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Chapter 3

Advanced Contact

Advanced Solid Body Contact Options

Chapter Overview
The various advanced solid body contact options will be
discussed in detail in this chapter:

Most of these advanced options are only applicable to contact


involving solid body faces, not surface bodies.
It is assumed that the user has already covered Chapter 2 Nonlinear
Structural prior to this chapter.

The following will be covered in this Chapter:

Contact Formulations
Contact Vs.Target, Symmetric/Asymmetric Behaviors
Reviewing results
Pinball Region, Status
Interface Treatment , offset, adjust to touch
Friction

The capabilities described in this Chapter are generally applicable


to ANSYS Structural licenses and above.

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Exceptions will be noted accordingly

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A. Contact

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They do not interpenetrate.


They can transmit compressive normal forces and tangential
friction forces.
They often do not transmit tensile normal forces.
They are therefore free to separate and move away from each other.

Contact is a changing-status nonlinearity. That is, the


stiffness of the system depends on the contact status,
whether parts are touching or separated.

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Description of Contact:
When two separate surfaces touch each other such that
they become mutually tangent, they are said to be in
contact.
In the common physical sense, surfaces that are in contact
have these characteristics:

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Enforcing Impenetrability Condition

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When the program prevents interpenetration, we say that it


enforces contact compatibility.
Simulation offers several different contact algorithms to
enforce compatibility at the contact interface.
F
Penetration occurs when contact
compatibility is not enforced.

Contact

Target

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How compatibility is enforced in a contact region:


Physical contacting bodies do not interpenetrate.
Therefore, the program must establish a relationship
between the two surfaces to prevent them from passing
through each other in the analysis.

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Contact Algorithm: Penalty-based

For nonlinear solid body contact of faces, Pure Penalty or


Augmented Lagrange formulations can be used:
Both of these are penalty-based contact formulations:

Fnormal k normal x penetration

Here, for a finite contact force Fnormal, there is a concept of


contact stiffness knormal. The higher the contact stiffness, the
lower the penetration xpenetration, as shown in the figure below
Ideally, for an infinite knormal, one would get zero penetration. This is
not numerically possible with penalty-based methods, but as long
as xpenetration is small or negligible, the solution results will be
accurate.

Fn

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Contact Algorithm: Penalty-based

The main difference between Pure Penalty and Augmented


Lagrange methods is that the latter augments the contact
force (pressure) calculations:
Pure Penalty:
Augmented Lagrange:

Fnormal k normal x penetration


Fnormal k normal x penetration

Because of the extra term , the augmented Lagrange


method is less sensitive to the magnitude of the contact
stiffness knormal.

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Contact Stiffness

The Normal Contact Stiffness knormal is the most important


parameter affecting both accuracy and convergence
behavior.
A large value of stiffness gives better accuracy, but the
problem may become more difficult to convergence.
If the contact stiffness is too large, the model may oscillate, with
contacting surfaces bouncing off of each other

F contact

Iteration n

Iteration n+1

Iteration n+2

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Contact Stiffness

The default Normal Stiffness is automatically determined by


Simulation. The user may enter a user-supplied value
manually
The user may input a Normal Stiffness Factor with 1.0
being the default. The lower the factor, the lower the contact
stiffness.

Some general guidelines on selection of Normal Stiffness


for contact problems:
For bulk-dominated problems: Use Program Controlled or
manually enter a Normal Stiffness Factor of 1
For bending-dominated problems: Manually enter a Normal
Stiffness Factor of 0.01 to 0.1

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The user may also have Simulation update the contact


stiffness between each equilibrium iteration or substep.

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Contact Stiffness
Example showing effect of contact stiffness:
Formulation
Augmented Lagrage
Augmented Lagrage
Augmented Lagrage
Augmented Lagrage
Normal Lagrange

Normal Stiffness
0.01
0.1
1
10
-

Max Deform
Max Eqv Stress
Max Contact Pressure
Max Penetration Iterations
2.84E-03 1%
26.102
1%
0.979
36%
2.70E-04
2
2.80E-03 0%
25.802
0%
1.228
20%
3.38E-05
2
2.80E-03 0%
25.679
0%
1.568
2%
4.32E-06
3
2.80E-03 0%
25.765
0%
1.599
4%
4.41E-07
4
2.80E-03 0%
25.768
0%
1.535
0%
3.17E-10
2

As is apparent from the above


table, the lower the contact
stiffness factor, the higher the
penetration. However, it also
often makes the solution
faster/easier to converge
(fewer iterations)

The Normal Lagrange method


will be discussed next.

