Constrained layer damping (CLD) is an effective method for suppressing the vibration and sound radiation of lightweight structures. In this article, a two-level optimization approach is presented as a systematic methodology to design position layouts and thickness configurations of CLD materials for suppressing the sound power of vibrating structures. A two-level optimization model for the CLD structure is developed, considering sound radiation power as the objective function and different additional mass fractions as constraints. The proposed approach applies a modified bi-directional evolutionary structural optimization (BESO) method to obtain several optimal position layouts of CLD materials pasted on the base structure, and sound power sensitivity analysis is formulated based on sound radiation modes for the position optimization of CLD materials. Two strategies based on the distributions of average normalized elemental kinetic energy and strain energy of the base plate are proposed to divide optimal position layouts of CLD materials into several subareas, and a genetic algorithm (GA) is employed to optimally reconfigure the thicknesses of CLD materials in the subareas. Numerical examples are provided to illustrate the validity and efficiency of this approach. The sound radiation power radiated from the vibrating plate, which is treated with multiple position layouts and thickness reconfigurations of CLD materials, is emphatically discussed.
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