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DINAME 2015 - Proceedings of the XVII International Symposium on Dynamic Problems of Mechanics

V. Steffen, Jr; D.A. Rade; W.M. Bessa (Editors), ABCM, Natal, RN, Brazil, February 22-27, 2015

Vibrational Powerflow Analysis to the Hermectic Compressor Housing through the Discharge Tube made of Polymeric Material
Paulo Martins1 and Arcanjo Lenzi1

LVA - Laboratory of Acoustic & Vibrations, UFSC - Federal University of Santa Catarina, Mechanical Engineering

Department. Trindade, Florianopolis

- SC, Brazil. Postal Code: 88040-900

Abstract: This documents main objective is to analyse the vibrational powerflow between the discharge tube, made
of polymeric material, and the compressor housing. Hence, the mechanical properties of elasticity modulus and loss
factor were determined for the new material. Therefore were presented formulations which allowed these properties to
be calculated, such as the natural frequencies of a cantilever beam by Timoshenkos theory and the loss factor by half
power bandwidth method. Thus, there is a detailed description of how the experiments were conducted for obtaining the
frequency response curves from the polymer samples. These curves were used to determine the mechanical properties, in
which the elasticity modulus was given by the adjust of natural frequencies and the loss factor was given by half power
bandwidth calculation. Later on, these properties were used as parameters to feed a finite element model, which gave
the vibrational powerflow of the polymer tube. Finally, these results were compared with the powerflow from typical
coppered steel tube and conclusions were presented and discussed.
Keywords: compressor housing, discharge tube, powerflow, polymer, mechanical properties determination

E = elasticity modulus, Pa
Fi = complex force in point i, N
fn = natural frequency, Hz
G = shear modulus, Pa
I = cross-sectional moment of inertia,
L = beams length, m
Mi = complex moment in point i, N/m
n = vibration modes order, dimensionless
r = internal radius of tubes crosssection, m

R = external radius of tubes crosssection, m

S = cross-sectional area, m2
u i = complex velocity in point i, m/s
Wi = power in point i, Watts

Greek Symbols
fn = half power bandwidth, Hz
= loss factor, dimensionless
= complex angular velocity in point
i, rad/s

= effective shear area coefficient,

= Poissons coefficient
= density per unit length, kg/m2
n = angular natural frequency, rad/s
i = measurement point
x,y and z = measurement direction

The hermetic alternative compressor have the electric motor and the compressing unit assembled on the same axis,
which is installed inside a housing made of steel composed by a base and a cover welded together hermetically. The
dynamic behaviour of the motor-compressing unit set, when in operating condition, excites the housing by mechanisms
of propagation such as the springs that supports the set, the inlet tube, responsible for taking the used cooling gas, and
the discharge tube, responsible for sending the same gas at higher pressure and temperature to the condenser, both linking
the compressing set to the housing. This is a basic description of a commom compressors power production and power
transmission mechanisms (HEINKLEIN, 2006).
The compressing unit consists in a solid block that holds a crank-connecting rod device, which gives the system
a typical imbalance effect and generates a substantial ammount of vibrational energy. This power is transmitted to the
other components linked to this excitation set, also it is radiated to the housings internal cavity and some is dissipated by
structural or material damping. All vibrational energy sent through these propagation mechanisms are subject to become
radiated noise by the compressor. The discharge tube is particularly important because its singular features such as to be
able to endure pressures up to 13 Bar and temperatures in the order of 120 C, making it an interesting component to be
analyzed separately from the others (SILVA, 2004).
Furthermore, one wish to reduce the total power that is flowing through the discharge tube by making it from a different
material than coppered-steel (commonly addressed as Bundy). A very good candidate and the object of study as well, is
a polymeric material, which can dissipate high levels of energy through viscous and hysteretic damping, thus decreasing
the vibrations transmitted to the housing.

Powerflow Analysis through Compressors Discharge Tube made of Polymer

This work was motivated by the possibility to enhance the compressors used in cooling systems, in order to achieve
lower levels of radiated noise, hence to empower customers well-being and satisfaction.

The present work deals with a new kind of material, so one must guarantee that the mechanical properties used on
numerical simulations are according to reality. Thus the paper is based in two main formulations for the polymers
mechanical properties determination: the Timoshenkos beam theory to aid in the adjust of elasticity modulus, and the
half power bandwidth method to determine the loss factor. Thereafter, one must calculate the vibrational powerflow for
both the responses from discharge tubes made of coppered-steel and polymeric material, for comparison purposes. These
formulations are given in the following.

Timoshenkos Beam Theory

In Timoshenkos beam theory, which considers rotary inertia and shear deformations, the natural frequencies equation
for a clamped-free (cantilever, Figure 1) beam configuration is given by:
2 n
n =

1 2

1 I 2 n 21
1+ 0


where n is the vibrational modes order, L is the beams total length, E is the elasticity modulus, I is the crosssectional moment of inertia, is the density by unit length, S is the cross-sectional area, the shear modulus G is given by
E/2( + 1) and 0 is the effective shear area coefficient (TIMOSHENKO et al., 1974).
Figure 1 A cantilever beams schema.

