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Ways To Measure Industrial Equipment Sound Levels

A decibel (dB) is a unit of measurement measuring the intensity or loudness of sound. The unit of measurement was developed as a result of efforts to measure signal loss in telegraph and telephone lines. Bell Telephone Laboratories created the new unit of measurement in 1928, naming it the “bel” in recognition of communications innovator Alexander Graham Bell. Today, the unit is known as the decibel, a logarithmic expression of sound intensity.

Read on to learn why sound measurement is important and how to measure sound in industrial settings.

Importance of Sound Measurement

Importance of Sound Measurement

The decibel scale is logarithmic to better represent how our ears perceive changes in sound intensity. While dB represents unweighted sound pressure levels, dBA is A-weighted to better approximate human perception of the sound.

For high-frequency sounds, measurements for dBA are as high as those for dB. For example, the dB and dBA levels of a violin’s high-pitched E string are very similar. Lower-frequency sounds, however, will have a lower output level because they are processed by the ear less efficiently. So the lowest note on a tuba (16 Hz) will have a lower dBA reading than its dB level.

Even minor dBA increases can have a significant influence on hearing health. Human hearing is more likely to be harmed as dBA increases, and it can happen faster at higher volumes. The following conditions increase the risk of hearing damage:

  • Exposure to 85 dBA for over 8 hours
  • Exposure to 100 dBA for over 14 minutes
  • Exposure to 110 dBA for over 2 minutes

A sound level meter can measure sounds in decibels, but it must be calibrated regularly to ensure consistently accurate readings. To ensure personnel safety, all readings taken by a sound level meter must be accurate and reliable.

Best Way to Measure Industrial Sound

Sound level meters are composed of four main parts: a microphone, an input amplifier, an output amplifier, and a readout device. The microphone turns fluctuating, sound-induced air pressure to a fluctuating electrical charge. The input amplifier then converts that electrical charge into a voltage, which the electrical circuitry processes to produce a sound pressure level (SPL). The output amplifier then converts the weak sound signal to a level suitable for display on the readout screen. Finally, the readout panel shows the typical sound pressure levels for the surroundings under consideration.

The meters can focus on particular frequencies within a larger soundscape using filters, which hone in on specific sound wave pressure bands. There are several types of sound level meters on the market with varying levels of versatility and precision. To measure industrial sound, you will need a more accurate meter.

Industrial Sound Solutions From Technicon Acoustics

Technicon Acoustics is North America’s leading acoustic and thermal solutions provider for OEMs. Our 85,000-square-foot facility is dedicated to producing advanced materials for your industrial applications. Contact us or request a quote today for more information on our products and capabilities.


Technicon Acoustics, Inc. designs and manufactures customizable solutions for absorbing, isolating, and blocking acoustic and thermal energy. For your convenience, we have compiled a list of some of the industry’s most frequently used soundproofing and acoustical terms. Having a clear understanding of these terms will facilitate better communication during the product design process, ensuring a more individualized and optimized solution for your application.


