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how to design a 4" thick barrier with the most thermal and acoustic insulation?

how to design a 4" thick barrier with the most thermal and acoustic insulation?


Old 05-04-11, 07:12 AM
Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2011
Location: EU
Posts: 1
how to design a 4" thick barrier with the most thermal and acoustic insulation?

I need to design a thermal and sound barrier - walls of a cuboid-shaped space. Imagine it is a free-standing bike shed in the fields. The walls can not be thicker then about 100 mm (4 inches). The most-internal layer of the wall will be a 2 mm (0.08 in) thick sheet of stainless steel. The most-outer layer of the wall will be a 1 mm (0.04 in) thick sheet of aluminum (fully exposed to weather).

Now, can you suggest what should I put between these two sheets of metal, to achieve the following properties:

R-value (thermal resistance) of the walls of at least 2.64 Km/W, that is in US units R-15 (15.0 hftF/Btu)
noise reduction of 50 dB - Sound Transmission Class: STC 50
Are such properties possible to achieve in a 10 cm (4 inch) space wall between two sheets of metal? If not, what are the best possible properties to achieve in that thickness, with the budget of about 70 EUR/m or 10 USD/ft?

I have read about materials such as polyisocyanurate (PIR) for thermal insulation and QuietRock 545 for sound (is it available in Europe?), but maybe there are materials which offer thermal and sound insulation combined, with more efficient use of the limited thickness?

Please suggest materials to put inside the wall between the two sheets of metal, preferably materials possible to purchase in Europe. Do I also need to worry about a vapor-barrier in such application (free-standing bike shed with steel walls)?
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Old 05-04-11, 11:17 AM
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Texas
Posts: 1,051
Closed cell spray insulation is very effective in controlling mid range frequency sound, and is both a thermal break and moisture barrier.
Old 05-04-11, 01:02 PM
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: USA
Posts: 4,941
For an STC of 50 you will need to use several different components. To reduce sound transmission the most, you need to decouple the outside of the wall from the inside of the wall.
Old 05-09-11, 07:21 PM
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: New England
Posts: 9,995
Flat surfaces are probably the worst case you can have, both inside and out. So, if there is any option for an irregular surface of any kind, inside and/or out it would help. I don't know what is available in your location, but there should be some rock wool products designed for acoustics and insulation.

The metal would not need an additional vapor barrier, but top, bottom, or seams might need some attention.

If the area is cold and there is moisture inside, it will condense if it gets cold enough. And, it will get cold if there is no heat source available.


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