Thermomechanical contact


Alexander Popp, Philipp Farah, Alexander Seitz and Michael W. Gee

Thermo-structure interaction problems are treated at our institute in the context of rocket nozzles. They are fully coupled which means that the thermal field influences the structural one and back.

Adding contact to this problem results in basically two main effects: Heat can be transferred over contacting surfaces and, in the case of tribological contact, mechanical dissipation from friction is changed to thermal energy heating up the participating bodies (see picture).

Thermomechanical contact simulations at our institute are based on thermo-structure interaction and contact dynamics. The usage of the Mortar method for discretizing the contact surface for structural and thermal field allows non-conforming meshes there without loss of quality of results. With applying dual Lagrange multipliers for constraint enforcement, these additional unknown can easily be condensated from the system of equations. The fully linearized, highly nonlinear multiphysics problem is then solved with staggered and monolithic solution schemes.