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Visco-elastic Aspects of Loudspeaker Drivers

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Damping materials used in drivers often give rise to changes in resonance characteristics that can affect the acoustic properties. We study with several techniques the properties of the viscoelastic materials commonly applied to the surround or spider. Measurements are taken of the resonance characteristics with increasing temperature, which show a significant reduction of the suspension stiffness. Exercising the driver reduces the stiffness as well, and this is partly due to a combination of mechanical and thermal effects. An attempt is made to characterize the changes in terms of temperature and the history of the mechanical motion. Differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) measurements are made of some samples in an attempt to understand the underlying physical behaviour.

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