Polygonal Contact Model


The Polygonal Contact Model (PCM) is a contact algorithm for multibody dynamics. It uses polygonal body surfaces and implements the elastic foundation contact model.


Calculated with PCM and Simpack 8.600. Click the thumbnails for viewing.

Bouncing Bubbles
Bubbles Animation
Pedestrian Crash 1
Pedestrian Crash Animation 1
Pedestrian Crash 2
Pedestrian Crash Animation 2
Pedestrian Crash 3
Pedestrian Crash Animation 3
Pedestrian Crash 4
Pedestrian Crash Animation 4


PCM is based on Gerhard Hippmann's Dissertation. In July 2003 a paper about PCM was presented at the ECCOMAS Multibody Dynamics conference. Gongjun Hong wrote his diploma thesis about PCM's contact element generation based on variational implicit surfaces at the Institute for Applied Mechanics of the TUM. Refer to the books Contact mechanics by K.L. Johnson and Three-dimensional elastic bodies in rolling contact by J.J. Kalker about the elastic foundation model.


Thanks a lot for your help!


Source Code

PCM was implemented in C by Gerhard Hippmann. It compiles on Linux and Windoze and was tested as a force element user routine within Simpack 9.0 - 2021x. However it should be easy to make it run on other platforms and MBS-codes.

The PCM Source Code is public domain software. It is distributed in the hope that it will be useful, but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY, without even the implied warranty of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose. Technical feedback is always welcome, but there is no claim for support.

Please contact pcm@hippmann.org to get the PCM tar-ball including the PCM source code (C), a Simpack uforce interface routine (Fortran) and some Simpack demonstration models.

Last Modification 2021-12-17