University of Salford helps to make Dyson appliances quieter

The University is helping Dyson’s pioneering engineers to ‘listen’ to products before they have even made them.

The Acoustics Research Group led by Prof Andy Moorhouse the Acoustics Research Group have focused their unique expertise on the next generation of quiet appliances being developed by the world-famous British company.

They recently won funding from the UK government agency Innovate UK to work with the technology firm headed by James Dyson, inventor of the bagless vacuum cleaner.

The Salford team are using a technique called auralisation – the simulation of sounds – making it possible to ‘hear’ what noise sources will sounds like in varying conditions. The developed ‘hybrid virtual acoustic prototype’ will first be applied to Dyson’s range of desktop fans.

Hugh Hopper, Project Manager at Dyson said: “The direct and obvious benefit of working towards ‘zero prototyping’ is that it will reduce the cost and time associated with building and testing the physical prototypes. The use of the tools developed in this project will also allow a better understanding of the acoustic behaviour of our products, so that we can quickly identify issues and simulate possible solutions.’

“The idea is to work out acoustic properties of components and their characteristics and put them together virtually by a process involving measurement and modelling. For Dyson, there are literally thousands of combinations of components, all of which have different implications for the acoustics of a manufactured product.

The University is funded to the tune of £130k for the project from Innovate UK and the Research Councils UK.

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