Abstract : A rotor–stator model of a turbogenerator is introduced in order to investigate speed transients with rotor–to–stator rubbing caused by an accidental blade–off imbalance. In order to assess the angular deceleration of the rotor due to rubbing, the angular position of its cross–section is considered as an unknown of the problem. Displacement fields are discretized through a finite element formulation. The highly nonlinear equations due to contact conditions are solved through an explicit prediction–correction time–marching procedure combined with the Lagrange multiplier approach dealing with a node–to–line contact strategy. The developed numerical tool is suitable for analyzing rotor–stator interactions in turbomachines as the system passes through critical speeds during an accidental shutdown. The sensitivity of the system response to modeling, physical and numerical parameters is investigated. The results highlight the significant role of the friction coefficient together with the diaphragm modeling, from rigid to fully flexible, in the interaction phenomenon. Rigid models have the advantage of simplicity and provide reasonable estimations of the overall response of the turbine. A flexible model, however, may be more computationally intensive but is more appropriate in order to accurately capture quantities of interest such as shaft eccentricity and bearing loads.