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Review of Vibro-Acoustics analysis procedures for prediction of low frequency noise inside a Cavity

S. D. Dhandole and S. V. Modak Indian Institute Of Technology, Delhi, New Delhi, 110016, India

Abstract

This paper summarizes and contains review of major developments in numerical and experimental methods for vibro-acoustic analysis of cavities for predicting low frequency sound field or noise. The numerical tools of finite element method and Boundary element method have been studied and applied extensively for modeling acoustic problems. Details of formulation of both the acoustic and coupled vibro-acoustic problems are presented in addition to the review. Applications of cavity acoustic to problem of vehicle noise are also reviewed. Updating of numerical models for acoustic and vibro-acoustic applications is proposed as a suitable strategy to further improve the accuracy of vibro- acoustic predictions.

1 Introduction

Over the last few years, customer demands regarding acoustic performance, along with the tightening of the legal regulations on noise emission levels and human exposure to noise, have made the acoustic behaviour into an important criterion in many design problems. In the automotive and aerospace industry, for instance, the passenger’s acoustic comfort has become an important commercial asset. This may adversely affect the efforts in reducing the weight of cars and aircraft, which are mainly motivated by potential fuel savings. However the strategies to reduce weight may lead to increased noise and vibration levels. In this framework, vibro-acoustic coupling phenomena are important and will become even more important in the course of the next decades with the introduction of new light-weight materials such as composites. The problem of acoustics of vehicle and aircraft interior and other application like noise in a room, muffler and enclosures all involve some form of cavity subjected to either structural or acoustic excitation. Thus the procedures of analyzing cavity acoustics are required to address noise problems associated with above applications.

The noise problems in real life applications mostly involves consideration of structural and acoustic part together and thus calls for a coupled Vibroacoustic treatment rather a pure acoustic approach. Thus, whenever an elastic structure is in contact with a fluid, the structural vibrations and the acoustic pressure field in the fluid are influenced by the mutual vibro-acoustic coupling interaction. The force loading on the structure, caused by the acoustic pressure along the fluid-structure interface, influences the structural vibrations. At the same time the acoustic pressure field in the fluid is also sensitive to the structural vibrations along the fluid-structure interface. The strength of this vibroacoustic coupling interaction is largely dependent on the geometry of the structure and the fluid domain as well as on the fluid and structural material properties and on the frequency of

the dynamic disturbances. A good introduction to this topic is given in the book Sound, Structures and their interaction by Junger and Feit 47 and Structural Acoustics and Vibration by Ohayon and Soize 75 and Fundamentals of Acoustics by Kinsler et al 51 . Apart from the analytical and numerical approaches various researchers have also used experimental route for addressing the noise problems.

The objective of this paper is to give a brief summary of the various approaches used for predicting noise inside cavities and to review the major developments in these areas so as to serve as a starting point that not only gives details of numerical but also experimental approaches.

2 Analytical Solution of Cavity Problem

Analytical methods for predicting noise inside cavities are based on solution of partial differential equations describing the acoustic phenomenon. These equations may be solved using analytical methods which range from separation of variables methods to integral formulations in terms of variational or integral equations. Initially, well known analytical solution for a rectangular cavity is briefly presented so as to highlight the steps involved in the analytical approach, followed by review of some of other important contributions.

2.1 Acoustic wave Equation

The acoustic medium is assumed to be homogeneous, isotropic and perfectly elastic. The perfectly elastic assumption allows using the particle displacements and velocities of acoustic waves in the governing equations, similar to elastic waves in solids.

The equation describing the motion of medium particles under the presence of an acoustic wave can be derived by combining continuity equation/conservation of mass, condition of dynamic equilibrium/ conservation of momentum and constitutive relation/ thermodynamic laws (equation relating pressure, volume and temperature), Kinsler et al., 51 , as

