The University of Toledo University Transportation Center

UTUTC-AE-1: Reducing Noise and Vibration of Hydraulic Hybrid and Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicles

Focus Area: Alternate Energy

Principal Investigator:

Mohammad Elahinia
Assistant Professor
Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering Department
The University of Toledo

Co-Principal Investigators:

Walter Olson
Professor, Mechanical Engineering
The University of Toledo

Mark Vonderembse
Information Operations Technology Management
College of Business Administration
The University of Toledo

Project Dates: 08/01/2007 – 12/31/2008

Project Award: FY2007

UT-UTC Designation: UTUTC-AE-1


The University of Toledo University Transportation Center (UT-UTC) has identified hybrid vehicles as one of the three areas of the research. The activities proposed in this research proposal are directed towards the noise, vibration, and harshness (NVH) solutions for hybrid vehicles. The soaring fuel prices require imperious steps in developing alternate propulsion technologies. The design and development of hybrid vehicles is a critical issue for an economy dependent on an efficient, fast, and secure transportation system. To date, better fuel economy has been mainly achieved by combining two propulsion sources (hybridization) and/or by developing better managing algorithms for the internal combustion engines. Examples for the hybridization are the plug-in hybrid electric and the hydraulic-hybrid vehicles. An example of managing internal combustion engines is the cylinder on demand as a solution that Honda has recently introduced. One common problem with these solutions is excessive noise and vibration that is caused by switching between the propulsion sources and propulsion modes. To mitigate this problem there is a need to develop vibration isolation devices that can provide isolation over a wide range of frequencies. This proposal seeks to study the NVH problem of the hybrid vehicles and to introduce isolation mounts to overcome these issues.

Hydraulic and elastomeric mounts are generally used to dynamically isolating engines and power trains form the chassis, while statically holding these elements together. Hydraulic mounts overcome some of the drawback of the elastomeric mounts. The stiffness and damping of the hydraulic mounts vary with frequency and amplitude of vibration. It is possible to design a hydraulic mount that has a significantly larger static stiffness, compared to an elastomeric mount, and has a much smaller dynamic stiffness at a specific frequency. To achieve low vibration transmissibility, the mount can be tuned to the primary frequency of the vibration source. On the other hand, to isolate the high frequency vibration of the engine the mount should have low stiffness and low damping, which is not possible to achieve.

This proposal proposes to develop a semi-active mount, which will be realized by improving the existing hydraulic mounts through adding a magnetorheological (MR) fluid element. In response to magnetic fields, MR fluids change their viscosity, which can be harnessed in a variable stiffness and damping mount. The resulting mount will provide shock and vibration isolation over a wide range of frequencies. This extended isolation frequency range will be achieved through the variable dynamic stiffness of the MR portion of the mount. This solution will make it possible to improve the noise and vibration characteristic of hybrid vehicles with alternative propulsion systems.

UT-UTC Grant
Total Project 
$ 41,010
$ 41,090
$ 82,100
Final Report:

Final Report PDF Symbol

Last Updated: 6/9/16