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# CHAPTER 8 BOUNDARY ELEMENT MODELING

D. W. Herrin, T. W. Wu, and A. F. Seybert
Department of Mechanical Engineering University of Kentucky Lexington, Kentucky

1 INTRODUCTION Both the boundary element method (BEM) and the ﬁnite element method (FEM) approximate the solution in a piecewise fashion. The chief difference between the two methods is that the BEM solves the acoustical quantities on the boundary of the acoustical domain (or air) instead of in the acoustical domain itself. The solution within the acoustical domain is then determined based on the boundary solution. This is accomplished by expressing the acoustical variables within the acoustical domain as a surface integral over the domain boundary. The BEM has been used to successfully predict (1) the transmission loss of complicated exhaust components, (2) the sound radiation from engines and compressors, and (3) passenger compartment noise. In this chapter, a basic theoretical development of the BEM is presented, and then each step of the process for conducting an analysis is summarized. Three practical examples illustrate the reliability and application of the method to a wide range of real-world problems. 2 BEM THEORY An important class of problems in acoustics is the propagation of sound waves at a constant frequency ˆ at any point ω. For this case, the sound pressure P ˆ= ﬂuctuates sinusoidally with frequency ω so that P pei ωt where p is the complex amplitude of the sound pressure ﬂuctuation. The complex exponential allows us to take into account sound pressure magnitude and phase from point-to-point in the medium. The governing differential equation for linear acoustics in the frequency domain for p is the Helmholtz equation:

Table 1 Boundary Conditions for Helmholtz Equation Boundary Condition Dirichlet Neumann Robin Physical Quantity Sound pressure (pe ) Normal velocity (vn ) Acoustic impedance (Za ) Mathematical Relation p = pe ∂p = −iωρvn ∂n ∂p 1 = −iωρ p ∂n Za

Fluid V S

^ n

Q

r P

vn and p

Figure 1 Schematic showing the variables for the direct boundary element method.

∇ 2 p + k2 p = 0

(1)

radiation condition.1 – 3 The variables are identiﬁed in Fig. 1. If complex exponential notation is adopted, the kernel in Eq. (2) or the Green’s function is G(r) = e−ikr 4πr (3)

where k is the wavenumber (k = ω/c). The boundary conditions for the Helmholtz equation are summarized in Table 1. For exterior problems, the boundary integral equation1 C(P )p(P ) =
S

∂G(r) ∂p G(r) − p dS ∂n ∂n

(2)

can be developed using the Helmholtz equation [Eq. (1)], Green’s second identity, and the Sommerfeld
116

where r is the distance between the collocation point P and the integration point Q on the surface. Equation (3) is the expression for a point monopole source in three dimensions. The lead coefﬁcient C(P ) in Eq. (2) is a constant that depends on the location of the collocation point P . For interior problems, the direct BEM formulation is identical to that shown in Eq. (2) except that the lead coefﬁcient C(P ) is replaced by C 0 (P ), which is deﬁned differently.1,2 Table 2 shows how both lead coefﬁcients are deﬁned

Handbook of Noise and Vibration Control. Edited by Malcolm J. Crocker Copyright © 2007 John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

