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Acoustic Foams

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What is acoustic foam?

Acoustic foam is an open celled foam used for acoustic treatment. It attenuates airbone sound waves, reducing their amplitude, for the purposes of noise reduction or noise control. The objective of acoustic foam is to enhance the sonic properties of a room by effectively managing unwanted reverberations. It’s why we see open spaces and rooms use panels. To note, the idea is to reduce, but not entirely eliminate, resonance within the room

Where to use acoustic foam?

Acoustic foam is often used in restaurants, performance spaces, and recording studios. Acoustic foam is also often installed in large rooms with large, reverberative surfaces like gymnasiums, churches, synagogues, theaters, and concert halls where excess reverberation is prone to arise. For industrial applications, they are used in items such as aggregates, generators and other machines

Other examples are found in aircraft and railcar sound blocking. As airlines and railways look to improve the customer experience, unique materials are available to support new design techniques for reducing noise levels. For example, BISCO® A2 Sound Barrier is a solid silicone rubber engineered to reduce aircraft cabin noise while exceeding industry standards for flammability, smoke density and toxicity. A2 helps block the transmission of sound and demonstrates excellent performance in low-frequency noise reduction.

Differences in Acoustic Foams and where to start?

First you need to ask yourself, do you need sound absorbing or sound blocking foam.

The difference between sound absorbing and sound blocking is easily depicted in how a recording studio’s foam lined walls work. Some may think that that foam is absorbing the sound but in this case, the open cell foam that is being used on these walls allows sound waves to pass right through them. In order to block the sound the foam would need to be heavy and dense to stop the sound waves from passing through. Acoustic foam is used to reduce the echo and reverberations that would otherwise cause problems with the recording and is usually unwanted. It does not block the sound from escaping the room.

Foam plays a large role in reducing noise and vibrations in many settings, and both open and closed cell foams can be used to control the acoustics of a room.

 

Foam that have the ability to absorb sound are excellent for marine applications where a loud, vibrating motor would make the experience uncomfortable. Without marine foam the engine would ruin the boating experience.

EXAMPLE

Industrial Noise Reduction

In industrial environments, both closed-cell sound deadening foam and open-cell foams are used to create a safer environment for workers. Closed cell foam products are used to block sounds and reduce the sounds in an environment, while open cell foams are used to prevent sounds from reverberating across a room. Both can be helpful in controlling and reducing the noise in a given area, which can help meet OSHA regulations on noise control.  

The PORON® VXT™ 4701-70 products are the thickest, toughest, strongest and most durable PORON polyurethane ever developed. Designers find them highly reliable in addressing noise, vibration and harshness applications in demanding environments such as industrial machinery, petroleum/gas, power generation and transportation applications.

How do I get started?

We urge you contact us at Seal & Design Canada for more information regarding different materials for your project(s).  Let us help you choose the right product for your next project.