Adapting Simple Prediction Methods to Sound Transmission of Lightweight Foam Cored Panels

Keith Ballagh

New Zealand Acoustics, 24(4), pp.28- 32 . (2011).

A common building product used in industrial buildings consists of thin steel or aluminium skins on each side of a foam plastic core such as polystyrene. Such panels have many attractive properties, they are light weight, have excellent capacity to span between structural supports, excellent thermal insulation and are pre-finished. They are used extensively in many countries, and in New Zealand these types of panels are commonly used in food processing plants which are often noisy and located close to residences. The sound transmission loss of these panels in their basic form is poor, usually less worse than a simple mass law prediction based on the mass of the components. The performance is characterised by a sharp dip in the sound transmission loss at mid frequencies which causes a big drop in R or STC rating. The work described in this paper has developed simple methods of predicting the sound transmission loss of panels both as single panels and more importantly when used as part of a system to achieve higher performance.