A primal-dual active set strategy for non-linear multibody contact problems

S. Hüeber, B. Ian Wohlmuth

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

219 Scopus citations


Non-conforming domain decomposition methods provide a powerful tool for the numerical approximation of partial differential equations. For the discretization of a non-linear multibody contact problem, we use the mortar approach with a dual Lagrange multiplier space. To handle the non-linearity of the contact conditions, we apply a primal-dual active set strategy to find the actual contact zone. The algorithm can be easily generalized to multibody contact problems. A suitable basis transformation guarantees the same algebraic structure in the multibody situation as in the one body case. Using an inexact primal-dual active set strategy in combination with a multigrid method yields an efficient iterative solver. Different numerical examples for one and multibody contact problems illustrate the performance of the method.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3147-3166
Number of pages20
JournalComputer Methods in Applied Mechanics and Engineering
Issue number27-29
StatePublished - 22 Jul 2005
Externally publishedYes


  • Dual Lagrange multipliers
  • Linear elasticity
  • Mortar finite element methods
  • Multibody contact problems
  • Non-conforming meshes
  • Primal-dual active set strategy


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