A mortar formulation for frictionless line-to-line beam contact
This paper describes the quasi-static formulation of frictionless line contact between flexible beams by employing the mortar finite element approach. Contact constraints are enforced in a weak sense along the contact region using Lagrange multipliers. A simple projection appropriate for thin beams with circular cross-sections is proposed for the computation of contact regions. It is combined with the geometrically exact beam formalism on the Lie group SE(3). Interestingly, this framework leads to a constraint gradient and a tangent stiffness invariant under rigid body transformations. The formulation is tested in some numerical examples.