Loughborough University
Thesis-2012-Bowyer.pdf (12.2 MB)

Experimental investigation of damping structural vibrations using the acoustic black hole effect

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posted on 2012-11-23, 09:06 authored by E.P. Bowyer
This thesis describes the results of the experimental investigations into some new geometrical configurations in plate-like structures materialising one-dimensional (1D) acoustic black holes for flexural waves (wedges of power-law profile) and two-dimensional (2D) acoustic black holes for flexural waves (circular indentations of power-law profile). Such acoustic black holes allow the user to reduce the amplitudes of the vibration responses of plate-like structures to a maximum effect, while not increasing the mass of the structures. This thesis also suggests some new real world practical applications for this damping technique. Initially, the effects of geometrical and material imperfections on damping flexural vibrations in plates with attached wedges of power-law profile (1D black holes) were investigated, demonstrating that this method of damping is robust enough for practical applications. Then, damping of flexural vibrations in turbofan blades with trailing edges tapered according to a power-law profile has been investigated. In addition, experimental investigations into power-law profiled slots within plates have been also conducted. Another important configuration under investigation was that of circular indentations (pits) of power-law profile within the plate. In the case of quadratic or higher-order profiles, such indentations materialise 2D acoustic black holes for flexural waves. To increase the damping efficiency of power-law profiled indentations, the absorption area has been enlarged by increasing the size of the central hole in the pit, while keeping the edges sharp. The next step of investigation in this thesis was using multiple indentations of power-law profile (arrays of 2D black holes). It was shown that not only do multiple indentations of power-law profile provide substantial reduction in the damping of flexural vibrations, but also a substantial reduction in radiated sound power. The experimental results have been obtained also for a cylindrical plate incorporating a central hole of quadratic profile. They are compared to the results of numerical predictions, thus validating the results and the experimental technique. Investigations into the effects of indentations of power-law profile made in composite plates and panels and their subsequent inclusion into composite honeycomb sandwich panels are also reported. These indentations again act as 2D acoustic black holes for flexural waves and they effectively damp flexural vibrations within the panels. It was also demonstrated that these indentations can be enclosed in smooth surfaced panels and that no additional damping layer is required to induce the acoustic black hole effect in composite structures. In conclusion, it has been confirmed in this thesis that one and two-dimensional acoustic black holes represent an effective method of damping flexural vibrations and reducing the associated structure-borne sound. Furthermore, this thesis has shown that acoustic black holes can be efficiently employed in practical applications, such as trailing edges of jet engine fan blades, composite panels, and composite honeycomb sandwich structures.



  • Aeronautical, Automotive, Chemical and Materials Engineering


  • Aeronautical and Automotive Engineering


© Elizabeth P. Bowyer

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A Doctoral Thesis. Submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the award of Doctor of Philosophy of Loughborough University.

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  • en