Difference between contacts in Ansys

  • Last Post 09 October 2018
Adisa posted this 08 October 2018


Can anyone tell me, which are differences between joints and Contacts in Ansys.  When will we use contact and joint.

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akhemka posted this 09 October 2018



Just a comment - Joint use MPC184 elements and Contacts are of the type CONTA XXX elements. You may refer the help to see the details for each element type.



Ashish Khemka

SandeepMedikonda posted this 08 October 2018


  As Peter said, joints typically serve as a junction where bodies are joined together. Joint types are characterized as fixed or free depending on their rotational and translational degrees of freedom. So, you are building joints based on constraint equations.

  Contacts don't have to be limited by that and are based on the fundamental assumption of not to "interpenetrate". In the process, they can transmit compressive normal forces and tangential frictional forces to fulfill that condition. The makes contact a highly nonlinear feature and can be challenging to solve.

  So think of the joint feature as an alternative to contact when simulating the interaction between bodies or between a body and ground.

  Check out some useful discussions such as these on the forum and also there are numerous other resources in the help and online:

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  • peteroznewman
peteroznewman posted this 08 October 2018

Hi Adisa,

Some contacts can separate, joints are always connected.

Contacts can exist over a large surface area and the contact point can move around, joints are defined by two coordinate systems and the relationship between them is fixed.

I expect others will add to the list of characteristics of each.