Nissan used the recent CES show to highlight a new material that can be used to reduce cabin noise levels while also boosting energy efficiency.
The new material is a lightweight sound insulation material which goes by the name acoustic meta-material and it has a simple composition. It uses a combination of a lattice structure and plastic film to control air vibrations and thus limit the transmission of wide frequency band noise (500-1200 hertz) like engine noise and road noise.
Conventionally, materials like heavy rubber board are used for minimizing noise belonging to this frequency band. When compared to these materials, the new acoustic meta-material weighs only one-fourth as much without in any way comprising on the degree of sound isolation.
Thanks to its simple structure, the material is cost competitive when it comes to production on a large scale. It is just as cheap or possibly even cheaper than the materials that are currently used for sound isolation. It is quite likely that the new material can be used for sound insulation in cases where the use of conventional materials is currently limited due to cost or weight considerations.
Nissan started exploring meta-material technology around 2008. At the time, meta-material was used in high-sensitivity antennas which were used for electromagnetic wave research. Nissan’s team worked on extending the applicability of meta-material technology to include sound waves, with the outcome being the successful invention of acoustic meta-material.
Reducing the weight of vehicles can minimize their environmental impact by improving energy efficiency. It also adds to enjoyment of the driving experience, as the quiet vehicle cabin makes driving more comfortable.
Visitors to CES 2020 had a chance to see and experience the new acoustic meta-material at Nissan’s display (6306) in the North Hall of the Las Vegas Convention Center.
Manju Mathew, an MBA in marketing, completed publisher training courses from the Oxford Brookes University and New York University. She started with marketing and PR roles before moving on to her current position as a full time writer. Currently living in Dubai, her life as an expat has sharpened her observation skills and flair for writing. She enjoys writing about luxury cars like Ferrari, Lamborghini, etc even if she can only dream of owning them.
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