Solving Your Noise Problem
At Sonic-Shield, we know that no two noise problems are alike, which is why we develop custom solutions for our clients. In order to develop an effective soundproofing solution for your unique needs, we take the following items into consideration.
Identifying The Noise Transmission Paths
We first identify the noise that is offensive, then determining the noise transmission path(s) and measure the acoustic characteristics of the noise. The noise transmission path is simply the identification of the source of the noise and determining how it arrives at your ear. Acoustic characteristics include the loudness, duration, and frequency content of the noise. With knowledge of the noise transmission path and its acoustical characteristics, we can determine how to best manage, reduce, or block the sound energy with soundproofing materials.
The identification of noise transmission paths can be complicated for a variety of reasons, including the number, type and distance from the noise sources, the frequency range(s) of the noise, and the presence of echoes or reverberations in the transmission pathand listening space. Furthermore, sound energy is readily converted into structural vibrations, which in turn can be transformed back into sound again, making it difficult to determine the root cause of the noise.
Soundproofing Material Selection
Once the noise transmission paths are determined, it is then necessary to determine how to best address the noise using one or more types of soundproofing materials. Soundproofing materials are selected based upon the type of noise and its acoustical characteristics. If the noise is a result of a structural vibration, it is often easier to eliminate, re-tune or damp the vibration. This can be done by adding stiffness to the structure to stop the vibration, adding mass to the structure to tune it to a much lower natural frequency, or adding damping materials to absorb or isolate the vibration and sound energy. For example, an air conditioner on a rooftop might excite vibrations of the roof structure, causing it to radiate noise like a loudspeaker. Effective approaches might involve beefing up the roof structure or adding vibration isolation pads to the air conditioner mounting feet to reduce the vibration energy that is exciting the roof.
Sound Isolation vs. Sound Absorption
Certain soundproofing materials are better suited for sound isolation versus sound absorption. For example, if noise is passing directly through walls or partitions, a sound isolation or barrier material on the wall will effectively reduce sound transmission. On the other hand, if noise from a fan in an air conditioning duct is being amplified by the duct, a sound absorption material within the duct (or a duct baffle) will reduce the amplitude of the sound energy.
Finally, certain soundproofing materials are effective at certain frequencies. Generally, thicker materials will be effective at lower frequencies, and over-specifying materials may lead to an expensive soundproofing solution. It is therefore necessary to measure the frequency spectrum of the noise using a sound level meter to optimize the selection of soundproofing materials and their configurations. Sonic-Shield’s soundproofing process mandates that we also explain everything we are doing to you. Our soundproofing process mandates that we measure everything we are doing and share all measurements with you with full transparency.
We Are Here to Help
Sonic-Shield noise and vibration engineers are available to assist you in identifying the noise transmission path(s) and measuring the acoustic characteristics of the unwanted noise. For certain problems, we have already developed optimum solutions that can be readily adapted to your situation. For other more complex problems, we can use sophisticated, state-of-the-art acoustical testing equipment and analysis software (such as our acoustic camera) to rapidly gather data and perform simulations in order to recommend and design the most cost-effective soundproofing solutions.