MadSci Network: Anatomy

Re: What is the tensile strenght of vocal cords?

Date: Thu Dec 19 22:11:43 2002
Posted By: Michael Watson, Biomedical Engineer currently Teaching Math/Biology
Area of science: Anatomy
ID: 1039627260.An


The vocal cords are actually ligaments connected to the vocal process of 
each arytenoid cartilage in the back and to the thyroid cartilage in the 
front. The vocal processes of the arytenoids are manipulated by the vocal 
and cricoarytenoid muscles (lateral and posterior). The vocal cords are 
brought together and separated by flexing these muscles. When the vocal 
cords are brought together, their tension is controlled by the vocal 
muscles and the cricothyroid muscles so that the air passed through them 
causes the cords to vibrate. When relaxed, the vocal cords vibrate slower 
than when tensed, causing a lower pitch. 

As for the tensile strength of the chords I have not been able to find 
that answer.  However, I am sure that this varies from person to person 
because of how their voice pitch changes.  For human ligaments, the 
tensile strength varies between 50 and 100 MPa.

As for the loudness of a presons voice depends on how they have "trained" 
their voice.  By increasing the flow and force of expiration through the 
vocal folds and cords will cause the person to speak softly or loudly.

Hope this answers your question. If I find out the exact average I will 
post it.


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