Multi-physics and CFD analysis of an enclosed coaxial carbon nanotube speaker for automotive exhaust noise cancellation

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Technical Report

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Department of Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics


Automotive exhaust noise is one of the major sources of noise pollution and it is controlled by passive control system (mufflers) and active control system (loudspeakers and active control algorithm). Mufflers are heavy, bulky and large in size while loudspeakers have a working temperature limitation. Carbon nanotube (CNT) speakers generate sound due to the thermoacoustic effect. CNT speakers are also lightweight, flexible, have acoustic and light transpar-ency as well as high operating temperature. These properties make them ideal to overcome the limitations of the current exhaust noise control systems. An enclosed, coaxial CNT speaker is designed for exhaust noise cancellation application. The development of a 3D multi-physics (coupling of electrical, thermal and acoustical domains) model, for the coaxial speaker is discussed in this paper. The model is used to simulate the sound pressure level, input power versus ambient temperature and efficiency. The 3D model provides accurate results of the temperature profile and heat flow as compared to a 2D model. Also, the flow of exhaust gases can be efficiently modeled using a 3D model. The flow analysis would help understand any flow penetration into the speaker as well as the effect of heat transfer due to the flow. The model is validated by comparing the exper-imental results with the simulation results. Along with multi-physics simulation, CFD analysis of the coaxial speaker is also studied in this paper. The CFD analysis is focused on the back-pressure generated by the speaker and the flow path of the exhaust gases inside the CNT speaker.

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SAE International