+44 (0) 1923 729126
The Mansion, Building Research Establishment, Bucknalls Lane, Watford, Hertfordshire, WD25 9XX, United Kingdom

Sonobex joins the Merford family

With effect from January, Sonobex was acquired by Merford UK. This secures the family company not only more ‘brain power', but also brings a revolutionary technology in house: capable of reducing noise using by innovative, novel methods.

The award-winning university start-up Sonobex, consists of three doctors of physics that have graduated from Loughborough University and a Masters of Acoustics from the Technical University of Wroclaw.

Since incorporation the Sonobex team have worked on developing innovative technologies and solutions within the noise control sector. The technology that resulted from it, SonoTEC®, has been patented* by Sonobex and is ready for the market.

Joost Vertooren, co-director of Merford, calls the acquisition of Sonobex "the most progressive" in the company's history. "We have made several acquisitions, but these concerned often manufacturing companies or increasing our market share. This acquisition is purely to enhance our research and development function. "

The Sonobex team with the directors of Merford (L-R Joost Vertooren, Dr Daniel Elford, Dr Luke Chalmers, Adrienne Vertooren, Karol Bugaj and Dr Richard Wilson).

Focus on innovative solutions

Sonobex offers exactly what Merford, with more than sixty years experience in noise control, was looking for. "After years of complex and challenging projects and always striving for being the best, we're now more and more focusing on research and development of disruptive technologies," explains Vertooren, responsible since the beginning of January to support Sonobex. "By taking the lead, we can continue to provide solutions to the challenges of the future."

Sonobex has the knowledge and skills that are required and engaged with Merford at the time of the founding of their English establishment (Merford UK) early last year. "They have the brainpower, we have the scope to invest and produce," says General Manager of Merford-and sister to Joost- Adrienne Vertooren. "By joining forces, we can together make a difference in issues within noise control, even the complex issues that we previously could hardly tackle."

The acquisition by Merford offers Sonobex the possibility to go beyond research and development. Dr. Daniel Elford, co-founder and Chief Technology Officer of Sonobex: ‘There is a great synergy between Sonobex and Merford with a shared focus on innovation and product development. This presents a fantastic opportunity for generating routes to market for our propriety noise control technology. We have exciting times ahead.'

Extremely high attenuation

Sonobex have used their revolutionary technology first in the development of sound-insulating panels with extremely high attenuation for bass (or low frequency noise), which are normally hard to mute.

Joost Vertooren: "Then you must think for example about panels to control the hum of large transformers in heavy industry. Almost nothing can control these low frequencies, but this new technique, which utilizes acoustic metamaterial concepts, beats all existing technologies. We have also tested in our own laboratory, and it works and has been fully validated. The technology can also be deployed for other uses, such as noise barriers on highways or silencing of industrial pumps, compressors, generators and turbines. "

SonoTEC® brings a number of other important advantages. "With existing techniques, the physical property is determining factor: heavy or sound absorbing ‘Joost explains. ‘the nature of the SonoTEC® system ensures that sound ‘cancels' itself. As a result, light solutions can also be developed. An additional advantage: you reduce the sound, but at the same time passive ventilation is possible. Normally this cannot be done, because the sound must be fully blocked. "

Reliable simulations

The acquisition of Sonobex also means that Merford now has the ability to perform enhanced simulations of customer specific situations. Joost Vertooren: "The software is for sale, the knowledge to cope with it is not. At Sonobex they have the expertise to do this very well. We can now simulate in advance what will be the outcome of an application in the field of acoustics, fire or air flow, among other things. "

Merford and Sonobex are only at the beginning of the development of a series of at least ten innovative products and solutions based on the revolutionary technology. A lot of people will benefit from these products in their working or living environment, predicts Joost Vertooren. "Noise is present almost everywhere and people would like to have a solution to counteract this. To this end, we also want to provide our current standard panels that incorporate this technique. "


Merford is a Dutch family business that was founded in 1956. The company, headquartered in the Netherlands, has grown into an international company specializing in noise control, special doors, operator cabins and sheet metal. From five different divisions 180 employees work at solutions that contribute to a safe, healthy and comfortable working environment.

The company also has an office at the Building Research Establishment in Watford.



Sonobex is a spinout company from Loughbrough University; Co-founded by Dr Daniel Elford and Dr Luke Chalmers in 2012 and has pioneered the development of a patent protected* and award winning acoustic panel technology, called SonoTEC®, using our understanding of acoustic metamaterials.

Sonobex's proprietary technology SonoTEC® has been integrated into next generation noise control solutions for the global market. Sonobex's solutions are science and technology focused, delivering the ultimate performance and quality. Sonobex's team of PhD and Masters qualified acoustic design engineers collaborate with the foremost leading industrial engineering companies and research/academic institutions.

*Patents: United States Patent No. 8789652, European Patent No. 2394266.
Patent Pending: United States Patent Application No. 14/184,513, Patent Cooperation Treaty Application No. PCT/GB2014/050489 European Patent Application No. 14707832.3, European Patent Application No.161897996, Patent Cooperation Treaty Application No.PCT/BB2015/050852, Patent Cooperation Treaty Application No. PCT/GB2015/050853.