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.


Our theories for rolling contact come in different forms. For an overview of these please refer to the Products page.


September, 2017: We released CONTACT version v17.1. This includes a beta-version of a whole new wheel/rail contact module.

August, 2016: We released CONTACT version v16.1. This includes fast calculation of the internal stresses and a new version of the CONTACT library.

April, 2016: Our CONTACT library is now available in MATLAB®, GENSYS and Universal Mechanism. For more information see the new Products page.

November 2015: The fourth edition of our course on contact mechanics with CONTACT was held in Delft, The Netherlands.

October, 2015: We released CONTACT version v15.1. This includes the fast solver TangCG and provides CONTACT as a library.

September, 2015: An invited presentation was held at the international Contact Mechanics conference (Colorado Springs, USA), giving an overview of recent developments.

June, 2015: Informing you of a controversy with Delft University of Technology.

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

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

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.