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Acoustic Aluminium Ceiling Lay-on

Acoustic Aluminium Ceiling(Clip on)
After reading this article, you should be able to:
  1. Explain the importance of acoustics in the workplace and the impact it has on occupants.
  2. Identify four performance characteristics of decorative ceiling tiles.
  3. Describe how decorative ceiling tiles can help achieve sustainable design goals.
  4. Discuss the types of installation methods used for various types of ceiling tiles.

Acoustics 101

Simply stated, acoustics is the science of sound. It is the field of study that deals with the creation and control of sound and vibration. On a more complex level, it’s a subdivision of physics that focuses on the wave behavior of sound energy, including propagation, control and materials.7
When it comes to architecture and interiors, the most common situation designers face daily involves electro-acoustics and room acoustics. Electro-acoustics is a specific subset of the field wherein a large percentage of the sound energy is created by electronic transducers (loudspeakers).8 Room acoustics is another division of acoustics, focused primarily on the behavior of sound within interior spaces versus underwater, outdoors or subway areas. The combination of electro-acoustics and room acoustics encompasses most every scenario architecture and interiors encounter: home theatre, audio production suites, conference rooms, offices, transportation, movie theatres and any interior space where people and electronics exist together.
As the air moves through an interior space, every material the air meets affects the timbre of the sound, much like how an electrical signal is subject to the characteristics of the copper cable through which it passes. Architecturally, every material used to construct a room has a clearly audible and often dramatic effect on sound. Hence the importance of material science upon acoustics. How each material sounds and how it affects the air on which sound rides is important when specifying architectural materials.
Vibration is energy moving through solid materials. In architecture, the most common vibrational concerns are HVAC and airport/roadway noise travelling through structural members. These noises typically become an issue when they translate into audible sound. Vibrations diaphragmatically move walls and ceilings, converting the vibrational energy into sound. This process is called transduction.
Just as the quality of the speaker and cables affect electrical signals, the quality of the studs, drywall, fasteners and ceilings affect vibration. Using absorptive materials and diffusers, traditional acoustics controls sound energy frequency by frequency and decibel by decibel (amplitude/volume). Absorption is a way to diminish the amplitude or volume of sound energy by trapping the sound energy in porous materials, which slow down the sound like a fast car trying to drive through a deep puddle. The car slows down as it hits the puddle, and the energy transfers into the puddle itself.
The job of architects and designers is to determine how to mitigate these unwanted noise within a space to the benefit of its occupants, but it’s not always easy.

Challenges and Solutions for Addressing Acoustics

In the workplace and other high-traffic commercial spaces such as airports and hotels, mitigating the negative effects of acoustics can be a daunting challenge due to a number of factors. For starters, in the open plan office or restaurants with few or no walls or enclosed spaces to keep noise from traveling, the total amount of noise from various sources of sound can be very high. This creates a high noise floor, which can be difficult to hear above and dramatically reduces intelligibility, which can lead to a number of the negative outcomes mentioned earlier.
Also, with the distances between sound sources and hard, reflective surfaces sometimes being significant, the reverberation time increases. As cubicles, café booths and other seating arrangements might provide only minimal or insignificant acoustic control, sound energy is often practically untouched and is allowed to travel across long spaces several times. These long decay times can dramatically decrease intelligibility as well.
As alluded to earlier, one of the drawbacks of the open office plan is the lack of private spaces. While this is currently being addressed by both design firms and furniture manufacturers, the lack of privacy in many workplaces is a considerable issue that can lead to interpersonal conflicts and potential exposure of information that is intended to be confidential. While integrating more permanent conference rooms or movable “phone booths” into a space plan address the problem, they are often cost-prohibitive and may not be the best utilization of space. They may also unintentionally signal the obvious fact that someone who uses these spaces frequently is discussing something sensitive.
Finally, as noted early on, long exposure to loud noise has a fatiguing effect on the human psyche that can lead to slower response times and an inability to reason or problem solve clearly. More solutions are available to address unwanted noise in busy interior environments.
Leaving the ceiling entirely exposed is problematic because it tends to be the busiest surface in an interior, where sound travels up and bounces off the ceiling and reverberates through the rest of the space.
One of the traditional ways to address acoustics is to utilize fabric-wrapped panels either on the wall or hanging suspended from the ceiling. Among the issues with these solutions is that fabric is not particularly durable and is subject to tears and soiling in wall applications, particularly. Hanging panels from the ceiling can detract from the visual openness of a space and may not match the overall design aesthetic. Likewise, traditional mineral boards in drop ceilings do absorb sound, but they damage easily, especially when exposed to moisture, and are not the most visually appealing products.
Today’s decorative ceiling tiles, however, are an effective solution for dealing with acoustics in busy spaces if specified properly with the right mix of materials and backing. For example, some ceiling tiles on the market today are made of thin yet durable, lightweight aluminum that can be microperforated to allow sound to pass through the tile without interfering with the design aesthetic. When paired with different types of backings (or even laid over existing mineral board ceiling grids), these panels can have a significant impact on sound absorption.

Case for Acoustic Aluminium Ceiling