Printed paper loudspeakers pave way for talking posters

AUTHOR: Inavate

The Institute for Print and Media Technology at Chemnitz University of Technology (pmTUC) presented printed paper loudspeakers at German trade fair, drupa. The paper loudspeakers can be printed with messages or logos and are tipped for use in advertising and signage. The speakers were printed onto standard paper using flexography. The printed paper loudspeaker is then connected to an audio amplifier like a conventional loudspeaker.

"Frequency response and hence sound quality are very good and the paper is surprisingly loud. Just the bass of the paper-based loudspeaker is a bit weak,” said Dr. Georg Schmidt, senior researcher at pmTUC.

The thin loudspeakers, which are printed in the laboratories of pmTUC, contain several layers of a conductive organic polymer and a piezoactive layer.
According to project assistant Maxi Bellmann the loudspeakers are astonishingly robust and can be produced in a very cheap way as mass printing methods are used.

The bottom side of the paper loudspeaker provides unused space on which coloured messages can be printed.

Prof. Dr. Arved Hübler, head of pmTUC, said the paper loudspeakers could be integrated into common print products and offered “enormous potential” for the advertising industry.

"In addition, sound wallpapers and purely technical applications, e.g., distance sensors, are possible, because the papers are also active in the ultrasound range,” he added. "As printing allows for different formats and forms, there is the possibility to influence the generated sound waves.”

The loudspeaker of pmTUC was realised within the framework of the project Plastic Acoustics (PACU), which is funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research and includes the following project partners: Robert Bosch GmbH (Stuttgart), Heraeus Clevios GmbH (Leverkusen), X-Spex GmbH (Berlin), and Fraunhofer Institute for Electronic Nano Systems ENAS (Chemnitz).