Microlattice Metamaterials with Simultaneous Superior Acoustic and Mechanical Energy Absorption

Xinwei Li, Xiang Yu, Jun Wei Chua, Heow Pueh Lee, Jun Ding, Wei Zhai

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

91 Citations (Scopus)


The advent of 3D printing brought about the possibilities of microlattice metamaterials as advanced materials with the potentials to surpass the functionalities of traditional materials. Sound absorbing materials which are also tough and lightweight are of particular importance as practical engineering materials. There are however a lack of attempts on the study of metamaterials multifunctional for both purposes. Herein, we present four types of face-centered cubic based plate and truss microlattices as novel metamaterials with simultaneous excellent sound and mechanical energy absorption performance. High sound absorption coefficients nearing 1 and high specific energy absorption of 50.3 J g−1 have been measured. Sound absorption mechanisms of microlattices are proposed to be based on a “cascading resonant cells theory”, an extension of the Helmholtz resonance principle that we have conceptualized herein. Characteristics of absorption coefficients are found to be essentially geometry limited by the pore and cavity morphologies. The excellent mechanical properties in turn derive from both the approximate membrane stress state of the plate architecture and the excellent ductility and strength of the base material. Overall, this work presents a new concept on the specific structural design and materials selection for architectured metamaterials with dual sound and mechanical energy absorption capabilities.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2100336
Issue number24
Publication statusPublished - 17 Jun 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • 3D printing
  • energy absorption
  • finite element modelling
  • microlattices
  • sound absorption

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • General Chemistry
  • Biomaterials
  • General Materials Science


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