Acoustic Curtains and Industrial Applications

Acoustic Curtains and Industrial Applications

Industrial workplaces are inherently noisy. Machinery is running all day long to produce goods, and workers are using forklifts to move material. High levels of noise can lead to workplace accidents, distraction, and even hearing loss for the people working in these environments. Industrial workplaces of all kinds can manage noise levels with the help of acoustic curtains

Industrial Noise

Approximately 22 million people are exposed to dangerous levels of noise in the workplace each year, and nearly half of manufacturing workers have been exposed to dangerous noise levels. There are a number of ways to reduce exposure to high noise levels. Workers can wear ear plugs; employers can invest in quieter machinery; and workplaces can strategically place barriers between workers and the sources of high noise levels. The reduction of a few decibels can go a long way toward protecting employees in industrial settings.

Acoustic Solutions

Acoustic curtains can serve as that barrier between employees and high levels of noise.  Industrial acoustic curtains designed specifically for industrial applications are made of solid PVC coated polyester, which is durable and easy to clean.

Industrial workplaces can opt for different acoustic curtain solutions depending on their needs. Acoustic curtains with Single Barrier Technology and Double Barrier Technology can be mounted on a track system and configured to fit the needs of various industrial spaces. The curtains can create an enclosure for the noisiest equipment, or they can create an enclosed, quieter space for employees to take a break.

Acoustic curtain walls with single barrier technology have an average sound transmission coefficient (STC) of 34.5 and an average noise reduction coefficient (NRC) of 0.82. The acoustic curtain walls with double barrier technology offer an even higher decibel loss with an average STC of 47.5 and an average NRC or 0.64.

Industrial workplaces can also use acoustic baffles as a standalone solution or in conjunction with acoustic curtain walls. Baffles are designed to be mounted on walls and ceilings. Acoustic baffles absorb sound and minimize echoing within a space.

Putting Acoustic Curtains to Work

 How can acoustic curtains and baffles be used in various industrial settings?

  • Construction sites. Construction sites are full of the competing noise of tools and forklifts as material is torn down and various elements of the project are built. Acoustic curtain walls can be strategically placed around the work site to manage the sound of different tools. For example, a room that is undergoing demolition can be enclosed with an acoustic industrial curtain wall until the work is finished.Acoustic curtain walls can even have doorway panels and windows to make access to the enclosed space easy for members of the crew coming and going.
  • Warehouses. Warehouses may simply be used as industrial storage facilities, but that does not mean they are safe from noise. The warehouse goods need to be moved for storage and transport, which means heavy duty equipment and big teams of people. Acoustic curtain walls can effectively divide warehouses into different sections, reducing noise. Acoustic baffles can add another layer of sound management, particularly helpful in large warehouse spaces that are likely to have echoing sound.
  • Manufacturing facilities. The manufacture of goods is a major industrial process that involves noise all day long. Acoustic baffles can be hung from walls and ceilings to reduce echoes in large manufacturing facilities. Acoustic curtain walls can be used to create quieter spaces in the facility. For example, administrative areas and break areas could benefit from the sound barrier provided by acoustic curtain walls.

Learn more about industrial acoustic noise blocking and sound absorbing solutions and request a quote to get started on improved sound management.

Theaters, Dance Studios, and More: How Acoustic Solutions Can Help Entertainment Venues

Theaters, Dance Studios, and More: How Acoustic Solutions Can Help Entertainment Venues

Theaters built with acoustics in mind date back to ancient Greece and Rome. These large performance spaces, often in the form of outdoor amphitheaters, could accommodate thousands of spectators. And thanks to the design of these spaces, everyone could hear what was happening on stage.

Today, acoustics are just as important in modern entertainment venues. Whether a theater, a dance studio, or a sports arena, the audience wants to be able to hear what is happening. Entertainment venues today have the same challenges as ancient venues, but they have the benefit of modern acoustic solutions.

Acoustic Challenges

Large entertainment venues have challenges such as reverberation and echoes. The structure of the venue, such as the seats and a stage, will absorb some of the reverberating sound but not all. Strategically placing absorptive materials in the theater or venue helps to reduce reverberation time. This can also help to cut down on the echoing effect caused by sound bouncing off of different surfaces.

Acoustic Solutions

How can acoustic solutions help solve these common entertainment venue challenges?

  • Acoustic baffles. Acoustic baffles are a versatile solution that can be placed virtually anywhere in an entertainment venue. This solution comes in a variety of configurations: ceiling, convex wall, flat wall, and free hanging. Made of absorptive material, baffles can line the back walls of an entertainment venue to cut down on reverberation time. Baffles can also be effectively used on a venue’s balconies to manage acoustics.