2

p =

1

2

p

c

2

t

2

where,

2

∇ =

2

2

2

x

2

y

2

z

2

+

+

Above equation can be modified to include the effect of presence of an acoustic source to obtain inhomogeneous equation. Solution of wave equation gives distribution of pressure field in a medium. The solution of this inhomogeneous equation gives the sound/noise level inside a cavity at the required point. The noise produced due to the acoustic source would in fact depend on the acoustic modal properties of the cavity. These properties can be determined by solving the homogeneous wave equation. Let

be the solution representing standing waves in a rectangular

cavity of dimensions of L ,

z . Substituting this assumed solution in the wave

equation gives solution for pressure. The arbitrary constants, for the case of say rigid boundary, can be determined using the boundary conditions as,

p

(

x

,

y

,

z t

,

) =

p

x

p

y

p

z

e

j

ω

t

x

L

y

,

L

p

(

x

,

y

,

z t

,

) =

A

x

A

y

A

z

cos

k

x

x

cos

k

y

y

cos

k

z

z

For a particular combination of (l,m,n) the above equation gives the pattern of pressure distribution or acoustic pressure mode whose frequency is given by,

ω

l mn

= c

2 2 ⎛ π ⎞ π 2 ⎞ ⎛ ⎛ π ⎞ ⋅ ⎜ l
2
2
π
⎞ π
2 ⎞
π
l
⎟ ⎟ + m ⋅
+ ⎜ n ⋅
L
L
L
x
⎠ ⎠
y
z

Analytical solutions may be obtained by solving the partial differential equations by separation of variables methods or via integral formulations in terms of the variational or integral equations. The method of separation of variables can only be used for a few problems involving geometry and boundary conditions that match an orthogonal coordinate system (Morse et al. 69 ). For other problems, a variational or boundary integral formulation can be used. However, due to complexity of the problems the exact solutions using either of the above approaches is extremely difficult. This has been dealt by some researchers by making certain assumption about the solution for simplification like finite modal expansion, incompressible fluids etc. for sound field prediction at lower frequencies.

Lyon 62 analyzed the theoretical noise reduction obtained by a single flexible panel forming the one face of an otherwise rigid rectangular enclosure. Dowell and Voss 26 expressed the acoustic velocity potential in a rectangular cavity in terms of an infinite Fourier series to solve the coupled problem. They derived an approximate method to predict the effect of the acoustic pulsations on the panel flutter of a supersonic aircraft. Later, Pretlove 82 gave an exact solution for the acoustic velocity potential in a rectangular cavity with one flexible wall. Another paper from the same author (Pretlove 83 ) presented the analytical solution for the acoustic response due to forced vibrations of flexible panel of a rectangular cavity. The structure was represented by a series of the in-vacuo normal modes and the acoustic response was represented by an exact solution of the acoustic wave equation, the two subsystems being linked by the conditions of equilibrium at the acousto-plate interface.

Dowell et al. 27, 28 developed the analytical solution for interior sound fields which are created by flexible wall motion resulting from exterior sound fields by considering the expansion of the pressure in terms of the normal modes of the rigid-walled cavity. Hong and Kim 40, 41 proposed a new formulation by considering what has been referred as the concept of the equivalent mass source to reduce the computational effort required in obtaining the analytical estimates of the natural frequencies and the mode shapes for the coupled system by earlier proposed methods of expanding the system response in terms of the uncoupled modes.

The analytical solution of partial differential equations for cavities of irregular shape by conventional technique of separation of variables is difficult. Missaoui and Cheng 66 presented an integro-modal approach for computing the acoustic properties of irregular- shaped cavities. The method consists of discretizing the whole cavity into a series of sub cavities, whose acoustic pressure is decomposed either over a modal basis of regular sub cavities or over that of the bounding cavities in the case of irregular-shaped boundaries. An integral formulation is then established to ensure continuity of both pressure and velocity between adjacent sub cavities using a membrane with zero mass and stiffness.

Anyunzoghe and Cheng 2 extended integro-modal approach by introducing the concept of overlapped bounding cavities in the general equations. It consisted in handling the irregular shape cavities as a multi-connected cavity system. Li and Cheng 56 extended the combined integro-modal approach to analyze the coupling characteristics between a vibrating panel and an irregular-shaped cavity with a tilted wall. Li and Cheng 57 further extended the work to handle the full vibro-acoustic coupling of a vibrating plate backed by an acoustically hard-walled enclosure with a tilted wall, which is introduced to represent the geometrical distortion.

3 Numerical approaches to Cavity Acoustics

Analytical approach can be applied for cavities of simple geometry and boundary condition. However the cavities encountered in real life problems quite often have complex geometry and boundary condition for which the analytical solution of differential equation is extremely difficult.