which generated symmetric matrices. a solid model can be built. and normal impedance to the single. When using the direct BEM. In many instances.1 – 19 the boundary must be closed. 2 indicates.30. there is no such distinction using indirect BEM approaches. In fact. (5). Table 3 summarizes how the single. If a Galerkin discretization is adopted. shell elements are typically used in the ﬁnite element G(r)δ dp − ∂G(r) δp dS ∂n (5) V S1 Vn1. In short. and the primary variables are the sound pressure and normal velocity on the side of the boundary that is in contact with the ﬂuid. p2 Fluid on One or Both Sides Single layer Double layer Figure 2 Schematic showing the variables for the indirect boundary element method. Alternatively.and postprocessing programs developed for the FEM may also be used for constructing BEM meshes. high-level studies by Wu29 and Chen et al. the symbol S is used for both in Eq.31 combine both procedures into one set of equations. and the double-layer potential (δp ) is the difference in acoustic pressure (p1 and p2 ) across the boundary of the BEM model. (2) can be written on both sides of the boundary and then summed resulting in an indirect boundary integral formulation that can be expressed as p(P ) = S In Eq. these state-of-the-art approaches are not used in commercial software at the time of this writing. the boundary consists of the inside (S1 ) and outside surfaces (S2 ). The singlelayer potential (δ dp ) is the difference in the normal gradient of the pressure and can be related to the normal velocities (vn1 and vn2 ). and both sides are analyzed at the same time. the symmetric matrices are preferable for structural-acoustical coupling.and doublelayer potentials are related to the normal velocity and sound pressure. 3 MESH PREPARATION Building the mesh is the ﬁrst step in using the BEM to solve a problem. Since S1 is identical to S2 . It should be mentioned that the differences between the so-called direct and indirect approaches have blurred recently. Figure 3 shows a BEM model used for predicting the sound radiation from a gear housing. (5) and the normal vector is deﬁned as pointing away from the acoustical domain. the primary variables are the single(δ dp ) and double-layer (δp ) potentials. Most commercially available pre. As Fig.27 respectively. a series of points called nodes on the surface of the body that are connected to form elements of either quadrilateral or triangular shape.BOUNDARY ELEMENT MODELING Table 2 Lead Coefﬁcient Deﬁnitions at Different Locations Location of P In acoustical domain V Outside acoustical domain V Smooth boundary Corners/edges 1− S 117 C(P) 1 0 1 2 C0 (P) 1 0 1 2 ∂ ∂n 1 4 πr dS − S ∂ ∂n 1 4 πr dS depending on whether the problem is an interior or exterior one. there is a distinction between an interior and exterior problem.21 Additionally. normal velocity. For direct or collocation approaches. However.and double-layer potentials. boundary integral equations like Eq. The normal velocity (vn ) can be related to the ∂p/∂n term in Eq.25 The boundary conditions for the indirect BEM are developed by relating the acoustic pressure. p1 S2 ^ n Q r P Table 3 Relationship of Single. a wire frame or surface model of the boundary could be created using computer-aided design (CAD) software and then meshed. . The geometry of the housing is represented by a BEM mesh. (2) via the momentum equation that is expressed as ∂p = −i ρωvn (4) ∂n where ρ is the mean density of the ﬂuid. and the solution of the matrices will be faster than the direct method provided a direct solver is used. the boundary element matrices will be symmetric.20 – 28 Both sides of the boundary are considered simultaneously even though only one side of the boundary may be in contact with the ﬂuid. Regardless of the way the mesh is prepared. Chen et al. developed a direct scheme using Galerkin discretization. More thorough descriptions for the direct and indirect BEM are presented by Wu3 and Vlahopolous.and Double-Layer Potentials to Boundary Conditions Potential Symbol δdp δp Mathematical Relation δp1 δp2 − δn δn p1 − p2 Vn2. and the surface of the solid can be meshed automatically creating a mesh representative of the boundary. However.

