“Asynchronous contact mechanics” by Harmon, Vouga, Smith, Tamstorf and Grinspun

  • ©David Harmon, Etienne Vouga, Breannan Smith, Rasmus Tamstorf, and Eitan Grinspun




    Asynchronous contact mechanics



    We develop a method for reliable simulation of elastica in complex contact scenarios. Our focus is on firmly establishing three parameter-independent guarantees: that simulations of well-posed problems (a) have no interpenetrations, (b) obey causality, momentum- and energy-conservation laws, and (c) complete in finite time. We achieve these guarantees through a novel synthesis of asynchronous variational integrators, kinetic data structures, and a discretization of the contact barrier potential by an infinite sum of nested quadratic potentials. In a series of two- and three-dimensional examples, we illustrate that this method more easily handles challenging problems involving complex contact geometries, sharp features, and sliding during extremely tight contact.


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