Researchers develop 3-D printed acoustic metamaterials that can be switched on and off remotely using a magnetic field
Researchers have been pushing the capabilities of materials by carefully designing precise structures that exhibit abnormal properties that can control acoustic or optical waves. However, these metamaterials are constructed in fixed geometries, meaning their unique abilities are always fixed. Now, new 3-D printed metamaterial developed by a team led by University of Southern California researchers can be remotely switched between active control and passive states.
USC Viterbi School of Engineering Assistant Professor Qiming Wang and Ph.D. student Kun-Hao Yu, along with MIT Professor Nicholas Fang and University of Missouri Professor Guoliang Huang, have developed 3-D printed metamaterials capable of blocking sound waves and mechanical vibrations. Unlike current metamaterials, these can be turned on or off remotely using a magnetic field. Their materials can be used for noise cancellation, vibration control and sonic cloaking, which can be used to hide objects from acoustic waves.
“When you fabricate a structure, the geometry cannot be changed, which means the property is fixed. The idea here is, we can design something very flexible so that you can change it using external controls,” said Wang, an assistant professor of civil and environmental engineering.