Nevertheless. and the nodes and elements are transferred to the boundary element software. if solution time is an issue and it normally is. the shape of the element appears to have little impact on the accuracy of the analysis.118 FUNDAMENTALS OF ACOUSTICS AND NOISE Figure 3 Boundary element model of a gear housing. It is well known that the BEM can be CPU intensive if the model has a large number of nodes (i. Sometimes a boundary element mesh can be obtained by simply “skinning” the structural ﬁnite element mesh. preprocessor. Unfortunately. the skinned model can be coarsened providing the user with the desired BEM mesh. the structural ﬁnite element mesh is often excessively ﬁne for the subsequent acoustical boundary element analyses. the half-space Green’s function could be used for modeling a hemispace radiation problem. although iterative solvers may reduce the solution time. most engineers try to straddle the line between having a mesh that will yield accurate results yet can be solved quickly. desired accuracy. BEM Model Schematic showing a boundary element model that was created using the ﬁnite element model as a starting . This may require a much ﬁner mesh than the guidelines would normally dictate. boundary conditions.35 Therefore.34. The solution time is roughly proportional to the number of nodes cubed for a BEM analysis. integration quadrature. Sometimes a structural ﬁnite element mesh is used as a starting point for creating the boundary element mesh. However. Coarsened FEM Model Figure 4 point. Accordingly. Commercially available software packages have been developed to skin and then coarsen structural ﬁnite element meshes. However. Then.33 These packages can automatically remove one-dimensional elements like bars and beams. the Green’s function can take different forms if it is convenient to do so. degrees of freedom). One notable exception to the guidelines is the case where the normal velocity or sound pressure on the boundary is complicated. The material properties and thickness of the elements are irrelevant since the boundary elements only bound the domain. Thus. and skin three-dimensional elements like tetrahedrons with two-dimensional boundary elements. The common free space Green’s function [Eq. Regardless of the element size. the boundary mesh and the interpolation scheme will need to be sufﬁcient to represent the complexity of this boundary condition. and solver algorithm. these guidelines should not be treated as strict rules.e.32. leading to excessive CPU (central processing unit) time. However. these guidelines depend on the geometry. For example. and triangular boundary elements are nearly as accurate as their quadrilateral counterparts. it will be advantageous to minimize the number of nodes in a BEM model. An example of a skinned and coarsened model is shown in Figure 4. The general rule of thumb is that six linear or three parabolic elements are needed per acoustic wavelength.. (3)] was used for the derivation earlier in the chapter.34 One way to minimize the number of nodes without losing any precision is to utilize symmetry when appropriate. the accuracy of the analysis depends on having a sufﬁcient number of nodes in the model.

In most instances. For example.38 Both locally and bulk-reacting models were used to simulate the sound absorption. 80 70 60 50 40 30 20 10 0 0 500 Experiment BEM local reacting BEM bulk reacting 1000 1500 2000 2500 3000 3500 Frequency (Hz) Figure 7 Comparison of the transmission loss for a lined expansion chamber using local and bulk reacting models. Figure 5 illustrates this for a quadrilateral element. 5 BOUNDARY CONDITIONS Figure 5 Manner in which the normal direction is deﬁned for a boundary element. using bulk-reacting properties to model the absorption. Bulk-reacting properties are especially important for thick sections of soundabsorbing materials. the passenger compartment shown in Figure 6 could be modeled as two separate acoustical domains. Neumann. The element normal direction is determined by the sequence of the nodes deﬁning a particular element. the normal direction should point to or away from the acoustical domain depending on the convention used by the BEM software. a nonhomogeneous domain could be divided into several smaller ^ n Domain 1—Air Domain 2—Seat Figure 6 Passenger compartment modeled as two separate acoustical domains. and Robin conditions for . the speed of sound and density of the air will vary from chamber to chamber. The advantage of using a bulk-reacting model is illustrated in Figure 7. the surface impedance is used as a boundary condition (see Table 1). The seat material properties would be the complex density and speed of sound of the seat material. Since the temperature variations in a mufﬂer are substantial. The boundary conditions for the BEM correspond to the Dirichlet. different Green’s functions can be used for the axisymmetric and two-dimensional cases. In the bulk-reacting case. The results using a bulk-reacting model are superior. l k j k i j i ^ n l subdomains having different ﬂuid properties. The ﬂuid properties consist of the speed of sound and the mean density. The BEM assumes that the ﬂuid is a homogeneous ideal ﬂuid in the linear regime. The element normal direction should be consistent throughout the boundary element mesh. Where the boundaries are joined. These bulk properties include both the complex density and speed of sound for a medium39 and provide an ideal mechanism for modeling the losses of a sound-absorbing material. a multidomain36. adjusting the normal direction is trivial since most commercial BEM software has the built-in smarts to reverse the normal direction of a mesh or to make the normal direction consistent.2 Symmetry planes may also be used to model rigid ﬂoors or walls provided that the surface is inﬁnite or can be approximated as such. Using a multidomain BEM. However. If the sequence is deﬁned in a counterclockwise fashion. Another application is mufﬂer analysis with a temperature variation. BEM transmission loss predictions are compared to experimental results for a packed expansion chamber with 1-inch-thick sound-absorbing material.37 or directmixed body BEM38 analysis should be performed. If the direct BEM is used. 4 FLUID PROPERTY SPECIFICATION After the mesh is deﬁned. In the local reacting case. As mentioned previously.BOUNDARY ELEMENT MODELING 119 TL (dB) Similarly. corresponding closely to the measured transmission loss. one for the air and another for the seat. the BEM assumes that the domain is homogeneous. each chamber can be modeled as a separate subdomain having different ﬂuid properties. continuity of particle velocity and pressure is enforced. a sound-absorbing material can be modeled as either locally reacting or bulk reacting. In a BEM model. Any homogeneous sound-absorbing material can be described in terms of its bulk properties. The direction of the element normal to the surface is another important aspect of mesh preparation. the normal direction will point outward. the ﬂuid properties for the acoustical domain can be speciﬁed.

