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 the interaction of the structure and 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 also be defined 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 the interfacial stress as a function of a relative displacement developed along with the interface.
Construction of a sheeting wall represented by beam and contact elements