An explicit finite element procedure has been coupled with an automatic generation procedure for mesh-adaptive steady-state simulations of two-dimensional viscous compressible flows in cascades. Turbulence is modeled by a two-layer algebraic eddy viscosity model. Results show good behavior in comparison with measurements and results of a conventional H-mesh viscous flow solver. Computed loss approaches measured loss as the mesh is refined. Currently, the unstructured solver suffers in efficiency terms because the automatic mesh generator tends to produce inefficient equilateral triangles in the regions of shock waves and boundary layers where stretched elements would be more appropriate. This means that, at least for the Navier–Stokes equations, the unstructured approach is not yet competitive with conventional structured techniques. Nevertheless, this will change once the key advantages of geometric flexibility and user-independent solutions force rapid development.

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