Detailed investigation of 3D frictional contact problems

CONTACT solves contact problems such as occur between wheel and rail, in roller bearings and in offset printing devices. It aims to be the worlds fastest detailed contact model:

  • more detailed than fast approximations such as analytical formulae or the FASTSIM approach, and
  • faster than more complete models such as those based on Finite Element approaches.


CONTACT implements the theories for rolling contact by E.A.H. Vollebregt and J.J. Kalker of Delft University of Technology:

  • identification of the size and shape of the contact area;
  • identification of the regions with adhesion and (micro-)slip;
  • determination of the normal and tangential surface stresses (tractions) in the contact area;
  • calculation of elastic displacements and subsurface stresses in the bodies' interiors;
  • for stationary and instationary, rolling and sliding problems;
  • for massive homogeneous bodies of elastic and visco-elastic materials;
  • with Hertzian and non-Hertzian, "smooth edged" geometries.
The latter two aspects make that the contact is "concentrated" in a small, almost flat part of the bodies' exteriors.


The basic version is freely available in binary form. An extended premium version with additional functionality is provided for a license fee. Finally, an add-on to SIMPACK Rail is provided as well. This one fully automates the preparations that are required for a contact calculation, and provides the detailed inputs needed for the calculation of wear.


December, 2014: We released CONTACT version v14.1. This is a minor update that provides mainly a number of bug-fixes.

April 2014: Two more papers appeared on-line: [Vollebregt2014c], describing the extensions of CONTACT for 3rd body layers and falling friction, and [Vollebregt2014d], describing conformal contact simulation.

December 2013: Two papers are published on our algorithms for solving contact problems. A prize competition is defined as well, in order to promote further work on these algorithms.

September, 2013: We released CONTACT version v13.1. This includes our approach for solving conformal contact problems.

May 2013: Our introductory course on contact mechanics and CONTACT that we gave at the Wheel-Rail Interaction seminar in Chicago was very successful again.

November 2012: The so-called "Kalker CONTACT add-on" to SIMPACK Rail is released for SIMPACK version 9.2 or higher.

June, 2012: We released CONTACT version v12.2. This includes our model for third body layers and falling friction effects.