Black holes in wooden boards are supposed to dampen sound

Black holes in the universe are so dense that not even light can escape. Empa researchers have now developed black holes for wooden boards that are not supposed to swallow everything, but at least sound.

Clacking and loud footsteps can be annoying. Not only in old apartments, but also in new buildings, appropriate sound insulation remains a challenge, Empa announced.

Researchers Stefan Schönwald and Sven Vallely are working on innovative wooden panels that will bring peace and quiet to rooms. The approach: so-called acoustic black holes are to swallow noise by absorbing the sound waves vibrating through the wood and allowing them to dissipate. Computer simulations showed that this should work.

Lenticular depressions

To put the test to the test, Empa researchers teamed up with the Strüby carpentry shop, which precisely mills the black holes out of real wood panels. These are not actually holes, but lens-shaped depressions.

In an initial experiment, the researchers investigated how vibrations move through the plate - and the results largely matched the computer simulations, Empa noted. Currently, impact sound measurements are being carried out in accordance with international standard specifications, Schönwald explained. Fire protection and structural properties also still need to be confirmed.

Once the test series is complete, the scientists also plan to develop a method that will show the best arrangement and shape of the indentations to the desired floor size and shape.

Written by: sda

Photos: Empa

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