Influence of the plate thickness and material properties on the violin top plate modes



In this paper we analyze the vibrational behavior of the violin top plate, for varying plate thickness and material properties via finite element method (FEM) numerical simulations. It is well known that the vibrational properties of the top plates of string instruments influence their sound emission characteristics. Due to the impact of global warming on wood formation and due to their configurability, many manufacturers investigate the use of composite materials to produce musical instruments. Therefore, composite, carbon fiber reinforced epoxy (CFRE) prepreg along with traditional wooden material, such as spruce, are adopted in this study. FEM modal analysis along with a frequency response function (FRF) FEM analysis are performed. The vibrational variations of the plate’s response are computed under free conditions. The main vibrational modes and the natural frequencies obtained by the simulations show the influence of the different mechanical and geometric properties on the top plate’s vibrational response. The resulting eigenmode frequencies and shapes of the plate in relation to the varying thickness and the material properties used, are discussed. The results of this study offer valuable information on the evaluation of the acoustical characteristics of violins and may be further used on their vibrational behavior optimization and control.