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David Svda, Pavel Novotn, Vclav Ptk
Institute of Automotive Engineering, Brno University of Technology
Technick 2, 61669 Brno
Reviewer: Prof. Ing. Ji Stodola, DrSc.
Department of Combat and Special Vehicles, University of Defense
Kounicova 65, 612 00 Brno
Modern tractors are required to have high reliability and power, low consumption,
emissions and vibration level. Noise, vibration and harshness (NVH) became crucial area
of an interest of many tractor producers significantly supporting EU, US or Japan markets.
One of the strictly monitored parameter is sound pressure in a tractor cab. This paper
presents results of experimental and computational analyses of cabin acoustic properties
of new series of tractor. The challenge of presented paper is to demonstrate experimental
and computational tools for NVH acoustic optimization.
Key words: NVH, tractor cabin, acoustic analysis, FEM, ANSYS
In our everyday life we must struggle against pollution. Most people dont
realize that sound can be pollution too. For example factory of building site
workers or professional drivers. The dominant form of noise pollution is from
transportation sources, principally motor vehicles. Thanks to very powerful engines
and their position in vehicle, especially tractor drivers are exposed to sound
pollution, or noise, most of their workshift. Thats the reason why noise reduction
methods, when constructing tractors, are so important these days. Experimental
and computational approaches to noise reduction are presented in this paper. The
Pulse platform by B&K is used for all noise measurements and ANSYS code for all
acoustic simulations.
Tractor and truck producers challenge to strict noise and vibration criteria
mainly if support EU, US or Japan markets. Noise certification measurements are
subjected to many limitations. Therefore its necessary to take very careful
measurements to indicate noise source and acoustic level before construction
modifications. A few examples of regulations and specifications can be mentioned:
Tractor must go through test section three times at the same speed for at
least 10 seconds.
All cabin windows and doors must be closed during the first set of three
During second set all cabin windows and doors must be open.
It must be bright and sunshine day.
Measurement is taken at maximal engine RPM and speed of 7.25 km/h.
Tractor must not be loaded.
Maximum total noise in tractor cabin can be 86 dB(A)
The paper presents only a few examples of large number of measurements
of noise in the tractor cabin in two specific locations, see Figure 1.

Fig. 1 Measurement locations in tractor cabin

Fig. 2 Pulse analyzer and portable computer
Techniques available within modern FEM codes allow complex calculations
of a structure and enclosed fluid, representative for frequencies up to about 350
Hz. Computations are complicated by the complexity of boundary conditions
(vibrating elastic walls etc.). These boundary conditions can be solved by complex
structure-fluid models, however practically it is possible to solve only the enclosed
fluid volume.
The simulation process starts with CAD models of a tractor cabin, continue
with a creation of CAD model of inner fluid volume. The enclosed fluid volume is
discretized into FE mesh. There are some requirements of the FE mesh. It is
generally recommended that an element edge size should be smaller then one
sixth of a wave length for maximal frequency. In the case of the tractor cabin this
recommendation produces a minimal value of the element edge size 164 mm.
Figure 3 shows CAD model of a tractor cabin frame and enclosed fluid
volume (left) and computational FE mesh made from high quality 8-node
hexahedral elements. ANSYS 3D element FLUID 30 is used for the solution.
As a starting analysis can be perform a modal analysis of enclosed fluid
without presence of a structure. Density, sonic velocity and boundary admittance
are only demanded air properties for this type of acoustic analysis.

Fig. 3 CAD model of tractor cabin frame and enclosed fluid volume (left)
and computational FE mesh (right)
If some exciting frequency (e.g. exciting frequency of side walls) is close to
natural frequency of fluid volume, the resultant acoustic pressure is distributed
very similar to the relevant mode shape of fluid volume. Real acoustic pressure
amplitudes are only scaled values of natural shape amplitudes. Modal analysis of
cabin acoustic model can be for example used for a prediction of pressure
distributions close to a tractor driver head.
Figure 4 presents natural frequencies and mode shapes of the enclosed
fluid volume of the tractor cabin as results of the modal analysis. The presented
results are scaled to unity, the acoustic pressure range is from -1 to 1.

Fig. 4 Natural frequencies and mode shapes of enclosed fluid volume
of tractor cabin
From the results it is evident that for example excited 9
natural frequency
(279 Hz) can be very dangerous because the pressure peaks are found near to
driver head.
Only measurement results in a driver head position are presented in this
paper. Figure 5 shows rpm sweep analysis of acoustic noise level in the driver
head position. This figure demonstrates the fact that the main excited frequencies
lies up to 300 Hz and confirms presumptions for computational modal analyses.
In the case, that the measurements show high acoustic pressure level,
some necessary actions can be performed to improve a situation. Practical
experience shows that there are two basic methods for reduction of noise:
noise insulation, reducing noise on its way or
reducing noise at its source.

Fig. 5 Acoustic noise level in driver head position rpm sweep
5.1 Noise Insulation
Noise insulation or reducing noise on its way is very often used method. Its
necessary to reduce noise moving by air and also noise moving by solid
environment. It means using of insulation sheets and barriers. An example of used
noise insulations shows Figure 6.

Fig. 6 Insulation used for problematic areas

For example the used insulation sheets on the right, left and top side of a
hood (see Figure 6) causes overall noise reduction approximately by 2%. Figure 7
shows effects of these sheets on acoustic pressure level for engine speed 2200

Fig. 7 Effect of noise insulation sheets on acoustic pressure level
5.2 Reducing Noise of Sources
Reducing noise at its source is another way of a noise reduction. This
method is composed of changing constructions of machines or replacing them with
more silent equivalent one.
A presented construction modification is a change of a driving servomotor
position from the cabin frame to isolated brackets. This modification causes overall
noise reduction approximately by 2.3 %, as shown in the Figure 8.

Fig. 8 Effect of construction changes
The noise reduction is very complicated process which uses combinations
of sound insulation materials and construction methods together with advanced
computational methods. This paper present a few examples of tractor cabin noise
reductions performed at Brno University of Technology, Institute of Automotive
Published results were acquired using the subsidization of the Ministry
of Education of Czech Republic, project 1M6840770002 Josef Boek Research
Centre for Engine and Vehicle Technologies II.
[1] Svda D. Noise Reduction in Tractor Development. In 5. setkn uivatel
PULSE 2007. CD-ROM, ISBN 978-80-239-9240-3