Drawing parallels between the material properties of polyurethane (PU) foam used to manufacture acoustic panels, and both EVA and PU foams within the Nike Grind material list, this idea proposes the use of Nike Grind foam and textile to make acoustic panels that can be used in homes, conference rooms, movie theaters and music studios.
In it's simplest form, an acoustic panel could be broken down into three different components - a foam filling as the sound absorbent, a frame (made from wood or metal) to provide structure, and a fabric outer layer to cover the structure and foam.
Using layers of Nike Grind PU and/or EVA foam as the sound absorbent in acoustic panels, and using the Grind textiles as the outer covering could be a feasible substitute for the materials currently in use.
The next set of questions that will need to be answered are:
- Binding agents - how might we combine layers of foam to obtain the thickness required to absorb sounds at various frequencies?
- Acoustic absorption performance - how well do Nike Grind foam materials absorb sound when compared to materials currently used? What tests will need to be conducted, and are there simulations that can be run?
- Applications - can the performance of these materials meet the standards needed for their use in homes, studios and movie theaters? Are there applications elsewhere (for example, car interiors) where these might be more suitable for?
- Manufacturing complexity - will the changes needed for production processes require an additional layer of complexity? If yes, how might we design a solution that fits into current manufacturing processes?
- Additional materials - could the Grind fiber "fluff" be incorporated as a material between layers?
To answer some of these questions, specifically the ones related to the acoustic absorption performance of these materials, quick prototypes of these panels can be constructed and lined in rooms to observe the effects of their use, and then compared with conventional panels used today.