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Component based OTPA: An alternative to component TPA without impact measurements

  • FEV Europe GmbH

Abstract and Figures

Component based TPA allows to obtain a vibration source-description that is independent of the receiver. Typically, blocked forces are determined on a component testbench to predict vibration levels on a receiver. Therefore, impact measurements must be performed. Operational TPA (OTPA) is typically used as a tool for path ranking of different noise sources in a troubleshooting phase. OTPA has the advantage of not requiring laborious impact campaigns but lacks the possibility to predict receiver noise levels from testbench measurements. In this paper, we derive an OTPA method offering this "testbench to vehicle" capability. This novel, component-based OTPA method will be compared to the blocked force TPA method in a numerical test case. The sensitivities of both methods to typically encountered measurement uncertainties are shown. This is achieved by introducing different random errors in a Monte-Carlo simulation. The resulting variance and bias error in the predicted receiver responses are used to evaluate the error sensitivity of both methods.
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Component based OTPA: An alternative to component TPA
without impact measurements
M. Haeussler 1, S. W. B. Klaassen 1, D. de Klerk 1, T. Rumpel 2
1Vibes Technology B.V. ,
Molengraaffsingel 14, 2629JD Delft, The Netherlands,
2Mercedes-Benz AG ,
70546 Stuttgart, Germany
Component based TPA allows to obtain a vibration source-description that is independent of the receiver.
Typically, blocked forces are determined on a component testbench to predict vibration levels on a receiver.
Therefore, impact measurements must be performed. Operational TPA (OTPA) is typically used as a tool
for path ranking of different noise sources in a troubleshooting phase. OTPA has the advantage of not
requiring laborious impact campaigns but lacks the possibility to predict receiver noise levels from testbench
measurements. In this paper, we derive an OTPA method offering this “testbench to vehicle” capability. This
novel, component-based OTPA method will be compared to the blocked force TPA method in a numerical
test case. The sensitivities of both methods to typically encountered measurement uncertainties are shown.
This is achieved by introducing different random errors in a Monte-Carlo simulation. The resulting variance
and bias error in the predicted receiver responses are used to evaluate the error sensitivity of both methods.
1 Introduction, motivation & outline of the paper
Transfer path analysis (TPA) has established in industry as a tool for noise vibration harshness (NVH) engi-
neering. A broad review and comparison of methods in a unified notation can be found in [2]. In general, a
TPA studies subcomponents which actively excite a larger assembly and thereby cause noise and vibrations.
As one of the first applications, Verheij described the transmission of vibrations, from a ship engine to the
hull, by interface forces transmitted over the rubber isolators [3]. In 1982 this was mainly driven by the
desire to make military ships more stealthy. Nowadays, TPA is commonly applied in NVH engineering of
vehicles [4, 5]. Classically, TPA has been used as trouble-shooting tool, using interface forces to understand
the transmission of vibrations from the source to the receiver. A current trend is to use approaches which
describe the source independently from a specific receiver, e.g. via blocked forces [6–8]. A popular method
for obtaining the blocked forces is the in-situ method [9], which will also be used in this paper. It yields
results comparable to classical TPA, with some improvements if also rotational degrees of freedom (DoF)
are included in the source description (see [8]).
The reason for industry adaption of component based TPA is best explained with an example. Imagine a
vehicle manufacturer (OEM) which is producing nvcar models, say 30, see table 1. These vehicles typically
contain multiple, potentially noisy mechanical components. For example rear axle differentials (RADs).
There are in total ncdifferent variants of this source component. The different RADs are required for
different maximum speeds and torques of the individual vehicle configurations. However, on average only
ncv of all nvvehicle’s can be configured with one specific RAD.
Table 1: Exemplary numbers of vehicle models and variants of a single component at an OEM.
Number of vehicle models nv30
Number of components nc25
Vehicle models configured with one component ncv 10
The OEM wants to make sure that each potential vehicle configuration meets the high customer demands for
NVH comfort. The number of tests depends on the approach chosen:
Classical TPA & OTPA
With classical methods it is required to test each configuration separately in the vehicle. That means,
the OEM would require to test each component in all vehicles which can be configured with this
component. The total number of physical tests required in the vehicle prototypes would be:
nc×ncv = 250.
These are typically done late in the development cycle, in the validation phase, where it is hard to
change the isolation concept.
Component based TPA
With component based TPA methods it is possible to test each RAD on a testbench to obtain a valid
description of that source component. This can be combined with measured or simulated transfer
functions of each vehicle to obtain a description of the receiver. In total this would mean,
nv+nc= 55,
physical tests on the component testbench and in the vehicle prototypes.
