A key physical mechanism that controls the acoustic absorption and attenuation in a loose, air-satu-rated aerogel granular mix with the grain diameter being in the order of a few microns is not well understood. A particular challenge here is to understand sound propagation in an aerogel powder composed of highly porous, low-density particles with sub-micron pores. Experimental evidence suggest that a relatively thin layer of an aerogel powder can provide a very high narrow band acoustic absorption at relatively low frequencies. This study presents an attempt to explain this physical phenomenon with two well-known analytical models for the acoustical properties of porous media. The results of this study suggest that an aerogel powder behaves like a viscoelastic layer and its absorption coefficient depends strongly on the sound pressure level in the incident wave, i.e., this acoustic behaviour is non-linear. The loss factor seems to be a key parameter which predicts the observed acoustical behaviour. The loss factor is found to be higher than physically reasonable at low frequencies and decreases with the frequency exponentially. This behaviour is likely to relate to the frictional interaction between the particles in the powder and acoustic fluidisation effect.
Aerogels, Powders, Sound absorption, Non-linear, Particle stack
Acoustics and Noise Control
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