In view of above, the researchers over the years have developed numerical techniques that can be used for predicting approximately the pressure field inside a cavity. The Finite Element method and the Boundary Element method are the two prominent techniques that are used to obtain numerical solutions to the problem of cavity acoustics. In the following section initially the details of formulation of the Finite element method and the Boundary Element method are briefly explained. Major contributions made to this technique are reviewed along with the application to which these methods were applied.

3.1 Finite Element method

The finite element method is a numerical prediction technique for solving engineering problems, (Zienkiewicz 105, 106 Bathe, 7 Hughes 42 and Chandrupatala and Belegundu 13 ), which consist of finding the distribution of one (or several) field variable(s) in a continuum domain, governed by an appropriate (set of) partial differential equation(s) and boundary conditions.

The finite element method is based on two major steps, transformation of the original problem into an equivalent integral formulation (weighted residual or variational) followed by approximation of the field variable distributions and the geometry of the continuum domain in terms of a set of shape functions, which are locally, defined within small sub domains (‘finite elements’) of the continuum domain. In a weighted residual method, some prescribed trial or shape functions are used to build solution for each field variable. In the variational method the exact distributions of the field variables are defined as those functions that make a functional stationary with respect to small changes to these functions.

3.1.1 Variational finite element formulation for acoustics of an irregular cavity with complex boundary:

Development of FE equations through variational formulation for identifying numerically the acoustic modal characteristics is briefly explained below. Consider a cavity of volume V whose boundary surface S is composed of surfaces that have different characteristics. S1 represents portion of surface S that is acoustically hard, S2 represents portion of surface S on which velocity v p is prescribed while S3 represents portion with sound absorbing material.

while S3 represents portion with sound absorbing material. Figure: Irregular shaped cav ity with complex boundary

Figure: Irregular shaped cavity with complex boundary

The homogeneous wave equation in 3D is given by,

2

p

=

1

2

p

c

2

t

2

where,

2

∇ =

2

2

2

x

2

y

2

z

2

+

+

Assuming the acoustic pressure fluctuation inside V to be harmonic, The wave equation becomes,

2

p

+

ω

2

c

2

p

=

0

p

=

p

0

(

x

,

y

,

z e

)

j

t

ω

which is known as Helmholtz equation. To derive Variational formulation multiply above equation by a weight function and integrate over the domain of the problem and equate the weighted error so calculated to zero, to obtain the weighted integral form (Petyt in Fillepi 33 ),

V

w

(

x

,

y

,

z

)

⋅∇

2

p

+

ω

2

c

2

p w

(

x

,

y

,

z

)

⎟ ⎞

dV

=

0

Applying Green-Gauss theorem to first term in above equation we obtain,

S

w

⋅∇ ⋅

p

n

dS

− ∇

V

w

⋅∇ ⋅

p

dV

+

V

ω

2

c

2

p

w dV

= 0

Taking weight function as a variation in acoustic pressure, w(x, y, x) = δp(x, y, z) , we get,

S

δ

p

⋅∇ ⋅

p

n

dS

− ∇

V

(

δ

p

)

⋅∇ ⋅

p

dV

+

V

ω

2

c

2

p

δ

p

dV

=

0

The boundary condition (B.C.) over S1 (acoustically hard surface) will be,

p = 0

n

over S1

The B.C. over S2 (surface with prescribed velocity v p and assuming it to be harmonic) will be,

p

n

ρ

=− ⋅

0

j

ω

v

p

over

S 2

The B.C. over S3 (surface with sound absorbing material having specific acoustic impedance Za) will be,

p

p

n

z

a

=− ⋅

ρ ω

0

j

over S 3

In view of above B.C.s, the surface integral represented by the first term in weighted integral statement can be written as,

S

δp p n dS δ

⋅∇ ⋅

=

S

2

p

(

⋅−

ρ

0

jω v

p

)

dS

+

⎜ ⎜ ⎝

δ

S 3

ρ jω

0

1

2

p

2

z

a

dS

The weighted integral statement then becomes,

δ

V

1 ⎛ ⎜

2

(

p

)