From this example it is clear that component based TPA methods can reduce the number of physical tests.
Another advantage of component based TPA, is that potential NVH problems can be identified at an earlier
development stage, where it is still possible to take action by changing the design.
In this paper, the advantage of component based TPA methods is combined with the ease of OTPA, which
works without measured transfer functions. This method will be called component based OTPA (cOTPA).
Therefore, the concept underlying component based TPA and OTPA will be briefly explained in section 2.
From this, the formulation of cOTPA will be derived in section 3. In section 4, a numerical example is used
validate both methods. Additionally, the sensitivities of both methods to typically encountered measurement
uncertainties are studied and compared. The results are discussed in section 5.
2 Transfer path analysis - Theory
In this section the principle of component based TPA using blocked forces and the used notation is explained.
From this derivation the principle of operational TPA (OTPA) is introduced. This will give the theoretical
basis for the new method, called component based OTPA, which is introduced in section 3.
2.1 Component based TPA with blocked forces
The general principle of component based TPA is described in figure 1. An assembly AB contains a vibration
source A, which is subject to internal loads fA
1. The exact mechanisms creating the internal forces fA
be unknown or cumbersome to model. It is therefore desirable for an NVH engineer to find another more
practical, yet complete description of the source. Component TPA methods are a solution to this.
The following explanation treats the underlying concepts of component TPA, using so called blocked forces
as a source description. We focus on an intuitive explanation and therefore reduce mathematical detail (see
[2] for a full derivation). The fact that blocked forces can be used as a source description can be derived from
the three depictions in figure 1:
Figure 1: The general source receiver problem and the equivalent modeling of vibrations on the receiver side
by blocked forces fbl
1. Noise cancellation
Consider the following thought experiment: The blocked forces fbl
2are defined as the forces which, when
applied as an external load at the interface between source and receiver, would block all vibration at the
interface. The motion on the interface of assembly AB would thus be zero:
21 fA
22 fbl
where superscript ()AB indicates that the quantity is a property of the coupled system, source Aand receiver
B. Subscript ()21 indicates that the FRF matrix describes the vibration transfer from the internal source
DoF, subscript ()1, to the interface DoF, subscript ()2.
If assembly AB has no motion on the interface and there is no other vibration source on the receiver B, then
the sound and vibration at all other points of the receiver would be zero:
31 fA
32 fbl
where subscript ()3indicates points on the receiver, for example some sound pressure pAB
3. Thus, the
blocked forces act as a noise cancellation on the receiver. This is the theoretical basis for the blocked force
concept (or in fact all component based TPA concepts, see [2]).
2. Force superposition
Of course, the discussion so far was just a thought experiment, as artificially applying the blocked forces at
the interface DoF is usually not possible. In normal operation, the source’s internal forces fA
1are transferred
to vibrations uAB
3or sound pressures pAB
3in the receiver, via the frequency response function (FRF) matrix
31 :
31 fA
However, in NVH we are considering small vibration amplitudes and model the assembly AB as a linear
time-invariant system Therefore, it is allowed to add and subtract the effect of the blocked forces from the
original problem in equation (3) without modifying the outcome (superposition principle):
31 fA
z }| {
32 fbl
32 fbl
Figure 2: In-Situ determination of blocked forces.
3. Equivalent source description
Considering the noise cancellation from equation (2), one finds that:
32 fbl
This means that all vibrations on the receiver side of assembly AB can be described with the transfer function
of the coupled system and the blocked forces of the source. Note, that here is the difference to classical TPA.
There, the interface forces are used as a source description and the FRF of the uncoupled receiver (YB),
with the source component removed, is used for propagation. Notice that the derivation did not specify
which particular receiver structure Bis used. The blocked forces are thus a valid source description for any
receiver B. Also, note that the blocked forces are a property of the source alone.
A thorough derivation of the concept, as well as different methods for obtaining the blocked forces in prac-
tice, are described in [2]. A theoretical comparison of these methods is given in [10]. An important assump-
tion for the derivation of the blocked force concept is that the internal source excitation fA
1is independent
of the source mounting, i.e. the receiver B. This is (to the author’s experience) a good assumption for cli-
mate compressors, electric motors, rear axle differentials, and many other components. However, it typically
requires some studies to apply the concept in an industrial context. For example, one needs to investigate
how many degrees of freedom need to be used for describing the source-receiver interface [11], and what the
most practical approach for obtaining the blocked forces of the component is.
