A method for solving contact problems

G. Zavarise, P. Wriggers, B. A. Schrefler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

51 Scopus citations


In this paper a further method is presented to solve problems involving contact mechanics. The basic idea is related to a special modification of the unconstrained functional to include inequality constraints. The modification is constructed in such a way that minimal point of the unconstrained potential can be exactly shifted to the constraint limit. Moreover, the functional remains smooth and the admissible range of the solution is not restricted. The solution search process with iterative techniques takes advantage from these features. In fact, due to a better control of gap status changes, a more stable solution path with respect to other methods is usually obtained. The characteristics of the method are evidenced and compared to other classical techniques, like penalty and barrier methods. The finite element discretization of the proposed method is included and some numerical applications are shown.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)473-498
Number of pages26
JournalInternational Journal for Numerical Methods in Engineering
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 15 1998


  • Barrier
  • Constrained minimisation
  • Cross-constraints
  • Finite element
  • Penalty

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Engineering (miscellaneous)
  • Computational Mechanics
  • Applied Mathematics


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