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ExampleReactive Muffler
SOLVED WITH COMSOL MULTIPHYSICS 3.5a

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E X A M P L E R E A C T I V E M U F F L E R | 1
Ex a mpl e Re a c t i v e Muf f l e r
Introduction
This model examines the sound-transmission properties of an idealized reactive
muffler with infinitely long inlet and outlet pipes (or a reflection-free source at the inlet
pipe and a reflection-free end of the outlet pipe) and one expansion chamber. One
measure of the transmission properties is the transmission-loss coefficient, D
tl
, which
is defined as
where W
i
is the time-averaged incident sound power and W
t
is the transmitted sound
power. This problem has a theoretical 1D solution that you can compare with the FEM
solution.
Model Definition
In the following figure, a plane sound wave enters the inlet pipe (left) and is reflected
and attenuated in the expansion chamber. The attenuated sound wave exits through
the outlet pipe (right).
The diameter of both the inlet pipe and the outlet pipe is d, and the corresponding
cross-sectional area is S
1
. The expansion chamber has a diameter D with a
corresponding cross-sectional area S
2
.
D
tl
10
W
i
W
t
-------


log =
Expansion
L
d
D
Inlet pipe
Outlet pipe
chamber
Symmetry line
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According to Ref. 1, the 1D theoretical solution for the transmission loss to this
problem is
where k is the wave number; S
1
and S
2
are the areas of the pipes and expansion
chamber; and L gives the length of the expansion chamber.
The model computes the pressure, p, for the fluid in the region defined by the above
geometry. This is a time-harmonic problem so you can use the Helmholtz equation
defined in the axisymmetric Acoustics application mode:
where = 2 f is the angular frequency,
0
is the fluid density, and c
s
is the speed of
sound. The q term is a dipole source with the dimension of force per volume.
Because this is an axisymmetric model, you need to include only half of the geometry
as indicated in the following figure:
You must apply axial symmetry boundary conditions on the line of symmetry.
Assume the walls are rigid, and thus use sound-hard (wall) boundary conditions,
which means that the normal derivative of the pressure is zero at the boundaries.
Radiation boundary conditions describe the inlet and outlet boundaries:
D
tl
10 1
S
1
2 S
2

--------------
S
2
2 S
1

--------------


2
kL ( )
2
sin ( ) + log =

0
------ p q ( )

2
p

0
c
s
2
--------------- 0 =
Expansion
Inlet pipe
Outlet pipe
chamber
Line of symmetry
n
p
0 =
n
1

0
------ p q ( )

ik

0
------


p +
ik i k n ( ) ( ) p
0
e
i k r ( )

0
------------------------------------------------------------------ =
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The radiation boundary condition is useful when the surroundings are merely a
continuation of the domain, which is the case in this model. The term on the
right-hand side represents an incoming pressure wave with an amplitude p
0
and a
direction given by the wave vector, k. In this model, an incoming pressure wave with
the amplitude p
0
= 1 Pa enters at the inlet boundary.
To determine the transmission loss in the model, you must first calculate the incident
and transmitted time-averaged sound intensities and the corresponding sound power
values. The equation
gives the time-averaged sound intensities where p is equal to p
0
at the inlet and the
computed solution at the outlet.
Using the boundary integration tool, you can evaluate the incident and transmitted
sound powers, W, as:
Results and Discussion
Figure 1 shows the theoretical transmission loss (square markers) and the COMSOL
Multiphysics solution (triangle markers) as a function of frequency. The theoretical
solution has an upper frequency limit for its validity. This limit is the cut-on frequency,
which defines the frequency range where only plane waves can propagate; above this
frequency, also higher modes can propagate.
According to Ref. 1, the first cut-on frequency for a pipe is
.
Its value in this case is approximately 332 Hz, but it is evident from the above figure
that a discrepancy exists between the theoretical and the FEM solution, even below the
cut-on frequency. The discrepancy also increases with frequency between the 1D
theoretical model and a 3D analysis, as you can see in Ref. 1. In the lower frequency
range, however, there is good agreement between the theoretical solution and the
FEM solution.
I
p
2
2
0
c
------------- =
W I 2r ( ) r d

