I am a past user of Ansys. In Ansys I was able to limit the extent of the mating surfaces that comprised a contact pair by creating surface patches. The benefit of such was that by limiting the target surface, alot of wasted time checking for contact along the entire surface of the part was eliminated.
As an example, say I have two bars, 10 inches long, that are in contact along a 1 inch strip of overlap. In Ansys the contact pair could be limited to these localized zones.
In solidworks, I'm concerned that when I establish a contact set comprising the entire 10 inches of each mating face, alot of time is spent iterating through the contact pair to check for contact that is not possible. To solve this problem I have tried two approaches. The first is that I split each part into two solid bodies. By doing this I can then select the restricted faces for my contact pair. This seems to work well. My second approach was to create a plane surface from a sketch on each part and then select these surfaces to establish my contact pair. This way does not seem to work. I think Solidworks is overlaying shell elements over the solid body elements.
I would appreciate any suggestions that people may have to solve this issue.