Computational fluid dynamics (CFD) modeling is routinely used to analyze various potential events on offshore structures. One example is the analysis of vapor cloud explosions (VCEs). Meshing is a critical step in any CFD problem and can present a significant bottleneck. In a traditional approach an experienced user would follow the basic process of:

  1. Review the problem, model, and critical questions intended to be answered to identify a base meshing strategy. This step relies heavily on user experience and knowledge of tools being employed.;

  2. Construct a starting mesh which provides refinement in proper areas, abides by all meshing rules specific the solvers being used (interface transitions, geometry alignments, stretching, etc.).; and

  3. Conduct critical mesh sensitivity analyses where refinement and mesh rules are tested and verified.

This process is highly dependent on the type of mesh used and the CFD code being used. As a result of these requirements, there always exists a significant opportunity in the modeling industry to improving meshing strategies and approaches. Here a review of the various methods is presented and their utility for offshore VCE analysis is noted. The application of an automatic mesh refinement (AMR) based approach is highlighted. The fundamentals of the algorithms are reviewed and example applications are presented. The advantages of the AMR approach over other strategies are noted.

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