A posteriori error estimates via equilibrated stress reconstructions for contact problems approximated by Nitsche's method

by   Daniele Antonio Di Pietro, et al.

We present an a posteriori error estimate based on equilibrated stress reconstructions for the finite element approximation of a unilateral contact problem with weak enforcement of the contact conditions. We start by proving a guaranteed upper bound for the dual norm of the residual. This norm is shown to control the natural energy norm up to a boundary term, which can be removed under a saturation assumption. The basic estimate is then refined to distinguish the different components of the error, and is used as a starting point to design an algorithm including adaptive stopping criteria for the nonlinear solver and automatic tuning of a regularization parameter. We then discuss an actual way of computing the stress reconstruction based on the Arnold-Falk-Winther finite elements. Finally, after briefly discussing the efficiency of our estimators, we showcase their performance on a panel of numerical tests.



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