VirtualProsthesis - Development of a validated numerical simulation model for the prevention of flow noise in prostheses

Project: Research project

Project Details


Human joints, in particular the human knee, are a masterpiece of evolution, providing a functional, self-healing, low-noise, and damage-tolerant transmission of power into motion. In our daily lives, we rely on our joints with a reassuring naturalness. Unfortunately, accidents occur, rarely but often unexpectedly, resulting in severe limb injuries and requiring amputation as a last resort for survival. For example, 57,637 amputations were recorded in Germany in 2014. In such difficult life situations, technical aids such as prostheses. These knee prostheses use a controlled hydraulic damping system to support and secure natural walking. Mechatronic prostheses are considered state-of-the-art remedies after amputations and allow people with impairments to regain a certain degree of mobility and comfort in life. Modern knee prostheses must meet a wide range of requirements to provide the user with the best possible support in everyday life. The application profile of users requires functionality, while little noise is emitted. Under certain circumstances, however, considerable noise can be generated, which is perceived as a stress factor by the wearer and is perceived as unpleasant by the surrounding people. Health authorities impose limits for approval to minimize this annoying stress factor. Customer satisfaction even drives the company to suffice stricter limits. Therefore, modern knee prostheses meet a wide range of requirements to provide the user with the best possible support in everyday life. In addition to the functional and mechanical properties, the emitted sound level also makes a significant contribution to wearing comfort. The core idea is to develop a computer-aided simulation methodology that, can be used proactively and at an early stage in product development to avoid noise sources (acoustic hotspots). In detail, acoustic hotspots are understood as cavitation zones, turbulence noise, and the acoustic transfer path via the structure (frame, hydraulics, etc.) to the ear/microphone. Based on highly accurate and computationally intensive simulation models, a time-efficient acoustic simulation method is developed. This time-efficient acoustic simulation method will be validated with measurements on the GENIUM series, allowing the findings to be applied to the flow acoustic and vibroacoustic optimization of the design subsequently. The acoustic measurement setup aims to minimize the background noise of the drive units (which are required for the joint movement) on the one hand and to ensure appropriate reproducibility on the other.
Effective start/end date1/07/2130/06/24


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