2

ω

2

1

2

p

2

p

c

2

p

2

z

a

dV

+

S

p

2

ρ ω

0

v

j

dS

+

S 3

ρ ω

0

j

dS

= 0

Above equation can be written asδ (I ) = 0 , where I is the functional defined as,

Functional

I

=

V

1

2

(

p

)

2

ω

2

2

dV

+

 

dS

+

p

2

2

c

p

S

2

p

j

ρ ω

0

 

v

p

S 3

j

ρ ω

0

 

2 z

a

1 dS

By descretizing the domain of the problem by finite elements and interpolating the

pressure over an element as, element as,

, the functional I can be written for an

p

x

[

= N (x, y, z)

]{

p

n

}

I

e

=

1 { }[
2

p

n

T

k

e

]{

}

p ω

n

2

1

2

{ }[ ]{}

p

n

T

m

e

p + jωρ p

n

0

n

{}

T

[ ]{

s

e

v

np

} +

1

2

{

jω p

n

}

T

[ ]{

d

e

p

n

}

The functional I for the whole model can be obtained as,

I =

Ne

i = 1

(

I

e

)

i

I =

1 { }[
2

p

g

T

k

g

]{

}

p ω

g

2

1

2

{ }[

p

g

T

m

g

Condition δ (I ) = 0 gives,

[ k

g

]{

p

g

}

ω

2

[

m

g

]{

p

g

]{

}

{

p + jωρ p

g

0

g

}

T

[ ]{

s

g

v

gp

}

1

{

+ ⋅ jω p

2

g

} + j

ω

[ ]{

d

g

p

g

} =− j

ωρ

0

[]{ g

s

v

gp

which can be written as,

[

M

f

⎨ ⎧ ⎩

]

p

⎫ ⎬ ⎭

+

⎧ ⎨ ⎩

[] f

D

.

p

⎫ ⎬ ⎭

+

[]{}

K

f

p

=−

ρ

0

[]

S

⎧ ⎨ ⎩

U

⎫ ⎬ ⎭

+

{

F

f

}

}

}

T

[ ]{

d

g

p

g

}

where the acoustic excitation term {F f } has also been included on the right hand side and velocity term has been recast in the form of the acceleration of the boundary surface and various matrices have been renamed with subscript ‘f’ to indicate that they are associated with the fluid part of the system.

Above are the finite element equations that can be used to obtain the forced acoustic response to a structural and/or acoustic excitation and thus enables prediction of sound field inside a cavity. Above equation can also be used to solve for the acoustic modes and frequencies of the cavity by taking the term on the right hand side to be zero and solving the eigenvalue problem based on that.

3.1.2 Coupled FE formulation for structural-acoustic interaction:

In the FE formulation given earlier in this section, it was assumed that the structure causing the excitation of the acoustic medium remains unaffected by the acoustic response inside the cavity. However, for the case of the interaction between the flexible structure and the acoustic sound waves, the cavity walls react to the pressure within the cavity and in this case, the structural displacement couples with the acoustic pressure field. This calls for a coupled structural-acoustic formulation of the problem in which the solution for structural and acoustic response are obtained by simultaneous solution of the two problems rather than solving them in a sequential manner as is done for uncoupled analysis. In this case, the FE equations for the structure, in the presence of both, the force due to the acoustic pressure and the structural excitation can be written as,

K

Where {U} is the structural displacement vector, [M s ], [C s ] and [K s ] are the structural mass, damping and stiffness matrices, respectively, and [A] is the structural-acoustic coupling matrix for the flexible surfaces of the system. Combining above equation and the similar equation given in the previous section for the fluid part, we obtain an expression that is used to model the interaction between the fluid and the structure on the flexible surface as given below,

[

M

s

]{

U

}

+

[

C

s

]{

.

U

}

+

[

s

]{

U

}

=

[

A

]{

P

}

+

{

F

s

}

(

[

]

[]

M

s

ρ

0

) S

0

[

M

f

]

⎪ ⎧

⎫ ⎪

⎥ ⎨ ⎦ ⎪ ⎩ P ⎪ ⎭

U

+

[

C

s

0

]

0

[

D

f

⎫ ⎪

⎥ ⎨ ⎦ ⎪ ⎩ P ⎪ ⎭

⎧ ⎪

]

.

U

.

