Date of Award

Spring 1989

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering


Mechanical Engineering

Committee Director

Earl A. Thornton

Committee Member

Allan R. Wieting

Committee Member

Sushil K. Chaturvedi

Committee Member

Ernst von Lavante

Committee Member

Gene Hou


In this study a new adaptive remeshing method for high speed compressible flow analysis is presented. The method uses quadrilateral elements where possible, and triangles are introduced as needed. The primary goal of this study is to develop a remeshing method which uses both the concepts of unstructured and structured meshes for the finite element analysis to predict accurate aerodynamic heating in problems related to high speed viscous flows. The remeshing method uses a solution based on an old mesh to create a new mesh based on an advancing front technique. In the present implementation, a structured mesh of quadrilaterals is created in the boundary layer and an unstructured mesh consisting of quadrilaterals and triangles is created in the inviscid region. Studies of convergence rates show that for problems with highly localized solution variations, the remeshing approach gives smaller solution errors with fewer unknowns than refinement of uniform, structured meshes. Results for high speed compressible flows show that the remeshing method improves the solution quality significantly without necessarily increasing the number of unknowns in large proportions.