Calibrating and Protecting Microphones to Allow Acoustic Measurements in Hazardous Environments
Performing acoustic measurements on or near engines, transmissions, as well as in other circumstances where the environment is hazardous and harsh for microphones requires special precautions. Fluids inevitably leak, and the possibility of transducer damage can be very high without proper protection. Properly protecting microphones during testing allows for consistent data quality in these hazardous and difficult environments. While this paper will present the use of a 5 mil Nitrile cover which protects against many fluids within the scope of automotive testing, including water, hydrocarbons, and alcohols, as well as having good heat resistance and high strength, the concepts developed are applicable to other types of microphone protective mechanisms. Acoustic sensitivity was measured and used to calculate the change of the microphone's response after the treatment is applied, as well as after being exposed to various contaminants.