  • Attenuation: Attenuation in reference to acoustics describes a frequency-dependent reduction in sound, or a sound’s diminished energy, as sound waves pass through a medium like absorptive urethane foam and glass fiber materials. To achieve attenuation, friction between air molecules and cellular or fibrous materials transforms that motion of molecules into thermal energy.
  • Audiometry: Audiometry is the measurement of an individual’s hearing acuity for different sound intensities, pitches, or frequencies.
  • Cutoff frequency: In reference to sound-absorbing foam wedges, or anechoic wedges, cutoff frequency describes the threshold frequency above which the normal-incidence sound absorption coefficient is no less than 0.990.
  • Doppler effect: The Doppler effect describes the change in sound frequency as a sound source and observer move toward or away from one another.
  • Extinction coefficient: The extinction coefficient, also known as the attenuation coefficient, is a measurement that indicates how strongly a substance absorbs or attenuates sound or light at a particular wavelength.
  • Haas effect: The Haas effect, also known as the precedence effect, describes the phenomenon in which a human perceives two independent sounds as a single auditory event if they are separated by a sufficiently short delay (20-40 milliseconds).
  • Human hearing range: In general, the audible spectrum of sound frequencies that humans can hear ranges from approximately 20 Hz to 20 kHz. However, this range can vary considerably between individuals and tends to gradually decline with age.
  • Impact noise: Impact noise describes the sound that results from the vibrations of an object’s impact against a surface within a room. Those vibrations allow the sound to pass through the room’s structure. For example, in buildings, footsteps or dropped objects generate sounds that travel through the floor.
  • Kerf or kerf cut: Kerf cuts are slits or notches at the edge of acoustical panels that allow for the insertion of a spline. The panel can then be connected to additional panels while maintaining a continuous, level surface at each joint.
  • Mass-loaded vinyl: Mass-loaded vinyl is a heavy, high-density material that effectively blocks or contains sound waves. This flexible soundproofing solution can be applied directly to floors, walls, ceilings, and other surfaces to keep sounds confined within a space and minimize transmission.
  • Noise floor: In reference to signal theory, identifying the noise floor means measuring the signal that results from the total sum of all sources of noise and background transmissions in a system. In this context, noise refers to all signals except that of the signal you’re monitoring.
  • Sones rating: A sone is a unit of measure that describes the loudness of a sound as perceived by the human ear, where one sone is equivalent to approximately 1,000 Hz at 40 decibels over the typical reference level. Items like fans typically have sones ratings. For example, a bathroom fan with a sone rating of 0.5 is very quiet, while a 5 rating constitutes a loud fan.

Acoustic and Thermal Solutions from Technicon Acoustics

Using the latest manufacturing technology, Technicon Acoustics has the advanced capabilities and value-added services needed to create industry-leading parts for a range of soundproofing and thermal insulation applications. For more information, request a quote today or contact Technicon Acoustics at:

4412 Republic Court

Concord, NC 28027


Start to Finish with Technicon Acoustics

A common problem for many OEM’s is excessive noise or heat that needs to be controlled. As a leading manufacturer of acoustic and thermal solutions, we are experts in creating solutions that absorb or block unwanted noise and heat. Technicon Acoustics is dedicated to not only finding the perfect solution for your product, but also to ensuring the entire process from development to delivery is pleasant and stress free. We provide quick lead times that meet your needs, expedite urgent orders, and find cost-effective and long-lasting solutions by understanding your needs and constraints.

Technicon Acoustics supports your end-to-end product development needs. We ensure your satisfaction with the ordering process, material, manufacturing, and delivery of the final product.

Walkthrough Process/ Discovery Process

When customers reach out to Technicon Acoustics to solve a noise or heat problem, we want to understand their needs and expectations. We ask the customer to explain what they need from the product and how they want it to function. We follow up by requesting a description of the customer’s environmental conditions and any limitations that might affect product use. Finally, we ask the client what their goals are for the product.

Understanding the customer’s needs allows us to design a product to meet them. We may recommend an alternative to the customer’s initial request and make adjustments to facilitate the customer’s environment, limitations, and goals. After we have a thorough understanding of the customer’s needs, we send the client sample materials to evaluate.

Once the client is confident in the material selection, we create a prototype in full scale to allow the customer to test the final product. After evaluating the prototype, we create a bid package with additional options that the customer may want to include in the final product. Once accepted, Technicon Acoustics performs quality approval and inspection to ensure the product meets our quality standards and the client’s needs. From there, we begin manufacturing the custom product.

Our team also provides dedicated customer support and post-production support after the product ships to the client. Our knowledgeable team is committed to delivering responsive answers to customer inquiries and ensures accurate and on-time delivery.

