Numerical mode matching for sound propagation in silencers with granular material

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Journal of Computational and Applied Mathematics, 2019, 350 pp. 233 - 246
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© 2018 Elsevier B.V. This work presents an efficient numerical approach based on the combination of the mode matching technique and the finite element method (FEM) to model the sound propagation in silencers containing granular material and to evaluate their acoustic performance through the computation of transmission loss (TL). The methodology takes into account the presence of three-dimensional (3D) waves and the corresponding higher order modes, while reducing the computational expenditure of a full 3D FEM calculation. First, the wavenumbers and transversal pressure modes associated with the silencer cross section are obtained by means of a two-dimensional FEM eigenvalue problem, which allows the consideration of arbitrary transversal geometries and material heterogeneities. The numerical approach considers the possibility of using different filling levels of granular material, giving rise to cross sections with abrupt changes of properties located not only in the usual central perforated passage, but also in the transition between air and material, that involves a significant change in porosity. After solving the eigenvalue problem, the acoustic fields (acoustic pressure and axial velocity) are coupled at geometric discontinuities between ducts through the compatibility conditions to obtain the complete solution of the wave equation and the acoustic performance (TL). The granular material is analysed as a potential alternative to the traditional dissipative silencers incorporating fibrous absorbent materials. Sound propagation in granular materials can be modelled through acoustic equivalent properties, such as complex and frequency dependent density and speed of sound. TL results computed by means of the numerical approach proposed here show good agreement with full 3D FEM calculations and experimental measurements. As expected, the numerical mode matching outperforms the computational expenditure of the full 3D FEM approach. Different configurations have been studied to determine the influence on the TL of several parameters such as the size of the material grains, the filling level of the chamber, the granular material porosity and the geometry of the silencer cross section.
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