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‘Butterfly acoustical skin’ – new method of reducing aero acoustical noise for a quiet propeller

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DOI: 10.23977/jemm.2019.41001 | Downloads: 205 | Views: 7176


Igor S. Kovalev 1


1 Science and Technology Laboratory, Kinneret College, Emek Hayarden, 15132, Israel. Correspondence: [email protected]

Corresponding Author

Igor S. Kovalev


An experimental investigation was conducted on the effect ‘butterfly acoustical skin’ (metallic version of the lepidopterans scale coverage) on the acoustic performances of two - bladed propeller (diameter of 1200 mm, airfoil sections of NACA 2415, rotating speed of 1780 rpm, Re ≈ 2 × 105) in a low – speed straight through a wind tunnel. Attention was initially directed to this problem by observation of the porous scales and porous scale coverage of lepidopterans as well as other studies indicating the noise suppression of flying lepidopterans by wing appendages. The property of the moth coverage allows these insects to overcome bat attacks at night. These appendages are very small (size: 30 – 200 µm) and have a various porous structures. I discuss both many different micro – and nanostructures of the porous scales, and many differences in details among various structures of the porous scale coverage of lepidonterans. I consider here only porous scales of butterflies Papilio nireus, Nieris rapae, Deelias nigrina, male Callophrys rubi, male Polyommatus daphnis, butterfly Papilio palinurus  as well as porous scale coverage of cabbage moth, moth of Saturniidae family and moth of Noctuoidea family. The evolutionary history of lepidopterans and the properties of lepidopterans scale coverage are briefly discussed as well as different methods of reducing aero acoustic noise of aircrafts.
The design of ‘butterfly acoustical skin’ with a hollow region imitates the cover hollow wing scale of the Papilio nireus butterfly. The design of ‘butterfly acoustical skin’ with a porous region imitates the cover hollow wing scale of the Pieris rapae butterfly, and from the cover hollow wing scale of the Delieas nigrina butterfly. Results indicate that the total sound pressure level of the rotating propeller with hollow skin is more than 2 dB lower with respect to the one with the smooth skin; and the total sound pressure level of the rotating propeller with the porous hollow skin is more than 4 dB lower with respect to the one with the smooth skin. The modification of acoustical effects on the rotating propeller with smooth ‘butterfly acoustical skin’ with a porous region was found to be to an acoustic absorption and to a dissipation of turbulent energy and to a reducing influence on noise generated. The same principles of the propeller noise reduction mechanism can explain by smooth ‘butterfly acoustical skin’ with a hollow region.


‘butterfly acoustical skin’, moth, noise reduction, porous scales, propeller.


Igor S. K., ‘Butterfly acoustical skin’ – new method of reducing aero acoustical noise for a quiet propeller. Journal of Engineering Mechanics and Machinery (2019) Vol. 4: 1-28.


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