In some passenger vehicles, unexpected acoustic modes in the low-frequency range may be observed that cannot be explained by the conventional vibro-acoustic coupling analysis. It is because these methods only use the dynamic characteristics of a vehicle structure and its compartment cavity. However, some small holes or gaps existing at the boundaries between the compartment cavity and the trunk cavity of the vehicles change the modal characteristics of a coupled system. In this paper, a new analytical method is presented to investigate the structural-acoustic coupling characteristics of two cavities connected by small holes and in-between boundary structures. Small holes are modeled as an equivalent mass-spring-damper system in the analysis. A theoretical formulation for vibro-acoustic characteristics of this system is made, and the modal expansion method is used to obtain eigenvalues and their mode shapes. The validity of the proposed method is successfully examined by comparing the results of the analytical predictions with those of experiments.

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