An analytical formulation for the vectors of contact forces and the stiffness matrix of the non-linear friction contact interface is developed for the analysis of multi-harmonic vibrations in the frequency domain. The contact interface elements provided here an exact description of friction and unilateral contact forces at the interacting surfaces, taking into account the influence of the variable normal load on the friction forces, including the extreme cases of separation of the two surfaces. Initial gaps and interferences at the contact nodes, which affect the normal force, as well as the unilateral action of the normal force at the contact surface, are all included in the model. The accurate calculation of the force vector and the tangent stiffness matrix provides a very reliable and fast convergence of the iteration process used in the search for the amplitudes of nonlinear vibrations of bladed discs. Numerical investigations demonstrate excellent performance with respect to speed, accuracy and stability of computation.

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