Journal of Structural Dynamics

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M.R.W. Brake

Contact modeling across scales: from materials to structural dynamics applications.

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The study of contact is an engineering pursuit that spans multiple disciplines and scales. Structural dynamics, as well as aspects of nonlinear dynamics and vibrations, is concerned with contact in systems at the macroscale. At the microscale, tribology is concerned with the evolution of two surfaces in contact in terms of frictional and wear behavior. Between these two scales, solid mechanics investigates the development of stresses within two bodies due to contact through elasticity and plasticity solutions (amongst other methods). Lastly, contact research within material science investigates the interaction of grains and the evolution of a material's structure due to impact and other damaging events. These four fields, structural dynamics, solid mechanics, tribology, and material science, are traditionally separate even though they are each concerned with interfaces and the contact of two bodies. By integrating all four fields, new opportunities for advancing the understanding of contact emerge. In this paper, open challenges and potential paths forward for future directions in contact-based research is discussed.


To cite this article

M.R.W. Brake, «Contact modeling across scales: from materials to structural dynamics applications.», Journal of Structural Dynamics [En ligne], Issue 1, URL :

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