Neumann. Figure 9 illustrates the setup for an indirect BEM problem. For example. the boundary conditions are the differences in the pressure. and the surface impedance can be measured using a twomicrophone test. Most difﬁculties using the indirect BEM are a result of not recognizing the ramiﬁcations of specifying boundary conditions on both sides of the element. To model an opening using the indirect BEM. Most commercial BEM software has the ability to locate nodes around an opening so that the user can easily apply the zero jump in pressure. most commercial BEM packages can interpolate the results from the ﬁnite element mesh onto the boundary element mesh. In many instances. Nodes must be duplicated along the edge and compatibility conditions must be applied.28 Though this seems complicated. normal velocity. or Robin boundary condition should be speciﬁed. commercial BEM software can easily detect and create these junctions applying the appropriate compatibility conditions. The boundary element mesh covers the entire surface of the acoustical domain. For example. A transfer impedance boundary condition can be deﬁned at the perforated panel and expressed as p1 − p2 (6) Ztr = vn Perforated Plate P1 P2 vn Figure 11 Schematic showing the variables used to deﬁne the transfer impedance of a perforate. For the indirect BEM.120 Interior (cavity) Boundary Mesh (2D surface mesh) ps FUNDAMENTALS OF ACOUSTICS AND NOISE Openings – Side + Side ^ n Sound-Absorbing Material ps Noise Source vn z vn vn z ^ n Figure 9 Schematic showing the boundary conditions for the indirect BEM.42 The assumption is that the particle velocity is continuous on both sides of the perforated plate but the sound pressure is not. a perforated plate is shown in Fig. At each node on the boundary. Obtaining and/or selecting these boundary conditions may be problematic. Figure 8 shows a boundary element domain for the direct BEM. and these panels may be modeled by specifying the transfer impedance of the perforate. Most commercial BEM packages select a default zero normal velocity boundary condition (which corresponds to a rigid boundary) if the user speciﬁes no other condition. a sound pressure. However. It is likely that the nodes in the FEM and BEM models are not coincident with one another. Each element has a positive and negative side that is identiﬁed by the element normal direction (see Fig. Zero Jump Condition Junction Helmholtz equation (as shown in Table 1). a Dirichlet. 10). a zero jump in pressure27. or surface impedance should be identiﬁed for each node. 11. Many mufﬂers utilize perforated panels as attenuation mechanisms. In other words. and surface impedance across the boundary. the normal velocity can be obtained by a FEM structural analysis.41. Boundary conditions are applied to both sides of the elements. Additionally. the boundary conditions may be assumed or measured. Figure 8 Schematic showing the boundary conditions for the direct BEM.27. normal velocity. Figure 10 Special boundary conditions that may be used with the indirect BEM.28 should be applied to the edges of the opening in the BEM mesh (Fig.40 Both the magnitude and the phase of the boundary condition are important. The frequency response can be read into BEM software as a normal velocity boundary condition. The normal velocity on the boundary is often obtained from a preliminary structural ﬁnite element analysis. special treatment is important when modeling three or more surfaces that intersect (also illustrated in Fig. 9). . 10).

