Why is Gauss detection better then nodal detection for surface to surface contact?

The main advantage of Gauss detection vs nodal detection is that there is never a directional discontinuity at an element Gauss point. Nodes on curved surfaces, however, are always at a point where the direction is changing.

There is a disadvantage to Gauss point detection in that it is more susceptible to chatter, but this is outweighed by the direction normal benefit. If the contact is between flat surfaces, you might find cases where nodal detection actually converges faster, but for generally curved surfaces, you are likely to find the Gauss point detection easier to converge.

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