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3D warp-knitted textiles – New aspect in sound insulation
12
Aug '13
Noise is frequently irritating and has a negative effect on the nervous system, on comfort and on work performance. At a level of just 40 decibels, which corresponds to low radio noise, concentration can be reduced by 20-30%.

Sound-absorbing ceilings, partitions, floors and furniture surfaces can reduce disruptive noises, and are a promising application for materials having acoustic properties. It is estimated that there are roughly 3.2 million square meters of new office space alone in Germany.

Examples of conventional ways of reducing noise inside buildings include the use of pressed mineral wool or MDF sheets in ceilings, non-load-bearing partitions made from mineral wool or plasterboard, textile-covered flat pressed boards as mobile interior walls, and polystyrene in various applications - a whole range of systems that have now been complemented by a new solution made solely from textiles.

This new innovation features room elements made from warp-knitted spacer textiles and was developed at KARL MAYER. The product developers at this textile machinery building company were assisted in their work by acoustic specialists at the Fraunhofer Institut für Bauphysik, IBP (Fraunhofer Institute for Building Physics).

Principles of noise reduction

In order to reduce noise levels, sound should be both damped and absorbed.

Acoustic damping specifies how effectively noise from the air or a body is reflected at the surface and thus prevented from spreading. It is characterized by the degree of sound reflection.

With sound absorption, the sound energy is converted into other energy forms and is thus reduced. In this case, the main factor is dissipation – the transformation into thermal energy by friction, for example. The characteristic parameter for noise absorption is the degree of sound absorption.

Materials that are to be used as soundproofing materials must exhibit a high level of reflection and absorption. General design parameters and their influence on the acoustic behavior

The acoustic characteristics of spacer textiles can be modified specifically, in which case, the main parameters are their thickness and surface construction. Whereas the cover faces, with their specific microscopic roughness, are mainly responsible for reflecting the sound waves, dissipation or absorption occurs primarily in the spacer layer.

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Karl Mayer

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