In this paper, an improved mixed finite element method (FEM) for analysing elastic contact stresses is presented. Since the corresponding softness matrix symmetrized, the main advantage is that not only is the computation efficiency is improved, but also the data storage is reduced in comparison with the usual mixed FEM. A set of computation formulas of FEM for 3-D elastic contact problems with friction is established and realized on digit computers. A numerical example compared with the results obtained by ADINA shows that the present approach is very efficient and reliable.

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