=
f
01
1.841
c
D
-------- =
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Figure 1: Muffler transmission loss versus frequency: theoretical solution (squares) and
COMSOL Multiphysics solution (triangles).
Reference
1. H.P. Wallin, Ljud och Vibrationer, Institutionen fr Farkostteknik, KTH,
Stockholm, Sweden, 1999 (in Swedish).
Model Library path: COMSOL_Multiphysics/Acoustics/reactive_muffler
Modeling Using the Graphical User Interface
MO D E L N A V I G A T O R
1 Go to the Model Navigator and select Axial symmetry (2D) in the Space dimension list.
2 In the list of application modes open the COMSOL Multiphysics>Acoustics>Acoustics
folder and then select Time-harmonic analysis.
3 Click OK.
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O P T I O N S A N D S E T T I N G S
1 Go to the Options menu and choose Constants to parameterize the model.
2 In the Constants dialog box enter the following constants, representing fluid
properties and some geometrical properties to calculate the cut-on frequency and
the theoretical transmission loss:
G E O ME T R Y MO D E L I N G
1 Shift-click the Rectangle/Square button to specify a rectangle.
2 Go to the Rectangle dialog box and type 0.3 in the Width edit field and 1 in the
Height edit field.
3 Click OK.
4 Click the Zoom Extents button.
5 Shift-click the Rectangle/Square button to specify another rectangle.
NAME EXPRESSION DESCRIPTION
rho_air 1.2[kg/m^3] Density of air
c_air 340[m/s] Speed of sound in air
p0 1[Pa] Pressure-source amplitude
d 0.3[m] Diameter, pipes
D 0.6[m] Diameter, expansion chamber
S1 pi*d^2/4 Cross-sectional area, pipes
S2 pi*D^2/4 Cross-sectional area, expansion
chamber
L 2[m] Length, expansion chamber
f01 1.841*c_air/(pi*D) First cut-on frequency
freq 20[Hz] Sound frequency
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6 In the Rectangle dialog box, type 0.6 in the Width edit field, 2 in the Height edit field,
and 1 in the z edit field. Click OK.
7 Shift-click the Rectangle/Square button to specify a third rectangle.
8 In the Rectangle dialog box type 0.3 in the Width edit field, 1 in the Height edit field,
and 3 in the z edit field. Click OK.
9 Click the Zoom Extents button on the Main toolbar.
P H Y S I C S S E T T I N G S
Subdomain Settings
This model uses the fluid properties of air, specified in SI units.
Enter these quantities:
1 From the Physics menu choose Subdomain Settings.
2 In the Subdomain Settings dialog box select all subdomains from the Subdomain
selection list.
3 Type rho_air in the Fluid density edit field.
4 Type c_air in the Speed of sound edit field.
5 Leave the default settings (all 0) for the Dipole source and the Monopole source.
6 Click OK.
QUANTITY ALL SUBDOMAINS