2.2 In-Situ determination of blocked forces
A popular method for determining the blocked forces in practice is the in-situ method [9]. For identifying the
blocked forces, the source component could be attached to any receiver, like the the vehicle Bor a component
test-bench R, see figure 2. The receiver is equipped with indicator sensors, denoted as u4, which have to
be at or downstream of the interface (see figure 2). As discussed in the previous section, when artificially
applying the blocked forces fbl
2to the interface, they would cancel all vibration on the receiver:
41 fA
| {z }
42 fbl
41 fA
| {z }
42 fbl
The responses in the indicator sensors u4can be recorded for different operational conditions of the source.
The blocked forces for each operational condition can then be computed by:
42 +uAB
42 +uAR
where ()+indicates a least-squares pseudo inverse. A pseudo-inverse has to be used if the system of
equations is over-determined, i.e. the vector u4contains more channels than the actual number of blocked
forces to be computed in fbl
2. This over-determination is generally recommended [1]. The pseudo-inverse
can either be built with least-squares, or with a regularized inverse to suppress the detrimental effects of
measurement noise [1]. Notice that the blocked forces can be determined either on a testbench or in the
vehicle, equation (7). These can be used for predicting the sound and vibration caused in the vehicle, see
equation (5).
2.3 Operational TPA (OTPA)
NVH problems are often encountered late in the development process. Finding a solution is then time-
critical, while initially it is often not even clear what source or path is the critical contributor to the noise
problem. Determining the blocked forces of the potential noise source(s) would be too laborious since the
FRFs and operational signals need to be measured (see equation (7)).
It would be faster to perform only operational measurements, and find the critical noise sources and transfer
paths from them, as the impact-hammer or shaker tests are typically the most time-consuming part of the
measurement campaign. This is the application field of operational TPA, introducedd by Nomura [12].
In the following, the equations for OTPA will be derived from the principle of blocked force component
TPA. Writing out the equations for predicting a sound pressure pAB
3from the individual contributions in the
operational measurements uAB
32 fbl
32 YAB
42 +
| {z }
It can be seen that the receiver response pAB
3can be directly predicted from the operational signals in the
indicator sensors uAB
4with the so called transmissibility matrix TAB
34 :
34 uAB
In equation (8) this matrix is written as a result of the FRF matrices. In OTPA one estimates this trans-
missibility matrix from a large set of recorded operational measurements. The relationship in equation (9)
holds for any operational condition of the source(s). Stacking together all recorded operational conditions as
columns of the matrices PAB
3and UAB
4, one can write:
34 UAB
Provided that the system of equations has full rank, one can estimate the transmissibility matrix:
34 =PAB
With the transmissiblility matrix and the recorded signals, one can perform a path ranking of the individual
paths and noise sources, via equation (8). This gives a good estimate for the dominant paths in the operational
conditions that exhibit the NVH issue.
One assumption of OTPA is that all relevant modes of the structure are excited in the captured signal in UAB
[2]. Typically, many operational conditions are included in UAB
4, such as run-ups with different loads of
all components under investigation. Additionally, one can increase the number of independent excitations
in UAB
4by performing a couple of impacts with an uninstrumented hammer on the source, as suggested in
[13]. All important paths must be included in the signals of the indicator sensors uAB
4, since the method
yields unrealistic results otherwise [14]. However, if there are too many DoF in uAB
4, measurement noise
can be strongly amplified [15]. This can be attenuated by principal component analysis [12, 16].
3 Component based OTPA
In this section the formulation of a new OTPA method is derived. The authors think is best described by
the name component based OTPA. With it, two advantages of component based TPA and OTPA shall be
Figure 3: Principle signals required for the new component based OTPA method
combined, namely:
1. The component TPA ability to predict sound and vibration levels in the receiver pAB
3with operational
data from a component testbench.
2. The OTPA time-saving by omitting the laborious FRF tests.
OTPA gives the ability to predict receiver responses pAB
3from signals at the indicator sensors uAB
4see (9).
The indicator sensor signals uAB
4can also be predicted with the in-situ determined blocked forces from a
testbench, see (7):
42 fbl
42 YAR
42 +
| {z }
This shows that there is a transmissibility matrix TAR/AB
44 from the TB to the vehicle:
44 uAR
Following the same idea as in OTPA, we try to find this transmissibility matrix from a large number of
operational measurements:
44 =UAB
Note that in equation (14), we are implicitly making the assumption that the source is running in exactly
the same operational condition for every column of UAB
4and the corresponding column of UAR
4. Provided
that this is the case, one can find the transmissibility from indicator sensor signals on the testbench to the
indicator sensor signals on the receiver, see figure 3.