The Order Process/ Execution/Committing to Quality

At Technicon Acoustics, we strive to offer the perfect order experience for our customers. This starts with our industry leading 2 week lead time and 99.16% on time shipping performance. Our OEM partners expect top quality from their suppliers. Technicon consistently delivers world class quality with a 99.91% performance score thanks to our ISO 9001:2015 quality standards and dedicated production team. Our goal is to be the low maintenance, top performing vendor for all of our OEM partners 

Technicon Acoustics can also deliver the following value-added solutions to ensure our products meets the customer’s needs and expectations:

  • Just-in-time (JIT) delivery to eliminate the need for on-site storage and potential waste
  • Custom kitting using our die-cutting and CNC cutting services
  • Simplified inventory management, labels for individual parts, and custom-made perforated pieces for efficient installation
  • Improved production flow and performance using Kanban inventory management

Partner With Technicon Acoustics

Technicon Acoustics provides the best product by understanding the needs of our customers and building a custom product to fulfill their goals. Our customer service team strives to deliver the perfect order with the best ordering experience, and we welcome feedback to help us improve.

If you are interested in partnering with Technicon Acoustics, reach out and talk to our experts about your needs and goals today. You can meet our team to collaborate on the ideal solution and provide feedback to help us improve the design. We will finalize the design and deliver a product that meets your expectations. Contact us or request a quote to learn more about our made-to-order acoustic and thermal solutions.

Our Commitment to Your Success

Becoming North America’s leading producer of OEM acoustic and thermal solutions isn’t only about top-quality products, it’s also about top-notch customer service, innovation, and quality products. For over 40 years, Technicon Acoustics has been committed to our customers. We have the ability to adapt to your needs to ensure you have everything you need, whether it’s a last-minute change, an expedited order, or an innovative solution. 

Innovative Product Solutions

Did you know that over the last 3 years, we have released 8 new acoustic and thermal products to market? 

As a customer of Technicon Acoustics, you can count on our commitment to continuous improvement. You can feel confident that the thermal and acoustical products you are using are designed with the newest technology. Our drive for innovation provides our customers with the most advanced thermal and acoustic products on the market

In 2020, as the COVID-19 pandemic changed how we do business, many companies started to implement partitions in workspaces to keep employees separated. In addition, they were looking for solutions to block disruptive noise. A new business that specializes in the creation of warehouse partitions came to us for acoustical material to do just that. Although we don’t typically take structural requests, we knew that the need for these partitions was important and were happy to accommodate the request quickly. 


Product quality is in our DNA at Technicon Acoustics. We strive to be a dependable partner for our customers so we monitor our quality metrics daily. Over the last 12 months, the Technicon team has maintained a First Quality performance rating of 99.93% and a RPPM (Rejected Parts Per Million) rating of 659. When you partner with us, you can take comfort in the fact that you will receive the highest quality product and service around.

Rush Order Commitment 

We know that stuff happens. Our team is ready to turn around rush orders in less than 24 hours to get you out of a bind.

When a customer request came to us after business hours on a Friday, our team made sure to expedite the order right away on Monday morning. We shuffled the inventory and prioritized their production request because we knew that getting the order to them quickly would enable this customer to continue to do business during challenging times. That entire order normally would have taken a week, but we got it done in 48 hours. 

Technicon Acoustics has your back, so you never have to worry about missing deadlines or extended periods of downtown due to a lack of response or shipping mishaps. Our team is ready to help when you need it most. 

Quick Response to Changing Market Conditions

When COVID-19 halted our economy back in March 2020 we knew we had to quickly shift the way we work. Instead of holding off on purchasing new materials, we instead boosted inventory on raw materials. This ensured that we could meet customer demands on short notice when business started to rebound or when other suppliers couldn’t meet their needs. 

Additionally, with the increased demand for air filters, we have partnered with a manufacturer of commercial air filtration equipment to provide acoustical material that enhances ventilation and ensures quiet operation.

As part of the Technicon Acoustics’ commitment to being an industry leader, we have shifted our materials and processes to better support our customers through the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond. 

Our Commitment to You

At Technicon Acoustics, we believe in a proactive approach to customer service. This allows us to run on a tight schedule and still make adjustments to handle expedited requests while ensuring your order gets out on time.

Our inventory is stocked with raw materials to ensure we are ready for unexpected changes or circumstances, granting us the ability to manage any surprises without inconveniencing your operations. Our flexibility and commitment to customer satisfaction are part of who we are. When you partner with Technicon Acoustics, you are guaranteed high-quality acoustic and thermal solutions made with the latest systems, processes, and technologies. To learn more about our capabilities, contact us today.

