An elastic-plastic contact law that incorporates local permanent deformation in the contact zone has been used to investigate the efficacy of the momentum balance method in transverse impact problems. The momentum balance solution is compared to the numerical solution of the same equations using the contact law. It is shown that the momentum balance method gives very good results for the post impact behavior of both the impacter and the beam. In certain cases, it is also shown to yield satisfactory results for the dynamic behavior during contact. It is demonstrated that the momentum balance method with an appropriate coefficient of restitution obtained from the contact law, is physically the same as using the contact law itself, with the difference that the local deformation is neglected.

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