What are Soundproofing Foam Panels?
Acoustic foam is used to absorb echo and reverb in an area, room or space. Normally foam is not used to soundproof from one area or room to another. For example in a school cafeteria when filled with kids the noise bounces off all the hard surfaces such as block walls, tile floors and metal ceilings. Acoustic foam can be applied to the hard surfaces such as walls or ceilings and it will absorb the noise that hits it instead of reflecting it back causing all the unwanted noise to reflect in the room. When there is excessive reverb/echo in a room such as a cafeteria it becomes very difficult to hear and understand what the person sitting next to you is saying. This causes people to talk louder until the ambient noise levels are extremely high and speech is almost unintelligible. This is where foam is used to “absorb” echo and reverb.
The foam is not blocking noise from entering or leaving an adjoining room or space. To Sound Proof a wall for example you need to add more mass such as another layer of sheetrock or an acoustical barrier. Acoustical barriers are often a mass loaded vinyl that is made into wall panels, acoustical curtains and soundproof foam. Soundproof foam is foam that has a barrier laminated to it and often another thin layer of foam to decouple the barrier from being in direct contact with the wall or surface it is applied to. By decoupling the barrier in this way it retains a higher Sound Test Class (STC) rating. The common make up is 1/4” flat foam laminated to a mass loaded vinyl then laminated to thicker foam such as 1” flat foam. This is referred to as composite soundproof foam. The foam will now block noise and absorb noise in the space it is applied. This is similar to an acoustic blanket or curtain that has fiberglass/barrier/fiberglass quilted together. These types of composite soundproof and sound absorbing materials are often used in acoustical enclosures where you need to block noise from leaving or entering a room, compartment, cab or space and also absorb the noise within the space. Soundproof foam can be made with additional facings such as Mylar or Tuftane. Mylar is oil, dirt and grease resistant and Tuftane is a wipe-able surface coating. Composite foams work great for soundproofing and absorbing echo and reverb. To determine which product is best for your application contact one of our consultants.