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Contact Algorithm: Lagrange-based

Another available option is Lagrange multiplier algorithm:


The Normal Lagrange algorithm adds an extra degree of
freedom (contact pressure) to satisfy contact compatibility.
Consequently, instead of resolving contact force as contact
stiffness and penetration, contact force (contact
Fnormal
pressure) is solved for explicitly as an extra DOF.
Enforces zero/nearly-zero penetration with pressure DOF
Does not require a normal contact stiffness (zero elastic slip)
Requires Direct Solver, which can be more computationally
expensive

DOF

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Contact Chattering
Chattering is an issue which often occurs with Normal
Lagrange method

If no penetration is allowed (left), then the contact status is


either open or closed (a step function). This can sometimes
make convergence more difficult because contact points may
oscillate between open/closed status. This is called chattering
If some slight penetration is allowed (right), it can make it
easier to converge since contact is no longer a step change.
Contact Status

Contact Status
Open

Penetration

Gap

Closed
Normal Lagrange Method

Open

Penetration

Closed

Gap

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Penetration

Penalty-Based Method

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Contact Algorithm: MPC-based

For the specific case of Bonded type of contact, the MPC


formulation is available.
MPC, or Multi-Point Constraint, internally adds constraint
equations to tie the displacements between contacting
surfaces
This approach is not penalty-based or Lagrange multiplierbased. It is a direct, efficient way of relating surfaces of
contact regions which are bonded.
Large-deformation effects also are supported with MPC-based
bonded contact

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Tangential Behavior

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Similar to the impenetrability condition, in the tangential


direction, the two bodies should not slide relative to each other
if they are sticking
A penalty algorithm is always used in the tangential direction
Tangential contact stiffness and sliding distance are the
analogous parameters:
If sticking:

Ftangential ktangential xsliding

where xsliding ideally is zero for sticking, although some slip is


allowed in the penalty-based method.

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The aforementioned options relate contact in the normal


direction. If friction or rough/bonded contact is defined, a
similar situation exists in the tangential direction.

Unlike the Normal Contact Stiffness, the Tangential Contact


Stiffness cannot directly be changed by the user.

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Contact Algorithm Summary


A summary of the contact algorithms available in
Simulation is listed below:

Formulation
Augmented Lagrange
Pure Penalty
MPC
Normal Lagrange
1

Normal
Augmented Lagrange
Penalty
MPC
Lagrange Multiplier

Tangential Normal Stiffness Tangential Stiffness


Penalty
Penalty
MPC
Penalty

Yes
Yes
-

Yes
Yes 1
Yes 1

Type
Any
Any
Bonded Only
Any

Tangential stiffness is not directly input by user

The Normal Lagrange method is named as such because


Lagrange multiplier formulation is used in the Normal
direction while penalty-based method is used in the tangential
direction.

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Solid Body Contact Options

Although Pure Penalty is the default in Simulation, Augmented


Lagrange is recommended for general frictionless or frictional
contact in large-deformation problems.
Augmented Lagrange formulation adds an additional control of the
automatically reducing the amount of penetration, so that is why it is
preferred in general nonlinear problems

The Normal Stiffness is the contact stiffness


knormal explained earlier, used only for Pure
Penalty or Augmented Lagrange
This is a relative factor. The use of 1.0 is
recommended for general bulk deformationdominated problems. For bending-dominated
situations, a smaller value of 0.1 may be useful
if convergence difficulties are encountered.
The contact stiffness can also be automatically
adjusted during the solution. If difficulties arise,
the stiffness will be reduced automatically.

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Comparison of Formulations

The table below summarizes some pros (+) and cons (-) with
different contact formulations:
Pure Penalty
Augmented Lagrange
Good convergence
May require additional
+ behavior (few equilibrium - equilibrium iterations if
iterations)
penetration is too large
Sensitive to selection of
Less sensitive to
- normal contact stiffness
selection of normal
contact stiffness
Contact penetration is
Contact penetration is
- present and
present but controlled to
uncontrolled
some degree
Useful for any type of
Useful for any type of
+
+
contact behavior
contact behavior
Either Iterative or Direct
Either Iterative or Direct
+
+
Solvers can be used
Solvers can be used
Symmetric or
Symmetric or
+ asymmetric contact
+ asymmetric contact
available
available
Contact detection at
Contact detection at
+
+
integration points
integration points

Normal Lagrange
May require additional
- equilibrium iterations if
chattering is present
No normal contact
+ stiffness is required

MPC
Good convergence
+ behavior (few equilibrium
iterations)
No normal contact
+ stiffness is required

Usually, penetration is
+ near-zero

Useful for any type of


contact behavior
Only Direct Solver can
be used
Asymmetric contact
only

Only bonded contact


behavior is allowed
Either Iterative or Direct
+
Solvers can be used
Asymmetric contact
only

Contact detection at
nodes

Contact detection at
nodes

No penetration

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Note that some topics, such as symmetric contact or contact detection, will be
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Comparison of Formulations
For bonded contact, Simulation uses Pure Penalty
formulation with large Normal Stiffness by default.

