Structural-acoustic finite element analysis of the automobile passenger compartment: A review of current practice
This paper contains a brief review of the formulation of the finite element method for structural-acoustic analysis of an enclosed cavity, and illustrations are given of the application of this analytical method at General Motors Corporation to investigate the acoustics of the automobile passenger compartment. Low frequency noise in the passenger compartment (in approximately the 20-200 Hz frequency range) is of primary interest, and particularly that noise which is generated by the structural vibration of the wall panels of the compartment. The topics which are covered in the paper include the computation of acoustic modes and resonant frequencies of the passenger compartment, the effect of flexible wall panels on the cavity acoustics, the methods of direct and modal coupling of the structural and acoustic vehicle systems, and forced vibration analysis illustrating the techniques for computing panel-excited noise and for identifying critical panels around the passenger compartment. The capabilities of the finite element method are illustrated by applications to the production automobile, and experimental verifications of the various techniques are presented to illustrate the accuracy of the method.