Automotive

Nissan develops lightweight acoustic meta-material to reduce road noise

Nissan develops lightweight ac...
Nissan says its acoustic meta-material cuts road noise as effectively as the heavy materials currently used
Nissan says its acoustic meta-material cuts road noise as effectively as the heavy materials currently used
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Nissan says its acoustic meta-material cuts road noise as effectively as the heavy materials currently used
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Nissan says its acoustic meta-material cuts road noise as effectively as the heavy materials currently used
Advanced Materials Engineer Susumu Miura with the acoustic meta-material
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Advanced Materials Engineer Susumu Miura with the acoustic meta-material
The acoustic meta-material is a lattice structure covered by a thin plastic film
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The acoustic meta-material is a lattice structure covered by a thin plastic film
The acoustic meta-material is light and flexible
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The acoustic meta-material is light and flexible
Nissan's acoustic meta-material is as effective as the sound insulation materials currently used, but weighs a fourth as much
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Nissan's acoustic meta-material is as effective as the sound insulation materials currently used, but weighs a fourth as much
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Road noise has long been a problem in cars, particularly when traveling at speed on the highway, but it's even more obvious in electric cars, which don't produce engine noise that can help mask it. Nissan has now developed an acoustic meta-material that is as effective as the sound insulation materials currently used, but at a quarter of the weight.

Carmakers have long used rubber boards to reduce road noise inside vehicle cabins, but these are heavy, reducing energy efficiency. This has lead a number of companies, including Hyundai and Bose, to tackle the problem by adapting active noise cancelling technology like that used in headphones in an attempt to cancel out the sound waves. Nissan's approach, however, is passive, so it doesn't require any power or complicated (or expensive) microphone and speaker setup.

The acoustic meta-material is a lattice structure covered by a thin plastic film
The acoustic meta-material is a lattice structure covered by a thin plastic film

The company also claims it is comparable in cost to mass-produce to rubber boards – if not cheaper. This is due to the acoustic meta-material's simple design, which is a lattice structure covered by a thin plastic film. This arrangement, which looks a bit like bubble wrap with one side removed, helps reflect wide frequency band noise in the 500 to 1,200-hertz range hitting the material, reducing the amount that passes through.

In addition to improving the energy efficiency of existing vehicles that currently rely on heavy rubber boards, Nissan says its acoustic meta-material could bring a quieter ride to vehicles whose use of conventional sound insulation materials due to weight and cost constraints.

There's no word on if or when Nissan plans to integrate the acoustic meta-material into its vehicles, but it is displaying the technology in its Ariya concept crossover at CES in Las Vegas.

The material is demonstrated in the video below.

Nissan Ariya Concept with acoustic meta-material for outstanding noise insulation

Source: Nissan

View gallery - 5 images
5 comments
sonic
I wonder what the frequency band noise hertz range is for rubber they are currently using.
paul314
Can we put this stuff in walls, floors and ceilings?
Martin Hone
What is the difference between this and other honeycomb panels ? Maybe regular honeycomb panels would work in the same way ?
Kpar
Interesting. It looks like in could be tuned for different frequencies.

It looks inexpensive to make- it should be on the market for MANY uses, and probably soon. Silent appliances, quieter apartments, and drastically quieter airliners.

We shall see.
christopher
So it makes road-noise twice as bad for everyone outside the car? Pretty selfish!!!
Lucky is will stop working about a week later, after all those holes fill up with dirt I guess.