Effective acoustic treatment strategies in the Architectural, Industrial, and Environmental markets relates to the simple Source/Path/Receiver model. Well, it’s not typically as simple as it sounds. In most cases there are multiple noise sources, multiple transmission paths, and multiple receivers and/or receiver areas that need to be targeted for noise control. To make matters a little more complicated, the noise can be airborne and/or structurally-borne and the transmission path can be direct and/or indirect (reflected). All of these areas need to be evaluated to determine where the most cost-effective acoustic treatments can be applied while meeting all of the end user requirements. There are several factors to take into consideration in addition to the overall acoustic performance. Cost, aesthetics, and ease of installation should all be discussed during this process.
Structural Borne Noise
When dealing with structural borne noise at the source, vibration control and absorption materials are typically used as an abatement strategy. You can expect a 6 to 8 dB reduction at the source. Please note that structural borne noise can be one of the most difficult and costly to solve.
Airborne noise is typically dealt with at the source with controls such as absorption materials, composites that block and absorb noise, or point solutions such as duct silencers. Airborne noise is much easier to deal with than structural noise in most cases and therefore not as costly. Again, you can expect a 6 to 8 dB reduction at the source.
Direct Path Noise Control
Direct path noise is normally addressed by inserting a noise barrier material or a combination of barrier, damping, and/or absorption materials between the noise source and the receiver. This is accomplished with a variety of materials and provides the highest level of noise reduction in the Source/Path/Receiver Model. You can expect a 10 to 25 dB reduction depending on the final control methods. This methodology is typically very effective and budget friendly.
Indirect Noise Control
Indirect noise is one of the easiest noise issues to address and also one of the most common. Often referred to as reverberation (echo), indirect noise is generated by noise energy bouncing off hard reflective surfaces within a space. In dealing with indirect noise and reverberation we would typically introduce absorption materials such as fiberglass or foam to the room. These materials will effectively absorb and dissipate the noise energy that causes reverberation and provide greater speech intelligibility. You can expect a 4 to 6 dB reduction in the room and significant drop in reverberation times with these control methods.
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