A forward prediction to the receiver DoF pAB
3can then be done with the OTPA formula from (9):
34 uAB
| {z }
Note that the transmissibility TAB/AR
34 could also be directly determined from the operational measurements
at only the receiver DoF pAB
3and the indicator sensors uAR
4. This would even further simplify the method,
as then no indicator sensors in the receiver assembly uAB
4would be required. However, practical tests would
need to show if this is a viable option.
Figure 4: Signals for the numerical example
4 Numerical Example
In this section, blocked force TPA is compared to the new cOTPA method. Therefore, a numerical test case is
created, where the individual substructures are described by linear mass, spring, damper systems. It consists
of a source component A, a testrig Rand a receiver B, which contain 4,7and 9DoF respectively. The
number of DoF which are chosen as internal, interface, indicator and response DoF are listed in table 2.
Table 2: Number of internal, interface, indicator and response DoF in numerical example.
Internal source DoF fA
Interface DoF fbl
Indicator DoF uAB
Response DoF pAB
The system FRFs are computed from the stiffness, damping and mass matrices of the numerical example
(see upper left part of figure 4). The internal force of the source fA
1(b)is constructed for different blocks
bin the frequency domain. There are nBand nRblocks, representing the source operational forces on
the final assembly AB and component testbench AR respectively. In the following examples it is chosen:
nB=nR= 15. For the proof of concept, it is assumed that the internal force fA
1(b)is constant in all blocks,
i.e. the source is running in exactly the same operational condition on the testbench and receiver assembly.
The resulting vibrations on the testbench and receiver can be computed from the system matrices and fA
see the middle left part of figure 4.
The resulting vibration responses, see lower right part of figure 4, are the input for the comparison of BF-TPA
and cTPA. They are computed as follows:
BF TPA: Compute the transmissibility matrix TAR/AB
44 from the FRF matrices as in (12). Compute
the blocked forces fbl
2as in the right side of (7), and predict the receiver responses pAB
3with (5).
cOTPA: Compute the transmissibility matrix TAR/AB
44 from the frequency blocks of the operational
signals as in (14). Predict the receiver responses pAB
3with (15).
The final receiver response in one channel and a resulting transmissibility matrix entry is plotted in the upper
part of figure 5. It can be observed that both methods yield the same prediction on the receiver, and that the
computed transmissibility is equal. The reference solution is computed as:
3(bR) = YAB
31 fA
as this would be the response if the source was exciting the final receiver with the same excitation as on the
4.1 Sensitivity to measurement errors: BF TPA vs. cOTPA
Additionally to the proof of concept, three cases of measurement imperfections, which are expected to appear
in practice, are investigated with the numerical example (see also figure 4). These are described in the
Case 1: Amplitude Variance in the source exitation fA
1. This is introduced by scaling the nominal
source internal force ˆ
1with a random scalar
1(b) = ˆ
1(1 + X),with: X N µ= 0, σ2= 1,(17)
where Nis the standard normal distribution.
Case 2: Phase variance in the source exitation fA
1. This is introduced by changing the phase of the
nominal source internal force ˆ
1(b) = ˆ
1eiX ,with: X N µ= 0, σ2=π
Case 3: Random noise on test bench signals uAR
4and receiver signals pAB
The results of these three cases of measurement imperfections are shown in figure 5.
4.2 Uncertainty Quantification: BF TPA vs. cOTPA
In order to understand the effects of the measurement imperfections on both methods better, the number of
blocks is increased to nB=nR= 150. The resulting nRpredictions in one channel of pAB
3are then used to
compute the mean value of the predictions. Additionally, the variance σis computed and plotted in a band,
shown in figure 6.
