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Towards acoustic metafoams for broad-range sound insulation

Project description

Metafoams, a new material foam to protect against noise pollution

Sound pollution is linked to a range of health problems, yet the number of Europeans exposed to high levels of noise is on the rise. Around 50 million people living in urban areas suffer from excessively high levels of traffic noise at night, and for 20 million of them night-time traffic noise actually has a damaging effect on health. Acoustic foams are existing solutions that provide strong sound absorption and noise reduction. Yet, they are effective only in the mid- and high-frequency range. The EU-funded METAFOAM project has a new solution targeting low frequencies. It enables so-called acoustic metafoams – a new class of materials consisting of particle-enriched acoustic foams. Two effective mechanisms, the visco-thermal dissipation and local resonance are combined envisaging to the creation of a very efficient sound insulator.


Sound pollution is an omni-present problem in our modern society that affects our well-being and the quality of life. Technical solutions to reduce the impact of sound in a broad frequency range are therefore of vital importance. Moreover, solutions should be economically attractive, since the volumes of sound insulation required in our society are extremely large. Acoustic foams are nowadays one of the best available solution towards this problem, but they are mainly effective in the mid- and high-frequency regime. Novel technical solutions that target the lower frequency regime are therefore urgently needed. Within the ERC-AdG project MECHMAM, a possible solution has been proposed in the research on dynamical metamaterials. One particular category proposed in that ERC-project are acoustic metafoams. This novel class of materials are enriched acoustic foams, whereby a mass is implemented in the cavities of the foams. This combines two effective mechanisms, i.e. visco-thermal dissipation and local resonance. Interestingly, the project showed on a model-basis that the interaction between these two operating mechanisms may lead to an amplification of the damping within the material, leading to a potentially very efficient sound insulator. Within the ERC-AdG-project, most findings were still theoretical or model-based. This PoC-project aims to assess this basic idea and bring it to practice. In order to reach this objective, attention will be given to the metafoam manufacturing methods having potential for large volume production and the validation of the metafoam actual performance. Parallel to the technical activities, a competitive market analysis will be carried out to establish the IPR and the commercialization plan, in collaboration with industrial and societal partners. We will further explore technology transfer towards various end-users. Market outreach will be performed so that the metafoam products and services reach their potential customers.

Host institution

Net EU contribution
€ 150 000,00
5612 AE Eindhoven

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Zuid-Nederland Noord-Brabant Zuidoost-Noord-Brabant
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Total cost
No data

Beneficiaries (1)