A three-dimensional acoustic Boundary Element Method formulation with viscous and thermal losses based on shape function derivatives

Vicente Cutanda Henriquez*, Peter Risby Andersen

*Corresponding author for this work

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Sound waves in fluids are subject to viscous and thermal losses, which are particularly relevant in the so-called viscous and thermal boundary layers at the boundaries, with thicknesses in the micrometer range at audible frequencies. Small devices such as acoustic transducers or hearing aids must then be modeled with numerical methods that include losses. In recent years, versions of both the Finite Element Method (FEM) and the Boundary Element Method (BEM) including viscous and thermal losses have been developed. This paper deals with an improved formulation in three dimensions of the BEM with losses which avoids the calculation of tangential derivatives on the surface by finite differences used in a previous BEM implementation. Instead, the tangential derivatives are obtained from the element shape functions. The improved implementation is demonstrated using an oscillating sphere, where an analytical solution exists, and a condenser microphone as test cases.
Original languageEnglish
Article number1850039
JournalJournal of Computational Acoustics
Issue number3
Number of pages15
Publication statusPublished - 2018


  • Boundary element method
  • Viscous and thermal acoustic losses

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