Abstract

A computational method is described for the analysis of deformable bodies loaded against rigid surfaces. The deformable body is modeled by three‐dimensional isoparametric elements. A contact algorithm determines the nodes that come into contact with each loading step; the finite element analysis computes the size and shape of the footprint and the distribution of contact pressure in the footprint. The procedure is illustrated by analysis of the contact of a rubber disk. The close agreement, shown between the computed and measured results for the rubber disk, demonstrates the potential of the technique for 3D contact analysis of pneumatic tires.

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