fluid borne noise, household refrigerator, expansion noise, capillary tube
The oscillatory pressure disturbance created by the refrigerant flow through pipes and components is one of the main sources of noise in household refrigerators. This type of excitation is transmitted to the pipes and travels through the structure reaching the cabinet and other parts exposed to the air, where audible airborne sound waves are created. In order to get a better understanding of this type of noise a household refrigerator was especially instrumented with thermocouples, absolute and dynamic pressure transducers and accelerometers. Tests were carried out at different operating conditions, when it was found that the compressor was the main source of excitation, practically affecting the entire refrigeration loop. It was also found that the flow velocity at the outlet of the capillary tube was high enough to induce significant vibrations in the evaporator. Finally, it was found that the entrance of vapor bubbles in the capillary tube produces sporadic and strong excitations. However those excitations do not travel very far along the flow, being attenuated by the condenser and the evaporator, but can nevertheless be transmitted to the pipes. In view of the collected database, comments and suggestions concerning the design of household refrigerators are presented and discussed.