A new acoustic shield designed by the Universitat Politècnica de València (UPV), with the participation of the Campus Gandia and the company BECSA, can reduce traffic noise “on demand” because the design can be adapted to the different types of noises. The most significant innovation of the shield is the use recycled PET plastic bottles for acoustic insulation, something never before used in this type of device. Another advantage of the new system is that the shields are modular, which makes installation easier.
The project team from the Politècnica is made up by the researchers Javier Redondo (Campus Gandia), José María Bravo, Marcelino Ferri, Sergio Castiñeira, María del Pilar Peiró, and Juan Vicente Sánchez. Manuel Parrilla (Master in Acoustic Engineering from Campus Gandia) is also participating in the project. The shield designed by the UPV researchers allowed BECSA to take home the award for the best RD&I project in the 4th edition of the Innovacarretera Fair, held in Madrid at the beginning of November 2017.
A YEAR OF INTENSE WORK
“The development of this shield is the result of more than 12 months of work, commissioned directly by the BECSA, which has already received orders for its installation. It incorporates the most recent advances made by our research group, which has been working for more than 20 years on the design of new materials and setups that reduce noise caused by road traffic, airplanes, trains, etc., ” explains Juan Vicente Sánchez , researcher at the Center for Physical Technologies: Acoustics, Materials and Astrophysics, from the UPV.
In addition to the improvements and advantages already described, the system is also more permeable to wind and water than traditional shields formed by continuous walls, which results in a reduction of the foundation needed for installation. This property makes it an ideal structure for attenuating the noise caused by high-speed trains passing through urban centers. And, unlike conventional shields, it also stands out for its aesthetic appeal that permits seamless integration into urban settings without any negative visual impact.
EXAMPLE OF UNIVERSITY-BUSINESS KNOWLEDGE TRANSFER
In addition to the benefits of the shield, the most important accomplishment for the UPV researcher is to have successfully made a University-Industry knowledge transfer. “This product is being recognized by the roadworks construction and maintenance industry; it has been recognized as the best RDI project, ahead of proposals based on other technologies. BECSA already has several requests and we will soon be able to see on our roads these acoustic shields that were tested in the UPV laboratories. It is a clear example of the importance of the transfer of technology, of the partnership between the university and the productive sector,” highlights Juan Vicente Sánchez.