The scientists at the University of Surrey joined hands with Hopkins University to produce a new type of material that might make its way into future automobile manufacturing. The new material in question can withstand vigorous vibrations and has superior sound dampening qualities.
Compared to the materials we use now, this new invention could replace them in automobiles like cars, trains, and even airplanes.
The researchers used layers of 3D woven technical textile composites that have selected unbounded fibers. This arrangement of layers will enable the middle layers of the textile to move while the outside layers stay rigid. This is how the new material maintains high rigidity while having dampening abilities.
Why is this new material so impressive?
This combination of properties is very rare in common materials found around us and rightfully so because as rigidity increases, it results in less movement of internal particles, resulting in low damping abilities. The opposite can be said for dampening materials because as the packing between the internal layers become loose, more will be its dampening ability.
This is why we see metals having high rigidity with a low dampening ability and a material like foam being less rigid but having high dampening ability.
This new invention by the researchers is undoubtedly impressive and can have a major impact on the materials used in the manufacturing of many products that require both these properties.
"The idea of a composite the resolves the paradox of stiffness and damping was thought to be impossible -- yet here we are. This is an exciting development that could send shock waves through the car, train, and aerospace manufacturing industries. This is a material that could make the vehicles of the near future more comfortable than ever before," said Dr. Stefan Szyniszewski, lead author of the study and Assistant Professor of Materials and Structures at the University of Surrey.
Think about replacing the standard body panel materials like aluminum and steel with this new material. Cars and even airplanes will become more silent in their operation.
If you aren’t already aware, automobile manufacturers use a significant amount of soundproofing materials to keep sound and vibrations away from getting into the passenger cabin.
For example, the cabin of the Rolls Royce Phantom VIII is touted to have the most silent passenger cabin among cars. For achieving such a feat, the engineers at Rolls Royce had to use 300 pounds worth of soundproofing material.
This necessity, however, takes a toll on the overall performance and fuel efficiency of the car.
Futuristic material with multi-functional capabilities
The inclusion of soundproofing materials not just affects performance but also takes its toll on the overall space.
By using the 3D woven textile material, automobiles can save on both weight and have additional space amenities. Another reason that this new invention looks so promising is its property to exhibit these characteristics at high temperatures.
As described in the research paper, “In addition to damping and mechanical13 characteristics, 3DW lattice materials can exhibit tailored fluidic permeability, thermal transport and maintain their properties at high service temperature, which may suggest multi-functional capabilities for future studies”.
In this day and age where we milk the most out of every design or invention in the name of efficiency, this new report is indeed a welcoming news!