Innovation: Sound solution

ORDINARY noise-proofing with porous or fibrous materials may protect your ears, but it has been criticised as a fire hazard, a haven for bacterial growth and as being difficult to dispose of. Scientists at the Fraunhofer Institute for Building Physics in Stuttgart, Germany, have now developed a sound-absorbing membrane 0.075mm thick that can be made of plastic or stainless steel. It has the additional advantage of being able to protect against low-frequency sound that is not absorbed by conventional proofing.