Hearing in Noise With Improved Noise Reduction Foam

Award Information
Agency: Department of Health and Human Services
Branch: N/A
Contract: 2R44DC007014-02
Agency Tracking Number: DC007014
Amount: $802,501.00
Phase: Phase II
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2005
Solicitation Year: 2005
Solicitation Topic Code: N/A
Solicitation Number: PHS2005-2
Small Business Information
420 Hayward Ave No., Oakdale, MN, 55128
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 (651) 739-9427
Business Contact
Phone: (651) 739-9427
Research Institution
DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): Large numbers of individuals are exposed to high noise environments during their normal day compromising hearing, safety and effective communication. The health and safety of individuals and their ability to communicate in high noise environments is increased with Insert Passive Noise Reduction communication devices that reduce high ambient noise while delivering the desired sound. The hearing-in-noise devices are based on in-the-ear miniature speaker systems that send desired sound through a lumen in a passive noise reducing viscoelastic foam tip that resides in the ear canal providing insertion gain. The result is a significant increase in signal-to-noise ratio. The heart of our SBIR approach is a novel foam sound dampening material construction that shows significantly improved sound attenuation over the best available viscoelastic materials. The approach would build on our manufacturing process expertise for the high volume production of foam Comply(tm) Snap Tips. Phase I has shown the feasibility of achieving a greater than 3 dB improvement in attenuation, thus more than doubling the effectiveness of the best available commercial sound attenuation earpiece, i.e., viscoelastic polyurethane foam, in a convincing and reproducible manner. Phase II will consist of defining the basic science, i.e., rheology of the enhanced viscoelastic foam material, to lay a foundation for the development of manufacturing processes for producing the enhanced viscoelastic material into low-cost, disposables that work in tandem to improve our customers' in-the-ear electronic devices that provide hearing and related communications in noisy environments.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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