The main purpose of baffles is to assist with absorbing echoes. They take the sound that hits them and pulls it in to absorb it. Depending on which baffle type is chosen, they can even absorb echo from a variety of angles in one go.

Acoustic baffles are also frequently used in dance studios and athletic facilities. For example, ceiling baffles may be hung in a studio space or a gym – taking up no space that could otherwise be used for physical activity. Plus, these baffles can be hung close to the source of noise.

  • Custom acoustic solutions. Every entertainment venue has different needs, which is why we offer customer solutions. For example, we can create large acoustic baffles that essentially combine a curtain’s construction with a baffles absorbing properties. A solution like this can be used to effectively line the walls of a theater from top to bottom. The front of these curtains, or any acoustic curtain really, can be made with an acoustic fabric, allowing as much sound to pass through it and be absorbed inside the layers of the curtain as possible.

We have also custom designed curtains that feature sound absorbing material on both sides. Curtains like these can create effective divisions of space in dance studios and other athletic facilities that have multiple events and activities happening simultaneously.

Learn more about these different acoustic solutions and get a quote for the option that will work best for your entertainment venue.

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What You Need to Know About Acoustic Abatement Products and Decibel Reduction

What You Need to Know About Acoustic Abatement Products and Decibel Reduction

AmCraft’s Acoustic Abatement Products

Single block barrier curtains. As a configurable product, our single block barrier curtains are retractable and can be hung to create a completely enclosed space. The soft side of the curtain – made with 2 inches of sound attenuation material – is hung to face the source of the noise you wish to dampen. The other side of the curtain – made of one layer of sound blocking material – acts as a barrier facing the area you want to keep quiet. The single block barrier curtains have a maximum height of 30 feet for retractable curtains and 40’ for stationary ones.

Double block barrier curtains. Just like the single block product, the double block barrier curtains are retractable and designed to configure to your needs. The front side of the curtain is made of 1 inch of sound attenuation material, followed by a layer of sound blocking material. Behind this is another layer of 1” sound attenuation material and sound blocking material, making this curtain have 2 complete layers. The double block barrier curtains have a maximum height of 20 feet for retractable curtains and 30’ for stationary ones.

Acoustic baffles. AmCraft offers acoustic baffles in several configurations – including ceiling, convex wall, flat wall, and free hanging – and sizes. These products feature 2.5-4 inches of cotton absorption material.

Understanding Decibel Reduction

Putting an exact number on decibel reduction for a particular space is difficult – there are too many variables. Noise reduction products are just one element of a workspace’s acoustics. The size of the space; the material of the floor, ceiling, and walls; and how the acoustic curtains are placed all affect noise levels. In a small space, sound has less room to dissipate. This is particularly true of high-decibel, low-frequency sounds. Sound also will travel through and reflect off of different materials, like metal and concrete. Gaps between acoustic curtains will allow some sound to escape the barrier.

Given all of these factors, we cannot offer our customers a decibel reduction guarantee, but we can demonstrate how our products have been used in multiple different settings. Our case studies show the decibel reduction results achieved in real-world projects, which you can use as a model for understanding what to expect with your own project.

In addition to our case studies, we also provide sound transmission (STC) and noise reduction coefficient (NRC) ratings for each of our acoustic abatement products. These ratings, helpful for any noise abatement product, measure two different things. STC ratings measure how well a product lessens decibels as noise passes through it. NRC ratings measure how well a product absorbs sound. Review the STC and NRC ratings for each of our products on our data sheets.

Our acoustic abatement products are designed to bring effective noise reduction to your workspace. Reach out to our team to create your curtain and take the first step toward improved noise management.

Acoustic Baffle Systems Are a Sound Choice

Acoustic Baffle Systems Are a Sound Choice

The word baffle, at its most basic level, is defined as, “to retrain or regulate”. Used as a noun, its definition expands to, “a device used to restrain the flow of a fluid, gas, or loose material or to prevent the spreading of sound or light in a particular direction”. AmCraft Manufacturing understands these definitions and has used them to design a system of acoustic baffles for industrial environments.

With heavier duty outer layers, and performance focused inner layers, these baffles help facilities of all sizes mitigate and absorb sound and lower noise levels. With four different designs to choose from, it is also guaranteed that there is an acoustical baffle to suit all different sound situations.

