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CAE Methodologies for Mid-Frequency Analysis in Vibration and Acoustics

Final Report Summary - MID-FREQUENCY (CAE Methodologies for Mid-Frequency Analysis in Vibration and Acoustics)

Effective and efficient vibration and acoustic analysis, modelling and design methods are required to produce world-leading products with good noise and vibration performance. Noise and vibration levels must remain within safe limits, there are issues regarding human comfort and a need for robust, optimal, efficient designs. There is also an increasing trend towards virtual design and prototyping, to reduce costs and development times. For all these reasons good analysis and modelling tools are essential.

Ideally such tools would be applicable over the whole frequency range of interest, which is the audio-frequency range for automotive and aerospace structures, for instance. In practice, specific methods are applicable in a limited frequency region. Finite element analysis (FEA) is a 'low frequency' method which is both well developed and well established. At 'high frequencies' statistical energy analysis (SEA) is most established. There is however a 'mid-frequency' gap in our modelling capabilities: too high for FEA, too low for SEA. This is important, since it strongly affects product performance and competitiveness, and forms the target for the Initial Training Network (ITN) MID-FREQUENCY project. Substantial challenges exist in this 'mid-frequency' range. New analysis approaches are essential to produce world-leading products.

The ITN MID-FREQUENCY brings together eight academic and four industrial beneficiaries who together host researchers, drawing together skills and expertise in a range of different technical approaches. The industrial beneficiaries bring specific applications, behind which are generic difficulties associated with the mid-frequency region. The academic beneficiaries bring a diverse range of potential research approaches and the capability of research training, provision of courses and dissemination to the wider community. Together they can develop and promote research, knowledge and application of mid-frequency vibration and acoustics analysis techniques within the European Union (EU) industry.

The general objectives of the MID-FREQUENCY project are to:

- draw together academic research teams and industrial beneficiaries from different sectors with diverse multi-disciplinary skills and expertise and with common interests in the field of mid-frequency analysis tools to confront two emerging challenges, i.e. the growing socio-economic as well as environmental impact of noise and vibration and the growing importance of CAE technologies to support modern design processes in a framework for sustainable development,
- execute an innovative research programme that allows a detailed comparison of different CAE methodologies on their merits, that encourages cross-fertilisation of the ideas behind the various approaches and that will benefit the migration of academically mature prediction methods towards real-life engineering validations through a close cooperation with industry,
- bring together the research groups in order to remove fragmentation of the existing mid-frequency research activities at various universities and research institutes and to achieve a critical mass of research effort unparalleled anywhere in the world,
- create a platform for research training and transfer of knowledge activities to ensure the competitiveness of EU industry,
- build up and disseminate mid-frequency knowledge to the larger EU community,
- provide young researchers with the possibility to pursue a doctoral degree through an intensive training-through-research programme as well as a complementary skills training in order to become trainers of the future in a multi-disciplinary field of academic, industrial and societal importance; and as such improving the young researcher's career perspectives.

In MID-FREQUENCY, 23 fellows (19 early stage researchers (ESR) and 4 experienced researchers (ER)) have been recruited and received training in the network. More information about the project can be found at the project website

The public results of the MID-FREQUENCY project have been gathered into a book publication, which can be downloaded freely from the web at Hardcopies can be obtained by contacting the coordinator.

Bert Pluymers

Wim Desmet