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Abstract

In order to enhance the acoustical performance of a traditional straight-path automobile muffler, a multi-chamber muffler having reverse paths is presented. Here, the muffler is composed of two internally parallel/extended tubes and one internally extended outlet. In addition, to prevent noise transmission from the muffler’s casing, the muffler’s shell is also lined with sound absorbing material. Because the geometry of an automotive muffler is complicated, using an analytic method to predict a muffler’s acoustical performance is difficult; therefore, COMSOL, a finite element analysis software, is adopted to estimate the automotive muffler’s sound transmission loss. However, optimizing the shape of a complicated muffler using an optimizer linked to the Finite Element Method (FEM) is time-consuming. Therefore, in order to facilitate the muffler’s optimization, a simplified mathematical model used as an objective function (or fitness function) during the optimization process is presented. Here, the objective function can be established by using Artificial Neural Networks (ANNs) in conjunction with the muffler’s design parameters and related TLs (simulated by FEM). With this, the muffler’s optimization can proceed by linking the objective function to an optimizer, a Genetic Algorithm (GA). Consequently, the discharged muffler which is optimally shaped will improve the automotive exhaust noise.
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Abstract

Most researchers have explored noise reduction effects based on the transfer matrix method and the boundary element method. However, maximum noise reduction of a plenum within a constrained space, which frequently occurs in engineering problems, has been neglected. Therefore, the optimum design of multi-chamber plenums becomes essential. In this paper, two kinds of multi-chamber plenums (Case I: a two-chamber plenum that is partitioned with a centre-opening baffle; Case II: a three-chamber plenum that is partitioned with two centre-opening baffles) within a fixed space are assessed. In order to speed up the assessment of optimal plenums hybridized with multiple partitioned baffles, a simplified objective function (OBJ) is established by linking the boundary element model (BEM, developed using SYSNOISE) with a polynomial neural network fit with a series of real data – input design data (baffle dimensions) and output data approximated by BEM data in advance. To assess optimal plenums, a genetic algorithm (GA) is applied. The results reveal that the maximum value of the transmission loss (TL) can be improved at the desired frequencies. Consequently, the algorithm proposed in this study can provide an efficient way to develop optimal multi-chamber plenums for industry.
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