Conventional time-marching flow solvers perform poorly when integrating compressible flow equations at low Mach number levels. This is shown to be due to unfavorable interaction between long-wavelength errors and the inflow and outflow boundaries. Chorin’s method of artificial compressibility is adopted to extend the range of Denton’s inviscid flow solver and Dawes’ three-dimensional Navier–Stokes solver to zero Mach number flows. The paper makes a new contribution by showing how to choose the artificial acoustic speed systematically to optimize convergence rate with regard to the error wave–boundary interactions. Applications to a turbine rotor and generic water pump geometry are presented.

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