Sound propagation in and low frequency noise absorption by helium-filled porous material

Yat Sze Choy, Lixi Huang, Chunqi Wang

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


Low-frequency noise is difficult to deal with by traditional porous material due to its inherent high acoustic impedance. This study seeks to extend the effective range of sound absorption to lower frequencies by filling a low density gas, such as helium, in the porous material. Compared with conventional air-filled absorption material, the helium-filled porous material has a much reduced characteristic impedance; hence, a good impedance matching with pure air becomes more feasible at low frequencies. The acoustic properties of a series of helium-filled porous materials are investigated with a specially designed test rig. The characteristic of the sound propagation in a helium-filled porous material is established and validated experimentally. Based on the measured acoustic properties, the sound absorption performance of a helium-filled absorber (HA) of finite thickness is studied numerically as well as experimentally. For a random incidence field, the HA is found to perform much better than the air-filled absorber at low frequencies. The main advantage of HA lies in the middle range of oblique incidence angles where wave refraction in the absorber enhances sound absorption. The advantage of HA as duct lining is demonstrated both numerically and experimentally.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3008-3019
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of the Acoustical Society of America
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 29 Dec 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Acoustics and Ultrasonics

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