Panasonic Electronic Devices (subsidary of Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd.) announced on March 29 that it has teamed up with Doshisha University to develop speaker diaphragms using paper made from bamboo. Compared to speakers with conventional diaphragms that use paper made from softwood, bamboo speakers have a wider sound range and crisper treble.
Bamboo is lighter and harder than softwood, making it a suitable material for speaker diaphragms. To maintain the ideal properties of bamboo, high-speed grindstones are used instead of chemicals (which can cause some properties to be lost) to break the bamboo down into fiber.
Panasonic hopes to put the speakers on the market at the end of 2007. The speakers are expected to cost double that of conventional speakers, but the company claims that using bamboo can play a role in resource conservation because it grows faster than softwood. The company hopes to establish bamboo as a mainstream material for speakers.
[Source: Asahi Shimbun]