Conference paper Open Access

All-Hex Meshing Strategies for Densely Packed Spheres

Lan, Yu-Hsiang; Fischer, Paul; Merzari, Elia; Min, Misun

We develop an all-hex meshing strategy for the interstitial space in beds of densely packed spheres that is tailored to turbulent flow simulations based on the spectral element method (SEM). The SEM achieves resolution through elevated polynomial order N and requires two to three orders of magnitude fewer elements than standard finite element approaches do. These reduced element counts place stringent requirements on mesh quality and conformity. Our meshing algorithm is based on a Voronoi decomposition of the sphere centers. Facets of the Voronoi cells are tessellated into quads that are swept to the sphere surface to generate a high-quality base mesh. Refinements to the algorithm include edge collapse to remove slivers, node insertion to balance resolution, localized refinement in the radial direction about each sphere, and mesh optimization. We demonstrate geometries with 102–105 spheres using ≈ 300 elements per sphere (for three radial layers), along with mesh quality metrics, timings, flow simulations, and solver performance.

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