Unsteady behavior of flow in a scaled-up vocal folds model

Michael Krane, Michael Barry, Timothy Wei

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

44 Scopus citations


Measurements of the fluid flow through a scaled-up model of the human glottis are presented to determine whether glottal flow may be approximated as unsteady. Time- and space-resolved velocity vector fields from digital particle image velocimetry (DPIV) measurements of the flow through the gap between two moving, rigid walls are presented in four cases, over a range of Strouhal numbers: 0.010, 0.018, 0.035, 0.040, corresponding to life-scale f0 of 30, 58, 109, and 126 Hz, respectively, at a Reynolds number of 8000. It is observed that (1) glottal flow onset is delayed after glottal opening and (2) glottal flow shutoff occurs prior to closure. A comparison between flow through a fully open, nonmoving glottis and that through the moving vocal folds shows a marked difference in spatial structure of the glottal jet. The following features of the flow are seen to exhibit strong dependence on cycle frequency: (a) glottal exit plane velocity, (b) volume flow, (c) vortex shedding rates, and (d) vortex amplitude. Vortex shedding appears to be a factor both in controlling flow resistance and in cycle-to-cycle volume flow variations. All these observations strongly suggest that glottal flow is inherently unsteady.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3659-3670
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of the Acoustical Society of America
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2007

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Acoustics and Ultrasonics


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