End of noisy neighbors? A revolutionary screw could be a game changer. Find out how.

Could noisy neighbors be a thing of the past? If you are disturbed by the crashes, thuds and muffled voices coming from the neighboring apartment, know that you are not alone. However, a researcher from the University of Malmö thinks the solution is as simple as a screw.

Håkan Wernersson from the Department of Materials Science and Applied Mathematics has developed a screw that can halve the perceived sound level.

How does this screw attenuate sound? The Sound Vis breaks sound waves; in principle, the screw is split in the middle with a spring inside. Sound-absorbing screws are used to fix plasterboard to wooden elements located on the wall. No insulating layer is then necessary. The springs cause the sound waves transmitted through the walls and wooden beams to be dissipated onto the screws. As a result, the noise does not reach the ears of people in the room.

Acoustic laboratory tests show a sound reduction of nine decibels for a traditional dry wall, which corresponds to a halving of the perceived sound level. Installations in a barber shop have also shown good results, replacing the standard screws with the new screws without removing the existing plaster from the ceiling.

“There are legal requirements for partitions and certain noise levels when constructing apartment buildings. These requirements are not mandatory for detached houses where only one family resides, but there, of course, it’s a great solution for reducing noise between rooms,” says Wernersson.

The project still needs to undergo further testing to see how the screws will perform in everyday use. Nevertheless, from the beginning, various companies, including those from South America and Japan, were interested in this idea.

In addition, if this screw is used in the construction of the buildings, it can also save floor and ceiling space by reducing the thickness of the materials needed. “With our screw, you can attach plaster directly to walls, freeing up floor space, and a square meter of floor space can be worth thousands of dollars,” says Wernersson, who developed the screw in collaboration with an acoustician.