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Noise and Vibration Analysis by Finite Elements

LUK Incorporated
Kalyan Bairavarasu
LUK Incorporated

Vibrations may produce an undesirable noise and often causes hearing discomfort to humans. It is difficult
to accurately quantify by experiments. This paper presents a novel approach to determine the noise and
vibration characteristics. This is a coupled-fields finite element based method. It includes fluid-structure
interaction in the model to quantify pressure waves that is generated by the structural vibration.
Computational fluid dynamics and finite element techniques are integrated to analytically determine noise
and vibration characteristics of a system. Mathematical formulation for a simple noise and vibration is
presented. Mechanics of the fluid-structural interaction is explained. A gray-iron steel ring (See Figure 5)
is selected for the study. Firstly, modal analysis is made on the steel ring to determine mode shapes and
their corresponding frequencies. Secondly, the new method is used to analytically determine its noise and
vibration characteristics, including frequencies, deformation, pressure, and sound intensity when it is
subjected to an impulse. The analytical results are compared with measurements. It can be expanded to
become an effective design tool for improving noise and vibration Characteristics in a clutch.

Noises produced due to the vibration of various parts in a clutch system such as the pressure plate, leaf
springs, and diaphragm springs has been in particular difficult to quantify. The pressure plate is believed to
be the main source for generating the noise. Currently the industries do not have an effective analytical
tool to quantify the Noise & Vibration produced in a Drive train. Therefore, it is desired to develop a
Finite Element (FE) model to predict Noise & Vibration in a drive train. To help developing the complex
FE model, a few new FE procedures need verification. They are acoustic analysis, impact analysis, and
structure/air interaction.

When an Impact is applied on the steel ring, it vibrates, and subsequently produces pressure waves in the
surrounding air. Its vibration frequencies and pressure waves can be measured by a Noise & Vibration
test. The noise intensity can be determined from the pressure waves, which is also called decibels (dB).
FE model is developed using the new technique, and this model is verifies with the results obtained from
the Noise & Vibration tests.

Once the FE model is verified, it can be further expanded to predict Noise & Vibration in a Drive train,
and to suggest design alternative to eliminate Noise & Vibration.

Fluid-structure Interaction
The overall nature of interaction that occurs between structures and fluids can be illustrated by examining
the classical solution for sound radiating from a rigid circular piston located within an infinite baffle. The
complete solution to this problem is provided in Reference # 1.

The basic characteristics of the three frequency domains associated with fluid-structure interaction
problems are summarized as below:

1.Low Frequency response: Low frequency response is characterized by a condition in which the short
wavelength structural motions do not effectively excite long-wavelength (low frequency) acoustic waves.

2. High frequency Response: High frequency response is characterized by a condition in which the
structural motion effectively excites short wavelength (high frequency) acoustic waves that radiate energy
from the structure.

3.Intermediate frequencies: the structural response at intermediate frequencies, in which the acoustic
wavelengths are of the same order of magnitude as the structural vibrational wavelengths, is relatively
complex with near field acoustic resonance interacting with the structure.

The ANSYS element library includes two different types of fluid elements that can be applied to acoustic
and fluid-structure interaction analysis. The elements are based on either a pressure or a displacement
formulation. The FLUID29 and FLIUD30 elements are based on a pressure formulation in which only a
single degree of freedom (DOF), the acoustic pressure, is assigned to each node. The FLUID 29element is
for two-dimensional analysis, while FLUID30 element is for three-dimensional analysis.
Acoustic Wave Equation
The primary assumption made in acoustic and fluid-structure interaction analysis is that the fluid behaves
as an Ideal acoustic medium. The underlying assumption of an acoustic fluid implies that the following
conditions are satisfied:
The fluid is considered to be isotropic and homogeneous.
The wave propagation thermodynamics process is adiabatic.
The fluid is linear and perfectly elastic (no viscous losses).
The amplitude of the acoustic wave is relatively small so that change in fluid density is small
compared to the fluid Equilibrium State.

The mathematical description of how the acoustic fluid behaves is based on the expression that represents
continuity (conservation of mass), fluid elastic properties (constitutive equations) and force equilibrium
(the equation of motion). A single equation that totally describes the physical state of fluid, designated as
the acoustic wave equation, can be derived in terms of the instantaneous acoustic pressure. It is expressed


P = the instantaneous acoustic pressure
t = the time variable
c = the velocity of the pressure wave propagation (speed of sound).
= (
z y x

, Laplacian operator (Cartesian coordinates).

