High intensity noise/impulse transmission through a bench model consisting of the simplified ear canal, eardrum, and middle ear cavity was investigated using the CFX/ANSYS software package with fluid-structure interactions. The nondimensional fluid-structure interaction parameter q and the dimensionless impulse were used to describe the interactions between the high intensity pressure impulse and eardrum or tympanic membrane (TM). We found that the pressure impulse was transmitted through the straight ear canal to the TM, and the reflected overpressure at the TM became slightly higher than double the incident pressure due to the dynamic pressure (shocks) effect. Deformation of the TM transmits the incident pressure impulse to the middle ear cavity. The pressure peak in the middle ear cavity is lower than the incident pressure. This pressure reduction through the TM was also observed in our experiments that have dimensions similar to the simulation bench model. We also found that the increase of the pressure ratio as a function of the incident pressure is slightly larger than the linear growth rate. The growth rate of the pressure ratio in this preliminary study suggests that the pressure increase in the middle ear cavity may become sufficiently high to induce auditory damage and injury depending on the intensity of the incident sound noise.

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