During the past decade tightened safety and health regulations concerning noise pollution in the work place have led to an increased importance of acoustic emissions in machinery. In the course of widespread R&D efforts internal combustion engines have received much attention, leading to their optimization and therefore to a higher contribution of hydraulic components, especially pumps and motors, to the overall machinery sound level.
However, hydraulic industrial design engineering has only recently begun to take acoustic issues into account at an early design stage. This may be due to the situation that the simulation of sound radiation of complex (hydraulic) machinery is not yet as far developed as other finite element analysis (FEA) fields.
In order to improve the sound emission of a variable displacement hydraulic swash plate motor, this paper deals with its acoustic simulation. Therefore an acoustic FEA model is presented. This paper mainly addresses the simulation model setup, the derivation of the resulting dynamic loads and the acoustic analysis, which includes the calculation of the surrounding acoustical near and far field. The simulated sound pressure levels are compared with experimental sound measurements conducted on the motor. Additionally, the influence of different valve plate designs is analyzed.