Eimear O’Carroll – CTO and co-founder of SoundBounce talks at the IAA conference in Germany on how, The next generation of industrial innovation cannot be unlocked without new acoustic materials.
Our world is a very noisy place. Traffic and sirens cause a lack of sleep in cities. Airports are forced to shut down at night.
Acoustic materials are all around us. They’re in cars, trucks, buses, buildings, home appliances and industrial machinery. But existing materials do not meet the challenges of the increasingly noisy world we live in today.
Industries are facing increasingly stringent regulation. This is being driven by public health considerations and consumer demand.
When it comes to noise reduction, low frequencies are the main technical bottleneck. The main sources of low frequency noise are engines, machinery, and anything that vibrates.
Thick and heavy slabs of conventional materials are required to block noise, especially at low frequencies, making cars heavier and less spacious. This added bulk has a knock on effect on emissions and battery capacity.
Tough EU noise regulations are coming down the line, including automotive and aerospace, and industries don’t have the technology to comply.
Regulations and consumers are driving us towards greener, quieter vehicles.
The new Pass By noise regulations are introducing big changes to European vehicle laws. In 2023 only 70% of today’s cars will meet the new standards. That will decrease further to only 30% in 2027. Buses and trucks fall under this legislation too, everything on EU roads will have to become quieter.
The automotive industry needs to take action now or face major consequences in the next decade. The way we measure traffic noise is also set to change. These new regulations will see those noise measurements will have to reflect what people on the street experience, and reductions made accordingly.
The EU wants its citizens to be greener, and to have more people on public transport. But realistically, most of us still want or need our own car, so the move towards the accessible adoption of greener vehicles is needed. Directives and regulations are supporting this but we have yet to see broad public adoption of eVehicles.
There are around 50 kilos of acoustic material in a mid-range car. These materials are in the roof, floor, tyres, power trains, engine housing, doors, they’re everywhere. The move to eVehicles will reduce the need for acoustic materials around the engine, but increase it in other places like the tyres and doors. Shaving any amount of the thickness of a material is considered a major improvement. Advanced materials can help you get a more streamlined design in a sector where fuel efficiency and battery capacity are your top priorities.
SoundBounce is an advanced material – and a viable solution to the acoustic & space problem in automotive. It has superior acoustic performance.
In comparison to the most widely used acoustic materials, it has been independently tested to absorb noise up to 1000 times more effectively at low frequencies and 100 times at other frequencies. It’s 3 times thinner which enables designers to create smaller, lighter products with a significant reduction in noise – and is cost-competitive.
We have harnessed the power of the SoundBounce materials by housing it in a cellular structure of our design. These materials are responsive. So it is a solid like material when not in use but activates and becomes more liquid like when exposed to noise energy. The materials appear solid at rest and flow more when exposed to energy, in our case sound energy. The transition from a solid-like to a liquid-like state, and back, is what absorbs the sound energy.
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