This work focuses on the assessment of the relative performance of the so-called contact domain method, using either the Lagrange multiplier or the penalty strategies. The mathematical formulation of the contact domain method and the imposition of the contact constraints using a stabilized Lagrange multiplier method are taken from the seminal work (as cited later), whereas the penalty based implementation is firstly described here. Although both methods result into equivalent formulations, except for the difference in the constraint imposition strategy, in the Lagrange multiplier method the constraints are enforced using a stabilized formulation based on an interior penalty method, which results into a different estimation of the contact forces compared to the penalty method. Several numerical examples are solved to assess certain numerical intricacies of the two implementations. The results show that both methods perform similarly as one increases the value of the penalty parameter or decreases the value of the stabilization factor (in case of the Lagrange multiplier method). However there seems to exist a clear advantage in using the Lagrange multiplier based strategy in a few critical situations, where the penalty method fails to produce convincing results due to excessive penetration.

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Published on 01/01/2012

DOI: 10.1016/j.cma.2011.01.011
Licence: CC BY-NC-SA license

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