The work at hand focuses on an adaptive system aimed at improving the soundproof performance of car door seals at specific regimes (cruise), without interfering with the conventional opening and closing operations. The idea addresses the necessity of increasing seal effectiveness, jeopardized by aerodynamic actions that strengthen as the speed increases, generating a growing pressure difference between the internal and the external field in the direction of opening the door, and then deteriorating the acoustic insulation. An original expansion mechanism driven by a shape memory alloy (SMA) wire was integrated within the seal cavity to reduce that effect. The smart material was activated (heated) by using the Joule effect; its compactness contributed to the realization of a highly-integrable and modular system (expanding cells). In this paper, the system development process is described together with the verification and validation activity, aimed at proving the functionality of the realized device. Starting from industrial requirements, a suitable solution was identified by considering the basic phenomenon principle and the allowable design parameters. The envisaged system was designed and its executive digital mock-up (CAD, computer-aided design) was released. Prototyping and laboratory tests showed the reliability of the developed numerical models and validated the associated predictions. Finally, the system was integrated within the reference car. To demonstrate the insulation effect, the experimental campaign was carried out in an anechoic room, achieving significant results on the concept value.
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