More about Noise Control
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More expense goes into noise control than most may realize. From enclosures and insulation to specific shapes and fixtures, many facilities incorporate some form of noise control. There are also far more involved options, such as active noise control systems, available for certain applications. These systems analyze the waveform of the existing noise then generate a sound with the same amplitude, but an opposite phase, as the existing noise. The result is that the waves cancel each other out and create no perceptible sound. Obviously, active noise control systems work best with constant, steady sounds, such as those created by an engine or heavy machinery.
Active noise control systems are some of the most complex systems available. Even at its most basic level, however, proper noise control is a complicated science. The devices used to regulate sound, though, are relatively simple. Sound absorbing blankets, screens, panels and tiles can drastically alter and reduce sound levels in a facility. Many loud, highly trafficked areas, such as cafeterias or large restaurants can use differently shaped hanging sound absorbers to help control sound levels. Insulation and sound-dampening materials also can be built into walls, baffles and ceilings to provide additional sound regulation. The key to proper sound management is the proper placement of these materials, and since each space and sound differs, new factors must be assessed in each establishment. Angles, sound volume, construction materials and many other variables affect the acoustic qualities of a certain area. Any true noise control system must involve these details in its design. Otherwise, although some degree of control may be achieved, it will not be optimal.
In addition, many of the basic items used for sound control (blankets, mats, tiles, etc.) have specialized shapes and textures, and are made from specific materials. Before using these items, one must consider additional factors, including environmental conditions, such as temperature and humidity. Before duct lagging is used, for instance, one must make sure it can withstand the temperatures and fumes passing through the duct. In similar fashion, any sound-control insulation or tiling must retain its qualities after being subjected to the environment at hand.