Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Noise protection: Multifunctional and aesthetical

Date:
January 14, 2013
Source:
Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft
Summary:
Noise abatement is growing in importance, thus, the demand for better acoustic building components raises. Scientists are developing new solutions: aesthetically good looking and flexibly applicable microperforated sound absorbers.

Self-supporting microperforated honeycombs adapt to a variety of uses and blend in well with the overall architectural concept.
Credit: © Fraunhofer IBP

Noise abatement is growing in importance, thus, the demand for better acoustic building components raises. Scientists are developing new solutions: aesthetically good looking and flexibly applicable microperforated sound absorbers.

Too much noise causes illness. This is as an undisputed fact nowadays, and yet we're still constantly assailed by noise as we go about our daily lives, be it from traffic or voices in large open-plan offices. Noise pollution can be reduced with the help of structural solutions; we've all seen noise barriers along busy roads and train lines, and there are special acoustic structural components, so-called sound absorbers, which are used inside buildings to keep noise levels down. But there's a problem. The construction components used up until now may well be effective at reducing noise, but they are not often very functional. Architects who incorporate soundproofing measures into their designs often complain about the inflexibility of modern materials. Limiting factors that affect the choice of material include weight, fire resistance or the hygienic requirements involved when designing large-scale kitchens or laboratories. After all there's also an aesthetic aspect; hardly anyone would say that a solid concrete wall along a road was attractive.

Scientists at the Fraunhofer Institute for Building Physics IBP are working on new solutions. "One of the main things we are focusing on developing is microperforated construction components. This technology is suitable for all types of material and enables the production of multifunctional, visually appealing sound absorbers that can be used for a flexible range of applications," explains Prof. Dr. Philip Leistner, acting institute director and head of the acoustics department at the IBP. Microperforated absorbers consist of membranes or sheets that have been perforated with a multitude of tiny holes or slits. When sound waves strike the surface as oscillating air molecules, friction is generated between the air in motion and the edge of the miniscule openings. It is this loss of energy that results in the sound being absorbed. The only prerequisite is that there is an air chamber located behind the openings, to allow the molecules to continue oscillating once they have passed through, as otherwise the sound would simply be reflected. Depending on the material, the holes are drilled, punched or pricked.

"Above all, it's a question of cost efficiency," explains Prof. Leistner. "When it comes to ensuring the manufacturing process is cost-effective, it's important to realize that not all methods are equally well suited for every material." For it goes without saying that despite all the advantages they offer, sound absorbers must also remain affordable. Stuttgart staff and their industrial partners have already worked together to develop a whole generation of market-ready microperforated acoustic construction components. The technology means that, for the first time, it is possible to make sound absorbers that are both transparent and translucent. When mounted onto building faηades or as noise barriers at the roadside, these materials have the desired effect without detracting from the landscape, and they can also be superbly integrated into the interior architecture of buildings.

Elastic surfaces for hygiene-sensitive areas

New additions to the sound absorber family are expected thanks to the latest developments at the IBP. Scientists there are working on elastic surfaces that are made of tubes arranged side by side, with microscopically small spaces in between. "It's a bit like having a brush with bristles that are enhanced by little extra attachments at the ends -- only much denser," explains Prof. Leistner. Such a pliable surface means even micro-holes can be cleaned easily, making it a material that is particularly suitable for use in hygiene-sensitive areas. Extrusion technology has proved especially cost-effective for large-scale applications. This method produces a two-dimensional surface profile with micro-slits, air chambers and base plate by pressing materials such as plastic or aluminum through a shaped nozzle. In the same way as with window and faηade profiles, this creates finished, one-piece absorber components that come off the production line as a continuous length of material, eradicating the need for complicated mounting procedures which proved often more expensive than the material itself. Fraunhofer scientists will be presenting prototypes of these new developments alongside tried and tested solutions at the BAU 2013 construction trade fair from January 14-19 in Munich.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft. "Noise protection: Multifunctional and aesthetical." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 14 January 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/01/130114133329.htm>.
Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft. (2013, January 14). Noise protection: Multifunctional and aesthetical. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 17, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/01/130114133329.htm
Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft. "Noise protection: Multifunctional and aesthetical." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/01/130114133329.htm (accessed September 17, 2014).

Share This



More Matter & Energy News

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Space Race Pits Bezos Vs Musk

Space Race Pits Bezos Vs Musk

Reuters - Business Video Online (Sep. 16, 2014) — Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos' startup will team up with Boeing and Lockheed to develop rocket engines as Elon Musk races to have his rockets certified. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
MIT's Robot Cheetah Unleashed — Can Now Run, Jump Freely

MIT's Robot Cheetah Unleashed — Can Now Run, Jump Freely

Newsy (Sep. 16, 2014) — MIT developed a robot modeled after a cheetah. It can run up to speeds of 10 mph, though researchers estimate it will eventually reach 30 mph. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Manufacturer Prints 3-D Car In Record Time

Manufacturer Prints 3-D Car In Record Time

Newsy (Sep. 15, 2014) — Automobile manufacturer Local Motors created a drivable electric car using a 3-D printer. Printing the body only took 44 hours. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Refurbished New York Subway Tunnel Unveiled After Sandy Damage

Refurbished New York Subway Tunnel Unveiled After Sandy Damage

Reuters - US Online Video (Sep. 15, 2014) — New York officials unveil subway tunnels that were refurbished after Superstorm Sandy. Nathan Frandino reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

    Technology News



    Save/Print:
    Share:  

    Free Subscriptions


    Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

    Get Social & Mobile


    Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

    Have Feedback?


    Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
    Mobile iPhone Android Web
    Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
    Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
    Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins