Professor V�ctor S�nchez-Morcillo from the Technical University of Valencia

Perfect sound absorber defies logic

Spanish researchers have developed a new device that enables complete absorption of sound at a wide range of frequencies

The device, based on a conventional porous material used in the construction industry, could open new possibilities in noise reduction in the transport sector, for example, which frequently struggles with noise pollution especially along railways or busy roads.

“Our study tackles one of the most important problems of today's society from a new point of view: the design of materials and surfaces able to significantly reduce noise,” said Víctor Sánchez-Morcillo, researcher at the Campus de Gandia of the Universitat Politècnica de València, who led the study together with his colleagues from the Technical University of Denmark and the University of Le Mans, France.

“In the view of the results, we believe we have taken an important step toward the perfect absorber. And that has been done just by reconfiguring a known material,” he added.

Rather surprising about the new technique is the fact that it achieves improved sound absorption while using a smaller amount of the absorbent material.

The key to understand this logic-defying concept is the innovative configuration of the material in periodically distributed panels. Such a distribution allows the sound waves to better penetrate the material and increases the interaction between the wave and the structure, thereby increasing the absorption.

Results of the study testing the new approach have been published in Nature Publishing’s Scientific Reports.

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