Year of Publication


Degree Name

Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering (MSME)

Document Type

Master's Thesis




Mechanical Engineering

First Advisor

Dr. David W. Herrin


Empirical models based on flow resistivity are commonly used to determine the bulk properties of porous sound absorbing materials. The bulk properties include the complex wavenumber and complex characteristic impedance which can be used directly in simulation models. Moreover, the bulk properties can also be utilized to determine the normal incidence sound absorption and specific acoustic impedance for sound absorbing materials of any thickness and for design of layered materials. The sound absorption coefficient of sound absorbing materials is measured in an impedance tube using wave decomposition and the measured data is used to determine the flow resistivity of the materials by least squares curve fitting to empirical equations. Results for several commonly used foams and fibers are tabulated to form a rudimentary materials database. The same approach is then used to determine the flow resistivity of compressed sound absorbing materials. The flow resistivities of the compressed materials are determined as a function of the compression ratio. Results are then used in conjunction with transfer matrix theory to predict the sound absorptive performance of layered compressed absorbers with good agreement to measurement.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)