Sound Absorption Properties of Natural Fibers: A Review

In recent years, in an attempt to substitute the conventional synthetic sound absorption material, natural fibers and their sound absorption properties have been increasingly studied. This is due to the fact that conventional synthetic fiber has potential health risks for human beings and significant environmental impact. In this review, existing and newly emerging natural fiber sound absorbers are summarized and highlighted in three categories: raw material, fiber assembly and composite. The sound absorption mechanism, several widely used prediction models and the popular acoustic characterization methods are presented. The comparison of sound absorption properties between some natural sound absorbers and glass fiber is conducted in two groups, i.e., thin material and thick material. It is found that many natural fibers have comparable sound absorption performance, some of them can be the ideal alternatives to glass fiber, such as kapok fiber, pineapple-leaf fiber and hemp fiber. Last, the conclusion part of this review gives an outlook regarding the promotion of the commercial use of natural fiber by means of theoretical study, efficient and environmentally friendly pretreatment and Life Cycle Assessment.
natural fiber, sound absorption, raw material, fiber assembly, composite