box made out of mushrooms
Source: Supplied, Fraunhofer
  • 3D printed fungus could replace unsustainable soundproofing solutions.
  • Currently, mineral fibres or synthetic foams are used.
  • Most materials used are not easily recyclable or sustainable.

German R&D group Fraunhofer Institute for Environmental, Safety and Energy Technology UMSICHT recently announced a research project.

Fraunhofer’s fungal feature forces festering to stop, the 3D printed fungal based material outperforming the sound deadening qualities of currently available foams and fibres.

The idea has its roots in the desire for more sustainable solutions to modern day problems, project manager Julia Krayer said:

“There’s currently a focus on vegetal substrates and mycelium for the development of new materials.”

Worries about spores stopping substrates hitting the market are dealt with in a simple way:

“… the product is dried in a kiln in order to kill the fungus. The cell walls of the resulting material are open, meaning that it will absorb sound. With its open cells and 3D-printed porous structure, it is ideal for soundproofing purposes.”

Stop at nothing it seems, the R&D company setting its sights on everything else in the house to be developed from the humble mushroom:

Fraunhofer also noted that, “the prospects of using mycelium as a base material for fungal faux leather, fabric and plastic also look promising.”

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