elastoplastic contact

A Fourier-accelerated volume integral method for elastoplastic contact. The contact of solids with rough surfaces plays a fundamental role in physical phenomena such as friction, wear, sealing, and thermal transfer. However, its simulation is a challenging problem due to surface asperities covering a wide range of length-scales. In addition, non-linear local processes, such as plasticity, are expected to occur even at the lightest loads. In this context, robust and efficient computational approaches are required. We therefore present a novel numerical method, based on integral equations, capable of handling the large discretization requirements of real rough surfaces as well as the non-linear plastic flow occurring below and at the contacting asperities. This method is based on a new derivation of the Mindlin fundamental solution in Fourier space, which leverages the computational efficiency of the fast Fourier transform. The use of this Mindlin solution allows a dramatic reduction of the memory imprint (as the Fourier coefficients are computed on-the-fly), a reduction of the discretization error, and the exploitation of the structure of the functions to speed up computation of the integral operators. We validate our method against an elastic-plastic FEM Hertz normal contact simulation and showcase its ability to simulate contact of rough surfaces with plastic flow.