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An Algorithm for Compliant Contact Between Complexly Shaped Bodies


A new contact algorithm designed for multibody dynamics is presented. It is based on representation of the body surfaces by polygon meshes and contact force determination by the elastic foundation model. Areal discretisations of the contact patches are constructed using methods closely related to computer graphics, e.g. collision detection based on bounding volume hierarchies and generation of subdivision surfaces by means of boundary representation data structures. Two examples prove the robustness of the method for complexly shaped bodies causing multiple and multiply bordered contact patches and conforming contacts.

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Correspondence to Gerhard Hippmann.

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Hippmann, G. An Algorithm for Compliant Contact Between Complexly Shaped Bodies. Multibody Syst Dyn 12, 345–362 (2004).

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Key words

  • multibody dynamics
  • contact mechanics
  • computer graphics
  • collision detection
  • computer aided engineering