0
rho_air
c
s
c_air
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Boundary Conditions
1 From the Physics menu choose Boundary Settings.
2 In the Boundary Settings dialog box enter the following boundary condition types
and properties:
3 Select Boundaries 1, 3, and 5 in the Boundary selection list.
4 Select Axial symmetry in the Boundary condition list.
5 Select Boundaries 812 in the Boundary selection list.
6 Select Sound hard boundary (wall) in the Boundary condition list.
7 Select Boundary 2 in the Boundary selection list.
8 Select Radiation condition in the Boundary condition list.
9 Type 1 in the Pressure source edit field.
10 Finally select Boundary 7 in the Boundary selection list.
11 Select Radiation condition in the Boundary condition list.
12 Click OK.
SETTINGS BOUNDARIES 1, 3, 5 BOUNDARIES 812 BOUNDARY 2 BOUNDARY 7
Boundary
condition
Axial symmetry Sound hard
boundary (wall)
Radiation
condition
Radiation
condition
Wave type Plane wave Plane wave
p
0
1 0
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Expression Variables
1 On the Options menu, point to Expressions, and then click Scalar Expressions.
2 In the Scalar Expressions dialog box enter the following:
The red brackets in the Unit column for D_tl appear because P_in and P_out,
which you define as integration coupling variables shortly, do not have units.
Because the expression is, nevertheless, dimensionally correct, you can ignore this
warning.
3 Click OK.
4 Go to the Options menu and choose Expressions and then Boundary Expressions.
5 In the Boundary Expressions dialog box select Boundary 2 from the Boundary
selection list and enter the following boundary expression variable:
6 In the Boundary Expressions dialog box select Boundary 7 from the Boundary
selection list and enter the following boundary expression variable:
NAME EXPRESSION DESCRIPTION
k 2*pi*freq/c_air Wave number
D_tl_analytical 10*log10(1+(S1/(2*S2)-
S2/(2*S1))^2*(sin(k*L))^2)
Transmission loss,
theoretical 1D model
D_tl 10*log10(P_in/P_out) Transmission loss
NAME EXPRESSION
I_in real(conj(p0)*p0)/(2*rho_air*c_air)
NAME EXPRESSION
I_in
I_n real(conj(p)*p)/(2*rho_air*c_air)
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7 Click OK.
Integration Coupling Variables
1 Go to the Options menu and choose Integration Coupling Variables and then Boundary
Variables.
2 In the Boundary Integration Variables dialog box select Boundary 2 and then enter
the following boundary integration expression:
3 In the Boundary Integration Variables dialog box select Boundary 7 and enter the
following boundary integration expression; when done, click OK.
ME S H G E N E R A T I O N
1 Go to the Mesh menu and choose Free Mesh Parameters.
2 In the Free Mesh Parameters dialog box, select Finer in the Predefined mesh sizes list.
3 Click Remesh, then click OK.
C O MP U T I N G T H E S O L U T I O N
1 From the Solve menu, choose Solver Parameters.
2 In the Solver Parameters dialog box, select Parametric from the Solver list.
3 Type freq in the Parameter name edit field.
4 Type range(20,5,200) in the Parameter values edit field.
5 Click OK.
6 Go to the Physics menu and choose Scalar Variables.
7 In the Expression column, type freq in the edit field for the frequency.
8 Click OK.
9 Click the Solve button to start the simulation.
PO S T P R O C E S S I N G A N D V I S U A L I Z A T I O N
The default visualization plots the magnitude of the pressure field at the final frequency
(200 Hz).
NAME EXPRESSION INTEGRATION ORDER
P_in I_in*2*pi*r 4
NAME EXPRESSION INTEGRATION ORDER
P_in
P_out I_n*2*pi*r 4
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Next generate the transmission-loss plots in Figure 1.
1 Go to the Postprocessing menu and select Domain Plot Parameters.
2 On the General page, select all frequencies from the Solutions to use list in the Domain
Plot Parameters dialog box.
3 Select the Keep current plot check box.
4 On the Point page, select Point 1 from the Point selection list.
5 Type D_tl in the Expression edit field.
6 Click the Line Settings button and select Triangle in the Line marker list. Click OK.
7 Click Apply in the Domain Plot Parameters dialog box.
To make it easy to compare the two solutions, plot the theoretical solution in the
same figure.
8 Type D_tl_analytical in the Expression edit field.
9 Click the Line Settings button. Select Color from the Line color list and Square from
the Line marker list. Click OK.
10 Click OK in the Domain Plot Parameters dialog box
11 In the figure window, click the Edit Plot toolbar button. Finish the plot by editing
the plot title and axis labels, and adding labels.
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