5 Discussion of results
A new method called component based OTPA (cOTPA) has been introduced in this contribution. It was
derived from the concept of blocked force (BF) TPA. In a proof of concept, it could be shown that cOTPA
yields equivalent and exact results if the underlying assumptions are valid, as can be seen in the upper part of
figure 5. In case of an amplitude variance of the internal source strength, the predicted mean values for the
receiver signal pAB
3are equal for both methods (Case 1, in figure 5 and 6). Also the standard deviation in the
prediction is comparable. Interestingly, the individual entries in the transmissibilities TAR/AB
44 determined
with cOPTA are multiple orders of magnitude too high. This is presumably due to the underdetermined
system of equations which is solved when using equation (14) with the signals from the numerical exam-
ple. Both UAB
4and UAR
4have 3 DoF, but only 2 principal components, since they are both caused by an
internal force with only two DoF (see table 2). A phase variance of the internal source strength (Case 2, in
figure 5 and 6), yields different results. The predicted mean value for the receiver signal pAB
3is too low for
cOTPA, whereas BF-TPA yields on average correct solutions. This is by no means surprising, since one of
the underlying assumptions of cOTPA is that the source is running in exactly the same operational condition
Proof of concept
Case 1: Amplitude Variance fA
Case 2: Phase Variance fA
Case 3: Output Sensor Noise
Figure 5: Results for a noise free proof of concept and cases of expected measurement imperfections. In the
left column one channel of pAB
3is shown. The reference and the predictions with BF TPA and cOTPA are
compared. The mean value of the amplitude over all nBand nRblocks is shown. The right column shows
the estimated transmissibilities.
Case 1: Amplitude Variance fA
Case 2: Phase Variance fA
Case 3: Output Sensor Noise
Figure 6: Results of a Monte Carlo simulation. Mean Value and variance of BF-TPA and cOTPA predictions
for the receiver response pAB
(including the phase reference) on the testbench and the receiver. This is not a requirement for BF-TPA, as
the differences in phase are implicitly accounted for via the FRF matrices. This result can be seen particu-
larly clear in the Monte Carlo Simulation. It emphasizes the requirement for an accurate measurement of the
source’s operational phase for deriving the cOTPA transmissibility matrices from only operational measure-
ments (e.g. via a triggered rpm channel). For noise polluted signals (Case 2, in figure 5 and 6), both methods
yield a similar scatter in the predicted mean values of the receiver signal pAB
3. However, the predicted mean
value for cOTPA is lower as the reference and the BF-TPA solution.
6 Summary
The newly derived component OTPA method comes with the advantage that it is possible to predict in-vehicle
responses with testbench measurements very efficiently, due to the fact that no FRFs need to be measured.
This is a very relevant advantage for industries with many product variants. It requires testing at least one
source component in the final vehicle variant and on the testbench, under different operational conditions,
while controlling and recording the operational states of the component very accurately. Compared to com-
ponent based TPA methods, like the BF TPA, the method will most likely have less predictive value, when
it comes to deriving acoustic design improvements, as the measurements cannot be easily transferred to a
new, virtually modified receiver design. This is reason why the authors see most application potential for
the method in end of line component testing. There, the required operational measurements for deriving the
transmissibilities can be done with one exemplar of a nominally equivalent source component in the vehicle
and on the end of line testbench. These transmissibility matrices can then be used to automatically check
the expected vibration levels for each exemplar of the source component that leaves the factory. The method
seems to be particularly interesting for components which are very easy to control in their operational con-
dition (e.g. e-motors or servo motors). If there is not enough variance in the excitation modes with the
source’s operational conditions, one could enhance the measurement basis with some impacts on the source
component, similar as it is suggested in [13] for classical OTPA. However, this would most likely make the
method very similar, if not equivalent to the pseudo force method [2].
The authors also want to disclose, why the contribution is not showing any real operational data. Initially, the
project intention was to investigate the potential for an "impact-testing free" method for predicting vehicle
noise and vibration from testbench operational measurements only. If this was possible, this would have
given the chance to post-process big data silos already available for rear axle differentials. As it was shown
in the mathematical derivation and the numerical example, it is crucial to have a clear phase reference for
cOTPA. As this information was not available in the recorded data, the project was discontinued after the
method development and numerical proof of concept phase. Still the authors want to invite colleagues in the
field of NVH engineering, to test, improve and collaborate on advancing the method.
FRF frequency response function DoF degree of freedom
TPA transfer path analysis OTPA operational TPA
NVH noise vibration and harshness cOTPA component OTPA
OEM original equipment manufacturer RAD rear axle differential
BF blocked force
u,fmeasured accelerations / forces Yadmittance FRF matrix
()Aquantity pertaining to source A ()Bquantity pertaining to receiver B
()Rquantity pertaining to test-bench R ()AB coupled quantity of Aand B
()1internal DoF of source A ()2interface DoF at source connection points
()3receiver point on B ()4indicator sensor point.
