Contact modeling from images using cut finite element solvers

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This paper presents a robust digital pipeline from CT images to the simulation of contact between multiple bodies. The proposed strategy relies on a recently developed immersed finite element algorithm that is capable of simulating unilateral contact between solids without meshing (Claus and Kerfriden in Int J Numer Methods Eng 113(6):938–966, 2018). It was shown that such an approach reduces the difficulties associated with the digital flow of information from analytically defined geometries to mechanical simulations. We now propose to extend our approach to include geometries, which are not defined mathematically but instead are obtained from images, and encoded in 3D arrays of voxels. This paper introduces two novel elements. Firstly, we reformulate our contact algorithm into an extension of an augmented Lagrangian CutFEM algorithm. Secondly, we develop an efficient algorithm to convert the surface data generated by standard segmentation tools used in medical imaging into level-set functions. These two elements give rise to a robust digital pipeline with minimum user intervention. We demonstrate the capabilities of our algorithm on a hip joint geometry with contact between the femur and the hip bone.
Original languageEnglish
Article number13
JournalAdvanced Modeling and Simulation in Engineering Sciences
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)1-23
Publication statusPublished - 2021

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