How can we compare the quality of acoustic materials?
What should I pay attention to when purchasing an acoustic panel?
To ensure that you choose a product that is suitable for the specific acoustic needs of your space, consider the following factors when purchasing an acoustic product: absorption coefficient, thickness and density, fire safety, installation, aesthetics, cost, and durability of the acoustic solution.
Frequently Asked Questions
- What is the absorption coefficient?
- What is the NRC value?
- What is the Alpha value?
- What influence do the thickness and density of the absorption material have?
- Does my acoustic panel meet the fire safety regulations?
- How are the acoustic panels installed?
- Does the acoustic panel fit in my interior?
- What does an acoustic panel cost?
- How durable are acoustic panels?
Would you like to know how you can improve the acoustics in your room(s)? Then make an appointment for an acoustic measurement.
Meaning sound absorption coefficient
The amount of sound absorption is a property of a material and is expressed in the absorption coefficient. The absorption coefficient depends on the frequency of the sound and has a value between 0 (no absorption, all sound is reflected) and 1 (complete absorption, no sound is reflected – open window).
The degree of sound absorption depends on the type of material and the thickness of the acoustic package. In addition, the density of the acoustic package is also important.
What is NRC value?
NRC stands for Noise Reduction Coefficient in accordance with ASTM C 423. It is an arithmetic mean of the sound absorption values at 250, 500, 1000 and 2000 Hz, measured in thirds (also called 1/3 octave bands). This value is not weighted according to ear sensitivity. It indicates how much sound is absorbed by a particular material.
The higher the NRC value, the better the material is able to absorb sound waves and improve the acoustics of a room. The NRC value is measured on a scale from 0.00 (no absorption) to 1.00 (complete absorption). An NRC value of 1 is the highest achievable and corresponds to 100% absorption. In acoustics this is also called an “open window”. Well-absorbing materials have an NRC value between 0.85 and 1.
Incatro's acoustic panels with a profile thickness of 58 mm have an NRC value of 0.95 and are therefore at the top of the market.
What does Alpha value mean?
Alpha w stands for a weighted absorption value in accordance with EN-ISO 11654. It is an arithmetic mean of the sound absorption values at 250, 500 and 1000 Hz measured in third or 1/3 octave bands.
This value is weighted according to the sensitivity of the ear indicated by the reference curve Alpha p (practical absorption coefficient). It lies between 0 and 1, and the closer to 1 the better the acoustic panel works.
Density of absorbent material
The density of absorbent material refers to the amount of mass per unit volume of the material. It is expressed in kilograms per cubic meter (kg/m³).
Absorption material is often used to improve the acoustic properties of a room by absorbing sound waves. Higher density materials generally have higher sound absorption than lower density materials. This is because a higher density means more mass per unit volume, which leads to more friction and therefore more damping of sound waves.
There are different types of materials that can be used as absorption material, such as mineral wool, fiberglass, foam and cellulose. The density of absorbent material can vary depending on the type of material and its application.
On the right is a graph from Peutz where D20 stands for 20 kg/m3 and D40 for 40 kg/m3.
The Incatro acoustic panels with a profile of 58 mm thickness are provided with an 80 kg/m3 acoustic sandwich, which achieves one of the highest values of absorption in this class.
Fire safety acoustic panels
Building materials are classified according to DIN EN 13501-1 at European level according to their flammability and flammability. This European classification has 7 Euro fire classes: A1, A2, B, C, D, E and F. A1 stands for the best performance, which is not flammable. Category F products are extremely flammable.
In addition to the flammability of materials, the smoke production, and the amount of production of burning droplets and parts are also examined.
Smoke production has 3 classes, where s1 stands for low smoke production, s2 for medium smoke production and s3 for large smoke production.
Burning drops and parts also has 3 classes; d0 stands for no production of burning parts., d1 means parts burn less than 10 seconds. At d2 the parts burn longer than 10 seconds
Depending on the requirements set for the building, the acoustic panels must also meet those requirements.
Best place for acoustic panels
To achieve the best possible result, the panels are placed as close as possible to the sound source. The less the sound has the chance to reverberate, the better this is for the acoustics of the room.
Acoustic panels can be placed on the wall, the ceiling (whether or not suspended) or standing between (work) places. This depends on the function of the space and the people in it.
Our acoustics experts will work with you to determine which acoustic solution best suits your situation.
Aesthetically pleasing acoustic solution
The eye wants something too. Acoustic panels come in many shapes and sizes.
On the wall, on the ceiling, or standing. Round, rectangular, oval. Several smaller acoustic panels next to each other or as a wall or ceiling filling solution. Made of wood, as a painting or photo panel, or “invisible” as a ceiling panel. With cut-outs for windows and doors or feedthroughs for lamps, wall sockets and other items.
In fact, almost anything is possible at Incatro. We make it so that it fits your situation and personal wishes. We deliver 100% customization.
Are acoustic panels expensive?
The cost of acoustic solutions can vary depending on the type and extent of the acoustic problems, the size of the room and the desired level of acoustic improvement.
A simple acoustic solution such as installing an acoustic panel can be relatively affordable and, in some cases, can even be installed by yourself. If specially tailored solutions are required or if the acoustic problems must be solved in a large space, the costs can be somewhat more expensive.
In any case, always get advice from an acoustics expert, so that you never pay too much and always get a real solution for your acoustic problem.
Sustainability acoustic products
Incatro has been in possession of a NEN-EN-ISO 14001 certificate since 2018.
We believe it is important to minimize our CO2 footprint and to invest in sustainable processes and developments.
For example, all our acoustic panels are 100% recyclable. The quality and acoustic properties are always maintained. The prints and fabrics are easily replaceable. The panels do not contain any harmful substances.
Would you like to know which acoustic solution is the best in your situation? Then we would be happy to provide you with a tailor-made advice.