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luther July 21, 2009 09:09

interFoam with irregular Mesh

Is it possible to use interFoam with a tetrahedral mesh or is it only designed for hexahedral meshes.

I can get a simple case to run with tetra, but it crashes after a while. With the same geometry and input conditions, but with a hex mesh it works fine.

All the examples and other work I see of interFoam is with hex meshes.

If someone can please shed some light I would appreciate it.

Kind Regards

ngj July 21, 2009 09:56

Hi Luther

From the point of view of OpenFOAM, I cannot see any limitations in interFoam, hence it must be a problem with your setup, which makes it unstable with tets.
If you could describe your problem in more details, e.g. with figures, I might be able to help.

Best regards,


ulli July 21, 2009 10:15

Hi Luther,

also from my experience interFOAM works much better with hex-meshes than with tet-meshes. I think one reason is that the element growth rate in tet meshes can be rather high. So I made better experience with tet meshes providing a smoother transition (propagation rate). But this may result in rather large meshes...


luther July 21, 2009 10:34

Thank you Niels,

I will have a thorough look at my setup again and if the problem stil persists I will mail you the case and you can see if you find anything wrong.

Kind Regards

awacs July 21, 2009 22:54

Hi Luther,

I met the same problem when using the interFoam solver. The result was ok with hex-meshes. When I used tet-meshes for the same case, the courant number became bigger and bigger, then the calculation stopped.

Maybe, it is caused by the non-uniform tetrahedral mesh. I will pay more attention to it.

If there are any new developments, please let me know.

Kind Regards

Schag July 22, 2009 02:53

Hi Luther,

I use almost every time interFoam for my work. At first, I tried it only with hex mesh, and had no issue.
Then I tried the same cases with tet mesh. At first it crashed, but since I pay more attention in meshing, I do not face this kind of problems. So be carefull in meshing and there is no reason your simulation crashes because of mesh (I think...)



sega July 22, 2009 04:23

My experience with non-orthogonal grids is to make sure you use corrected schemes!

You can also try to increase the number of non orthogonal corrector loops (nOrthogonalCorrectors).

albcem August 14, 2009 01:20

Don't waste time with tetrahedral grids for the interFoam class solvers by playing with correctors, schemes and etc. I wasted weeks trying to get things to work with tets and results were far from satisfactory = the effort is not worth it. Just go with hexes if you can.

luther August 14, 2009 02:43

Thank you. I have the same experience. Do you perhaps know about any literature where I can read up on the cause of this phenomenon?

sega August 14, 2009 07:43


Originally Posted by luther (Post 226328)
Thank you. I have the same experience. Do you perhaps know about any literature where I can read up on the cause of this phenomenon?

I have posted some literature reference on this problem here:
It's post #9 ...

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