The influence of tyre air cavities on vehicle acoustics

University dissertation from Stockholm : KTH

Abstract: The tonal character of the low frequency internal noise in cars is often due to energy transmission through the tyre at the first few eigenfrequencies of the air cavity of the tyre. The first acoustic mode in the air cavity of a typical stationary car tyre is approximately 224 Hz. At this frequency the tyre is comparatively stiff resulting in a high transmission of energy from the road wheel contact to the car body itself. In order to investigate possible means of reducing this effect, the acoustic field inside a tyre is modelled. Theoretically it is found that the pressure inside a tyre and the energy transmission through the tyre to the wheel axle and the car body can be reduced by adding a sound absorbing material inside the tyre. This was confirmed by measurements on stationary as well as rotating tyres with and without added sound absorption. For a rotating tyre there is a split of the natural frequency depending on the rotational speed of the tyre. Measurements in a standard passenger car reveal that the noise level inside the car is rather high in a fairly wide frequency range around 224 Hz at normal velocities. This tonal noise can be reduced by adding sound absorption inside a tyre. Models for the prediction and the reduction of the tonal noise are presented. Measured and predicted results are compared and the agreement is found to be good. It is found that the tonal noise can be reduced by up to 9 dB.The effects of the air cavity resonances on the external noise have also been studied. It is estimated that external tyre noise can be reduced 1 dB by adding a sound absorbing material inside tyres.For a car travelling on a road a strong acoustic field is induced between the floor of the car and the road. The impact of this acoustic field can be reduced by mounting a sound absorbing material underneath the car. It is estimated that the A-weighted sound pressure level close to a running car could be reduced by 3 dB by adding this type sound absorption.It is found that aluminium foam could be a suitable sound absorbing material which could be mounted inside tyres and underneath cars. The acoustic and dynamic properties of various types of aluminium foams are discussed. In particular measurement techniques for determining sound absorption at grazing incidence are investigated.