the sound pressure results will be incorrect at these characteristic frequencies.BOUNDARY ELEMENT MODELING 45 40 35 30 25 20 15 10 5 0 121 Measured BEM Perforated Tube 0 1000 2000 3000 Frequency (Hz) 4000 5000 Figure 12 Transmission loss for a concentric tube resonator with a perforate.48 Also. As the frequency increases. The memory storage of an N × N matrix is on the order of N 2 . Both the magnitude and the phase of the point source should be speciﬁed. Although the CHIEF method is very effective at low and intermediate frequencies. BEM researchers have been working on different variations of the so-called fast multipole expansion method based on the original idea by Rokhlin50 – 53 in applied physics. for an indirect BEM analysis. 49 Additionally. the solution for points on the exterior is contaminated by large differences in pressure between the exterior and interior surfaces of the boundary. Though the direct BEM results will be accurate at most frequencies. Thus. and hole diameter of a perforated plate. Noise sources can be modeled as a point source if they are acoustically small (i. However.43.e. Following this. One way to overcome the solution time difﬁculty is to use an iterative solver45 with some appropriate preconditioning. However. or CHIEF. the BEM is often computationally and memory intensive. while the solution time using a direct solver is on the order of N 3 . 7 BEM SOLUTION Even though BEM matrices are based on a surface mesh. 8 POSTPROCESSING Boundary element results can be viewed and assessed in a number of different ways. thickness. the primary variables of the indirect BEM solution capture information on both sides of the boundary. As the BEM model grows. Both the indirect and direct procedures produce dense matrices that are not sparse. 6 SPECIAL HANDLING OF ACOUSTIC RADIATION PROBLEMS a strong constraint since the pressure on that interior nodal surface is also zero for the interior problem. only the sound pressure and/or normal velocity is computed on the boundary using the direct method. Another useful capability is the ability to specify acoustic point sources in a BEM model. In these empirical formulas. the size of the matrix could easily be on the order of tens of thousands. there is a nonexistence difﬁculty associated with exterior radiation problems.47 Iterative solvers are much faster than conventional direct solvers for large problems. The most common approach to overcome the nonuniqueness difﬁculty is to use the combined Helmholtz integral equation formulation. the problem is compounded by the fact that the eigenfrequencies and the nodal surfaces become more closely spaced. and vn is the particle velocity.. the dimensions of a source are small compared to an acoustic wavelength) and omnidirectional. as is typical of ﬁnite element matrices.27 The lesson to be learned is that exterior radiation problems should be approached carefully. where Ztr is the transfer impedance. the acoustical The BEM is sometimes preferred to the FEM for acoustic radiation problems because of the ease in meshing.44 Figure 12 shows the transmission loss results computed using the BEM results for an expansion chamber with a perforated tube. the exterior boundary integral equation does not have a unique solution at certain frequencies. the method sometimes becomes impractical due to computer limitations.5 Similarly. method. analysts normally add CHIEF points liberally if higher frequencies are considered. a more theoretically robust way to overcome the nonuniqueness difﬁculty is the Burton and Miller method. The transfer impedance can be measured or estimated using empirical formulas. Several CHIEF points should be identiﬁed inside the boundary because a CHIEF point that falls on or near the interior nodal surface of a particular eigenfrequency will not provide TL (dB) . provided appropriate precautions are taken. and only the single. With the direct BEM. excellent acoustical predictions can be made using the BEM. Both the direct and indirect methods have difﬁculties that are similar but not identical. there are some solution difﬁculties with the BEM for acoustic radiation problems.46. The BEM matrix solution only computes the acoustical quantities on the surface of the boundary element mesh. For realistic models. the transfer impedance is related to factors like the porosity.and/or double-layer potentials are computed using the indirect BEM. although the solution is slower in that case. The nonexistence difﬁculty can be solved by adding absorptive planes inside or by specifying an impedance boundary condition on the interior surface of the boundary. These frequencies correspond to the resonance frequencies of the airspace interior to the boundary (with Dirichlet boundary conditions). Therefore. there is no need to keep the matrix in memory. p1 and p2 are the sound pressures on each side of the plate. Since there is no distinction between the interior and exterior analysis. and CHIEF equations are written that force the sound pressure to be equal to zero at each of these points.11 A few overdetermination or CHIEF points are placed inside the boundary.27 At the resonance frequencies for the interior.

