One of the key research areas of the Materials and Systems group is the investigation of structural vibrations and waves in solids. Understanding the dynamic behavior of structures is important in order to predict the radiated sound level and to investigate new methods for noise control. Experimental, numerical and analytical techniques are used to explore and develop materials, and to optimize them for acoustic applications.

The main objectives are:

  • modelling the vibrations of complex materials, such as layered materials, composites, wood, highly damped materials and granular materials. To do this, both analytical and numerical methods are used.
  • numerical prediction and experimental verification of the sound radiation of vibrating struc-tures. This includes modelling the fluid-structure interaction, even for unsteady fluid dynamics.
  • non-destructive evaluation of the elastic properties of solids using wave and vibration measurements in the acoustic range. Typical examples are modal analysis and wave velocity measurements.
  • development of materials with exotic dynamic properties, such as a negative sound refraction index or bandgaps. These materials are often called metamaterials and can be used as acoustic insulation or waveguides.
Apart from these core competences, the group is involved in short-term projects in collaboration with ETH Zurich and private companies. The equipment and measurement installations are modular, and a flexible measurement solution can be developed for most problems in the audible frequency range. Project examples include railway track vibrations, sound radiation of electromotors, in-situ vibration measurements of vehicles or railway wagons, musical instrument acoustics etc.