The automotive industry is often interested in controlling noise radiated from trim pieces in the passenger cabin. In general, there is a small air gap that separates these trim pieces from the sheet metal that is the actual source of the noise. It is common practice to place an acoustically absorbent material in this space to reduce radiated noise.
In this paper the in situ noise control performance of a variety of materials is examined by placing them in a test fixture that simulates the sound field in the vicinity of vehicle pillar trim. In this fixture a noise source is positioned behind a piece of sheet metal. A flat plastic sheet that is similar in composition to pillar trim is placed a small distance away from the sheet metal. The sides and rear of the fixture are sealed so that the plastic sheet is the only significant radiator of the sound radiated from the sheet metal.
The random incidence and normal incidence performance of a variety of absorbers are compared to their performance in this test fixture. In addition, the theory that relates the acoustic absorption of a material to its ability to decrease noise levels will be considered.