The first two baffle options are ones that are designed to be supported by a facility’s ceiling. The “free hanging baffle” has a rectangular shape, with the width being wider than the height. Its mounting method has the top edge of the baffle supported from the ceiling, typically using chain suspension. It hangs straight down and provides a wide, flat panel. These baffles assist with absorbing sound that hits them head on.

The second baffle option in this category is the “ceiling baffle”. These units are still rectangular, but are longer rather than wider. Both the right and left edges mount to the existing ceiling, and the center of the baffle is pulled down toward the ground by gravity. This mounting method creates a baffle that is bowed out in the center, away from the ceiling from which it is hung. While these units are also designed to absorb sound, they can catch sound from many different vantage points. Their bowed shape allows them to intercept sound from anywhere within their bell curve, not simply sound that hits them head on.

The final two baffle options mirror those of the two outlined above, but are designed to be supported by the facility’s walls. The “flat wall baffle” has a broad, rectangular shape and sits with its backside flat against an existing wall. Its generous surface area will assist with dampening sound that hits it head on anywhere within its body. Meanwhile, the “convex wall baffle” has a shape that bumps out from the wall on which it is seated. This curved shape once again allows this unit to absorb sound from a wider range of areas. When mounted to a wall, this curved baffle can easily break up sound traveling from the ground, ceiling, or open area in front of it.

All baffle options fabricated by AmCraft have options for their front layer which allows for sound transmission through them, as well as durability and cleanability over time. This unique combination of two different mediums allows for the fabrication of a high performance acoustic product in a long-lasting shell. For more information, please contact our dedicated sales team here.

How to Choose the Right Outer Layer Material for Your Industrial Acoustic Curtain

AmCraft Industrial Curtain Wall Layer Materials

When putting together an acoustic industrial curtain, there are a variety of options and choices to be made. The inside layers of the curtain are where a majority of the acoustic performance takes place. However, the outer layers of the curtain are equally important. This outer layer not only determines the look and feel of your curtain, but can also impact the overall function and performance of it.

The first option is our most common for industrial acoustic curtains. An outer layer of solid PVC coated polyester (a.k.a. vinyl) forms a solid barrier between the innards of the curtain and the outside environment. As this is a solid material, it will let slightly less sound through and into the inner layers than the following two material options.  This means, that less of the sound will be absorbed or reflected.  However, the difference in potential sound transmission that this material offers versus another material is negligible. What this outer layer may lack in sound transmission, it makes up for in other areas.  This vinyl layer has a variety of benefits.  For starters, it is very durable to abrasion, scratching, cooler temperatures, and everyday wear and tear. It is also easy to clean.  It can be washed down with water and a mild detergent. So while a solid PVC vinyl outer layer may keep some sound from traveling to the innards of the curtain, it will also keep dirt, dust, debris, and moisture from doing the same thing.  These features make this outer material an ideal choice for rough, dirty, and/or industrial environments.  Additionally, the PVC coated polyester is available in 10 standard colors, making it easy to match to each company’s desired color scheme.

PVC coated mesh is the second option for your acoustic curtain’s outer layer. This material is also durable when standing up to abrasion and cooler temperatures, as mentioned above with option one.  As with any mesh, it is more open than a solid material. This mesh boasts a 70% opacity, which means that approximately 30% of the surface area covered by the mesh is open. This will allow the sound to travel through this outer layer more effectively than a solid material would. A small boost in acoustic performance (absorbing and reflecting) of your industrial curtain can be expected due to this factor. To clean this material, we recommend vacuuming it, then wiping it down with a moist cloth. You will want to be careful not to let excessive moisture or debris come into contact with this curtain, though, as these elements can harm the inside layers and diminish its acoustic qualities.

The third and final option for the outer layer of your acoustic curtain is a cloth fabric. This material is solid in coverage, but soft, as most fabrics are.  It allows for sound to travel through it, but will stop most dust, dirt, and debris from passing through. In terms of assisting with sound absorption, this fabric is the best option for the outer layer of an industrial acoustic curtain.  However, it is not ideal for rougher environments. Dust and dirt may stick to it, it can be torn or snagged, and it can be stained. Additionally, if moisture comes into contact with it, that moisture can bleed through to the inner layers. We would recommend a curtain with this fabric in gentler environments. As with your other options, though, it can still be cleaned.  The best way to do this is to vacuum the fabric. Also, it is available in 6 standard colors.

When deciding which of the above outer material options is best for your needs, it is best to think about your environment and determine what will give you the necessary balance between durability and acoustic performance. With industrial curtains, as with all products, you have many good options at your disposal. For assistance is picking the right choice for you, contact our sales team today.