This provides good results since the contact stiffness is high,


resulting in small/negligible penetration.
MPC formulation is a good alternative for bonded contact
because of its many nice features.

For frictionless or frictional contact, consider using either


Augmented Lagrange or Normal Lagrange methods.
The Augmented Lagrange method is recommended, as noted
previously, because of its attractive features and flexibility.
The Normal Lagrange method can be used if the user does not
want to bother with Normal Stiffness value and wants zero
penetration. However, note that the Direct Solver must be
used, which may limit the size of the models solved.

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B. Contact vs. Target

Internally, the designation of Contact and Target surfaces


can be very important
In Simulation, under each Contact Region, the Contact and
Target surfaces are shown. The normals of the Contact
surfaces are displayed in red while those of the Target
surfaces are shown in blue.
The Contact and Target
surfaces designate which
two pairs of surfaces
can come into contact
with one another.

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Symmetric/Asymmetric Behavior
This means that the Contact surfaces are constrained from
penetrating the Target surfaces and the Target surfaces are
constrained from penetrating the Contact surfaces.

If the user wishes, Asymmetric Behavior can be used


For Asymmetric or Auto-Asymmetric
Behavior, only the Contact surfaces are
constrained from penetrating the Target
surfaces.
In Auto-Asymmetric Behavior, the Contact
and Target surface designation may be
reversed internally

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Although it is noted that surfaces are


constrained from penetrating each other,
recall that with Penalty-based methods,
some small penetration may occur.
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By default, ANSYS uses Symmetric Behavior.

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Symmetric/Asymmetric Behavior

For Asymmetric Behavior, the nodes of the Contact surface


cannot penetrate the Target surface. This is a very
important rule to remember. Consider the following:
On the left, the top red mesh is the mesh on the Contact side.
The nodes cannot penetrate the Target surface, so contact is
established correctly
On the right, the bottom red mesh is the Contact surface
whereas the top is the Target. Because the nodes of the
Contact cannot penetrate the Target, too much actual
penetration occurs.
Contact Surface

Target Surface

Target Surface

Contact Surface

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Contact vs. Target Designation

Because of the fact that, for Asymmetric Behavior, the


Contact surface cannot penetrate the Target surface but the
inverse is not necessarily true, there are some guidelines in
proper selection of contact surfaces:
If a convex surface comes into contact with a flat or concave
surface, the flat or concave surface should be the Target
surface.
If one surface has a coarse mesh and the other a fine mesh, the
surface with the coarse mesh should be the Target surface.
If one surface is stiffer than the other, the stiffer surface should
be the Target surface.
If one surface is higher order and the other is lower order, the
lower order surface should be the Target surface.

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If one surface is larger than the other, the larger surface should
be the Target surface.

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Symmetric/Asymmetric Summary
There are some important things to note:
Only Pure Penalty and Augmented Lagrange formulations
actually support Symmetric Behavior.
Normal Lagrange and MPC require Asymmetric Behavior.

Because of the nature of the equations, Symmetric Behavior would


be overconstraining the model mathematically, so AutoAsymmetric Behavior is used when Symmetric Behavior selected.

It is always good for the user to follow the general rules of


thumb in selecting Contact and Target surfaces noted on the
previous slide for any situation below where Asymmetric
Behavior is used.
Behavior
Internally
Used
Reviewing
Results
Notes

Specified Option
Symmetric Behavior
Asymmetric Behavior
Auto-Asymmetric Behavior
Symmetric Behavior
Asymmetric Behavior
Auto-Asymmetric Behavior
Symmetric Behavior
Asymmetric Behavior
Auto-Asymmetric Behavior

Pure Penalty
Augmented Lagrange
Normal Lagrange
Symmetric
Symmetric
Auto-Asymmetric
Asymmetric
Asymmetric
Asymmetric
Auto-Asymmetric
Auto-Asymmetric
Auto-Asymmetric
Results on Both
Results on Both
Results on Either
Results on Contact
Results on Contact
Results on Contact
Results on Either
Results on Either
Results on Either
Easier to set up
Easier to set up
Let program designate
Efficiency and control
Efficiency and control
User has control
Let program designate Let program designate Let program designate

MPC
Auto-Asymmetric
Asymmetric
Auto-Asymmetric
Results on Either
Results on Contact
Results on Either
Let program designate
User has control
Let program designate

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Reviewing Results

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For Symmetric Behavior, results are reported for both Contact


and Target surfaces.
For any resulting Asymmetric Behavior, results are only
available on Contact surfaces.

