

Part 2: Contact Card Definition


Open model Pen_Model.pc, and generate 4 models, each one with a different type of contact
interfaces.

1. Definition of Contact 33

Right click on the tabs Crash>Contacts


and choose the Type as 33-SYMMETRIC
NODE-TO-SEGMENT WITH EDGE
TREATMENT like the following image.

(1) We input some important parameters as shown (highlighted in green frame).

(2) We choose the Slave Selection as Seg and select the pen’s triangular head as shown
(yellow highlight). After selection click the Update Selection button to confirm.

(3) Choose the Master Selection as Seg again, and choose Plane’s all segment (highlighted
in yellow lines). After selection click Update Selection button to confirm.

(4) Click the Apply button to finish creating the contact card.

Remarks: You can check the selection part by the following image. You can also select the
object as Part but choosing the exact selection can save CPU time.

Export model as Pen_Model_33.pc

2. Definition of Contact 34

Contact 34 has the same definition steps as contact 33. You can define this contact card using
the anterior four steps except for the contact type choice; just replace 33-SYMMETRIC

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NODE-TO-SEGMENT WITH EDGE TREATMENT into 34-Non-Symmetric
Node-to-Segment Contact with Edge Treatment.

Export model as Pen_Model_34.pc

3. Definition of Contact 36

(1) Right click on the tabs Crash>Contacts and choose the Type as 36- Self-impacting
Node-to-Segment Contact with Edge Treatment

(2) The key parameters is the same as Contact 33 (hcont, FRICT, IREMOV).

(3) Choose the Slave Selection as Ele. and select the pen’s triangular head and Plane’s all
elements. After selection click the Update Selection button to confirm.

(4) Click the Apply button to finish creating the contact card.

Remarks: In this contact you need not to choose the master parts, every part are treated as
slave elements.

Export model as Pen_Model_36.pc

4. Definition of Contact 46

(1) Right click on the tabs Crash>Contacts and choose the Type as 46-Edge-to-Edge
Self-impacting Contact

(2) The left steps are the same as contact 36.

Remarks: In this contact you has better choose Slave Selection as Edge, but this selection is
kind of time-consuming. There is no IREMOV and FRICT parameter in this card.

Export model as Pen_Model_46.pc

Part 3: Evaluating the results (Visual Viewer)


1. Results of Contact 33

Click Results > Contour and under Entity types activate Node and select Displacement_Z to
show the contour distribution of nodal displacement in Z axis. Through the result we can see
that there is no penetration.

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The following images are respective the contact force time histories and
contact pressures on mesh plots of contact 33.

Contact Force Time Histories


Contact Pressure
2. Results of Contact 34

To show the contour distribution of nodal displacement in Z axis. Through the result we can
see that there is no penetration.

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If in VCP you have chosen the pen as master and the plane as slave, then the simulation will
show an apparent perforation. The contact 34 is not symmetrical.

If you are sure of your master and slave parts selection, you can make good use of this contact
type. It is computationally cheap.

In some cases, you do not have a choice and need to use it. For example, if you work with
SPH elements, these elements can only interact with FE as slave nodes in a node-to-surface
contact.

If you are not sure which part should be slave or master, you should choose a contact of type
33, which uses more CPU but is safer. The following image shows the result of wrong
selection of contact 34.

3. Results of Contact 36

To show the contour distribution of nodal displacement in Z axis. Through the result we can
see that there is no penetration.

This contact is the easiest to define, as there is no need to worry about master and slave
definitions. You can just select all parts of your model.

However, it may be more expensive and requires extra steps if you need to know the contact
force: you need to define a section force of type “contact”.

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The following images are respective the section force and contact pressures
on mesh plots of contact 36.

Section Force Contact Pressure


4. Results of Contact 46

With a type 46 only, we have an apparent perforation. Although there is no edge-to-edge


perforation here, the head node of the pen has gone through the center of one element. This
can be prevented by the addition of a node-to-segment interface: add an interface of type 33,
34, or 36.

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The following images are respective the contact force time histories and
contact pressures on mesh plots of contact 46.

Contact Force Time Histories Contact Pressure


Another Example for Edge-to-Edge Contact
In order to show the function of contact 46 in details,
here we introduce into another simple model: a plane to
plane impact.
1. Define two planes, one (part 1) is perpendicular to
another (part 2).
2. Part 1 moves towards part 2 with an initial velocity
and added mass.
3. In order to demonstrate the interest of contact 46,
we will set another model with contact 33 to
compare their behaviors.
4. Display the result of contact 33 and 46: you can see
that only contact 46 prevents penetration.

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Comparison between contact 33 and contact 46
We can see that part 1 has crossed part 2 without any resistance, which means the contact 33
does not prevent the edge to edge impact. When contact 46 is defined, the edges of plane 1
cannot be penetrated by the edges of plane 2. A penalty force is applied to both planes, which
leads to the bending of plane 2.

The following images are respective the contact force time histories and
contact pressures on mesh plots of the plane to plane impact.

Contact Force Time Histories Contact Pressure

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