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Chapter 2 . . .

Frequency analysis of sound


Most sounds contain a combination of many different frequencies.

The frequency analysis of sound is essential for noise control. Because sound absorption is frequency dependent.
i.e. The same material absorb different amounts of sound energy at different frequencies.
e.g. To choose the proper kind of absorber.

Frequency analysis of sound . . .


Frequency analysis is performed by measuring the output of a sound level meter through a band filter, which passes only a particular frequency range between f1 and f2. This is called the bandwidth f (or pass band). f = f 1 f2, if f1 > f2 where f1, f2 cut-off frequencies

Frequency analysis of sound . . .


The centre frequency fm = f1f2 It is usually convenient to measure and analyze sound in ranges of frequencies such as the octave. An octave band is the range of frequencies between any one frequency and double that frequency. (i.e.f1=2 f2)
e.g. 75 150 Hz, 150 300 Hz, 300 600 Hz, 600 1200 Hz, 1200 2400 Hz, 2400 4800 Hz, 4800 9600 Hz

Frequency analysis of sound . . .


Mostly it is sufficient to know the magnitude of the sound contains within the octave bands. The preferred center frequencies of acoustic measurements are;
31.5 Hz, 63 Hz, 125 Hz, 250 Hz, 500 Hz, 1000 Hz, 2000 Hz, 4000 Hz, 8000 Hz for octaves.

Frequency analysis of sound is performed using frequency analyzers such as octaveband analyzer and 1/3 octave-band analyzer.
Note: 1/3 octave band is obtained by dividing the octave bandwidth into 3 equal parts.

Example
A certain noise was analyzed into octave bands. The sound levels measured in each center frequency are given below. Calculate the combined sound level? Center frequency (Hz)
31.5 63 125 250 500 1000 2000 4000

sound level dB (A)


60 60 65 70 65 65 45 40

Answer

L = 10 log(106.0+106.0+106.5+107.0+106.5+106.5+104.5+104.0) = 67.9 = 68 dB (A)

Measurement conditions
The measurement of sound is done under the following standard conditions. 1) Free field 2) Reverberant field 3) Semi reverberant field

4) Anechoic field
5) Semi anechoic field 6) Diffuse sound field

Measurement conditions . . .
1) Free field

Source

Receiver

This is completely open space where there are no sound reflections or other modifying factors present.

Measurement conditions . . . 2) Reverberant field

In a reverberant field the sound energy at any point is the sum of that directly radiated from the source and sound levels reflected from adjacent surfaces.

Measurement conditions . . .
Ei Er Ea Et

Ei = Er + Et + Ea In a fully reverberant field all the sound energy striking the bounding surfaces is reflected without loss. This simplifies that the bounding surfaces should be highly reflective.

Measurement conditions . . .
3) Semi reverberant field In a semi reverberant field the prevailing conditions may be anywhere between free field and reverberant field conditions.

4) Anechoic field All the sound measured comes directly from the source. (All incident energy striking the walls is fully absorbed)

Measurement conditions . . .
5) Semi anechoic field In a semi anechoic field the sound source is mounted above a hard reflective surface.

Measurement conditions . . .
Note: The measurements taken outdoors can be considered to approximate to free field condition. And show reasonable agreement with anechoic measurements provided there is no reflective surfaces nearby.

Measurements taken indoors can be considered as approximating to diffuse field condition. And show reasonable agreement with reverberant field measurements.

Measurement conditions . . .
6) Diffuse Sound Field A room is assumed to be completely diffused (Any closed space is referred to as a room). This means: 1) the acoustical energy is uniformly distributed throughout the entire room 2) at any point the sound propagation is uniform in all directions

Noise Rating
1) Steady noise 2) Time varying noise

Noise Rating
1) Steady noise When a sound level meter reading fluctuates within a range of less than 5 dB when using the weighting S then the noise can be treated as steady. For the measurement of steady noise A-weighting simple sound level meter is used. The average value is taken as the reading,

L 10log{

I0 (10

L1

10

10

L2

10

................10

Ln

10

n I0
; n total number of readings

Noise Rating . . .
2) Time Varying Noise The level of many noise varies with time. e.g. traffic noise, impulse noiseetc

For the measurement of such noise an integrating sound level meter is used.
It automatically calculates and indicates the value of equivalent continuous sound level (Leq) for a given time interval T together with the value of T.