When viewing the Contact Tool


worksheet, the user may select
Contact or Target surfaces to
review results.
For Auto-Asymmetric Behavior,
the results may be reported on
either the Contact or Target

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The table on the previous slide alluded to an important


factor in reviewing Contact Tool results

For Asymmetric Behavior, zero


results are reported for Target

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Reviewing Results, Example 1

For example, consider the case below of Normal Lagrange


Formulation with Symmetric Behavior specified.
This results in auto-asymmetric behavior. Since it is
automatic, Simulation may reverse the Contact and Target
specification.
When reviewing Contact Tool results, one can see that the
Contact side reports no (zero) results while the Target side
reports true Contact Pressure.

Contact Surface

Target Surface

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Reviewing Results, Example 2

In another situation, Augmented Lagrange Formulation with


Symmetric Behavior is used
This results in true symmetric behavior, so both set of
surfaces are constrained from penetrating each other
However, results are reported on both Contact and Target
surfaces. This means that the true contact pressure is an
average of both results.

Contact Surface

Target Surface

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Reviewing Results
Symmetric Behavior:
Easier to set up (Default in Simulation)
More computationally expensive.

Interpreting data such as actual contact pressure can be more


difficult
Results are reported on both sets of surfaces

Asymmetric Behavior:
Simulation can automatically perform this designation (AutoAsymmetric) or
User can designate the appropriate surface(s) for contact and
target manually .
Selection of inappropriate Contact vs.Target may affect results.

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Reviewing results is easy and straightforward. All data is on


the contact side.

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Contact Detection Points

One additional note worth mentioning is that contact is


detected differently, depending on the formulation used:
Pure Penalty and Augmented Lagrange Formulations use
integration point detection. This results in more detection
points (10 in this example on left)
Normal Lagrange and MPC Formulation use nodal detection
(normal direction from Target). This results in fewer detection
points (6 in the example on right)
Nodal detection may handle contact at edges slightly better,
but a localized, finer mesh will alleviate this situation with
integration point detection.

Integration Point Detection

Nodal Detection

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Contact Detection Points

For Asymmetric Behavior, the integration point detection


may allow some penetration at edges because of the
location of contact detection points.
The figure on the bottom illustrates this case:
Contact Surface
The target can penetrate
the contact
surface.
Target Surface

On the other hand, there are more contact detection points


if integration points are used, so each contact detection
method has its pros and cons.

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C. Pinball Region

The Pinball Region is a very useful concept to understand.


There are several uses for the Pinball Region:
Provides computational efficiency in contact calculations. The
Pinball Region differentiates near and far open contact
when searching for which possible elements can contact each
other in a given Contact Region.
Determines the amount of allowable gap for bonded contact.
If MPC Formulation is active, it also affects how many nodes
will be included in the MPC equations.
Determines the depth at which initial penetration will be
resolved if present

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Pinball Region
The Pinball Region can be thought of as a sphere
surrounding each contact detection point

If a node on a Target surface is within this sphere, Simulation


considers it to be in near contact and will monitor its
relationship to the contact detection point more closely (i.e.,
when and whether contact is established). Nodes on target
surfaces outside of this sphere will not be monitored as
closely for that particular contact detection point.
If Bonded Behavior is specified within a gap smaller than the
Pinball Radius, Simulation will still treat that region as bonded

Pinball radius

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Pinball Region

The size of the Pinball Region for each contact detection


point is determined automatically by default.
The user can change the Pinball Radius directly in the Details
View of any Contact branch
The Pinball sphere will be visualized on the Contact Region
label. Use the Label icon to move the annotation

By specifying a Pinball
Radius, one can visually
confirm whether or not a gap
will be ignored in Bonded
Behavior.
The Pinball Region can also
be important in initial
interference problems or
large-deformation problems.
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D. Interface Treatment

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In the previous section, it was noted that for Bonded


Behavior, a large enough Pinball Radius may allow any gap
between Contact and Target surfaces to be ignored

For Frictional or Frictionless Behavior, bodies can come in


and out of contact with one another. Consequently, an
initial gap is not automatically ignored since that may
represent the geometry.

