Image Source: © Fraunhofer UMSICHT
A 3D printed sound absorber made from fungus is the new innovation of German scientists. For a more economically accessible and eco-friendly alternative the scientists at Fraunhofer Institute for Environmental, Safety and Energy Technology have created an acoustic insulation, unlike any other. It is made out of mycelium which is the vegetative component of fungus.
Soundproofing panels are usually made of mineral fibres which can’t be recycled and can be quite costly. So, in a bid to bring forth a sustainable alternative; a cost effective 3D printed fungal sound absorber was created. 3D printing is a method used to produce complex shapes with less material. Keeping this in mind, a three dimensional array is assembled which can be modeled into a desired shape. In order to prevent further growth the material is then left to dry.
It is a promising take to meet the need of the present keeping in mind its sustainable future. This fungal-based sound absorber has numerous advantages – It is environmentally friendly, the material which is penetrated by mycelium has well-built structure, where in a thin layer can be integrated to create sound absorbers, it is economical.
What is the long-term scope of this 3d printed sound absorber ?
It can be used as a base material for fabric, and plastic. Housing for electric appliances and furniture are further prospects that are being considered by the research team.
It is much needed addition to economic sustainability, and environmentally friendly technologies. It can open doors to numerous innovations with eco-friendly attributes. This could lead to an increase in the use of natural materials. The research has struck a balance between economically successful, and socially just development.