A Nissan innovation that can help make cars quieter and more energy efficient has won an award from Popular Science. The noise-reducing technology, known as acoustic meta-material, received a 2020 Popular Science Best of What’s New Award in the automotive category.
Established in 1872, Popular Science is one of the U.S.’s oldest and most trusted brands, reporting on groundbreaking innovations and discoveries. The Best of What’s New Awards recognise breakthrough products and technologies that represent significant advancements in their categories.
Nissan’s acoustic meta-material is a new lightweight sound insulation material. Its makeup is simple: A combination of a lattice structure and plastic film controls air vibrations to limit the transmission of wide frequency band noise (500-1200 hertz), such as road and engine noise. While most materials used to isolate this frequency band consist mainly of heavy rubber board, Nissan’s acoustic meta-material is one-fourth the weight yet provides the same degree of sound isolation.
“We plan to use acoustic meta-material in a wide range of applications – not only in luxury cars and electric vehicles, but also in vehicles where the use of heavy sound insulation materials has been limited,” said Susumu Miura, Nissan’s advanced material engineer in charge of the acoustic meta-material project. “Through development and use of this material, we aim to make our customers’ driving experience more comfortable and enjoyable.”
Nissan says its acoustic meta-material is currently under development for commercialisation.