DFG approves and funds new research project in FEM contact simulation

17 June 2020

The German Research Foundation (DFG) has approved the project proposal of Prof. Popp entitled "Combining Isogeometric Analysis (IGA), Finite Element Methods (FEM) and Embedded Mesh (EM) Coupling for Contact Problems". We are looking forward to an exciting new research project at IMCS with an initial funding duration of three years!

Contact processes and the physical phenomena typically associated with them (e.g. friction, wear) are still among the greatest challenges in modelling and numerical simulation in civil engineering based on finite element methods (FEM). The seemingly indissoluble link between FEM mesh generation in the volume of the bodies involved and on the contact surfaces with regard to usable discretization techniques, element sizes and element shapes is a particular obstacle. While at the discrete contact boundaries, especially in the case of curved surface geometries, a high continuity of the shape functions and fine boundary layer meshes prove to be advantageous, there is a strong desire for structured, ideally even Cartesian hexahedral grids and a flexible reusability of well-established finite element technology, for example to avoid locking, inside the volume. This research project is dedicated to the complete resolution of this dilemma by developing a novel discretization method for general nonlinear 3D contact problems based on a combination of FEM, isogeometric analysis (IGA) and so-called embedded mesh coupling methods.