There’s More To NRC Ratings, Damping Coefficient, and SAA Ratings Than You Think

When choosing the right thermal insulation or acoustic material for a particular application, there are many factors to consider, such as the NRC rating, SAA rating, and damping coefficient. Although these measurements give important information, it’s also important to consider aspects such as temperature and humidity when selecting materials and gauging their performance.

At Technicon Acoustics, we evaluate these factors when testing for NRC and SAA ratings. This makes our rating systems different from those of other companies. When seeking materials for your specific application, it should come with the highest ratings regarding average operating conditions. Here we’ll review what this means in terms of NRC rating, damping coefficient, and SAA rating.

Understanding NRC Ratings (Noise Reduction Coefficient)

One of the measurements you can use in acoustic and thermal insulation material selection is the NRC rating. NRC, or noise reduction coefficient, is the standard rating that indicates a material’s sound absorption capabilities. NRC ratings can go from 0 to 1, where 0 indicates a complete inability to absorb sound, while a rating of 1 shows that the material is capable of absorbing all sound. Ultimately, the higher the NRC rating, the more sound a particular material can absorb.

Hemi anechoic acoustical test chamber

However, the NRC rating isn’t always the most conclusive way to rate a material’s effectiveness. In the real world, we typically encounter “problem frequencies” or frequency bins that are the largest contributors to the unit’s overall noise profile. This is also referred to as lack of sound quality or tonality. In order to best address noise issues, the effective absorption profile of the material at specific frequencies needs to match that of the problem frequencies of the unit. 

At Technicon Acoustics, we have expertise in tailoring acoustical solutions to specific real world noise problems. Our team can walk you through how and why each of our materials would work for your application. All Technicon Acoustic materials are rated based on average operating conditions, taking into consideration a variety of situations and frequencies.

Using the Damping Coefficient for Material Selection

Another way to measure the effectiveness of certain materials is the damping coefficient. This is the multiple resonance average for metal of a specific thickness and size. Put simply, the damping coefficient is a good indicator of a material’s ability to return energy to a system. If a material has a high damping coefficient, it’s often used for applications in need of noise reduction, thermal insulation, shock absorption, and vibration control.

However, like NRC ratings, damping coefficients aren’t always the best way to choose a material for a specific application, as material performance is often dependent on temperature. The professionals at Technicon Acoustics can measure material performance by determining the damping coefficient based on your average operating conditions. From there, we can help you choose the right material for your application.

SAA Rating: What Is It and Why Is It Important?

The SAA, or sound absorption average, indicates the absorption coefficient average for the twelve one-third octave bands ranging between 200 and 2,500 Hz. Materials with a high SAA rating absorb sound more effectively. For applications with certain sound absorption requirements, a material’s SAA can help determine which material is most likely to meet them.

If the environment of a certain application often changes, it can be difficult to choose the right material based on its SAA value. In these instances, the team at Technicon Acoustics can help you select the most appropriate material for your application based on its SAA rating.

Technicon Acoustics Can Help You Choose the Right Material

There are many elements that can influence your decision when searching for the right thermal insulation or sound-absorbing material, which is why Technicon Acoustics is here to help you find what you need. With so many aspects to consider beyond the NRC rating, SAA rating, and damping coefficient, material selection can be challenging. Whether you’re seeking advice for our products or need assistance with finding the best materials, we can help you choose the ideal solution to meet your specific requirements. 

To learn more about our products and capabilities, contact the experts at Technicon Acoustics today.


Q&A With Our Experts: Noise & Thermal Solutions for Rail/Mass Transit

Some of our experts at Technicon Acoustics joined Modus Advanced to discuss our acoustic and thermal solutions for Rail/Mass Transit. In our discussion, not only do we speak to best practices of treatments in the industry, but the alternatives we offer in replacement of commonly sourced materials and their advantages. This includes our 

Here at Technicon, we frequently field questions regarding this topic in the Rail/Mass Transit industrySo, we are sharing a few common questions and our answers. You can view our full discussion in the below video or on the Modus Advanced site here. 

