Sonic Crystal Noise Barriers

Chong, Yung Boon (2012). Sonic Crystal Noise Barriers. PhD thesis The Open University.



An alternative road traffic noise barrier using an array of periodically arranged vertical cylinders known as a Sonic Crystal (SC) is investigated. As a result of multiple (Bragg) scattering, SCs exhibit a selective sound attenuation in frequency bands called band gaps or stop bands related to the spacing and size of the cylinders. Theoretical studies using Plane Wave Expansion (PWE), Multiple Scattering Theory (MST) and Finite Element Method (FEM) have enabled study of the performance of SC barriers. Strategies for improving the band gaps by employing the intrinsic acoustic properties of the scatterer are considered. The use of the tube cavity (Helmholtz type) resonances in Split Ring Resonator (SRR) or the breathing mode resonances observed in thin elastic shells is shown to increase Insertion loss (IL) in the low-frequency range below the first Bragg stop band. Subsequently, a novel design of composite scatterer uses these 2 types of cylindrical scatterer in a concentric configuration with multiple symmetrical slits on the outer rigid shell. An array of composite scatterers forms a system of coupled resonators and gives rise to multiple low-frequency resonances. Measurements have been made in an anechoic chamber and also on a full-scale prototypes outdoors under various meteorological conditions. The experimental results are found to confirm the existence of the Bragg band gaps for SC barriers and the predicted significant improvements when locally resonant scatterers are used. The resonant arrays are found to give rise to relatively angle-independent stop bands in a useful range of frequencies. Good agreement between computational modelling and experimental work is obtained. Studies have been made also of the acoustical performances of regular arrays of cylindrical elements, with their axes aligned and parallel to a ground plane including predictions and laboratory experiment.

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