New technology could replace plastic headphones

Source: Pixabay

Source: Pixabay

Anyone who has so far appreciated mushrooms primarily as a pizza topping or carries them under their feet as an odor-intensive guest will perhaps be surprised to make the acquaintance of the possibly very versatile hoof fungus.

Scientists have that in technical jargon fomes fomosius identified mushroom as an alternative to traditional materials such as plastic in a number of applications. This includes headphones.

The mushroom owes its meaningful name to its appearance. Growing out of tree trunks, he looks like a horse’s hoof, head cocked to the side, eyes narrowed, and spiced up with a pinch of fantasy. Or like this:

Does this look like the material for a better tomorrow?  The hoof fungus is recommended as a potential building material.

Does this look like the material for a better tomorrow? The hoof fungus is recommended as a potential building material.

However, the mushroom is probably not suitable as a battery or as an improvement for it. In the following article you can find out what special developments we could be facing in this area in the future:

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Material for a sustainable future?

So, in the future, components for electrical goods, vehicles, footwear, airplanes or even headphones could be made from mushrooms? At least when it comes to the scientific article that has now been published. The research results were published in the journal Science Advances.

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Although mushrooms were already recognized in the past as a material of the future, what is special about hoof fungus is its versatility. Essentially, Fomes fomentarius offers three distinct materials in a mushroom: soft, spongy, and woody.

More precisely: The soft middle layer could imitate leather. The other middle layer is not dissimilar to wood and, according to the scientists, the outer crust of the mushroom is suitable for making impact-resistant coatings, for example.

Working for a better material

So far, the lion’s share of everyday consumer goods has been made from petroleum-based materials – including with a high degree of probability the headphones that are currently flattering your ears or clogging your ear canals.

Petroleum based materials? That is the trained paraphrase for the material that everyone knows and that causes a lot of waste: plastic. In addition, it is garbage that tends to pollute entire areas because it is very difficult to biodegrade. Unlike our new best friend: the hoof fungus!

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First headphones with mushroom parts!

A headphone prototype, sometimes made of mushrooms, was already reported in 2019. At that time, a headphone was being worked on that was made of different materials that could potentially have a better future, including mushrooms. At least the soft parts of the headphones were made with mushroom mycelium covered, which is supposed to be very reminiscent of leather in its texture.

In addition, the headphone padding was made from a Ascomycete called Trichoderma reesei manufactured. Double mushroom power, so to speak. It will also be a long time before hoof fungus is used as a material in any significant way. But every possible alternative to plastic could still be relevant for the future.

Is the hoof fungus the ultra-light, high-performance material for a better future? Have you been suffocating in plastic waste privately for a long time – is that why you cycle to the unpackaged shop on your cargo bike every day? Or do you think nothing of mushrooms in your headphones? Feel free to discuss this possible building material of the future in our comments.


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