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Civil-Comp Proceedings
ISSN 1759-3433
CCP: 66
Edited by: B.H.V. Topping
Paper IX.4

Contact Detection and Enforcement Techniques for the Simulation of Membrane Structures in Motion

J. Muylle and B.H.V. Topping

Department of Mechanical and Chemical Engineering, Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh, United Kingdom

Full Bibliographic Reference for this paper
J. Muylle, B.H.V. Topping, "Contact Detection and Enforcement Techniques for the Simulation of Membrane Structures in Motion", in B.H.V. Topping, (Editor), "Computational Mechanics: Techniques and Developments", Civil-Comp Press, Edinburgh, UK, pp 243-256, 2000. doi:10.4203/ccp.66.9.4
The simulation of moving membranes using computational meshes and numerical time integration techniques is the starting point for the research presented in this paper. If moving membranes are likely to make contact with each other or with themselves (self-contact), facilities to detect, restore and prevent these contacts must be implemented as part of the simulation kernel.

This paper describes the implementation of contact detection methods, based on point-in-box and sweepline searches as well as contact enforcement techniques. These enforcement techniques such as kinematic correction and contact force introduction are tailored for membrane simulation. For a more robust and geometrically correct handling of element intersections the concept of edge contact is introduced and new appropriate strategies and algorithms are developed. A comparison of the suggested methods with respect to robustness and computational efficiency is presented.

Applications of moving membranes includes the fluid flow calculation around cable and membrane structures. fluttering flags, design of sails, clothing for virtual actors, design of airbags and their inflation processes. Examples illustrating some typical problems are presented as a conclusion to this study.

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