Index of content:
Volume 113, Issue 2, February 2003
- TRANSDUCTION 
113(2003); http://dx.doi.org/10.1121/1.1536633View Description Hide Description
Conventional bone conduction transducers, which are relatively large, suffer from poor performance at low frequencies. A new type of electro-dynamic transducer, the balanced electromagnetic separation transducer (BEST), was developed to improve the performance of the conventional transducers. By using a balanced suspension principle, the quadratic distortion forces, as well as the static forces between the vibrating parts, are principally counterbalanced. Both the distortion and the size of the transducer can therefore be considerably reduced. Moreover, the static and dynamic magnetic fluxes are separated, except in the air gap regions, giving a more efficient transducer. For example, in comparison with a conventional B71 transducer, a prototype of the BEST has: Lower total harmonic distortion (THD), by 20–25 dB, and improved sensitivity by 10–20 dB for 100 to 1000 Hz and by 2–10 dB for 1 to 10 kHz. From a clinical point of view, the BEST offers a chance to measure bone thresholds, at 250 and 500 Hz, which are reliable at hearing levels not possible before. For example, at 250 Hz the BEST has 23 dB higher sensitivity than the B71; the THD is improved from 61% (B71) to 3.3% (BEST) at 40 dB HL (ISO 389-3, 1994).
113(2003); http://dx.doi.org/10.1121/1.1537710View Description Hide Description
With the recent availability of piezoelectric fibers, the design and the analysis of piezoelectric composites needs new modeling tools. Therefore, a numerical homogenization technique has been developed, based on the ATILAfinite element code, that combines two techniques: one relying upon the representative volume element (RVE) the other relying upon the wave propagation (WP). The combination of the two methods allows the whole tensor of the homogenized properties of the piezoelectric composite to be found. Considering a fiber embedded in epoxy, the numerical results are compared to the results obtained using previous analytical models, thus validating the models. Even if the method is presented in a particular case, its extension to any piezoelectric composite is straightforward.