However, the finite element method does not allow for rigidbody motion in a static structural analysis. If an initial gap
is present and a force loading is applied, initial contact may
not be established, and one part may fly away relative to
another part.

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Contact Offset

To alleviate situations where a clearance or gap is modeled


but needs to be ignored to establish initial contact for
Frictional or Frictionless Behavior, the Interface Treatment
can internally offset the Contact surfaces by a specified
amount.
On the left is the original model (mesh). The top red mesh is
the body associated with the Contact surfaces
The Contact surface can be offset by a certain amount, as
shown on the right in light green. This will allow for initial
contact to be established.

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Contact Offset

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Note that using this method will actually change the


geometry since a rigid region will exist between the
actual mesh and the offset Contact surface.

This slight modification may be an allowable approximation


in some cases, so it is a useful tool to establish initial
contact in static analyses without having to modify the CAD
geometry.

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Interface Treatment

In the Details view, the user can select Adjusted to Touch


or Add Offset
Adjusted to Touch will let Simulation determine what
contact offset amount is needed to close the gap and establish
initial contact. Note that the size of the Pinball Region will
affect this automatic method, so ensure that the Pinball
Radius is greater than the smallest gap distance.
Add Offset allows the user to specify a
positive or negative distance to offset
the contact surface. A positive value will
tend to close a gap while a negative value
will tend to open a gap.

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This can be used to model initial interference


fits without modifying the geometry. Model
the geometry in just-touching position and
change the positive distance value to the
interference value.

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Workshop 3A
Contact Stiffness

Bolted Joint Assembly

Advanced Solid Body Contact Options

E. Workshop 3A - Contact Stiffness


Goal

In this workshop, our goal is to study the effect that contact stiffness specification
has on convergence and result accuracy.

Model Description
3D bolted assembly - 4 parts:

Bracket

Bushing

Nut

Bolt

Loads and Boundary Conditions:

One fixed support

45,000 N Bolt preload

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Workshop 3A - Contact Stiffness

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Start an ANSYS Workbench session. Browse for and open


Bolted_Joint_ws03A.wbdb project file.

This project contains a Design Modeler (DM) geometry file Bolted_Joint_ws03A.agdb and a
Simulation (S) file Bolted_Joint_ws03A.dsdb.

Highlight the Bolted_Joint_ws03A file and open a Simulation Session.

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Steps to Follow:

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Workshop 3A - Contact Stiffness


Review the contents of the model

Highlight each item in the


Geometry and Contact
branches of the Project tree to
become familiar with the model.

Also, review the specifications in


the Details Window for each
highlighted item.

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Workshop 3A - Contact Stiffness


Review the contents of the model (contd):

Note especially Contact


Region 6. It will be used to
evaluate the pressure profile at
the bushing-bracket interface
after the bolt preload closes
this gap.
Region 6 is initially set up as
an asymmetric frictionless pair
using the Pure Penalty
method. Recall that this
algorithm depends on a
contact stiffness and a very
small penetration to generate
forces at the interface to
prevent penetration once
contact is established.

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Workshop 3A - Contact Stiffness


Review the Solution Information Branch

The red lighting bolts in the Solution


branch indicates an incomplete Solution
run.
By highlighting the Solution Information
branch and scrolling down to near the
end of the output, we can see that there
was an unconverged solution with the
current specifications.

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Workshop 3A - Contact Stiffness


Review the Solution Information Branch (contd)
In the Details of Solution
Information Window, switch Solver
Output to Force Convergence. This
displays the same convergence
data in graphical form.

Note, the force convergence value


oscillates up and down between
iterations well above the acceptable
convergence criteria. After two
automatic bisections, substep 1
converges. However, substep 2
ultimately fails to converge.

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Workshop 3A - Contact Stiffness


Review the Solution Information Branch (contd):

Return to the Solver Output


and scroll up the solution
information worksheet to the
last recorded bisection
attempt. This bisection was
followed shortly thereafter by
a warning message about an
abrupt contact status change
for a contact element
associated with real constant
ID15.

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Workshop 3A - Contact Stiffness


Review the Solution Information Branch (contd):

Again, scroll further up the


solution information worksheet
(near the top of the file) to find
the contact specifications and
calculations.
The contact pair associated with
the warning (real constant set
15) is the manually generated
asymmetric pair for Contact
Region 6. Note the large
default contact stiffness
(0.923e6) being used. This is an
order of magnitude larger then
the elastic modulus of the
underlying geometry. Given the
relatively low stiffness of the
bracket feature in this model, it
is possible that the contact
stiffness being used is too high
for this application.

