Comparison of various contact algorithms for poroelastic tissues

Fabio Galbusera, Maxim Bashkuev, Hans Joachim Wilke, Aboulfazl Shirazi-Adl, Hendrik Schmidt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Capabilities of the commercial finite element package ABAQUS in simulating frictionless contact between two saturated porous structures were evaluated and compared with those of an open source code, FEBio. In ABAQUS, both the default contact implementation and another algorithm based on an iterative approach requiring script programming were considered. Test simulations included a patch test of two cylindrical slabs in a gapless contact and confined compression conditions; a confined compression test of a porous cylindrical slab with a spherical porous indenter; and finally two unconfined compression tests of soft tissues mimicking diarthrodial joints. The patch test showed almost identical results for all algorithms. On the contrary, the confined and unconfined compression tests demonstrated large differences related to distinct physical and boundary conditions considered in each of the three contact algorithms investigated in this study. In general, contact with non-uniform gaps between fluid-filled porous structures could be effectively simulated with either ABAQUS or FEBio. The user should be aware of the parameter definitions, assumptions and limitations in each case, and take into consideration the physics and boundary conditions of the problem of interest when searching for the most appropriate model.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1323-1334
Number of pages12
JournalComputer Methods in Biomechanics and Biomedical Engineering
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 2014


  • biological soft tissues
  • confined compression
  • contact algorithm
  • FEBio
  • permeable media
  • porous contact

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Human-Computer Interaction

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