Volume 4, Number 4, 2020
|Number of page(s)||12|
|Published online||13 August 2020|
A laboratory study for occupational safety and health on the structure of airborne ultrasound fields
Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt (PTB), Bundesallee 100, 38116 Braunschweig, Germany
* Corresponding author: firstname.lastname@example.org
Accepted: 28 July 2020
While exposure to airborne ultrasound is increasing in occupational contexts and in public and private spaces, existing demand for reliable and traceable determination of exposure to sound with frequencies above 16 kHz cannot currently be satisfied due to a lack of adequate measurement devices and procedures adapted to the specifics of airborne ultrasound. So that this study may serve as a first step for the development of a novel measurement procedure, its aim is to create a comprehensive database of the structures of airborne ultrasound fields present in occupational contexts. Based on this, the limitations of measurement procedures commonly used in the audible frequency range are clarified and the structural characteristics of airborne ultrasound fields investigated. This paper presents a laboratory study of the structure of the airborne ultrasound field of an ultrasonic welding machine, which can be considered a representative occupational source of airborne ultrasound. For this study, the technical and procedural requirements of a measuring system are derived and used to set up and calibrate a measuring system for three-dimensional, high spatial resolution scans of sound pressure levels in the laboratory. The measurement results reveal complex, extensive and very fine-structured interference patterns, some of which have sound pressure levels of up to 138 dB (re 20 μPa).
Key words: Airborne ultrasound / Measuring system / Spatial scanning of sound pressure levels / Sound field mapping / Ultrasonic noise
© R. Schöneweiß et al., Published by EDP Sciences, 2020
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
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