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Managing traffic noises has challenged researchers for some time, largely because different types of vehicles produce a broad range of sounds frequencies on roads.
At the moment, only heavy, wall-like barriers can effectively dampen all of these various sounds.
Researchers - Method - 'origami - Lattice - Prototype
But researchers have developed a new method, dubbed the 'origami lattice' prototype, that could potentially reduce acoustic noise on roadways.
The system relies on noise-diffusing cylinders that can be drawn closer together or farther apart to selectively dampen different sound frequencies.
Study - Researchers - University - Michigan - Ann
A new study conducted by researchers at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor describes the origami inspired method.
The origami sonic barriers rely on cylinders called inclusions which are placed on an aluminium sheet bent into a Miura fold - an origami folding method which involves folding a flat surface, such as a piece of paper, into a small area - like an accordion.
Lattice - Fold - Cylinders - Noise - Frequency
As the resulting lattice fold, the cylinders are drawn closer together or farther apart, diffusing noise in different frequency ranges.
'The lattice contains only one degree of freedom, making it particularly easy to collapse and expand,' said Manoj Thota, a co-author of the study.
Lattice - Traffic - Experts - Devices - Frequency
Manipulating such a lattice may allow traffic experts to adjust noise-dampening devices to particular frequency ranges.
For example, heavier vehicles produce noise at lower frequencies than lighter vehicles.
Cars - Times - Frequencies - Cars - Traffic
Cars traveling quickly during off-peak times skew toward higher frequencies than cars stuck in traffic jams.
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