LAS VEGAS—Nissan Motor Co. is combining plastic film and a lattice structure on a new lightweight, soundproofing material which it said can help make car cabins quieter while improving energy efficiency.
The Toyota, Japan-based auto maker did not specify what materials it uses in the lattice and film, which was unveiled Jan 6 at the CES trade show in Las Vegas. It did, however, say the materials work together to control air vibrations that limit the transmission of wide frequency band noise (500 to 1,200 hertz), such as road and engine noise. Nissan showed its "acoustic meta-material" used in flooring, but said it can be placed elsewhere.
Most soundproofing materials used to dampen road and engine noise mainly consist of heavy rubber board. In a statement, Nissan said its acoustic material weighs one-fourth as much while providing the same degree of sound isolation.
The auto maker also touted the materials' cost competitiveness, noting that in some cases it is less expensive than conventional soundproofing materials on the market. That allows it to be incorporated into vehicles where the use of sound insulation materials is limited because of cost or weight.
Nissan has been developing the technology since 2008. At the time, the material was used in high-sensitivity antennas used for electromagnetic wave research.
Sound control increases in importance for electric vehicles, such as Nissan's Leaf, because there is no engine sound, which means that sound from the roadway appears far louder.