Idea to Ignition™ Ep. 2: New or Improved Noise & Thermal Solutions for Rail/Mass Transit


Q: What prompted you to develop the PF-091 product, did you see a niche in the mass transit market that wasn’t addressed or did a particular customer need it which drove the R&D? 

A: Over 10 years ago, it was originally developed as an alternative to foam. It had similar propertiesits vertical orientation allowed for better dimensional stability, and it also addressed many of the downfalls of other fiber products. One of the big issues at the time was the blend was not fire-resistant, so we saw an opportunity to put some time into figuring out how to make it unique and meet the UL94 standard’s like all of our foam products. 

During testing, we knew it would self-extinguish and not drip, but it also produced far less smoke. Under combustion, it would not produce any toxic offgassing. So knowing these properties and understanding the current supply chain hiccups in the mass transit market, this prompted us to send the product to get tested further for transit applications. 

Q: Do you see a space for this product in other markets other than rail/mass transit? 

A: Absolutely. Any type of vehicle, heavy equipment, industrial equipment, and anywhere requiring sound insulation. This is perfect alternative product to foam. There are not many applications where we wouldn’t recommend this product. 

Additional Information: Technicon Acoustics was the first in the industry to be using this type of product and we further improved it by getting the fire-retardancy up. This polyurethane fiber PF-091 product meets flammability standards, but also has equal or better acoustic performance, better durability, and other advantages over traditional urethane or melamine foams – all with significant cost savings. 

It’s been successfully tested to the E162 and E662 standards and bombardier smoke standard for toxicity. 

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Tech Shield™ 

Q: Is the Tech Shield doing well for Technicon Acoustics? If so, in what industries specifically?

A: It’s doing very well. It’s our most successful development effort to dateWe also have many power generation customers and there are undoubtedly hotspots that come up in this type of equipment that can cause discomfort. So, having a product that can be peel and stick for easy application on the desired spot is beneficial. 

We had a situation where a hotspot reached 1200°F. After applying the Tech Shield™ you were able to lay your hand on the back of it 1-inch away where it was only 110°F. The performance is exceptional and would help with passenger comfort anywhere in a mass transit application. 

Additional Information: The Tech Shield™ is a heat shield product that is fire-retardant and thermally insulating designed for hotspots. Some areas on a generator or engine can reach extremely high temperatures, and this product addresses these surface temperature issues. Without our product, this can be harmful to people and other sensitive components close by. It is a thin product that is only 0.125 inch thick so it barely takes up any space in equipment. 

Tech Shield Sleeve™ 

Q: What are you guys hearing from customers about the Tech Shield Sleeve™? 

A: Customers are liking it! Many manufacturers who are sourcing engines for their equipment are looking to implement some sort of exhaust sleeve for thermal insulation. To do this, they need the engine OEM to come out and approve ithproduct their using works on it. If not, there is no guarantee it’s suitable. 

For the Tech Shield Sleeve™, we are waiting on approvals from these OEMs to verify and qualify the product beforehand so it can be used more widely. 

Before our Tech Shield Sleeve™, if you had a pipe that makes a 180-degree bend then a 90-degree bend, you have to custom make a wrap. It has to be scanned, digitized, custom sewedand it’s only good for this one particular pipe/equipment. If you have another pipe with two 90-degree bends at the same diameter, you still need another custom design wrap for each bend.  

In contrast, our Tech Shield Sleeve™ is universal and easier to install. If you have 4-inch diameter pipe, it doesn’t matter what shape it is. You cut the length which you need, you install it on the pipe, and you’re done.  

Another method manufacturers are using is a bandage exhaust wrap around an exhaust pipe. Though universal, it takes time to wrap an individual pipe for how long that section that may be. Our Tech Shield Sleeve is a universal product, fits custom applications, and doesn’t involve a lot of time/effort toward manual labor or the customization costs. 

