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Abstract

The aim of the study was to determine the configuration of pathologic audiograms in patients with excessive noise exposure, and to calculate the frequency of notches in the audiogram in patients with and without excessive noise exposure by avoiding the effect of age-related hearing loss. We have analyzed 514 audiograms of 257 patients aged between 20 to 50 years: 240 patients (mean age of 38.7 years) with excessive noise exposure and 17 patients (mean age of 41.2 years) with notches in the audiogram, but without a history of excessive noise exposure. For statistical data analysis we have used the Chi-square test and Fisher exact test with the level of significance p < 0.05. Pathologic audiograms were classified into five different types: Slope at 4000 Hz (0.8%), Slope at 2000 Hz (15.1%), Notch at 4000 Hz (67.4%), Notch at 2000 Hz (0.8%), Flat (8.9%), and 7% were out of this classification. A total of 190 (79.2%) patients with excessive noise exposure had a notch in the audiogram. Left ear notches were the most common. Among the patients with notched audiograms, 91.8% had a history of excessive noise exposure, either occupational or nonoccupational, and 8.2% did not report any excessive noise exposure.
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Abstract

The article presents an analysis of the change in air voids in asphalt mixtures subjected to fatigue tests at three temperatures of 0°C, 10°C and 25°C. The X-ray computerized tomography imaging method, XCT, was used to identify the air voids in the samples. The research allowed to determine changes in the content of air voids in subsequent fatigue cycles in the sample area. The relationship between air voids volume and the stiffness modulus value was also determined during fatigue for three temperatures. The largest changes were found in samples with notches at 0°C. The analysis of the change in the content of air voids showed that the micro-cracking nucleation processes develop with the number of fatigue cycles. Using the numerical model finite element method we determined the distribution and change in fatigue damage in the extreme areas of the sample during various stages of fatigue. We found clear relationship between the damage and the increased content of air voids.
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Abstract

Many studies have been developed aiming to improve digital filters realizations, recurring to intricate structures and analyzing probabilistically the error's behavior. The work presented in this paper analyzes the feasibility of fixed-point implementation of classical infinite impulse response notch filters: Butterworth, Chebyshev I and II, and elliptic. To scrutinize the deformations suffered for distinct design specifications, it is assessed: the effect of the quality factor and normalized cut-off frequency, in the number of significant bits necessary to represent the filter's coefficients. The implications brought to FPGA implementation are also verified. The work focuses especially on the implementation of power line notch filters used to improve the signal-to-noise ratio in biomedical signals. The results obtained, when quantizing the digital notch filters, show that by applying second-order sections decomposition, low-order digital filters may be designed using only part of double precision capabilities. High-order notch filters with harsh design constraints are implementable using double precision, but only in second-order sections. Thus, it is revealed that to optimize computation time in real-time applications, an optimal digital notch filter implementation platform should have variable arithmetic precision. Considering these implementation constraints, utmost operation performance is finally estimated when implementing digital notch filters in Xilinx Virtex-5 field-programmable gate arrays. The influence of several design specifications, e.g. type, and order, in the filter's behavior was evaluated, namely in regard to order, type, input and coefficient number of bits, quality factor and cut-off frequency. Finally the implications and potential applications of such results are discussed.
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