Acoustics

The application of acoustics can be seen in almost all aspects of modern society with the most obvious being the audio and noise control industries. and solids including vibration. ultrasound and infrasound. A scientist who works in the field of acoustics is an acoustician while someone working in the field of acoustics technology may be called an acoustical or audio engineer.Definition ‡ Acoustics is the interdisciplinary science that deals with the study of all mechanical waves in gases. Artificial Omni-directional sound source in an anechoic acoustic chamber .sound. liquids.

. and is described by a wave function that is a function of both space and time.Wave Motion in Time and Space: A wave is a disturbance that travels from one location to another.

with a ray of light incident upon a boundary between two media (air and glass. the wave will change directions.Refraction of Sound Waves The speed of a wave depends on the elastic and inertia properties of the medium through which it travels. When a wave encounters different medium where the wave speed is different. Most often refraction is encountered in a study of optics. or air and water. but the frequency remains constant . or glass and water). Snell's law relates the directions of the wave before and after it crosses the boundary between the two media. Notice that as the wavefronts cross the boundary the wavelength changes.

Building skin envelope Inter-space noise control Interior space acoustics Mechanical equipment noise .Architectural Acoustics Architectural acoustics is the science of noise control within buildings.

doors. Inter-space noise control: ‡ The science of limiting and/or controlling noise transmission from one building space to another to ensure space functionality and speech privacy. windows. eaves. The typical sound paths are room partitions. acoustic ceiling panels (such as wood dropped ceiling panels). flanking. walls. ducting and other penetrations. or of the airport itself. An example would be providing suitable party wall design in an apartment complex to minimize the mutual disturbance due to noise by residents in adjacent apartments. door and penetrations. The main noise paths are roofs. Sufficient control ensures space functionality and is often required based on building use and local municipal codes. An example would be providing a suitable design for a home which is to be constructed close to a high volume roadway. or under the flight path of a major airport. .Building skin envelope: ‡ This science analyzes noise transmission from building exterior envelope to interior and vice versa. windows.

Air conditioning and mechanical ventilation systems in buildings .50 0.) B = Block (via panels. A = Absorb {via drapes.10 0. There are three ways to improve workplace acoustics and solve workplace sound problems the ABCs.Interior space acoustics ‡ This is the science of controlling a room's surfaces based on sound absorbing and reflecting properties. carpets.90 1000 2000 4000 0.02 0.Electrical generators positioned within or attached to a building Any other building service infrastructure component that emits sound.90 500 0.Elevators .25 0.80 Mechanical equipment noise Building services noise control is the science of controlling noise produced by: .12 0. Excessive reverberation time.13 0.06 0.35 0.02 0.20 0.02 0.25 0.03 0. ‡ . ceilings and layout) C = Cover-up (via sound masking) Some Absorption Coefficients Frequency (Hz) 250 0.04 0. walls.05 0. etc.90 Material Concrete/brick Glass Plasterboard Plywood Carpet Curtains Acoustical board 125 0.01 0.40 0.15 0.45 0.20 0.02 0.04 0. which can be calculated.10 0.45 0.08 0. floors. ceiling tiles.11 0.30 0.25 0.09 0.19 0.60 0.08 0. can lead to poor speech intelligibility.03 0.01 0.10 0.45 0.02 0.35 0.

that the sounds created by such things as jet aircraft. A jazz or rock composition might be regarded as noise by some listeners. Whether or not a certain sound is referred to as "noise" depends on the viewpoint of the listener.Noise control Noise: unwanted sound. . automobiles and trucks. It is generally agreed. however. but as pleasing sound by others. and heavy machinery constitute noise.

Common sound absorption materials include open cell foams and fiberglass Vibration damping: applicable for large vibrating surfaces. metal etc. Sound absorption: a porous material which acts as a noise sponge by converting the sound energy into heat within the material. cork etc. A common material is sound deadened steel. Common materials have high-density properties such as brick. The damping mechanism works by extracting the vibration energy from the thin sheet and dissipating it as heat. rubber mounts. Common vibration isolators are springs. Vibration isolation: prevents transmission of vibration energy from a source to a receiver by introducing a flexible element or a physical break. .Types of noise control There are four basic principles of noise control: Sound insulation: prevent the transmission of noise by the introduction of a mass barrier. concrete.

electrical transformers and air cooled chiller units in the community. Punch presses in the shop. Installation of acoustic barrier walls can dramatically reduce environmental and equipment noise. and highway barriers along the Interstate are common applications. .Acoustic Barrier Walls: Acoustic barrier walls are commonly used to separate noise sources from the receivers.

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