No more noisy neighbours! These “sound screws” turn drywalls into soundproofing panels

Do you ever get bothered by loud voices from next-door or traffic noises from outside? A researcher from Malmö University in Sweden might have a solution for you that just involves a simple screw.

Håkan Wernersson, a researcher at the Department of Materials Science and Applied Mathematics, has developed a special screw that reduces sound transmission through drywall by 9 decibels.

It works by dampening the sound through a spring mechanism. The screw is split in the middle and has a spring inside. The screw tip attaches to a wooden support, and the head holds the plasterboard with mechanical coupling.

Practically, this could save a lot of time, money, and space as buildings can have thinner walls with these special screws. “With our screw, you can mount plasterboard directly to the walls, freeing up floor space, and a square metre of floor space can be worth thousands,” said Wernersson.

US Patent by Wernersson with a similar mechanism

Wernersson was granted a patent for a similar screw back in 2018. He said it “describes the principle that we still are using, with two screw parts connected with a spring and a bit that grabs both screw parts during mounting. But it looks quite different, as you can see in the picture.”

How does it compare to the market? Currently, soundproof drywall can cost more than seven times the price of regular drywall. Adding external soundproofing panels is also very popular in studios, but this could be a cheaper alternative that is also extremely easy to install.

However, it is worth pointing out that drywalls are commonly used in Western countries while most Asian homes including Malaysia use brick walls instead.

The Sound Screw hasn’t entered the global market yet, but it’s already available in Sweden through his company Akoustos and his team is interested in licensing it for the global market soon.