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Interactions between adaptive time-integrators and adaptive meshing in a monolithic FEM solver

Etienne Muller (Department of Mechanical Engineering, École Polytechnique de Montréal, Montreal, Canada)
Dominique Pelletier (Department of Mechanical Engineering, École Polytechnique de Montréal, Montreal, Canada)
André Garon (Department of Mechanical Engineering, École Polytechnique de Montréal, Montreal, Canada)

International Journal of Numerical Methods for Heat & Fluid Flow

ISSN: 0961-5539

Article publication date: 15 August 2019

Issue publication date: 30 August 2019

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to focus on characterization of interactions between hp-adaptive time-integrators based on backward differentiation formulas (BDF) and adaptive meshing based on Zhu and Zienkiewicz error estimation approach. If mesh adaptation only occurs at user-supplied times and results in a completely new mesh, it is necessary to stop the time-integration at these same times. In these conditions, one challenge is to find an efficient and reliable way to restart the time-integration. The authors investigate what impact grid-to-grid interpolation errors have on the relaunch of the computation.

Design/methodology/approach

Two restart strategies of the time-integrator were used: one based on resetting the time-step size h and time-integrator order p to default values (used in the initial startup phase), and another designed to restart with the time-step size h and order p used by the solver prior to remeshing. The authors also investigate the benefits of quadratically interpolate the solution on the new mesh. Both restart strategies were used to solve laminar incompressible Navier–Stokes and the Unsteady Reynolds Averaged Naviers-Stokes (URANS) equations.

Findings

The adaptive features of our time-integrators are excellent tools to quantify errors arising from the data transfer between two grids. The second restart strategy proved to be advantageous only if a quadratic grid-to-grid interpolation is used. Results for turbulent flows also proved that some precautions must be taken to ensure grid convergence at any time of the simulation. Mesh adaptation, if poorly performed, can indeed lead to losing grid convergence in critical regions of the flow.

Originality/value

This study exhibits the benefits and difficulty of assessing both spatial error estimates and local error estimates to enhance the efficiency of unsteady computations.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

Financial support from the Simulation-based Engineering Science program funded through the CREATE program from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada is gratefully acknowledged.

Citation

Muller, E., Pelletier, D. and Garon, A. (2019), "Interactions between adaptive time-integrators and adaptive meshing in a monolithic FEM solver", International Journal of Numerical Methods for Heat & Fluid Flow, Vol. 29 No. 7, pp. 2297-2323. https://doi.org/10.1108/HFF-09-2018-0495

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2019, Emerald Publishing Limited