Definition of "Acoustical material"

Kim Lan  Rosewall real estate agent

Written by

Kim Lan Rosewallelite badge icon

Money Realty Llc

The definition of acoustical materials is a wide range of materials that are used in construction or technology to provide soundproofing. There are different types of acoustic materials available on the market used to increase the sleep comfort and safety of the users of homes, appliances, and automobiles to reduce the noise transference of those properties. Some of the best soundproofing tips use these materials during the insulation process for your home. 

What are acoustical materials used for?

There are two major reasons to use acoustical materials. 

The first is to provide soundproofing, as mentioned above. Through soundproofing, noises that come from outside of a property are prevented from entering inside the property. An example of this can be soundproofing a home. Homes that are built close to a highway, a subway station, or are simply located on a street with intense traffic may be too noisy for residents. To provide comfort for those inhabitants the walls of the structure can be lined with acoustical materials to ensure a reduction of noise pollution from outside and does not hinder the comfort of the resident. 

The second reason is sound absorption. Through sound absorption noises that come from inside of a property are prevented from leaving outside the property. A building that houses a recording studio which provides a place where artists come to record themselves performing an album. That recording studio might be in violation of zoning ordinances if they don’t ensure a qualitative sound absorption system. To secure their legal obligations they line their walls with acoustical materials for sound absorption and no sound would leak into the rest of the building. Any movie enthusiast might be overjoyed at the idea of creating the ultimate home theater in one of the rooms in their home or condo. However, especially if they’re not living alone or they live in a condominium, they should make sure that that special room is properly soundproofed. Imagine having your significant other host a movie night with their friends and you coming home after a long days’ work wanting nothing else but to go to sleep. With appropriately used acoustical materials, you can enjoy your rest and your significant other can blast the volume to the maximum.

Types of Acoustical Materials

There are three major types of acoustical materials. Their use depends on the reason for which they are being used and the location where they are being used. 

Absorption Materials

These are the most commonly used and basic types of acoustical material. These absorbers work to weaken reverberation and sound transmission by absorbing sound like acoustical tile. They can be used for soundproofing from arenas to corridors and their efficiency is rated through the Noise Reduction Coefficient (the higher the better). Some acoustic materials examples for the absorption of sound are acoustic foam panels, acoustic ceiling clouds, acoustic foam tiles, or acoustic baffles and banners.

Noise Barriers

Another type of acoustic materials that block noise transmission from point A to point B is noise barriers. They are typically made out of flexible mass-loaded vinyl, but other engineered materials can also be used to make them. Their efficiency is determined through the Sound Transmission Classification with higher ratings meaning a more efficient product. Acoustic materials examples that work as noise barriers are acoustical barrier blankets, ceiling barriers, or MLV sound barriers.

Composite materials

The last type of acoustical material is made by combining the two types of materials exemplified above. They were engineered to provide a better reduction of noise pollution when used. These composite materials, as they combine the other two types of materials above, also combine the two rating systems. Some examples of acoustical composite materials are drop tile ceiling barriers, blanket enclosures, composite ceiling tiles, combination acoustical blankets, or stretch wall systems.

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