making it very convenient to examine results at various locations of interest in the sound ﬁeld. which was then transferred into BEM software. After the sound pressure and particle velocity are computed on the geometric shape. . This example illustrates how the BEM can be used as a diagnostic tool even after a prototype is developed.9 m3 . and the outer surface is assumed to be rigid (normal velocity of zero). The user should carefully examine the results ﬁrst to judge whether conﬁdence is warranted in the analysis.122 FUNDAMENTALS OF ACOUSTICS AND NOISE quantities at points in the ﬁeld can be determined from the boundary solution by integrating the surface acoustical quantities over the boundary. and the results should be carefully examined to assure they make good engineering sense. the transmission loss for a mufﬂer or a plenum system cannot be exported directly using many BEM software packages. the numerical results in the ﬁeld are only as reliable as the calculated acoustical quantities on the boundary. As a result. 13 shows a sound pressure contour for the sound radiated by an engine cover. raw BEM results are always on a narrow-band basis. unlike measurement results. This is a clear advantage of using numerical approaches like the BEM over the time-intensive nature of experimental work. For the indirect BEM. These shapes do not have to be deﬁned beforehand. 14. In this case. the front cover is the prime culprit at 240 Hz. The sound power contributions (in decibels) from the oil pan and the front cover of a diesel engine are shown in Fig. In accordance with the normal convention for the commercial BEM software in use. the element normal direction was checked for consistency and chosen to point toward the acoustical domain. Normally. Fig. The construction cab under consideration is 1. the sound power can be determined by integrating the sound intensity over the area of the shape. Results are normally better if the ﬁeld points are located in the far ﬁeld. Additionally. Another possible use of BEM technology can be to identify the panels that contribute most to the sound at a point or to the sound ﬁeld as a whole. and the boundary was meshed using shell elements. both the direct and indirect BEM approaches were used. To help evaluate the results. However. the user deﬁnes a sphere or some other geometric shape that encloses the sound radiator. and a surface impedance was applied to the ﬂoor to model the foam. the boundary conditions are placed on the inner surface. One advantage of the direct BEM is that the sound power and radiation efﬁciency can be determined from the boundary solution directly. the measured sound pressure at the tube inlet was used as a boundary condition.5 × 0. once an acoustical BEM analysis has been completed. Also. or hemispheres in the sound ﬁeld. the boundary was assumed to be rigid. and the sound pressure results are displayed on a ﬁeld point mesh above the cover and give a good indication of the directivity of the sound at that particular frequency. a process requiring minimal computer resources. For the indirect BEM. 9 EXAMPLE 1: CONSTRUCTION CAB A construction cab is an example of an interior acoustics problem. a BEM mesh was painted onto a diesel engine and then vibration measurements were made at each node on the engine surface. Furthermore. A loudspeaker and tube were attached to the construction cab. This requires additional postprocessing using a spreadsheet or mathematical software. the sound power can be computed after the matrix solution is completed. As the ﬁgure indicates. results can be examined at any number of ﬁeld points in a matter of minutes.40 ) All Sound Pressure Contour Surface Vibration Contour Figure 13 Contour plot showing the sound pressure variation on a ﬁeld point plane located above an engine cover. For instance. and the sound pressure was measured using a microphone where the tube connects to the cab. and the high damping. the user can more closely inspect the solution at strategic positions. commercial software includes convenient postprocessing capabilities to determine and then plot the sound pressure results on standard geometric shapes like planes. spheres. For example. determining the sound power using the indirect BEM is a little more problematic. A commercial preprocessor was used to prepare the mesh.9 × 1. Medium-density foam was placed on the ﬂoor of the cab. However. Boundary element method postprocessing is not always a turnkey operation. a solid model of the acoustical domain was prepared. Furthermore. First. the normal direction must be consistent. A contour plot of the surface vibration is shown under the engine cover proper. (The surface impedance of the foam was measured in an impedance tube. Due to the thickness of the walls. The measured vibrations were used as the input velocity boundary condition for a subsequent BEM calculation. This is a direct result of only one side of the boundary being considered for the solution. All analyses were conducted at low enough frequencies so that plane waves could be assumed inside the tube. For both approaches. Obtaining the overall or A-weighted sound pressure or sound power may require additional postprocessing depending on the commercial software used. pointing toward the inside or outside.

