Nissan is one of the many automakers at CES 2020, and one of the cool innovations that Nissan is showing off is a new noise-reducing material that can be integrated into vehicles. The lightweight material is known as an acoustic meta-material.
It’s a combination of a lattice structure and a plastic film that controls air vibrations to limit the transmission of a wide range of band noise in the 500 to 1200 hertz range. That covers noise from the road and engine. Nissan says that the material currently used for blocking this type of sound is a heavy rubber board.
The new acoustic meta-material weighs one-fourth as much as the current materials while providing the same degree of sound isolation. The simple structure of the material makes it cost-competitive in terms of mass production. The lightweight and similar pricing means that the new material can be applied in situations that are currently limited due to cost or weight.
Nissan says that it started research on the new material around 2008. At the time meta-material was used in high-sensitivity antennas used for electromagnetic wave research. Nissan worked to extend the applicability of the material to include sound waves leading to the invention of the acoustic meta-material.
Nissan says that the material can help to make a vehicle lighter, which reduces the environmental impact by requiring less fuel and producing fewer emissions. In electric vehicles, less weight means longer driving range. Nissan has not announced when the material will go into use in a production vehicle or what vehicle might get the material first. The material will be on display at CES 2020 in the Nissan display on January 7 through 10.