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Sound Insulation Testing Setup?

Sound Insulation Testing Setup?

Sound Insulation Testing Setup?

I'm looking to improve the sound dampening characteristics of a structural panel and would like to build a testing setup to analyze changes made to the panel structure and layering.

The idea is to have a setup that is capable of testing small 12" x 12" sections of paneling.

I'm not really sure where to begin and was hoping I could get a starting point or some design guidelines for an anechoic chamber or test setup that would help me accomplish the above.


After doing a little digging and looking for some testing setups, I was thinking of building a small cube made of the panel material. There would be a sound source inside and a sound measuring device outside. Would this be an acceptable DIY setup? Would it be better to perform such a test within an anechoic chamber?

RE: Sound Insulation Testing Setup?

There are a lot of issues with a "sample" test that can lead to poor (unrepresentative) results. Is the actual panel much larger than the sample? How is the actual panel mounted compared to the sample panel. Are you measuring Transmission Loss of the whole assembly or Insertion Loss of the added material on an existing base?

ASTM E1222 - 90(2016)
Standard Test Method for Laboratory Measurement of the Insertion Loss of Pipe Lagging Systems

ASTM E90 - 09(2016)
Standard Test Method for Laboratory Measurement of Airborne Sound Transmission Loss of Building Partitions and Elements

ASTM E1289 - 08(2016)
Standard Specification for Reference Specimen for Sound Transmission Loss
ASTM E336 - 16a
Standard Test Method for Measurement of Airborne Sound Attenuation between Rooms in Buildings


RE: Sound Insulation Testing Setup?

These are going to be panels going into an aircraft. The final panel sizes will range from 3' x 3' to 5' x 5'. The mounting locations on the test rig will differ from those in the field.

The idea or goal of these tests is to come up with the optimal material and layering configuration to reduce noise.

There is some baseline data for a current panel. A sample panel using the same configuration would be created to fit the testing rig, and it would be optimized from there. The final full scale product will be sent out to a laboratory for official testing and to gather actual data.

RE: Sound Insulation Testing Setup?

The thing you are looking for is called a sound transmission loss suite. You can rent time in one. I used one a long time ago to measure the performance of various treatments for cars. An alternative is to send samples away for testing on an APAMAT machine but in my experience that is not a particularly good test.


Greg Locock

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RE: Sound Insulation Testing Setup?

I fully support the idea of empirical testing. However, keep in mind that there is quite a lot of analytical expressions available for sound transmission loss, even for multi-layer panels. See eg Beranek's classic text books. And, if you don't want to implement these, I recommend commercial software such as Insul www.insul.co.nz/
My point is, for assessment of design changes it is usually faster (and cheeper) to play around with a numerical model than building and testing various physical models. Then, after narrowing in on the best configurations, you can build and test one or more for real-world/lab data.

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