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Workshop 3A - Contact Stiffness


We will attempt to achieve a successful
convergence by adjusting the normal
stiffness of Contact Region 6 downward
based on the feedback reviewed in the
unconverged output.

Without changing any specifications in


the current tree, duplicate the Model
branch as follows:

Rename the new model branch to reflect


the change that will be made

In the existing Project tree, highlight


Bolted_Joint_ws03A model
RMB Duplicate

Bolted_Joint_ws03A,Norm Stiff Factor = 1e-3

This will enable us to run a modified


analysis without losing the existing
information.

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Workshop 3A - Contact Stiffness


Under the newly created model branch,
highlight Contact Region 6

In the Details Window:

Change the normal stiffness specification from


Program Controlled to Manual

Change the normal stiffness factor from the


default (1) to 1e-3.

Highlight the Solution branch for this


model and RMB to execute a new Solve

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Workshop 3A - Contact Stiffness

The solution now converges successfully in 11 iterations and no bisections. This is ideal.
Bisections are a helpful automatic adjustment to achieve a converged solution, but they
are not efficient as all the CPU time from the last successfully converged solution leading
up to the bisection is wasted.

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Advanced Solid Body Contact Options

Workshop 3A - Contact Stiffness


Review the Solution Information of
the successful run. Verify that the
modified contact stiffness was used
as expected.

Note: A second loadstep with one


iteration was run automatically. This
is because of the presence of bolt
pretension. The first load step
calculates the necessary assembly
interference needed to generate the
prescribed preload. The interference
used in the analysis is reported as an
Adjustment value in Details of
Pretension Bolt Load window,
along with the resulting reaction
force. The second load step locks the
bolt pretension element into this
calculated adjustment to achieve the
bolt pretension load. The calculated
reaction force should match the
initially applied preload.

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Advanced Solid Body Contact Options

Workshop 3A - Contact Stiffness


Review Contact Results at the bushing-bracket interface (nut
side):

Open the Contact Tool Folder and Select Contact Region 6

Highlight the Pressure Results


Repeat for Contact Penetration

Is 1e-3 an acceptable normal stiffness factor for this model?


The best way to ensure an accurate result with a standard contact pair is to perform a
sensitivity study with different stiffness values, stiffness updating schemes and algorithms
until results converge to the same correct answer. Too high a stiffness can produce
divergence, too low a stiffness can produce convergence but possible over penetration, an
excessive bolt pretension adjustment and ultimately an inaccurate prediction of surface
contact pressure profile.

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Advanced Solid Body Contact Options

Workshop 3A - Contact Stiffness

Consider the following sensitivity study on the effects of changes to contact stiffness:
Algorithm

Penalty

Penalty

Penalty

Penalty

Aug-Lagrange

Normal Stiffness Factor

0.001

0.010

0.100

1.000

1.000

Stiffness Updating Scheme

never

never

never

Cum Iterations

12

14

15

15

15

CPU Time

560

635

682

743

655

149.867

142.876

139.693

139.693

139.693

Contact Penetration(mm)

0.162

0.0155

0.0015

0.0015

0.00151

Bolt Pretension Adjust(mm)

1.7571

1.6643

1.6539

1.6539

1.6539

Max Contact Pressure(MPa)

each iteration each iteration

For this model, as stiffness increases, contact penetration and the required bolt
pretension adjustment decrease as expected. The maximum pressure also
decreases. This is because the load is redistributing across a larger bearing area
resulting in an overall decrease in maximum bearing pressure on the bushingbracket interface. Notice also the trend toward more iterations and longer run times
as stiffness is increased. It is also worth noting the benefit of using the automatic
stiffness updating tool between iterations to achieve convergence at the default
normal stiffness factor =1.0.
Specifying the right contact stiffness is highly problem dependent and is always a
balance between quality of results (accuracy) and cost (run time).
Based on this study, a normal stiffness factor of 0.10 would be satisfactory. The
Augmented Lagrange algorithm has proven to provide more robust contact solutions
with many applications and is recommended for standard frictionless contact.

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Advanced Solid Body Contact Options

F. Frictional Contact Options

Training Manual

In addition to the above, frictional contact is available with


ANSYS Structural licenses and above.

In general, the tangential or sliding behavior of two


contacting bodies may be frictionless or involve friction.
Frictionless behavior allows the bodies to slide relative to one
another without any resistance.
When friction is included, shear forces can develop between
the two bodies.