For this research, the effective shear area coefficient used was for a tubular cross-section, that can be written in the
0 =

6(r2 + R2 )2 (1 + )2
7r4 + 34r2 + R4 + (12r4 + 48r2 + R2 + 12R4 ) + 2 (4r4 + 16r2 + R2 + 4R4 )


in which r is the tubes internal radius, R is the external radius and the Poissons coefficient. Therefore the Equation
(1) was used to adjust the elasticity modulus E, with respect to the natural frequencies, obtained through the experimental

Half Power Bandwidth Method

The method used for determination of the loss factor was the half power bandwidths, which analizes the regions
of resonance peaks in the experimental frequency response functions. At first, one needs to evaluate the difference
between the upper and lower frequencies (bandwidth), which contains the signal with 3 dB lower than the observed
peaks amplitude (half of the resonances power). Then one calculates the ratio between this bandwidth and the natural
frequency value:
(f ) =



where fn is the half power bandwidth from nth mode of vibration and fn is the central frequency, of resonance,
from the same mode.

Vibrational Power Flow

The vibrational power flow represents the performed works rate or the energy supplied to a mechanical system, which
is important for one to know the vibrations propagation mechanisms between system components. This section is based
on the works of (GOUVEIA, 2003), (BAARS, 1996) and (STAUB, 2013).
Through considering an harmonic excitation load in the form of force applied on a mechanical systems point i,
given by Fi , which causes an instant velocity u i at the same point. This excitation transmits a power Wi that can be
written as:

P. Martins, A. Lenzi

Wi =

Re{Fi u i },


where the operator () represents the complex conjugate.

Similarly, if the excitation is given by a moment Mi , and the response in function of angular velocity i , hence the
power Wi is given by:
Wi =

Re{Mi i }.


As one knows, the loads will be divided in forces and moments on x, y and z directions so the i-points total power
can be written as:
Wi =


Re{Fxi u xi } + Re{Fyi u yi } + . . . + Re{Mzi zi



The Equation (6) will be posterily used to evaluate the vibrational power flow, from the discharge tube to the housing,
with simulated forces and velocities from harmonic analysis using finite element method. The point of interest is the
tube-housing intersection, from which the forces, moments, linear and angular velocities will be measured only in nodes
and alements common to both components.


Experiment Description
The experimentally obtained frequency response functions are used to determine the elasticity modulus E from the
resonance frequencies and the loss factor from the half power bandwidth, while further mechanical properties were
taken from the literature, being the Poissons coefficient = 0.45, density = 2175 kg/m3 and shear modulus obtained
as G = E/2( + 1). There were tubular shaped test specimens, with lengths 85.65 mm and 139.51 mm, both with 6 mm
external diameter and thickness of 1.5 mm (Figure 2).
Figure 2 Test specimens and detail of fixation apparatus.

Initially, the specimens were tested at room temperature (circa 23 C) and then they were submitted to a controlled
variation of temperature, from 0 C to 50 C, 5 C steps. Without temperature variation, the the frequency range was from
10 Hz to 5000 Hz with a digital resolution of approximatelly 0.78 Hz. For temperature variation tests, the range was from
10 Hz to 2000 Hz (0.31 Hz freq. resolution), because the used transducers limitations. Figure 3(a) shows the assembly
of experiment without temperature variation.
At room temperature, the test specimens were excited with a white noise signal. The vibration on the input edge,
which the fixation apparatus is attached to the shaker, was measured using an accelerometer (B&K 4517, 5 g mass) for
reference signal, and the response on the free end was obtained with a Laser vibrometer (Ometron VH-1000-D). With
varying temperature, because of shaker diameter and instrumentation limitations, only the 139.51 mm lengths sample
was measured. The same accelerometer was used as reference but, on the free end, a magnetic transducer (B&K Type
MM 0002) were used instead of Laser (Figure 3(b)).
Thereafter, evaluating the response and reference spectras ratio, one obtained the typical frequency responce functions, with well spaced peaks, which can be used for mechanical properties determination.

Room Temperature Results

The frequency responses measurements for each test specimen were repeated at least three times in order to verify
generated datas repeatability and consistency.
Results for elasticity modulus and loss factor are shown in Figures 4 and 5 respectively. Loss factor values obtained
for all modes considered coherent oscillates between 0.025 and 0.031. One notes a very small increasing-with-frequency
behaviour. However, this variation is too small and can be considered negligible.

