Archive for category Manufacturing

Taming the Cube with Cloudscape®

When the University of the Pacific reached out to help tame the acoustics of their makerspace called “The Cube”, many different concerns were underlined about the space, its uses, and the problems they faced.

The Cube exterior view
“The Cube”

These concerns covered more than just the room dimensions – size, height, HVAC, glass walls, etc…. there were functional requirements for collaboration, classes, and workshops. The overwhelming acoustic problems involved the near constant noises generated by the vast array of equipment in this space – sewing machines, large format printers, plotting cutters, 3D printers, scanners, and every other modern tool for allowing the creative minds at their school to create. It was a cacophony of stepper motors, fans, and moving parts – which made collaboration very difficult.

The vast array of equipment means a variety of different noises as well.

The other parameter that needed to be maintained was the ability to reconfigure the layout of the equipment without affecting the acoustic treatment in the space. This removed almost all of the walls in the space as possible locations for treatment. This left the ceiling as the only viable space left for treatment, but with an array of lights and exposed HVAC systems, there were few treatments that would be easy to implement and still be effective.

Glass walls and the need to reconfigure “The Cube” limited the locations where acoustic treatment could be installed.

The decision was made to creatively weave Cloudscape® Baffles into all the spaces available in the ceiling. Dodging duct-work and suspended lighting rails was made possible with careful planning and execution – and the results were immediately notable. (Also noticeable was that the baffles had very little impact on the lighting which is vital in any makerspace.)

Cloudscape® Baffles were carefully integrated around the HVAC and lighting present in the space.

“…The sound baffles you recommended finally got installed in my makerspace about two weeks ago and I wanted to send a quick thank you since they’ve made a very noticeable acoustic difference to the room, and it’s a lot more pleasant in here now. “

Chris Crawford – Innovation Spaces Manager (University of the Pacific)

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Acoustic Solutions for Industrial Noise Control (Blocking and reducing industrial sound)

Composite Foam  with Mylar facing installed in machine enclosure

Industrial facilities include a wide range of applications like manufacturing, processing plants, construction sites and more. The typical sound problem in most industrial applications is the need to lower the overall level of sound or lower the decibel level of specific machinery. Machinery can include punch presses, printing equipment, crushers, grinders, air tools, drills, jack hammers, pumps, etc. The noise generated by these machines not only fatigue operators but may not meet OSHA safety requirements or other local noise ordinances.

To lower the sound level of these machines, the best course of action is to create a sound proof enclosure around the source of the noise. This will eliminate noise and prevent sound from permeating into the rest of the facility or neighboring areas. There are many ways to accomplish this, however, most methods will require some type of massive and/or dense material and possibly the addition of a fluffy absorptive material.

To create sound proof enclosures, you may wish to consider using a combination of the following materials:

BlockAid Sound Barrier is a mass loaded vinyl used in composite structures to add mass and aid to increase the STC (Sound Transmission Loss) of a system. This material weighs one pound per square foot, ships on rolls and can be easily cut with a utility knife.

StratiQuilt Barrier Blanket with UV resistant coveringAlternatively, like in the image at the top of the page, a machine or enclosure can be lined with a composite foam. This material has a layer of the vinyl sound barrier floating between two layers of acoustical foam. This material combines a layer of massive/dense material (vinyl sound barrier) to block sound with two layers of absorptive acoustical foam. Suspending the barrier as a limp mass between the two layers of acoustical foam decouple it from the existing surface of the enclosure, improving its effectiveness.

In addition, StratiQuilt Blankets can be installed on-site around machinery to reduce the mechanical noises. These quilted fiberglass blankets can be manufactured with or without a barrier septum and available with grommets for hanging. Optional outdoor coverings can be quoted when the material requires UV protection.

Subsequently, Cloudscape ceiling baffles can be installed in large open areas and metal buildings with engineered truss systems to reduce overall reverberation and sound pressure levels (SPL) within the room.


Acoustics First Corporation supplies acoustical panels and soundproofing materials to control sound and eliminate noise in commercial, residential, government, 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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