()noise or pertubation free signal
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Full-text available
[ Link to PhD defense video: ] This thesis is the result of a 4-year collaboration between the Technical University of Munich and the BMW Group. The goal was to apply substructuring methods to the Noise Vibration Harshness (NVH) engineering needed for integrating electric climate compressors in upcoming vehicles. The compressor is one of the major contributors to the cabin noise in battery electric vehicles (BEVs). An accurate yet practical development process for its vehicle integration is crucial for industry. Specifically, the aim was to simulate the compressor noise in the cabin for different, virtual design variants of the isolation concept. Therefore, the methods from two broader fields were applied: First, the excitation of the compressor was modeled with component transfer path analysis (TPA) methods. Second, the full transfer path from the compressor to the driver’s ear is assembled from multiple subcomponent models, via dynamic substructuring (DS). For accomplishing the above mentioned goals, different gaps in the current technology have been identified, which will be addressed in this thesis. With frequency based substructuring (FBS), a subclass of DS, it is possible to couple experimental and numerical substructure models in a virtual assembly. For the compressor, it was found that including rigid body models in the transfer path is a valuable addition. The proper formulation and integration of rigid body models in the framework of FBS will be presented. Another bottleneck at the onset of this project, was the proper modeling of rubber bushings in the transfer path. A novel method for experimentally identifying accurate substructure models of rubber isolators was developed. The rotating components in the compressor introduce gyroscopic effects that influence its dynamics. A novel substructuring method for virtually coupling gyroscopic terms to a component could prove that these effects are not relevant for the compressor case. The compressors excitation is described by blocked forces. Applying the blocked forces to the substructured transfer path of the assembly allows to simulate the sound in a virtual prototype. One goal was to make the simulated results audible to non-acoustic experts, which required the creation of sound files. This allowed for a subjective comparison of different designs at an early development stage. Since the noise predictions with TPA are typically in the frequency domain, some signal processing is required to create sound files in the time domain. Different methods for auralization will be compared, which could not be found in the existing TPA literature. Due to the inverse process for identifying the blocked forces, measurement noise can be amplified to unacceptably high levels, which are audible in the sound predictions. Regularization methods have the potential to significantly suppress the noise amplification, which is explained and exemplified for blocked force TPA. Additionally, it was found that only the structure-borne sound transmission was not sufficient to describe the compressor noise in the cabin. The compressor is also directly radiating air-borne sound from its housing, which will be included in the NVH model by means of equivalent monopoles. The application examples at the thesis’ end are extending the current state-of-the-art, by showing how the modular vehicle models can be used for early phase, parametric design optimizations on a complex NVH problem.
Conference Paper
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Before performing a transfer path analysis (TPA), the engineer needs to think about the right modeling of the source's interface with the receiver. In practice, the vibration transfer from the source to the receiver is often modeled with three translational forces in each connection point. Mechanically this corresponds to a ball joint connection, which cannot transfer any moments. Our goal is to compare different complexities of interface descriptions on the industrial example of an electromagnetic roll control (ERC) in a passenger car. Therefore, different variants of interface degrees of freedom and matrix over-determination are compared: 1. Three hammer impact points in x,y,z-direction (no sensor over-determination). 2. Multiple impacts, transformed with the virtual point transformation (VPT) to 3 forces. 3. Multiple impacts, transformed with the VPT to 3 forces and 3 moments. These interface descriptions are compared in terms of an on-board validation, the interface-completeness-criterion and by evaluating the transferability to a modified vehicle design. It was found that the over-determination of the matrix inverse should be used in any case to avoid spurious noise artifacts. For best quality TPA results at higher frequencies, it was found necessary to include rotational moments in the interface description.
