Soundproofing panels do not have to be boring. This generation of designers insists on more functionality than previously available from manufacturers of soundproofing acoustic panels.
Previously most sound treatments were solid foam panels for sound or music studios, recording studios, industrial applications, or movie theaters without regard to design. A straightforward one-colored panel worked fine. Esthetics were of little importance.
Most of these panels were made of foam and not rated for fire safety. As new products became available to improve soundproofing in various applications, more colors and designs appeared. It didn’t take long for designers to add graphics, creating a more appealing look while maintaining the effectiveness and safety aspects of the new materials.
Where Art Controls Sound in Acoustic Design
Designers introduced the industry to the cloth-wrapped panel systems, which found their niche and are used today. No longer is the foam used as much to capture and convert unwelcome echoes from a room. Instead, the cloth wrapped sound panels systems are made of compressed fiberglass boards, which are stiff and rigid.
The boards are durable, portable, easy to self install, class A fire rated, and approved for use in any commercial setting that suffers from the low-quality sound. The core material captures and converts the echoes from the room, while the outer skin is a piece of decorative fabric that was offered in dozens of colors for many years.
Today, those color options have expanded. The bulk of the color textile clothes used in the sound panel industry are supplied by a single source called Guilford of Maine.
Acoustic fabrics & printing on sound-absorbing panels.
Clients kept clamoring for even greater diversity in design options, which in term gave birth to the dye sublimation industry and their ability to paint images, graphics, logos, photography, and artwork digitally onto the face of the sound panel. It seems today there are few limitations on the design of sound panels.
A case in point is this set of images supplied by OEC Group in Chicago. They deliver logistics services to clients worldwide. They were having acoustic issues within their office setting and decided to apply the designer panel concept to their own interior office space.
OEC provided company related images of their industry to NetWell Noise Control. The textiles were printed and then wrapped around sound panels designed to suspend vertically off the floor from the ceiling. Space’s visual representation is stunning, the sound values excellent, and the client a happy customer.
For more information on producing a unique and decorative acoustic panel presentation for your space, you can reach NetWell Noise Control at 1-800-638-9355 or visit them online at www.controlnoise.com.
Dye-sublimation offers more design options for sound panels.
The art of dye-sublimation converts paints from a liquid state to a gas state. Much like steam cleaning drapes or drycleaning clothes, the imagery is sprayed into the textile’s face, coating each fiber of the fabric with color. This method allows a small .jpg image to expand to mural-sized sound panels and maintain the vividness in color, as you can see with the OEC Group project.
Thanks to this technique, today’s sound panel market now stretches deep into the designer field. Sound panels can look like clouds in the sky on a ceiling. The noise control panels placed on brick walls can change the entire look of a room.
The difference in terms of sound values? A brick wall might absorb up to 5% of the echoes in a space, while a sound panel made to look like a brick wall might absorb up to 80% of the same level of echo. The difference is striking in offices, restaurants, schools, churches, and most commercial venues that suffer from the low premium sound quality.
So out with the foam and in with the new? Of course! The acoustic treatments market is there to be tapped, with most any creative design you can think of now available and at your fingertips. Again, for more information, reach NetWell’s helpline at 1-800-638-9355.