Frictional contact may be used with small-deflection or


large-deflection analyses

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Advanced Solid Body Contact Options

Frictional Contact Options


Friction is accounted for with Coulombs Law:

Ftangential Fnormal

where is the coefficient of static friction


Once the tangential force Ftangential exceeds the above value,
sliding will occur

Fn
Ft
Fn

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Advanced Solid Body Contact Options

Frictional Contact Options

Training Manual

In addition to the above, frictional contact is available with


ANSYS Structural licenses and above.

For frictional contact, a friction coefficient must be input


A Friction Coefficient of 0.0 results in
the same behavior as frictionless
contact
The contact formulation, as noted
earlier, is recommended to be set
to Augmented Lagrange

ANSYS License
DesignSpace Entra
DesignSpace
Professional
Structural
Mechanical/Multiphysics

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x

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Advanced Solid Body Contact Options

Reviewing Results

If frictional contact is present, additional contact output is


available
Contact Frictional Stress and Contact Sliding Distance can be
reviewed to get a better understanding of frictional effects
For Contact Status, Sticking vs. Sliding results
differentiate which contacting areas are moving

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DesignSpace
Professional
Structural
Mechanical/Multiphysics

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x

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Advanced Solid Body Contact Options

Summary of Contact in Simulation


In Simulation, the user can solve contact problems:

General contact behavior is defined as the interaction between


parts, where contact forces are transmitted between two parts.
With contact, parts cannot penetrate through each other. They
may be able to separate or slide with respect to each other.
Simulation uses three types of algorithms available to the user:
Augmented Lagrange, Pure Penalty, and Normal Lagrange. MPC
formulation is used only for bonded contact.
Penalty-based methods formulate contact as [K]{x}, so there is a
concept of contact stiffness and some allowable penetration
Normal Lagrange solves contact pressure as a DOF directly, so there
is no contact stiffness or penetration, although the solver selection
becomes limited because of the unique formulation.

Friction describes the tangential behavior between two moving


parts. With friction defined, parts can only slide relative to one
another if the tangential force exceeds the product of the normal
force and coefficient of friction.

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Workshop 3B
Contact Friction

Bolted Joint Assembly


with Friction

Advanced Solid Body Contact Options

G. Workshop 3B - Contact Friction


Goal

In this workshop, we will investigate common strategies for using frictional


contact.

Model Description
3D bolted assembly - 4 parts:

Bracket

Bushing

Nut

Bolt

Loads and Boundary Conditions:

One fixed support

45,000 N Bolt preload (along bolt axis)

35,000 N Bearing force

(perpendicular to bolt axis)


Due to the excessive run times associated with this model, all the simulations have
been solved in advance. We will compare and contrast the difference between
these runs.

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Workshop 3B - Contact Friction

Training Manual

Start an ANSYS Workbench session. Browse for and open


Bolted_Joint_ws03B.wbdb project file.

This project contains a Design Modeler (DM) geometry file Bolted_Joint_ws03.agdb and a
Simulation (S) file Bolted_Joint_ws03B.dsdb.

Highlight the Bolted_Joint_ws03B, frictionless file and open a Simulation Session.

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Steps to Follow:

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Advanced Solid Body Contact Options

Workshop 3B - Contact Friction


Review Bolted_Joint_ws03B, frictionless branch

A 35,000 N bearing load has been


added to the bolted assembly
model from previous workshop.
Note: The bearing load option
applies a variable distribution of
force to the bushing surface.
The first branch at the top of the
project tree represents an initial
attempt to simulate the structural
response to the additional
bearing load.
Based on lessons learned in the
previous workshop, the nonbonded contact specifications
have been set to use the AugLagrange algorithm, with a
manually defined stiffness factor
of 0.1 and automatic stiffness
updating between iterations.

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Workshop 3B - Contact Friction


Review Bolted_Joint_ws03B, frictionless
branch (contd)

The green check marks in the Solution


branch indicate a successful
solution.
Notice the two load steps were solve
within one substep. This was the
default initial specification as indicated
in the solution output worksheet.

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Workshop 3B - Contact Friction


Review Bolted_Joint_ws03B, frictionless branch (contd)
Despite the clean solution output,
with no errors, a review of the
displacement results show that
the first run is not correct.
The addition of the bearing load
pushes the bushing thru the
bracket at the nut side of the
assembly without resistance.
Also the bonded contact pairs at
the bolt head end prevent free
sliding of the bushing
perpendicular to the bolt.

