No matter what type of facility you work at, you are bound to run into questions and issues about the acoustic quality of your space. Each space, from restaurants to warehouses, is made up of different building materials that will add to or detract from the acoustic quality of your facility. Just from a cursory look at the internet, there are a number of products that boast being able to cut down on sound in a space, reduce echo, and possibly even deaden the unwanted sounds all together.
Acoustic curtains are one genre of acoustic abatement supply that are popular and for good reason. Acoustic curtain products have two main benefits. First, they can provide more space flexibility and versatility than a hard wall can. Acoustic curtains can often be moved easily and therefore can provide acoustic abatement when needed, but do not have to remain in use when they are not required. Second, acoustic industrial curtains can offer different looks and aesthetic options, which may make them more desirable for your space, depending on the setting.
However, even within the acoustic curtain category, there are many different brands and options for an acoustic industrial curtain. Before deciding which products are best for your needs, it is important to educate yourself on what measurements are used to determine how one brand of acoustic curtain compares to another.
The Importance of the STC Rating with Acoustic Curtains
One measure of acoustic property is the STC rating. STC stands for sound transmission class, and is defined as how well a septum, in this case an industrial acoustic curtain, can abate sound. It also tells us roughly by how many decibels a given barrier can be expected to lessen sound as the sound travels through it. While it is enticing to think that a thin fabric curtain can give a good STC rating, from a practical standpoint that isn’t realistic. A thicker curtain, one with more acoustic material inside of it, will typically have a better STC rating than a thin curtain.
A great example are the industrial acoustic curtain products offered at AmCraft Manufacturing. AmCraft manufactures acoustic curtains and panels with single block technology as well as double block technology. The acoustic insulated curtain with single block technology has an STC rating of 34.5, while the industrial curtain wall with double barrier technology boasts an STC rating of 47.5.
As a comparison, a single layer of 1/2″ drywall on each side, wood studs, no insulation (typical interior wall) has an STC rating of about 33- comparable to AmCraft’s single barrier acoustic curtain. Meanwhile, 6″ Hollow CMU (Concrete Masonry Unit) has a typical STC rating of about 46, which is slightly less than AmCraft’s double barrier technology curtain.
How NRC Rating Factors into Noise Absorbing Curtains
In addition to considering the STC rating of an acoustic curtain product, you should also consider the NRC rating. NRC stands for noise reduction coefficient, and is an indication of the amount of sound absorbed when it hits a particular surface. An NRC rating of 0 indicates total reflection of the sound, while an NRC rating of 1 indicates total absorption of the sound. As it relates to AmCraft Manufacturing’s product offering, their acoustic curtain with single barrier technology offers an NRC rating of 0.82 and the acoustic curtain with double barrier technology brags an NRC rating of 0.64. Both options offer a superior NRC rating to many of the other curtain products that are readily available.
In your search for the perfect acoustic product, you will find AmCraft’s acoustic industrial curtain wall and acoustic panel products are designed to fit your needs. These curtains offer superior acoustic value, as illustrated by their STC and NRC ratings. They are also fully customizable to your size and aesthetic requirements and are available in both retractable and stationary options.
Contact one of the knowledgeable acoustic curtain specialists at AmCraft today for more information!