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Technical Paper

Calibrating and Protecting Microphones to Allow Acoustic Measurements in Hazardous Environments

Performing acoustic measurements on or near engines, transmissions, as well as in other circumstances where the environment is hazardous and harsh for microphones requires special precautions. Fluids inevitably leak, and the possibility of transducer damage can be very high without proper protection. Properly protecting microphones during testing allows for consistent data quality in these hazardous and difficult environments. While this paper will present the use of a 5 mil Nitrile cover which protects against many fluids within the scope of automotive testing, including water, hydrocarbons, and alcohols, as well as having good heat resistance and high strength, the concepts developed are applicable to other types of microphone protective mechanisms. Acoustic sensitivity was measured and used to calculate the change of the microphone's response after the treatment is applied, as well as after being exposed to various contaminants.
Technical Paper

Sound Power Measurement in a Semi-Reverberant, Volume Deficient Chamber

Sound power can be determined using a variety of methods, but precision methods require the volume of the noise source to be less than 1% of the chamber volume leading to relatively large test chambers. Automotive torque converter performance and noise testing is completed in an enclosed metallic test fixture which inhibits the use of precision methods due to volume and space limitations. This paper describes a new method developed to accurately determine sound power of an automotive torque converter in a relatively small enclosure through characterization of the test environment. The test environment was characterized using two reference noise sources designed to represent torque converter noise output and physical geometry. Sound pressure levels of the sources were measured at multiple microphone locations and at three source amplitude levels to characterize the environment.
Technical Paper

Characterizing the Effect of Automotive Torque Converter Design Parameters on the Onset of Cavitation at Stall

This paper details a study of the effects of multiple torque converter design and operating point parameters on the resistance of the converter to cavitation during vehicle launch. The onset of cavitation is determined by an identifiable change in the noise radiating from the converter during operation, when the collapse of cavitation bubbles becomes detectable by nearfield acoustical measurement instrumentation. An automated torque converter dynamometer test cell was developed to perform these studies, and special converter test fixturing is utilized to isolate the test unit from outside disturbances. A standard speed sweep test schedule is utilized, and an analytical technique for identifying the onset of cavitation from acoustical measurement is derived. Effects of torque converter diameter, torus dimensions, and pump and stator blade designs are determined.