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Summary The sound transfer from resiliently mounted shipboard machinery to the ship structure is fundamentally of a multi-path nature. It occurs simultaneously via the resilient mountings, via the surrounding air and via mechanical links such as pipes, propeller shaft etc. At the present stage it is usually unknown which factors limit the effectiveness of a resilient mounting system as a noise reduction measure. This hampers a cost-effective improvement. Complete theoretical analysis of a multi-path too complex. On the other hand experimental evaluation requires measuring methods which can be applied under the very restrictive conditions on board ships. For most sound transfer paths such methods are lacking. In the Chapters 2-5 of this thesis new experimental methods have been developed and tested for quantifying the sound transfer respectively via the resilient mountings underneath machinery, via shallow air cavities below machinery and via pipes. All these methods can be applied on board without disturbing seriously normal ship programs. The Chapters 6 and 7 are concerned with a case study of the multi-path noise reduction properties in a representative shipboard mounting system and with the development of a simple experimental method for aiding the design of improved multi-directional structureborne sound isolation. In Chapter 1 an overview is given of the knowledge with respect to the effectiveness of resilient mounting systems on board ships. Different approaches for the in-situ analysis of multi-path mounting systems are compared and an outline of the thesis is presented. In Chapter 2 a method is described for the experimental analysis of the multi-directional structureborne sound transfer through the resilient mountings and through the ship structure. Basic elements are a newly developed technique for measuring multi-directional sound transfer properties of mountings in a laboratory test rig and previously published reciprocity techniques for measuring ship transfer functions. The feasibility of the measurements on resilient mountings is illustrated with some test results. In Chapter 3, the mounting path analysis procedure is investigated in a scale model for the complete path from a diesel engine-like vibration source, via resilient mountings and ship structure, to an accommodation deck. Because of the multi-directional vibrations the complete analysis for a multi—mounting system requires the measurement of an enormous amount of data. Investigations were carried through to what extent the accuracy of the analysis is affected when simplified procedures are applied. Chapter 4 describes two experimental methods for determining the airborne sound transfer through shallow reverberant cavities below resiliently mounted machinery, in cases where these cavities are inaccessible for loudspeakers as substitution sources. Basic elements are the introduction of hypothetical acoustic point sources in a cavity and reciprocal transfer function measurements for such point sources. One of the methods is tested and validated by scale model experiments. The theoretical analysis leads also to improvements in theoretical models for sound transfer through shallow or narrow cavities published previously. In Chapter 5, experimental methods are investigated for the assessment of structureborne sound transfer along pipes. Laboratory tests show that direct determination of the sound transfer using energy flow measurements is feasible at frequencies below the initiation of 2nd order circumferential waves. Two substitution source methods for indirect determination of the sound transfer appear also feasible. One of the methods uses energy flow measurements on the pipe, whereas the other method uses squared radial accelerations averaged over a certain pipe length. The latter method is also usable at frequencies above the cut-off frequency of 2nd order circumferential waves. Of great practical interest is the use of reciprocal measurement of the sound transfer from the substitution sources, when the signal to noise ratio for direct measurements is low. The sound transfer from a resiliently mounted medium-speed propulsion diesel engine to the accommodation is analysed in Chapter 6. It concerns a mounting system representative of several modern passenger and car-ferries. The multi-path system insertion loss is some 12-17 dB for octave bands with centre frequencies 63 Hz - 1 kHz, which is typical for similar systems in other ships too. For octave bands with centre frequencies up to 250 Hz the contributions of the resilient mounting path and the airborne paths appear to be much smaller than the total sound transfer. On the basis of both shipboard and scale model measurements, system parameters which are important for the sound transfer through the resilient mountings and through the air, are discussed for the system investigated. Estimates are given for the upper‘ limit of the insertion loss for similar single stage mounting systems without acoustic enclosure. Compared to the present situation an improvement can be obtained of maximally some 20 dB for the octave bands with centre frequencies 63-250 Hz and of some 10 dB for the 500 Hz and 1 kHz octave bands. In Chapter 7, a simple experimental method is described and tested for estimating frequency bandwidth averages of real parts of point admittances for each of 6 degrees of freedom. Again, use is made of a substitution source principle and of reciprocity relations for transfer functions. The method is very useful for collecting multi-directional admittance data at resilient isolator locations on board ships. Moreover, it is of great practical use as a tool for designing seating structures, taking into account the multi-directionality of machinery vibrations and the multi-directional sound transfer properties of flexible isolators. Finally, in Chapter 8, an attempt is made to evaluate to what extent problems of the experimental analysis of multi-path resilient mounting systems has been solved in the present thesis and what type of work has still to be done. Moreover, some factors are indicated that may form either a practical or a fundamental limitation for mounting system improvement.
