Axis 1 – Self-Adaptive Architectures:

Acoustic metamaterials: toward a perfect sound attenuation

A major interest of metamaterials lies in their exotic possibilities of manipulating waves by only playing with peculiar geometries, provided those are periodic and of sub-wavelength sizes with respect to the typical wave to control. This confers unprecedented properties to usual matter, like perfect reflection, perfect absorption, or perfect trapping of any impinging wave. In this context, EIPHI researchers with PhD students have developed innovative solutions that dramatically change the way of engineering sound insulation: they have conceived smart acoustic metamaterials made of ultrathin panels (cm-thicknesses) of whatever constitutive material, be it glass, wood or even cardboard. And, their attenuation performances are beyond those of far much thicker standard soundproofing solutions like foams, wools or mass-loaded panels. These patented sonic metamaterials have now become mature enough to pursue the adventure outside the laboratory. This is the challenge addressed by Youssef Tejda, engineer, and EIPHI PhD Aliyasin El Ayouch who have embarked on the creation of the spinoff METABSORBER. The aim is both to produce a diversity of on-demand sound-insulating panels and integrate the sound-opacity metamaterial concept directly into everyday life furniture or objects. A bet that has convinced the Jury of Economia Fair 2017 in Montbéliard who awarded them twice with the “Innovative process” and “Favourite” Prizes.