Although the added enclosure is a simple experimental change. Determining . the pressure at a single point is arguably the most challenging test for a boundary element analysis. the trends are predicted well and the overall sound pressure level is quite close. 15. it had a signiﬁcant impact on the sound radiation and the way in which the acoustical system is modeled. 16.4 m in height and was lined with glass ﬁber on each wall. The results demonstrate the limits of the BEM. 17 The engine cover was bolted down at 15 locations to three steel plates bolted together ( 3 inches thick each). making the model unsuitable for the direct BEM. the indirect BEM was used. Although the boundary element results do not exactly match the measured results. 4 The steel plates were rigid and massive compared to the engine cover and were thus considered rigid for modeling purposes. a ﬁne frequency resolution of 5 Hz was used.BOUNDARY ELEMENT MODELING 123 Figure 14 BEM predicted sound power contributions from the oil pan and front cover of a diesel engine. The experiment was designed so that the engine cover could be assumed to lie on a rigid half space.54 The experimental setup is shown in Fig. 10 EXAMPLE 2: ENGINE COVER IN A PARTIAL ENCLOSURE The sound radiation from an aluminum engine cover in a partial enclosure was predicted using the indirect BEM. To complicate the experiment. A shaker was attached to the engine cover by positioning the stinger through a hole drilled through the steel plates. The sound pressure results are compared at a point in the interior to measured results in Fig. and high-density particleboard was placed around the periphery of the steel plates. The plywood partial enclosure was 0. Since the passenger compartment airspace is modally dense. other surfaces aside from the ﬂoor were assumed to be rigid. The BEM fares better when the sound power is predicted since the sound pressure results are used in an overall sense. Figure 15 Schematic showing the BEM mesh and boundary conditions for the passenger compartment of a construction cab. This problem is no longer strictly exterior or interior since the enclosure is open. The engine cover was excited using white-noise excitation inside a hemianechoic chamber. The boundary conditions are shown in Fig. a partial enclosure was placed around the engine cover.

