This Is AuburnElectronic Theses and Dissertations

Sound transmission loss of composite sandwich panels




Zhou, Ran

Type of Degree



Mechanical Engineering


Light composite sandwich panels are increasingly used in automobiles, ships and aircraft, because of the advantages they offer of high strength-to-weight ratios. However, the acoustical properties of these light and stiff structures can be less desirable than those of equivalent metal panels. These undesirable properties can lead to high interior noise levels. A number of researchers have studied the acoustical properties of honeycomb and foam sandwich panels. Not much work, however, has been carried out on foam-filled honeycomb sandwich panels. In this dissertation, governing equations for the forced vibration of asymmetric sandwich panels are developed. An analytical expression for modal densities of symmetric sandwich panels is derived from a sixth-order governing equation. A boundary element analysis model for the sound transmission loss of symmetric sandwich panels is proposed. Measurements of the modal density, total loss factor, radiation loss factor, and sound transmission loss of foam-filled honeycomb sandwich panels with different configurations and thicknesses are presented. Comparisons between the predicted sound transmission loss values obtained from wave impedance analysis, statistical energy analysis, boundary element analysis, and experimental values are presented. The wave impedance analysis model provides accurate predictions of sound transmission loss for the thin foam-filled honeycomb sandwich panels at frequencies above their first resonance frequencies. The predictions from the statistical energy analysis model are in better agreement with the experimental transmission loss values of the sandwich panels when the measured radiation loss factor values near coincidence are used instead of the theoretical values for single-layer panels. The proposed boundary element analysis model provides more accurate predictions of sound transmission loss for the thick foam-filled honeycomb sandwich panels than either the wave impedance analysis model or the statistical energy analysis model.