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Accurate marine propellers flow field CFD through anisotropic mesh optimization

Ahmed Abou El-Azm Aly (Naval Engineering Branch, Military Technical College, Cairo, Egypt)
Wagdi G. Habashi (Department of Mechanical Engineering, McGill University, Montreal, Canada)

International Journal of Numerical Methods for Heat & Fluid Flow

ISSN: 0961-5539

Article publication date: 8 August 2019

Issue publication date: 11 September 2019



Computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulation of the flow field around marine propellers is challenging because of geometric complexity and rotational effects. To capture the flow structure, grid quality and distribution around the blades is primordial. This paper aims to demonstrate that solution-based automatic mesh optimization is the most logical and practical way to achieve optimal CFD solutions.


In the current paper, open water propeller performance coefficients such as thrust and torque coefficients are numerically investigated. An anisotropic mesh adaptation technique is applied, believed for the first time, to marine propellers and to two computational domains.


The current study’s performance coefficients are compared with other previously published CFD results and improvements in terms of accuracy and computational cost are vividly demonstrated for different advance coefficients, as well as a much sharper capture of the complex flow features.


It will be clearly demonstrated that these two improvements can be achieved, surprisingly, at a much lower meshing and computational cost.



The authors would like to acknowledge the computer time supplied by CLUMEQ on Compute Canada clusters.


Abou El-Azm Aly, A. and Habashi, W.G. (2019), "Accurate marine propellers flow field CFD through anisotropic mesh optimization", International Journal of Numerical Methods for Heat & Fluid Flow, Vol. 29 No. 9, pp. 3148-3168.



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