Determination of the Dynamic and Acoustic Performances of Composite Materials Based on Innovative Resin Foam Cores
During the last few decades, various types of lightweight structures have been introduced in the vehicle and transportation industry.This trend is dictated by the growing demand of higher load capacity, reduced fuel consumption and increased performances. On the other side, lightweight structures often have poor acoustic properties, moreover there is a need to define the frequency dependent dynamic properties of such materials. Industries working in the automotive and transportation fields are interested in the prediction and determination of the sound reduction index given by lightweight partitions. The investments in this research field are aiming to find experimental methods capable to assess the sound insulation performances of small specimens instead of full scale partitions. Using expensive software based on FEM-BEM methods, some variables deriving from the manufacturing stage and influencing the sound transmission index are not taken into account. Moreover it is very complicated to fully characterise non homogeneous materials. In the last decades few methods based on the determination of the dynamic properties of sandwich beams have been developed  and validated. Acell Italy produces Phenolic foam using a method which has been patented. The patent concerns the coupling method of the layers through a chemical process able to create a highly resistant panel with a low weight and a high resistance. Acell would like to improve the dynamic and sound insulation properties of the panels in order to improve its position in the market.
The scope of the author’s PhD research project is the development of a conceptual wall design with a composite materials based on Innovative Resin Foam Cores. The cornerstones of the study are: (1) the investigation of the material; (2) the evaluation of the sound reduction index of a panel specimen (3) the design of a facade made by using the innovative Acell materials.