Computational Contact and Adhesion Mechanics, Prof. Roger A. Sauer

Prof. Roger A. Sauer leads a research group within the AICES Graduate School. The group develops mechanical models and computational algorithms for adhesive contact problems based on the framework of nonlinear continuum mechanics, homogenization, i.e. coarse-graining, and finite element modeling. The challenges in this research area lie in the formulation of constitutive interface laws, complex surface microstructures, multiscale and multi-field aspects, and numerical issues like efficiency, accuracy and stability. The initial research of Prof. Sauer considered adhesive contact between nanoscale solids; new considerations include contact algorithms, advanced surface discretization techniques, adhesion at liquid interfaces, contact optimization and scale-bridging techniques for contact.


The research interests of the group are:

  • Adhesion at different length scales
  • Biomechanical contact and adhesion
  • Cohesive zone modeling
  • Contact mechanics
  • Constitutive interface laws
  • Debonding and delamination
  • Finite element methods for contact
  • Friction and wear
  • Multi-field modeling of contact
  • Multiscale methods for contact
  • Optimization of contact mechanisms
  • Self-cleaning surfaces
  • Surface characterization and tailoring
  • Surface energy driven systems
  • Surface wetting
  • Time-integration schemes for adhesion

Former group members:

A list of publications can be found here.

Research Gallery

Adhesive Contact

Adhesive Contact

Adhesion of spherical particles considering large deformations (Sauer and Li 2007)

beam peeling

Peeling behavior of flexible beams: influence of the bending stiffness (Sauer, 2011)

3D Peeling

Peeling between defomable bodies using NURBS-enriched contact elements (Corbett and Sauer, 2015)

Gecko Adhesion

Detachment of a gecko spatula (Sauer and Holl, 2013; Sauer and Mergel 2014)

Detachment of a gecko seta (Sauer, 2009; Sauer, 2010)
Rough surface contact of a gecko spatula (Sauer and Holla, 2013)

Contact Enrichment

Enriched surface finite elements (Sauer, 2012; Corbett and Sauer, 2014)

NURBS-based surface enrichment (Corbett and Sauer, 2015)

Unbiased Contact Algorithms

The two-half-pass contact algorithm compared to classical full-pass approches (Sauer and De Lorenzis, 2013)

Frictional sliding contact computed with the two-half-pass-contact algorithm (Sauer and De Lorenzis, 2015)

Frictional twisting contact computed with the two-half-pass contact algorithm (Sauer and De Lorenzis, 2015)

MD-based Surrogate Contact Models

Indentation of a self-assembled polymer layer: Comparison between molecular dynamics and surrogate continuum model (Schmidt et al., 2014)

Contact deformation of a carbon-nanotube: Comparison between molecular dynamics and surrogate beam model (Schmidt et al., 2015)

Isogeometric Membrane and Shell Formulations

Inflation of a membrane (Sauer et al., 2014)

Pinched shell (Duong et al., 2016)

Shell bending: Continuity between NURBS patches (Duong et al., 2016)

Droplet Contact

Rough surface contact of a liquid droplet (Sauer, 2014; Osman and Sauer, 2015)

Wetting deformation caused by a liquid droplet (Sauer, 2016a)

Sliding contact of a liquid droplet (Sauer, 2016b)

Lipid Bilayers

Tethering of a lipid bilayer (Sauer et al., 2016)

Viscous budding of a spherical vesicle (Sauer et al., 2016)

Graphene Structures

Bending of a carbon-nanotube

Coupled Contact

Electrostatic attraction of deformable rings (Sauer and De Lorenzis, 2013)