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Workshop 3B - Contact Friction


Review Bolted_Joint_ws03B, friction

A number of contact related changes


were made for the second run to
correctly simulate the relative
displacement of the parts under load.
Carefully review the following changes
in the second branch.
Contact Regions 1, 2, 3, 4 and 6:
Change behavior to Frictional with a
coefficient of friction of 0.2.
Contact Region 5 represents the bolt
to nut interface and will remain bonded.
Create a new frictionless contact
region (#7) between the bolt and hole in
bracket adjacent to the nut.
Add Frictional Stress to Solution
Information branch for each of the
regions except #5 (bonded) and #7
(frictionless). For region 7 we add
Number (of elements) Contacting to
help monitor solution progress.

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Workshop 3B - Contact Friction


Review Bolted_Joint_ws03B, friction (contd)

The second simulation converges


successfully, this time with multiple
substeps between load steps.
This is by design. Friction is path
dependent and result accuracy is
inversely proportional to time increment
size.
Notice in the solution output that a
nominal 5 substeps with a maximum of
20 is specified by default. Had this
model experienced convergence trouble,
autotime stepping would have adjusted
the timestep size down to a minimum of
1/20 as necessary to resolve the
problem.

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Advanced Solid Body Contact Options

Workshop 3B - Contact Friction


Review Bolted_Joint_ws03B, friction branch (contd)

With the addition of contact friction, the results now reflect the correct response to the
bearing load applied to the bushing perpendicular to the bolt axis.

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Advanced Solid Body Contact Options

Workshop 3B - Contact Friction


Review Bolted_Joint_ws03B, friction branch (contd)
From the solution information
branch, plot the number of elements
in contact for Region #7. Notice that
none of these elements come in
contact indicating that the frictional
resistance generated between
bracket and bushing under the bolt
preload is enough to resist the bear
load.

This pair is still useful, however, for


evaluating the gap between the bolt
and hole after the bearing load is
applied.

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Workshop 3B - Contact Friction

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Review Bolted_Joint_ws03B, friction branch (contd)


Plot the contact frictional stresses saved to the Solution Information Branch

These results look qualitatively correct, but how accurate are they?
Two basic but important aspects to consider when modeling friction is quality of mesh
(especially on the curved surfaces) and time increment size (substeps) used.

Februar

Advanced Solid Body Contact Options

Workshop 3B - Contact Friction


Review Bolted_Joint_ws03B, friction branch (contd)

Now that the model is producing qualitatively correct answers, consider the effect of
mesh refinement in critical areas.
Return to the Project page, highlight the Bolted_Joint_ws03B,friction simulation and
enter the FE Environment to evaluate more closely the mesh quality of this model.

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Workshop 3B - Contact Friction


Review Bolted_Joint_ws03B, friction branch (contd)
FE Modeler opens with an Import Summary
page listing all the FE statistics associated with
this model.
Under Views, highlight the Contacts
option.

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Advanced Solid Body Contact Options

Workshop 3B - Contact Friction


Review Bolted_Joint_ws03B, friction branch (contd)
Select the region representing the
bolt-bushing interface (region #4).
After zooming in on a plot of the
Y-Z plane, (looking in negative X
direction) notice how poorly the
curved surfaces are represented
by elements on these surfaces.

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Workshop 3B - Contact Friction


Returning to Simulation, review Bolted_Joint_ws03B, friction 2 branch

Note the strategic mesh refinement


and sizing that has been added to
improve quality of results

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Workshop 3B - Contact Friction


Review Bolted_Joint_ws03B, friction 2 (contd)

The third simulation converges


successfully in a very similar pattern to
previous run, except with considerably
longer CPU time (in seconds) reflective of
the larger DOF count (previous runs were
in the order of 1500!)

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Advanced Solid Body Contact Options

Workshop 3B - Contact Friction


Review Bolted_Joint_ws03B, friction 2 (contd).

Plot relevant results and compare qualitatively and quantitatively and with previous run.

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Workshop 3B - Contact Friction


Review Bolted_Joint_ws03B, friction 3 (contd)

The last simulation is the same model as Bolted_Joint_03B, friction 2 only using smaller
time step size.

This will force the solver to use at least a time step size of 1/10 with a minimum of 1/200
if necessary.
Another useful but expensive option available to help with unconverged solutions
involving friction is activation of full Newton-Raphson with unsymmetric matrices of
elements. NROPT,UNSYMM This offers a more robust formulation of the stiffness
matrix but should only be used to overcome convergence trouble.

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Workshop 3B - Contact Friction


Compare contact frictional stresses from the last three
runs

Course mesh, 3 substeps

CPU Time = 1,485

Refined mesh, 3 substeps

CPU Time = 10,974

Refined mesh, 10 substeps

CPU Time = 26,000

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