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Wall distance calculation using the Eikonal/Hamilton‐Jacobi equations on unstructured meshes: A finite element approach

C.‐B. Liu (Civil and Computational Engineering Centre, School of Engineering, Swansea University, Swansea, UK)
P. Nithiarasu (Civil and Computational Engineering Centre, School of Engineering, Swansea University, Swansea, UK)
P.G. Tucker (Department of Engineering, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK)

Engineering Computations

ISSN: 0264-4401

Article publication date: 20 July 2010

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to numerically solve Eikonal and Hamilton‐Jacobi equations using the finite element method; to use both explicit Taylor Galerkin (TG) and implicit methods to obtain shortest wall distances; to demonstrate the implemented methods on some realistic problems; and to use iterative generalized minimal residual method (GMRES) method in the solution of the equations.

Design/methodology/approach

The finite element method along with both the explicit and implicit time discretisations is employed. Two different forms of governing equations are also employed in the solution. The Eikonal equation in its original form is used in the explicit Taylor Galerkin discretisation to save computational time. For implicit method, however, the convection‐diffusion form in its conservation form is used to maintain spatial stability.

Findings

The finite element solution obtained is both accurate and smooth. As expected the implicit method is much faster than the explicit method. Though the proposed finite element solution procedures in serial is slower than the standard search procedure, they are suitable to be used in a parallel environment.

Originality/value

The finite element procedure for Eikonal and Hamilton‐Jacobi equations are attempted for the first time. Though the finite volume and finite difference‐based computational fluid dynamics (CFD) solvers have started employing differential equations for wall distance calculations, it is not common for finite element solvers to use such wall distance calculations. The results presented here clearly show that the proposed methods are suitable for unstructured meshes and finite element solvers.

Keywords

Citation

Liu, C.‐., Nithiarasu, P. and Tucker, P.G. (2010), "Wall distance calculation using the Eikonal/Hamilton‐Jacobi equations on unstructured meshes: A finite element approach", Engineering Computations, Vol. 27 No. 5, pp. 645-657. https://doi.org/10.1108/02644401011050921

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2010, Emerald Group Publishing Limited