+

[

K

0

s

]

[]

[

K

f

]

A ⎤ ⎧ U ⎫ ⎧ F

⎥ ⎨

⎦ ⎩

P

=

S

F

f

Thus, above FE equations give a simultaneous solution for structure and acoustic part and can be used to find structural and/or acoustic response to a structure and/or acoustic excitation.

Gladwell and Zimmerman 35 for the first time gave energy formulation for the structural- acoustic theory, which resulted in beginning of the application of the finite element method to the problem of acoustic cavity analysis. The authors, (Gladwell 36 ), further proposed a basis for the approximate solution of coupled acousto-structural problem using Rayleigh-Ritz methods. Dowell et al. 28 , Pan and Bies 79 used variational formulation in which Green’s theorem is used for the cavity where acoustic sound field and structural displacement are expanded in terms of there corresponding uncoupled natural modes. Sestieri et al. 88 extended integral formulation to multi-connected domains using free space Green function.

In the formulations described above, also referred as Eulerian formulation, the acoustic response is described by a single scalar function, usually the pressure, while the structural response is described by the displacement vector as considered in Craggs 19, 20 , Shuku and Ishihara 90 , Petyt et al. 80 , Petyt et al. 81 Wang and Bathe. 101 This formulation results in non-symmetric coefficient matrices. Moreover, in three dimensions the pressure formulation results in one degree of freedom per node for the Acoustic part of the mesh.

In an alternative Eulerian formulation (Everstine, 30 Olson and Bathe, 77 Bokil and Shirahati 11 and Morand and Ohayon 67 ), the fluid velocity potential rather than pressure is taken as fundamental unknown. This leads to symmetric coefficient matrices.

In a Lagrangian formulation, both structural and acoustic responses are described by their displacement vector as considered in Hamdi et al., 38 Zienkiewicz and Bettess, 107 Belytschko 9 Olson and Bathe 76 and Qaisi. 84 . This formulation though gives symmetric coefficient matrices but requires three degrees of freedom per node of acoustic mesh to be specified thus increasing the size of the problem threefold. Moreover, Lagrangian formulation requires an additional irrotationality constraint of the fluid to be imposed to avoid spurious modes due to small or zero shear modulus. To remove the deficiency of spurious rotational modes, Bathe et al. 8 have proposed an advanced Lagrangian formulation, using the displacement, pressure and a ‘vorticity moment’ as acoustic variables.

In mixed formulations, the structural response is described by its displacement vector and the acoustic response is described by the pressure and the fluid displacement potential whose gradient is proportional to the fluid displacement. The fluid-structure coupling interaction can be introduced as cross-coupling matrices in the coupled mass matrix (Morand and Ohayon 68 ). A more advantageous mixed formulation introduces the fluid- structure coupling interaction as cross-coupling matrices in the coupled stiffness matrix (Ohayon, 74 Sandberg and Göransson. 86 )

Atalla and Bernhard 3 reviewed the numerical solution approaches of Finite and Boundary Element Method for low-frequency structural acoustic problems while Everstine 31 summarized and reviewed the finite element formulations used to solve various structural acoustics and fluid-structure problems like cavity analysis, acoustic radiation and scattering, dynamics of submerged structures and fluid-filled piping system, underwater shock analysis and transient acoustics.

The methods of cavity acoustics have been widely used for noise prediction, analysis and design of passenger compartments of automotive vehicles since there are a number of structure-born noise sources (Jha, 46 Dowell 29 ) that are present in an automobile that excite its cavity. Both the structural design of the vehicle shell as well as the vehicle interior from the point of view of acoustic modal characteristic is important to reduce noise levels. Low frequency noise inside the cavity of an automobile is produced by the vibration of the body structure of the vehicle body that happens to be very compliant typically in the frequency range 50-250 Hz. An acoustic-modes-based approach has been widely used for the low frequency noise analysis (Richards et al. 85 ). However, in the high frequency range the modal density becomes too high and acoustic modes based approach becomes very difficult to be applied. Moreover, the finite element mesh required for high frequency analysis needs to be very fine since the wavelength becomes much smaller than that at low frequency (typically ten numbers of finite elements per wavelength is recommended). This has led to the development of approaches, like Statistical Energy Analysis, that give frequency and space-averaged predictions rather than predictions at a single frequency.

