This paper describes an automatic method for identifying thin-sheet regions (regions with large lateral dimensions relative to the thickness) for complex thin walled components, with a view to using this information to guide the hex meshing process. This fully automated method has been implemented in a commercial CAD system (Siemens NX) and is based on the interrogation and manipulation of face pairs, which are sets of opposing faces bounding thin-sheet regions. Careful consideration is given to the mapping, merging and intersection of face pairs to generate topologies suitable for sweep meshing thin-sheet regions, and for treating the junctions between adjacent thin-sheet regions. The quality of the resulting hexahedral mesh is considered when making decisions on the generation and positioning of the cutting surfaces required to isolate thin-sheet regions. The resulting decomposition delivers a substantial step towards automatic hexahedral meshing for complex thin-walled geometries. It is proposed that hexahedral meshes be applied to the identified thin-sheet regions by quad meshing one of the faces bounding the thin-sheet region and sweeping it through the thickness to create hexahedral elements.
Sun, L., Tierney, C. M., Armstrong, C. G., & Robinson, T. T. (2016). Automatic Decomposition of Complex thin Walled CAD Models for Hexahedral Dominant Meshing. In Procedia Engineering (Vol. 163, pp. 225–237). Elsevier Ltd. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.proeng.2016.11.052