Defining surface-to-surface contact

A surface-to-surface contact definition can be used as an alternative to general contact to model contact interactions between specific surfaces in a model. Certain interaction behaviors can be defined only by using surface-to-surface contact. For a brief overview of surface-to-surface contact and other types of interactions available in Abaqus, see Understanding interactions, and About contact interactions.

You can define surface-to-surface contact in any step, including the initial step. Select InteractionCreate from the main menu bar, and select the master and slave surfaces. You can define contact between edges of a wire or between faces of a solid or shell. Certain connectivity restrictions apply to contact surfaces depending on the type of contact formulation. You can deactivate a surface-to-surface contact interaction in a step and, if desired, reactivate this interaction in a subsequent step. You can deactivate the interaction in a step if it will no longer be needed in the analysis.

If you are creating multiple surface-to-surface contact interactions, you may want to use the contact detection tool. This tool automates the process of selecting surfaces and allows you to create multiple interactions simultaneously. For more information, see Using contact and constraint detection.

You can obtain contact data for a specific surface-to-surface contact interaction by using the field and history output request editors in the Step module. In the Domain section of the editors, select Interaction and choose the name of the surface-to-surface contact interaction from the menu that appears. For more information, see Creating an output request.

The procedure for defining surface-to-surface contact depends on whether you are performing an analysis using Abaqus/Standard or Abaqus/Explicit. This section provides instructions for using the interaction editor to define the different surface-to-surface contact options.

In this section:

Defining surface-to-surface contact in an Abaqus/Standard analysis
Defining surface-to-surface contact in an Abaqus/Explicit analysis
Specifying interference fit options