You May Also Like: Why OEMs Prefer Our Exhaust Wrap Over Traditional Sleeves

Additional Information: We have quite a few customers that use exhaust wraps to keep surface temperatures down for similar reasons someone would need the Tech Shield™ product. In addition, it keeps internal exhaust gasses hot for diesel particulate filtration of Tier 4 engine regulations for emissions. Below are some benefits customers are finding with our alternative exhaust sleeve product: 

  • No custom sewing 
  • Fewer options for a better price 
  • Improved function 
  • Streamlined design 
  • Accommodates various bends without customization 
  • Multipurpose across equipment models 
  • Easy to install 

This product works for all kinds of engine manufacturers. OEMs are beginning to approve this product, finding that it is the right solution that meets the need for superior construction. 

If you have any questions, feel free to contact us today! For additional resources, please see below: 

The Importance of Acoustic Material in Sound Enclosures

Commercial power generators, air compressors, and other industrial equipment make a lot of noise. To counter loud noise levels, OEMs attempt to contain the disruptive sounds with an enclosure.

Enclosures are supposed to trap sound waves so they don’t affect the ambient environment. Unfortunately, most traditional sound enclosures are less effective than the industry commonly thinks. Without the right acoustic lining, enclosures only block a fraction of the sound waves. Even worse, improperly lined enclosures can actually amplify noise, before it can reduce it.

Sheet-Metal Sound Enclosures Are Not Enough—Here’s Why

Sound Enclosure Sheet Metal

Most sound enclosures are made from sheet metal. This type of solid barrier can deflect sound waves to some degree, but it has a limited impact.

To find a better solution, our team of engineers at Technicon Acoustics investigated how sound enclosures performed with and without acoustic-absorber lining materials. Using a device that outputs a constant sound at 85 decibels, we tested the decibel level one meter away from the sheet-metal enclosure and discovered the volume rose internally to 113 decibels—a net increase of 28 decibels compared to the sound origin.

Why did sheet-metal enclosures make the environment 28 decibels louder? With further testing, we determined the solid barrier did obstruct sound waves upon contact, making the noise softer—however, the sound was amplified inside of the enclosure before it transferred into the surrounding area.

Ultimately, our study reveals manufacturers must pay attention to two factors: the material of the physical barrier and the subsequent sound wave concentration inside the enclosure. The enclosure can reduce noise, but OEMs are not reaping the full benefits of an enclosure without using acoustic absorber material internally.

How Can Modified Sound Enclosures Reduce Noise?

Sound Enclosure with Acoustic Absorbers

We theorized the right acoustic-absorber lining material and design could manage air paths and reduce a device’s sound output more effectively. To test our theory, we used an enclosure with a 24-inch-by-36-inch louver and discovered the following decibel changes:

  • Acoustic Barriers: -4.1 decibels
  • 1-inch Absorber Foam: -7.0 decibels
  • 2-inch Absorber Foam: -8.5 decibels

Based on these results, absorber foam reduces sound better than traditional acoustic barriers. Without our liner modifications, the net volume stayed almost the same on both sides of the enclosure.

Contact the Technicon Acoustics Team Today to Get Started

Shielding noisy power generation and air compressor equipment is essential. High decibel levels aren’t just annoying—they’re potentially dangerous.

To prevent these problems and soften loud noises, we recommend using acoustic absorber foams in an enclosure to block and absorb sound for a net decibel reduction. Contact Technicon Acoustics today to learn more about our sound absorber tools specially engineered for power generation equipment, air compressors, and commercial machinery.

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Polyester Fiber vs. Melamine Foam: Which Is the Better Option?

For acoustic and thermal insulation applications, one of the most commonly utilized materials is melamine foam insulation. While it demonstrates adequate sound absorption and thermal insulation characteristics, there is an alternative material solution that offers more effective and efficient performance for original equipment manufacturer (OEM) needs—polyester fiber insulation.

The following blog post provides a comparison between polyester fiber and melamine foam to outline which material option is better for acoustic and thermal insulation applications.

