Introducing decorative acoustic panels in an indoor space adds to its functionality and refreshes the aesthetics with no need for massive structural interventions. Making a room enjoyable from an acoustic point of view and reducing the sound intensity to the minimum by limiting its diffusion means making that environment acoustically efficient. This solution is becoming ever easier to put in place, is valid from an aesthetic perspective and therefore widely spread and used.
How do hanging acoustic panels work?
Acoustic panels are sound absorbing elements to be fixed to the ceiling. They can be made of different materials and take different sizes, colors and shapes. The function of acoustic panels is to collect and trap the sound by means of elements of design, thus bringing down acoustic pollution within a closed space. The “expression material sound absorption” relates to the capability of a material to absorb the sound energy released, in order to reduce and eliminate its reverberation on the walls. Sound absorbing panels can be useful and easy to be placed in several environments, from private houses to offices; from public spaces like bars and restaurants, to meeting rooms, conference rooms, auditoriums and theaters. Sound absorption can happen in several ways; through porosity, when the vibrant air is trapped in the porous material; through membrane resonance, when there is a gap separating the wall and the sound absorbing material; through cavity resonance, when the sound is captured in holes or cracks created in the sound absorbing material.
Materials and shapes of sound absorbing panels
Sound absorbing panels are made of two parts: an external one, that can be made of different materials and play a primarily aesthetic function; an internal one stuffed with materials capable of absorbing the sound. Each panel features refined design elements, studied to the latest detail to ensure acoustic comfort coupled with an appealing look, with plenty of modular solution to suit any type of environment. There are acoustic baffles such as acoustic deflectors, serving as an optional solution for open ceilings spaces, where it is necessary to ensure the air flow with the cooling ceiling radiator or an easy access to the building. There are ceiling and wall-mounted panels, with a plain and minimal design; they are an ideal solution to create false-ceilings performing with a top quality technique. Such elements are conceived to ensure acoustic comfort and the perfect integration with lighting fixtures and accessories, thus contributing to perfectly marry functionality and design. Within the panorama of hanging acoustic panels there are also acoustic clouds, structures made of several hanging sound absorbing panels, contributing to fine tune the acoustics of a specific environment. They are referred to as “clouds” to recall their being floating, nonetheless they can be mounted on walls or on the ceiling by means of steel cables and magnets. It is also possible to find 3D acoustic clouds made of sound absorbing fabric, which weave allows to seize the sound waves more efficiently than with flat fabrics. For acoustic panels the most diverse materials can be used; with a low density or spongy texture, like foam; compact with holes and cracks, like wood and metal; covered with fabric, versatile and easy to adapt to more environments. From a closer look, we find that the capability of a metal acoustic panels to absorb the sound depends on the width of the holes present on the surface, since therein lays a thin mattress in polyester fiber; wood acoustic panels, beneath the external pierced layer, feature polyester fiber; fabric acoustic panels are made of a light material and allow for a slighter insulation, but can easily adjust to the environment; eventually foam acoustic panels guarantee the highest level of insulation. The care for recycled materials -such as fabrics scraps left from the production of upholstery, aluminum caps and recycled bottles- is also quite relevant as it gives these products of design a clear green footprint. Just like for materials, the panels shapes can be utterly different from each other, with a smooth, waved or pyramidal surface. The latter are thought to extend the panel surface with an aim to exploit the sound absorbing properties.
Types of acoustic panels
Acoustic panels are mainly used to improve the acoustic of an indoor space for the well being of the people living or working there, who can benefit to a large extent from the installation of sound absorbing elements. This is why is it very important to choose acoustic panels with care, opting for sound baffles or clouds, based on the functionality of the environment where they will be placed. It is equally important to pay attention to installation, since environments are not all the same and some aspects must be considered, such as the room size, the walls height, etc.
What are the benefits of hanging sound insulating panels?
Sound insulating panels are extremely flexible and feature some specific characteristics. In the first place, it is possible to opt for unique solutions allowing for a maximum level of customization of the environment. Furthermore, with only a single product it is possible to leave a mark on the environment architecture in a double way, by ameliorating the acoustics and the design. Moreover, the components with their flexibility can create false ceilings to serve for the most diverse needs and to visually separate different areas within the same space.
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