The Proper Use of Plane Wave Models for Muffler Design
In many industries, muffler and silencer design is primarily accomplished via trial and error. Prototypes are developed and tested, or numerical simulation (finite or boundary element analysis) is used to assess the performance. While these approaches reliably determine the transmission loss, designers often do not understand why their changes improve or degrade the muffler performance. Analyses are time consuming and models cannot be changed without some effort. The intent of the current work is to demonstrate how plane wave muffler models can be used in industry. It is first demonstrated that plane wave models can reliably determine the transmission loss for complicated mufflers below the cutoff frequency. Some tips for developing dependable plane wave models are summarized. Moreover, it is shown that plane wave models used correctly help designers develop intuition and a better understanding of the effect of their design changes.