Polyester Fiber vs. Melamine Foam

Compared to melamine foam, polyester fiber offers a number of advantages that make it more suitable for use as acoustic and thermal insulation, such as:

  • Greater durability. Polyester fiber is much more durable than melamine foam. It maintains its shape and structural integrity after exposure to most chemicals, fuels, and oils—as well as water, ultraviolet (UV) radiation, and ozone—without requiring the addition of specialty coatings or finishes. In contrast, melamine foam needs extra processing to achieve similar hydrophobicity and other surface characteristics.
  • Polyester FiberHigher flexibility. Both polyester fiber and melamine foam demonstrate a high degree of flexibility. However, polyester fiber demonstrates better flexibility than melamine foam, which makes insulation made from it easier to incorporate into compact spaces.
  • Better handleability. As indicated above, polyester fiber is easier to work with than melamine foam. This quality is due largely to the material’s durability and flexibility, which allow it to remain intact even when bent or dropped. In contrast, melamine foam—when mishandled—may snap if sufficient force is applied to it.
  • Lower cost. Melamine foam comes with a high price tag, especially if special coatings are required to make it suitable for use in specific environments. In contrast, polyester fiber has a lower manufacturing cost, which, in turn, results in a lower purchasing cost. As such, OEMs can invest in low-cost material without sacrificing insulation quality.

Why Choose Polyester Fiber From Technicon Acoustics?

As outlined above, polyester fiber exhibits many qualities that make it ideal for acoustic and thermal insulation applications. However, benefiting from these material qualities necessitates choosing high-quality material from a reputable supplier.

At Technicon Acoustics, we offer a proprietary fiber blend that demonstrates exceptional sound absorption and thermal insulation properties. It is a non-toxic material characterized by excellent low-frequency absorption and high-temperature resistance (up to 350 degrees Fahrenheit). Additionally, as it is made from a combination of virgin fiber and pre-consumer and post-consumer waste, it is highly recyclable, making it a much more environmentally alternative to other insulation options. The material is also UL94 HF1 listed and complies with Docket 90 Testing standards for flame, smoke, and toxicity (ASTM E162, ASTM E662, and BSS7238).

All of our materials are highly customizable. The polyester fiber is available in several thicknesses (ranging 0.5 to 2.0 inches) with options for cut pieces (for ease of use) and adhesive backing (for ease of installation).

For additional information about our polyester fiber material and how it can suit your acoustic or thermal insulation needs, contact us or request a quote today.

Micro Perf Myths

Controlling how and when sounds are absorbed is pivotal for equipment and machinery. Acoustic designers use a combination of tactics and materials to control sound absorption and direction. One method manufacturers use is adding layers of composite materials, foams, and films to create panels with different rates of absorption.

Micro perf, or micro perforation, is a film with tiny holes. Manufacturers apply this perforated film to acoustic foams to help absorb noise. Ideally, this addition should make the acoustic foams and composites absorb sounds at lower Hertz levels without adding mass or weight to the foam. However, an internal study found this was not the case, as micro perforated materials that were tested alongside unperforated materials provided minimal distinctions in sound absorption.

What Is the Proposed Advantage?

Acoustic designers routinely look for ways to smooth out sounds without bulking up acoustic foams. Micro perf’s intended job is to help tune lower frequencies without impacting high-end frequency absorption. At Technicon we sought to determine if the perforated films were able to tune, or if they simply reduced the structural integrity of the film.

What Is the Result?

Tests of normal incidence absorption comparing unperforated films with micro perf materials indicated little to no signs of effectiveness. Perforated material did not change absorption across the frequency spectrum. While the tests indicated some marginal changes, the changes would not alter the sound experience. Listeners would not be able to perceive audible differences.

During tests with random incidence absorption compared to micro perfs, testers found some material effects. Microperf created smoother sound absorption effects. But the cost of this modification was an overall higher frequency of sound. Unperforated material in the same random incidence environment led to similar results.

Another limitation of micro perf is its porosity. Covering acoustic foam with nonporous films — with no perforations —has several benefits, such as preventing oils and moisture from contaminating the foam. But the holes make micro perf porous.

In fact, the tests seem to indicate, micro perf just creates an additional expense with no added value, since micro perf is more expensive than non-perforated alternatives. The holes also allow substances like water, oil, and grease to damage the material. Perforations can also shorten the lifespan of acoustic foams by allowing UV radiation to degrade the material.

