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issue: December 2005 APPLIANCE Magazine

Technology Report
Vibration and Noise Analysis Tools

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New tools for panel contribution and vibration mode analysis technology are designed to provide insight into sound radiation and transmission paths.

“Potential applications of SenSound’s technology include anything that makes noise, such as a vacuum cleaner, dishwasher, refrigerator, hand-held drill, hair driver, etc.,” Dr. Wu tells APPLIANCE. “Using SenSound’s acoustic technology, people will be able to ‘see’ sound, and pinpoint the location where sound is generated and how it travels in space and through structures.” Using the tools’ visualization capabilities, a test object can be viewed as an image, a wire mesh or a surface mesh and can be rotated and viewed from any perspective.

The tools come from SenSound (Detroit, Michigan, U.S.), a technology company spun out of Detroit’s Wayne State University Acoustics, Vibration and Noise Control Laboratory.
The analysis tools come in the form of software, integrated systems and services, designed to provide accurate, high-resolution diagnosis of vibro-acoustic sources and sound transmission paths. The two tools are add-on products to SenAH and SenNS, the company’s core software systems, which provide quantifiable analysis of sound pressure, velocity and intensity.
SenSound’s SenAH and SenNS give the user the ability to actually see sound in 3-D space and on 3-D surfaces, and pinpoint the locations of noise sources and sound transmission paths through complex structures, under both stationary and non-stationary conditions. SenPC and SenVM allow the user to identify specific vibration modes that are responsible for sound radiation.
SenPC software provides new means of identifying and ranking relative panel or source contributions, and is said to be the only technology of its kind.
Dr. Sean Wu, distinguished professor of Mechanical Engineering, College of Engineering at Wayne State University, is the developer of SenSound’s technology. He explains, “Any vibrating structure will produce sound, but individual panel surfaces of a structure may contribute differently to sound radiation. If we can visualize and quantify the exact amount of acoustic energy that is being released to the air by each panel, it will be very helpful for engineers to control and reduce noise in the surrounding environment.”
The supplier’s SenVM software allows vibration modes to be identified and, in particular, to distinguish those modes that are responsible for radiated sound from modes that are not. The vibration modes are then visualized on 3-D maps of the source surface.
“Vibration Mode Technology is another way of analyzing sound radiation from a vibrating structure or single panel,” Dr. Wu tells APPLIANCE. He explains that not all vibrations produce sound. Sound mitigation efforts will, naturally, be more effective and efficient if they focus on suppressing noise-producing vibrations.
“SenVM enables one to decompose vibrations of a complex structure into individual vibration modes and, in particular, identify those vibration modes that are responsible for sound radiation into the surrounding environment,” Dr. Wu says.


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