Arthur D. Little has developed a technology that, it claims, can reduce the sound and vibration of common appliances by as much as 50%.
The technology – called Lodengraf – comprises lightweight, granular materials that, when placed inside or around a noisy item, dramatically reduce vibration and sound. The technology was recently awarded its fifth patent.
‘Lodengraf has tremendous potential to change how we hear the world around us. It substantially reduces noise from vibrating structures; noise with which we’ve learned to live, including that from airplanes, automobiles, washing machines and lawnmowers,’ said Dr. Robert Fricke, an Associate Director at Arthur D. Little (ADL) and developer of Lodengraf technology.
Fricke originally conceived of Lodengraf as part of a major research program funded by the US Military’s Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) to help reduce noise radiated by submarines.
In recent tests, the noise produced by a commercial window air conditioner was reduced by over 5 dB – a clearly noticeable reduction – by treating the enclosure and the compressor with Lodengraf materials.
(Note: a 5 dB reduction corresponds to roughly one-third the radiated sound power from the air conditioner but, due to the peculiarities of human hearing, only about a 30% reduction in perceived loudness.)
The vibration-damping qualities of the material can also improve sporting equipment. For example, when a golf club is filled with Lodengraf materials, vibrations in the club are reduced by up to 10 times, eliminating the ‘sting’ golfers feel when they miss the sweet spot on the iron. Likewise, the ping of a softball bat is completely eliminated – reduced by more than 20 dB – when filled with Lodengraf materials.
Licensed for commercialisation and further development by ADL, Lodengraf already has received strong interest from partners, including Lexington, MA based technology firm Oasis, which is the exclusive marketing agent for this technology in the field of golf.