A meshfree contact-detection algorithm

Shaofan Li, Dong Qian, Wing Kam Liu, Ted Belytschko

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

61 Scopus citations


A new contact-detection algorithm is proposed, which is based on the moment matrix of the meshfree interpolation. This new contact-detection algorithm has several advantages over conventional contact-detection algorithms; they are ease of implementation, accuracy in detection. It is scalable in parallel computations, and applicable to a wide variety of problems. Because the moment matrix is computed in constructing meshfree approximation, the algorithm is very suitable for meshfree computations, though it can be used in finite element computations as well. Moreover, such contact-detection algorithm can be conveniently implemented to detect self-contact. Both algorithmic and mathematical aspects of the contact algorithm are discussed in the paper. To validate the proposed contact algorithm, the Taylor bar problem is computed using both meshfree method and finite element method (FEM) to simulate a viscoplastic projectile impacting with a rigid target at high speed. Numerical results obtained with the meshfree contact algorithm show that this new contact algorithm can accurately predict the contact as well as separation of projectile and target. In addition, the numerical results obtained show distinct and detailed shear band formations occurring in the impact event.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3271-3292
Number of pages22
JournalComputer Methods in Applied Mechanics and Engineering
Issue number24-25
StatePublished - Mar 2 2001


  • Contact-impact
  • Finite element methods
  • Formation
  • Meshfree methods
  • Scalable parallel computing
  • Shearband formation
  • Viscoplasticity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computational Mechanics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • General Physics and Astronomy
  • Computer Science Applications


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