The unilateral contact between an elastic rod and a rigid surface is encountered in numerous biological and engineering applications. Along continuous contacts, the centerline of the rod reflects the geometry of the constraining surface. This restriction of the rod axis to surface bound configurations enters its local equilibrium through a reaction pressure which ensures the compatibility between the deformation and the restraint geometry. The classic equations governing the static equilibrium of elastic rods are particularized to surface bound configurations by (i) specifying the location of the rod axis in terms of its coordinates in the parameter space associated with the constraining surface parameterization, and (ii) characterizing the orientation of its material frame through its rotation with respect to the surface normal. This formulation, which emphasizes the relations between the rod configuration and the geometry of the constraint, also leads to an expression for the reaction pressure. This approach is then validated on a spherical surface by comparing with known solutions for elastic curves, i.e., inextensible and twist free rods.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
A. Huynen was supported by the National Fund for Scientific Research of Belgium and the W.T. Bennett Chair at the University of Minnesota.
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- Continuous contact
- Elastic rod
- Surface constraint