Apr 12, 2013
The "Bionic Silent Cut" innovation network investigates ways of tackling noise pollution by drawing inspiration from nature
Constant exposure to noise on industrial production lines can endanger people's health. In the "Bionic Silent Cut" innovation network, researchers from the Fraunhofer institutes IAO and LBF are turning to strategies used in nature in order to develop ways of reducing noise and vibrations in production environments.
Noise pollution is considered to be a major environmental concern in today's world. The problem of noise exposure is particularly acute for people who work on machining processes in the manufacturing industry. This situation could be significantly improved by developing quieter tools. In the "Bionic Silent Cut" innovation network, Fraunhofer IAO is working with Fraunhofer LBF and with manufacturers of machines and components used in machining and material removal processes to draw inspiration from nature that could help create ideas and solutions for reducing exposure to noise.
Many different strategies are used in nature to reduce noise and vibrations. Examples include increasing stiffness through the use of micro and macro structures, vibration dampers that make use of adaptive dampers, and decoupling vibrations using hybrid materials. This highly promising approach offers a broad range of potential applications and is modeled on the surface structure of the tropical pitcher plant. In the future, scientists are hoping to use this example from nature to create a vibration-damping layer between metal-to-metal joint faces in tool components. The separating layer is micro-nano porous and is coated in a sound-absorbing liquid. The micro and nanopores create an extremely strong adhesive bond with the sound-absorbing liquid, and this hybrid surface quality (metal + sound-dampening liquid) can be used for acoustic decoupling in a wide range of different ways.
The partners in the "Bionic Silent Cut" innovation network are conducting experimental and numerical research into this and other methods. Their work is facilitated by the expertise of Fraunhofer IAO in the field of bionics and the comprehensive knowledge of Fraunhofer LBF in the field of noise and vibration reduction.
Partners and other interested parties who would like to find out more about the "Bionic Silent Cut" innovation network can request access to an online information platform. Visitors to this special partner site will gain useful insights into the current research units established at Fraunhofer LBF to study noise and vibration reduction. The platform also provides more details on the potential that bionics may offer to help tackle noise and vibration. As well as consulting up-to-date information, visitors can also pose questions related to these issues and participate in discussions.
To request access to the online information platform, please use the contact details specified below. Please note that all requests must be submitted by April 30 at the latest.