Equivalent continuous sound level


LAeq,T -> Equivalent Continuous A weighted sound level within a specified time interval, T.

This is defined as

Where P(t) is the instantaneous A weighted sound pressure. T = t2 t1

Equivalent continuous sound level . . .


This is the sound level in dB (A) of a continuous steady sound which has the same A-weighted sound energy within a specified time interval , T as the fluctuating sound being measured.

Equivalent continuous sound level . . .


e.g. Suppose;

sound level L1 acts during time t1,


sound level L2 acts during t2, sound level L3 acts during t3, .. sound level Ln acts during tn.

Let T = Total time over which the LAeq,T is required.


T = t1 + t2 + t3 + + tn

Equivalent continuous sound level . . .


Let

L1 10log(

I1

I0

)
10

=>

I1 I0x10

L1

LAeq,T 10log{
10log{

I1t1 I 2 t 2 ........ I n t n I0T


L1 10

}
Ln 10

t110

t 210

L2

10

................ t n10 T

Example
Calculate LAeq,8 over an eight hour period for a worker exposed to the following noise levels and duration.
Noise Level dB (A) Duration (hours)

94 89 98

2 3 0.5

83

2.5

Answer

LAeq, T 10log{

t110

L1

10

t 210

L2

10

................ t n10 T

Ln

10

}
10

LAeq,8

2x10 10log{

94

10

3x10

89

10

0.5x10 8

98

10

2.5x10

83

LAeq,8 = 91.4 dB (A)

Personal Daily Noise Exposure Level


The equivalent continuous A weighted sound level over an 8 hour period is called personal daily noise exposure level, according to the Noise at Work Regulations, 1989.

This is used for assessing noise exposure in the work place. In the regulations recommended level for occupational noise is a personal daily noise exposure level of 85 dB (A).

Personal Daily Noise Exposure Level . . .


i.e. 1st action level is 85 dB (A) This is taken as the industrial first action level for occupational noise. The second action level is 90 dB (A). Above this value it is possibly hazardous and ear protection (muff or plugs) must be provided to the workers or change their work shifts.

A 12 hour LAeq,T value of 75 dB (A) is the common limit for construction site noise. Above this level site operations can be stopped by legal action

Example
What is the maximum time for which an employee may spend in a particular work shop where the noise level is 106 dB (A) without using ear protection if his noise dose is not to exceed an equivalent continuous noise level of 90 dB (A) over the period of 8 hour work shift? Assume that for the rest of the shift the employee is subjected to a constant sound level of 85 dB (A).

Answer
Let t be the required time.

Example
The noise of a construction site is caused by the following.

Source

dB (A) Duration (hrs)

Compressor 89
Excavator 85

8
2

Truck
Pump 76

78
7

Calculate the equivalent continuous sound level over a 12 hour working day of a worker exposed to the above noise levels.

Answer
L = 10 log

Noise exposure from single discrete events


In many situations the total noise exposure over a period of time is made up from a number of different individual events such as passing of an air craft over head or a train near by or a short bursts of machinery noise.

The measurements of noise from different events will be made over different durations.

Noise exposure from single discrete events For comparison of different types of events it would be convenient if the equivalent continuous sound level is averaged over the same duration.

Reference book:
Acoustics and noise control
2nd edition B J Smith, R J Peters and S Owen

Practical schedule
3 Practical 2 - Outdoors 1 Industrial visit Assignments: Three (3) in-class assignments, each carry 10 marks. 3 for performance 7 for assignment