Computational Contact Dynamics
Computational contact dynamics represent a particularly challenging class of structural mechanics problems due to the non-smooth character of the underlying laws of physics (e.g. non-penetration) and the strong nonlinearities introduced by the corresponding geometrical constraints. In addition, complex interface phenomena (friction, adhesion, ...) need to be taken into account with sophisticated computational models.
The emphasis of our research lies on the development of robust and efficient contact formulations and discretization methods in the context of finite deformations and non-matching meshes / non-conforming interfaces. Lately, this main focus has been successfully extended towards contact with wear, coupled thermomechanical contact and beam-to-beam contact. Furthermore, stronly coupled fluid-structure interaction (FSI) with contact is another current research field.
Contact mechanics and the associated computational tools are of vital relevance for almost all sectors of engineering and the applied sciences. They are currently addressed in several fields of application, such as: