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Our extensive industry experience means that we hold a lot of valuable knowledge and we would like to share this knowledge with you.

Here you will find blog posts from the SIDERISE team including articles written by our technical experts. Find out more about our products and what’s going on in the industry for acoustic, fire and thermal insulation.

It is an unwanted or disturbing sound, but noise is an often overlooked source of environmental stress that can disrupt our everyday life and lead to serious health conditions.

In the built environment, specifers considering acoustic materials are looking to solve a noise problem. In the final part of a series of blogs, Mike Carrick AMIOA, Head of Acoustics at Siderise Group, provides some guidance on material selection and suitability, and armed with all the relevant information, the specification of the right acoustic product.


Step 9 - Investigate material performances and suitability

Once Steps 1-8 have been explored, identified and understood, it would then require the selection of a material or combination of materials to use, with relevant criteria. This will involve research – most likely online – with manufacturer’s product literature being a good starting point. This information should not always be taken at face value. Differing methods of testing, which can produce variations in declared performance as well as clever wording like ‘up to x dB’ or ‘x dB at 4000Hz’, may be potentially confusing or misleading.  In addition to manufacturer’s product literature, look for test reports and investigate the material’s properties. Is it open cell? Does it contain high mass? How does it compare with the performance of similar products from other manufacturers?

An important consideration when investigating a potential material: is it practical to use in the application intended? Is there any evidence of its previous use and results in this application? What about customer feedback? Will it help in all points concluded in Steps 1-8 or will you require additional complimentary products? How does it perform in other disciplines, such as fire, movement or airtightness etc?  If in doubt, speak with a competent technical engineer, either independent or from the manufacturer. Include sketches, performance criteria etc, as the more information you provide, the better the guidance received back.

Step 10 - Specify the product

You now understand the source, the requirement from the receiver, how the sound travels between the two, what the design requirements are and their restraints. You have identified the areas to be enhanced acoustically and what is required from the detail to be compliant. You have understood the implications of placing materials, what the properties are required from them, and have investigated suitable materials and researched their suitability in the application. You have possibly sought additional confirmation from a technical source and been provided with guidance on materials to use and the method of installation to comply with the acoustic criteria and any other factors required.  So now you can specify, add to drawings, and define the installation.

Many people consider acoustics to be a ‘black art’, but by taking on board these 10 steps to acoustic specification, it’s possible to find the most compatible acoustic solution and one that will ensure a building’s interior sound environment is at an acceptable level.  

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