Ping pong balls on walls score big at blocking out noise, study reveals


LILLE, France —  Ping pong balls supply an inexpensive and environment friendly resolution for noise insulation, in accordance with scientists. With some modifications, their research finds that the light-weight plastic spheres may act as efficient sound absorbers.

Previous analysis indicated that continual publicity to low-frequency noise air pollution — a standard frustration in cities, close to highways, and round airports — can result in a host of health issues. This city noise, usually perceived as mere background sound, may end up in illnesses resembling earaches, respiratory issues, irritability, and numerous different long-term well being issues. Furthermore, on account of its various origins and its capacity to penetrate buildings extra readily than high-frequency sound, low-frequency noise proves notably elusive to mitigate.

Nevertheless, a current progressive resolution has emerged from a collaborative research between the College of Lille and the Nationwide Technical College of Athens in Greece. Researchers have crafted an acoustic “metasurface” using ping pong balls as Helmholtz resonators, providing an economical methodology for insulating towards low-frequency noise.

“Ping pong balls are well-known, on a regular basis objects, current in giant numbers all around the world. Our motivation was to make use of these simply accessible objects to create a low-frequency insulating panel construction,” says research creator Robine Sabat in a media release. “Ping pong balls due to this fact current a cost-effective different to acoustic insulators for each low price and potential recycling.”

Multiple pictures of white ping pong balls placed in different devices to block noise.
Experimental setup and numerical mannequin of sound transmission by way of an acoustic metasurface primarily based on pierced ping pong balls. (credit score: Sabat et al.)

An acoustic metasurface is a cloth intentionally designed to regulate sound waves. The research’s metasurface consisted of hole ping pong balls with small perforations, emulating Helmholtz resonators.

“The Helmholtz resonator has the distinctive capacity to seize ambient sound waves exactly at its pure frequency and will be represented as cavities linked to their atmosphere through a slender neck. The originality of the work was to contemplate the impact of the coupling between two resonators, resulting in the prevalence of two resonance frequencies,” Sabat explains.

This enhance in resonant frequencies meant enhanced sound absorption. Constructing on this success, the researchers expanded their design, making a panel that resembled a grid of perforated ping pong balls. This elevated the vary of resonant frequencies that may very well be absorbed. By various the variety of balls, the variety of perforations, and the scale of those perforations, the staff demonstrated that one can design an efficient sound absorption panel with out resorting to pricey supplies.

“The potential of this metasurface extends past sound insulation. It may be broadened to attain numerous features just like different metasurfaces. These functionalities embody sound focusing, unconventional sound reflection, sound transmission manipulation, and extra,” notes Sabat.

The research is printed within the Journal of Applied Physics.

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South West Information Service author Stephen Beech contributed to this report.

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