The finite element matrix equation for structural mesh is:
} { } ]{ [ } ]{ [
s s s
F U K U M = +

[ = The structural stiffness Matrix ]
[ = The structural mass matrix ]
{ = A vector of unknown displacement } U
} {
F = A vector of applied structural load

A general expression that can be used to describe the natural boundary condition associated with a fluid
boundary is:



= Fluid equilibrium density
u = Displacement at the nth node.

Noise & Vibration Test

A noise & vibration test rig is built for frequencies and dB measurement, as shown in Fig 5. An iron ball
falls and impacts at the steel ring to create vibration. The steel ring is held at a 45 degree to ground to avoid
second impact, Immediately after the impact, measurements were made on the steel ring to find the
frequencies, and to find dB in the air. Damping ratio was also calculated and was found to be 0.43 % for 1

mode, 0.16 % for 2
mode, and 0.25 % for 3
mode. The first mode (484 Hz) is the main noise contributor
and its dB was found to be 75 dB. The dB with respect to time plot was obtained as shown in Fig 6. The
dB with respect to Frequency is shown in Fig 7.
Analysis Results and Discussion
FE Modal Analysis

When the steel ring was subjected to Impact force, it can excite, at least, the first three vibration modes.
The first 3 modes are fundamental axial mode (567 Hz), the 2
Nodal Diameter mode (1569 Hz), and the
Nodal Diameter mode (2392 Hz). Fig 1, Fig 2, and Fig 3 show their respective mode shapes obtained
from the FE Modal analysis. For G3000, the first mode frequency is measured as 476 Hz, the second mode
is measured as 1310 Hz, and third mode is measured as 2462 Hz.
FE Transient Analysis

From the transient dynamic analysis, vibration response was obtained and shown in Fig 4. The first three
frequencies were determined by means of FFT. These frequencies were in close match with those obtained
from the FE Modal Analysis. It is found that force magnitude is not the only factor that affects the response
of the steel ring. The duration of the force applied can have a significant effect on the response.
FE Transient Acoustic Analysis

FE transient acoustic analysis is made to analytically quantify vibration of the steel ring and dB in the air as
shown in Fig 8. Steel ring, air, and steel ring-air interaction are included in the model in order to capture
the interface between the steel ring and air. Vibration responses of steel ring, pressure distribution in the
air, and dB in the air were calculated and were compared with the measurement from Noise & Vibration
test. The pressure distribution is shown in Fig 9(a) & Fig 9(b). The response is shown in Fig 10(a) & Fig
10(b). Apparently, FE results agree well with the measurement. The error margin in frequencies is within 3
%, and in dB is within 10 %.
DB is calculated to be in the range of 75-85 dB.
Damping ratio is found to be 0.5% from the test.
Noise and vibration model agrees well (within 10% error margin) with the test measurement.
Noise and vibration model appears to produce consistent results when compared
with the test measurements and can be further expanded to measure the eek noise

1. Geers, T. , Transient Response Analysis of Submerged Structures, Finite Element Analysis of
Transient Nonlinear behavior, American Society of Mechanical Engineers-Applied Mechanics
Division, AMD Vol.14, pp.59-84, 1975

2. Kinsler, L.E., and Frey, A.R. Fundamentals of Acoustics , John Wiley & Sons Inc., New York ,

3. Kohnke, P.C., Ansys Users Manual Revision 5.0-Theory Swanson Analysis systems Inc.,

4. Zienkiewicz, O.C., The Finite Element Method in Engineering Science, Mc-Gray-Hill Company,
London, U.K., 1977

Figure 1 - First Nodal frequency of the steel ring

Figure 2 - Second nodal frequency of the steel ring

Figure 3 - Third Nodal frequency of the steel ring

Figure 4 - Transient dynamic Response

Figure 5 - Noise and Vibration test rig

Figure 6 - Sound Intensity Vs Time plot

Figure 7 - Sound Intensity Vs Frequency

Figure 8a - Response

Figure 8b - Response plot

Figure 9a - Pressure Distribution

Figure 9b - Pressure Plot