NVH benchmarking during vehicle development using sound quality metrics
Thesis (MScEng (Mechanical and Mechatronic Engineering))--University of Stellenbosch, 2007.
Noise, Vibrations and Harshness (NVH) characteristics are becoming ever more significant in today’s vehicle manufacturing industry. Similar to good vibration and harshness characteristics, the perception of a vehicle’s quality is enhanced by a well sounding vehicle interior. This study’s main aim was to develop objective equations to directly optimise interior sound quality of light commercial vehicles ( ½ ton LCVs) on the South African market. The effects the noise of the engine, the wind and road/tyre interaction during steady-state conditions have on the interior sound quality of eleven comparable vehicles was investigated with the aid of a binaural head. Steady-state condition in this content refers to the fact that vehicles were tested at constant speeds, no acceleration involved. A strong emphasis was laid on the influence road noise has on the interior sound quality of LCVs. Other objectives for the thesis were, to provide a method to benchmark the interior SQ of LCVs and to develop target values for objective metrics for these vehicles. Establishing a comprehensive literature survey formed another objective of this study. It seeks to provide a summary of the modern SQ analysis procedure and the findings of a number of studies. The survey also presents an opportunity to compare this thesis’s results with previous studies. A last objective was to develop a list of possible hardware modifications that would improve the vehicle interior sound quality, influenced by different noise sources. A strong correlation between vehicle and engine speed and Zwicker loudness as well as Aure sharpness was found, for all test conditions. The road surface roughness was observed to also have a strong influence on the objective metrics of vehicle interior SQ. Loudness was found to be around 25% higher and sharpness around 5.6% lower in vehicles driving on rough tar roads than on smooth roads. Good correlations between a newly developed metric (the SPF), an equation in Zwicker loudness and Aure sharpness, and subjective ratings was obtained for a number of test conditions. Four objective equations, as well as target values for loudness and sharpness have been developed to objectively optimise the sound quality of LCVs. Benchmarking interior sound quality utilising the developed equations, will ensure continuous improvements in the SQ sector for future LCVs.