Hide Table of Contents

Types of Contact

You can apply multiple contact conditions to override the global contact setting by adding component contact and local contact sets.

For guidelines on using different contact types, click here.

  • No Penetration. Available for static, drop test, and nonlinear studies. This contact type prevents interference between Set 1 and Set 2 entities but allows gaps to form. This is the most time-consuming option to solve.

  • Bonded. Available for all types of studies that require meshing. The program bonds the Set 1 and Set 2 entities. The entities may be touching or be within a small distance from each other. If there is a gap between the entities, the program issues a warning message that the physical gap between the bonded entities may produce incorrect results. The user may still insist in defining a bonded contact set. The software then enforces a bonding set regardless of the existing tolerance between the selected entities.

For drop test studies, you can only bond touching faces.

For a study with mixed mesh (used automatically by program), you can bond Set 1 entities (vertices, edges, faces, beam joints, and beams) to Set 2 faces. Vertices, edges, and faces can belong to shells or solids. The behavior of the bond depends on whether the source entity belongs to a solid or a shell. If the source entity belongs to a shell or beam, the bond acts like a rigid connection where the original angle between the shell or beam and the solid is maintained during deformation. If the source entity belongs to a solid, the bond acts like a hinge, where the original angle between the shell and the solid is not necessarily maintained.

When bonding a shell edge to a solid or shell target face, the software rigidly bonds each node of the edge to the nearest element's face on the target. The rigidity of the connection depends on the element size near the interface. To improve accuracy, the element size on the target face should be equal to the thickness of the shell if no weld is used. If a weld is used, the element size on the target face should be equal to the weld size.

  • Shrink Fit. Available for static and nonlinear studies only. You select faces from two components that are initially interfering with each other. Click Tools, Interference Detection to make sure that the faces are interfering.

  • Allow Penetration. Available for static, nonlinear, frequency, buckling, and drop test studies. The program treats Set 1 and Set 2 (source and target) faces as disjointed. For static and nonlinear studies, the loads are allowed to cause interference between parts. Using this option can save solution time if the applied loads do not cause interference. Do NOT use this option unless you are sure that loads will not cause interference. Plot the deformed shape with a scale factor of 1.0 to check for interference. Only Set 1 and Set 2 entities are required to define this contact type.

  • Virtual Wall. Available for static studies only. This contact type defines contact between the Set 1 entities and a virtual wall defined by a target plane. The target plane may be rigid or flexible. You can define friction between the Set 1 entities and the target plane by assigning a non-zero value for the friction coefficient.

  • Insulated. Available for thermal studies only. This option is similar to the Allow Penetration option for structural studies. The program treats Set 1 and Set 2 as disjointed. The program prevents heat flow due to conduction through the Set 1 and Set 2 entities.

  • Thermal Resistance. Available for thermal studies only. This option allows you to specify thermal resistance between Set 1 and Set 2 faces.

Related Topics

Contact Sets PropertyManager

Multiple Contact Conditions

Shrink Fit

Thermal Contact Resistance

Provide feedback on this topic

SOLIDWORKS welcomes your feedback concerning the presentation, accuracy, and thoroughness of the documentation. Use the form below to send your comments and suggestions about this topic directly to our documentation team. The documentation team cannot answer technical support questions. Click here for information about technical support.

* Required

Subject:   Feedback on Help Topics
Page:   Types of Contact
*   I acknowledge I have read and I hereby accept the privacy policy under which my Personal Data will be used by Dassault Systèmes

Print Topic

Select the scope of content to print:


We have detected you are using a browser version older than Internet Explorer 7. For optimized display, we suggest upgrading your browser to Internet Explorer 7 or newer.

 Never show this message again

Web Help Content Version: SOLIDWORKS 2012 SP05

To disable Web help from within SOLIDWORKS and use local help instead, click Help > Use SOLIDWORKS Web Help.

To report problems encountered with the Web help interface and search, contact your local support representative. To provide feedback on individual help topics, use the “Feedback on this topic” link on the individual topic page.