Initial application of FEM to automobile cavity acoustic analysis involved an approach based on uncoupled FE acoustic model (Petyt et al., 81 Sung 93 ). However, to predict and analyze the interior noise in the passenger compartment, the FE model of the structure

and the cavity needs to be coupled for an accurate prediction (Yashiro et al. 104 ). Nefske et al. 72 reviewed the practice of structural-acoustic cavity analysis via FEM as applicable to automobile passenger compartment.

For large-scale structures, it is common practice to subdivide the structure into several smaller components or substructures for the purpose of analysis. The modal characteristics of the individual structures can be combined to obtain the corresponding characteristics for the whole structure by component mode synthesis (or modal synthesis technique) (Wolf 102 ). An automobile is also a complex structural-acoustic system where the application of the component mode synthesis could be useful (Sung et al. 93 ). The contribution of the various panels to the overall noise needs to be determined in order to identify panels or regions of the cavity that are generating more noise. A coupled vibro- acoustic numerical model can also be used to estimate individual panel contributions to the overall noise level (Sung and Nefske 94 ).

Kim and Lee 49 investigated influence of the structural-acoustic coupling coefficients, in the coupled FE equations, on the vehicle interior noise. Kang et al. 48 and Ahn et al. 1 analyzed the effect of presence of trim and air gap and the small holes and gaps respectively at the boundary of the compartment on the acoustic modal characteristics. Sensitivities of acoustic modal characteristics of coupled structural-acosutic system, (Ma et al., 63 Luo et al., 60 Scarpa, 87 Kim and Dong 50 ), gives an estimate of the changes that would occur in the modal characteristics due to a certain change in the design parameter of the cavity. Use of sensitivities of acoustic modal characteristics can be an effective tool for optimizing the design of a complex cavity like that of an automobile from vibro- acoustics point of view (Luo et al., 61 Choi et al. 16 ).

3.2 Boundary Element Method

The Boundary Element Method is a numerical prediction technique for solving engineering problems. The boundary element method has become a valuable modelling alternative for several types of engineering problems, especially for problems involving unbounded domains. The boundary integral equation, on which the BEM is based, can be derived from a weighted residual statement corresponding to the wave equation. The integration by parts is performed till all the derivatives of the unknown field variable get transferred to the weighting function used to form the weighted residual statement (Brebbia et al. 12 ). By making a certain choice for the weighting function, such that the integral over the domain becomes known in terms of the values of the field variable at the boundary, it is possible to finally get an integral equation that involves only boundary integrals. This boundary integral when solved would give the solution of the unknown over the field in terms of its values on the boundary. BEM offers a discretization scheme that permits evaluation of an approximate solution of the boundary integral equation. The boundary element method can be derived on the basis of the direct or indirect boundary integral formulation of the problem. These formulations relate the distributions of the field variables in the continuum domain to the distribution of some problem-related boundary variables on the boundary surface of the domain. Thus, the boundary element method involves the two main steps of development of the boundary integral equation followed by approximation of the boundary surface geometry and the boundary variables

in terms of a set of shape functions, which are locally, defined within small sub surfaces (‘boundary elements’) of the boundary surface. Texts by Banerjee 4 for BEM in engineering and Ciskowski and Brebbia 17 for BEM in acoustics can be refereed among other texts on BEM.

The noise caused by structural vibration can be classified as interior problem or an exterior problem. The interior problem deals with acoustic fields inside structures such as a vehicle cabin, while the exterior problem considers the sound radiation from vibrating structures such as engine components. In the past decade, both the finite element and the boundary element method has been developed for obtaining numerical solutions of Helmholtz equation (Dowell 29 ). The finite element method is mainly applied to interior problem (Sung et al. 95 Nefske et al. 72 ). In exterior problems, the finite element method requires an “infinite element” to satisfy the acoustic condition in the far field. Since the unknown variables in the Boundary element method are distributed over the boundary surfaces of the fields, only the boundary needs to be divided into elements. This simplifies the input data, and also reduces both computation time and cost. Furthermore, the acoustic condition in the far field is automatically satisfied in an integral formulation. Owing to these characteristics of the boundary element method, it has been widely used for the exterior problems (Scarpa 87 , Chen 14 , Koopman et al. 53 , Seybert et al. 89 ). For automobiles, sound radiation from engine components has also been predicted (Suzuki et al 96 , Imai et al. 43 , Ishiyama et al. 44 ). Suzuli et al. 96 , Ishiyama et al. 44 , Suzuki et al. 97 predicted the sound field inside a cabin model with practical boundary conditions like sound absorption by impedance surfaces and the sound leak effect through an aperture. The method was applied to solve interior noise problems of an automotive cabin (Tanaka et al. 98 , Nakagawa et al. 73 ). Utsuno et al. 99 calculated the sound field inside the full size cabin model with impedance surfaces. Succi 92 , Banerjee et al. 6 showed that the problem can be transformed into an eigenvalue problem using a new boundary element formulation.