Contact Technicon Acoustics for More Sound Science Help

There’s no short cut to fixing absorption peaks and smoothing out sound. Instead, professionals need to be able to tune acoustic absorbers and find the right ratios between the foam’s composite layers.

Technicon Acoustics specializes in creating acoustic solutions that improve sound quality. Our products are designed to absorb, block, or isolate high- or low-frequency sounds. We have a team of expert sound engineers and scientists that research, design, and test high-quality sound shielding equipment.

You can order standard shielding and damping equipment or talk to our team about a customized solution just for your facility’s needs. We work hard to create the perfect order experience. This includes shipping the correct quantities and types of material on time for every order so our customers can confidently move forward with complex or time-sensitive projects.

Contact our team today or request a quote to start creating the optimal sound environment.

A Closer Look at Sound Damping vs. Absorption

Acoustic vibration or acoustic energy—more commonly referred to as noise—can be mitigated or eliminated using sound damping or sound absorption techniques. Damping reduces acoustic vibration within any type of structure, wall, or system. In contrast, sound absorption works to dissipate airborne acoustic energy or sound waves. Though different, both achieve the same goal of mitigating unwanted noise.

What is Sound Damping?

Squares of black and white sound damping materialsDamping removes vibration energy from a structure or system by eliminating the dynamic stresses associated with vibration. Installing appropriate sound damping measures ultimately adds to the wear or fatigue life of structural or machine components.

A greater understanding of the damping function requires a closer examination of how vibration works:

  • Vibration travels through different materials at varying levels of intensity. When vibration frequency is equivalent or similar to the natural frequency of a material, it results in amplification.
  • Frequency amplification makes vibrations harsher, more jarring, or louder.
  • Applying damping materials to substrates that amplify vibrations alters the resonating frequency, reducing the impact of vibration on the system and its components.

The level of damping provided by each type of damping material relates to the material’s damping coefficient. The damping coefficient measures the material’s capacity to produce “bounce back”—or return energy to a system or structure. Materials with lower damping coefficients produce higher bounce back, while those with a higher damping coefficient reduce unwanted vibration or shock by soaking up the vibrational energy. Of note, this process produces a small amount of heat.

Common materials used in damping usually include viscoelastic materials, such as PVC and constrained layer foam composites.

What is Sound Absorption?

When sound waves strike any surface, some of those waves pass through the material and others reflect or bounce off of the surface. Materials with a harder, less porous surface tend to produce a higher level of reflection, while porous materials allow for greater absorption. Acoustic absorption uses porous materials to line hard surfaces that typically reflect sound or airborne noises, such as those produced by:

  • Heavy machinery
  • Engines
  • Power tools
  • Generators

Sound absorbers contain porous materials like foam or blended fiber that keep sound waves from reflecting back into open spaces. Lining harder materials with absorbers like polyester fiber, polyester foam, or polyether foam reduces ambient noise produced by sound reflection.

Applications of Acoustic Components for Enhanced Performance

Technicon uses a variety of sound absorbing and sound damping materials to mitigate acoustic vibration and noise in a broad range of applications. Our acoustic foam—often referred to as sound absorbing foam or soundproofing foam—is available in a variety of thicknesses and facing configurations for both functionality and aesthetic purposes.

These products will reduce ambient noise in applications such as:

  • Machine enclosures (generators, air compressors, water pumps, etc.)
  • Engine compartments
  • Truck and heavy equipment cabs
  • Home appliances
  • Medical equipment

We also provide sound damping materials. Application of our vibration damping composites control vibration fatigue and structure-borne noise, often in combination with sound absorbers to reduce airborne noise as well.

Let Our Acoustic Specialists Help You

Whether your specific application requires a reduction in acoustic vibration through sound damping or noise reduction provided by sound absorption, Technicon Acoustics has the solution. We are a leading producer of both acoustic and thermal solutions for a broad range of original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) throughout North America.

Contact us or request a quote to learn more about the sound damping and sound absorption solutions available from Technicon.