Contact Interface (Zero Volume Elements) Answered

In this article authored by Chloe Allison, she mentioned how to get over the problem of Zero Volume Elements by using line elements of type joint. She then gave an example to model the membrane with no electrostatic effect. That worked for me well when applying atmospheric pressure on the membrane. However, this line element method is not working when the electrostatic effect is included. Thus, my question is how to get over that problem (Zero Volume Elements) when the electrostatic effect is included.


  • Hi Ahmad,

    This method should still work with the electrostatic solver. See example 3 here. You just need to be careful with the setup.

    Best Regards,


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  • Hello Chloe Allison

    I'm still having the same problem. When I apply only pressure, the simulation is good. When I apply DC voltage, the simulation fails due to the error "bad area element". My gap is allocated from i1 to i2 and from j6 to j7 and it's void. Here is the code I'm using. I tried increasing the value of $pstiff but still I have same problem.

    symb ThkGap = 180e-9
    symb pclosed = 0.98 
    symb pstiff = 140e9 * 1e-3
    symb strtgap = $pclosed * $ThkGap

        curv cont elas  -$ThkGap -$pstiff  -$strtgap 0.0   0.0 0.0   1.0 0.0
        type joint
        prop gap * * cont  * *  * *  * *  * *  4. 0.04
        itfc gap  $i1 $i2 $j6 $j6 1 1 $i1 $i2 $j7 $j7 1 1 $x1 $y6 0 out
        info length joint


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