OPTIMAM, the electrolyte reuse project in the manufacture of advanced acoustic materials

This November marked the start of the disruptive OPTIMAM project, which aims to revalue waste products by taking advantage, once again, of additive manufacturing technologies, this time to take advantage of their acoustic properties. OPTIMAM has officially started with a “kick-off” event that has brought together experts in materials, 3D printing and sustainability from GPAInnova, CIM UPC, Zitrón and UPC to start this innovative initiative.

The OPTIMAM project will focus on the reuse of electrolytes that have reached the end of their useful life. Instead of discarding these electrolytes, their revaluation will be sought through the creation of a new material with advanced acoustic properties. This material will be used to manufacture metaporous surfaces (MpS) with the potential to significantly improve acoustic properties in various applications.

The researchers behind OPTIMAM will explore the possibilities of 3D printing technology to produce these new metamaterials with complex geometries and excellent sound absorption capabilities.

The project will focus on the reuse of recycled solid electrolytes and 3D printing technologies, such as Direct Ink Writing (DIW) and hybrid 3D printing (DIW + FDM). The use of these technologies in medium-sized additive manufacturing equipment will allow the optimization of acoustic materials with MpS geometries printed in 3D.
In addition to technical innovations, OPTIMAM has a strong commitment to sustainability and reducing environmental impact. By reusing solid electrolytes and taking advantage of 3D printing technologies, the project will contribute significantly to the reduction of equivalent CO2 emissions produced during the incineration process, in line with current legislation, such as Law 16/2017 on climate change.

The creation of new high-performance acoustic materials from secondary raw materials at the end of their useful life, together with the optimization of complex geometries, will reduce the demand for virgin materials and conserve natural resources. This represents an important step towards sustainability and the reduction of environmental impact in the acoustics industry.

Finally, the new materials developed as part of the OPTIMAM project will be tested in a tunnel ventilation silencer prototype, thus demonstrating their ability to significantly improve noise reduction in real-world applications. With this initiative, OPTIMAM is emerging as a revolutionary project that promises a quieter and more sustainable future for all.