Acoustical Material Design and Uses Q&A

Below is a Q&A session about acoustical materials.

How would you describe the existing landscape relating to acoustical systems? Where is the greatest need/ the most demand?
-Acoustical systems are deployed throughout many market segments.  Demand truly depends upon the specific type of acoustical requirement.  Applications can range from improving sound in a residential home theater to solutions to abate jet airplane noise.  Many of these projects must be examined on a case by case basis.

Popular Products
Fabric wrapped panel:
Sound Barrier:
Art Diffusors:

What are some major issues that come up or problems to be faced?
-Most problems center around improving speech intelligibility or keeping sound from disturbing others.
Improve Intelligibility with Absorbers:
Block Sound with Barriers and Isolation Poducts:

When developing different types of sound proofing/ sound dampening materials what have proved to be the most useful materials to form composites out of? Where do you usually procure these base materials?

-Many absorber products are manufactured from fluffy or porous materials such as acoustical foam and glass fiber.
Noise barriers are made from dense and heavy materials and isolation materials range from metal springs to neoprene rubber.

You can read more about the basic categories of products here:

Which materials or composites combinations have proved to be the most successful?
-The success of the material can only be measured in comparison with the application in which the material is used.  Not all applications will require the absolute best composite material.  There are varying degrees of requirements and materials that should be specified by a professional who can evaluate the project requirements.  Acoustical consultants are often used to determine the appropriate material and amounts of material for the specific project.

What surprises have you encountered while developing acoustical systems?
-Sometimes that physical limitations of materials or structures to support the materials may change the design or specification of an acoustic material.  For example, when blocking sound, massive and dense materials should be used, however, you must be sure the structure will be able to support the additional weight.  A prototype design may have the best intentions of being a great acoustical material but may have limitations when manufacturing, shipping or installing.

How big is the market for aesthetically pleasing sound proofing/ dampening systems?
-These days most markets segments are looking for materials that are aesthetically pleasing while at the same time needing them to be economical.  Visual trends are constantly changing and consumers may choose to compromise the look of a material to match their project’s budget.

Do you see any future trends? Where do they align?
-Trends are always changing based on market demand whereas material design and availability change based on the availability of access to raw goods at a fair price.  One constant that could maintain is that as the population grows one can anticipate the need for noise and sound control materials will also increase.

Do you think there is a need or interest in easily movable/ modifiable/ adjustable sound proofing/ dampening?
-Many customers would like to have the ability to remove or move their acoustical materials.  Much of this depends on the type of acoustical problem and how the will be installed.

Do you think there is a need or interest in sound proofing/ dampening that is easily cleaned? In what market do you think these exist?
-Some commercial applications such as hospitals, food service, or industrial facilities need materials that can be wiped down.  This depends on the environment in which the materials will be used.

What are some markets that have unmet needs? What is the need?
-Any markets that have sound and noise problems.


Acoustics First Corporation supplies acoustical panels and soundproofing materials to control sound and eliminate noise in commercial, residential, government, and institutional applications worldwide.  Products include the patented Art Diffusor®, sound absorbers, noise barriers, acoustical fabrics and accessories. Acoustics First® products are sold for O.E.M applications, direct, and through dealers.  For more information on acoustical materials and their application, please visit or call Toll Free 1-888-765-2900 (US & Canada).

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