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Effect of polymeric properties on the operation of gel-type audio transducers

Cho, Minsung


Minsung Cho


A novel design of a moving-coil transducer coupled with a low-hardness elastomer called “the gel surround” is presented in this thesis. This device is termed a “gel-type audio transducer”. The gel-type audio transducer has been developed to overcome the problems that conventional loudspeakers have suffered - that is, the problem with size of the audio device against the quality of sound at low frequency range. Therefore the research work presented herein aims to develop the “gel-type audio transducer” as a next-generation audio transducer for miniaturized woofers.
The gel-type audio transducer consists of the magnetic and coil-drive plate assembly, and these parts are coupled by the gel surround. The transducer is driven by the electromagnetic conversion mechanism (a moving-coil transducer) and its output driving force can be greatly enhanced by applying the novel mechanism of the gel surround especially at low frequency range, resulting in the enhanced acoustic efficiency. The transducer can be attached to a stiff and light panel with both the optimized impedance matching and minimised wave collisions.
The performance of the gel-type audio transducer is greatly influenced by the mass of the magnetic assembly and compliance of the “gel surround”. But as the size of the magnet and its weight have to be kept minimal for a miniaturisation of the device, the focus of the research is on the effect of the of the gel surround. As a result, the effect of the gel surround, made of the RTV (room-temperature vulcanising) silicone elastomer, TPE (thermoplastic elastomer), and the silicone foam, on generation of the output driving force, the energy transfer from the transducer to a panel to which the transducer is attached, and sound radiation from the vibrating panel, was investigated. This effect was studied by COMSOL multiphysics (FE analysis) and thereby, the simulated results were verified by experiments such as the laser scanning measurement, DMA (dynamic mechanical analyzer), and the acoustic test.
Successful development of prototypes of the gel-type audio transducers, with an enhanced acoustic efficiency at reduced size and weight, was achieved. Implementation of the transducers into consumer applications was also demonstrated with their commercial values.

Thesis Type Thesis
Deposit Date Aug 23, 2013
Peer Reviewed Not Peer Reviewed
Keywords Moving-coil transducer; gel-type audio transducer; loudspeakers; audio device; miniaturized woofers
Public URL
Award Date 2013-09


Effect of polymeric properties on the operation of gel-type audio transducers (6.7 Mb)

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