The Boundary Element Method in Acoustics: A Survey

Kirkup, Stephen Martin orcid iconORCID: 0000-0002-9680-7778 (2019) The Boundary Element Method in Acoustics: A Survey. Applied Sciences, 9 (8). ISSN 2076-3417

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The boundary element method (BEM) in the context of acoustics or Helmholtz problems is reviewed. The basis of the BEM is initially developed for Laplace’s equation. The boundary integral equation formulations for the standard interior and exterior acoustic problems are stated and the boundary element methods are derived through collocation. It is shown how interior modal analysis can be carried out via the boundary element method. Further extensions in the BEM in acoustics are also reviewed, including half-space problems and modelling the acoustic field surrounding thin screens. Current research in linking the boundary element method to other methods in order to solve coupled vibro-acoustic and aero-acoustic problems and methods for solving inverse problems via the BEM are surveyed. Applications of the BEM in each area of acoustics are referenced. The computational complexity of the problem is considered and methods for improving its general efficiency are reviewed. The significant maintenance issues of the standard exterior acoustic solution are considered, in particular the weighting parameter in combined formulations such as Burton and Miller’s equation. The commonality of the integral operators across formulations and hence the potential for development of a software library approach is emphasised.

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