Investigating airborne sound and vibration behaviour

Paul Boughton

Precision bearing manufacturer Schaeffler has opened an acoustic testing facility at its Technical Development Centre in Herzogenaurach, Germany.

The new 180-square metre Acoustic Competence Centre is equipped with state-of-the-art measurement and computer technologies, three test rooms and a ‘wobble room’.

The facility will enable Schaeffler to investigate the origins of noise using the latest analytical methods and provide valuable clues as to where and how noise is generated and what can be done to eliminate noise in the early phase of development projects.

Typical tests carried out at the new facility include the investigation of airborne sound and vibration behaviour in vehicle drive trains, chassis and assemblies such as ball screw drives and roll stabilisers.

In addition, Schaeffler will be able to examine and improve the design of plain bearings and rolling bearings used in a variety of industrial and automotive applications, including production machinery, wind turbines, vehicle drive trains, hydroelectric power plants, rail, medical technology and consumer goods.

In drives technology, customers now require systems that offer reduced friction combined with quiet running individual system components. This is particularly true of bearings for electric motors and other devices in the home and office environments.

The Acoustic Competence Centre is equipped with a large acoustic vehicle test bay, a fatigue test room and an area with extensive mounting facilities.

Other facilities include special spring-mounted test cuboids (pods) that move independently from the rest of the building. These cuboids cover a floor space of 30 to 50 square metres – the largest weighing more than 130 tonnes. This 'room-inside-a-room' concept enables the cuboids to be decoupled from the oscillations of the building during tests. The walls of the interior rooms are constructed from extremely high- density (>2,400kg/m³) bricks manufactured in Sweden. In order to meet the sensitive metrological requirements, the interior ceilings and walls of the test rooms are lined with up to 35cm-thick acoustic broadband compact absorbers.

For more information, visit

Recent Issues