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SOUND INSULATION: POSSIBILITIES AND APPLICATIONS

SOUND INSULATIONSWith sound insulation, you can seriously reduce noise from outside and inside. The techniques and materials to be applied depend on the construction and the cause of the noise. In this article, we explore the causes of noise pollution and the applications of sound insulation.

What is the purpose of the insulation? Isolate against noise pollution – improve acoustics

Types of sound insulation

Isolating against noise is possible with two types of insulation. First, there are soundproofing materials that stop sounds coming from outside. These also reduce the transmission of sound between rooms inside the house. Secondly, there are absorbent materials that improve acoustics in a room.

Sound-absorbing material: prevents outside noise / reduces sound transmission indoors. Read more.

Absorbent material improves acoustics in a room.

Isolate external noise

If you suffer from noise from neighboring rooms or the environment, you have to deal with impact noise or air noise. Both types require another approach. It is important to first discover the cause of the noise problem.

Step 1: Determine the type of noise that causes the nuisance

A) Impact noise: The noise source is in direct contact with the floor, wall or ceiling of the room where you are experiencing noise. It is then easy for the sounds to move by sound vibrations through the walls, floors, and ceilings that are in contact with the source of the noise.

Examples: moving chairs – no – heavy truck noise

B) Airborne noise: The source of noise occurs in the open air. The sound vibrations produced are diffused in the air and gradually absorbed by the surrounding materials.

Examples: noisy children’s telephones – car horns

Step 2: Choose the proper insulation method

Impact noises, such as chairs that are displaced, are difficult to attack. The sound is diffused by sound vibrations in the construction. As a result, not only the terraced wall but also the surrounding walls, ceilings, and floors will transmit the sounds. To completely dampen sounds, you need to create an insulating floor-to-ceiling envelope.

Because a complete envelope is not always available, many people choose to only insulate adjoining walls, floors, and ceilings. In this way, the impact sound will already be partially damped and you will not suffer airborne noise either. Later in this article, you will find more information about isolation methods.

Airborne noises like a lighted TV at the neighbors’ homes are easy to solve by insulating the wall or the adjoining ceiling. This is possible with a bulkhead or suspended ceiling with insulation.

Step 3: Install the sound insulation in the correct way

It is recommended to have sound insulation installed by a professional. This one knows exactly which is the best insulation for your situation and will make sure that the construction on which the sound insulation is put, is also provided of the acoustic insulation. In this way, no sound vibration can be transmitted by the construction. Through our online quote service, it is possible to receive free customized prices.

Soundproofing

When you want to improve the acoustics in your home, you have to apply sound insulation. Good acoustics are essential in offices and music studios. Sound insulation is not done with sound insulation but with absorbent insulation. The best-known example are gray foam plates with pads.

Sound insulation applications

1) Wall sound insulation

A sound-absorbing wall can reduce noise pollution from the inside as well as from the outside. A method often applied for sound insulation is to put a counter-partition .

With a counter-partition, a frame is placed against the wall in which the insulation is applied. This frame is then finished with plasterboard. The noise coming from outside in the house is absorbed by this insulation. The sounds that escape this finite partition, will be greatly reduced (principle mass-spring-mass).

 

2) Ground sound insulation

Insulation is primarily used to stop impact noise but can also reduce airborne noise. An insulation often used for massive floors is polyethylene.

The space under the wooden floor construction can be filled with soft glass wool insulation. Another option for soundproofing the floor is to lay floating floors. This is composed of a sound-absorbing layer between the carrier layer and the floor screed.

 

3) Ceiling sound insulation

If you live in an apartment, you can not isolate your neighbor’s floor from above. In this case, you can provide sound insulation on the ceiling.

A suspended ceiling is here often applied. Using a wooden or metal frame, a new finish, such as plasterboard, is mounted on the existing ceiling. The sound insulation is then placed between this new finish and the old ceiling. Glass wool is a popular insulator for this purpose.

Not only is sound insulation important. In order to obtain an insulating envelope, it is also advisable to invest in qualitative glass. This is a not insignificant factor to stop the noise from outside. With the high-performance glazing, you increase the thermal performance of your home.

How does sound insulation work?

First, the thickness of a wall plays an important role in sound insulation; the thicker the wall, the better the noise will be stopped.

However, it is not always possible to install a very thick wall. That is why we apply the principle mass-spring-mass for the installation of sound insulation. Between two masses (inner and outer wall) a ‘spring’ is placed. This spring can be air but to better dampen the sounds, it is better to ask an insulator. Most times, you keep a layer of air between the insulation and the wall.

To avoid the transmission of sound as much as possible, it is advisable to use a soft spring. In this way the sounds can be absorbed more easily. Mineral wool is then more recommended than stiff insulating plates.

The weight of the insulating material can be quite heavy. The sound waves will then be better absorbed. It goes without saying that a thick layer will absorb sounds better than a thin layer of the same material.

Sound insulation materials

In this article, you have already got acquainted with some materials often used to soundproof the sound. Below we present some popular materials for sound insulation.

1) Glass wool: Although glass wool is mainly used for thermal insulation, this material also works perfectly as sound insulation. Thanks to the great mass, a lot of noise is captured. Especially for roofs, at the level of sound insulation, glass wool is a better choice than stiff insulation boards. You should, however, be careful that you need more free space. Glass wool can also be applied to floors, walls, and ceilings.

In general, glass wool is provided in semi-rigid insulation panels. In this way, they are easy to put on and they absorb a lot of noise.

2) Polyethylene: Polyethylene is mainly applied to soundproof floors. It is a relatively strong and cheap synthetic material. In addition, this material is water repellent and resistant to very high and low temperatures.

3) Other materials: Apart from glass wool and polyethylene, there are of course still many other materials that you can use for the sound insulation of your home or office. Cork and Rockwool also have good sound-absorbing and absorbent characteristics.

What is the best sound insulation for your situation depends on different factors? Among other things, where to isolate (floor, ceiling, wall), available space and budget will influence the choice of materials.

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