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New material reduces sound and vibration.

Columbus, OH-based Battelle has unveiled Attenuate, an environmentally-friendly material designed to reduce sound, acoustic signatures, and vibration generated by heavy maritime and industrial machinery, at the Navy League's Sea-Air-Space 2006 Conference and Exhibition.

Attenuate already has been employed for a naval client to help achieve critical silence in the seas, but the material also has applications for numerous other industries, including automotive, shipbuilding, and rail transportation. For example, Attenuate could be used to lessen noise from a truck's diesel engine or ship propulsion systems. Developed by Battelle scientists, Attenuate is thinner, lighter, and more effective at reducing noise and vibration than current standard materials.

Nearly three years ago, Battelle began looking for an environmentally-friendly material with high-energy absorption properties. Unable to locate a commercial material that met the requirements, Battelle scientists went to work developing a new material in their Columbus laboratories. The end result is Attenuate--a high-loss, low-profile, lightweight, and environmentally-friendly material.

"In addition to Attenuate's superior absorption properties, it provides comparable sound reduction with significantly less weight than other available materials, thus offering the Navy and the shipbuilding industry the additional benefit of weight reduction," notes Lynn L. Faulkner, program manager for Battelle's Equipment Development and Mechanical Systems Product Line.

Battelle currently fabricates samples in sheets, up to 3' by 3' and approximately l" thick. Attenuate could be produced in larger sheets, and as thin as 1/16". Attenuate also can be molded into 3-D shapes to accommodate existing equipment and specifications, making it useful for a wide array of applications, including machinery shock and vibration mounts for various motors and pumps.

For example, in an effort to redesign hydrophone mounts on a sonar system, Attenuate was molded into a cylindrical shaped sleeve to encase the system's hydrophones. The Attenuate sleeve isolated the hydrophones from radiated noise that emanates from other sections of the system. Additionally, Attenuate has been used in other instances to reduce noise radiated by enclosed machinery.

"Attenuate has exceeded our expectations," says Joan T. Muellerleile, principal research scientist, Battelle Advanced Materials Applications Product Line. "We continue to explore additional applications for this material."

Battelle is a global science and technology enterprise that develops and commercializes technology and manages laboratories for customers. Headquartered in Columbus, Ohio, Battelle has a vast science and technology reach. Battelle, with the national labs it manages or co-manages, oversees 19,000 staff members and conducts $3.4 billion in annual research and development. Battelle, www.rsleads.com/606tp-166
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Title Annotation:industrial machinery
Publication:Tooling & Production
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jun 1, 2006
Words:408
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