South Korean steelmaker POSCO might be coming to the rescues of apartment block residents subjected to the problem of noisy neighbours, thanks to the in-built sound reduction properties of high manganese steel.

Floor noise has become a big social issue in South Korea, according to POSCO. It has become such a problem that the government has strengthened floor thickness and floor impact noise standards and is considering extending them to cover general housing complexes.

As a result, POSCO has dived in head first and signed a memorandum of understanding (or MOU) for Steel Construction Materials Research Co-operation in the field of floor noise and sound-proofing using high manganese steel.

The MOU was signed on 20 June at the company's Global R&D centre in Incheon.

A range of companies are involved in the research including POSCO E&C, Dong-A Steel Technology, Yoochang, Woojin and S I Pan.

The ultimate objective is to develop low-noise floor structure systems constructed with high manganese steel, which, it is claimed, can reduce sound levels by 60%.

POSCO is currently manufacturing high manganese applied products for test, and will focus on developing and establishing a manufacturing standard by September 2014 with a view to mass production in 2015.

The South Korean steelmaker plans to develop various structural systems and assembly methods to improve the constructability and economic efficiency of high manganese steel applied products.