SUBJECT: Ph.D. Dissertation Defense
BY: Nicholas Earnhart
TIME: Friday, November 9, 2012, 3:00 p.m.
PLACE: Love Building, 109
TITLE: Modeling and Validation of a Syntactic Foam Lining for Noise Control Devices for Fluid Power Systems
COMMITTEE: Dr. Kenneth Cunefare, Chair (ME)
Dr. Mardi Hastings (ME)
Dr. Wayne Book (ME)
Dr. Haskell Beckham (MSE)
Dr. Kim Stelson (UMN)


Excessive fluid-borne noise in hydraulic systems is a problem the fluid power industry has long struggled to address. Traditional noise control devices such as Helmholtz resonators, tuning coils, and Herschel-Quincke tubes are generally too large for fluid power systems unless the speed of sound in the device can be reduced. A compliant lining can achieve this effect, but compliance (and lossy compliance) has had little attention in noise control in general, and in fluid power in particular. One means to achieve compliance in these devices, especially at elevated pressures, is through a liner made of syntactic foam, which in this case is a urethane host matrix with embedded hollow, polymer microspheres. The material properties at elevated pressure are unknown by the liner manufacturer, but are known to be pressure- and temperature-dependent. Therefore, the effect of hydrostatic pressures from 2.1-21 MPa and temperatures from 20-45 C on the liner properties, thus the device performance, are studied. For a Helmholtz resonator, a theoretical model is fit to experimentally-measured transmission loss of the device using a least-squares routine, which solves the inverse problem for the complex bulk modulus of the liner. These material properties are used to compare a predictive model of a tuning coil to experimental data, and in a parameter study of a Herschel-Quincke tube. The compliance of the liner is found to lower the effective sound speed by an order of magnitude and decrease the volume of the cavity of a Helmholtz resonator by up to two orders of magnitude. This work is expected to result is more compact noise control devices for fluid power systems.