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Acoustic foam for soundproofing

We aim to recycle PU foam using textile or rubber as a filler to design acoustic foam panels for soundproofing living and workspaces.

Photo of Xinyu Wang
9 14

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Our team is trying to design a set of acoustic foam which includes wall panel and modular floor carpet for both temporary and permanent soundproofing requirement.  The wall panel and modular carpet will be made available in various designs and styles and can even be customized for special events, like a house or business party. The modular and easy-to-install design is aiming to simplify the set-up process for those who want to use the product temporarily to avoid causing trouble to neighbors. 

By primarily utilizing PU foam using textile and rubber fillers, we are trying to create a functional and aesthetic solution for individuals, organizations or even some social public institutions to retain internal sounds and keep external noise at a minimum, concurrently. Noise pollution is as damaging as any other kind of pollution, and it requires immediate action on our part.

Company / Organization Name (if applicable)

NYU - Team Greenhouse

Which Nike Grind materials will your idea utilize?

  • Rubber Outsoles
  • Rubber Flashings
  • Rubber Granulate
  • EVA Foam Injection Scraps
  • EVA Foam Flashings
  • EVA Foam Sheets & Blocks
  • EVA Foam Components
  • Laminated EVA Foam
  • Laminated PU Foam
  • Mixed Apparel Textile
  • Mixed Footwear Textile

How specifically will these materials be incorporated into your solution?

The primary material we will use is the PU foam, which will be recycled using “alcoholysis.” Alcoholysis is proven to be the most effective method of recycling PU foam because of its mild reaction condition and excellent performance of the resultant product. Moreover, it doesn’t require high temperature and pressure conditions, which is a significant snag of the other established chemical recycling processes. We have also explored scientific papers that have used materials such as textile and rubber as fillers, which further improve the sound absorption and noise reduction coefficients of the PU foam. One major setback of PU foam is its high combustibility, which can be a major hazard in living spaces. To circumvent this issue, we are exploring the use of Carbon NanoTubes (CNTs) as a filler. Furthermore, CNTs also introduce a marked improvement in the acoustical properties of the PU foam.

Please include a visual (can be either 2D or 3D) representation/prototype of your concept. (required)

What is the current stage of development of your idea?

  • Research & Early Testing
  • Prototyping

Describe your target market. Who will benefit from your product?

Our target market is the everyday citizen of a city with a high population density like NYC or Tokyo. It has been estimated that 9 out of 10 adults in New York City (NYC) are exposed to excessive noise levels, i.e. beyond the limit of what the EPA considers to be harmful. Therefore, it is now becoming increasingly necessary not only for professional recording studios but also for living and work spaces to be designed with special consideration to acoustics. Spaces should be able to retain in

How will you scale your idea? Please describe in detail your plan to scale your concept.

According to EPA official data, tens of millions of Americans are suffering from a range of adverse health outcomes due to noise exposure, including heart disease and hearing loss in the recent years. It's getting annoying to live in a world filled with noise from high transportation flow, poor quality of soundproof effectiveness in a neighborhood or even within an office building. These will all cause bad health condition for human-beings such as neurasthenia etc. So standing on the health point, we can collect users'feedback and make scales for each standard and get a final score in percentage. If the satisfaction rate is more than 85%, then the design could be treated as a success.

How is your idea innovative?

Recycling PU foam is broadly divided into two categories, physical and chemical recycling. Physical recycling is the most eco-friendly method because it doesn’t need any chemical treatment. However, the resultant foam is extremely poor quality. Chemical recycling methods result in an excellent recycled product but require harsh chemical treatment. This treatment not only requires severe temperature and pressure conditions but also use strong chemicals leaving dangerous by-products.

What inspired this idea?

We are students who really care about some current social problems. With the fast development of all the industries, human's health is influenced by all kinds of pollutions and noise pollution cannot be ignored anymore wherever you are.

Tell us about yourself and your team. What is your background and experience?

We are GreenHouse, a group of five graduate students from NYU. We are an internationally diverse group from China, Italy, and India. The team has vastly different educational backgrounds including product design, construction engineering and so on.

In what city are you located?

New York City.

In what country are you located?



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Photo of Lauren Ito

hi Acoustic foam for soundproofing ,

A reminder that the ideas phase of this Challenge closes in less than one hour, at 5:00 p.m. Pacific Time. Please have your submission updated by this deadline with content to all proposal questions complete.

Excited to have you in the Challenge!

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