The ecological crisis and the greater degree of public awareness regarding environmental problems have transformed the consumption habits of society, requiring the incorporation of ethical and environmental criteria in the production and distribution processes. In this context, research and innovation is crucial for the development of eco-efficient products and services capable of responding to the demand for sustainable and environmentally responsible alternatives.
The building industry is following this trend with a boom in green materials that only keeps growing. This is the field of research that englobes the study, “Sound-Absorption Properties of Materials Made of Esparto Grass Fibers”, by Roberto Oltra, Jesús Alba and Romina Del Rey, experts in acoustics from Campus Gandia UPV, alongside Jorge Arenas, professor at the Institute of Acoustics of the Universidad Austral de Chile (UACh).
The research presents esparto fiber as an alternative to standard sound-absorbing materials, since most of these are manufactured with mineral or synthetic fibers, which entail various environmental problems, both in their manufacture and in their disposal. “These materials are difficult to recycle, their combustion causes emissions of toxic fumes and their industrial production requires large amounts of energy, which increases the emission of carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide into the atmosphere, in addition to posing a risk to health, ” according to the research staff.
Faced with this problem, the study measures the sound absorption performance of three different types of esparto grasses originating in Pakistan, Tunisia and Egypt respectively, to solve sound insulation problems in buildings, further contributing to the existing sustainable alternatives.
To this end, the UPV team analyzed the sound absorption coefficient and the airflow resistivity of each esparto grass, developing the first model known to date for predicting the sound-absorption coefficient for this type of fiber.
Once concluded the study, both teams (UPV-UACh) are working on improving the durability of the product and analyzing the effects of adding flame retardants or insect repellents to the fibers.
LEADER IN ACOUSTICS
Currently, Campus Gandia is at the forefront in Acoustic Engineering, with a long history and specialization in this area, both in the teaching and scientific fields.
The commitment to educating students and to their scientific potential in this discipline is reflected in the quality of their research work. Roberto Oltra, co-author of the study, is an example of the emerging talent of the campus. With a Bachelor’s Degree in Telecommunications Systems, Sound and Image Engineering, he also studied the Master’s Degree in Acoustic Engineering, where his thesis project was a study titled “Sound-Absorbing Materials Based on Esparto Fibers”, supervised by Romina del Rey and Jesús Alba.
The joint project between the campus and the UACh arises from the need to continue the research on natural fibers after the results obtained in the study carried out by Roberto, which stands out for the inclusion of ethical, environmental and social aspects in the field of Acoustic Engineering.
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PARTNERSHIP WITH CHILE
La colaboración científica entre el Campus Gandia y la Universidad Austral de Chile (UACh) mantenida durante más de una década ha sido fundamental para fortalecer el potencial en investigación acústica de ambos centros.
The scientific partnership between Campus Gandia and the Universidad Austral de Chile (UACh) , which has lasted for over decade, has been fundamental to strengthening the acoustic research potential of both institutions.
This relationship led the creation of an international Dual Degree agreement that allows eight selected students to obtain the Master’s Degree in Acoustic Engineering (MIA) from Campus Gandia and the Master’s Degree in Acoustics and Vibrations (MAV) from the UACh, a unique opportunity to obtain high-level education in acoustics.
R&D&I Management and Promotion Officer at Campus Gandia