Published in Engineering Computations Vol. 20 (5-6), pp. 583-600, 2003
The extended Delaunay tessellation (EDT) is presented in this paper as the unique partition of a node set into polyhedral regions defined by nodes lying on the nearby Voronoï spheres. Until recently, all the FEM mesh generators were limited to the generation of tetrahedral or hexahedral elements (or triangular and quadrangular in 2D problems). The reason for this limitation was the lack of any acceptable shape function to be used in other kind of geometrical elements. Nowadays, there are several acceptable shape functions for a very large class of polyhedra. These new shape functions, together with the EDT, gives an optimal combination and a powerful tool to solve a large variety of physical problems by numerical methods. The domain partition into polyhedra presented here does not introduce any new node nor change any node position. This makes this process suitable for Lagrangian problems and meshless methods in which only the connectivity information is used and there is no need for any expensive smoothing process.