This dialog window serves to define new contact elements which can be subsequently introduced into the program using the "Beams" and "Contacts" frames. The material model of a contact element can be either linear or nonlinear.
Frame "Contact types"
The contact elements are used in applications that require studying an interaction of a structure and a soil. They can be further used to model joints or interfaces of two distinct materials (soil - rock interface). A typical example of using contact elements is the modeling of sheeting structures, retaining walls or tunnel lining. In such applications the contact elements are used to model a relatively thin layer of a soil or rock loaded primarily in shear.
Contacts can be defined also independently along individual soil interfaces.
Location of contact elements when modeling a gravity wall
The contact element is an element with a zero thickness allowing for calculating an interfacial stress as a function of a relative displacement developed along the interface.
Construction of a sheeting wall represented by beam and contact elements