Sound insulation is not to be confused with sound absorption – they serve two different functions. This article covers sound insulation materials and the different types of sound insulation that can be used to effective reduce the transmission of sound energy.
When you soundproof a room you can either do it to reduce noise, which is nothing more than blocking sound waves by using distance or objects to block its passage; or you can use noise absorption, which transforms sound waves by suppressing echoes, resonance and reflection. The insulation materials have damping characteristics, which controls the sound levels, reducing and distorting them.
Sound insulation on the other hand is the prevention of the transmission of sound; a reduction in the transmission of sound energy to the adjoining air space. There are several different types of sound insulation materials that can be used to reduce noise and the transmission of sound.
A brief look at the different types of insulation materials will be helpful in making informed decisions for your home.
You can use fiberglass insulation inserted between the studs in drywall layers as well as foam insulation that can be blown into the wall without removing the drywall. The same methods can be used for flooring as well.
You can use the passive absorption method to reduce sound; mineral wood insulation or acoustic foam forces sound wave to change direction several time and travel a great distance before it can completely pass through the insulation material. Each time the waves change direction part of the energy gets absorbed by being converted to heat.
Lead sheets are very good at blocking sound transmission; in addition they are easy to work with, cut and install. Foil faced acoustic pipe wrap can be used to muffle sound from noisy pumps, generators, engines, saniflow systems, etc. Acoustic mineral wool is very useful in reducing airborne noise and can be used quite successfully in walls, suspended ceilings and flooring joists. The density of the material makes it an efficient sound absorber.
It is recommended that you do a complete research on the subject before attempting to use sound insulation materials.