Published in Computational Mechanics Vol. 31 (1-2), pp. 173-178, 2003
The extended system is known as a reliable algorithm for the direct computation of instability points on the equilibrium path of mechanical structures. This article describes the application of the extended system as critical point computation method to mechanical contact problems. In this type of problems inequality constraints have to be considered. Moreover a prediction method based on the extended system algorithm is resented which allows the detection of favorable starting values for a critical point computation on the equilibrium path.