Music to Our Ears!

A student of musical instrument manufacturing from the College of Ghent in Belgium has made an interesting discovery – EPS foam amplifies sound in classical instruments. Tim Duerinck built a prototype cello with an EPS cover for his senior master’s thesis. The instrument is the result of a research for new materials and techniques to produce more sound with less effort, compared to the regular wooden versions.

He discovered that EPS amplifies sound better than wood in new and older violins. The low sounds are louder than those of an original cello and while the instrument is not in equilibrium, a layman cannot hear the difference. The 23-year-old student say he did not intend to create an instrument with the same timbre, but rather an instrument that sounds louder for soloists and outdoor performances. The foam sound box is 1.5 centimeters thick and produces more volume with less effort. This ‘new’ cello sound creates extra possibilities for musicians and composers. In addition to increased acoustics, EPS foam has other advantages: it is more cost effective than wood and construction may be faster.

Tim Duerinck has entered his foam cello in the prestigious Flemish Dissertation Award 2015 competition.


View the video of this prestigious performance:

This article was originally published through our alliance partner at the EPS-IA.