Sorenson, S., Ebbitt, G., Smith, S., and Remtema, T., "Optimizing Transmission Loss for Lightweight Body Structures," SAE Technical Paper 2017-01-1812, 2017.
In an effort to reduce mass, future automotive bodies will feature lower gage steel or lighter weight materials such as aluminum. An unfortunate side effect of lighter weight bodies is a reduction in sound transmission loss (TL). For barrier based systems, as the total system mass (including the sheet metal, decoupler, and barrier) goes down the transmission loss is reduced. If the reduced surface density from the sheet metal is added to the barrier, however, performance can be restored (though, of course, this eliminates the mass savings). In fact, if all of the saved mass from the sheet metal is added to the barrier, the TL performance may be improved over the original system. This is because the optimum performance for a barrier based system is achieved when the sheet metal and the barrier have equal surface densities. That is not the case for standard steel constructions where the surface density of the sheet metal is higher than the barrier. Therefore, it appears there may be some opportunity to reduce mass and maintain transmission loss through the optimum balance of surface density. This concept will be investigated through a review of transmission loss theory, modeling of conventional and lightweight constructions, and flat sample TL tests.