The aerodynamic transfer of energy from glottal airflow to vocal fold tissue during phonation was explored using complementary synthetic and numerical vocal fold models. The synthetic model was fabricated using a flexible polyurethane rubber compound. The model size, shape, and material properties were generally similar to corresponding human vocal fold characteristics. Regular, self-sustained oscillations were achieved at a frequency of approximately 120 Hz. The onset pressure was approximately 1.2 kPa. A corresponding two-dimensional finite element model was developed using geometry definitions and material properties based on the synthetic model. The finite element model upstream and downstream pressure boundary conditions were based on experimental values acquired using the synthetic model. An analysis of the fully coupled fluid and solid numerical domains included flow separation and unsteady effects. The numerical results provided detailed flow data that was used to investigate aerodynamic energy transfer mechanisms. The results support the hypothesis that a cyclic variation of the orifice profile from a convergent to a divergent shape leads to a temporal asymmetry in the average wall pressure, which is the key factor for the achievement of self-sustained vocal fold oscillations. me rica.
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