Reducing low frequency tonal noise in large ducts using a hybrid reactive-dissipative silencer

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Applied Acoustics, 2018, 131 pp. 61 - 69
Issue Date:
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© 2017 Elsevier Ltd Noise generated by fans or turbines normally consists of a combination of narrow and broadband noise. To lower transmitted noise levels, it is attractive to use a combination of reactive and dissipative elements. However, this approach presents a number of challenges for larger systems. This is because reactive elements are commonly placed around the duct circumference where they are normally only effective up to the frequency at which the first higher order mode cuts on in the duct. For larger systems, this means that reactive elements work only in the low, and often very low, frequency range, whereas dissipative elements, which are distributed across the duct cross-section, generally work well in the medium to high frequency range. This can cause noise problems in the low to medium frequency range in larger systems. This article presents an alternative approach for delivering noise attenuation over the low to medium frequency range that is suitable for application in larger duct systems. This approach takes advantage of those splitter silencer designs commonly used in larger systems to integrate a reactive element into the splitter design. This delivers a hybrid splitter that uses a combination of dissipative and reactive elements so that the reactive element partitions the main airway. This has the advantage of introducing a quasi-planar transverse sound pressure field for each resonator in the low to medium frequency range, including frequencies above the first cut-on. It is demonstrated using predictions and measurements taken for a number of example silencers, that this approach enables reactive elements to work over an extended low to medium frequency range, including at frequencies above the first cut-on mode in the main duct. Accordingly, it is shown that a hybrid dissipative-reactive splitter design is capable of delivering improved levels of attenuation in the crucial low to medium frequency range.
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