J.S. Bolton and E.R. Green, “‘Smart’ Foams for Active Absorption of Sound,” Proceedings of the Second Conference on Recent Advances in Active Control of Sound and Vibration, pp. 139-149, Blacksburg VA, April 1993.


A porous layer can absorb a significant amount of acoustic energy only if its thickness is comparable to the wavelength of the incident sound. Thus a porous layer inevitably becomes a less effective sound absorber as the frequency is decreased. In this paper, it will be shown through theoretical calculations that the low frequency performance of a finite-depth layer of elastic porous material may be enhanced by applying an appropriate force to the solid phase at the front surface of the layer. In particular, it will be shown that at any angle of incidence the solid phase may be forced so as to create a perfect impedance match with an incident plane wave, thus causing the sound to be completely absorbed. Note that the success of the approach suggested here requires a significant degree of coupling between the motion of the solid and fluid phases of the porous material. Thus, it may be expected that partially reticulated, polyurethane foams will be susceptible to this approach owing to the degree of viscous and inertial coupling between their fluid and solid phases.


Active noise control, Smart foam, Active sound absorption, Poroelastic materials, Polyurethane foam


Acoustics and Noise Control

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