Nissan Goes Light on Insulation
Listen up. Nissan is developing a new soundproofing material that claims to provide the same benefits as current rubber-based systems at one-fourth the weight.
The so-called “acoustic meta-material” is designed to counter wide-frequency noise vibrations (500-1200Hz). Not coincidentally, that’s the typical range generated by road and engine noises, which no one wants to hear inside their car.
How it Works
The ultra-thin insulation is comprised of a lattice structure covered in a plastic film. The construction deflects air vibrations and limits noise transmission into a vehicle.
New soundproofing material is one-fourth the weight of conventional rubber-based systems. Source: Nissan
Nissan began working on the technology in 2008. At the time, applications focused on high-sensitivity antennas used for electromagnetic wave research. But being a carmaker, the company wisely decided to look for ways to apply the material more directly to its primary business.
Nissan is mum on a commercialization timeline. But it hints that the first application may be an electric vehicle. Because there is no engine noise in an EV, road noises are all the more noticeable.
In addition to weight savings—which, Nissan is quick to point out, will boost range—the design also enables greater packaging flexibility.
Nissan expects the new material will be at least cost competitive and, in some cases, less expensive than conventional soundproofing materials in mass-production applications.
This will allow it to be used in a wide range of vehicles, including models where sound insulation materials are limited due to cost and weight constraints. That’s music to everyone’s ears.