Powerflow Analysis through Compressors Discharge Tube made of Polymer

Figure 3 Experiments assembly for frequency response tests: (a) at room temperature, (b) with temperature




Figure 4 Elasticity moduli adjusted mode-to-mode using Timoshenkos beam theorys analytic formulation.
139.51 mm length by green #, 86.65 mm lenght by blue #








Figure 5 Loss factors obtained from half power bandwidth. 139.51 mm length by green #, 86.65 mm lenght by
blue #

Loss Factor







Frequency [Hz]

Mechanical Properties with Temperature Variation

By using the same methodology for the earlier mechanical properties determination, but now with the experiment
assembly inside a thermal chamber, one was able to obtain the elasticity modulus E and the loss factor as functions
of temperature. For frequencies above 2000 Hz the coherence no longer met the analysis criteria for being below 70 %,
because of the new assembly limitations with the magnetic transducer. Also, a small metal disc, of negligible mass, was
attached on tubes free end for the transducer be able to capture the structures vibration (Figure 3(b)).
In all measured frequency response functions was observed at least four clear flexural modes, allowing to create a
dispersion plot with 200 points for elasticity modulus and loss factor. Afterwards, an average from the modal elasticity
modulus was calculated in order to build the plot on Figure 6:
Loss factor results were suppressed here as their temperature variation were very small. The values were around 0.025
and 0.03 [dimensionless], so the later simulations considered a temperature-constant loss factor value of 0.03.

P. Martins, A. Lenzi


Figure 6 Mean variation of temperature-dependent elasticity modulus E








Figure 7 Finite element model of a typical compressors housing and discharge tube.


This sections methodology counted on ANSYS v.13 commercial software to aid on the finite element methods
simulations for obtaining the forces and displacements values in the tube-housings intersection. These values were used
to the vibrational power flow equation presented in Section 2 (Equation 6). A typical hermetic compressors geometry
for housing and discharge tube were used, meshed with shell-type elements (SHELL181 in softwares library), of 4 main
nodes with 6 degrees of freedom each, x, y and z translations and rotations (ANSYS, 2009).
The simulations consisted in harmonic analysis, i.e., each frequency step of the problem were solved, from 10 Hz to
5000 Hz. The tube was excited with unit displacements in all three linear directions, on the excitation point (Figure
7), and 13 Bar of hydrostatic internal pressure was applied. Hence, the force and displacement responses were read from
the tube-housing intersection, then the displacements were derived into velocities so that the power flows could be
The tubes mechanical and geometric (thickness) properties used in these simulations were the ones obtained earlier
for the polymeric material as: frequency-dependent elasticity modulus E() varying circa 0.6 to 0.8 GPa, constant loss
factor = 0.03, density = 2175 kg/m3 , Poissons coefficient = 0.45 and 1.5 mm thick. Afterwards, this tubes results
were compared to one with typical coppered-steel properties, which are constant E = 195 GPa, = 0.01, = 7800
kg/m3 , = 0.3 and 0.52 mm thick. Both results can be observed in Figure 8.
Observing Figure 8, one can perceive a high attenuation on the power flow by using polymeric material. It is also
noted that the higher frequencies, next to the housing resonances (above 3000 Hz), are the most different in comparison
with coppered-steels. In low frequency regions (below 1500 Hz), one can see an accumulation of peaks for both polymer
and coppered-steel tubes and a certain similarity on the frequencies they occur, nevertheless the plastics amplitudes are
most often below metals as expected.


The present paper investigated the use of a polymeric material to the confection of a typical hermetic compressors
discharge tube. The materials mechanical properties were determined by using polymer test specimens in tubular shape
with 139.51 mm and 86.65 mm length, 6 mm external diameter and 1.5 mm thick, by adjusting a Timoshenkos beam
model, in a 10 Hz to 5000 Hz frequency range at room temperature, and 10 Hz to 2000 Hz range with controlled temper-

Powerflow Analysis through Compressors Discharge Tube made of Polymer

Figure 8 Coppered-steel (Bundy) and polymeric tubes power flows with a typical geometry of a compressors
discharge tube, with internal pressure of 13 Bar












-100 S









ature variation from 0 C and 50 C, 5 C steps. The measured elasticity modulus were considered frequency-dependent,
with an average value of 0.7 GPa. The loss factor were considered constant with average value equal to 0.03.
One concluded that the polymer reduce the total transmitted power in about 16 dB with respect to the metal. Notwithstanding, is recommended to take in consideration others compressors components, in order to verify if the polymeric
tubes high powerflow frequencies are fairly distant of modal regions, so that internal resonances do not interfere on the
power transmission.
The power flows reduction by the new material is even more interesting if analised through an healthy individuals
aural perceptions curves. As this work was motivated by hearing comfort, knowing that the humans auditory system
is more sensitive to frequencies next to 3000 Hz (Figure 9), the polimeric material turns to be an excelent candidate in
lowering noise levels, being very accurate for this works main objective.
Figure 9 Equal loudness curves for humans auditory system

With respect to the materials characterization, one suggests as future researches, the verification of values of Poissons
coefficient and polymers density, because these data were obtained from the literature and its confirmation would be
essential to corroborate the results.
One recommends as well, the analysis of new geometries for the polymeric discharge tube, as the polymers mechanical properties gives a whole new perspective in how it could fit inside the compressor. The use of optimization algorithms
could aid a lot in this aspect.

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P. Martins, A. Lenzi

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The author(s) is (are) the only responsible for the printed material included in this paper.