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Shock and Vibration
Volume 9 (2002), Issue 4-5, Pages 245-251

Numerical and Experimental Study of Impulsive Sound Attenuation of an Earmuff

Felipe Vergara,1 Samir N. Gerges,1 and Robert S. Birch2

1Federal University of Santa Catarina, Department of Mechanical Engineering, Laboratory of Acoustics and Vibrations, Post Box 476, Florianópolis, Santa Catarina, Brazil
2University of Liverpool, Impact Research Centre, Department of Engineering, Brownlow Hill, Liverpool, L69 3GH, UK

Received 15 November 2002; Revised 15 November 2002

Copyright © 2002 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


This work compares the results of laboratory experiments with numerical modelling using the finite element method in order to assess the attenuation of hearing protectors under conditions of high amplitude impulse noise. Comparative data for the finite element simulation was provided from a series of experiments using a shock tube, acoustic test fixture, ear canal simulator and partial head form. The numerical model comprised a finite element mesh of fluid and porous materials in order to model the earmuff hearing protector coupled to the auditory canal. The results show that a simple 2-D finite element model is capable of making a reasonable prediction of the attenuation of an earmuff provided that headband force is also included in the model.