The boundary element formulations can be derived by three approaches. The direct boundary element method (DBEM) which is based on the Helmholtz integral equation, (Chen et al. 15 , Banerjee et al. 5 , Seybert et al. 89 ). The indirect boundary element method (IBEM), derived from potential theory, in which the exterior field is written in terms of source layers at the surface can be interpreted as an integral form of Huygen's principle (Kupradze 54 , Filippi 32 , Goroire et al. 37 , Sandberg et al. 86 , Lin 59 , Bernhard et al 10 ). The variational boundary element method (VBEM) is formulated either in terms of the direct or indirect boundary problem using a variational formulation for the error of the solution on the boundary.

The boundary element methods suffer from some difficulties. These include evaluation of singular terms and handling the non-uniqueness of the solution for certain real wavenumbers for situations involving radiation or scattering from closed bodies. For boundary element-based techniques, because of the frequency dependence of the kernel functions, a classical eigenmodes analysis is not possible. However, new BE formulations for acoustic eigenfrequencies calculations have been recently proposed by Banerjee et al. 6 and refined by Coyette and Fyfe 18 . This formulation combines the treatment of two sub-

problems (the first involving a Laplace equation and the second a Helmholtz equation) using a synthesis procedure. However, the full and non-symmetric nature of the BE eigenproblem makes this approach inefficient compared with the FEM technique. For coupled vibro-acoustic systems with an open boundary surface or combined interior/exterior coupled vibro-acoustic systems, a structural FE model can be linked with an acoustic indirect BE model resulting in coupled FE-BE model. A detailed mathematical description of this model is given e.g. by Mariem and Hamdi, 65 Coyette and Fyfe, 18 Jeans and Mathews 45 .

4. Vibroacoustic Modal Analyses

The analytical and numerical solutions to cavity acoustic are based on certain assumptions, idealization and quite often approximate material properties. In view of above, the prediction based on these techniques may often be inaccurate. This requires validation of these prediction models to ensure their reliable use. These models have been validated by experimental testing and measurement on the acoustic system. In addition to this, experimental testing has also been independently used for improving designs. Experimental measurement and testing have been performed to identify acoustic modal characteristics, determination of contribution of various portions of the cavity to the noise generated.

Coupling between the structural dynamical behaviour of a system and its interior acoustical characteristics, is an important phenomenon in many applications. Examples of this can be found in automotive or aircraft applications. For low frequency applications, a modal approach can be very useful to describe this vibro-acoustical coupling. Based upon combined vibrational/acoustical FRF measurements either with respect to acoustical or to structural excitation modal vibro-acoustical analysis can be carried out. In vibro-acoustic modal analysis, the cavity-structure under study is excited by an electromagnetic shaker using broad band random input signal and responses are monitored by microphone and accelerometers at desired locations. Similarly an acoustic source like a speaker (volume velocity) source can also be used for excitation and responses measured by microphone and accelerometers at desired locations.

The developments of the finite element method for acoustic analyses have also been accompanied by experimental verifications of the techniques and their applications to solve practical problems. By using scale models of automobile compartments, the finite element predictions were verified experimentally by Shuku and Ishihara 90 Petyt et al. 80 and Richards and Jha 85 . Craggs 21 has presented verification of his finite element predictions of the acoustic resonances in a passenger compartment, while Nefske and Howell 71 have presented an experimental verification of the finite element method for predicting noise reduction in an automobile. Bokil and Shirahati 11 compared their numerical results with the experimental results obtained by Guy and Bhattacharya 38 . Guy and Bhattacharya 38 used two models for experimental investigation of modal characteristics of a rectangular cavity.