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Vibro-acoustic source characterization is an essential task in vehicle development to enable prediction of receiver response. For structure-borne noise, the interface forces in multiple degrees of freedom due to internal loads are often quantified for root cause analyses in a single system assembly, as in transfer path analysis (TPA). However, for a reliable prognosis of the acoustic performance of a known component such as a motor or pump, a receiver-independent source characterization is required, and the method of acquiring blocked forces from in-situ measurements has been shown to be a preferred technique for such purposes. The benefits of the method are the characterization of the intrinsic properties of the source and the possibilities of measuring the component attached to receivers with varying dynamic properties. There is to date a limited number of validation cases where blocked forces from in-situ measurements are acquired for automotive source–receiver assemblies. In this study the blocked forces of a vacuum pump in nine degrees of freedom were determined when connected to a bracket whose boundary conditions were modified in order to achieve four assemblies with different source/receiver dynamic properties. The results show that the blocked forces are transferable, i.e. the receiver response in one assembly was predicted in a wide frequency range by combining source–receiver transfer functions of that assembly with blocked forces estimated in another assembly. Furthermore, an in-situ blocked force TPA was applied to a double-isolated complete vehicle source–receiver case of an electric rear axle drive with interior compartment sound pressure as target. The reconstructed magnetic tonal harmonics agreed with the measured target response in the frequency range 50–500 Hz, which further motivates the use of the blocked force principles for TPA and source requirements specifications.
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Transfer Path Analysis (TPA) designates the family of test-based methodologies to study the transmission of mechanical vibrations. Since the first adaptation of electric network analogies in the field of mechanical engineering a century ago, a multitude of TPA methods have emerged and found their way into industrial development processes. Nowadays the TPA paradigm is largely commercialised into out-of-the-box testing products, making it difficult to articulate the differences and underlying concepts that are paramount to understanding the vibration transmission problem. The aim of this paper is to derive and review a wide repertoire of TPA techniques from their conceptual basics, liberating them from their typical field of application. A selection of historical references is provided to align methodological developments with particular milestones in science. Eleven variants of TPA are derived from a unified framework and classified into three categories, namely classical, component-based and transmissibility-based TPA. Current challenges and practical aspects are discussed and reference is made to related fields of research.
Conference Paper
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This paper presents a Transfer Path Analysis (TPA) method to predict the transmission of steering gear vibrations of BMW vehicles in a multi-kHz range. The blocked-force TPA concept is used, allowing the active steering system to be measured separately from the vehicle. Compared to classical TPA methods, the blocked-force approach offers possibilities for component-wise optimisation and rapid evaluation of design changes. Crucial for the blocked-force TPA method is the correct determination of the dynamic forces and moments at the interface between the steering gear in operation and the test bench. Using a Dynamic Substructuring approach, various procedures are derived that theoretically lead to the same interface loads. The first procedure relies on direct force measurement corrected for test bench flexibility; the second on a matrix-inverse procedure on an assembly level. By comparing their results before proceeding with the TPA, one is able to make a robust estimation with a good grip on the uncertainty. The operations to obtain the required dynamics of the active component, the test bench and its assembly are reported in a step-by-step way. Quality indicators are introduced for each step in the analysis. The presented methods are validated by means of a comparison with the acoustic levels that were measured directly in the car under the same operational conditions.
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This article discusses the use of experimental transfer path analysis (TPA) to find optimized solutions to NVH problems remaining late in vehicle development stages. After a short review of established TPA methods, four practical case histories are discussed to illustrate how TPA, FE models and practical experiments can supplement each other efficiently for finding optimum and attribute-balanced solutions to complex NVH issues late in the development process.
15 years of NVH applications make Transfer Path Analysis appear a commodity tool. This is however not the case. Required insight in the application constraints makes TPA remain an expert approach. This paper reviews past progress in TPA methodology and its limitations. It then introduces a number of innovative approaches addressing these, opening new application fields. This includes speed improvement (Fast TPA), structural modeling integration (Modal Contribution Analysis), CAE integration (Hybrid TPA), sound quality interpretation (TPA-sound synthesis) and supporting better exploitation of operational data (Operational Path Analysis). An outlook is given to the next challenge, the application to transient problems.
Source-path-contribution (SPC) analysis, also known as transfer path analysis (TPA), is a technique widely used in the automotive industry for rank ordering noise and vibration sources. The SPC approach is known to provide reliable diagnostic information but is time consuming to apply. In this paper, a faster SPC approach that allows all measurements to be performed in-situ is outlined and tested. For validation purposes a classic example consisting of a vehicle's suspension system (considered a vibration source) attached to a vehicle body (receiver) is analysed. It is found that structure borne noise inside the vehicle can be predicted well by either the conventional or the novel in-situ SPC approaches and that both methods give the same diagnostic information in terms of the rank ordering of path contributions. Thus, the new in-situ approach provides results at least as reliable as the conventional inverse SPC approach but has significant practical advantages in terms of reduced test time, transferability of data and flexibility in the location of the source-receiver interface. An additional investigation also demonstrates the feasibility of including rotational motions and moments in the analysis and it is shown that improved accuracy can be achieved as a result.