Fluid structure interactions occur to some extent in nearly every type of fluid flow. Understanding how structures interact with fluids and visa-versa is of vital importance in many engineering applications. The purpose of this research is to explore how fluids interact with flexible and rigid structures. A computational model was used to model the fluid structure interactions of vibrating synthetic vocal folds. The model simulated the coupling of the fluid and solid domains using a fluid-structure interface boundary condition. The fluid domain used a slightly compressible flow solver to allow for the possibility of acoustic coupling with the subglottal geometry and vibration of the vocal fold model. As the subglottis lengthened, the frequency of vibration decreased until a new acoustic mode could form in the subglottis. Synthetic aperture particle image velocimetry (SAPIV) is a three-dimensional particle tracking technique. SAPIV was used to image the jet of air that emerges from vibrating human vocal folds (glottal jet) during phonation. The three-dimensional reconstruction of the glottal jet found faint evidence of flow characteristics seen in previous research, such as axis-switching, but did not have sufficient resolution to detect small features. SAPIV was further applied to reconstruct the smaller flow characteristics of the glottal jet of vibrating synthetic vocal folds. Two- and four-layer synthetic vocal fold models were used to determine how the glottal jet from the synthetic models compared to the glottal jet from excised human vocal folds. The two- and four-layer models clearly exhibited axis-switching which has been seen in other 3D analyses of the glottal jet. Cavitation in a quiescent fluid can break a rigid structure such as a glass bottle. A new cavitation number was derived to include acceleration and pressure head at cavitation onset. A cavitation stick was used to validate the cavitation number by filling it with different depths and hitting the stick to cause fluid cavitation. Acceleration was measured using an accelerometer and cavitation bubbles were detected using a high-speed camera. Cavitation in an accelerating fluid occurred at a cavitation number of 1.



College and Department

Ira A. Fulton College of Engineering and Technology; Mechanical Engineering



Date Submitted


Document Type





Fluid structure interaction, vocal folds, acoustics, SAPIV, cavitation, slightly compressible