Mark J. Moeller
Ford Motor Co., AEC-MD65, P.O. Box 2053, Dearborn, MI 48121-2053
Statistical energy analysis (SEA) is a tool for estimating the response of complex dynamic systems at high modal density. SEA is seeing ever wider application in a range of industries. It is used in the aerospace industry for launch vehicles, commercial, light aircraft, and helicopters. It has been successfully applied in the marine industry for both submarine and surface vehicles. SEA has seen extensive application to the building trades. The automotive industry is beginning to explore the application of SEA to vehicle acoustic design. The SEA model of vibrational power transmission has a direct analogy to thermal power transmission (diffusion). Just as thermal power flow is proportional to temperature difference, vibrational power flow is proportional to modal energy difference. This thermal analogy can be exploited to visualize the SEA results. This was accomplished by color coding a finite element representation of the structure. Visualization of SEA results is explored in two examples. The first example is a network of flat plates reported in the literature. The second example is a SEA model of a D-class car body-in-white with closures. The use of the thermal analogy provides an effective means of visualizing the diffusion process when a finite element surrogate is available.