Design and Additive Manufacturing of Porous Sound Absorbers : A Machine-Learning Approach
Additive manufacturing (AM), widely known as 3D-printing, builds parts by adding material in a layer-by-layer process. This tool-less procedure enables the manufacturing of porous sound absorbers with defined geometric features, however, the connection of the acoustic behavior and the material’s micro-scale structure is only known for special cases. To bridge this gap, the work presented here employs machine-learning techniques that compute acoustic material parameters (Biot parameters) from the material’s micro-scale geometry. For this purpose, a set of test specimens is used that have been developed in earlier studies. The test specimens resemble generic absorbers by a regular lattice structure based on a bar design and allow a variety of parameter variations, such as bar width, or bar height. A set of 50 test specimens is manufactured by material extrusion (MEX) with a nozzle diameter of 0.2 mm and a targeted under extrusion to represent finer structures. For the training of the machine learning models, the Biot parameters are inversely identified from the manufactured specimen. Therefore, laboratory measurements of the flow resistivity and absorption coefficient are used. The resulting data is used for training two different machine learning models, an artificial neural network and a k-nearest neighbor approach. It can be shown that both models are able to predict the Biot parameters from the specimen’s micro-scale with reasonable accuracy. Moreover, the detour via the Biot parameters allows the application of the process for application cases that lie beyond the scope of the initial database, for example, the material behavior for other sound fields or frequency ranges can be predicted. This makes the process particularly useful for material design and takes a step forward in the direction of tailoring materials specific to their application.