Acoustic metamaterial – this ring blocks sound waves

In our ever louder world, it is sometimes difficult to find a quiet place to concentrate. But how can you counteract this? A team from Boston University has now developed a device that blocks up to 94 percent of incoming sound waves while still allowing light and air to pass through.

But how is this physically possible? The scientists were looking for a material that would reflect the incoming sound waves back to their source without blocking light or air. After several experiments, they printed a donut form in a 3D printer and attached this scaffold to the end of a PVC pipe. The other end was attached to a loudspeaker.

The “donut” is called an “acoustic metamaterial” by Boston researchers because it is shaped to capture and reflect certain frequencies transmitted through the air.


“Sound is made by very tiny disturbances in the air. So, our goal is to silence those tiny vibrations. If we want the inside of a structure to be open air, then we have to keep in mind that this will be the pathway through which sound travels.”


The acoustic metamaterial is used in various areas. For example, it can be used as a tile or brick to build a sound-absorbing wall. Drones and other noisy machines can also be damped to make less noise. Even in the medical field the acoustic metamaterial is used. In MRI machines, which can be very noisy, the rings can be used to provide peace of mind so that patients can be calmer during treatment.


Innovation Profile: Acoustic Metamaterial

All in all, the silencer material has a lot of potential, which is further increased by the air and light permeability.

acoustic metamaterial

The development from Boston is unique on the market and therefore very high in innovation. uncertainty, complexity and conflict content must be set extremely low at the same time, since there are no critical points at the development.

Fazit: The acoustic metamaterial is versatile, completely new and has only advantages. It can fundamentally change the construction of buildings as well as machines and bring a little peace into our noisy world.


Post Picture: Boston University

Alexander Pinker
Alexander Pinker
Alexander Pinker is an innovation profiler, future strategist and media expert who helps companies understand the opportunities behind technologies such as artificial intelligence for the next five to ten years. He is the founder of the consulting firm "Alexander Pinker - Innovation Profiling", the innovation marketing agency "innovate! communication" and the news platform "Medialist Innovation". He is also the author of three books and a lecturer at the Technical University of Würzburg-Schweinfurt.

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