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Topic Title: Paper or wood fibre as an engineering material
Topic Summary: Speaker cones have been paper in the past
Created On: 04 October 2012 12:29 AM
Status: Read Only
Related E&T article: Wood in warfare
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 04 October 2012 12:29 AM
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Joined: 09 February 2003

Speaker cones were made of paper before various synthetic polymers replaced them. The advantage of paper was attributed to the randomly varying fibre lengths which reduced standing waves in the cone. Resonance and standing waves were more efeectively damped by the material than in almost any other material. Is this why it has proved so difficult to use synthetics for musical instruments?. BTW: There was a quite good polymer violin produced here in Canada a decade or so ago,. I am not sure what became of it.

Check out this carbon violin:

Peter Chapman
 25 December 2012 10:29 PM
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40 years ago I worked on a plant with overload couplings consisting of a cast splined coupling with the square grooves fitted with wooden slats and held by leather belts - slats broke if overloaded -very easy to replace.
BSC Ayton / Britannia - works Middesbrough (plant stolen from Germany 1919) - beats Welman couplings everytime -

Tim Guy
MSc MBA HND(Engineering) IEng MIET
 26 December 2012 05:51 PM
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By coincidence, an hour ago I was thinking not about speaker cones but speaker cabinets. For musical instrument speakers these are traditionally made of birch ply, which as Peter suggests is sufficiently random to give an excellent combination of damping and stiffness. But it's blooming heavy! I was just trying to think what a nice light, "randomised" and strong material would be to build a small guitar speaker cabinet from?

Andy Millar CEng MIET CMgr MCMI

"The aim of argument, or of discussion, should not be victory, but progress." Joseph Joubert

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