7 respective. The solid model was automatically meshed using parabolic tetrahedral ﬁnite elements. a zero jump in pressure was applied along the edges.124 FUNDAMENTALS OF ACOUSTICS AND NOISE Figure 16 Sound pressure level comparison at a point inside the construction cab. The boundary element mesh is simpler and coarser than the structural ﬁnite element mesh. Using the same solid model as a starting point. Two rectangular planes of boundary elements were positioned at right angles to one another in the space between the engine cover boundary and the symmetry plane (Fig. Those features were removed from the solid model before meshing so that the mesh was coarser and could be analyzed in a timely manner. they have a negligible effect on the acoustics even though they are signiﬁcant structurally. Since this is an acoustic radiation problem. the boundary element mesh was created by meshing the outer surface of the solid with linear quadrilateral elements. the particle velocity). The commercial BEM software used was able to interpolate Zero Jump in Sound Pressure Local Acoustic Impedance Engine Cover Vibration Acoustic Impedance Planes Symmetry Plane Figure 18 Schematic showing the boundary conditions that were assumed for a vibrating engine cover inside a partial enclosure. An impedance boundary condition was applied to each side of the planes. A structural ﬁnite element model of the cover was created from a solid model of the engine cover. and a frequency response analysis was performed.) Figure 17 Schematic showing the experimental setup of an engine cover located inside a partial enclosure. . precautions were taken to avoid errors in the solution due to the nonexistence difﬁculty for the indirect BEM discussed earlier. The boundary condition for the engine cover is the vibration on the cover (i. The results of the ﬁnite element analysis were used as a boundary condition for the acoustical analysis that followed.7 dB and 97. 18). the vibration results from the structural ﬁnite element model onto the surface of the boundary element mesh. Since features like the small ribs have dimensions much less than an acoustic wavelength.e. A symmetry plane was placed at the base of the engine cover to close the mesh. (The overall A-weighted sound pressure levels predicted by BEM and measured were 99. Since the edges of each plane are free..

Wu. As indicated in Fig. F. 1987.” ASME Trans. Certainly. and the outside surface was assumed to be rigid (zero velocity boundary condition). Wu (Ed. Vib. J. pp. Acoust. and D. 18. J. G. The BEM is a tool that can provide quick answers provided that a suitable model and realistic boundary conditions can be applied. J. 1984. B. F. UK.. many problems are still intractable using numerical tools in a purely predictive fashion. when the BEM is looked at objectively. numerical results obtained by a subsequent BEM analysis should be considered critically. Vol.e. A small change in the damping will have a large effect on the structural FEM analysis and a corresponding effect on any acoustic computational analysis that follows.BOUNDARY ELEMENT MODELING 125 Figure 19 Comparison of the sound power from the partial enclosure. Southampton.” J. The Helmholtz Integral Equation. 362–368. Mollo. F. A surface impedance boundary condition was applied on the inside surface of the elements. . Shippy.. Shippy. T. (The overall A-weighted sound power levels predicted by BEM and obtained by measurement were both 97. Indirect BEM results are compared with those obtained by measurement. the BEM results compared reasonably well with the experimental results. Soenarko. Fundamentals and Computer Codes. REFERENCES 1. Chapter 2. F. For example. B. and D. A. R. Stress Rel. Des. “An Advanced Computational Method for Radiation and Scattering of Acoustic Waves in Three Dimensions. pp. Gardner.. 19 shows. the BEM may still be useful for determining the possible merits of one design over another.. Rizzo. in Boundary Element Acoustics. Am.). T. As Fig. 1176–1183. The differences at the other peaks can be attributed to errors in measuring the damping of the engine cover. Vol. Nevertheless. Measuring the structural damping accurately is tedious due to data collection and experimental setup issues involved.. The closely matched A-weighted sound power results are largely a result of predicting the value of the highest peak accurately. “Application of the BIE Method to Sound Radiation Problems Using an Isoparametric Element. Seybert. many practitioners ﬁnd that it is not quite 3. 1985. pp. Vol. 414–420. 77.6 dB. 4. 2000. and C. 2. Bernhard. W. Soenarko. WIT Press. a zero jump in pressure was applied to the nodes on the top edge. J. Today. Soc. Seybert. engines and compressors) are difﬁcult to quantify. J. 11 CONCLUSION what they had hoped for. Without realistic input forces and damping in the structural FEM model. The objective of this chapter was to introduce the BEM. 106. it is hard to escape the suspicion that many models may not resemble reality as much as we would like. the combined thickness of the wood and the absorptive lining is small compared to an acoustic wavelength). B. Acoust. However. Rizzo. “Prediction of Sound Fields in Cavities Using Boundary Element Methods. forces inside machinery (i. A.) The thickness of the partial enclosure was neglected since the enclosure is thin in the acoustical sense (i. W.” AIAA J. 25.e. K. noting some of the more important developments as well as the practical application of the method to a wide variety of acoustic problems. J.