WHAT IS IT AND HOW TO CHOOSE A DECORATIVE ACOUSTIC PANEL?
ISINAC is a company dedicated to the manufacture of #acousticpanels and textile and furniture solutions for acoustic absorption. Focused on the innovation and technical quality of our products, we look for solutions full of design and style to provide acoustic comfort to spaces dedicated to the interaction of people, whether they are offices, meeting rooms, restaurants, hotel common rooms, classrooms or gyms, among others.
In recent times, it is increasingly common to find elements called decorative #acousticpanels in different construction or renovation projects of spaces such as those mentioned above. However, it can also be seen that when talking about decorative #acousticpanels, a large number of elements are included that have little or nothing to do with the ultimate purpose of an #acousticpanel, that is, the #absorption of noise caused by the rebound of sound waves on smooth and solid surfaces, once the decorative elements of the room in question have been added.
How do I know if I am choosing correctly? What makes one panel better than another? What are the price differences based on? We cannot forget that a sofa in a living room also produces acoustic absorption, but that does not make the living room an acoustically comfortable place, so how do you know what to choose?
From ISINAC today we want to give you some tips to take into account when choosing an acoustic panel. All the aspects we refer to below refer to the information that you can find in the technical sheet of any product with these characteristics.
1. FUNCTIONALITY: IS IT ABSORBENT?
The ultimate objective of an #acousticpanel is sound absorption, therefore, the first thing we should look at is what is the acoustic absorption that this panel exerts per square meter? This is important because, depending on this absorption, the room will need a greater or lesser number of these elements for a certain level of reverberation that is considered optimal. It is clear that design is important, since comfort is important not only acoustically but also visually, but as at ISINAC we have demonstrated, functionality is not at odds with design. A room with a style according to the objective of its use, improves its usefulness. Therefore, with respect to functionality there are three aspects that we must pay attention to in the technical sheet:
1.1 The #absorption rate per square meter: This can be defined by the NRC or αw nomenclature, which refer to two of the indices in which the acoustic absorption of a product is measured under certain conditions. The values of both range between 0-1, with 0 being no absorption and 1 being maximum absorption.
1.2 Panel thickness: That is, look at how many centimeters thick the manufacturer is expressing the absorption per square meter and how many centimeters thick the panel that I am choosing is. An example would be, the manufacturer says that the NRC of the product is 0.5 in 5cm thickness, but the panel you are purchasing is 1.5cm thick, therefore, the absorption of your panel will be much lower.
1.3 Absorption graphs: There is a very extensive range of frequencies, ranging from the lowest to the highest. Generally, depending on the type of room, its objective or its construction elements, we will need to exert greater absorption of low, medium or high frequencies. Depending on this we will use one product or another. The absorption graphs allow us to see the behavior of the panel depending on the type of frequency to which it is exposed.
2. SAFETY: IS THERE A RISK FOR PEOPLE EXPOSED TO CONTACT?
We are talking about decorative elements that will be exposed to the public in public places, therefore, there are two minimum security requirements:
2.1 Fire classification: This is determined by a standard that is commonly known as #Euroclase and that classifies materials according to how quickly they generate flames, expel toxic smoke and release fire droplets when they burn. This concept may seem unimportant, but when a restaurant kitchen catches fire, whether or not the materials on the wall and ceiling surfaces comply with these regulations can save lives. The Euroclase standard classifies through an alphanumeric combination that determines how safe a product is when exposed to fire. ISINAC products have classification B-s1-D0 and C-s2-D0, however, the meaning of these acronyms can be seen in the table below:
2.2 Allergens: In the end, we cannot forget that we are creating spaces for people to interact, and also since these are elements that we want to be part of the decoration of the room, they will be exposed to people. It is important, therefore, to ensure that they have passed allergen tests.
3. GUARANTEE: IS THE MANUFACTURER RESPONSIBLE FOR THE PRODUCT?
The guarantee is a very important aspect of the product, it means that the manufacturer of the product is so sure of its durability and proper functioning that it undertakes to replace the product with a new one in case it has a technical failure during a certain period, period which is known as a guarantee.
According to European legislation, the guarantee of a product must be at least two years, however, and based on what was mentioned a few lines above, the longer the warranty period, the greater the reliability of the product.
At ISINAC, as is already known, one of our pillars is the technical quality of our products, as well as the reliability of our raw materials, this allows us to offer guarantees of up to 10 years on some of our products. This is another way of demonstrating to the end customer that, with ISINAC, they are making an investment in the future, that is, not only are you ensuring acoustic comfort today, but you are also doing so with products and materials that, following the installation and maintenance conditions, they will last you at least 10 years!!!
4. ENVIRONMENTAL CARE: ARE THE PRODUCTS ENVIRNMENTALLY FRIENDLY?
Last but not least, caring for the environment should be present in all areas of our lives. We only have one habitable planet (at least for now) and it must be the home of future generations, therefore, it is always good to have some notion of how the manufacturer approaches this aspect in the use of raw materials and the production processes that give rise to the final product. One of the most effective and regulated ways to know this is through the ISO14001 and ISO14006 Standards, both focused on regulating these aspects. Today, ISINAC is certified in both, although beyond mere certification, caring for the environment is one of the values and pillars that govern our work.