Easy Handling of Contacts in Large Assemblies

In a large assembly, the number of contacts between parts can easily be over a hundred, sometimes even a thousand. Without efficient navigation tools, it can be complicated to know where contacts are defined or which parts are involved.

The video below demonstrates how to efficiently navigate through a large number of contacts. It also addresses the manual or automated generation of contacts on assemblies.

Handling Contacts in Large Assemblies Using ANSYS Workbench

When the geometry is imported, contacts are automatically detected in the assembly. Automatic detection saves you a tremendous amount of time, as the manual creation of hundreds of contacts is a time consuming task. But automation may not reveal all the contacts you need to know about, especially for parts that are far away from each other. In this case, you need to add manual contacts or enable contact detection between a subset of your model; the potential distance between parts, referred to as a "tolerance" in ANSYS Workbench, will be higher in this subset.

Let's take the example of the tractor axle below. Workbench detected 105 contacts automatically in only a few seconds.

Model of a tractor axle with few contacts displayed

Model of a tractor axle with few contacts displayed.

How do you know where each contact is located? How do you know which contact belongs to one or the other part? All contacts can be renamed based on the underlying parts, but this is sometimes not enough.

ANSYS Workbench offers several ways of examining contacts. You can select any contact in the simulation tree and get a display of the full model along with the bodies involved as shown below.

Full assembly in wireframe mode and split body view showing only parts in contact

Full assembly in wireframe mode (left) and split body view showing only parts in contact (right).

Or you can work directly from one or several parts and identify all related contacts. This is achieved by selecting a part and choosing the appropriate option from a pop-up menu.

Identifying all contacts related to a single part

Identifying all contacts related to a single part

Identifying all contacts between two parts

Identifying all contacts between two parts

There is obviously much more to say about contact setup, such as contact groupings and contact options, among others. Feel free to contact us if you want to learn more. Also check tB13F4D13-90CE-4AE4-985B-5C09FBE8B994he links on the right hand side of this page for additional information.