Development of a 3d finite element model of the human external ear for simulation of the auditory occlusion effect
Keywords:Three dimensional, Tissue, 3D finite element model, Cartilaginous tissues, Ear canal, Hearing protectors, Insertion depth, Occlusion effect, Skin tissue, Soft rubber
AbstractNumerical models present a valuable means to improve the outlined shortcomings because they can aid to better assess and design hearing protectors. The present study describes the development of a novel coupled linear elasto-acoustic 3D finite element model of the human external ear. This genuine model is employed to simulate the auditory OE. The biomaterial properties of the bony and cartilaginous tissues were approximated using literature findings. The skin tissue of the ear canal entrance and walls was modeled using soft rubber. The obtained results indicate that the implemented 3D finite element model can be employed to calculate the auditory OE. Obtained OEs vary as a function of insertion depth and are plausible when compared to literature findings. Comprehensive tests regarding the influence of each of these factors have yet to be completed.
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