Portable electric air compressors produce noise which can be a nuisance or even hazardous to persons in the vicinity; therefore, noise reduction of these compressors is a desired design evolution. An experimental setup was developed to measure the sound and vibration of existing air compressors and to test new prototypes. The design of a quiet air compressor was performed in four stages: 1) compressor teardown and benchmarking, 2) noise source identification and isolation, 3) development of a morphological chart for quiet noise sources, and 4) integrated solution selection and testing. The systematic approach and results for each of these stages will be discussed. Two redesigned solutions were developed and measured to be approximately 65% quieter than the previous unmodified compressor. The benefits of using a specific design procedure to reverse engineer, test, and develop new concepts are discussed.

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