Knittel 55 presented an acoustic modal analysis technique for three dimensional cavities that involves measurement of particle acceleration using two closely spaced microphones. Suzuki et al. 97 investigated the sound absorbing properties of the lining materials to validate the results obtained via BEM. The scaled model was excited by shaker and the response was collected by accelerometers on the structure and by a microphone in side the cavity. Mamede and Varto 64 presented a study on the coupled structural-acoustic behavior of vehicle interior utilizing finite element simulations and the vibro-acoustic testing on a model that resembles a vehicle cabin. The acoustic modal analysis has also been used for validating vibro-acosutic analysis procedures for other applications like that of agricultural machinery cabins (Desmet et al. 24 ). Interior of an aircraft is another important application to which methods of vibro-acoustic modal analysis have been applied. Otte et al. 78 proposed a parameter extraction technique with application to aircraft cavity and Nadeau et al. 70 investigated the influence of furnishings on the vibro-acoustic behavior of the aeronautic structure. Operational modal analysis developed for quantifying the dynamic characteristics of the structural systems has been extended to the case of cavity acoustics to identify modal characteristics under operational conditions (Sitter et al. 91 ).

Quantification of noise contributed by the individual panels has been an important area that has attracted the attention of the researchers. Lim 58 proposed a spectral formulation

to compute the radiated noise contributions of the automotive body panels to the interior

sound pressure levels. Ding and Chen 25 proposed an algorithm for estimation of the interior noise contributed from a local structural panel of an elastic thin-walled cavity based on the reciprocity of the acoustic system and the finite-element analysis. Van der

Linden et al. 100 proposed a method for panel contribution analysis based on measurement

of acoustic transfer functions making use of reciprocity property of the acoustic transfer

functions. Van der Linden et al., 100 Wyckaert et al. 103 analyzed the low frequency noise in

a van by combining acoustic modal analysis and panel contribution analysis.

5. An integrated experimental and numerical approach to Vibro-Acoustic modeling and design of Cavities

A numerical acoustic model makes the simulations unreliable in many cases due to the

complexity of the physical phenomena. For instance, the approximate evaluations of the admittance coefficients that are used to run numerical simulations are an example of the reason why simulations may deviate from experimental data. Moreover, the differences

between the numerical predictions and the experimental measurements may also be on account of presence of acoustic leakages and due to inaccurate model of the structural

part. To improve the capabilities of noise prediction further, a possible approach could be

to integrate numerical model with experimental data so as to combine the better aspects

of the two approaches. Though considerable research has been done in the area of updating of finite element models for structural dynamics (Friswell et al. 34 ), the

application and extension of the updating algorithms to the case of acoustics and structural-acosutic problems have been almost none except few papers.

Decouvreur et al. 22,23 proposed a new updating technique for acoustic simulations, which is based on the constitutive relation error (CRE) proposed by Ladeveze 55 in structural dynamics. The CRE updating method aims at minimizing an objective function with respect to physical parameters of the model. Both modelling error and measurement error are taken into account. The main idea in the CRE technique consists of splitting the data and equations of the model into reliable and less reliable information. This technique is aimed at improving the quality of acoustic models by reducing the constitutive relation error below a prescribed level.

6

Conclusions

This paper summarized and contained review of major developments in numerical and experimental methods for vibro-acoustic analysis of cavities for predicting low frequency sound field or noise. A review of application of cavity acoustic to problem of vehicle interior noise is also included. The finite element method is seen to be an effective strategy for modeling interior problem for low frequency applications. Boundary element method though is quite effective for exterior problems but looses one of its advantages when it comes to identifying the acoustic modal characteristics of a cavity. Vibro- acoustic modal analysis is an experimental tool that has also been used to analyze the acoustic behavior of cavities. Experimental approach does give the estimates of the required parameters on an actual structure under in-situ condition, however is very time consuming and uneconomical to use in an environment where evaluation of the various design alternatives is to be made. In view of this, an approach that minimizes the amount of experimentation but at the same time combines the versatility and economical alternative of the numerical models is required. In this background, updating of numerical models for acoustic and vibro-acoustic applications in the light of experimental data is proposed as a suitable alternative strategy to further improve the accuracy of vibro- acoustic predictions.

7

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