Acoustic materials: the choice between sound-resistant and sound absorbing


The difference between sound absorbing and sound resistant materials is remarkable in the building sector. Acoustic materials are the most important elements of any building project that considers sound as one of the main factors for the wellbeing of the living spaces


But why are we paying so much attention to sound?

Because sound is part of us. It is so important that the sense of hearing develops when we are still in our mother's womb. 
Sound can be an ancestral calling, a wave that passes through us and reminds us of our most instinctive and free nature. 
It is so functional that we have been able to modulate it and make it a vehicle for communicating with other people. But we have done even more. Before learning how to speak we have turned it into music.


Over the centuries we have learnt how to direct the sound, to increase and smoothen it up. The technological progress has brought the need to separate sound from noise, improving the first and trying to eliminating the second. Sound absorbing wall coverings, sound resistant panels and false ceilings are expected to provide now a separation between sound and noise.

This leads to a fundamental distinction between the acoustic materials, which are divided into sound-absorbing and sound-resistant ones.


Sound resistant materials

They prevent the diffusion of the sound from inside to outside or from outside to inside, as for example preventing that the noises of the street come inside. They create a kind of closed box where the soundproofing properties limit the transmission of the sound among the spaces.


Sound absorbing and corrective materials
Differently from the above mentioned materials they do not prevent the transmission of the sound but they rather control its inflections, improving the acoustic quality of the environment. They are used in auditoriums, recording studios, classrooms, and wherever a clear sound is requested. 

There are different types of sound absorbing and corrective materials: porous, as fiberglass and rock wool, foams and wood fibers; vibrating and perforated resonant absorbing panels. 


For obtaining an optimal sound effect it is necessary to take into consideration many factors but often, instead of choosing a material, it is better to think of an integrated system composed of several elements that contribute to create acoustic comfort

This is also the principle at the core of our study on room acoustics that has lead to the development of Vertical line.


To know more

See our video

Dicover the Vertical line

Related news