Self-Contact for Rods on Cylinders
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We study self-contact phenomena in elastic rods that are constrained to lie on a cylinder. By choosing a particular set of variables to describe the rod centerline the variational setting is made particularly simple: the strain energy is a second-order functional of a single scalar variable, and the self-contact constraint is written as an integral inequality.
Using techniques from ordinary differential equation theory (comparison principles) and variational calculus (cut-and-paste arguments) we fully characterize the structure of constrained minimizers. An important auxiliary result states that the set of self-contact points is continuous, a result that contrasts with known examples from contact problems in free rods.
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